Naruto – The Anime/Manga Series

Disclaimer: I actually think I have said this too much... And I think most people don't even read the disclaimer… But.. err… Anyway, Kishimoto is the man who came with the master plan… called Naruto.

A/N: My apologies for taking so long for this update, but I've been away for a little week and I was unable to write a single word during it all. I had a lot of e-mails, and I will try to use all techniques and characters that were sent to me in my fic, Many thanks!!!  Heh, again my apologies for the errors (many) in the previous chapter. I also re-established the teams Tsunade was going to send to retrieve Naruto, Sasuke, Neji and Gaara. Oh, and don't worry about the new characters I created or the new characters that were created by others... They won't be SUPER-COOL or SUPER-BAD or something of the like. I just think new characters in a story are just for background, or to help the main characters on their way. Oh, and another thing.. there were many many MANY ;_; errors in the previous chapters, so I re-posted it. The teams that hunt for Sasuke, Naruto, Neji and Gaara are smaller now, by the way. Please check it out to see who of the Jounins are on those certain missions now. Well, enough blablaing, enjoy this chapter!

There Where When is Now

- Chapter 22

I always thought it would all be all right, that everything would be ok. I always thought or perhaps I hoped it would eventually be that way. Somehow, along the paths I chose to advance through life, I came to realise that nothing is what it seems. Every little praise that I received I considered genuine, every smile and friendly nod towards me I thought were honest. When I discovered this simply wasn't true, it struck me hard. Way too hard. My departure is understandable. There simply is no other way. I have to get stronger, even the odds and show them what they have created… They will help me become what I want to be now. They will show me the way towards a light… even though I have never even seen that certain light…


What have I been doing all my life? Holding grudges isn't the way to trudge through life. Fidgeting with a sadness unlike any other isn't helping me one bit. I guess that the realization of my failure has finally arrived into my existence. Me, who was persistent of the certainness of all destinies, is now vying for a change of my own destiny. Looking around me, I do believe that life has thrown me a possibility to make that happen… and I'm grasping it with all my might.

- Neji

Odd how I came to be. Observing and judging all that happened around me. A certain change was necessarily and with this in mind I moved, but was unable to disperse from my own burden. Emotionless, thus blind, I lead a life where I was despised and I despised. Of course, this did not go unnoticed… But now, I have a goal… my hunger for a kill faded, only to return tenfold…I can feel the betrayal like blood, flushing through my veins… This calls for drastic measures…

- Gaara


Hatsu Heishou observed the boy before him and slightly grinned. It was his turn to train Sasuke today. It was very evident that this boy was eager to learn and grow stronger fast. But his current status was not really impressing compared to how strong most Akatsuki members were on his age. Still, the potential of this boy was very high. Although his Sharingan was still developing, while Itachi's was complete long before this age, he still had the opportunity to copy thousands of Jutsu's. It would be a waste of a Bloodline if he didn't… 'Uchiha… maybe I should let him copy some of my skills…'

"Oy, kid. Activate your Sharingan. I don't feel like training you, so I'm gonna give you a few skills of mine. However, while you're copying, do dodge the attacks, ok?"

Sasuke nodded as he activated his Sharingan. 'Ok, this will be interesting. Judging from the Chakra amount this guy is emanating he's a Jounin at least.'

Hatsu smirked as the performed a set of difficult hand seals. "Hakaze Atemi!" The blue Chakra that was already around him changed green and it moved, only to surround his two hands. He then pointed both his palms towards Sasuke. "Let's see how fast you are, kid… Haaaa!!!" From out of the Chakra, out of his palms, many leaves were released at a high speed, all heading for Sasuke. The leaves were sharp and hardened… It almost seemed the leaves were similar to Kunais.

Sasuke dodged one after another and had succeeded in copying the skill, but came to realize that this skill drained a lot of Chakra. He saw he could not dodge one of the leaves, so he quickly threw a kunai that get rid of it. As the kunai came into touch with the hardened leaf, the leaf multiplied into four smaller leaves and they were still heading for Sasuke.


Sasuke quickly leaped up, but was still hit. As he landed on a tree branch, he checked his shirt to see a few rips in it.

Hatsu smirked. "That wasn't really impressive, kid. You'll have to do better. It's a disappointment to see you got hit by this attack. Well, on to the next attack…"


Kisame, Mokito, Raidou and Dareda were all perplexed at the sudden change of behaviour of the three Chuunins before them. Although they still know they were taken by force and forced to deal with it, they weren't as angry as would be expected. Itachi's eyes really did a strange thing right here, that was clear. The Chuunins, Naruto, Neji and Gaara still had the same personality, but now, they weren't even trying to escape from here to go back to Konoha and they weren't showing any indication to do just that.

In the past few days, Neji has taken a liking to Dareda and Naruto got along well with Raidou and Mokito, while Gaara and Kisame shared the same kind of attitude…

Dareda had shown Neji the Senshin-Byakugan. Neji was totally interested in how he had achieved this and was surprised to hear that his own father, Hizashi, also knew this Advanced Byakugan. Neji was very satisfied with the current situation and was sure he would grow a lot stronger here… Dareda was from the Main Family and therefore knew the more advanced skills of the Hyuga Clan.

Mokito was surprised to see the amount of Chakra Naruto possessed. She enjoyed teaching him TaiJutsu and forced Naruto to put very heavy weights in his clothing, even in his headband and shoes. Raidou was teaching him elementary skills and was also surprised at how persistent Naruto was. The both of them really enjoyed having a little student who actually tried to learn something. Naruto was a fast learner and Mokito wanted to make him a lot faster than he was now. Raidou wanted to teach Naruto the more advanced elementary skills, from the moment he saw that Naruto's Chakra amount was very high.

Kisame was pretty surprised to see that Gaara was even more aggressive than him. And he had to admit, he really liked it. The killer intent that could be sensed within Gaara easily exceeded his own. Gaara's cold eyes weren't helping, but Kisame was the one person who could deal with it and order Gaara around. Kisame had decided to teach Gaara elementary skills, beside his formidable skills of sand. And in the meantime, he also tried to help Gaara socially; the kid simply had to speak more…

It took a few days before Itachi returned with a woman by his side…


Meanwhile, in Konoha Village, Kurunai had her hands full.. She was surprised when Sakura, Ino and Hinata came to her a few days ago and asked her to train them. Kurunai smiled at them at that time and had nodded. Everyone was on a mission and most of the ANBU and Jounins in Konoha were on guard throughout the entire village. Kurunai had the time, since she wasn't assigned to anything by the Hokage, except for a few days where she had to stand guard.

She was surprised to see that Sakura was very talented in Genjutsu. Kakashi did tell her about his students and she had told him about hers. He had once said Sakura was very good with Genjutsu, but she wasn't very good in all the other things. But when she saw that Sakura could perform Feathery Sleep she was utterly impressed. Feathery Sleep was a very hard Jounin Skill and demanded excellent Chakra use. This created many possibilities…

Hinata was slowly coming along and was finally showing courage. Finally mastering the Kaiten told her enough and it was time for Hinata to grow stronger. 'The abduction of Naruto did her some good…' Kurunai had thought of teaching Hinata the more ferocious style of her 'Gentle' TaiJutsu, but also thought Hinata should learn more about Ninjutsu. It was time to teach Hinata elementary skills…

Then there was Ino. With her own skill 'Shintenshin no Jutsu', she just didn't have enough. Kurunai had analyzed everything about her and came to a conclusion. Ino would have to go with TaiJutsu. Perhaps Kurunai could help her and give her certain weapons, to see how well she is with them. Seems Ino had very sharp eyes, so Kurunai gave her a bow for distance attacks. Ino wore this on her back. Ino would become a weapon specialist… Kurunai also had a sword in mind for her… And on top of that, she could of course develop her Shintenshin skills.


Curse Seal level 2… That was what was suggested to him by Orochimaru. But he needed to 'die' for this and he didn't really fully trust these guys. Orochimaru had assured him he would survive the ritual, since he himself and the other three would be taking care of it. But, what if it failed? What if he died?

"Sasuke-kun. Do not worry about dying. You should know that when you attain the Curse Seal at level 2, your powers are much bigger, but it drains Chakra even faster than the first level." Orochimaru paused. "So you should only activate Level 2 when you want to finish a battle fast."

Sasuke narrowed his eyes. 'This makes the Curse Seal even worse, it'll drains chakra even faster…. But on the other hand, this will make me a lot stronger.'

Hatsu and Teri were leaning against a tree, looking bored. It was clear they thought Sasuke should just decide quickly. Once he's ready, Orochimaru will take him anyway and then they will establish a new village, much more powerful than any other…

Sasuke nodded. "Fine… I want it."


The woman Itachi had brought with him looked really strange. Markings were all over her body, but she was absolutely gorgeous. Kisame blinked at her, while Raidou did the same. Dareda and Mokito simply stared.

Itachi started talking. "This is Mishu Usadi… And she'll be teaching you" He stared at the three Chuunins. "how to summon."

"Oy!! Oy!! I already know how to summon!!" Naruto yelled, jumping around. "What is this?! I want to teach super powerful techniques!"

Neji and Gaara, however, stayed silent and simply wanted to learn how to summon.

"Naruto, be silent." Itachi started as he stared harshly into Naruto's eyes. "This woman will teach you how you can summon more than just one animal."

Mishu, in the meantime, observed the people around her. 'That must be Hyuga Dareda, the super genius… Hoshigaki Kisame, one of the seven legendary swordsmen of the Mist. Sinobi Raidou, a lightning Shinobi, I only know of him because he's Dareda's partner.' Mishu stared at Mokito. 'I don't know that girl…' And then she faced the three Chuunins. 'Another Hyuga, Dareda must be teaching him… And those other two… that one's called Naruto, it seems. And the other… he has unpleasant eyes…'

"Mishu…" Itachi started. "I want you to start teaching them how to summon now."

Mishu narrowed her eyes at Itachi. 'He has such a nice way with words…'


Orochimaru stepped up to Sasuke with something in his hands. "Sasuke-kun. I'm going to give you a very dangerous sword. It'll be difficult to handle it, but I think you'll manage." Orochimaru held the sword before him while looking at Sasuke. "This is the Kusanagi… Blade of the snakes.. Catch!" Orochimaru said as he threw the sword at Sasuke.

Sasuke caught it easily but was surprised at how heavy the sword was. Though he could carry it, it would still be difficult to even perform three slashes. He'll have to learn…

In the past few weeks, Sasuke had learned many things. He learned how to control the Curse Seal and he has acquired many new Jutsu's. Sasuke was happy with the way he was progressing.


Kakashi had made a small camp in the middle of big forest and was making notes in a scroll. They had been going on for weeks now and they didn't even have a clue on where Sasuke would be. The others were getting a bit impatient and this mission was just taking too long. Soon they would have to return to the village to report on their progress.

"Kakashi. When we do find Orochimaru…" Anko suddenly appeared, before him, on the other side of the small campfire Kakashi had created. "I want you to know that I will be dealing with Orochimaru. I know you are the leader of this group, but Orochimaru is someone who will have to be dealt with only by me."

Kakashi lazily gazed at Anko before replying in an almost bored tone. "Well, I am sorry, but I am the leader and I want let you die so easily. Orochimaru was able to defeat the Third, Anko. You are simply no match for him. And besides, he can make your Curse Seal bun you up too. The fact that you came with us gives us a surprise element. Orochimaru will be puzzled, since he doesn't expect you to be here. You will start engaging him, yes. However, you will not be the one that will finish the fight."

Anko let out a short chuckle, before raising her voice a bit. "Heh! Like it matters! Once that plan's in action, no one can interfere anyway! I'll be starting the fight, but just to let you know… I won't back out. Even if it kills me. You can plan all you want, but the main goal is to bring Sasuke back. You do that and I'll deal with Orochimaru."

Kakashi shook his head. 'You're so annoyingly stubborn…' Kakashi stared at Anko. "Fine. Just don't get in the way of our mission then. Orochimaru is yours. Keep him off our backs if you can." Kakashi closed his eye and enjoyed the warmth of the fire. 'But I don't think you can do that…'

Shino was leaning against a tree and no one could tell if he was asleep or still awake, since he had his glasses on. 'It seems it's all about Uchiha Sasuke in our village lately. This mission might be higher than A-rank… I'll have to use my all, which I dislike…'

Shikamaru was Shogi with Asuma. "Oy, Asuma. Don't you think we've been on the road for too long already? It gets more tiring every day. I just want to go home." Shikamaru whined.

Asuma shook his head as he made a move. "We'll probably go back soon. The mission is taking too long. Perhaps our Hokage has more information about Sasuke's whereabouts. One can only hope." Asuma explained as he turned his gaze from the Shogi board to Shikamaru, only to see him grinning.

"Heh, you just made such a foolish move.."

Asuma groaned.

Genma suddenly arrived at the small camp with some dead animals. He noticed the tense atmosphere between Anko and Kakashi and shook his head. 'Anko's probably whining about Orochimaru again…' He then threw several dead rabbits into the campfire and sat next to Kakashi, while grinning. "Well… my report for the day… The theory I made yesterday is still not proved wrong… It still gets more boring every day. Except when you people start talking to each other…"


Jiraiya sat down on the ground and observed his surroundings. 'Genjutsu asshole….' He thought as he knew Itachi was a perfectionist considering Genjutsu. 'he's masking his location well. I bet even Hiashi can't locate him with the Senshin-Byakugan..'

The person in question was standing right behind Jiraiya. "Jiraiya, I think we should go home to report. The Hokage might be worried."

Jiraiya nodded. "Yeah, I know. But I hate coming back from a mission empty-handed."

"There's no other way, Jiraiya-sama." Gai said, walking up to him, followed by Lee. "We're dealing with very talented Shinobis here."

Baki stared at them and yawned. 'This is so aggravating… I bet Gaara has already killed them by transforming. If not, than that Naruto kid has… since he was the one that had actually beaten Gaara…'


Mishu smiled at the progress of the training. Naruto already knew four summons now, while Gaara and Neji knew three. She was impressed to see that Naruto knew how to summon GamaBunta. A summon she didn't possess. GamaBunta is a very powerful summon, but sometimes other summons come in handy too…

When Mishu wasn't training them, Itachi was learning Naruto the art of silent-killing and very rare and powerful Jutsu's. Kisame taught his more powerful moves to Gaara and Raidou taught Neji more elementary Jutsu's. Mokito once in a while did a speed contest with each one of them and Dareda once in a while showed Naruto and Gaara how to manipulate Chakra easier. The three Chuunins were improving everything there could be improved.


Sakura was lying in her bed, but still wasn't ready to go to sleep. Her thoughts mainly concerned her two team mates. 'Sasuke-kun… I hope you're ok..' Sakura heard from Kakashi that Sasuke was taken by Orochimaru. 'That white bastard…' Sakura sighed and came to know that Naruto had been taken by Itachi, Sasuke's brother. This was very puzzling, because, what would Sasuke's brother want with Naruto?  'Naruto… You've grown a lot stronger… but Sasuke-kun's brother… Please be ok..'

The next day, Tsunade and Kurunai stood waiting for the three Kunoichis, Sakura, Ino and Hinata to arrive. Kurunai suggested some medical Jutsu's for Sakura and Tsunade had agreed. She was satisfied to see that the three girls have grown so much stronger in these past few weeks.

Ino, too, was satisfied with herself now. Now she had a chance of actually shutting Shikamaru's mouth whenever he was whining again. Her own skills were never of any use against her clever team mate. But now, she knew so many more Jutsus and her own Shintenshin…. was pretty terrific now.

Hinata too, had improved her abilities. Having a great determination now, Hinata learned more in a shorter amount of time than before. She had potential to begin with, but she herself simply did not recognize it in herself. In the past few weeks, Hanabi actually challenged her once and Hinata had pummelled her down easily. She had gained her little sister's respect that day… Something Hinata really needed… and wanted for a very long time.


"Ok, I know some things might be puzzling to you. But you do realize that the village you were living was unrighteous, right? I do not wish to attack Konoha, but I want us to be a mercenary group.. One that will never lose and we'll only be accepting the most dangerous missions of all missions. You three" Itachi motioned towards Naruto, Neji and Gaara. "Will always receive orders from me, Sinobi, Dareda, Mokito, Kisame or Mishu, understood?"

The three Chuunins nodded.

"It will soon be time. But for now, we will train, until I deem it fit. You three need to get stronger fast. I do not want any weaklings in this mercenary group, but you three have already showed the potential to grow stronger fast and you've shown us that you're willing to learn. This is good. However… experience is also required. We'll be heading for the Mist Village in a few days…"


Years passed and Tsunade was disappointed to see the two teams she sent come back empty-handed every once in a while. She of course sent them back to go search for them every time. Konoha Village was not attacked in the years that passed and everything started all over again. The Chuunin Exam, new talented Genins came into view and the ANBU received several new members. All in all, Konoha became a village where very powerful Shinobi live…

Tsunade developed new Jutsu's during times when she had nothing to do. But she also had her missions and often travelled the roads towards other Shinobi Villages to sign treaties of any kind. She became a little more dependant when it came to Hokage duties and the village learned to respect her a great deal..

Sakura had become a lot stronger with the help of Tsunade and Kurunai. She has become a Chuunin, though not with ease. She was considered one of the best Genjutsu specialists in the village, but she lacked greatly in other skills, so she was unable to become a Jounin. But at least she tried… and she kept trying.

Ino, meanwhile, surpassed her own father with her ability of handling with the Shintenshin. Almost similar to Ten-Ten, she also was very talented with weapons. She was very talented at the basic TaiJutsu, but the limits of her body were easily reached and she was forced to develop the Shintenshin and her weapon skills… Ino was also a Chuunin.

Hinata was close to being a Jounin. She got rid of her shy attitude and was way more determined than ever. One could say she was almost as determined as a certain Uzumaki Naruto. The main reason for her change in attitude. From the Kunoichis of that time, Hinata was the one who had improved most. Perfecting the Hyuga skills and having a big set of elementary skills, she was pretty feared. Perhaps, even her father would be proud of her someday…

Shikamaru has become a Jounin, though a very lazy one at that. He surpassed his own father in the family skills and became a true mastermind. He began to hunt with the teams Tsunade had made for Naruto and the others, but he returned to Konoha village with Shino and Lee. It seemed their search was in vain.

Shino became a very talented and feared Jounin, but declined the offer Tsunade gave him and thus he became one of the ANBU.

Lee also became a Jounin, stepping into his role model's footsteps. Gai was almost never in Konoha anymore and Lee, as a Jounin, took a few roles over for him.

Chouji and Kiba came a long way considering strength and speed. But they lacked certain intellectual abilities to actually become a Jounin, but they were coming along. For now, they were Chuunins.

Ten-Ten became Chuunin as well and was spotted dating Lee. Ten-Ten was even more specialised in weapons than ever. She got along with Ino great and taught her things once in a while.

Somewhere else, outside of the Konoha Village, Sasuke had mastered the Sharingan but was still having difficulty performing the complex and original move of Itachi, the Mange-Sharingan. But time will learn and Sasuke was a very dangerous Shinobi. Orochimaru was counting the days… and so was Kimimaro… as he slowly decayed…

Itachi had grown stronger through severe training. He hadn't trained for a very long time, but when he did, he learned really fast and now he knew a few ways to deal with Naruto's Kyuubi attacks and Gaara's Shukaku attacks. That really helped him improve. It wouldn't take long before Gaara, Neji and Naruto would come close to the level of S-Class Criminals…

Kisame and Sinobi were actually satisfied with their own life in the past five years. Teaching Naruto, Neji and Gaara everything they wanted to learn made them feel… important.

Dareda and Neji got along perfectly and they almost seemed like brothers. Neji had a great talent in learning skills fast; Dareda clearly saw the resemblance between himself and Neji.

Mishu Usadi had taught Naruto, Neji and Gaara many summons. She was very impressed by Naruto's Chakra Stamina and ability to learn things fast. Even faster than herself. She was a little afraid of Gaara, as she could feel how much Gaara liked killing others. And she didn't really know much about the silent boy, Neji, who simply learned and went his own way.

On a faithful day, Itachi, Neji and Naruto paid a visit to Mishu while she was sitting alone in the forest in the night. Itachi helped mask their presence, while he let Neji perform Sanmai no Jutsu, the Absorption skill. After that, Itachi told Naruto to kill Mishu. Naruto obeyed, but it wasn't very easy to kill her. Naruto had, after all, never killed another person before. But with the help of Neji's Sanmai no Jutsu, Mishu couldn't really put up a fight against Naruto, who had gained so much strength in the past 4 years. Mishu was killed by Naruto and Naruto actually…. Didn't feel much remorse after it…

Itachi had performed a very high Genjutsu every day, so that others would not know they were where they were. This way, the Akatsuki members would never find them. Orochimaru had done the same and so they weren't found by them either.


End Book 1

A/N: Well, this is the end of Book 1, Book 2 will be released soon and will be VERY dark…. I hope you don't hate what I have done in this chapter. But I've got so many new skills and new characters that will make their appearances in Book 2. I hope you guys and girls will continue reading it. I thank you so much for the many reviews!! O_O I never expected to get so many for a simple continuation fic from a certain spot in the manga, Many Thanks! *Glomps all readers* Well, I'll be starting on Chapter 1 of Book 2 now, Goodbye!!