Chapter 19: Jiraiya the Gallant
AN: Hello all I'm finally back to please the masses with a new chapter for one of my longest running fics. Firstly i want to thank everyone who reviewed the previous chapters and those who questioned whether or not this story would returned for you inspired me to finally take it up once more. That said it seems a bit harder now as a lot of the stuff I was going to use has been rendered obselete by cannon but I'll figure something out. Also for those who have been asking Kizana and Kushina are the same person. Shinigami know her as Kuchiki Kizana while shinobi know her as Uzumaki Kushina why this is I'm sure some of you will start trying to figure out immediately lol. Anyway now that everything has been said here is the long awaited 19th chapter of Naruto: Shinigami.
Intel, was, is, and always will be a vital element of the shinobi world. Information was something that would always be seen as vital and in most cases could be more valuable than gold. This was why for all of the Great Shinobi Nations an effective spy network was something viewed as a must. Jiraiya, despite his infamous perverseness had always been the most well liked and respected member of the Sannin.
This was in fact due to not only his drive to succeed but his attitude as well. Sure Orochimaru had been the Sandaime's favorite with his prodigious talent in the ninjutsu arts, but he was also a cold hearted, manipulative, and arrogant bastard with a stick so far up his ass you could see it several miles away every time he opened his mouth. Next was Tsunade, 'the honorable granddaughter' of the Shodai Hokage who had been proclaimed as a medical genius even as a child and as such the villages golden child. She however was also spoiled, arrogant, haughty and had a temper like an active volcano.
As such it was easy to see why it was so easy for Jiraiya to make friends with his fun loving attitude, and his dedication to his profession despite the neglect he'd gotten from his sensei. Sure he was an open pervert but everyone has their flaws. So it was easy to see why he was the most popular member on his team. The development of his spy network had naturally been due to his ability to make friends even among those of the opposite sex. His popularity and thus his spy network however had only expanded after the release of his second and more popular book Icha Icha Paradise which despite its more mature context had won awards not just for the ecchi scenes but the romance and the plot behind it, the popularity of which had even put him on the friends list of both lords and ladies.
This also included members of other nations and even shinobi villages, though always civilian members. Whatever the case it was no wonder why not even three days after it had happened the news of Orochimaru's death had reached him. At the moment he stood within the office of his old teammate along with Tsunade, Kakashi, Sakura and Naruto having just finished explaining the news to them.
"He'll go after Itachi next." Said Naruto calmly surprising everyone.
"With his one track mind he'll think defeating Orochimaru will put him on the same level as Itachi." Said Jiraiya from his position against the wall of the Godaime's office.
"So our best bet would be trying to track Itachi?" asked Sakura.
"That would seem to be the case." Said Kakashi his face for once not buried within the pages of his book.
"Don't underestimate the situation." Snapped Jiraiya glaring at the two.
"You're talking about tracking down an S-class nuke-nin, so you can retrieve an A-class one. Itachi is levels above the both of you, even combined. Haruno even with your training the last few years you're barely a C-class threat and you Kakashi are only an A-class one. Despite your records your skills have obviously degraded since you started relying on that eye otherwise the old man would've made you Hokage." Continued the toad sage.
"Still sensei you've got to admit the opportunity is there. If we time it right we can kill Itachi after he's dealt with the teme." Said Naruto calmly leaning by the window.
"You're forgetting Kisame." Said Jiraiya with a shake of his head causing everyone's eyes to widen.
"There is a reason Akatsuki members travel in pairs. Assuming Itachi is actually weakened by the battle with Sasuke, which I doubt; Kisame will still be more than a match for anyone coming to Sasuke's aid. Along with that Samehada has the ability to devour chakra on top of his skills and anyone charging Kisame is asking for trouble." Said Jiraiya with a thoughtful frown.
"So what do we do?" asked Sakura worriedly.
"Nothing. Uchiha Sasuke is not affiliated with the leaf. Moreover he is a nuke-nin wanted for endangering the lives of several of the more prominent clan heirs along with the attempted murder of the Hokage's nephew. Even if we did retrieve him he'd still be facing the death sentence." Said Jiraiya with a shrug.
"Still the end result is something we need to know. I'll send a team to track Uchiha Sasuke and monitor the battle. Naruto you'll be with them but we can discuss what to do after that." Said Tsunade causing the blonde to nod his understanding.
"Also Naruto, do not let your personal feelings get involved. You are already far stronger than the Uchiha and killing him will do nothing for you. Besides you have more important things to worry about." Said Tsunade.
Naruto raised an eyebrow at that. Since his promotion he'd been on leave and with the groups from Karakara and Soul Society still in the village for a while longer he was sure he'd be free to spend some time with the people he counted as friends.
"Do not forget that you are still a target of the Akatsuki. Kakashi you'll lead Naruto, Sakura and Sai, and Yamato, along with team Kurenei to monitor the battle. Since Kurenei is still on leave Yamato will be in charge of her team." Explained Tsunade motioning them to leave with the trio doing so.
"So are you going to tell me what's bothering you?" questioned Tsunade after the group had left turning to face her former teammate.
"I've lost contact with a few of my people in Ame." Stated the man quietly.
Tsunade frowned in concern at the man's words. Contrary to popular belief Tsunade had always been closer to Jiraiya than she had Orochimaru and her sensei. With all the time she'd spent with him she had been able to tell his moods, with very few words. However she hadn't seen Jiraiya this pensive since the battle against Hanzo that had made them famous or infamous depending on who's point of view.
Ame was not a place she looked at with fondness. In fact it would not be far off of the truth to say she hated the place. As far as she was concerned if Hell had an entrance within the mortal realm it was within Ame's borders.
"I'll be going in to check things out over there; it's been too quiet for my liking for the last few years." Said the Toad Sage after a few minutes of silence.
"I thought the same thing myself. Still I have a bad feeling about that place so try not to do anything stupid." Said Tsunade seriously causing Jiraiya to chuckle.
"No worries hime. I'll be fine." Said Jiraiya.
"I'm serious baka. If worst comes to worst call me and I'll back you up." Said the woman causing Jiraiya to turn serious eyes on her immediately.
"No can do Tsunade. You're Hokage now the village needs you more." Said the toad sage.
"Only for a while longer that little gaki will be replacing me soon enough." Said Tsunade with a fond smile upon her face.
"It maybe sooner than you think the gaki's been growing at a tremendous rate." Said Jiraiya.
"He reminds me of that cousin of mine." Said the woman causing Jiraiya to laugh.
"Yeah it's scary sometimes how much he resembles Minato. He's even been acting similar to how he used to act since he met up with me a few years ago. Though to be fair he still acts more like his mother." Mused the toad sannin.
"That's true especially in regards to how they deal with nobles. You know the real reason she passed control of her clan to her brother was so she could get away from all the aloofness. You should see her with that Yorouichi woman I swear they act as if their twins." Said Tsunade.
"From what I understand they grew up and attended the Shinigami academy together. Still I was just happy to hear that Naruto had forgiven Minato. Did you know he actually told him he would rip his throat out the first time he saw him?" stated Jiraiya getting a negative shake of the head from the Godaime in response.
After a few more minutes talking however Jiraiya finally bid his old teammate farewell and leapt out of the window towards the village gates.
True to Jiraiya's suspicions Uchiha Sasuke was indeed on the move to face off against the source of all his hatred, Uchiha Itachi. He'd already faced off against Akatsuki's 'Mad Bomber' the man called Diedara. While an interesting challenge due solely thanks to his way of combat the blonde Akatsuki agent had still fallen against the young Uchiha resorting to a technique that literally blew up his own body and anything in the surrounding area. The only reason the Uchiha had managed to escape was by using a summon to escape, though the snake itself had died.
At the moment he stood in front of the gates that used to house his clan before the founding of Konoha. He had had a brief run in with Itachi earlier or rather his clone in which case arrangements for them to meet had been made. For right now the teen would rest and gather his strength for the confrontation later on. With that he and his three followers entered the gates which quickly closed behind them.
Ichigo panted as he stood within the training ground behind the Hokage Mansion. Sweat fell from him like water. With everyone out exploring the village he'd taken the opportunity to further his training in the usage of the mask before his group had to leave. Outside of his father, Naruto and the Vizards he'd never told anyone about his inner hollow, though he had come to terms with it sometime ago.
His conversations with Naruto about the hollow had helped him tremendously. Then again there weren't many people that could say that they shared and struggled for control of their body. Naruto however had helped him put the whole situation into perspective so that he wasn't constantly worried about a takeover. The Vizards however had helped him gain control over that side of himself.
Being in control and controlling the influx of power however were two different things. Despite his vast power reserves his body was just not accustomed to a Hollow's energy. This was proven by the fact that in the beginning he could only don the mask for all of five seconds before it shattered. With training however he'd managed to take that time up to thirty seconds and while still not much time, it was much better than what he'd started with. Still according to Shinji he was progressing at a rate far superior to what any of them had.
"Well now I see someone's hard at work."
Glancing to the side the orange haired teen was not surprised to find Naruto perched within the trees, one of his legs dangling off the side of the branch he was lounging on.
"I thought you had a meeting?" questioned Ichigo as he straightened himself.
"I did, finished early. So you're finally trying to control your demon."
"Trying being the key word." Muttered Ichigo in distaste.
Naruto could understand his frustration. During his training with Jiraiya he and the old sage had tried working on his ability to control the demonic chakra within him and the results had proven problematic at best each time. Now he could control up to three tails, but once they even touched the fourth he lost control and became blinded by the raw power. As far as he was concerned earning his Bankai had been a cakewalk.
Looking at Ichigo he could see the orange haired substitute was having the same problem, there was too much power for his body to control. However in his case instead of going crazy his mask would shatter after his body reached a breaking point. Still the blonde knew exactly what the other teen needed to relax himself and smirked as he drew Sephiroth from its sheath.
Ichigo smiled at the sight before brandishing Zangetsu and taking a guarded stance. At once the two disappeared in a quick shunpo. There was a resounding clashing of steel as the two teens met with their two blades slammed against each other. Grinning the two separated before disappearing in blurs of shunpo only to clash with one another repeatedly in the next few moments. Suddenly the two appeared deadlocked as they struggled to overpower the other both of them determined to come out on top.
Suddenly Naruto's eyes widened as he saw his opponents eyes begin to glow blue with power and he disappeared in a quick use of shunpo as Ichigo released his Shikai revealing Zangetsu in its large cleaver state. Narrowing his own blue eyes at the sight the blond vanished and Ichigo felt his eyes widen as he lost track of him. Still reacting on instinct alone the orange haired substitute shinigami managed to block the palm strike that Naruto sent out with the flat of his blade yet the force behind it still sent him skidding back. Looking up he was just in time to see Naruto finish running through a chain of seals.
"Ninpo: Kirigakure no jutsu." Muttered the blond.
Immediately a dense mist rolled in covering the entire training area that the two were occupying. Ichigo however simply closed his eyes and took up a guarding stance. Focusing his senses outward from himself he found the familiar reiatsu signature that he associated with Naruto's and kept himself focused on it. Then the two were in motion again Naruto appearing and slashing only for Ichigo to block before the blond disappeared back into the mist. For several minutes this routine kept up with Naruto testing the substitute's defenses at least until the mist was suddenly blown away from the field revealing Naruto crouched behind the substitute with his sword poised to strike causing the other teen to curse upon seeing it. Knowing it was his victory the blond smirked as he sheathed his blade and listened to Ichigo's rant.
It hadn't taken long at all for the Toad Sannin to reach his destination. For most it would have taken days but not for him, that would've taken far too much time. Instead the man had traveled by way of summons. One of his toads had a special time/space ability which allowed him to swallow someone and transport them to any destination. He was completely covered in an effort to both disguise himself and to keep from getting himself too wet due to the down pouring of rain.
He had also managed to interegate a pair of Ame-nin's that had wandered into his possession whom he had sent off to be questioned by Ibiki after he was through with them. He had managed to trap them within the stomach of a toad which he had disguised as a building which had made things loads easier. Still he had managed to learn some things that he hadn't liked in the least bit. For one thing the civil war which he had been sure was still ongoing was actually over and Salamander Hanzo had not only been defeated but killed, by one man.
This man however was someone who Jiraiya could only call a monster. It wasn't the fact that he'd killed Hanzo but that he went after the mans parents, wife, and children but even distant relatives and babies weren't safe from the monster that called himself Pein. Not even people that had connections to him like clients were spared this monsters wrath. As if that wasn't bad enough he actually had the people around here talking about him as if he was a God and his decisions were that of the divine. If there was one thing he could say it was that people like this Pein needed to be killed if for no reason than to stop the madness that they tended to spread.
His thoughts on that however was cut off as a figure materialized before him in a flurry of paper. The figure was that of a woman garbed in a black cloak with red clouds printed upon it. The woman had short blue hair and grey eyes with a piercing beneath her bottom lip. Within her hair was a light blue paper flower and sported a neutral expression upon her face.
"Well isn't this a treat. I came here in hopes of drawing out this Pein guy and I find you instead. You've improved your jutsu and grown into one hell of a woman, Konan."
"I thought you were dead. I spent years trying to find you, I mourned you and here I find you were just a bunch of papers blown in the wind. So you're the Angel I've been hearing so much about eh. A messenger of God as it were."
Konan still said nothing merely looking on with the same neutral expression upon her face. Jiraiya frowned at that but he continued anyway.
"So tell me who or what is Pein." Spoke the sannin.
"You don't need to know sensei." Said the woman.
As she said this a large amount of papers gathered around her forming into a set of large bird like wings attached to her back.
"You really do think you're an angel don't you?" said the Sannin with a shake of the head.
"I must kill you. That is the will of God." Said Konan launching a barrage of sharpened papers his way.
Seeing them coming Jiraiya simply took in a breath before expelling a large amount of oil out enough to drench the papers and hit Konan. In the next instant his hair shot out from behind him and quickly wrapped around her securing her in place.
"Your papers can't unfold if there drenched in oil. You always did love your origami, you were also always the kindest of the three of you." Stated Jiraiya calmly.
"So what happened to the other two? The rumors that they're both dead are also lies aren't they?" questioned Jiraiya though Konan didn't answer.
"So this Pein must be one of them too then, isn't he?" questioned the man silently.
"What are you trying to accomplish by revealing yourself to us again?" questioned Konan breaking her silence.
"As I stated earlier I've been searching for you three for years. Long before the rumors even started. However seeing you've become part of Akatsuki and knowing another of my students has become this Pein character breaks my heart." Stated Jiraiya causing the woman's eyes to widen at least for a moment before her neutral expression returned.
"You must be wishing you had listened to Orochimaru now." Stated Konan.
"No, I still stand by my decision. However that doesn't mean I cannot be disappointed by how you've turned out. Do you know why I left the three of you here when I went back to the warfront instead of taking you three to Konoha?" questioned Jiraiya.
This actually caught Konan's attention as she had always wondered why her sensei hadn't taken the three of them with him when he left. While none of them had ever said it she knew that they'd have followed him if he had wished it.
"The reason I left you here was because it was the only way for you to accomplish your goals. You wanted to make Ame into a place that no longer cried, yet now I see it crying harder than ever." Stated Jiraiya causing Konan's eyes to widen.
"I don't know what all happened to the three of you after I left for you to turn out like this. However I can say that you have gone down the exact opposite of the path you wanted to walk. While I can applaud you for actually managing to defeat Hanzo the killing of innocents is where the line must be drawn. Add onto that there is no doubt in my mind that what Akatsuki is doing is wrong." Stated Jiraiya seriously.
"Well that is your opinion isn't it Jiraiya-sensei. But as you said you don't know what we've been through." Stated a new voice.
Turning towards the speaker Jiraiya raised an eyebrow at the appearance especially all the piercings but the rippling eyes told him exactly who he was speaking to.
"You've changed a lot but those eyes are unmistakable. So you really are Pein eh Nagato. Now I really want to know what the hell happened to you three." Said Jiraiya.
"You don't need to know. You're just an outsider remember." Stated Pein.
"You've changed Nagato."
Jiraiya could say nothing else however as Pein flew through seals and summoned a massive crab which quickly launched an attack in the form of bubbles. Jiraiya dodged the attack and as a result was forced to release Konan. That however didn't faze Jiraiya who flew through his own seals before his hair launched itself outwards extending to great lengths and wrapping around the sea creature.
As the battle continued Jiraiya soon found himself receiving the answers to some of his more burning questions. For instance he learned that the third member of the trio Yahiko had died some time ago. From what he could see this had in affect made these two harden their hearts and abandon positive emotions in favor of the negative. He'd also discovered that Nagato was insane in that he actually believed that he was a God.
He had learned that the reason he was after the tailed beast was so that he could combine them and create an ultimate weapon with the potential to destroy entire nations in an instant. He would then hand this weapon to the various nations and let them go nuts which would end up with everything destroyed.
"You are a fool Nagato." Said Jiraiya finally catching both his former students attention.
"You are messing with powers beyond our comprehension. It seems I was right you have become a monster, and what's worse you've dragged Konan along for the ride." Stated Jiraiya darkly.
"As I thought you don't understand. After all you are still only human." Stated Pein easily breaking free of the binding Jiraiya had him in before summoning a large lizard.
"As are you boy. You are no God. You are simply a delusional fool with power. You think just because you've gone through a bit of suffering you came out a God you couldn't be more wrong. You succumbed to your own hatred and started preying on those weaker than yourself. Even worse you have the gall to go after the only people with lives worse than your own. You wouldn't have lasted as a Jinchuriki the bijuu would've no doubt overwhelmed you and broken free." Stated Jiraiya harsly.
"It seems I was wrong in my thoughts about you. You are not the bringer of peace but of destruction. As such as your teacher I have no choice but to end you myself."
That said Jiraiya went through his own seals before summoning a large toad which carried a shield and a Sasumata. This toad was one of the two brothers of Gamabunta who went by the name of Gamaken.
"Ken-san I won't be playing around this time. I'm going straight into Sennin Modo."
"What, you mean…" stated Gamaken only to be interrupted by the summoner.
"Yes. I'm summoning the Ni Dai Sennin (Two Great Hermits). By me some time while I complete the summoning."
"Got it, though I'm not that strong I'll hold them off." Stated Gamaken.
Looking up both cursed as they found both Pein and his summoned creature had disappeared. Undeterred Jiraiya sped through a sequence of seals before both he and the giant toad were surrounded within a barrier. Barely a few moments after this a sound of shock escaped the Sannin as he spied a massive three headed hound heading their way from above. The resulting series of clashes ended up with Gamaken hanging unto a pipe on the side of a building with Jiraiya still standing upon his head. During the clashes Jiraiya noticed that for each time they clashed the amount of their attackers heads increased much to his surprise. If that wasn't enough the creature took just that moment to split into nine, a body for each head that had spawned.
Then the creatures were charging forward Gamaken knocking several of them away with his Sasumata before he was forced to jump away from the air. Even then the two weren't safe as the toad barely managed to raise his shield before they were slammed into by the beak of a massive bird. As they recovered on the ground Jiraiya was forced to wonder why his opponent was only using these summons when he knew that he possessed all of the elemental chakras that a single person could possess and was proficient in their usage. The only conclusion he could come up with was that he felt no need to get involved personally. His thoughts however were pushed to the side as he saw a massive ram rushing towards them and began flying through seals and only barely managed to finish before the massive beast slammed into them.
The resulting cloud of smoke from the collision was so large that it blocked the sight of anyone even surrounding the area they were in. finally the smoke cleared showing a large hole in a wall in which Jiraiya was walking out. However the man had changed as he emerged with two robed small toads perched upon his shoulders. His nose had enlarged and developed what appeared to be warts and a goatee appeared on his chin that ended in a point. His eyes had also taken on toad like qualities as the pupils had changed into horizontal bars. The lines on his face had thickened so much so that they now each took up a side of his face and even his stature had become more toad-like.
After a few words were exchanged to explain the situation on of the toads called Ma shot its tongue out the end of which took on the form of a toads head. Like a snake the tongue shot forward as it had quickly found the hiding summoned creature and coiled around it. In an instant the other toad called Pa opened his mouth and expelled a massive stream of water in that direction. The results were instant as the summoned creature cloak was dropped and it was slammed into a wall before crashing to the floor.
Despite the defeat of his summon Pein emerged unharmed and summoned yet again. However this time there was a difference as instead of another animal he'd actually summoned two humans, both of them garbed in Akatsuki cloaks and also possessing the rippling eyes of the Rinnegan along with bright orange hair to match the original.
In the next instant one of the newcomers rushed towards the Sannin only for Jiraiya to jump at the last instant and send him sailing back and digging a trench with a savage kick to the jaw. Not finished yet Jiraiya took a deep breath before spewing out a massive amount of oil only for the other newcomer to appear and render the move useless.
Narrowing his eyes Jiraiya allowed his geta to slip off of his feet as his feet changed to become more toad like in appearance as had his hands. Launching towards the newcomer he created a massive Rasengan in midflight only for the newcomer to absorb the entire chakra ball into himself. A quick warning and Jiraiya had just barely dodged another attack that would have blindsided him. Undeterred he tried to return the punch only for it to be caught by his opponent who didn't even look. Suddenly another toad made its appearance jumping out of the cloud of smoke they'd been end allowing Jiraiya to appear behind his original opponent and launch an attack with his hair in the shape of a needles.
Despite the sneak attack and the speed in which his hair needles travel it appeared to have been for naught as the male summoned yet another creature directly behind him to block the attack without even looked forcing Jiraiya to grit his teeth in silent rage.
"Jiraiya have you noticed it yet?" questioned Pa quietly catching the mans attention.
"When we got that guy from behind earlier we were in his blind spot and you came in swinging. The whole time the other two were watching everything very carefully." Stated Pa.
"Yes I noticed. Yet they didn't make a sound, didn't look at each other, nor did they appear to have given any signal at all." Said Jiraiya.
"Then it must be their eyes! Think about it if all three are watching the same target, then all three see the target from all three points of view." Stated Pa.
'Damn it this is ridiculous. My ninjutsu is useless and I can't even attack their blind spots. At this rate even with Sennin Modo I'll be killed.' Thought Jiraiya angrily.
With but a simple suggestion from Ma a large cloud of smoke appeared once more which cleared to show that the toad sage was gone.
Jiraiya looked at the watery world around him with bleary pain filled eyes as he stared upon his own corpse. Things had gone well for him for a while with a clever use of genjutsu utilized by the two toads he'd summoned he'd been able to defeat the three he was fighting only for another to appear behind him while he was leaving. In no time at all he found himself on the wrong side of a beating as the numbers went from three to six. The first sneak attack had even cost him his right arm as it had been ripped off putting him at even more of a disadvantage.
Despite the beating he received however he had managed to gather some extremely valuable intel and even take out one of the bodies once more. He'd tried to dismiss the two toads but only Ma had listened taking the corpse with her to Tsunade. The most important of the intel he'd gathered he'd placed in code upon Pa's back using his chakra to inscribe it. He'd had no choice, his throat had been crushed and he knew his time was at its end. Still he would have the last laugh he knew that his message would be delivered and easily figured out. He knew that Naruto would win because frankly put the boy didn't know how to take a loss. Though it ended with tragedy he felt that his actions would end the tale of the Gallant Jiraiya wonderfully. Looking up from his musings the man was greeted by a familiar face and led into a pair of Shogi doors that closed quietly behind the two of them.
AN: That's it, it's finally done. I know its not as long as a lot of you were expected but this chapter will help me get back into the swing of things. Also it was hard for me to write as i personally hate the fact that Jiraiya died. Anyway thanks for reading and please leave lots and lots of reviews. Till next time, LATER.