Author Note: None

Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto.

-Chapter XXXVII-

A heavy atmosphere settles over the shinobi villages as soon as news of the declaration of Daiyonji Ninkai Taisen trickles back from the Gokage Kaiden. For those old enough to remember the last shinobi world war, the news brought back scenes of death and destruction that was the daily occurrence during that horrible time. For the younger generations, the older generations' reaction to the news is enough to give them pause from acting out recklessly.

On a more positive note, Naruto found out that the Raikage was able to rescue Killer Bee successfully when his clone dispelled. He received a big kiss from Yugito when he relayed the news to the former Kumo-nin, with a subtle hint that he would get a bigger reward if he played his cards right, a message that Naruto missed completely. As he leaves the mansion, he can hear Yugito complain to Temari about something along the line of why she even bother trying. Shaking his head and telling himself not to think about the implication of the words, Naruto sets off toward the Hokage Tower, trying to see if there are any new developments in handling the latest threat to the stability of the shinobi world, especially now that the Raikage should be calm enough to actually perform his duty as the leader of his village.

Determined though he was for any scrap of information, he can't help but stop as he walks past Ichiraku Ramen. Patting his wallet, the only debate in his mind is about how many bowls he should have. Turning from his path toward the tower, Naruto walks past the curtains and announces his arrival with his usual vigor, bringing a smile to the owner and his daughter. Teuchi heads back to the kitchen humming a tune jovially after taking Naruto's order, though whether that's from seeing Naruto or counting the amount of money he's about to earn Ayame has no idea.

"So… Naruto…" Ayame starts, looking distinctly uncomfortable, "are you… all right?"

Looking up toward the waitress, Naruto can see a whole mix of emotion on her face. Happy that he's there, of course, but also an undertone of concern.

"You heard about what happened at the summit didn't you," Naruto says.

"It's not exactly a deep dark secret," Ayame says, "and working here for as long as I have, you learn how to pick up on customers' conversations."

"It's going to be fine really," Naruto says, "this Madara person barely has over half the Bijuu, and the shinobi forces still have the two strongest ones."

"After you defeated the supposed leader of Akatsuki, I thought things would finally be peaceful for a little while," Ayame says, "but I would've never thought that a war of all thing could happen."

"I'm not going to let anything happen to Konoha," Naruto says.

"I'm more worried about you!" Ayame screams before calming herself, "sure, dad told me stories about how horrible the last shinobi world war was, but it's much worse when there's someone you know fighting in it, especially when he's almost at the top of the enemy's hit list."


"Naruto, promise me that you'll come back alive."

"I would never leave the ramen behind."

"Naruto, I'm serious."

"…All right, I promise you Ayame-nee-chan," Naruto says.

"Order up!" Teuchi says from the kitchen, "what's with all the ruckus out there?"

"It's nothing," Ayame says, picking up the food and delivering it to Naruto.

"Yeah, don't worry about that Teuchi-jii, just keep the ramen coming," Naruto says.

"All right, but you best make sure you can pay for the meal Naruto," Teuchi says, returning to the kitchen.

"Tou-san! Is that really all you can think about?" Ayame screams, exasperated.

"I only give discounts for special occasions," Teuchi says with his back turned, "but this is just like all the other times Naruto comes over to eat. He'll still be coming around all the time after this too."


"That's right! Once this mess is all sorted out, I'll be back eating lots and lots of ramen."


"But… I'm going to see Tsunade-baa-chan, so maybe I'll just have ten more bowls and call it a meal."

"I can never understand how you can say that and make it sound like it's a light meal," Temari says, taking a seat next to him, "give me two bowls of miso please."

"Temari-chan, what are you…?" Naruto asks.

"I want to know what's going to happen to you and Gaara too."

"Order up!" Teuchi says from the kitchen, drawing everyone's attention.

"And I'm starting to think that he knows some kind of solid clone technique to help him whip up this many bowls whenever you come here Naruto," Temari says, "granted he probably needs it to keep up with you."

"That's something for me and my father to know and you to never find out," Ayame says, "ten bowls for Naruto and two bowls for Temari, here you go."

Half an hour later, and only because Temari is much more dignified in ingesting her meal than Naruto, the married couple sets off for the Hokage Tower. Once arriving outside the door to the Hokage's office, the pair spots Shizune sitting at the secretary's desk sorting through the paperwork.


"Oh, Naruto, Temari, what brings you two here?"

"Is Tsunade-baa-chan around? I want to know if there's any news about the alliance and such."

"She is speaking to the Daimyo right now," Shizune says, "actually, she asked me to gather you, Yugito, and Konan before heading off. I was just about to ask someone to look for you."

"I can go and get them for you if you want," Naruto says.

"I'll go and get Yugito, you go and look for Konan-san," Temari says.

"Thanks you two," Shizune says, "the civilian council has been submitting all kinds of paperwork demanding shinobi protection ever since news of the upcoming war got out. I have to sort through all of them before sending them off to Tsunade-sama."

"Beh, they care more about themselves than the fate of the world," Naruto mutters.

"And how would you deal with them?" Shizune asks, smiling, "you always said that you want to be the Hokage, so you'll have to deal with them eventually."

"Considering we are going to have a war on our hand and all the nations are going to be fighting alongside each other," Naruto says, "I guess I'll assign the academy students and fresh Genin to guard the village. I doubt we'll have to worry about much more than common thugs, and there's no sense sending the kids out to the front lines."

"That's very mature of you," Shizune says, "that's what Tsunade-sama suggested too. That's why I'm looking through the rosters along with the requests."

"Although it looks like you have a lot more requests than available personnel," Temari says.

"Yeah… the parents got really worried after the Suna-Oto invasion and that year's roster size plummeted," Shizune says, "it recovered to normal level in the following class, but given the three year training program, this year Genin class is right at the time where we had the least amount of students."

"Sorry about that," Temari says, rubbing the back of her head in embarrassment.

"Oh, we know that it wasn't Suna's fault," Shizune says.

"Anyway… we should go and look for Yugito-chan and Konan-nee-chan now," Naruto says, trying to break up the awkward atmosphere, "you know, before Tsunade-baa-chan gets back."

"Yeah, that's a good idea," Temari says, desperate to get away from the direction the conversation took.

"We'll be right back Shizune-nee-chan."

Not wanting to think about the conversation she just had, Temari hurry back home to retrieve Yugito, leaving Naruto to search for Konan. Now that he thinks about it, all he knows is that Konan is now living in Konoha, but he has no idea exactly where her house is. Grumbling under his breath, Naruto sets out in search of Jiraiya in the direction of the hot springs. Surprisingly, he spots Jiraiya sitting at a tea shop with the initial target of his search.

"Oi, Ero-Sennin, Konan-nee-chan!" Naruto screams, rushing over.

"What is it Naruto?" Jiraiya asks, annoyed.

"Tsunade-baa-chan wants to see Konan-nee-chan."

"I didn't think it would be this quick," Jiraiya mutters, "she wants to see Konan now?"

"Well, she's meeting with the Daimyo right now, but Shizune-nee-chan said that Tsunade-baa-chan told her to look for me, Yugito-chan, and Konan-nee-chan."

"Any idea how long the meeting will take?" Jiraiya asks, "better yet, when did she head out for the meeting?"

"No idea, Shizune-nee-chan didn't say."

"It's all right, Jiraiya-sensei," Konan says, standing up, "I've already made up my mind."

"Konan, you can still think this through a bit more," Jiraiya says, "I don't want you to regret afterward."

"No. You're correct. That is the most logical step," Konan says, "and given his decision to leave his dream to Naruto, I'm sure Nagato would agree as well."

"I know it must hurt to make such a decision Konan," Jiraiya says, patting Konan on the shoulder, "but you've made the right choice."

"Um… what's going on?"

"You'll see when the meeting starts Naruto," Jiraiya says, "you two best go along. I doubt Tsunade's going to be in a good mood after meeting with the Daimyo."

"Why is that?" Naruto asks.

"All the civilians are the same, they hear the word war and all they care about is their own safety," Jiraiya says, "no amount of explaining would make them understand that their own safety doesn't really matter if the rest of the world is destroyed."

"Yeah, Shizune-nee-chan was complaining about all the new mission requesting protection," Naruto says.

"I do wonder if Yahiko's dream would ever come to fruition," Konan says, "we had absolute power in Ame, no civilian would dare challenge us, not even the Daimyo, but I doubt such power would be granted to the leaders of the large villages."

"I promised Nagato-nii-chan, so I'm going to make it work some how!"

"Yes, yes Naruto, we all know how you are with promises," Jiraiya says, "but you have a meeting with Tsunade you need to get to, so best hop to it."

"Yeah you're right Ero-Sennin," Naruto says, "let's go Konan-nee-chan. If Shizune-nee-chan's right, Tsunade-baa-chan's going to be pissed enough already without us being late."

Arriving at the lobby to the Hokage's office, he finds Temari and Yugito sitting and waiting on the bench while Shizune is handling the extra paperwork at her desk.

"Tsunade-sama just got back," Shizune says, looking up as Naruto walks up to her, "but it's best if you give her a little while to calm herself first. Have a seat, I'll check with Tsunade-sama in a few minutes."

Taking a seat next to Temari, Naruto keeps looking between Konan, who has taken a seat next to him, and Shizune. Noticing the glances, Temari turns to Naruto in confusion.

"What's wrong Naruto-kun?" Temari asks.

"Konan-nee-chan, you used to be Ero-Sennin's student right?" Naruto asks.

"That is correct," Konan says, curious where Naruto is going with the conversation.

"When did that happen?" Naruto asks, "because my dad used to be Ero-Sennin's student too."

"Jiraiya-sensei found us in Amegakure during the later stages of Dainiji Ninkai Taisen," Konan says, "I believe that was before Yondaime Hokage-dono became Jiraiya-sensei's student."

"So you might actually be older than my dad?" Naruto asks.

"Naruto-kun! You never asks a lady her age!" Temari says.

"I don't mind," Konan says, "and I do believe I am older than Yondaime Hokage-dono."

"Shizune-nee-chan, you are around Kakashi-sensei's age right?" Naruto asks.

"A year or so older I believe," Shizune says.

"And Kakashi-sensei was my dad's student," Naruto says, "but why do you two look like you are around the same age?"

Shocked by Naruto's bluntness, all four females turn and stare at the young man. Despite being embarrassed about Naruto's outburst, Temari and Yugito take subtle glances toward Shizune and Konan and conclude that Naruto is actually rather accurate in his observation.

"Are you saying that I look old Naruto?" Shizune asks, slightly upset.

"Do not be upset Shizune-san. His comment applies more to me than to you," Konan says, placating Tsunade's assistant before turning toward Naruto, "did you notice some of the piercing I had on my body when I shed my Akatsuki cloak Naruto?"

"I wasn't staring, I promise!" Naruto says.

"Did you at least notice the piercing under my lips and on my naval?" Konan asks.

"Well… yeah," Naruto says.

"Those were placed there by Nagato," Konan says, "he placed them there after his battle with Danzou near the end of Daisanji Ninkai Taisen."

"Are they the chakra receiver that he used to control those dead bodies?" Shizune asks.

"That is correct," Konan says, "by placing them in me, my body seems to experience the unintended side effect of a temporary pause in my aging process."

"You said a temporary pause…" Shizune says.

"I do not know if the effect will still be active now that Nagato is no longer with us," Konan says.

"It makes for a very interesting study for medics like me," Shizune says, "do you mind going through regular periodic check ups for a short while Konan-san?"

"I do not have any issues with such request," Konan says.

"Thank you Konan-san…" Shizune says.

"Oi, Shizune, go ahead and send the brats in," Tsunade screams through the door.

"Oops, that's your cue," Shizune says, "go on ahead. Tsunade-sama will see you now."

The four shinobi line up in front of Tsunade's desk as the Hokage stares at them with her paper work pushed off to the side. Trying to break the tense atmosphere, Naruto opens his mouth only for Temari to tug him on the sleeve, preventing him from saying anything.

"Konan, has Jiraiya explained to you why I wanted to see you or do I have to tell you?" Tsunade says.

"I believe Jiraiya-sensei has already discussed with me what you wish to talk to me about," Konan says, "I am prepared to turn over Nagato's body to you."

"You agree with our request then?" Tsunade asks.

"That is correct," Konan says, "as Jiraiya-sensei explained to me, it is the most logical move to make."

"Good, then there are only two more things I need to tell you lot," Tsunade says, "the first relates to you two Naruto, Yugito."

"So what's going on Tsunade-baa-chan?" Naruto asks.

"You two need to complete your Bijuu control training along with Gaara…" Tsunade says.

"Island Turtle?" Yugito asks, "A-jiji and Bee-jiji actually let outside use it?"

"Yes, we have already secured their permission," Tsunade says, "the three of you will be traveling to the Island Turtle where you will complete your Bijuu control training under the Hachibi Jinchuuriki Killer Bee."

"Are the three of us going by ourselves or…?" Yugito asks.

"Konan and Yamato will be traveling with you," Tsunade says, "once you arrive at the designated spot, you will meet up with someone by the name of Motoi, and he will escort your entire group to the Island Turtle."

"You said there were two things Hokage-sama?" Temari asks.

"Yes, that matter involves Naruto as well," Tsunade says, "there's no gentle way to say this so I'll just tell you directly. Naruto, you are getting a new pair of eyes."

"What! What do you mean I'm getting a new pair of eyes!" Naruto screams.

"We are extracting the Rinnegan from Nagato's body and implanting them in you," Tsunade says.

"But…, but…" Naruto stutters, too shocked to voice a proper complaint.

"It is the logical move. It is clear by the fact that Madara seeks the Rinnegan that he needs the eyes for his plan to proceed. He also needs the Kyuubi sealed within you to complete his plan. Instead of dividing our resource to protect the two separately, it is best if we place both with you since we obviously cannot remove the Kyuubi from you," Konan says, "perhaps with the extra tool you can have an even better chance against Madara. If not to defeat him, at least it will increase your inventory against Madara should he come after you again."

"It is for that reason that Konan is traveling with you for this training trip," Tsunade says, "not only are you responsible for gaining full control of the Kyuubi's power, you are also to learn from Konan all you can about the capabilities of the Rinnegan."

Looking around himself for any sign of support, all Naruto sees is Temari and Yugito nodding to themselves. Their eyes clearly convey that they are not happy about the arrangement, but there's also a sign of acceptance in those eyes. Shoulders slumping, Naruto looks over to Konan, who stares back at him with the same emotionless glance she has adopted since Nagato's death.

"Is there no other way?" Naruto asks.

"It is the best strategy to take," Konan says.

"Fine, I'll do it on one condition," Naruto says.

"What is it?" Tsunade asks.

"Keep my own eyes around," Naruto says, "once the war is over, the Rinnegan goes back to Nagato-nii."

"If you truly cared so much about it, perhaps you should just give your eyes to Nagato," Konan says, "consider the Rinnegan his last gift to you to help you on your way to fulfilling your promise."

"But Konan-nee-chan…"

"I am certain that Nagato will agree with me should he be here right now," Konan says, "even after the war against Madara, there will still be troubles in the world. You will have a much better chance at fulfilling your promise should you keep them. Furthermore, even if Nagato will not be able to see the peaceful world himself, at least his eyes will be able to witness it."

"Do you girls…" Naruto asks, turning toward Temari and Yugito, hoping at least for a small bit of support.

"As Konan-san said, it's the logical move to make," Yugito says.

"I agree with them," Temari says.

"Fine…" Naruto says.

"I'm glad we've come to an agreement," Tsunade says, "it'll take you a few days to adjust to your new eyes, so we'll do the surgery tomorrow and your group will head out in a week."

To Naruto's relieve, and perhaps a small bit of consternation, none of the girls seem to mind his new eyes. In fact, a few of them, in particular the likes of Tayuya and Yugito, seem to think that the increase in power also increases his appeal. Given that Naruto is still learning about the abilities his new eyes grant him, he basically spent the past few days speaking with Konan whenever his girls aren't surrounding him trying to spend the last moments before the war with their husband/boyfriend.

Once the week has passed, the small group gathers at the gate along side Gaara, who arrived at Konoha the night before accompanied with three ANBU from Konoha and Suna in order for the three Jinchuuriki to travel together and watch each other's back instead of risking Gaara's safety by having him travel alone.

"No pressure Naruto," Tayuya says, "but do try to get your training done quickly. We're going to need someone powerful like you on the front lines."

"I know that Tayuya-chan," Naruto says, "and Isaribi-chan, Sasame-chan, Hanabi-chan, try to keep the village in one piece while I'm gone OK?"

"I can fight out there too," Hanabi says, pouting.

"Most certainly not," Hinata and Neji say at the same time.

"You and Itachi going to be able to hold the fort until I get there Sasuke?" Naruto asks, smirking.

"Depends, are you still the dobe that can't do a simple Bunshin?" Sasuke says, returning the smirk.

"Sasuke, be nice," Karin says, "I won't tolerate you badmouthing my distant cousin like that."

"That's how those two communicate," Sakura says, "I should know, I've been their teammate for years."

"We should head out," Yamato says, "we still need to meet up with Kumo's delegate before heading to our ultimate destination."

"Yamato's right," Tsunade says, "the Raikage wasn't all that happy that he had to wait even the week."

"A-jiji was never the most patient person around," Yugito says, "drove Mabui-chan nuts with the repair cost since he never uses the door, would rather literally run through the wall instead."

"Let's head out," Naruto says, "the sooner we get there, the sooner we can get started, the sooner we can get out there to help everyone."

"Same old Naruto," Tsunade says as she watch the group walk past the village gate, "all right, enough standing around, we still have a world war to prepare for."

By the time the ship arrives at the designated meeting place, the entire group is ready to disembark and explore the small port town, Naruto from being bored out of his mind the entire trip, the others from Naruto's constant complaints about being bored. Deeming the town safe enough for the Jinchuuriki to explore without protection details, Yamato allow the group to spread out and do what they want to do as he try to get a hold of the escort they are suppose to meet and secure ration for the remainder of the trip.

Putting his hands behind his head, Naruto walks through the narrow streets of the small port town window shopping. Although this is still supposed to be part of his training mission, he can't help but look for small souvenirs for the girls back in Konoha given the relaxed atmosphere of the town. Suddenly, his ears pick up the sound of fighting a few alleys over and rushes over. When he arrives, he sees one of the Tsuchikage's bodyguard lying on the ground injured while the Kage's granddaughter is fighting off someone from Kiri by the looks of the Hitaiate. Joining the fray, Naruto manages to help Kurotsuchi drive off the attacker.

"What are you doing here Namikaze?" Kurotsuchi says, not even bothering to thank Naruto for his assistance.

"The remaining Jinchuuriki are supposed to gather and train on how to fully control the power of their Bijuu," the other Iwa-nin says.

"Oh yeah, forgot about that. Guess they are meeting up in this town as well," Kurotsuchi says, "so how are you doing Akatsuchi?"

"I'm all right, though I'd probably need a couple of days of rest," Akatsuchi says, "my thanks for your help by the way Namikaze-san."

"Why are you thanking the pervert?" Kurotsuchi says, "I could've fought off the guy by myself."

"You know as well as I do that you'd have trouble holding him off and protect me at the same time," Akatsuchi says.

"Che, whatever," Kurotsuchi grumbles.

"So, what are you two doing here?" Naruto asks, "shouldn't you two be like, protecting Tsuchikage-jiji or something?"

"We are sent here to meet up with a delegate from Kiri in order to repair relationship between the two villages," Akatsuchi says.

"And it looks like they set up instead," Kurotsuchi says.

"Shouldn't we get your friend to somewhere safer than this alley?" Naruto says.

"Our hotel is a few streets away," Kurotsuchi says.

"I don't think I can even walk that far," Akatsuchi says.

"I'll help you," Naruto says, "think of it as my attempt to repair relationship between Konoha and Iwa."

"You are the one that volunteered, so don't expect me to thank you," Kurotsuchi says.

Soon after helping Akatsuchi settle in his hotel room and dressing his wounds, someone starts knocking on the door to the Iwa-nin's room. Grumbling under her breath, Kurotsuchi opens the door, revealing one of the Mizukage's bodyguards during the summit standing on the other side.

"What, are you Kiri-nin brazen enough to think that you can walk up to our room and kill us?" Kurotsuchi says.

"Oh no, am I too late to prevent an attack?" the bodyguard says, "my apologies Kurotsuchi-san. I'm here under Mizukage-sama's order to meet up with you as well as to prevent the war hawk faction from disrupting our meeting."

"We just fought off a guy wearing a Kiri headband," Naruto says, "Akatsuchi-san here got hurt because of that guy."

"Ah, Namikaze-san, you are here as well?" the bodyguard says, "my thanks for your assistance. It would be quite disastrous if a meeting meant to mend relationship between the two villages become the spark that completely destroy any chance of reconciliation between the two villages just at the moment where cooperation is most necessary."

"I agree," Akatsuchi says, "it did seem that the Kiri-nin was a rogue agent. Surely they would've sent more people than just that one shinobi if they truly meant to ambush us Kurotsuchi."

"So, what is you name anyway?" Naruto asks.

"My name is Choujuurou," the bodyguard says, "a member of the Kiri no Shinobigatana Shichinin Shuu."

"You are a swordsman like Zabuza then?" Naruto asks.

"Do you know Zabuza-senpai?" Choujuurou asks.

"Yeah, he's a Konoha Jounin now," Naruto says, "didn't want to teach me any Kenjutsu at all, but I did learn a bit about water manipulation from him."

"If you really are here to stop that rogue ninja from attacking us, what can you tell us about that guy?" Kurotsuchi says.

"His name is Ganryuu," Choujuurou says, "he is the sole surviving member of the squad attacked during the Tragedy of Yosuga Pass."

"The survivor from that time huh," Akatsuchi says.

"What was the Tragedy of Yosuga Pass?" Naruto asks.

"It happened about ten years ago," Akatsuchi says, "Kiri and Iwa shinobi performed a joint mission stealing an important document seized by Kumogakure."

"The mission was successful," Kurotsuchi says, "but Iwa shinobi betrayed the Kiri shinobi in an attempt to take the document ourselves."

"The betrayal resulted in the death of the Kiri squad beside Ganryuu," Choujuurou says, "he fell off a cliff and kept hold of the document so that it didn't fall into Iwa's hand."

"However, the death of the Kiri squad caused relationship between the two village to rapidly deteriorate," Akatsuchi says, "the event is now known as the Tragedy of Yosuga Pass. It is for that reason that Kurotsuchi and I are here."

"What would you do if you run into this Ganryuu again?" Naruto asks.

"I'll kill him for attacking us," Kurotsuchi says, "that is the way of the world we live in."

"If I help you guys find him, can you promise me to let him go?" Naruto says.

"He was the one that attacked us…"

"I'll make sure he won't attack you again," Naruto says, cutting Kurotsuchi off, "but I want you to promise that you won't attack him."

"Why are you doing this Naruto-san?" Choujuurou asks.

"Ganryuu hates Iwa because his team was killed by Iwa shinobi. You are angry at Ganryuu because he attacked Akatsuchi-san," Naruto says, "if I let you kill Ganryuu, then all that would do is to make people in Kiri who supports Ganryuu's ideas to be even more angry at Iwa. Where are we ever going to draw the line and end the hostilities if each side keeps looking for revenge against the other?"

"Naruto-san has a point Kurotsuchi," Akatsuchi says, "if you can assist us in locating Ganryuu Naruto-san, I promise that all we will do is present him with this package. Normally we'd just hand it over to you Choujuurou-san, and let that be the end of it, but I think we should deliver this personally to Ganryuu-san ourselves."

"What's in this package anyway?" Naruto asks.

"The personal belongings of the Kiri-nin who died during the Tragedy of Yosuga Pass," Kurotsuchi says, "we'll go with your idea for now Akatsuchi, but if this Ganryuu attacks again, I won't hold back."

Closing his eyes, Naruto focuses on gathering the nature chakra around him in order to enter sage mode. Having never seen anyone perform this task before, the three other shinobi in the room can't help but watch as they note the slight alterations to Naruto's appearance. Opening his eyes again, Naruto turns toward the window and walks over.

"Do you think you guys can keep up?" Naruto asks.

"Is that a challenge?" Kurotsuchi growls.

"Just follow me then."

Keeping in mind Akatsuchi's injuries, Naruto refrains from moving at top speed. Arriving at a small clearing outside of town, Kurotsuchi glares across at Ganryuu. Reaching for his giant cleaver, Ganryuu gets ready to fight off the group with Kurotsuchi doing likewise. Rushing out, Choujuurou attempts to calm Ganryuu while Naruto grabs Kurotsuchi from behind to prevent them from getting into a fight.

"Hey! Un… unhand me you pervert!" Kurotsuchi screams, trying to break out of Naruto's arms around her waist.

"Quit it! You promised that you won't fight!" Naruto says, struggling to keep hold.

"Kurotsuchi, calm down," Akatsuchi says.

While Choujuurou manages to reassure Ganryuu that he will not face any punishment for his actions if he is willing to cease his aggression and accept Iwa's apologies, Kurotsuchi's struggles continues for a few more moments before ceasing suddenly and completely. Confused, the two Kiri-nin turn toward the Iwa contingent and are shocked by what they see. Some time during the struggle, Naruto's hand slipped upward and ends up groping Kurotsuchi's breast instead.

"You!" Kurotsuchi roars.

"I… I didn't mean to!" Naruto screams, pulling his hands back as if burned, "you were moving too much."

"So you're saying that I made you grab my breast then!"

"Well… no, that's not what I'm saying," Naruto says, backing away slowly, "I'm just saying it wasn't intentional."

"Die! You sick pervert!" Kurotsuchi screams.

"I already said I didn't mean to do it!" Naruto says, running away.

"I suppose I should thank Naruto-san for distracting Kurotsuchi," Akatsuchi says as he watch the two run away, "but I don't think I can afford to add to my injuries if I try to stop Kurotsuchi when she's on the war path like that."

Taking a deep breath, Akatsuchi gets down on his knees and prostrates himself in front of Ganryuu. Presenting the package containing the personal belongings of the slayed Kiri-nin, Akatsuchi offers the most heartfelt apology for the past conflict on behalf of Iwagakure. Waiting in the same spot, Akatsuchi watches as Choujuurou escorts Ganryuu back to Kirigakure.

"Lost him?" Akatsuchi says, looking toward the side.

"Damn bastard is slippery," Kurotsuchi growls, "but if I ever see that bastard again, he's dead."

"Whatever you say Kurotsuchi," Akatsuchi says.

"The hell is that supposed to mean!" Kurotsuchi screams.

"Our job is done here," Akatsuchi says, "we should head back to Iwagakure. We still have a war to prepare for."

Additional Author's Note: Leave a note if you like the story.