Naruto: Rebirth of the Arrancar Bloodline
Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto or anything from the Bleach universe. However I do own any OCs in this story.
"Hello" – Speaking
'Hello' – Thoughts
"Hello" – Demon/Boss Summon Speaking/Techniques
'Hello' – Demon/Boss Summon Thoughts
Author's Notes: Hello folks. There two things I think I should clear up. First, despite what some people might have thought from the last Author's Notes, Haku will be in the harem. The three girls that will definitely be in the harem are Hikari, Hinata, and Haku, just like I said in the first chapter. Sorry if there was any confusion. Second, when I said that there would be no Shinigami abilities what I meant was no Zanpakuto Shikai or Bankai, and I am more or less staying away from the kido with some exceptions. But if I can transform an ability into a jutsu I will.
Chapter 3: Weapons, Contracts, and History
It was the morning of the next day and Hikari was casually strolling towards her training ground. She wondered how her brother was doing. It was almost eight and she figured that his test must be almost finished. After all, what kind of sensei would leave his students waiting in the middle of a field for a test for hours on end?
Kakashi, that's who, but she doesn't know that.
Walking into training ground 9 she found her teammate already waiting for her by the rock. "Hey Naruto-kun." She greeted with a wave.
Naruto jumped at the sound. "Uh…Hey Hikari." He greeted by with his own shy wave. He was clearly a little unsure about how to act around her now that she had more or less confessed to him. That just won't do.
"Listen Naruto-kun, I know that I might have been a bit forward yesterday, but I needed to say it. And your answer is important to me, but until you're ready to give it to me I want you to act like you normally do. Ok?"
"Uh…Ok Hikari. Sure." Naruto replied his foxy grin back on his face. That lasted two seconds.
"Awww…Did you already confess? And I wanted to be there when that happened." Pouted a voice from above them. Looking up Naruto and Hikari both saw their sensei sitting atop the rock. Again she had just appeared there. There was nothing to indicate her arrival. "Oh well," she smirked, "I guess I will just have to make sure that I'm there for Naruto's answer."
"Sensei!" Cried Hikari, embarrassed at the thought that her sensei eavesdropping on private moments.
"Relax, it's not like I'm going to follow you just so I can see it." Yoruichi said jumping off the rock. 'Too often that is.' She privately thought.
Naruto was more or less his old self again and was excited to get started. "So sensei, what are we going to do today. Are you going to teach us any cool new jutsu?" He asked hopefully.
Yoruichi thought about it. "Hmmm…No." Naruto face vaulted. "Today I plan to assess your skills. Sure I've read your file from the academy, but the only real way to learn what a person can do is to fight them. So I want you two to attack me together. Start whenever you're ready, and come at me with the intent to kill." She said as she stood there with her hands on her hips.
Naruto being as rash as he is started. He grabbed the hilt of his Zanpakuto and swung it horizontally as he charged his seemingly relaxed sensei. Yoruichi leaned back and avoided the tip of the blade by a hair's breadth.
"Sorry Naruto, but you're going to need to be faster if you want a big move like that to work." She said as she crouched down and kicked Naruto's feet out from beneath him. Standing back up Yoruichi quickly took out a kunai and deflected three shuriken that had been thrown at her. "Very nice Hikari, using your teammate's distraction to try and hit me. Too bad it didn't work."
Hikari grinned. "There was more to my attack then you think sensei."
Yoruichi blinked trying to decipher what the girl meant when she leaped backwards avoiding the sword that had tried to stab her from the ground. She had almost forgotten about Naruto. Almost. "Impressive you two, if I didn't know any better I would think that you had planned that. But Naruto, with that speed you're much too easy to avoid."
Naruto placed his Zanpakuto on his back and brought his hands into a cross shaped seal. "Then how about this? Kage Bunshin no Jutsu!" Suddenly seven Naruto's appeared in a puff of smoke. "OK guys," Naruto shouted as he and his clones held up their Zanpakuto, "CHARGE!"
Yoruichi watched as her student and his clones moved to surround her. It would be much harder to avoid so many blades so she decided it was time to go on the offensive. Starting with the clone to her left she moved in close, grabbed his jacket and threw him into another clone. She then appeared behind another and dropped kicked him into oblivion. The next two were taken out at the same time with simultaneous punches. A kick to the stomach destroyed the sixth. Finally converging on the seventh clone she jabbed him hard in the face dispelling him, but not before he smirked. When the smoke cleared she understood why.
Hikari was right in front of her finishing a string of seals that ended on Tiger and called out, "Katon: Goukakyuu no Jutsu!" Bringing her hand to her mouth the Uchiha blew out a large fireball at her sensei.
Yoruichi had to admit that she was impressed as she dodged the slow fireball. The Goukakyuu may have been a close range technique and easy for her to avoid, but the fact that Hikari had enough chakra to use it, and make such a large fireball, was what interested her. Most Genin that tried to use a Katon jutsu of that caliber would pass out from chakra exhaustion, but she barely looked winded. Hikari was also smiling, despite missing. It didn't take long for Yoruichi to figure out why as she recalled that there were eight Naruto's to fight.
Sure enough, the blonde Jinchuuriki was right behind her, using his fists instead of his sword. He didn't really want to hurt her, and there was no way she could dodge. Or so he thought.
Yoruichi smirked as she simply vanished, reappearing behind the blonde and shoving him forward.
Naruto stumbled forward and ran into Hikari. The two Genin fell to the ground together. Hikari opened her eyes to see Naruto on top of her, his face centimeters away from her. Naruto opened his eyes and saw the face of the girl he had kissed the day before so close to his own. Both Genin blushed as they recalled the kiss, remembering how pleasant it was. Of course it did not help Naruto that he had ended up with his hands atop Hikari's breasts. They blushed harder as Naruto gave them an unconscious little squeeze. Soft yet firm were the thoughts in his head, no matter how hard he tried to banish the perverseness away. Hikari had almost returned to La La Land, but she kept herself awake to remember this. She knew that as a female she should be offended and do something like slap Naruto, but she couldn't deny that she kind of liked it.
"Ok, I believe I have a good idea of what you two are capable of. Now, are you two going to lie there all day, or are we going to get back to work?" Yoruichi questioned, although she couldn't help but pat herself on the back for a job well done. The two hadn't noticed when she had pulled out a camera and snapped off a few pictures. Now if she could just figure out what she should do with them. It would probably be best to just keep it for her private collection. On the other hand, black mail was oh so useful.
Naruto and Hikari quickly scrambled apart and stood before there sensei.
"Ok," said Yoruichi, "that little spar we had was very informative. And I must confess that I'm impressed with the two of you. You two work very well together, forcing me to shift my attention from one to the other and then trying to use those distractions to get me. After a bit of refinement you two will be very formidable." The Genin smiled at her praise. "Now that I've said that it's time to point out your faults. Naruto," she said focusing on the blonde, "why did you primarily use your Zanpakuto when you attacked? When I was surrounded by your clones that would have been a perfect time to attack with some projectile weapons like kunai or shuriken."
"Well," said Naruto rubbing the back of his head, "I don't really have any weapons besides my Zanpakuto. I mean they're what my clan used, so I figured it would be enough."
"Wrong answer." Said Yoruichi as she bonked Naruto on the head. "Listen Naruto, I don't know much about the Arrancar clan but what I do know is that overspecialization will leave you weak. Specializing in one field of the shinobi arts is generally considered a good idea, but only when you develop adequate skills in the other fields. Every shinobi art has its strengths and weaknesses, so by learning multiple arts you cover your weaknesses and that makes you strong. Relying on your Zanpakuto as your only weapon will force you to get in close to fight your enemies and that is not always the best idea. That said I do commend you for your desire to learn to use your Zanpakuto. It gives you a weapon most shinobi have never faced before and they won't immediately know how to counter it." Yoruichi finished chastening one student and turned her attention to the other. "Now Hikari, I noticed that you could use the Goukakyuu no jutsu. Do you know any others aside from that and the three from the academy?" Hikari shook her head to indicate no. "Ok, then can you tell me why you kept your distance and let Naruto do the close fighting?"
"I was always better at projectile weapons, even better than Sasuke." Hikari explained. "Also the Chuunin instructors always said that while my Taijutsu form was good, I lacked strength. So I figured it would be best if I support Naruto from a distance."
"That's all well and good but that leaves you with a similar problem to Naruto." Yoruichi stated. "Being able to support a teammate from a distance is important, don't get me wrong, but you're relying on your teammate for protection. Again that is not bad as it indicates that you have a lot of trust in him, but it can be bad if you grow dependant on it." She paused and struck a thinking pose as she planned what to do with her students. "Well I guess it can't be helped." She eventually said. "Alright you two, the first thing we're going to do today is get Naruto some weapons. And I know the best place in Konoha to get them." She said as she grabbed her Genin by the hand.
Naruto and Hikari blinked when they suddenly felt their sensei tug on their arms and the world around them suddenly went zooming past them. It lasted less than a second before the world stopped and their feet were solidly back on the ground, but that was enough for them both to feel a little vertigo.
"Ug…What did you do sensei?" Asked Hikari as she held her stomach. Naruto had already recovered and was holding her shoulders to keep her steady.
"Huh?" Said Yoruichi as she turned to her students and saw the condition they were in. "Oops. Sorry about that you two. I often forget how that technique can be a little disorienting for first timers." She said a little sheepishly.
"What was that technique Yoruichi-sensei?" Naruto asked excitedly.
"That Naruto was Shunpo or Flash Step, and advanced A-rank version of the Shunshin. It's a speed technique that I spent years mastering." She explained.
"Will you be teaching it to us?" Naruto asked, and Hikari who was standing on her own turned a little green at the prospect.
"Maybe, if you have the right skills. It uses more chakra than the Shunshin and it requires a lot more control. I can count the number of people who know it on one hand, and I'm the only one who can use it for prolonged battle." Said Yoruichi with a hint of pride in her voice. "But we're burning daylight and we have more to do today then weapon shopping." She said walking towards one of the smaller shopping areas.
Naruto and Hikari followed her and soon found themselves in a district where most of the stores were Shinobi related. Some of the stores they passed displayed the more durable, flexible, and expensive clothes that ninja wore. There was one store run by the Akimichi clan that made and sold various pills they had designed for ninja on a mission, such as the nutritious food pill, the blood pill that increased the body's production of red blood cells, and soldier pills that revitalized the body with chakra. Many had more mundane things such as military rations, camping gear, standard radio equipment, and sealing scrolls. And finally there were the stores that carried more specialized weapons such as Fuuma shuriken, giant kunai, nodachi, and spears.
Yoruichi led her two students down the street to an out of the way shop. It was a descent size, with the owner probably living in the same building above the shop, and the design was very traditional. There was a chimney that had a steady trail of smoke coming from it situated in the back. By the door was a simple was a simple wooden sign that said Higurashi Weapons: Standard and Custom.
Walking through the door Naruto let out an appreciative whistle. There were racks upon racks and row upon row of weapons in the shop. Near the front were the kunai and shuriken, but the farther back in the shop you went the larger they became some even having an altered design such as the windmill shuriken that the Uchiha often used. On another rack were less commonly used weapons such as makibishi and senbon. To the right of the store were numerous blades that ranged from the simple dagger to the massive zanbato, although there was only one example of the latter. Close by to those were the less commonly used weapons such as spears, naginatas, maces, and other weapons that were generally considered too large or too heavy to be carried around by ninja on missions.
"Ok Naruto, you and I are going to find you some shuriken and kunai that fit your style. Hikari, why don't you take a look around and see if anything attracts your interest. Maybe you'll find your own special weapon like Naruto's Zanpakuto." Suggested Yoruichi as she steered Naruto to the throwing weapons and started explaining how even the slightest change to the shape of the weapon can have a drastic effect on how it will work.
Hikari did as she was told and started wandering the store. She had plenty of shuriken so none of those interested her, although she thought Sasuke might like the foldable Fuuma shuriken. The swords were very nice but none of them felt right in her hand. The spears and naginatas interested her but they weren't easy to store or hide. It was easy to modify clothes to hide a sword, except a zanbato, but it was not easy to hide a spear in your clothes no matter what you do. Sighing she continued her search.
Meanwhile Yoruichi and Naruto had selected what they wanted. Apart from a standard set of twenty kunai and forty shuriken they had also picked out a pair of kunai with blades twice the usual length that could double has hand daggers. The extra length threw off the weight and he would have to learn to compensate when using them but Yoruichi figured that a guy who normally wielded a giant sword could compensate and these would provide a versatile balance between his Zanpakuto and the normal kunai.
Walking over to the counter they placed the selected weapons before the girl manning it. The girl had brown hair tied into buns. Her shirt was similar to Hikari's only pink. And she was keeping herself busy by cleaning some shuriken and had not noticed the customers yet.
When the weapons were set down she looked up and immediately smiled. "Hey Yoruichi! It's been awhile since you visited. Who's the blonde? And where's Kakashi?" She asked in a fast and excited voice, from seeing one of favorite Kunoichi patrons.
"Calm down and take a breath Tenten." Said Yoruichi with an amused smile. "I've been busy with missions, Kakashi is currently testing his Genin squad, and the gaki is my new student Naruto." She said answering each comment.
Chuckling was heard from a door that lead to the back. "So you finally passed a team eh? What was this, your seventh team?" Asked a laid back voice that came from a large muscular man who was balding slightly that walked through the back door. He wore simple clothes that were covered by a heavy leather apron.
"Actually they're my eighth team, Haruhiko. Kakashi is on number seven." Yoruichi replied casually.
"Well aren't you going to introduce us?" Asked Haruhiko.
"Right, Naruto this is the owner of this store as well as a blacksmith of considerable skill, Higurashi Haruhiko. And this is his daughter Tenten. She became a Genin last year and her Jounin sensei is Maito Gai, Kakashi's eternal rival as he likes to say." She said with a snicker. "And this is Arrancar Uzumaki Naruto." She said introducing her student. "A member of the first team of Genin that has been able to pass my test."
"Must be some good Genin to pass your test. Yours is much harder than Gai-sensei's." Commented Tenten as she looked Naruto over. Her eyes stopped on the hilt of his Zanpakuto and widened. "OHMYGOD!! ISTHATSWORDYOURS!? CANIPLEASESEEIT!? PLEASEPLEASEPLEASE!!" She said in a very fast and very loud manner, her love of weapons manifesting itself to the highest degree. Not even waiting for an answer she reached over his shoulder and hefted the blade from its chain. "Oh wow!" She exclaimed while handling the weapon. "This is an incredible piece of work. The balance. The keen edge. The pure white blade. It has a double edge which is rare to see except in custom work. But I would think the weight would make it too much for someone of your size to handle." She said because even though they were roughly the same height (now), she was having a little difficulty handling the Zanpakuto with both hands.
Naruto gave a small smirk of victory as he reached over and took the blade from her and held it up easily with one hand. "Too much weight huh?" He said to the stunned Tenten.
Tenten's father, Haruhiko, had a small look of surprise and interest on his face and asked. "Would you mind if I examined your sword?"
Naruto nodded and handed it over.
"This is a very good blade." Haruhiko commented idly as he easily lifted the sword. "Like Tenten said the weight is perfectly balanced, and the edge is sharper then a just about anything I've seen." He said while running his thumb over the edge. "And finding a pure white sword is incredible rare. And there seems not to be even the slightest imperfection. Tenten if you would be so kind as to hand me my morning snack."
Tenten nodded and rummaged under the counter before pulling out a large daikon (Japanese radish, looks like a carrot but larger around the circumference). Haruhiko took the daikon and cut it in half with the Zanpakuto. Handing the sword back to Naruto he then took the two halves and pushed them back together. He lifted the daikon and Naruto's and Tenten's eyes widened to dinner plates when they saw that the vegetable didn't fall apart.
"I sort of expected that." Yoruichi said quietly, seeming not to be surprised in the least.
"How could you expect that!?" Tenten shouted. "That was a reversible cut! Only the most perfect blade handled by an expert could have done that!" Turning to Naruto she asked in almost whispered awe. "Where on earth could you have gotten such an incredible sword?"
Smirking Naruto said, "I made it."
"Oh stop lying!" Tenten exclaimed in fury. "My Tou-san is the best black smith in the country and it took him years before he could forge such a sword! There's no way could have made it!"
"But he did." Said Yoruichi catching the girl's and her father's attention. "He did indeed make that sword, but he didn't forge it."
"Naruto possesses a bloodline that when awakened creates a sword called a Zanpakuto. Of course that's just the start of it. This Kekkei Genkai is supposed to have a number of abilities." The sensei explained.
Sighing Tenten said. "Wow. I would love to have a bloodline that allowed me to make such perfect swords. Not to mention how many samurai out there who would kill to purchase one."
Taking his Zanpakuto back Naruto burst her little bubble. "Sorry Tenten, but I can only make one Zanpakuto. But one is supposed to be enough."
Giving her student a light bonk on the head Yoruichi said. "Now don't go giving yourself a big head Naruto. You have to be trained in how to use that thing first then we'll see if that's all you need."
"Hai sensei." Replied Naruto as he rubbed his head.
Tenten giggled at the interaction. It sort of reminded her of how her sensei and teammate Gai and Lee were. Only without the spandex, creepy Genjutsu, and the annoying challenges of youth. Thinking about those two got her thinking of training and a light bulb went over her head. "Hey Naruto, how about we train together in Kenjutsu sometime. I could use the practice and you need to learn it, so why not help each other out when we're not working with our teams?"
"Hey that sounds great. I've been hoping to find someone that can teach me to use a sword." Said Naruto.
"Glad to see that you're making friends so quickly Naruto." Said Yoruichi as she took discrete glance at Haruhiko. Naruto didn't have many friends and she would hate it if this budding friendship was destroyed because of the girl's father. But surprisingly Haruhiko seemed ok, maybe even happy for this. "Now why don't we pay for these weapons and pick up Hikari, we can't spend all day here. Now where did she go?" She said as she looked around.
"She's over by the special weapons I made. Looks like something's caught her eye." Answered Haruhiko as he went over to the Uchiha.
Indeed Hikari had found something that caught her attention, but more for curiosity's sake. On the wall opposite the swords were a number of displayed weapons that were in some way, shape, or form different. The particular item in question was a simple dagger, or at least that's how it looked, but even then there were some oddities. The blade was a foot in length with two smaller blades half of the main one's size folded up on one side. The metal hilt was a perfect cylinder instead of the molded grip a person would expect on a small hand weapon. And it felt heavier then what it should be. Not as heavy as a sword but still heavier then what a dagger should be. Her inspection of the blade was cut short by a deep male voice.
"So I see you've taken an interest in the Koyoku there." Turning around she saw the large form of Haruhiko walking over to her with her team and the girl from behind the counter following.
"Yeah, can you tell me what is so special about this dagger? It's priced a lot higher than most of your other merchandise, and to be honest there are aspects about it that feel wrong for a dagger this big." Said Hikari to the store's owner.
"Well, that's because it's not a dagger." Said Haruhiko as he took weapon, and with a quick flick of his wrist the transformed it into a spear with the shorter blades forming a cross guard. Naruto couldn't keep an exclamation of "Cool" from escaping his lips. Hikari herself had gone a little slack jawed.
"I'm going to assume that this is another one of your experiments, right?" Asked Yoruichi.
"Yep." Chuckling Haruhiko went on to explain the odd weapon. "Ya see, most shinobi don't take to spears as weapons, saying that they're too bulky or unwieldy to be much use on missions. And in the middle of a fight who has the time to take out a sealing scroll and summon the weapon? So I figured I would try out a new forging process in an attempt to create a collapsible spear shaft. And as you can see it worked, and I have created a masterpiece that any ninja worth their hitat-ate would want." He said with pride.
"So how come no one's bought it?" Naruto asked, deflating the proud blacksmith.
"No one's bought it because they say the price is too high." Answered Tenten. "You have to admit Tou-san that even for one of your custom jobs it is rather pricy."
"Can I help it that I decided to make my one of my masterpieces out of chakra metal." Exclaimed her father flailing his hands about with anime tears running down his face. "Sure the material is expensive but with its uses it should have made it more attractive to customers, but because so many people have neglected the more advanced training they can't use it to its full potential and say the price is too high."
Hikari raised an eyebrow at this. "Chakra metal? Hey sensei, what's chakra metal?" She asked.
"Chakra metal is steel that had been fed chakra while it was being purified from iron. Any weapon made from it will be more expensive but anyone with the right training would consider it worth the cost. While normal chakra won't do anything to it, someone who puts elemental chakra into a weapon made of chakra metal will give it that element's specific properties. If fire elemental chakra is used the metal will grow hot and burn anything it touches. Lighting will surround it in electricity allowing the weapon to pierce anything. Wind will give it an invisible edge that can cut though anything. You can do the same with normal metal, but chances are that it will break under the power of the chakra." Hikari nodded in understanding as they had covered the five elements back at the academy. Naruto nodded and decided to ask about what elemental chakra was later, while really beginning to wish he paid more attention in school. He also wondered if his Zanpakuto could do that.
"Anyway," continued Haruhiko, "Koyoku is one of my greatest achievements and won't be sold for less than the asking price." He said with an air of finality, arms folded across his chest and chin held high.
"I'll take it." Said Hikari.
"What?" Haruhiko responded stupidly.
"Yoruichi-sensei said I should find my own weapon to compliment Naruto's Zanpakuto, and if this spear is half as good as you say it is then it is just what I'm looking for." Stated the female Uchiha. "How much?"
Hikari expected the giant of a man to maybe start jumping and hollering for joy. What she did not expect was for Haruhiko to break down into sobs.
"Sniff…Oh this is such a happy day. Sniff…Finally my…beautiful Koyoku will get the chance to prove its mettle in the field…sniff…of battle. Hikari-san as a sign of my gratitude I'll give Koyoku to you for free, all I ask in return is that when people ask you where you got such a magnificent weapon you tell them at Higurashi Weapons."
"Uh…Gee, that's great Haruhiko-san." Hikari said with a large sweat drop. "I'm sure a lot of people will be impressed with this spear."
Haruhiko immediately stopped crying and gave Hikari a stern look. "I've changed my mind. I'll still give it to you for free but you also have to agree to call it by its proper name. Koyoku, remember that…uh," turning to Yoruichi he whispered. "What's her surname?"
"Ah…Remember that Uchiha-san. Because a name is very important. It gives a sense of individuality and importance. To know something's true name is to know its full power. That is why I name all the special design weapons that come out of my forge." Haruhiko finished his proud speech with a pose of himself down on one knee holding Koyoku across his shoulders in his left hand, a katana held in his right with the blade in the ground, and a zanbato behind him. Somehow Haruhiko had managed to get a spot light behind him and used its light to simulate the light of glory (the light that happens after a heroic pose in anime).
Everyone else couldn't help but sweatdrop at the sight.
Naruto leaned in close to Tenten and whispered in her ear. "Is he always like this?"
Tenten could only nod in embarrassment, contemplating why all the men in her life had to be weird.
Throughout Konoha two spandex wearing beasts and a Hyuuga genius sneezed.
"H-hai. I'll be sure to call Koyoku by its proper name from now on." Promised Hikari rather nervously.
The scowl Haruhiko wore immediately lifted into a smile as he got out of the pose, the weapons and spotlight disappearing. "Wonderful! Now that that's taken care of lets wrap things up so that you and your team…" He stopped and blinked, then looked around. Finally he turned to the present Jounin. "Uh…Yoruichi. You said you were here with your team but there are only two of them here. Where is your third Genin?"
"Hmm? Oh, it's just the two of them." Yoruichi said dismissively.
"Only two? I never heard of that before." Commented Tenten.
Yoruichi shrugged and casually replied, "There were 29 graduates and the Hokage decided that there would be a cell of just two Genin instead of putting the last two with someone from another class." Taking a glance at her watch the Jounin almost did a double take. "Wow, is that the time? Sorry guys but we really have to get going or we're going to be late." Not wasting a second she grabbed her students by the shoulder, Hikari possessing Koyoku and Naruto his kunai and shuriken. She shouted at the two Higurashi over her shoulder. "It was nice seeing you guys again and hope to do it again soon. Bye!"
Tenten and Haruhiko just stood by as a tumble weed rolled by.
"Heh, that's Yoruichi for you. Always running off at the last minute. Have to wonder what will happen when she decides to settle down." Chuckled Haruhiko ruefully.
"Yeah," agreed Tenten as she moved back to the counter. Suddenly she stopped in realization. "Oh Man! I can't believe it! Tou-san! She did it again! She left without paying for anything!"
Eyes widening in shock, Haruhiko's face turned red in anger as he started shouting obscenities against flashy kunoichi and their tardy shinobi boyfriends. Obscenities that would get him whacked over the head if his wife heard them.
Tenten sighed at the common occurrence. Really why did there have to be such unusual men in her life. She paused and wondered what her team was doing today.
At an undisclosed training ground that possessed a very beat up old draining dummy stood two figures in spandex with bushy eyebrows.
"Lee My Adorable Student! You don't know how proud it makes me to see you here to train on your day of. So Let Us Increase Our Flames Of Youth By Doing 500 Push-Ups! And If We Can Not Do That Then We Shall Do 300 Chin-Ups! And If We Can Not Do That We Shall Run 100 Laps Around Konoha!" Shouted Maito Gai to his young apprentice.
"Yes Gai-Sensei! And When We Are Done With That Let Us Work On The Lotus Technique So That I May Show The World What A Genius Of Hard Work Can Do!" Shouted the Jounin's mini-clone Rock Lee.
Meanwhile in the Hyuuga compound was one Neji Hyuuga.
His team was given the day off and as usual he had spent his time trying to recreate the techniques that were reserved for the main house.
However today was unusual in that he had been called away from his training by the Hyuuga elder council.
Neji had seen the council many times and had even spoken to its three members on occasion, but never on any official reason. The council was created to advise the younger clan head or to act as the family's leader in case the clan head was unavailable. And Neji knew for a fact that his uncle Hiashi was still around, so why did they want to speak with him?
Neji walked up to the door that led to the chambers of the council meeting hall and was admitted in by a branch house member that was guarding the door. Inside, the three elders were already waiting for him as he took a kneeled down on the mat reserved for those speaking to the council. Keeping his head low as was the practice taught to branch members he said, "Honorable members of the council." Not meaning a single word of it.
"Greetings young Neji." Said the eldest councilman who sat in the center. "Tell me, do you know why you are here?"
"I can think of no reason," Neji responded.
"You are here because Hiashi-sama has made a grievous mistake." Said the only councilwoman on the left. "He has started the preparations for an arranged marriage between Hinata-sama and…a person of undesirable origins."
Neji couldn't resist raising an eyebrow in curiosity at this. 'Hiashi is planning to wed Hinata to someone the council doesn't approve of? What could have possessed him to make such a decision?' "May I inquire whom Hiashi-sama has chosen to wed Hinata-sama?" He asked of the elders.
"He has chosen Uzumaki Naruto." Said the councilman on the right. "An orphan in the same year of the academy as Hinata-sama. It was recently discovered that the boy possesses an old and long thought extinct Kekkei Genkai. Hiashi-sama wishes to add it to the Hyuuga bloodline in the hopes of making us stronger." The old Hyuuga didn't even try to hide the disdain from his voice.
'Uzumaki Naruto? I think I heard some of the teachers talking about him. They never had anything nice to say.' "I am confused." Neji admitted to the council. "What does this possible marriage have to do with me?"
Taking up the position of spokesmen again the eldest councilman said. "Because young Neji, despite being a member of the branch house your skill and talent are the best seen in generations. There is little doubt that you have the potential to surpass Hiashi-sama." Neji didn't let it show but he was exceptionally pleased to hear a member of the council actually acknowledge his ability. If they admitted to it, despite all their close mindedness, then anyone would admit it. "We of the council are of the opinion that if Hiashi-sama were to be presented with an example of the strength of the Hyuuga clan and how it is superior to this Kekkei Genkai that he desires, then he will see the error of his decision."
"So," said Neji, "you want me to defeat this Uzumaki Naruto in combat?"
"That is the idea. But it would be preferable to wait until the boy has had time to practice his abilities first. That way your victory will be all the more complete. And the example more thoroughly proven" Said the councilwoman.
"There is the Chuunin Exam being hosted in Konoha coming up in six months. If his sensei can be persuaded to let his team participate that would be an opportune time to do it." Continued the councilman on the right.
Neji thought about what they had just said for several moments before speaking. "But if this bloodline is something that Hiashi-sama desires then surely there must be something about it that will make it difficult to defeat Uzumaki."
"Excellent reasoning Neji," complimented the center councilman. "Indeed, before it disappeared from the world this Kekkei Genkai was considered quite strong. This is why to help prepare you we will provide you with main house techniques." Neji's jaw visibly dropped. For the council to actually provide those techniques to a branch house member was the equivalent of seeing the Hokage and Tsuchikage square dancing in pink tutus together. It just didn't happen. "Of course we won't give you the scroll to the Kaiten as that can only be given by the current head of the clan. But with your talent you should have more than enough to accomplish this mission. So Neji, do you accept?"
Neji did the only thing he could do as he lifted his head. He smirked. "Fate has decided that Uzumaki Naruto will fall before my eyes."
(Back with team 9)
"So where are we going to now sensei?" Naruto asked Yoruichi who was no longer pushing them from behind.
"We are going to take care of some important business." She said. "Actually it's going to be you that takes care of things. I have another appointment to go to after you get dropped off."
"But where are we going?" Asked Hikari.
"The Uchiha district." Yoruichi responded. "It's been decided that before Naruto can be given his clan scrolls, he has to complete a test administered by the head of the clan Uchiha Mikoto."
"What!?" Exclaimed Hikari. She wasn't told of any test. Or that they had any scrolls for Naruto
"What test does she have in mind?" Asked Naruto a little nervously. He sucked at tests. Now he had to take one to get what was his.
Grinning like the Cheshire cat that she was, Yoruichi said. "She wants you to summon a Hollow."
"Summoning? But I don't know how to do the Kuchiyose no Jutsu." Naruto said worriedly.
"Don't worry, it's easy." Assured his violet haired sensei. "I'll even show you how to do it when we get there."
"You can summon sensei?" Asked Hikari.
"Yup. I'm the current holder of the cat contract." She replied proudly.
"Cats?" Naruto said a little unbelievably. "How useful can cats be? You can't even train them to do anything."
Yoruichi looked at her student a little skeptically before saying. "Didn't they teach you about summon animals back at the Academy?"
Hikari sighed. "They did Naruto-kun." She loved the boy, she really did, but if this continues she would have to sit him down for some serious tutoring.
Yoruichi sighed before saying. "Remind me to add supplementary book lessons to your training Naruto." Apparently thinking along the same lines as her female student. "Anyway, there is a significant difference between a regular animal, no matter how well trained it is, and a summon animal. Summons are generally smarter than an animal and even some humans, many have the ability to use jutsu, and most will grow to sizes much larger then what their species is normally capable of."
"Oh." Said Naruto in understanding.
The group spent the rest of the trip in silence as they made their way to the home of the Uchiha.
Upon arrival Naruto couldn't help but exclaim at how big it was.
"Hikari, this whole place belongs to your family?" He asked as they marched past the boundary walls and walked past some of the old shops and houses that made up the main residential section of the district.
Hikari responded but when she did there was something missing from her voice that usually there. "Hai Naruto-kun. All this land, all these buildings, all of it belongs to the Uchiha clan."
That's when Naruto, being the block head that he is finally noticed something off with the place. It was too quiet. "Uh, Hikari. Where is everyone?" He asked looking around. They had passed a number of buildings and they had yet to come across a single living soul.
"They're not here."
Now normally Naruto is denser then a rock. One look at his grade point average could tell you that. Yet somehow he noticed the distance in his teammate's voice. She also looked away at that moment, unwilling to meet his eye. He would have tried to find out what was bothering his teammate, but he was interrupted by his teacher.
"Whoa is that the time? We got to hurry or else I'm going to miss another appointment." Yoruichi said before snatching the two again and using Shunpo.
The next thing the Genin knew they were standing outside a large house that prominently displayed the Uchiha crest.
Hikari held her stomach as she leaned against the wall. "Sensei, please don't do that again." She pleaded with her teacher.
"Hmm…Guess you'll have to learn to use Shunshin before you'll be able handle it Hikari." Said sensei mused.
"I like it." Piped up Naruto who looked like absolutely giddy, making his teammate and sensei shoot him an annoyed and amused look respectively.
The attention of the three ninja snapped towards the house when the door slid open revealing the form of Uchiha Mikoto. "What's going on out here?" The head of the Uchiha clan asked. Seeing the team standing outside her door she smiled. "Oh good, you're here. I must tell you that I am glad to finally be meeting Hikari-chan's team Yoruichi-san, Naruto-dono." She greeted stepping up to the two and bowing to them.
Naruto and Yoruichi stopped and blinked. And blinked. And blinked again, not quite sure if their hearing was working.
"I'm sorry," said Naruto as he cleaned his ear with his pinky, "I must have misheard you. What did you call me?"
"Naruto-dono, after all that is the proper way to speak to you." Mikoto said pleasantly.
Naruto, just a little confused, had to ask. "And why is it the appropriate to call me that?"
Now Mikoto was confused. "Didn't Hikari-chan tell you two?" She asked looking to her daughter. Hikari looked a little sheepish for not having informed her teammate and sensei yet
"Tell us what?" Asked Yoruichi.
"That with the revelation of Naruto-dono being the last known living member of the Arrancar clan, we the Uchiha clan officially recognize him as the head of the Arrancar clan. And as I am the head of the Uchiha clan I have decided that now, in this dark hour for both our clans, we shall reforge the bond that once existed between the Uchiha and the Arrancar. By doing so all Uchiha must now recognize Arrancar Uzumaki Naruto, head of the Arrancar clan, as our liege lord."
Naruto and Yoruichi's jaw dropped and their eyes bugged. Naruto was now a liege lord? Of the prestigious and noble Uchiha clan?
Naruto turned his head to Hikari. "You knew?" He asked.
"Not until last night." She hastily said. "It wasn't until I got home from…our talk that I found out." She took a sidelong glance at her mother hoping the woman didn't read into it.
Yoruichi being a Jounin got over her shock rather quickly, and grinned like a Cheshire cat. Now this made things interesting. Hikari was the heiress of the Uchiha which was one of the closest things Konoha had to a princess. And for the most part Naruto played the part of a pauper pretty well. Now after the princess confesses her love to the pauper their roles are reversed with the pauper a lord and the princess his servant. Hmm….That'd make a pretty good book. She needed to get that idea to Jiraiya. Already she could imagine a scene where the princess serves tea to her lord in the garden and they both quench their thirst, but not with tea. Hell, screw Jiraiya. She and Kakashi had been meaning to start writing their own books series. And she was sure that the two of them could write something better then the Icha Icha series if they worked together.
But that was for later. Now she really needed to get things moving. "Well as interesting as all of this is, we still have a lot to take care of today so Mikoto-sama if you would please show us where we need to go."
"Of course. And it will be so much easier to explain some things when we bring out the Arrancar scrolls." Said Mikoto as she led team 9 out of the yard and onto the road that would lead them to the house of Uchiha Ginrei.
As the four walked there Hikari and Naruto found themselves trailing behind the adults. Naruto was pensive and quiet, something he was doing a lot recently, and his eyes were focused on the ground. Hikari looked at the boy she loved with worry. Would this change things? After so many years she was finally getting close to Naruto like she had always wanted, and with her confession the other day she certainly had the boy's attention. But what would he do now that her mother made him her master? Would he want to stop any possible relationship the two could have before it began? Would he decide that she didn't really like him and was just trying to get into his good grace? What was he thinking?
"Hikari," Naruto said in a whisper just loud enough for her to hear drawing the girl's attention away from her depressing musings. "What am I supposed to do now?"
"What do you mean?" Asked Hikari hoping this was going where she hoped it was going.
"It's only been a week and I go from orphan, to the last of a clan, to the head of that clan, and now I'm," he quickly glanced over to his teammate then back to the ground before continued. "Too be honest I'm not sure I can handle the responsibility. I've always said that I'm going to be Hokage and I also know that brings a lot of responsibility, but I really wasn't expecting it for years. Right now I just wanted to prove to the world what a great shinobi I can be. Not leading people." He tilted his head to look at her, a small smirk visible on his face. "Yet."
Hikari felt her heart throb. This was one of the reasons she loved Naruto. No matter how well you know him. No matter how much time you spend with him. He will always find a way to surprise you. With a small smile on her face she said. "Don't worry Naruto-kun; I'm sure Kaa-san doesn't mean to put any sort of responsibility on you. I think what she means by doing this is to say that whenever you need help we'll be there for you and that you would be there for us if we need help."
Naruto looked confused. "Huh? But what could I do to help you guys?"
"You'd be surprised Naruto at the influence you could soon be getting." Said Yoruichi from behind the two.
"Gah!" Yelped Naruto. "Yoruichi-sensei how do you always do that?"
"Tut tut Naruto. You should really pay more attention to your surroundings. While you and Hikari were talking he arrived at our destination. By the way, I listened in and I have to admit that you two are more mature then I would have thought. I'm impressed." Then getting that grin that means she's up to something. "And I'm sure that maturity will bring a lot of fun later…" she trailed up giggling just a little perversely.
Suffice it to say Hikari and Naruto were more than a little worried for the privacy of their personal life. They might have contemplated their teacher's words…and the giggling…but they were called inside the house they were brought too.
"Everyone," said Mikoto, "I would like you to meet Uchiha Ginrei, keeper of the key that opens the Arrancar vault.
The three younger ninja bowed in greeting to the elder.
He returned the bows and greeted each individually. "Hello Yoruichi-san it is nice to meet you. I hope you will take care of Hikari-chan. And it is nice to see you again Hikari-chan. My it seems you've grown since I last saw you." Finally it was Naruto's turn. "Ah Naruto-dono it is an honor to meet you. I have long awaited this day which to be honest I thought would never come."
"Uh Thanks." Said Naruto a little sheepishly. He still wasn't used to this kind of attention where people act respectfully to him.
"Now," continued Ginrei, "If you would all follow me." He said as he lifted one of the panels of the of the living floor, revealing a ladder and tunnel that lead down under the house. It wasn't a very long trip, no more than thirty feet, before they reached the end of the tunnel in a room as large as the living room above. The room's most impressive feature was the wall dominated by a diamond shaped skull.
Ginrei activated his Sharingan to allow him to see the seals hidden by Genjutsu at random points along the wall. Each seal had to be deactivated in a specific order as the first step to unlocking the vault. Once that was done Ginrei performed five hand signs, completing the second part of the unlocking process. Then he pushed on the wall's hidden door revealing the vault and all its contents.
Naruto and Hikari were stunned. The room had to be as large as the rest of Ginrei's house. All four walls and three massive bookcases were lined with scrolls big and small as well as an assortment of books.
"These," said Ginrei proudly, "are all the Arrancar scrolls the we recovered. The majority of them are personal journals and won't be much help to you Naruto-dono, unless you are interested in researching the personal lives of your ancestors. The ones I believe you want are this way." He said as he led the group to a small side room that contained six scrolls, each as large as Konoha's Forbidden Scroll. "Now these are the six clan scrolls. The three on the right contain the Arrancar's written history. The one next to them is more of a guide that explained how Arrancar hierarchy and society in the Land of Darkness. Then there is the scroll that contains the instructions for all known Arrancar techniques. And finally this is the Hollow Summoning Contract."
Naruto's eyes were drawn to the contract. While in his opinion the vault was filled with treasures, artifacts that connected him to his family that he would otherwise no know nothing about, this was the prized that we came for.
Mikoto stepped forward and lifted the contract from its resting place. "I realize that this is only a formality at this point, but I made a condition to Sandaime-sama that we would not let you have the scrolls until you passed this little test. But I am sure you will pass so there really is no harm. Ginrei would you mind bringing the history scrolls, I am sure Naruto-dono would like a look at those later."
The old man complied and grabbed the other three. It was only minutes later that the group found themselves outside behind the house in a decent sized clearing. Once there Mikoto handed the contract over to Naruto. Naruto examined the scroll. It didn't look like much except for its blood red border and the same skull symbol that was on all of the clan scrolls. Opening the scroll he saw a number of slots each taken up by a name and a handprint written in what appeared to be dried blood. "Uh Sensei? How do I use this thing?"
"Easy Naruto." Said Yoruichi. "First find and empty spot then bite your thumb so it bleeds and sign your name. Then you leave a hand print using the hand you want to summon with."
Naruto followed her instructions and unfurled the scroll until he found an empty slot. He immediately bite his thumb and used the blood to sign his name then left his right hand print at the bottom. "Now what?" He asked.
"Now to try out the jutsu. Memorize these hand seals." Yoruichi said as she demonstrated the five seals needed to summon. "When summoning you need to remember that the more chakra you use, the more powerful the summon you will come forth. So don't bother trying this when you are low on chakra. Also you need to offer a bit of blood and need a surface to summon on, air won't work. Now there are a few exceptions to the usual rules of summoning, but we'll worry about those special summons later. Right now I am going to show how to do it." Yoruichi bit her right thumb and performed the five hand seals as she molded the chakra. Bringing her hand to the ground she called out, "Kuchiyose no Jutsu."
A plume of smoke erupted blocking everyone's view. When it cleared it revealed Yoruichi with her usual grin and standing before her a cat no bigger than a kitten. The kitten was white with black paws and ears, red eyes, and two tails with black markings near the end.
"Mew." Said the cat.
"KAWAII!" Responded Hikari as she swooped down and started hugging the cat.
"Everyone, meet Kirara. One of my favorite summons." Said Yoruichi.
"He's so cute!" Exclaimed Hikari.
"Yeah he is." Agreed Yoruichi smirking. "But he's more than that. Kirara!"
The cat jumped from Hikari's arms, much to the girl's disappointment, and ran towards his summoner, activating his jutsu at the same time. Flames erupted around his body and he grew in size. By the time he reached Yoruichi he was no longer a cute little kitten but a massive feline the size of a tiger with massive canines protruding from his mouth, with flames swirling around his paws and tail markings. Kirara let out a massive roar showcasing his new fangs and the deadly teeth.
"He's also quiet useful for battle."
"That Is So Awesome!" Exclaimed Naruto. Now he was eager to try out summoning.
Quickly he bit his thumb again and performed the same hand seals. He wasn't sure the amount of chakra to put into it as he didn't want to summon something small, but he also didn't want to risk something that will destroy the area. And he felt he had the proper amount he thrust his hand to the ground and called out, "Kuchiyose no Jutsu!"
Smoke erupted obscuring everyone's view of Naruto. But they knew something happened for Kirara started growling menacingly, his hackles raised at what he felt a possible threat.
As the smoke cleared Naruto was able to get a good look at his first summon. The Hollow was massive to him, easily thirty feet in length, most of it taken up by the serpentine body, and a shoulder width twice that of a man. The hollow's was mostly covered in red scales, with a green underbelly. It possessed two muscular arms and its five fingered hands ended in wicked claws. Its face looked was bony and white, looking like a skull and had a head of black hair. But its most defining feature was the perfect hole placed right in the center of its chest.
Turning its glowing yellow eyes to Naruto the Hollow let out a small growl. "Are you the one that summoned me?" It asked in a demonic and clearly male voice.
"H-hai." Responded Naruto, more than a little nervous at the intimidating sight of the Hollow. "I am Arrancar Uzumaki Naruto."
"I am Acid Wire." Introduced the Hollow as he placed one of his hands atop Naruto's head. Naruto idly noted that palm was the size of his face and that the fingers could wrap around his skull."And your chakra certainly feels like an Arrancar's. And those are Uchiha with you. Mostly." He said looking over Yoruichi, Kirara growling at it to say 'stay away.' "But I must be sure that you are what you say you are."
"What do you mean?" Asked Naruto.
"Humans are clever creatures. It would not surprise me if they had figured out how to replicate the feeling of an Arrancar's chakra." Said Acid Wire as he backed away from Naruto. "But there is something else that all Arrancar share. Something that connects them and can never be imitated. It even forms the basis of the bond between Arrancar and Hollow. And there is only one way to determine it existence." Without warning Acid Wire lunged at Naruto, letting loose a mighty howl. A howl that pierced into the deepest reaches of the soul, calling out the darkness.
Her student was in danger, but Yoruichi couldn't. Somehow the howl had brought out a fear that paralyzed her. It had paralyzed all of them.
As the demon rushed forward a familiar sensation flowed through Naruto. This was the feeling that kept him from running from Mizuki to protect Iruka. That caused the sensation of time slowing down when he was confronted with danger. Seeing the charging demon Naruto reached for his Zanpakuto and charged.
The exchange happened so quickly that no one could make out what happened. One second they were two opponents charging each other. Acid Wire with his claws at the ready. Naruto, drawing his Zanpakuto. Then a flash of light as the two met. Now they stood with their backs to each other as blood pooled on the ground.
The others found their paralysis gone and rushed to Naruto to check him for wounds, but they found none.
"Baw ha ha ha ha!" Laughed Acid as he examined his bloody stump of an arm as he turned to face his summoner. "You are indeed an Arrancar, Naruto-sama." The demon proclaimed.
Naruto, coming down from a slight adrenaline high as the strange feeling fled from his body, turned to face his summon. "What was that?" He asked the question on everyone's mind.
"The howl of a Hollow is more than sound. It has the ability to draw out the darkness in a human's soul bringing forth a paralyzing fear in the unprepared, but not in an Arrancar. For within the darkness of an Arrancar's is not fear but their fighting instinct." Explained Acid Wire. "When confronted with danger the natural instinct of an Arrancar is not to flee but to fight. It often increases the individual's perceptions and their reaction times, but only when their life is on the line." He turned to the Uchiha of the group. "It is something that was passed on to the Uchiha, manifesting in the form of their Sharingan. If I had attacked the girl there is little doubt that hers would have awakened." Then turning back to Naruto, Acid Wire leveled a glare at the boy. "But be warned young Arrancar. This instinct is a boon in battle, but let it control you and you will fight without caution. Making mistakes that you should not, and fighting foes beyond your reach. Fortunately we Hollows have the same instinct, and now that you are proven to be an Arrancar we will help you."
"Thank you." Said Naruto, glad that the demon was offering help in this aspect of his life. Then he saw the still bleeding wound. "I'm sorry for your hand."
"Ha! There is nothing to be worried about. It will grow back in time. We Hollows are very difficult to kill, short of cutting off our heads." Said Acid Wire. "But I do feel weakened by the wound and must return to the realm of Hollows to rest and heal. But the next time you summon one of us Naruto-sama keep in mind that I am considered one of the nicer members of my brethren." With that said Acid Wire dismissed himself back to the Hollow realm.
"Well that was exciting." Said Yoruichi when the Hollow was gone. She didn't let it show that she was more than a little scared for Naruto's safety during the Ordeal. Seriously she knew that some summons required tests but she had never heard of one that could get you killed, although from what she heard it was a distinct possibility when dealing with snakes.
"I agree." Added Mikoto. "I had heard that Hollows were a fierce breed but that was unexpected. Now with that piece of business taken care of why don't we celebrate by having some lunch? It is almost noon."
Everyone agreed, but when they got back Ginrei's house Hikari realized that someone she had been expecting was missing.
"Kaa-san, where's Sasuke?"
"Hmm…That's strange. He hasn't gotten back from his Genin exam yet." Remarked Mikoto, a little curious as to where her son was.
"ACK!" Exclaimed Yoruichi. "I totally forgot." She said as she ran out the door. "Sorry but I have places to be, people to see, bets to win!" She called before using Shunpo to disappear.
"What was that all about?" Asked Ginrei.
The Genin could only sigh in exasperation at their sensei. Truth was they were starting to think that they would never understand her.
As the day was still young the three Uchiha and single Arrancar decided to catch up on their history. Or to be more precise the two elders decided that since they had the Arrancar history scrolls it was an opportune time for the Genin to learn more about their respective family histories.
At the Hokage tower Sarutobi sat in his office smoking a pipe while he filled out various forms that needed to be completed. But he was not alone. Waiting in the same room were several Jounin, among who were Sarutobi Asuma, Yuuhi Kurenai, Maito Gai, and several other acquaintances of two new Jounin instructors. They were all waiting for the appearance of a certain silver haired Jounin so that they could see who won the betting pool.
A slight swishing sound was the all warning they got as the last person in the pool appeared. "Yo." Greeted Yoruichi. "Did I miss it?"
Sarutobi put his pen down and was the one to answer it. "No Yoruichi. We still have a few minutes before Kakashi usually gets here."
The Elite Jounin grinned. "Excellent, I wouldn't want to miss everyone's face when I win."
It has long since been a tradition among the Jounin-senseis in the village that they place bets on the outcomes of certain events. Primarily the bets would be on whether a sensei passes a team during the true Genin exam, which team ends up getting the first C-rank mission, and who succeeds in the Chuunin exam.
But for the past few years there had been a special bet going concerning Yoruichi and Kakashi. Since they had been promoted to Jounin before most of the others in the room they had been chosen to be a Jounin-sensei and testing teams before the others. Normally it isn't out of the ordinary if a Jounin would fail the first one or two teams they were assigned. But these two had started to make a name for themselves after Yoruichi flunked her fifth team and Kakashi his fourth that they had the toughest tests around. So it was quickly settled that the safe money in the bet was that they would fail the team.
Which is why yesterday it came as such a shock that Yoruichi passed her team allowing Sarutobi, who usually abstained from betting, Kakashi, and surprisingly enough Kurenai to win the pool concerning her decision.
And today they would see who would win Kakashi's pool. Sarutobi chose to abstain from this although he had his suspicions, so the only people who bet that he would pass his team were Yoruichi and Gai. Truthfully some of the Jounin thought it was a bad sign that the two who knew the man best had bet the way they did.
The minutes passed and soon the door opened and in walked Kakashi, reading his book as usual. "Hatake Kakashi here to report that team 7 has…" started Kakashi sounding bored. The tension was thick and you could tell some of the Jounin seemed to be holding their breath waiting for the man's final word. "…passed."
There were many sounds of disappointment in the room but that didn't drown out Gai. "Ah Kakashi. I knew that this was the year my rival would embraced his flames of youth by accepting a team of students to pass his knowledge to."
"Hmm? You say something Gai?" Asked Kakashi.
While Gai ranted at Kakashi about youth and Kakashi's hip and trendy ways, Yoruichi looked like the cat who caught the canary as she collected her winnings. As she collected from Asuma the smoking Jounin had to ask. "How did you know Kakashi would pass his team?"
"I didn't." Responded Yoruichi. "I just had a feeling." But that didn't mean she wasn't curious as to what caused the man to pass the Genin. Which she asked him later as they made their way to a restaurant to get some dinner.
"Too be honest I was this close to failing them." Said Kakashi holding his thumb and index a mere centimeter apart. "They failed during the bell portion of my test. Although Sasuke and Sai came closer to getting a bell on their own then anyone else has. I sort of expected it from the Uchiha but Sai took me by surprise. He is much more skilled then his file indicates. He even used a jutsu I had never seen before."
"Hai, he used the ink he carries around to make a clone. It wasn't any better than most elemental clones, but to see something new from a leaf Genin is a first. Unfortunately Sakura was a bit of a disappointment." Kakashi admitted. "Right now with she is perfect to study Genjutsu, but I caught her so easily in one of the most basic illusions that it's not even funny."
"Want me to show her my sensei's special tough love training that she put Shizune through?"
"Maybe later. For now I want to deal with my team on my own. Anyway, as I said they failed the bell part but I always give them a second chance. I tied Sai up to a log since I was fighting him when the timer went off and ordered the others not to give him anything to eat. Sasuke and Sakura were the first students I have ever seen disobey my orders and try to feed their comrade. Odd thing was that Sai was adamant not to disobey my orders. It wasn't until Sasuke pointed out that if all three of them were going to get the bells from me then they all needed to eat to bring up their energy or else they will fail the mission. Funny thing is, if he hadn't used those exact words then Sai probably would never have accepted the food. Right now his focus is about obeying his commander and successfully completing the mission, which is something I am going to have to work on." Lifting his head from his book he turned his visible eye so he could see Yoruichi. "And what about your team? How was their first official day?"
"Pretty good." Admitted Yoruichi. "They already work pretty well together. A lot better than most Genin would. They are also more mature then I would have thought. Or at least Naruto is." Grinning she continued. "And you won't believe some of the stuff I discovered today. It even gave me an idea for that book of ours."
Kakashi's full attention was on his companion, his eye burning with an inner fire. "Do tell."
Naruto and Hikari started sneezing as they read over one of the entries in the Arrancar history.
"Someone must be talking about you two." Commented Mikoto as she set down some drinks for the two to enjoy.
The two could only nod being too absorbed in reading to comment back. To Naruto this was an opportunity he wouldn't waste to learn about his clan. Granted Mikoto had made it clear that he was always welcomed there and could read them any time he wished, Naruto just wanted to learn as much as he could as soon as he could.
Hikari's interest was more in what kind of clan Naruto came from. Granted it was doubtful that this would be much help considering how old all of the information in it was, but hey it never hurt to be prepared. And she had to admit that the Arrancar were better record keepers and historians then most other ninja clans. Maybe because they started out as a samurai clan that practiced the shinobi arts. But eventually Hikari noticed something odd.
Although the records went back many centuries, she and Naruto couldn't find anything about the clan's founding. Granted it wasn't that odd as most clans didn't know how they started, with a few exceptions. Usually it was because the clans don't bother to keep track of their history in the beginning and it is not until years later before they start the practice. But the way the Arrancar records were written you would think that they had just appeared in the Land of Darkness acting as its warriors. Oh well maybe it had something to do with the writing style at the time.
But she was starting to grow a little curious as to how the Arrancar created the Uchiha. She asked her mother about it but all Mikoto really knew was that one day an Arrancar somehow mutated the Byakugan of a Hyuuga into the Sharingan and that the Hyuuga who was changed took up the name Uchiha.
That's when they found something unusual. They were still a few centuries away from present time when they found a passage marked with the Uchiha crest as well as the symbol for journal.
Not understanding they called Mikoto over. "It's a seal." She said before placing her hand over it and channeled some chakra into the paper. There was a puff of smoke and where the seal once was laid an old leather back book. Mikoto took the book up and started reading the first few pages when her eyes widened. "This is a journal written by the first Uchiha about how the clan was founded." She said. At the request of Hikari and Naruto she started reading it aloud.
The battle had been long and hard. After many hours of combat I find myself standing across the field from my opponent. An opponent I never wanted to face. An Espada of the Arrancar.
My breathing is heavy, my body is covered in cuts, bruises and burns, and I have broken four ribs, three fingers, at least one toe, sprained my left ankle, and fractured my right wrist. My clothing is no longer in any condition that they could be considered serviceable. I have lost my katana, run out of exploding notes, and my weaponry is down to a single kunai and two shuriken. I have used what medical supplies and knowledge I had at my disposal to treat my injuries when I had the opportunity when I had the chance but I feel it is only a delaying action. Despite being as strategic with it as I could I am almost out of chakra. With what I have left I could probably get in a few more Juuken strikes, but at this point I fail to see what good it will do me.
My opponent is also short of breath, but that is merely from the duration of our battle, a length of time that would leave any lesser man dead from exhaustion. His coat and shirt are mostly burnt tatters but there are still there. His Zanpakuto, a giant fan mounted on a shaft similar to a spears instead of the usual sword, rests against his shoulder. He has shown the ability to use it to perform powerful Fuuton and Katon jutsu. His Arrancar mark are two small bone like feathers that are tucked away just above his ears.
The majority of his injuries come from the burns I have managed to inflict on him with the new form of Juuken I have created. That knowledge fills me with pride even if I know I should be cursing my skills for it is the reason I am out here.
Many in the clan called me a genius because despite being a part of the branch family I have proven to have the most powerful eyes. Despite many of the disadvantages I possess being a member of the branch family I trained long and hard and by the age of fifteen recreated all available techniques the Juuken had to offer, even if they were techniques reserved for the main branch. I even took the time the time to study other shinobi arts such as Kenjutsu. Eventually I developed an entirely new form of the Juuken, one that did not rely on the traditional methods of attacking the internal organs, nerves, or even the chakra circulatory system. You do not even need the Byakugan to make use of this form. All it required was knowledge of the Juuken Taijutsu form and the ability to manipulate elemental chakra. By the time I was finished it was openly acknowledged that I was the strongest in the clan. And that was my downfall.
The elders did not like having anyone disturb their sense of order and propriety. To them it is the main house that is only supposed to possess this strength, and the fact that a branch member such as myself knew their techniques was only tolerable because I had received no formal instruction in them. But when I created a form of Juuken that did not rely on tradition and could be used by someone outside the clan, they considered it inexcusable
So under a veil of sweetness and with honey words they gave me a mission to prove my strength by defeating a member of the Arrancar clan, something no Hyuuga has ever managed despite our best efforts. It was made clear that this was not a request and that disobedience would result in the use of the caged bird seal. I could not refuse.
I did everything I could to prepare for the upcoming battle. I prepared my weapons, clothes, supplies, and body with careful consideration to what would be needed.
It seems that it was all for naught. As I stare into my opponent's I slid into my Juuken stance prepared for the final confrontation. "Come," I say, "let us finish this."
The Arrancar just gazes at me, the look in his eyes almost as if he was looking into my soul. "You have fought long and hard." He eventually says. "Indeed, it has been many years since I have fought someone outside my own clan who has pushed me so hard. It is a pity you seem so intent on fighting to the death. A shinobi of your caliber come along only once in a lifetime. Tell me Hyuuga-san, before this battle ends, why is it that you have fought against me for so long and hard."
"It is merely the destiny of my life." I say but there is no conviction in my voice.
The Arrancar snorts, clearly not believing it nor even thinking that I believe it. "In my clan we have several sayings concerning destiny. The first is that a man cannot know his destiny until he dies. The second is that destiny is only what we make of our lives. And finally destiny is the shackles that bind those who have given up. Personally I feel that it is the third that describes you right now." He states. "Never before have I seen such strength as what resides in you. Never before have I seen a Hyuuga enshroud his fist in flames and attack with Juuken. You are swift and strong in both mind and body. Your cunning could trap a kitsune. There were many opportunities for you to escape this fight, yet you stay. Now tell me why you are truly here." He commanded.
I sigh. "I am a member of the branch family who has carelessly trampled on our clan's traditions. For years they called me a genius and recently I was declared strongest in the clan. Yet if I truly was a genius then I would have seen the grave I have dug for myself. The elders sent me here to 'prove my strength.' And because of the seal upon my forehead I cannot disobey them."
"So why not simply run from your clan?" Asked the Espada, curious as to why I would not choose such an obvious route.
"I does not matter the distance I travel. As long as I bear this seal they control my life. I am sure that whether I win or lose it is their intention for me to die. This battle to them is merely an explanation for my death. If I must die then I would rather like the death of my choice. And I choose to die at the hands of someone stronger then myself in open combat, then to die from the caged bird seal at the hands of someone I cannot see even with my Byakugan."
The older man stood quietly, his eyes closed in meditation. Eventually he reopened them and asked. "But if you could live would you?"
"Hai. There is still much left in this world I wish to do. But life is not an option, thus I will be satisfied with this."
"Very well Hyuuga-san. If that is how you feel then tell me the name of the man I am about to kill."
"Shinrei." I respond. "Hyuuga Shinrei."
"Well then Shinrei-san, as you have faced me with all your strength and graced me with your name then it is only fair that I give my own name and reveal my true power." The Arrancar said as he tore the remains of his coat from his body revealing the number one tattooed above his heart. Raising his Zanpakuto he called out the name both it and he shared releasing the true power of the Arrancar. "Incinerate Suzaku!" Infernal red chakra erupted from his body surrounding him in a cloak of power. The chakra quickly receded revealing the released form of the most powerful Espada. His arms had elongated, thickened, and now ended in powerful hands with talon like claws. Upon his left shoulder rested a large phoenix head, identical to a hawk except for it brilliant crimson plumage. Upon his right resided the phoenix's tail. Sprouting from his back are two massive wings, their crimson plumage dazzling like a horde of rubies in the light of the setting sun. The Arrancar mark that resided by his ears has moved, and now resides on the bridge of his nose in the shape of a cross. His eyes that were once black now shined the crimson of fresh blood.
But the most intimidating thing about him is not how beast-like his body has become but the swirling aura of fire that surrounded him. The sparks leapt from wing to wing, feather to feather. It roared along his arms and arced between his fingers. It blazed in his eyes, mesmerizing all who gazed at them. The flames had the intensity of the sun and it was his plaything, just as it was to the phoenix god whose name his Zanpakuto took
His form was regal and imposing. A monarch from the heavens. I was awed to be the witness of such glory and majesty. There can be no shame being defeated at the hands of such an opponent.
The Arrancar directs his gaze at me and I feel my body lock in its current position. I only realize now that this was one of his powers. A mind altering Genjutsu that ensnares any that look into his eyes. It is a power that I manage to overcome with my Byakugan, but I must struggle to keep my wits about me. "Now," he says to me, "you shall die Hyuuga Shinrei." A flap of his wings propels him forward at tremendous speed, leaving a fiery trail that consumes everything in his wake.
He soared towards me and I prepare myself to the best of my abilities, knowing that there will only be a split second chance for me to strike. As he gets closer time seems to slow, and then I learned the saying that when you are about to die your life flashes before your eyes is true, or perhaps that is simply another one of his powers. All I know is that when the time came my mind failed me and my body did not move as he outstretched his arm and gently presses the tip of his claw into the center of my caged bird seal, both my eyes, and the spot between my eyes. Then my world erupted in pain.
I awoke groggy and incoherent, barely able to make out the crackle and warmth of the fire or the delicious smell of roast boar. I sit up as my wits return to me, and with it comes confusion. There sitting on the other side of the fire is the Arrancar, Suzaku, whom he was fighting however many hours earlier cooking boar meat over the fire while drying some more meat for later meals, and it seemed treated my injuries if the new bandages were any indication.
Suzaku spared a glance to see that I was awake before returning to his work. We sit there in silence, more than a little oppressing for my tastes, and apparently his tastes. "I am sorry for the pain. But dying is always a painful process, whether it is physical or spiritual." He eventually said.
Death? Death!? I asked for death even if I had to endure such pain because in the end it was a mercy compared to what the elders would do if they knew he was still alive. "You say death is a painful process, but I am not dead am I? And now I must face something far worse than anything you could have done to me!"
Suzaku pulled out several mushrooms and two potatoes, skewered them and placed them to roast over the fire before speaking again. "I did not say that you were dead. I said that you died. Or should I say Hyuuga Shinrei died."
"That is saying the same thing for I am Hyuuga Shinrei!" I yell wondering if somehow releasing his power had addled his brain.
He does not respond to that but he does say, "There is a small pond over to your right. The water is clean and fresh. I am sure by now you are thirsty."
Now I am sure that he has early onset senility. But he is right and I am terribly thirsty. At the pond I scoop water with my hand, drinking from it till I had my fill. Once full I stay there contemplating what I should do now. If the elders suspected that I lived then they will activate my caged bird seal soon and finish me off in one of the most horrid methods available to man. As I gaze into the water I realize that something is not right with my reflection. In fact I can't believe that it is my reflection at all. Iris and pupils of my eyes were not the familiar milky white of the Byakugan, but coal black. Similar to Suzaku's when he is not in his released form. And my forehead if bare of any seal. I am well versed in the art of detecting and removing Genjutsu but I cannot find a trace of any illusion upon my face.
"Suzaku!" I call, only to see the man's reflection in the water standing over my shoulder. "What has happened?" I asked.
"As I said, Hyuuga Shinrei has died. With my power I altered your Byakugan, and how can be a Hyuuga without the Byakugan?" He says. "And with it I took the caged bird seal that marked you a branch member of the Hyuuga clan."
"But what has happened to my eyes?" My reaction was understandable, taking away the vision enhancing properties of a Doujutsu is the same taking away someone else's sight.
"Why not see for yourself?"
Doing as he says I flood chakra into the pathways around my eyes. My familiarity with the feeling is enough to let me know that the pathways had changed and that beyond a doubt my eyes no longer possessed the Byakugan.
In my reflection I watch as my irises shift in color from coal black to blood red. Swirling around my pupils were three tomoe connected by a thin line that followed the curve of the iris. In many ways my eyes reminded me of a pinwheel.
"Interesting." Mused Suzaku as he saw the similarities between my new eyes and the eyes of his released form.
As I gazed into my new eyes it hit me. Suzaku had freed me. In every way and form. Without the caged bird seal he was freed from the main house and had no need to ever fear the elders and their pettiness. And now that his Byakugan was gone replaced by this new Doujutsu he was freed from the Hyuuga clan. No longer was he restricted by their rules and traditions, free to expand and develop his skills and to live his life the way he desired without worry of retribution from his admittedly overbearing former family.
But it presented him with a whole new set of problems. What did he truly have beyond his family? The Hyuuga had been close knit and rarely associated with outsiders beyond business such as missions or arranged marriages to bring in new blood. Without the clan he had no money, no supplies, and unless he wanted to reveal himself to the clan and get their hunter-nins after him no allies among former clients. Or at least none he could think of. So what should he do?
"Come." Said Suzaku. "Supper will be ready by now. Then after a nights rest we will move out. There is a settlement about half a day's journey from here where we can meet up with some other members of my clan." He stated as he moved back to the fire. "By the way, what will you call yourself now that you are no longer a Hyuuga, Shinrei-san?"
That was a question that made me pause. It was true that I no longer was a Hyuuga, and I am not the kind of person who would enjoy the life of a man with only one name and no familial connections.
Looking to the man that had changed my life in the span of a few hours my eyes were drawn to his Zanpakuto. A fan was such an unusual weapon especially compared to the swords most Arrancar wield. In anyone's hands a fan is used to create a cool and comforting breeze on a hot day. Yet in the hands of a trained shinobi such as Suzaku, it was an instrument of destruction that brought cutting wind and burning flame.
Comfort and death, a fan could be used for both aspects just depending on the intentions of the proper wielder, unlike a sword which for good or ill can only bring death. Much like a shinobi. Or perhaps the shinobi could be more like the fan if he truly desired it.
"Uchiha." I said. "From now on my name will be Uchiha."
If Suzaku was curious about my choice of a name he did not show it beyond a slight raising of his eyebrow. "Very well Uchiha Shinrei." He said as he passed me a bit of meat flavored with mushrooms and one of the potatoes.
That was the first of many meals I would share with Suzaku as an Uchiha.
That first entry had been enlightening to all three of them. For Mikoto and Hikari it was the tale of how the Uchiha came to be, and if it had never happened then who knows if they would even be alive today, much less as Uchiha.
For Naruto it told him of the kind of people his ancestors were, and their strength of body, mind, and spirit. It had also told him something that the Sandaime had hinted at. To release his sword he had to know its name. Which was a feat easier said than done as nothing he had read so far mentioned how to find out the Zanpakuto's name.
Mikoto looked up from the journal to see that several hours had passed. "I wonder where Sasuke is?" She wondered aloud.
Speak of the devil and he will appear, or in this case the Uchiha. Sasuke had just walked in from some after test training to see his mother and sister sitting at the kitchen table with Naruto with several large scrolls and a book out. He let out an unconscious, "Hn," at the sight.
"Welcome home Sasuke. How was your test?" Greeted Mikoto as she got up to get some snacks.
"Passed it." He replied. "What's going on here?"
"Kaa-san and I were just helping Naruto-kun find out more about his clan." Answered Hikari.
She didn't notice Sasuke's eyes narrow ever so slightly when she added the kun to Naruto's name, but Mikoto did. The matriarch of the Uchiha may not have been a Jounin but she had still been an excellent kunoichi before she retired in favor of being a mother.
"We even found this journal written by the first Uchiha." Added Hikari.
Journal written by the first Uchiha? Now that was something he had to see. It also gave him an excuse to stay here to keep an eye on his sister and the dobe. He still remembered the kiss incident from yesterday. Good thing he doesn't know what happened today.
The world was dark. The sky held no stars but the full moon was clear and beautiful. The terrain was composed of sand. Bone white sand as far as the eye could see. Very little else existed beyond a few dead tree and rocks bleached white despite the fact that this land never saw the sun. And it was all seen through the eyes of a man who was there, yet not there.
Using yet another one of the abilities of his Eternal Mangekyou Sharingan, Uchiha Madara was capable of viewing into the realm of Hollows. A place he could visit in spirit only, unless he received a little help.
Before him was the lithe form of Acid Wire who had just informed him of the day's event that he knew of.
After the report Madara couldn't help but chuckle. "So he is already summoning Hollows of your level eh? Obviously it is an influence of the Kyuubi otherwise it would be doubtful that he would have enough chakra. But he is progressing well. Tell me, the darkness of Naruto's soul, was there anything unusual about it?"
"His darkness was deeper than most I have seen, but he is not far gone. Already balance is being restored." Answered the Hollow. "But if he truly does contain one of the Great Ones, then there is a far greater danger we must be concerned with."
"Yes, the dangers from within are always greater than those without." Agreed Madara. "For now you and the others keep an eye on him. If need be I will step in. But I would rather not have to speed up my plans if it can be avoided. There is too much at stake here to risk it."
"We will do what we can." Said Acid Wire before turning to leave.
Madara also departed awakening from his meditative trance in the disguise as Tobi. He would need to spend some time preparing contingencies for his plan in case something goes wrong. After all one should never put all their eggs in one basket.
But now he needed to find out some important information concerning the most important egg of all. He needed to know what other seals apart from the Shiki Fuuin that Namikaze Minato placed on Naruto. It wouldn't be easy but he had an idea of how he could obtain it. The tricky part was finding the right accomplice. You attracted more flies with honey and Jiraiya did love the honeys.
Author's Notes: Sorry this took so long to get out, but for a while I lost inspiration to work on this story. Any one that checks out my profile can see the five stories I have added since I last updated this.
Now then, a lot of people managed to guess correctly who Yoruichi's former teammates are, and about three times as many that guessed incorrectly. Kudos to those that said that her sensei was Tsunade and her teammates were Shizune and Kisuke Urahara.
The next chapter will have team 9 interacting with the other Genin. It will also have the beginning of the Wave Arc in which I will be adding a new character from Bleach. Can you guess who? Here's a hint, they will be with Zabuza and Haku. If you think about it I am sure you can get.
Oh yes and a few more notes. I am not a Sasuke hater. I have my reasons for why I believe he acted the way he did in canon. In this story however I have changed things giving him new reasons to act. If anything his views and ideas will lean more towards canon Naruto. Now I am not saying that he doesn't want revenge, I am just saying that he doesn't have a one track mind. Also because of his new reasons to live Sasuke and Naruto won't exactly get along, for now. But I have different plans for the two of them later in the story.
Also do not expect neat and orderly updates for any of my stories. I will update when I update. I will try to keep the intervals from getting too long but I make no promises. When I feel like working on something I will work on it. Also keep in mind that I am a college student meaning that I have to keep an eye on my academics.
That's all I've got for now.
Please Read and Review.