Reaching down he daubed his fingers in the already cooling blood on the floor. Reaching up he began to write. After a few minutes he turned and left. When he got to the door however a crowd greeted him. Apparently the neighbors had heard the screaming and had come to investigate. All in all there were more than 100 People waiting for him with blades and Bows at the ready. Slowly he favored them with a sadistic grin,
Exactly as I planned.
Slowly Hinata drew in a breath, and then released it,
Damn, Is this How Naruto feels after tapping Kyuubi's power?
I doubt it.
WHAT THE HELL!
Oh relax, you were projecting your thoughts, I'm sure that your Bonded has spoken to the fox in this same manner.
You COULD have warned me!
Did I not? Oops, My bad.
Hinata was about to make a biting retort to the voice about not sounding apologetic in the least when she suddenly felt a pair of eyes on her, Startled she looked up again… Straight into Berra's shocked gaze.
"Tsunade-Sama? It's time to start your meeting."
"Any sign of Naruto or Hinata?"
"None Milady Hokage, and we have searched every nook and cranny we can find."
Shaking her head, Tsunade dismissed the ANBU guard with a wave of her hand.
This is not going to be pretty without them to back me up…
Straightening her shoulders and putting on her most Imposing scowl Tsunade strode out on stage.
This is NOT going to be fun…
Oh is this going to be FUN!
Mikuhasi rubbed his hands together in glee. He had always had a gift for judging Aura's, and he KNEW that the Kyuubi brat wasn't there, he could feel it.
What a Glorious day for toppling an Empire
Shaking his Head, Shikamaru scanned the crowds again.
How Troublesome, it looks like the whole Village has turned out for this speech, and Somehow I am supposed to find Ino in the mess because she'll be carrying the 'Red Umbrella'… Brilliant, Outstanding Idea really… except for the small glitch of EVERYONE THINKING OF THE SAME DAMN IDEA!!! OK, ok, calm down. Not her fault. I'll just have to start methodically checking the red ones. Sooner or later I'm bound to…
"Don't hurt yourself."
Shikamaru jumped as a voice spoke directly next to his ear, and when he landed he whirled around to glare at a grinning Ino.
"I thought you were going to bring an Umbrella."
Ino shrugged as if to say 'I may have, but I certainly am not about to admit it.' Before standing up on tip-toes and giving him a light peck on the lips.
"Don't be mad Shika-kun, I was going to, but then I remembered that everyone does that."
Shikamaru stood firm, he refused to be swayed. This time even the dreaded puppy dog eyes weren't going to work on him… He lasted all of three seconds before succumbing to Ino's natural charm.
Hmmph, Unfair advantage…
Ino however was crowing in her mind.
WooHOO! Chalk up another point for the chicks! Who bad? I Bad! YA!
"Come on Shika-kun, don't be mad at me, I really didn't mean to."
The timing on the small sniff was perfect, and the last of Shikamaru's resistance melted away.
"Oh fine. Just don't do it again."
Ino nodded, attempting to match his air of gravity for a moment… Only for a moment though, the next second she was elbowing their way to the front. Somehow Ino had a feeling that she was going to want good seats for THIS speech.
For a heartbeat there was silence, the elders all staring in shock at the near-transparent shield that surrounded Berra… And then, all hell broke loose. Three of the Elders Immediately began yelling for the guards, Nishin, apparently not nearly as intelligent as he thought tried again to unsuccessfully attack the fallen and now fully healed Berra. The Guards began trying unsuccessfully to break the door down, but as none of the elders had released the sealing Jutsu their effort was in vain, The elder that had voted to help Hinata sat in the corner laughing Hysterically, and Berra and Hinata looked on in amusement at the proceedings.
Well, She did warn them.
Me, She saw the fragments of my mantle rushing to help you, and tried to warn them about what you have become, they wouldn't listen, and so they are assuming that it is SHE that is the sun-soul and that you were a misdirection so she could work undiscovered.
Hearing this Hinata shook her head in exasperation.
Why do these 'elders' seem, so remarkably like my father?
Because, like your father, they are too rooted in tradition and self-rightousness to think for themselves anymore. It's one of the reasons that my mantle passed out of their blood.
Yes, about that… Why me?
Oh come on, tell me.
Of COURSE honestly
Because you were the first suitable person that came across the shards.
Um… Ya, that's it.
Oh… Ok. So what's next?
Oh, next we need to have them summon your potential mate, after that the two of you need to come to an agreement and have it witnessed by the elders.
Unless you prefer your family to do it…
Oh…No these elders will be fine.
I rather thought so.
So, How do I make them summon him again?
Oh, just get their attention.
I don't know; think like your husband, what would he do?
Hinata lay there for a moment longer watching the pandemonium around her.
Hmm, I can see why Naruto likes causing trouble now.
By this time one of the elders had remembered to de-activate the Seal, and the guards had poured in, and were trying to break into the bubble that continued to surround and protect Berra. Two of the three opposing councilors were standing against the far wall and apparently having a rather heated conversation, Nishin had seemingly gone back into shock and was staring at this mostly melted claws again, The Laughing council member was wiping tears of mirth from her eyes and still laughing, and Berra was looking on with mild amusement at the whole set of them. Making up her mind, Hinata slowly got to her feet and walked over to councilmen Nishin. Tapping him on the shoulder she asked timidly
"Um Excuse me"
Nishin however was still in too much shock to register the touch, so Hinata tried again. Tapping a little harder she repeated in a slightly louder voice
Still there was no response. Getting impatient, Hinata reached down and grabbed a hold of the councilmen's tail and gave it a sharp jerk. This it seems was finally enough to wake the councilman, and wake him it did. With a Yowl of Pain Nishin spun around and tried to take a swipe at Hinata's face, only to once again find his claws hitting a nearly transparent field which stopped them a foot away from the glaring Hinata. His Yelp of course had drawn everyone's attention, and the room instantly fell silent. As all eyes focused on Hinata.
"That's Better. Now, The sun-soul has instructed me to tell you all to prepare for a summoning and witnessing ceremony… She also says that you have exactly… Two minutes, to complete preparations."
For several seconds everyone stared at Hinata in shock, but Hinata herself broke the spell by yelling.
"Well?!? MOVE IT!"
The guards didn't hesitate, and they immediately ran from the room to collect the necessary equipment. The elders on the other hand were made of somewhat firmer stuff, and without taking their eyes off of the now fuming Hinata, they carefully made their way back to their seats, all of them except Nishin.
Hinata's voice softened slightly.
"I don't really know. I was given a second chance at life, and I'm not about to waste it. Please take your seat."
Shocked, Nishin did just that. When the council members were all seated, Hinata reached down through the shield that still encased Berra, and pulled her to her feet.
"Thank you for your Support Berra-san. While this isn't quite what I had imagined when you offered a cleansing of the soul, it has certainly been… Interesting."
Berra's mouth quirked up in a slight smile, and she shook her head
"Yes, I imagine that it has."
"Now, on to business…"
Tsunade massaged her temples as the crowds roared and Buzzed. Opening her eyes she scanned over the sea of faces before Walking to the microphone
"Ok, QUIET DOWN!"
Almost Instantly the crowds fell silent.
"Last Night at approximately 11:45Pm there was a battle at the Hyuuga Mansion"
The Hum of the crowd grew louder as people discussed what this meant.
"During this break-in there were several explosions and a pitched battle that…"
The Buzz of the crowd grew louder, and Tsunade raised her voice
" a Pitched battle that culminated in…"
again the Buzz of the crowd increased, and Tsunade stopped talking with a frown, gesturing she sent in several of the shinobe to break up the fights that had begun on the outskirts of the crowd.
"People, People Please!"
the crowds didn't seem to notice the Kage trying to get their attention, they now had a focus, and several of them attempted to grab the Shinobe that had come to break up the fight. From the Shadows Mikuhasi grinned
Too easy. Far, Far to easy.
Hinata shielded her eyes slightly from the glare, Apperently Naruto was fighting the summoning with all his might and main, all four of the elders were sweating. The concentration necessary to try Pulling Naruto though was staggering, but then Trying to Pull though a Non-contractual summon usually was.
"What's taking so long?"
Berra glanced at the Irate Hinata
"It appears that Your Husband has found a way to anchor himself to The world… It's unusual in the fact that normally only the lead summon for a species knows how to refuse a summon in that manner."
"Is that a full link? Or is it only one way?"
Berra looked surprised
"A full link I believe… why?"
Hinata didn't answer, and instead moved closer to the glowing point of light. Studying it thoughtfully she gave a glance at Berra
I have no memories of being able to do this… Can you help me?
There was a moment of silence, and Hinata briefly considered that she may have failed to send the thought properly, she was about to try again when the Sun-soul replied
This is not something that you can remember… It must be done instinctually
Hinata nodded to herself. Taking a deep breath she leaned foreward and allowed the upper half of her body to combine with the light.
Naruto sighed again, the wind ruffling his hair slightly. Below him stretched all of Konoha, and from his vantage point on the head of the fourth He could both see, and hear the gathering below him in the town's proper.
Apperently Tsunade's having some slight problems.
Again he felt a slight tug on his chakra.
That's getting a little annoying… I wish I knew what keeps tugging at me
Almost Ten minutes ago he had felt something tug at his chakra. Annoyed at the time he had turned to look only to notice what seemed to be a small tendril of white light tugging at him. Instinctually he had placed a barrier of chakra between himself and the white strand. It was the creation of this shield that had given him his first major pause all day. It seemed to him that more and more often he was manupilating chakra without seals. True it was nothing major, mainly just activating the dictation Jutsu and now this odd barrier but it disturbed him as he had never had the kind of chakra control necessary for something of this nature before.
It's like I'm slowly gaining someone else's control…
Suddenly his eyes opened in shock. Acting on a hunch he held out a hand almost effortlessly he formed a rasengan, but this time he had seen what he suspected, the first half-second was the same struggle it normally was, but then a thin whisp of lavender-white had appeared, and Immediately the balance had shifted into the perfect harmony that he strove to achieve.
We have begun sharing abilities?
The thought was as exciting as it was terrifying.
We truly are bound then! I hope she accepts, breaking the bond might really hurt her… Me too if it comes to that. I've got to tell her! She needs to be…
Naruto Jumped to his feet, and suddenly stopped
Wait… If I tell her then she will accept for certain, just to protect me from the pain… Unless she accepts it should have almost no affect on her.
Naruto Jumped in shock
That sounded like…
"Naruto, I need you to allow yourself to be summoned."
Turning he cast a critical eye at the thread of white
"Is that what that is… How do I know your really Hinata?"
There was a brief pause.
"You drew a picture of me while I slept, and it's hanging in 'Your Room'"
Naruto's eyes widened, and though she couldn't see it he nodded.
"Alright, I'll accept. Stand back please, I don't want to hurt you."
Naruto felt her acceptance rather than seeing it, dropping the shield he reached out and embraced the thread of white, allowing it to pull him along. Had anyone been watching they would have seen a brief flash of light, and then nothing was left but the wind ruffling the grass.
Muttering to Himself Orochimaru Paced his ante-room and snarled, his pasty white skin seeming whiter that ever as the shadows flickered fitfully over his face
He should have been back by now with a report, where the HELL is Kabuto!
Suddenly he paused, his tounge flickering slightly as he tasted the air
That's ALMOST Your sent Kabuto… what the hell is…
Orochimaru felt rather than saw the motion behind him and quickly sidestepped as whatever it was fell beside him with a solid sounding 'Thwump' Glancing down he sneered in disgust at the body which lay across he feet. He already knew who it was, but for the effect he flipped the body over revealing the foam-flecked mouth of his former Protégé.
"Well, well… Has it finally come to this then? Am I to be Executed? Or did you kill a perfectly good servent for no reason?"
For a moment there was silence and then a deep voice chuckled in one of the dark corners
"Be thankful Snake, It was either Him or you."
Orochimaru nodded his head and turned to look at the person lounging in the shadows.
"Better Kabuto then. I never did much like him, Too clingy."
Itachi nodded as he absent mindedly brushed flakes of dried blood off of his robes, not that it much mattered as he was covered Head to toes in dried rivers of the stuff.
"I figured as much. As for why I'm here, we will be requiring a few things from you."
Orochimaru's eyes took on a calculating look as he scanned the room for other Atksuki members. In a one-on-one fight He was stronger than any who hadn't captured the essence of one of the demons, but even HE wasn't good enough to take out two of them at once..
Orochimaru didn't get a chance to finish as Itachi cut him off.
"I'm alone at the moment. Of course if I don't return within a set amount of time you and your entire little insurrection here will be destroyed."
Orochimaru nodded, he had suspected something like that if Itachi claimed to be speaking for the group.
"Alright, what do you need, and what's in it for me?"
Itachi smiled his Patented Sadistic-Evil-and-Very-Unnerving (Ok, so he's not good at naming things) smirk as the Sennin, and began talking. Before he was done Orochimaru had a rather sadistic smile of his own, and when he Itachi finished Orochimaru uttered two words that would forever alter the course of the battle.
The crowd surged again, growing more and more agitated as the outnumbered shinobe struggled to maintain a semblance of order. Sasuke frowned as the large man in front of him jostled him.
Why are they acting like this? We've never had a crowd grow so unruly… at least not until the 'Kage was finished speaking…
Sasuke's frown deepened as the man jostled him again, things were starting to turn ugly, and for the first time ever, he was glad that he wasn't allowed a Konoha uniform yet.
Tsunade better do something quick or she's going to have a riot on her hands.
Distracted by thoughts of a potential riot, Sasuke didn't manage to get out of the way when the man jostled him a third time, Unfortunately however Sasuke tripped over someone's foot.
"Careful there… Oh, Sasuke! I was looking for you!"
From his position on the ground, Sasuke stared up into Sakura's face
"Give me a hand?"
Lee, recognizing the look that passed between them decided to make himself scarce as Sakura help Sasuke to his feet. He smiled as he left though
At least there is now a chance that he will treat her as she should be treated.
Tsunade was trying desperately to re-gain control of the crowd, already there were people trying to push their way onto the stage, and the shinobe, though better trained, where rapidly being outnumbered. Mikuhasi grinned, urging his selected minions to further incite the rabble around them. The fact that the Shinobe were constrained to non-lethal ability's doing its part to hinder them.
A little more my children and the day shall be ours. This 'Kage may survive, but the trust the people have in her ability to handle anything will be broken. After that, it's just a matter of time…
Suddenly there was flash of bright light directly in the center of the town square. It was a light that didn't stop, but instead grew brighter until everyone was forced to look away. The crowd, fearing for their own safety rapidly moved away, and Mikuhasi gritted his teeth, whatever that was, it had severed his connections. Turning he walked quickly in the opposite direction, Swearing under his breath. Something was happening, and he didn't know what, that alone was enough to make him re-consider his options.
Does she know? How could she, Even the Youki only suspect… And where are the Minions I sent to retrieve the key, they should have reported back to me by now.
Growling in frustration, he turned the corner, and vanished. Back in the center of town there was a second pulse of light, and the people moved even further back, pushing slowly against the people behind them. Tsunade squinted though her hands, there was something odd about the light, it didn't feel like an attack, in fact, it almost felt like… With a small laugh Tsunade ignored the ANBU who were urging her to get to safety. Calmly she moved to one side, and waited. Already she could see two people forming from the light, and if she was right, she no longer had anything to worry about. slowly the light died, and when the people saw who had appeared from within it they were completely silent. All of nature, the animals to the wind in the tree's seemed to pause. Slowly the new arrivals moved foreword. Obviously heading toward the podium. The crowds parted in front of them. No one wanting to be the first to break the silence, nor enter the circle of open space around the couple. They may have moved slowly, but to those watching, it seemed like no time at all before long they mounted the steps. Tsunade smiled as the two of them took her place in front of the microphone.
"People of Konoha, It is my rare honor to make a series of announcements today."
Naruto seemed to glow with an inner light, His Aura swirling around him, a visible sign of his joy.
"Today I take my place as an honest and upstanding member of society. Today I declare to you my heritage, So hear me well! I am the shadow of Konoha, the forsaken and redeemed, the reviled and beloved. I am the son of Uzumaki Arishi, grandson of Uzumaki Kenamo!! And today I, Uzumaki Naruto, do formally take my Place as the last Scion of the House of Uzumaki, I formally declare myself a prince of Konoha. You the people have witnessed it, and any may challenge my blood... Hokage Tsunade!"
Tsunade suppressed a smile; Naruto was playing this to the hilt
"I formally request that the book of records be made available for a fortnight to any citizen of Konoha, that none may declare me false."
Shikato Drew in a sharp breath, and Sasuke and Sakura exchanged worried glances, If Naruto was wrong he would be tried for treason, if Tsunade refused to open the book she would be refusing to acknowledge his birthright, declaring him unsuitable to head a family. In such a way had the princes made a check against their own power. Tsunade took a long moment to look him over, more for the effect than anything. By doing this she subtly let the population know that this wasn't a favor, nor a spur-of-the-moment gesture, but the 'Kage doing her duty. After a breathless moment she replied…
"As you request Uzumaki-san, so shall it be."
The Entire crowd broke out in feverish whispers that soon grew in volume until the citizens needed to yell to hear each other. This was completely unheard of; no prince had requested that the book be opened in more that three generations. It left them open to the Political attack of anyone who could trace linage to their family. Naruto allowed the excited buzzing to carry on for another moment before he raised a single hand in the Air, a trick he had picked up from Ikura. Almost instantly the crowd fell silent.
"I ask fair citizens that you give me but a moment more of your time as Hinata has something she would also like to say."
Every eye immediately tracked to the Hyuuga Heiress who immediately blushed.
Oh good KAMI! look at all the people, how am I supposed to address so many? What If I mess up? What if I make both myself and Naruto look like fools? what if…
Hinata had been becoming more and more agitated, and Out of habit she was beginning to look for something to hide behind. That is of course until Naruto gently took her hand in his, and gave it a re-assuring squeeze. Swallowing, Hinata managed a smile, copying Naruto's formal mannerisms She lifted their joined hands for the town to see.
"I… I would like to announce to you that… That I have this day consented to marry the noble Lord of the Uzumaki."
The Crowd Roared! It was a Once in a lifetime event! Never in the lives of even the Eldest had such a thing been announced in advance! Normally the Village wasn't even informed until the event had taken Place! Normally such a thing was a series of delicate political maneuvers, Intended to bring more power or prestige to one of the clans, or to end a feud. So rarely was such a joining out of love, that it was nearly Un-thinkable! Many people that day looked upon Naruto in a new light, and many who had been unsure made up their minds then and there that Naruto must be what he had claimed. It made a great deal more sense now, especially with the rumors of the Fourth returned from the grave. It wasn't him, but his Son! The Uzumaki's HAD returned to Konoha! Hinata smiled demurely, and hung her head in embarrassment. Naruto however had other ideas. Lifting her chin with a finger he gazed into her eyes for a second, and then captured her lips in toe-curling kiss. Hinata, forgetting that they were on a stage in the middle of town wrapped her arms around his neck, and returned it with a fervor that surprised even her! After a second or two however, the catcalls and whistles brought the pair back to earth, and both flushed deeply. Faintly the villagers heard Hinata's voice whisper.
"Too late now girls, I've got 'Dibs'."
Most of the Village laughed at this and Hinata's face burnt even brighter as she wrapped Naruto's Arms around herself and then buried her bright face in his chest. This was seen as the final clinching proof of the validity of Naruto's claim, For a Hyuuga would never lie about something like that, and Hinata of all people would Never Display affection so publicly unless she was truly in love. Gesturing for Hinata and Naruto to step aside for a moment, Tsunade re-took the Podium
"People of Konoha, In light of this Joyous nows I hear-by declare the rest of the day as a day of rest. We've had precious little to celebrate in recent months, so lets take this as an opportunity to blow off a little steam. It's time to PARTY!"
Having said that Tsunade turned and gave both Hinata and Naruto a hug as the crowd roared its approval. This was to be a time of rejoicing, and the people most certainly agreed! The celebration for the newly engaged couple lasted well into the night, and before the evening was over rumors were already circulating about Naruto having challenge the great Hyuuga Haishi for Hinata's hand and winning! Many were skeptical at first, but when they questioned the Jounin present and were given the answer 'We can neither confirm, nor deny that Lord Uzumaki kicked the crap out of the 'old windbag' last night.' they seemed to get the picture. Some however were not so content, in the dark corners of the bars and in shadowed alley's they met. In the dark hours before sunrise they listened, and they plotted. refusing to yield to the tides of change. Clinging tightly to the darkness that they inhabited. Unknown to all the moment was soon to be upon them, the twilight hour when the world would hang in the balance, and the light would either drive back the darkness, or fall, dooming the world to torment for eternity.
IMPORTANT A/N: Alright everyone, Thats one more down. Sometime early next week I should have the first chapter posted for the fourth (And final) Part of this story. I feel the need to warn you right now about two things. First off This Entire series is going to be re-named to give each of these stories a seperate name. 'Return of the lost 1-4' just doesn't quite cut it in my mind. Secondly the final Book will in fact have occasional Adult themes therefore if you can't get into an 'R' rated movie on your own, I strongly suggest that you stop with this book as I refuse to be held Liable by your parents. You have been warned, And you will get ONE more warning at the beginning of the next book. Thank you all, and I look foreward to your continued readership, and Keep in mind that reviews are the lifeblood of fanfic Authors.
PS. I would appricate any thoughts on what to name this series. If you have an Idea for any given story, or even (Heaven forbid) all the stories I sincerly hope that you will include it in your review. Please submit it no matter how silly you think it sounds.