Chapter 21: The Parting of Ways. To the Outside World!
The mist descended heavily upon the village hidden in the leaves in the early morning, as the sun rose to give its brand new light for this day, two particularly green clad Konoha Shinobi were jogging in the village with the larger one screaming…
"YOSH LEE! ONLY FOUR HUNDRED AND FIFTY LAPS TO GO AROUND KONOHA! WE SHALL SHOW THE VILLAGERS TODAY THE POWER OF YOUTH!"
"HAI! GAI-SENSEI!" Said the smaller one while the two made their way around the Hokage tower
"Tch. Early in the morning and those two are already making a racket, who needs an alarm clock when these two idiots could practically do the job?" Said the grouchy Godaime, an empty bottle of Sake haphazardly down on her table
Tsunade then rummaged through her paperwork, her hair was a mess. Last night, she had a drinking session with her old partner, Jiraiya and it didn't occur to her until she was stone drunk that someone important was going to come today, but who? Searching for the right paper, she remembered what her old teammate told her last night while both wear wasted
"Zunade hic you gots to lizen to my ztory when I talked to Narhic Naru hic the brat…" Said Jiraiya as he laughed quizzically and downed another cup of the intoxicating drink
"Wut iz it, ya old perv?" Asked Tsunade chugging down the bottle herself
"The brat zed, tha he found a way to help someone like that turtle colored wearing genin" Said Jiraiya his head hanging low feeling the dizzying effects of the alcohol
"Huhwazah?" Asked the Hokage her head slamming on the table, apparently, the result of drinking thirty Sake bottles does that to you
"I love you Tsunade" Said Jiraiya and looked as if he was staring at a blank sheet of paper
"Okay, that's enough, let's forget this ever happened." Said Tsunade
"I agree." Said Jiraiya
Finally, Tsunade found it she picked the small document up
"Oh shit…" Was all Tsunade could say as she pushed the button on her intercom and called for her personal assistant and attendee, Shizune
Tsunade felt dread as she felt that her past is going to visit her once more
Jiraiya felt like taking a walk for the morning, after an excruciating, head banging hangover, he drank a hot cup of coffee and couldn't go back to sleep, he went outside to take a walk and take in the morning fresh air, without even knowing it, he had arrived by the northern gates of Konoha, scratching his head and wondering how the hell he ended up there since his lodgings were at the opposite edge of this one.
He sighed and said to himself, 'Roaming is a sign of schizophrenia, better find myself a psychiatrist and fast.'
He then continued to walk aimlessly, this time, he felt someone walk passed him, garnered in what seemed to be a cleric's attire; the toad sage scratched his head again and asked himself
'A monk?' Asked Jiraiya, and last time he encountered one, they took his female teammate and came back with a vicious arm that almost broke his neck and cracked his ribs.
Unconsciously, the toad sage rubbed his left side, remembering that time where Tsunade had unanimously maimed him for peeking and then using one of the Suna Puppets as a nude model of her in a seductive pose that he placed at the entrance of his house.
'Makes you think that all that Zen stuff couldn't enter Tsunade's head.' Thought Jiraiya, deciding to head back to his lodgings as his head began to think things clearly, he would start to pack today, later this afternoon; he and his students would leave on a journey outside the elemental countries.
Jiraiya thought giddily with excitement, what was really out there? What he could only see when he was just a child in there was that there were numerous buildings, buildings larger than that of any other structure in the elemental countries, countless machinery that could move as fast as any ninja speeding off on a hard yet almost smooth surface road. As a writer and a journeyman, it interested him; maybe even find out if there any remaining traces of Shinobi outside the Gogyou no Tariku
One of the medic Nins began a diagnostic test on one Akimichi Chouji, sighing, he placed a result on his chart
Doctor's order sheet:
Diagnostic result: Chouji Akimichi's Metabolism has not returned to normal, cell energy expense is higher than it should be, request an IV infusion of Five Percent Dextrose, Lactated Ringer's every eight hours, increase Flow rate and maintain a high calorie diet. Report any of the following symptoms immediately if current treatment is unproductive:
Pale and Dry Skin
Current Diagnosis: Severe Dehydration,
With that, the medic Nin left the room and went to the nurse's station and placed his chart there.
In another room, another medic began to diagnose an awake and weak Hyuuga Neji, the medic placed a diagnostic jutsu over the Hyuuga's right shoulder and lower left stomach and then looked at the teen
"It seems you're cleared now, Neji-kun, please once you are discharged avoid any strenuous activities for a week, your shoulder and stomach are still healing and it would take about another week for your follow up check up, until then, I advise you to take some rest" Said the Medic and Neji nodded, plopping down on the floor with his feet, he felt nice having to walk again and on his feet, he decided he would walk down the hospital and see how his team was doing while he was out,
While he was making his way down the hospital, in another room, there were ANBU guarding a still detained Uchiha Sasuke, ever since he was hospitalized and awoken, the Uchiha had his arms and legs tied up by restraints courtesy of both the hospital staff and ANBU, he was then questioned of his loyalty, though he was soon off the hook when a Psychiatrist assessed and gave him a disorder that he couldn't even understand, ASPD
Not only that, he was subjected to countless therapeutic sessions with some of the doctors and nurses inside the hospital, one time, because of his frustrations, he was almost forced to undergo an ECT or whatever that was, it involved placing electrodes at his temple and then a long thread of wire made out of lead was about to be connected to what looked like a giant battery, and that wasn't something he would want to feel in a good way sort of way.
Just then, Tsunade entered, the busty blonde gave a few papers to the ANBU that made them at ease, she then began to untie the restraints placed on the Uchiha and looked at her chart, Sasuke then felt relief and cradled his wrists as he got up
"Well, you're okay for now, but you still have more sessions with the psychiatrist for the next three months." Said Tsunade and Sasuke answered with a simple
Tsunade then laid down the chart, grabbed the Rave Haired genin by the collar and slammed the boy on the wall his feet hung loosely below
"You do a stunt like this again, and I'll make sure you and Itachi really ARE the last Uchiha that'll ever walk this earth, you hear me?" Said Tsunade as she set the boy down, with Sasuke hastily nodded, no one would want their little soldier die a horrible death, not even Sasuke
"Good." Said Tsunade as she grabbed the chart on the bed and checked the small box that said at the side
May go Home with follow up sessions every week.
And God was good…
The blonde Jinchuuriki gave a loud yawn, apparently, he couldn't do any training today, since they need the rest to perform the ritual later, Komyo was about to arrive and that made Naruto, Gaara and Haku a bit excited seeing the head priest again
With that in mind, he got up and strapped Kitsune Bi no Kowaku on his back and went outside, with Gaara and Haku doing the same
"You ready?" Asked Gaara
"As I'll ever be Gaara, as I'll ever be." Said the blonde and the three vanished in sight
Tsunade ran like hell after her rounds were over, she knew today who was going to visit, her mentor in Taijutsu, the one that gave her the enormous strength to punch through walls and the one who always hits her with a stick when she was disobedient, the one SHE HAD TO ENDURE FOR TWO FUCKING YEARS!
"Tsunade, I didn't expect you to treat guests like this." Said the smiling Komyo sitting at the chair of the Hokage no less
"Well, I can explain sensei, you see…"
A hit on the head
"Excuses and ramblings should not be permitted in my presence, little Tsunade." Said Komyo hitting Tsunade again with his small bamboo stick
"Now, I'm sure that one of my apprentices is here, while I wait for them, be a dear and make me a sandwich." Said Komyo and Tsunade turned her back from her sensei all the while seething and grinding her teeth as she exited the Hokage room
'Make me a sandwich he says… I'll turn you into a goddamn sandwich!' Thought Tsunade as she headed towards the building's pantry, grumbling something about sexist vain monks
On her way to the pantry, she came across Naruto and his teammates, with Naruto raising his head out of confusion when Tsunade began stomping off from her office
Entering the Hokage's office, he and his teammates was greeted warmly by the monk that they all knew
"Hello children." Said the figure
Naruto and his friends smiled as they were greeted by their dear old sensei, Komyo
"I understand that you want to help children like you, people who have seals that continue to haunt them, may I ask therefore, why do you wish to help them?" Asked Komyo
"Komyo-sensei, have you ever heard of the Akatsuki?" Asked Gaara and Komyo looked confused
"No, I'm afraid not, you see, I haven't heard of any organization which is synonymous to the red moon or dawn." Said Komyo
"They are S-Class missing nin sensei, their target were the Jinchuuriki but their goals remain unknown, their most distinct feature is a black cloak with high neck collars, and red cloud designs all over it." Said Haku, Komyo remained frozen, his dream back then was becoming a reality, his worst nightmare
"But how does this relate to the fact that you want to help these children?" Asked Komyo
"It's because from our stay here, I noticed their potentials sensei, all twelve of them, plus two Shinobi from Suna, sensei, they have the ability to win against any adversity, out of all the Shinobi I've met, these people are the ones that can stand a chance to face the Akatsuki, right now, they may be genin, but they grow at an alarming rate, I have also devised a way to boost their growth further, I have discussed this with the Godaime Hokage, and she has agreed, right now, I am handing over the documents and only waiting for her approval." Said Naruto and Tsunade went inside the room with a sandwich on a plate in her hand
"Speak of the devil, Tsunade-sama, the sealing grounds are ready now, we just finished it yesterday." Said Naruto and Tsunade nodded begrudgingly handing the sandwich to the monk
"You sure this will work?" Asked the busty blonde
"Positive." Said Naruto and Komyo gave a deep sigh
"Sometimes I wonder where you get that mind of yours Naruto." Said the monk
"Wait how come you treat them like real students and you treat me like some dunce in a school!?" Asked the enraged Tsunade
"Simple, little Tsunade." Komyo said hitting Tsunade with a bamboo stick again
"You never paid attention to my Zen classes." Said Komyo hitting her again with the Godaime rubbing her forehead
"Wait, Komyo-sensei was Tsunade-sama's sensei as well? But you look no older than Tsunade-sama herself!" Said Haku which earned a haughty but discreet chuckle from the monk
"What can I say children, the precepts of Buddha have a way with youth; unlike a certain someone I know who has to maintain a tiresome genjutsu all the time." Said Komyo, Tsunade crushing the glass of her Tea
'Count to ten backwards and think happy thoughts, happy thoughts, happy thoughts.' Said the fidgeting Tsunade
"Well, at least we can begin, I wonder if we have any other fuinjutsu-shi in here aside from that lecher." Said Gaara
At the hot springs, a white haired man sneezed giving away his position
"TO ARMS!" Exclaimed Anko with the white haired pervert only muttering the words
All hell broke loose…
Naruto lead them the way to the temporary sealing chamber, opening the wooden door, Naruto sidestepped and allowed Komyo to enter the dojo turned temporary sealing room
"Right, this would be a nice place, care to call the people to participate?" Asked Komyo to Tsunade and Tsunade eagerly replied
"Taka, I need you to call the following people right away…"
Konoha Training ground fifteen:
Neji had quietly watched as his teammates, particularly Lee and Gai, train and beat the snot out of each other. Tenten, watching beside him, had a bored yet a small amount of amusement on her face.
"Lee seems to have improved in his skills." Said Neji
"That sounds like the first time you have praised him, Neji." Said Tenten with a smirk on her face
"You tell that to Lee and I'll kill you." Said Neji impassively
"Aw, is Hyuuga Neji embarrassed about praising someone?" Asked Tenten mocking the Hyuuga while the Hyuuga deadpanned her
Tenten seemed to frown at that reply until Neji continued his jargon
"It's that Lee would not stop bugging me about it and he'll never let me live it down" Said Neji and Tenten had to sweatdrop, Neji had a good sense in that, if Lee had heard that, who knows what kind of ramblings he'll be saying to Gai and his peers.
Just then, a member of the ANBU appeared in a plum of white smoke, wearing the hawk mask, Gai and Lee had stopped sparring
"Hokage-sama requests the presence of both Hyuuga Neji and Rock Lee at the Uzumaki estates; she wishes to speak with you." Said the black ops member as he used Shunshin no Jutsu to inform the next person on his list
Sasuke sat in a lotus position and meditated near the Nakano River, with Harusame firmly planted on the riverbed, slowly, the workings of its white chakra glowed ceremoniously as the flow of white light went with the current of the river,
'Susanoo wo Mikoto's power is the one that could manipulate the weather, from the heat of the summer sun to the turbulent winds of storms, Susanoo blessed these lands with fertility and good harvest.'
Harusame then began to let its white light illuminate the river as though as it seemed that the white light it self has become the water
'Tsukuyomi, the moon god and god of the underworld, with his sense of judgment and wisdom, he brought forth the idea of death to mortal men, and when death comes, their souls will be judged by him as they are sent to the River Styx'
The stream of white light suddenly began to glow, its illuminating presence created upon many of tiny white sprites that stood afloat on the river and ascended upwards
'Amaterasu, with her knowledge and kindness, brought forth light into this world, with her unending wisdom, she brought forth a leader to this world, to lead her people and become prosperous.'
His meditation stopped when a presence of a different person had arrived and disturbed his meditation, although he would love to lash out and sputter at the man but one of the virtues that Harusame had taught him was patience, it was his hotheadedness in impatience that made him almost follow the dark path of his brother, well none of that anymore…
"What is it, ANBU-san?" Asked the Uchiha getting up and then walked on water and grabbed Harusame placing it in its sheathe.
"Hokage-sama requests for your presence at the Uzumaki estates immediately." Said the masked ANBU vanishing in a cloud of smoke
"I wonder what that old woman wants…" Thought Sasuke out loud
Neji had arrived at the Uzumaki estates, with Lee in tow and all, with Tenten and Gai following closely behind.
As they neared the gates, one particular Uchiha Sasuke had met them halfway earning a growl from Tenten and a scowl from Neji
"What are you doing here, Uchiha?" Asked Tenten reaching for Raijin's hilt and Sasuke answered
"Hokage-sama requests for my presence." Said Sasuke in a monotone at which Neji scowled even further
"You have the gall to call the leader of Konoha like that when you turned your back from the village walls." Said Neji
"A stupid mistake, one that you can be sure that would never happen again, I assure you." Said Sasuke
"OOH! SASUKEE-KUN'S FLAMES OF YOUTH HAS CHANGED GAI-SENSEI! CAN YOU SENSE IT?" Asked Lee
"YES INDEED IT HAS MY ADORBALE STUDENT! YOU'RE DETECTION OF ONE'S BURNING YOUTH IS TO BE ADMIRED!" Said Gai, embracing his student causing a scenic sunset at the seaside effect
"Yare, yare… If that noise indicates anything, it means that you arrived just in time." Said Naruto who appeared at the gate and leaned back just in time to notice the argument between team Gai and Sasuke. He then looked at Gai and Tenten scratching his head
"My guess is that you two would want to know about your other two teammates slash students?" Said the blonde pointing a finger at Tenten and Gai who nodded vigorously
"It'll be long to explain so just follow me." Said the blonde
Jiraiya looked worse for wear, sporting a bruise on his left cheek, a lump on his right brow that made him temporarily blind on his right eye, a kunai lodged on his shoulder with blood dripping out and a hot iron brand on his buttocks that said, "BEEF!"
Jiraiya shivered at the vast imagination of Anko and her snakes, how was he supposed to know that the snake was supposed to do that!
Jiraiya made a mental note to himself that day,
'Put Anko in the "Too-Dangerous-To-Peek List", second only to Tsunade.'
In his musings, he was given an instruction on how to draw the sealing circle, Jiraiya had done so and draw two circles that were concentric, the monk that he barely knew then began to lay out seven scrolls from his garb, each one varying in color and laid them down on the floor, intersecting both circles and making it seem to connect the two circles by the seven scrolls. The two minors in the room watched in awe as the seal masters did their work
Next, Jiraiya was asked to do another sealing ground by creating three more circles separating from the one he just drew, this time, they were smaller and were in a triangular formation. As indicated, Jiraiya did just that, making a triangular line that connected the three circles. He then wrote character after character per line, when he was finished, he wiped the sweat from his brow and felt the stinging pain of his swelling right brow, damn him and his luck.
Speaking of luck, his way too lucky of a student has just arrived, with five people in tow.
"What are they doing here? I know they are concerned and all, but this is a delicate process." Said Tsunade who was then hit at the forehead again by the monk
"OW! Sensei, why'd you have to hit me on the head?" Asked the busty blonde rubbing her now, red forehead
"For being disrespectful of your subordinates, and they are free to watch Tsunade, one or two audiences isn't a problem to me." Said Komyo
Tenten had a sweatdrop on the back of her head, talk about old school teachers…
"Now then, let the ritual begin, Sasuke-san, Neji-san, please stand on the middle circle, the one with the scrolls" Said Komyo and both boys, nodded, although begrudgingly at Neji's part.
As the boys were ordered to stand there, Jiraiya gestured for his three students and Lee to come over to his side, Lee scratched the back of his head, and was forced to walk as soon as Naruto grabbed his collar and placed him in the middle of the triangular drawn ground, with Gaara, Haku and Naruto standing at each one of the circles.
"Okay boys and girls, let the light works begin!" Said Jiraiya who went to a series of sequence while Komyo started chanting
A few hours later:
The ritual was done, the seals on both Sasuke and Neji were destroyed, Jiraiya and Tsunade agreed to each other after the ritual that they should never speak of the event again, along with Gai and Tenten, mentioning that this event could shake the village's foundations, especially the Hyuuga Clan, it would cause a huge political problem for the clan in itself.
As they got finished with their ritual Tsunade had ordered the ANBU to keep Neji and Sasuke guarded and this time, place them in the Uzumaki estates and renew the official record both Neji and Sasuke had, to erase any evidence just in case, thankfully, Neji had not yet returned to the clan estates and Sasuke wasn't spotted by his fan club when they were discharged.
As for her sensei Komyo, he hadn't spend the night in Konohagakure due to the fact that he needed to get back to the temple as soon as possible, Tsunade had no problem with him, he was capable of taking care of himself, his stick was more than enough to ward off anyone stupid enough to cross paths with him.
As for our three friends…
Naruto gave a deep sigh, tonight was his final night in Konoha no Sato before he would leave for another journey again, albeit this trip would be shorter, it would mean that he would be separated from the people that he had gotten close with as of now. He began to take out his clothes and his essentials, grabbing a storage scroll, he unraveled the writing material and sealed all of his things on the scroll and grabbed a small bag for other materials that he might need.
With his friends doing the same and the two of them trying to get an earlier sleep, he gave a sigh and walked outside the compounds for one more time before he leaves.
The moon was beautiful tonight, it was a crescent one, and it was bright, it was only eight in the evening as he looked at the watch on the park. He put a hands on his pockets as a cold gust of wind blew in the night.
He looked on and walked aimlessly, he wanted to take a walk at the village one more time before he goes away.
And as luck as it would have, he had met his childhood friend in the village who was staring at the stars that night on an erected log
"Hinata-chan?" Asked the blonde, Hinata was startled and then look at the blonde with a blush on her face
"What are you doing out here in this cold night?" Asked the blonde
"It's nothing, I just… Want to look up the stars for tonight." Said the girl as she went back star gazing
"Mind if I join you for a while?" Asked the blonde as he sat right beside the log that Hinata sat at
"You know, I've always wondered just what is out there." Said the blonde as he saw the twinkling droplets of light
"Yeah me too…" Said Hinata
"I used to think that when I was a kid, the stars are like the people that passed on and watching over us." Said the blonde and Hinata chuckled a little
"I used to think that too." Said Hinata
"Remember that locket I gave you?" Asked Naruto and Hinata nodded as she went for her jacket pocket and grabbed the small golden locket that Naruto had given her
"This?" Asked Hinata holding out the locket for Naruto to see
"Yeah, it looks like you're going to have to hold on to it for a little while longer." Said the blonde as he scratched the back of his head and gave a sheepish smile
"I don't understand…" Said Hinata contemplating at what the blonde had said and shooting star appeared
"Naruto-kun, look! A shooting star! Let's make a wish!" Said Hinata clasping her hands together and thought of her wish, with Naruto smiling at the Lavender eyed girl and wish on his own
"What did you wish for, Hinata-chan?" Asked Naruto, Hinata smiled and blushed slightly averting her gaze from the blonde and said
"If I told you then it wouldn't come true." Said Hinata smiling
A cold wind began to blow again making Hinata shiver a little even though she had a jacket
"It's getting cold, what do you say we go get some ramen and I'll explain?" Said the blonde smiling again and the Hyuuga girl blushed, did Naruto just ask her for a date?
Stuttering a reply, he gave a weak nod and both headed out for Ichiraku
As they walked, Hinata couldn't help but feel the ominous silence that befell them and Naruto's very far away look as he looked upon building upon building, arriving at Ichiraku, Hinata could feel the cold winds dying down as they entered the shop.
Naruto was surprised at what he saw, for the first time after his long stay here in Konoha when he arrived from his journey, there laid his eyes before him, Umino Iruka as he slurped the noodles in the broth
"Iruka-sensei…" Said the blonde and Iruka turned around,
"Naruto… Naruto!" Said the scar faced Chuunin as he gave the boy a ruffling on his hair that he hadn't done for years
"Been a long time! I heard that you arrived a couple of months back but since I was so busy with the academy and the invasion, I didn't know when I could meet you!" Said Iruka Naruto giving off a wide grin
"I was also busy as well, Iruka-sensei, missions and all that, me and my friends had to substitute for Kakashi-sensei while he was gone after we got promoted." Said Naruto and Iruka laughed
"So I've heard, and why is Hinata with you? You two on a date?" Asked Iruka reeling closer to Naruto with a smile on his face, Naruto blushed a little and aptly replied the blonde while scratching his chin
"N-not exactly sensei, I just wanted to talk to her… Is all." Said the blonde and Hinata slightly became disappointed at the denial
"Okay, if you say so." Said Iruka still eyeing Naruto suspiciously as he and Hinata sat down
"Old man, One Yakiniku Ramen for me, Hinata what would you have?" Asked the blonde
As they waited for their order, Iruka and Naruto talked about catching old times, with Hinata joining in sometimes, they laughed as they shared stories of the past until Hinata had asked him of what he said earlier
"Ano… Naruto-kun about what you said earlier…" Said Hinata and Naruto immediately stopped his eating
"Oh that… Hinata-chan, Iruka-sensei, I'm going to another journey this time, with Gaara, Haku and Ero-sennin." Said Naruto looking sullen again…
"But you just got here…" Said Hinata feeling that her appetite has been lost
"I know… But you see, I'll need this training…" Said the blonde and Iruka looked on
"There are a lot of people after me, Gaara and Haku as well, I can't risk the fact that I'll be sending some of Konoha's men to their doom if I stay here." Said Naruto
"But we can protect you! Konoha is supposed to be strong!" Said Hinata
"I know Hinata-chan, it's just that… Well, the people that are after me aren't exactly a bunch of canon fodder." Said Naruto and Hinata had to stifle a laugh from Naruto's joke
"I need this Hinata-chan, I need to get stronger with Ero-Sennin, if I can do that, I can come back here with no regrets." Said Naruto finishing the bowl by drinking the soup
"Wow, I don't feel quite hungry right now, so this will have to do." Said Naruto as he got off his chair, Hinata finishing her serving and bounced of as well, with Naruto leaving the money by the counter, Naruto's treat
"Well, I'll be seeing you, Iruka-sensei, Teuchi-ojisan, Ayame-neechan!" Said the blonde as he and Hinata walked off from the ramen bar, as they began walking a good distance, Hinata had thought of something to give for the blonde genin that night
"What is it Hinata?" Asked the blonde turning around as he felt something moist on his right cheek, Naruto stayed still for a moment as he felt the warm lips of his childhood friend,
"H-Hinata-chan…" Was all Naruto could say before Hinata had silenced him and said
"For luck, I wish you safety on your journey." Said Hinata running off towards home
Naruto could still feel the warmth on his cheek as he caressed where Hinata had kissed him…
The next morning:
Jiraiya had viewed his pupils; all three of them were now prepared for their journey as they looked on at the village's monument.
"You guys said your goodbye's right?" Asked Jiraiya and all three nodded
"For our journey, it would take about three days to get there, and we'll be traveling fast, although they are still inactive, we can't be to sure." Said Jiraiya
"Here's to everyone in the village." Said Jiraiya taking a small sip from his Sake and then slamming the cup on the ground shattering it.
"Leaving doesn't mean parting of ways immediately, but it can also be a gesture that one will come back because he is bound to his home and home shall be the place where everyone would smile." Said Naruto
"Where'd you get that line from? From Tsunade's effeminate sensei?" Asked Jiraiya
"No, it's my own." Said Naruto and Jiraiya grinned
"Alright brats and this time, we're heading off to the great unknown!" Said Jiraiya pointing forward and all of them nodded
Indeed, their journey has just started…
And with that wraps up book one! Thank you all for your reviews, both positive and negative, let me remind you all that it was a blast to write this, although I find Heavy Metal to be a tad bit better… Anywayz! Thanks you all for your support! RnR dear Readers!