Hi there everyone and welcome to the last chapter of 'the path of hunter-nin'.
Yeah, this is the last one of my most famous story yet, the first that will for sure reach the 1k review barrier. Before proceeding, though, I'd like to thank everyone for sticking up with my tardiness in posting the chapters of my stories. I know I didn't make it easy by creating a bunch of new stories and take even longer between updates. I have attempted to keep updating one story each week but it's not an easy feat to write 7.000 to 9.000 words and keeping up the originality in only seven days. Sure, had I nothing more to do then devote my time to fanfiction, it would be much faster, but hell, life isn't always perfect, right. With this story finished, I'll have still five more stories to devote my time. I'll create a sixth one, so check it out soon afterward this chapter. It will be Lone Wolf's sequel. I am coming up with some ideas for a completely original timeframe for our blond hero and his family. Of course, I'm open to ideas for plots including Naruto and his offspring as well.
Now, though, I'll focus all my energy and creativity in this last chapter as it will be strictly action packed.
Some of the writers may attest to this, but it is very hard to write an entire battle oriented chapter and still keep the time flowing.
I believe, though, that the ending will be to everyone's enjoyment. If not, though I'm sorry about it. I sincerely believe it will be very close to how he had acted till now. I'll keep the curiosity peeked until the end, I'm sure of it. I may be too modest for my own good, but I have a feeling that this chapter will be one of those that you keep repeating OMG…OMG….THAT'S SO F…., f….good or f…..awful. You'll be the judge of that.
Chapter 27 – Decisive battle
Two days ago, a large-scale battle between the alliance forces and the white zetsus took place. The battle was brutal and only ended due to a strange golden light that a few managed to conclude was caused by the Kyuubi Jinchuuriki. With that battle gone, now another was about to take place that certainly would surpass the previous one in power and carnage. On one side, was Uchiha Madara and Pein followed by seven jinchuuriki going from the Nibi to the Hachibi. The other side was the Kyuubi Jinchuuriki followed by the five kages and elite jounin of Konoha, Kumo and Iwagakure. Although the jinchuuriki were mere dolls, bodies used by Madara, they couldn't help but bring forward feelings of dread to those who knew them.
Onooki and Kizuki knew both Han and Roushi and were familiarized with their history. The Tsushikage felt a bit of remorse seeing as he didn't lift a finger to stop these two from being captured by the Akatsuki.
Mei observed Yagura and immediately remembered her fight with the jinchuuriki before taking the mantle of Mizukage. She knew Utakata only in passing.
The Raikage was fixing on both Yugito and Kirabi with a snarl on his face. In Yugito's case, A wasn't even aware of the organization's existence, but with Kirabi, he underestimated their boldness in invading his village a second time. Now, here he was facing the consequences of his misjudgment. The rest of the allied forces looked at the enemy with nothing more than determination as they analyzed the situation. Jiraiya was no doubt facing the enemy with the rinnegan, since it reminded him so much of Yahiko, an old student of his born in Amegakure. Tsunade was eyeing the rinnegan user as well, but also looking at the main enemy, Madara. She remembered one Uchiha Madara when she was a child playing in her grandfather's backward. Because of the mask, she couldn't recollect much. Naruto was focusing solely on Madara. No one knew it but the hunter-nin had activated senjutsu and his eyes were the same as a toad's.
Looking around the vicinity, Naruto was surprised when he felt another presence a couple miles away from his position. This feeling was similar to the one he felt from the six men with the same eyes.
"I'd have pictured this area to be clean of other threats, but it seems you have someone else hidden. Someone's chakra feels the same as Pein over there." A small silence reined after his declaration as everyone was focused on another threat. Pein, though, didn't take his eyes away from the Kyuubi Jinchuuriki. Madara for his part released a small chuckle at his comrade's misfortune. Who would have thought that someone would have been able to sense the real one from this distance.
"It seems that you managed to pinpoint my real location, Kyuubi. Too bad none of you will be able to reach that far." Jiraiya and Tsunade looked at each other and nodded briefly.
They would be pairing up against him and hopefully end it quickly. Even if there were six of them, Jiraiya and Tsunade could handle them. Naruto deactivated his senjutsu and smirked at the enemy in front of him. As a hunter ninja, he couldn't help but smile as he was now facing perhaps Konoha's oldest missing-nin. He could only imagine how thrilled his boss would be to face the man himself. Quickly activating the golden cloak around his body, Naruto wasted little time and charged at Madara while golden hands were busy performing hand seals.
Fuuton Kyoumou Shippu (Wind Release: Fierce Hurricane Technique)
Naruto vanished and reappeared in the middle of the opposing force before releasing the deadly technique consisting of a gigantic hurricane with slicing capabilities. The enemy immediately left the vicinity, not wanting to risk getting hit. When Naruto emerged from the crater he created, he was face to face with the swirling masked person. Stopping a while to inspect the enemy, Naruto realized both the sharingan and a different eye, similar to the others. Madara also had a strange shaped fan behind his back, which though the blond couldn't figure its use, didn't mean it wasn't any less dangerous. He needed to treat this man with extreme care, so imagining the fan to be useless would be sealing his fate.
"So foolish of you to believe you actually have what it takes to defeat me on your own, Naruto-kun. I would have imagined either Kakashi or Jiraiya to babysit you."
Naruto smirked at the obvious goal in making him attack without a plan in mind. How he fell for it when he was a kid was beyond him at this point.
"They are actually quite busy now, Madara. You shouldn't be so quick in underestimating me, though. A lot of powerful enemies have done that and pretty much all of them regrettred." Madara released a low chuckle in amusement as he saw Naruto utilizing speeds that reminded the Uchiha of fighting someone similar in the past. Naruto appeared in front of the masked man with his sword drawn and attacked him, but the sword passed through instantly. Naruto didn't stop the attack, though, and using his extra limbs, he attempted to strike from behind, with the same results. He saw Madara moving for the attack and managed to dodge the attack, before throwing a couple of shuriken with wind chakra surrounding them. Once more, the shuriken passed through Madara as if nothing happened. The opponent chuckled once more at the attempt.
"You have yet to realize how futile your attempts are." Madara gathered air inside his lungs while performing hand seals.
Katon Gouka Mekkyaku (Fire Release: Great Fire Majestic Removal Technique)
Naruto's eyes widened at the sheer size of the fire blast, but used his speed to get out of its range, before attacking once more, this time appearing behind Madara before the man realized it. Naruto focused a giant Rasengan with his two hands as well as four others. The watermelon sized energy ball passed through Madara as usual, before Naruto was grabbed by the neck by the enemy. The hunter-nin struggled with the man's firm grip, but at least he now knew Madara was corporeal. Using his golden limbs, Naruto managed to land a hit on Madara, pushing him away. A smile appeared on Naruto's face as he faced Madara once more.
"I think I'm beginning to understand your little technique, Madara. It's a matter of seconds, milliseconds even. In order for you to grab me, you had to change it instantly, huh? I need speed to beat you."
Madara was really amused at the pattern of fighting father and son.
(Spoiler Alert and also Author Note: In my story, Tobi is Madara even if manga 599 says differently).
"It took you long enough. Now that that's out of the way we can have some f…" Madara stopped talking once he saw a giant fireball coming at him. Naruto was already gone from his position. The fireball passed through him and exploded behind Madara. The Uchiha activated the eternal mangenkyou sharingan on his left eye and increased the speed of his movements. He met Naruto face to face and parried Naruto's sword with a kunai, surprising Naruto at the sudden change in speed. The blond realized the change in the sharingan and remembered seeing similar patterns on Itachi's eyes. That meant that this man was capable of using the same techniques. His instincts proved correct when he vanished from his position, only for the black fire of Ametarasu to appear. Naruto appeared a few meters back as he faced the man of two powerful doujutsu. Madara, suddenly, extended his hand and simply muttered two words.
Bansho Tenin (All Creation Attraction Technique)
Naruto was suddenly dragged back to the black flames and counted on his extra limbs to change his trajectory, before moving to the offensive once more.
As soon as he appeared right in front of Madara, he realized that the man had yet to lower his arm used on the first attack.
Shinra Tensei (Divine Judgement Technique)
Naruto was pushed by a powerful force away from Madara, before using his limbs to stop his flight. He looked at Madara and cursed the man. Not only did he need to attack at the right time, but now he needed to avoid the man's deadly attacks. So far, Naruto was severely outclassed, but he would find a way to stop him, of that he was sure. He just needed one good hit and he would be dealt with for good. So far, on the outside the man looked unbeatable, but on the inside, he was as fragile as any other human being.
Aside from Naruto's battle, two more areas were suffering from extreme damage. The possessed jinchuuriki were battling the kages aside from Tsunade and the elite jounin. The Six Peins were busy elsewhere fighting against Jiraiya and Tsunade. So far, the two sannin teammates knew very little about their opponents, even if they appeared to be handling the situation well. One of the enemies, they learned, was able to absorb ninjutsu. Jiraiya attested to that by seeing the man absorbing one of his fireballs. There was another who could fire missiles from his head, although they assumed it wasn't human. Tsunade even managed to pinpoint the most dangerous one after being sent flying because of a strange technique.
It was the one that looked like Yahiko.
"Jiraiya-sensei, it is useless to stand before a god. Neither you nor the Hokage can ever beat Pein."
Tsunade and Jiraiya looked at the six enemies, before the opponent with a large yellow hair waved through hand seals, before slamming both hands on the ground. A big ass rhino appeared instantly, forcing Jiraiya and Tsunade to do the same, summoning Gamabunta and Katsuyu to aid them. Jiraiya looked at his ex-student and sighed believing that talking now would be useless. He needed to defeat these bodies instantly and go look for the presence that Naruto felt. Now that he realized from his memory, the only rinnegan user wasn't Yahiko but Nagato. For some reason, he realized that Yahiko wouldn't have done anything to Nagato, so perhaps Nagato is still alive and is the presence that Naruto felt. He needed to verify what happened and because of this, he had no time to waste. Right now, his hands were full with Pein so he wouldn't be able to aid Naruto against Madara. He just hoped the boy would be okay.
Shouting for Gamabunta to stall the enemy, Jiraiya began the ritual necessary for calling his strongest toad summons.
===Battle of the Jinchuuriki===
As if one jinchuuriki was hard to beat, now the rest had to defeat seven.
Kizuki and the Tsushikage paired up against both Han and Houshi. The jinchuuriki were now using their first transformation, thus giving both elite shinobi quite the work out. The Tsushikage cursed his old age every second as he used his ability to fly to dodge the lava techniques of Houshi. Han was heavily suited for close-range combat so his every move was taijutsu oriented, which suited Kizuki just fine, seeing as he had the ability to augment his muscles by using doton ninjutsu. However, Kizuki was no jinchuuriki, thus he had to make every move count in this fight and face his opponent head on when he could avoid it. Darui and the Raikage were busy fending off both Kirabi and Yugito, who were also on their first transformation. Darui with his elemental kekkai genkai, was doing great in keeping Yugito busy, but he needed to conserve his chakra for the real deal.
The Raikage wasn't having said care and he was charging his brother head on just like he was used in doing when they sparred.
Mei was fending off against Yagura while Kakashi and Gai paired up against Fuu and Utakata. The worst part of all this mess was that each jinchuuriki had the sharingan and the rinnegan, meaning that they could expect the movements as well. To make matters even worse was the knowledge that the enemy still had a full transformation to use, meaning that any time now; the respective bijuu would appear and join the battle.
After testing the strength of the fan, Naruto was sent flying towards a mountain before crashing hard.
The boy snarled at Madara once more, before wiping some blood from his mouth. Seeing how the fight began and how it was now, Naruto was certain that he was on to how to defeat him. He was able to match Madara's speed, but at the last minute, the Uchiha would increase his chakra and escape, before using either one of the techniques supplied by the doujutsu. It was frustrating he realized. He knew he was close, but he also knew he had ways to go. After getting out of the rubble, he saw Madara surrounded by a black field of energy and protected by the strange skeleton figure. This creature happened to be one of the Mangenkyou Sharingan's techniques called Susanoo. The creature had the appearance of an old samurai with armor and a Pinocchio sized nose. The blond was already witness to the power behind that black gigantic sword. He needed to destroy that thing.
"I was indeed wrong in underestimating you Kyuubi Jinchuuriki." Madara said as he looked at the boy in front of him with extreme focus.
The boy's speed was surprisingly greater than his own, even matching the Yondaime's jutsu. Madara couldn't capture him with the Tsukyomi since he was synched with the Kyuubi. He wasn't able to use the ametarasu because Naruto had experience with the technique after seeing Itachi using it. Another annoying technique of his was the jutsu after jutsu that Naruto was throwing at him. At first, the boy would throw him a fire jutsu, which Madara would use his ability, allowing the technique to pass by him as if he wasn't there. The hunter ninja waited for the moment when Madara released his technique, before quickly casting a wind technique and exploding everything in a one mile radius. It may be considered reckless chakra waste, but it was a gamble that Naruto won by calculating the amount of times that Madara could use his ability. Madara could be untouchable for the amount of five minutes, before having to release the ability. Now, his body was badly burned and his Akatsuki robe was torn from all the cuts from Naruto's devastating move.
Whoever thought to create a gigantic tornado and add a grand fireball to the mix?
Naruto, for his turn, was having an inner debate with his partner in crime.
'Damn, this guy is tough…' His consciousness was now at the place where Kurama used to be imprisoned; now the fox was out of the cage.
"What did you expect from the person who controlled me just by looking? I can see, though, that you're still not using my power to its full potential, why is that?"
Naruto was deep in thought as he looked at the beast.
'Your full power is my last resort. For me to use it, I must be sure that Madara is using the same amount as well. For now, half of the power is enough. I must find a way to penetrate that shield of his without using the bijuudama. Perhaps a full powered rasenshuriken might do the trick? I'll even add a second one for an extra punch.' Kurama snorted at the brat who seemed to mind very little about the carnage he had already caused by fighting Madara. However, who was the fox to say that seeing as he used to level mountains with his tails….Ah good times!
In the outside world, Naruto cursed as he saw the creature preparing his sword strike once more. If he was hit by that thing, it would be the end for sure. Quickly summoning ten kage bunshin and sending them to different positions around the battlefield, he prepared himself for the onslaught. The creature created a slash of chakra by swinging its sword. The technique was perhaps the size of a mountain and it charged Naruto slicing everything in its path. The arc hit him dead on, but now Naruto managed to escape by simply replacing himself with one of the clones. The image he received from the bunshin was enough to make the hunter-nin flinch in worry. However, now was not the time to hesitate as the bunshins and the original prepared one rasenshuriken each, before throwing at the dark creature. Madara saw the nine disks of highly compressed wind chakra and snarled at this kid. Did he have to simply throw S-ranked ninjutsu as if they were nothing?
The shuriken shaped rasengan all hit Susanoo at the same time, forming a pillar of light towards the sky, before an incredibly sized dome engulfed the giant creature.
Madara was inside and could very well see the destructive power. His sharingan couldn't even count the amount of slashes and his chakra capacity was struggling in keeping the shield as strong as it should be. Contrary to many beliefs, the sharingan wasn't run by limitless energy. The Uchiha patriarch snarled when he saw the cracks starting to form around his presumably impenetrable defense technique. Then, many cracks started to appear and Madara no longer considered plausible to keep up the control over the Susanoo. Naruto did have the advantage as far as chakra was concerned. He used his time-space jutsu to get out of there before the rest of Naruto's technique finally penetrated Susanoo's shield and ripped him to shreds.
The fight against Pein was brutal and like Naruto's fight, the area was filled with fire and destruction.
The six enemies were now reduced to four. After Jiraiya activated sennin mode, he and his summons managed to understand how the enemy operated. They concluded that the bodies were connected somehow, since when Jiraiya attacked one from behind, the enemy would dodge without even acknowledging the pervert's position. The one with the large yellow hair was defeated by Tsunade's punch while Katsuyu used its acid to deal with the enemy's summons. The other one that was destroyed was the body with green spiked hair. Apparently, this one had the ability to revive the others. With him gone, now stood only Yahiko and three more. Pein observed his opponents and found himself baffled that they managed to destroy two of his bodies. Countless times he was able to slip behind one of them, but the other soon moved to defend, forcing the enemy to back off and retreat.
The sannin's teamwork was being displayed now.
Jiraiya moved through hand signs while his summons were busy gathering air inside their lungs. Jiraiya exhaled an oil beam, while the male toad on his right side used fire and the woman toad used wind. The joint attack consisted of a wave of highly flammable oil that would burn anything if it made contact. Once more, the one that seemed capable of absorbing ninjutsu jumped in front of the assault and stopped the technique. Because of him being busy with Jiraiya's technique, though, it left him open for Tsunade to use her agility and appear right behind his face. The body still managed to dodge the first punch, but Tsunade quickly followed with a kick with enough condensed chakra that the man's head was sent flying. The Hokage wasn't able to throw in a nasty remark before the Yahiko body appeared in front of her and extended his arm.
Shinra Tensei (Divine Judgement Technique)
Tsunade was sent flying with extreme force, before being stopped by Jiraiya. He could see the damage to Tsunade's body. Snarling at her amateurism, Tsunade released the seal in her forehead once more, before more markings appeared on her body and arm, healing the wounds quicker. Right now, the enemy was reduced to three and now the advantage in number wasn't so great. Also, aside from Yahiko, the other bodies weren't made for offensive. Their theory was proved wrong, however, when the one with a big smile on his face literally opened his head, before missiles were launched against the sannin. Tsunade was still busy recuperating from the wounds inflicted by Pein's technique. Jiraiya, thus, went through hand seals, before slamming both hands on the ground.
Doton Doryuheki (Earth Release: Mud Wall Technique)
The wall lifted just as the missiles came and managed to halt the blow. With sennin mode, Jiraiya's technique was stronger than the usual one, allowing it to withstand the damage. By this time, Tsunade had realized that Pein was taking advantage of her wounded state and moved out of harm's way. As soon as the wall crumbled, Jiraiya had already chosen the next in line to go and charged while gathering the rasengan. By the time he reached the one that launched the missile, the ball was easily ten times as big. The Yahiko body attempted to use his technique, but he was forced to dodge because Tsunade was close to him. Extending a metallic rod, the Yahiko body started attacking Tsunade while Jiraiya had slammed his super rasengan on his desired target, shattering what appeared to be a metallic body. Now only two remained, Yahiko and one with long straight red hair, which couldn't do any harm to them.
He saw Yahiko battling Tsunade, before trying the Shinra Tensei once more. Tsunade managed to jump just at the nick of time, before focusing chakra on her feet to smash the Yahiko body. With one more gone, Jiraiya swiftly moved to attack, before landing a senjutsu charged punch and dealing with the last Pein. After dealing with the pests, the sannin had inspected the bodies laid out in front of them, trying to find the real one. It was obvious by what they saw that none of these six were the real enemy. Plus, Jiraiya could now feel a small presence nearby. He had a slight feeling that Nagato was involved.
"I have to go see him, Tsunade." The woman nodded.
"Yeah, Naruto is fighting Madara…"
"Not Naruto…Nagato. I have a feeling that he's the one that was controlling these bodies. You go and help Naruto, I'll deal with Nagato."
Tsunade wanted to argue about that, but didn't.
"Don't take too long and be careful. He will be expecting your arrival." Jiraiya nodded, before seeing her rush after Naruto. He really wanted to go and help Naruto against Madara, but if he let Nagato escape, this war wouldn't be over. Not to mention that he felt responsible for Nagato's actions as it was Jiraiya who took sympathy on three orphans and offered to train them in the shinobi arts. Perhaps if he went back to Konoha with his teammates that day, none of these events would have happened. The pervert was punched by both his summons as they all knew when the sannin was acting all depressed and now just wasn't the time to mope about his choices in the past.
Both Naruto and Madara were looking at each other and from the state of their outfits and the number of bruises in their bodies, they were at a stalemate.
Madara's mask was broken in half as he considered his next step. Naruto seemed just as tired as he was, though unlike the jinchuuriki in front of him, Madara had no demon to fall back to. The ones he had, he chose to give the powers to the bodies so that he could fight all the opposition. Madara, this time, acknowledged that Naruto was perhaps too well versed in fighting the Sharingan to be caught by surprise. All of the Mangenkyou Techniques were proven useless against the kid and quite frankly it irritated the elder Uchiha. The Ametarasu was no good, since the kid was too damn fast and could dodge before the flames are casted. Madara even attempted Tsukyomi, but Naruto had broken the record for dispelling the most powerful genjutsu in little more than a second. Madara had the suspicion that Kyuubi had something to do with this.
Finally, Susanoo fell victim to the kid's wind rasengan technique.
Also, the technique supplied by the rinnegan weren't effective, because the kid was able to use his extra limbs to either reduce the impact from the shinra tensei or change his path when Madara attempted to attract him. Madara realized that perhaps the only way he could defeat someone as powerful as the Kyuubi was to unite the forces of the other bijuu under his command. So far, none of them were defeated, so Madara sent a mental command for all of them to return to his location. He didn't know what happened to Pein, so he assumed the battle was still in progress.
"I must commend you Uzumaki Naruto on holding your own as long as you have, but not even a beast such as Kyuubi is indestructible." Naruto narrowed his eyes at what the man was planning.
"Naruto…" Both Madara and Naruto turned to see Tsunade landing behind the jinchuuriki, before facing Madara by Naruto's side. Madara let out a simple snort at seeing the woman here once more.
"If you're alive, it means that Nagato has failed me. No matter, even if he hadn't, I would have still killed him at the end of this fight. For that I appreciate for yours and Jiraiya's help. The only downside in this is that Jiraiya is still alive. It doesn't matter, though, as everyone will die." No sooner had Madara spoken, six beasts landed behind him, causing a massive earthquake. Naruto could hear how angry Kyuubi was inside of him upon seeing the bijuu in front of him. The first beast Naruto laid his eyes on was a giant blue cat with two tails. The color blue wasn't fur like the Kyuubi's, but it was blue fire, instead. The Sanbi was right next to the Nibi and Naruto saw nothing but a giant turtle with three tails. The Yonbi was a big red furred monkey wearing a crown at the top of his head and four tails behind it. The Gobi took the form of a whale-horse hybrid. The Rokubi was a strange looking beast, looking more like an ice blue slug with six tails behind it. The two last demons and strongest behind Kyuubi, were the Shichibi and the Hachibi. The first being a giant and very intimidating beetle with six wings and a cerci counting seven tails total. Last, but not least, the Hachibi was a hybrid of a bull and an octopus with fists that resembles a human and eight tentacles working as legs.
Naruto felt a chill up his spine wondering how the hell the others managed to deal with such a large menace.
To ease his mind, all of them appeared behind Tsunade, some almost on the verge of unconsciousness and others deadly hurt, but alive.
"As you can see, Kyuubi Jinchuuriki, it's useless to resist the joint strength of all the bijuu. Not to mention that the power of the Ichibi is also against you. And now everything in a ten mile radius will be destroyed. I've grown tired of dealing with you all." As if responding to their master, all the bijuu suddenly opened their mouths and started gathering similarly looking balls of energy. The shinobi behind Naruto paled and wondered if they would be able to escape alive from the destruction that would soon follow. Naruto was merely looking at the demons in front of him as he heard Kyuubi's instructions in his mind.
"All of you must stay behind me at all costs." They looked at the Kyuubi Jinchuuriki who had his eyes closed, wondering if he had gone mad.
Suddenly, when his eyes opened, all of them instantly trembled at the sudden release of energy. Naruto's golden cloak had expanded to a golden overcoat of energy and a black ball in his stomach. The alliance was now sixty feet high and on top of a creature made of pure energy, shaped like a fox. It started to roar at the opposition, showing its defiance to their act against the most powerful of the bijuu. If it was destruction the enemy was after, then Naruto and Kyuubi would show them exactly what the word meant. When Kyuubi opened his mouth towards the air, he also started gathering the energy for a bijuudama. However, unlike the other bijuu, his was at least twice as big. Naruto was snarling as well as he was supplying the bijuudama with as much wind chakra as he could muster. Even if he had inhuman chakra supply, he was still human.
When the attacks collided, a bright light engulfed everything for at least an entire minute.
Naruto's protection lasted only until the collision, before everyone was sent flying towards distinct directions. When Tsunade rose from the debris, she saw the size of the hole created by the attacks. At least half of Konoha could be well placed inside of it. She couldn't see the end of it, though. One by one, of the alliance, rose from the debris. They all saw the bodies of the respective jinchuuriki on the other side of the hole on the ground, but no sign of either Madara or Naruto. It was Gai who saw a piece of the Akatsuki's cloak and quickly went to inspect. He found Madara on the ground, his legs separated from his upper body. As the others arrived, Gai stared at the man while silently wondering if everything he had done was justified; the amount of destruction, the number of lives that was lost due to one man's greed.
With the enemy dead and the bodies of the jinchuuriki secured for a proper burial, Tsunade and the rest remembered about the one that saved them all and managed to kill the enemy.
After a while, though, the fact that neither managed to find him or even sense his presence for that manner, had everyone dreading the fact that perhaps Naruto hadn't make it and was vaporized by the blast. It was at this moment that Jiraiya appeared looking frantic at the destruction before him. He looked at Tsunade who was kneeling on the ground sobbing. A sad nod from Kakashi was the only thing needed for Jiraiya to conclude, even if at the cost of his heart almost stopping from the pain that soon followed.
Naruto was dead.
===One week after the battle===
Konohagakure was filled with celebration as everyone, were celebrating the defeat of perhaps the most dangerous organization in the world and one that were almost able to destroy the very world they all came to love and cherish. Some weren't though, remembering about the ones that perished in the war. Today was a day for mourning above all things. From the entire village, though, only a selected few remembered the truth of what happened out there. Uzumaki Naruto, the one whom everyone seem to have forgotten even existed, sacrificed himself to defeat Madara and the Akatsuki once and for all. He was a true hero in the eyes of the few. Aside from the Inuzuka Clan to whom Naruto considered his family, the two sannin and Kakashi, the rest had forgotten that Naruto even existed. These selected individuals were located in selected locations around the village looking at the celebration, while wishing that their blond hero was among them now.
In the end, like his father, Naruto sacrificed himself for the greater good.
However, unlike Minato, who was worshipped and still is, Naruto's memory was long forgotten by now. Kakashi was in front of the memorial stone, as usual, going through the names of people there were important to him throughout his life. First it was Uchiha Obito, a brave comrade who sacrificed himself to save Kakashi from certain death at the last great ninja war. Second was Rin, who was declared missing in action ten years ago and last year was presumed dead. The third person was the man to whom Kakashi thought of like a second father, who sacrificed himself to stop Kyuubi and seal it inside the fourth person, his own son. Namikaze Naruto also sacrificed himself to get rid of Uchiha Madara once and for all.
Tsunade was inside her office next to Jiraiya, looking at the reports of the war. She may be facing the report, but her eyes were dulled, without much focus. No one could blame her, though. After what she had witnessed, there wasn't much out there for her anymore. Even if Naruto wasn't inside the village constantly, Tsunade couldn't imagine her life without the annoying hunter-nin. Jiraiya wasn't much better. It was the first time that Jiraiya didn't feel like conducting his research as it was his coping mechanism with pain from losing Minato, Sarutobi-sensei and now Naruto. The talk he had with Nagato and Konan did little to appease the feeling of responsibility he felt now. After he stopped Konan from attacking him, he had heard from Nagato that he hated Konoha because of the fact that Hanzou the Salamander had sided with Danzou to kill Yahiko a long time ago.
Jiraiya snarled at the old war hawk for what he did and vouched to look into this. Too bad that the old war hawk was dead now or he would march inside his old Root headquarters and demand answers.
The hidden villages, after the war was finished, had agreed to renovate the pact of neutrality first signed after the Third Great Ninja War. Tsunade at first attempted for a unity pact between villages, just like Naruto would have wanted, but it was a futile attempt. It just wasn't doable now that the threat was gone. In the end, though, it wasn't much different than before the war began. It was considered a victory in the sense that the new pact of neutrality allowed the villages to run co-op missions from time to time and that in the case that two different hidden villages faced each other on a mission, there would be no killing involved. While it was fragile, seeing as many situations may occur to bend said rules, it was better than before.
Inside the Inuzuka Clan residence, Tsume and Kiba were busy consoling the sobbing Hana. The dogs were there as well, doing the best they could.
However, neither had the resolve necessary to be strong for the woman that was carrying Naruto's child. Hana's triplets were there as well. Mangetsu was by Hana's side weeping along with her master for Naruto's death. Kiba and Tsume were patient with Hana shouting at them wishing to be left alone, before eventually complying with her request. Hana was at the garden alone looking at the skies hoping for a signal, when a smoke appeared by her side. Hana was shocked to see that it was a toad and it was wearing glasses. Opening its mouth, the toad placed a scroll on her hand. Hana quickly opened the scroll, hoping beyond hope that something happened that prevented Naruto's death.
As she read the scroll, a smile suddenly appeared on her face as she wrote a scroll of her own to give to the toad.
Uzumaki Naruto, presumably declared dead, was busy adjusting his outfit as well as his mask. If there was any day he thanked the heavens for being manipulated by Mizuki a long time ago it was today. If not, he wouldn't have learned the kage bunshin technique and wouldn't have used it in the last moment to escape from the blast caused by the joint bijuudama. A part of Naruto believed it was better to just go to Konoha and take care of Hana and his soon to be son or daughter. However, the world was still filled with missing-nin, which meant that any day now; a new Akatsuki may rise once more. Naruto wouldn't have any of that, he needed to rid Konoha of traitors so that none of them hurt his precious ones.
He was alerted to the little toad's presence, before picking up Hana's scroll.
It fills my heart with joy hearing that you survived the fight. I don't know what I would do if you're truly dead. I understand that you must rid us from the criminals that are still at large and will be waiting eagerly for your return (so long as you keep sending me letters and meeting both me and your son/daughter from time to time). I look forward to the time when there won't be a need for you to be out there hunting missing-nin. So you can return and we can be a family once more. Like you requested, I'll tell Kakashi, Tsunade, Jiraiya, my mom and Kiba about the truth and ask them to keep quiet about it. Even if you didn't want them to know, I will tell. None of them deserve the amount of suffering they are going through.
I love you with all my life and I can't for our child to be born.
Be safe and return to me.
Naruto smirked behind his mask as he read the scroll. He was glad that Hana understood his concern and got up when a voice alerted him.
"Are you ready to resume your duties?"
Uzuki Gaeshi was behind his famous hunter-nin, before giving Naruto the updated bingo book. The blond just returned with a short nod.
"Then welcome back to Konohagakure's Hunter-nin Division."
===Epilogue – 3 years later===
Three years had passed since the major battle that took place between Akatsuki and the Alliance. Since then, the number of incidents between villages was thankfully reduced to a bare minimum. The ones that occurred were caused by nuke-nin, who happened to be killed just hours after creating the havoc in the first place. There was a major concern shared by the great five villages about what happened to the bijuus that were released because of the fight. The usual theory was that since they were made of energy, it wouldn't take long before they would reform somewhere else. The concern shared by the villages were put to rest when Tsunade came up with the idea to seal them in the same place that Naruto trained with Jiraiya, Yamato and the Mizukage. Once there, no beast would be able to escape. The Tsushikage was a bit reluctant about it, but conceded in the end.
The elemental nations thus reached a new era of prosperity similar to the one that followed after the first path of neutrality signed by the five kage.
In Konoha, not much had changed. Everyone of Naruto's graduation class was promoted to jounin and some even were assigned to genin teams. Uchiha Sasuke was released from custody by Tsunade's decree so long as his chakra capacity was limited for five years. By the end of the five years, a member of the Yamanaka Clan would scan his brain to see whether Sasuke is still a flight risk. If not, then his chakra would be released slowly until it was safe to give him all of it. Surprisingly so, Sasuke was at ease now that Uchiha Itachi wasn't among the living. As such, he became more socially open to others around him, even surprising everyone when he was seen dating a stranger kunoichi jounin. Haruno Sakura was angered by this, but it didn't bother Sasuke. The rest was living their merry lives doing missions for the village and in some cases, spending time with their loved ones. After the war, a good number of couples were formed.
Tsunade finally relented to Jiraiya's hints and accepted to be his wife.
Tenten and Neji also got married. The ceremony was conducted by Hiashi with the entire clan present.
Mitarashi Anko had practically raped Iruka once and surprisingly so, the man enjoyed it. They got engaged one month later and Anko was even expecting her son.
Yamanaka Ino had asked Chouji for a date once and they hit it off instantly. They were now wondering if they should declare to the world as boyfriend and girlfriend.
Shikamaru is still single, though because the last dates he had were way too troublesome to handle. Same with Lee, though he was the one girls thought too troublesome to handle. Some say that he is only focused on getting Sakura for a date now.
Kiba and Hinata had agreed one time to be each other's backup if none of them found anyone by the end of the three years. Since neither had found anyone, they were a couple now.
Shino ended up marrying within the clan.
Kakashi and Gai remained single until now, although there was a rumor that Kakashi and Shizune were last seen drinking together. Kurenai had Asuma's child and was happy on her own. Currently, she was inside the Inuzuka Clan, along with Hana and her son Inuzuka Minato. Kurenai was among the few, counting Kakashi, Tsunade and Jiraiya, that knew of the truth about Naruto's situation. Minato was a beautiful child, blond hair and blue eyes just like his father. The Inuzuka's birth mark was clear below his eyes, similar to his mother and if one would pay close attention to his cheeks, one would be able to notice the faint outlines of Naruto's whisker marks. Right now, young Minato was busy playing with the Haimaru triplets and a small gray pup, Mangetsu's and Kuromaru's. The kid was a bundle of energy just like his father and even managed to tire the dogs, earning giggles from the boy's mother upon seeing the loose tongues begging for water.
While looking at her bundle of joy, the woman couldn't be happier as today happened to be the day that her lover and Minato's father would come back from his journey.
===At the gates===
Naruto appeared in front of the gates with his usual black uniform, but with a few additions. Strapped around his neck was a red scarf similar to Konohamaru's blue one. Also, like Jiraiya, Naruto had a giant scroll strapped on his waist. Inside of the scroll, were proof of his kills thus cleaning the bingo book, at least the last one he received from his boss three years ago that contained nuke-nins from all over the elemental nations. The ones from outside Konoha, Naruto had already cashed in and received the bounty. As he stepped inside the village, Naruto realized how much time passed since the fated battle and wondered how his loved ones were doing.
'I can't believe it's been three years already…time flies when we're having fun hunting missing-nins.'
"It does indeed…though I'm still baffled by how long it took for you to defeat that last missing-nin from Konoha. You managed to defeat Uchiha Madara and managed to come up with a wind technique that surpasses the Yondaime in speed, but you take more than a minute to defeat a low-class chunnin that shouldn't even have become a shinobi in the first place." Before Naruto had a chance to retort, the fox continued. "And before you say he was one of your classmates in the academy; don't bother trying to explain yourself. You could have finished the man off before he even realized that someone was there, but no…you wanted to give him one thousand chances to surrender.
'The guy happened to be a known acquaintance, ok. He was just so bad that I felt pity on him. You don't have to mope about bearing with weak containers every god damn time.'
"If you do this one more time, I will. Now go meet your family and be gone from my sight."
'Yes, boss'. With a smile beneath his mask at his companion, Naruto instantly vanished from his usual position, leaving only a small breeze where he once stood. To those around, it was nothing but a blur.
The now fully grown hunter-nin stood inside the Inuzuka Clan, surprising Hana and Kurenai.
Hana didn't waste time, though and jumped at her lover at finally seeing him. When she took away his mask, she smiled upon seeing the look in his eyes upon seeing her after such a long time. There was little need for words since they exchanged letters all the time. Naruto was now home and things would be different from now on. The hunter-nin was surprised when he looked down and saw big blue orbs looking at him with a confused expression on his face. Inuzuka Minato was considered very bright for his age and already appeared to connect the dots. Naruto smiled at his son and kneeled down next to him.
"Hello Minato-kun, do you know who I am?" The small blond took a while, before remembering a picture that his mom showed him.
"…Tou-san…is it really you?" Naruto nodded with a smile on his face. Minato responded with a bright smile on his face before rushing to hug his father.
Hana and Kurenai were smiling at the scene. Inside the house, the matriarch Tsume was also showing a smile as her family was now complete once more. She was happy that her son-in-law came back to her daughter safe. When Hana mentioned about Naruto's plan, Tsume was first concerned about it. However, after realizing that Naruto was perhaps the strongest shinobi in Konoha, or even the elemental nations, she figured that there wasn't a man that was able to kill him. She stepped in the garden and greeted the blond with a hug, before looking at the scroll on his back.
"So…did you manage to do what you set out to do?" Naruto smirked and picked his scroll before placing it on the ground.
"Yeah…the bingo book is now non-existent."
Tsume smirked at that, showing her pride in hunting just as Naruto did. "I should deliver the ones from Konoha to the Hokage, but not before spending a great load of time with this little one here." Naruto said, before grabbing Minato and lifting him in the air. The kid's laughter washing away the entire burden that Naruto incorporated as his own, because of his kills. After playing a while with his son, Naruto took the sleeping Minato back inside the compound and placed him inside the kid's room along with Mangetsu, who by the way just wouldn't leave his side. The hunter-ninja smiled at his dog companion and caressed her ears, earning a fund snort from the dog and an angry one from the fox inside of him. Both behaviors filled his life with joy. He met Tsume, Hana and Kurenai having some coffee in the kitchen and took a seat by his girlfriend.
"So…what are you talking about?" Hana smirked and responded.
"We were all wondering what you would do now that your job as a hunter-ninja is no longer required." Surprisingly so, all three took a zip of coffee at the same time as all three stared at the blond for an answer.
"The only real path for me, now, is Anbu I'm afraid." By the look on their faces, they expected a different answer. "As far as everyone is concerned, I'm no longer among the living, thus the mask will be forever covering my identity. Anyway, I'll be discussing this today with the Hokage, but besides Anbu, both regular jounin and even being a genin team sensei is out of the question. At least until my real story is out in the open." Hana and Kurenai were expecting him to take on a team or do high level missions, but Tsume was the only one that agreed with her son-in-law. She didn't see any reason why her daughter would wish for perhaps the strongest ninja in the world to be out in the open, meeting with her daughter and their child.
"It is indeed the best course of action, Naruto. Besides, it's not like you wish to be seen by others aside from those who knew your real story, huh." Naruto smirked at the comment and nodded.
"So true…well, I believe it's wise to go now and meet Tsunade. Ah Tsume-san, would it be okay if I lived here from now on? I know both Hana-chan and Minato-kun will be living here…"
With a smile shared by Hana, Tsume interrupted the hunter ninja and explained.
"Actually, since you and my daughter pretty much destroyed her room three years ago; we had a new one built for the two of you."
Naruto smiled in appreciation, before saluting the girls just like Kakashi. The women were startled when Naruto simply wasn't there anymore and they felt a small breeze inside the room. Hana, Tsume and even Mangetsu who was waiting for Naruto outside the kitchen were surprised as they couldn't sense the blond's scent anywhere. There wasn't a shunshin, since the technique only covered small distances. They were all baffled and Kurenai even believed for a moment that she was seeing hallucinations.
===At the Hokage's Office===
Tsunade was busy doing her paperwork when she tensed suddenly. She saw one of the papers in her desk lift slightly because of the breeze that assaulted her office, but frowned because the windows were closed. When she looked up her desk, she was surprised to see a person there wearing black leather clothes and a red scarf around his neck. She saw the mask and smiled fondly at the boy who came to greet her. According to Hana, it was today.
"I'm glad you came back from your little trip, brat. You had me worried there for a moment."
"I wasn't expecting to take this long. A couple of A-ranked missing-nins were really good at hiding. I even recollect a certain Aburame missing-nin that used his bugs to create a bunshin on the opposite side of town of the actual clan member so that no one would know where he went, sneaky that guy. Too bad women in general had a dislike for insects and screamed when the clan member was suddenly dissolved. After two months chasing the guy, it took me two minutes to deal with him because of this." Tsunade looked at the hunter ninja and wondered why the hell he was sharing his adventures with her in the first place. She had never chatted with a hunter ninja before and now that she had, she just wasn't interested in much else.
"That's nice…I know that the big scroll behind you is the results of your efforts, so don't even bother to open up in front of me." Naruto smiled at that. She just didn't want to watch the heads rolling.
"I'll be delivering to the headquarters right after I leave from here. Now, with the bingo book cleaned up, I was wondering about the future and your plans for me." Tsunade nodded and pushed her chair back a bit in order to relax as she eyed the shinobi in front of her with a smile on her face. Her every wish was for the brat to take on regular jounin assignments with an elite jounin squad. However, with Naruto's supposed death, giving him any position that didn't require using a mask was ill advised. It took her five seconds to realize that someone had petitioned her for a new spot in the Anbu forces, Assassination Squad. Come to think of it, the leader of the squad was one to whom Naruto knew very well.
"Well, since you're not supposed to be alive, I know as well as you do that the only possible job for you is Anbu." Naruto nodded and Tsunade continued. "As a matter of fact, a spot had opened up in a unit I believe you'll fit right in. This unit is mainly assassination but is also equipped for first response team as well." Tsunade grabbed the petition and placed his name in it, before handling to Naruto. "In this scroll are the coordinates of your new assignment. Once there, ask for the unit captain and deliver the scroll for him." Naruto nodded and grabbed the petition handled by Tsunade. "Welcome to the Anbu forces, brat. I look forward to hearing from you once more."
"Thanks and say hi to Jiraiya for me, will ya?"
Naruto said, before leaving like he arrived…with no trace whatsoever. He saw the name of the one who signed the petition and smiled at having an Aburame as his new boss, especially one he knew.
Oh my god…it took a while to finish this chapter, but it was necessary. I couldn't postpone it any longer.
I bet some of you were surprised in the middle when Naruto was killed along with Madara, right. Yeah, I thought of what a major finale would be like and I came up with the idea of Naruto finding a way to resume his duties as a hunter-nin. I would like to thank everyone for sticking up with me and hopefully raising the review bar to 1000 reviews. It will be my first one to reach that high. I also wanted to thank my beta Kyuubi123 for his splendid job fixing my grammar mistakes.
Thank you all once more.
Lastly, I wish to comment on a recent move on Kishimoto's part, assuming that what happened in Manga 599 is the truth. Spoiler alert, so brace yourselves. Tobi is in fact Uchiha Obito. First of all, the man is barely Kakashi's age. How the hell could he be a grown-up by the time the masked man fought the Yondaime Hokage? The same applies to all the events that Tobi is mentioned. Giving Nagato the rinnegan; convincing Yahiko to create Akatsuki…all of these events happened at the second great ninja war. I believed that Obito wasn't even born when it happened. Unless, everything we were told until now it's a lie, same as when the masked man presented himself as Madara at the Kage Summit. There is also a third possibility. When Kakashi asked the masked man where he got the sharingan eye, Tobi answered that he found it at the same place that Obito was killed. Oh man, it can't possibly be Obito. The facts don't match. Tobi would have to be older than Obito.
I guess we'll find out the truth when Manga 600 comes out next week, huh!