AN: hello everyone, sorry for the long wait on this, and on the delay on Tasogare, but I quite literally had my computer implode, taking all my files and data with it. After using my tax refund to replace the device with a spiffy new system I essentially had to start over with my work on current chapters in both stories. You readers will notice references in this chapter to stuff from a third anime that is neither Naruto nor Kenshin... Ill leave it up to you to determine what you think those references mean for now. there have even been a few in previous chapters.
as always, I own nothing but the tale, so get off my case!
Hagakure Chapter 13: The Youkai world and the Human world.
Naruto leapt backward to avoid the blast of water from his opponent's jutsu, his mind racing as he tried to figure out what the hell was going on. the man he was facing - at least he assumed it was a man - had not spoken once yet in the five minutes their fight had progressed. even jutsu's were performed without fanfare or outward comment. Now, Naruto knew that calling out a jutsu's name was not, strickly speaking, a requirement for its completion; his own skill with the Kage-bunshin was proof enough of that fact. However, the amount of skill and training required to wield so many different jutsu sans incantation was staggering. taking a few moments to focus on calling up his fox-fire on his dominant arm he readied a rasengan to use, glad for the aura's ability to stabilize the orb without the need for clones. ducking under his foes guard as he was thrown off balance by a sudden tremor that Naruto knew could only have come from Sakura, he drove the spinning torrent of chakra into the man's exposed gut. Naruto found himself grimacing as the empowered rasengan ate into the man's flesh in a burning spray of blood and gore for a few moments before tossing the corpse several feet through the air to land unceremoniously on its head with a bone breaking snap that signified a now shattered neck.
He looked around him at the remains of the battle and frowned, oufuda, and other implements of the old ways were strewn across the field of combat, many still glowed from recent activation. If he did not know any better, Naruto would have assumed the man had been an over zealous Taijiya, but that seemed quite unlikely considering the rarity of youkai in the time of ninja. he paused in his consideration as his nose picked up the sent of the girls entering the clearing
"Woah! whats with the papers all over the place?" Sakura's voice cut the silence, he turned to see her peeling one of the man's oufuda off a tree, eying it with suspicion.
"Naruto-kun? these aren't exploding tags are they?" Hinata was leaning around Sakura to examine the talisman with her. both seemed quite intrigued by the thing.
Naruto sighed as he shook his head "its an oufuda, its a ward to keep demons out... or seal one in, in this case, he tried to trap me in the clearing. they don't work properly on Hanyou, but they still end up being painful as hell."
Hinata raised an eyebrow at this, "Oufuda as in a Buddhist prayer scroll? those actually work?"
Naruto nodded as the girls began to remove the oufuda from the trees "yeah, but very few people should even know how to properly charge them to work. Its not just a simple task of writing the prayer on the talisman. the user has to be able use their reiki."
Sakura eyed one of the talismans with a critical eye. "hey... do you think we could use these on the nogitsune? if they work like you say they do, these could come in handy."
Hinata smiled as she saw Naruto's face go from annoyed to stunned and then to the fox like grin he so often wore. "Sakura-chan, I think he liked that idea. Lets be careful removing these then, whe wouldnt want them to fail because we damaged them."
they worked in silence for some time, the girls sorting and storing the oufuda as Naruto instructed them. Once the talismans had been removed they set up a perimeter to wait for the jounin and sannin to rejoin the group. in the midst of tending to each others minor injuries, Sakura turned to Naruto with a thoughtful expression on her features.
"hey, Naruto, why would this guy have even been using these oufuda? I thought no one knew about your mom, or that you were a hanyou. these wouldn't work on a human Jinchuriki would they?" Sakura gestured with one over her gloved hands at the stack of sutra scrolls laid on a nearby log as she tightened a bandage on naruto's arm. Hinata and Naruto both frowned in thought, the question was a troubling one, and one they all had a gut churning feeling would rise up to haunt them again. the obvious answer was that Danzo was telling his recruits heavily guarded village secrets, and he was so far able to do so with absolutely no discernible leaks of those facts. they all knew that if even rumors of Naruto being the actual child of Kyuubi and the Fourth had spread in Konoha prior to his entrance into the academy his chances of surviving to the present would have dwindled severely. This meant that somehow, Root was capable of ensuring absolute secrecy, an achievement that, despite the animosity between themselves and Root, they had to admit was impressive - impressive and troubling.
After a few moments Naruto shook his head sourly, "I don't know, these things are keyed to work specifically on Kitsune, and that's a lot harder to make than a standard oufuda. they could have just been made to keep me from drawing out mom's chakra, but the bastard didn't seem surprised when my own chakra reacted poorly to them. So I think he knew i was a hanyou."
they fell back into silence for a while, then Hinata looked over at Naruto with a searching expression. "ano, Naruto-kun, this may seem a bit forward, but a question has been bothering me for some time. Kitsune are always referred to as fire spirits, but your clan name means maelstrom, and the stories of the battle the night of your birth say Kushina-san used primarily wind and lightning attacks. Why?"
Naruto leaned back and held his arms behind his head as he looked up at the sky. "well its because not all of our ancestors were kitsune."
Hinata and Sakura looked at him in surprise, "not all kitsune? but how is that possible?" Sakura questioned. Hinata nodded in agreement, the statement confused her as well.
naruto gathered his thoughts before continuing, this explanation deserved to be thorough. "Youkai species aren't really "species" like an actual animal's, its more accurate to call them clans, with the form they take being very similar to a human clan's kekkei genkai. unions between clans do happen, but they aren't all that common. Like a lot of human clans with unique abilities, many youkai clans are very protective of the purity of the blood line, part of the reason Hanyou like me used to be hunted down and killed. Not all youkai hold as strict a view, this is especially true if they were not raised with the aid of their clan, an orphan for example."
Naruto saw them nod in understanding and so he continued his explanation a small smirk on his face, "The Uzumaki clan's patriarch was an example of this, He mated a storm youkai who he had interacted with on many occasions. they were both orphans, so neither of them were really taught to avoid interacting with the other. Although according to their memoirs they first met when she attacked him for a slight they did not record."
Sakura's eyebrow rose, "She attacked him and they ended up together?"
Naruto nodded, "Its not all that uncommon actually. Many youkai find strength and self-reliance attractive and a … er … valuable trait in a partner. from what I understand of the story, she kidnapped his friends to lure him into a trap to get her revenge, he saved them and that made her fall for him. though she never told him till years later. since she was a storm youkai, she had a powerful connection to the wind and lightning elements, and that connection overpowered his fire affinity."
a new voice spoke up from the edge of the clearing. "Ah, talking about your family history eh Naruto?"
the genin turned to see kakashi leaning against a tree with his visible eye smiling, a worn out Bull panting next to him. the large dog wuffed at the group as it laid down at its masters feet.
Naruto nodded with a grin, "So i guess mom told you about them?"
the copy ninja shrugged, a bland look now on his face. "My family has some ties to that ancient time period as well. Shiro-inu aren't all that common now-a-days you know."
Naruto paused and then nodded slightly as if he had understood Kakashi's hidden message before asking, "Any-way sensei how was your fight?"
with a flip of a page Kakashi spoke, "I used Kamui."
Naruto blinked, "eh?"
the three genin looked like each wanted to ask the masked man more, but the sound of foot steps brought each ninja's attention to the new arrivals, for there were several people approaching. the metallic ringing of a shakujou and the clack of several pairs of geta accompanied the figures approach. as the group exited the trees the ninjas relaxed as the first man to appear was none other than Jiraiya. on either side of him were a pair of monks with simple robes that left the torso bare. and behind him a third much older and more wisened monk in a full Kesa carried the Shakujou the group had heard.
The monk with the staff spoke first his voice sounding like calm flowing water. "This is the heir then, Jiraiya of the temple of mount Myoboku?"
Jiraiya nodded, his face set in a neutral expression, "That is correct, Houshi-sama"
the elderly monk looked the boy over, "He is not Kitsune, I see no tail" it was a statement, but the command to explain was plain to all.
Jiraiya nodded "Kushina-dono mated with Minato, our Yondaime"
the two younger monks, who had been standing in slightly tensed positions relaxed as one as Jiraiya spoke, the elder monk nodding sagely "He is Hanyou then. that is fine. come we must leave before it becomes dark, The temple is waiting for your arrival Uzumaki-sama."
the group stood to leave, but they couldn't shake the feeling that things hadn't gotten cleared up completely just yet. Hinata frowned, her thoughts wondering back to Naruto's talk about youkai mating behavior, when this was over she resolved, she and naruto would have a spar... date... thing. She shook her head, youkai were confusing.
AN:and there it is, yes we missed three of the fights - trust me we will hear more of them Tasogare chapter 3 will be out soon