Naruto and Hinata sat on the ground awaiting their teacher's arrival. Jiraiya was still stuck in the hospital so the mysterious man was going to proceed and begin to train the two in harnessing divine chakra.
"Darn it where is he?" Naruto shouted in annoyance. They had been waiting for an hour already and he was not the most patient of people when training was on the line.
Hinata smiled at Naruto's antics as she pulled out the twin butterfly daggers that the man had given her. They were truly beautiful but she couldn't feel anything close to what Naruto described he felt when he "talked" to his blade. After the initial feeling of greeting she had received from them a month ago she had felt nothing from the blades and it worried her.
This compounded with the strain she was feeling in regards as to what to do about the Hyuga clan. She knew from Tsunade herself that Hiashi's reckoning was coming and that she would only hold off for so long. Naruto was chomping at the bit to tear Hiashi to pieces and the only reason that the two equally infuriated blonds had yet to carry out their intentions was because Hinata begged them to wait and to allow her to handle things.
Tsunade had relented but warned Hinata that she would only have a small amount of time to figure out what she was going to do before Tsunade had Hiashi arrested for treason and likely executed if she could mange. However, despite her claims, things would most likely not go that smoothly.
The Hyuga clan was not going to just allow their clan head to be taken in for treason and Tsunade was still trying to figure out the best way to go about doing it. She didn't want the clan to rebel or worse leave the village all together and should the populace find out about what Hiashi did then it was possible that they would begin to distrust other clans as well which would bring an unwanted strain between clan shinobi and the civilians. It was a complicated problem and as long as Hiashi was the clan head then it was not going to get any easier.
'What am I going to do? I could always invoke the rule that a former heir can challenge the current clan head for their position. However, if I were to do this then I would become the clan head or at least the heir if I choose to allow another Hyuga to take the head position as I am not yet of age. Could I return to the clan? Could I leave Kurenai-nee-san and Naruto-kun like that?' Hinata thought all of this with a somber mood and she felt two arms wrap around her from behind. She smiled as she closed her eyes and leaned into Naruto's chest.
He was easily able to see that she was troubled and wanted to lend her his strength. He wasn't going to pressure her to tell him what she was thinking about as he knew that she would smile and say it was nothing. He would wait for her to either tell him or deal with it herself. No matter what though, she would always have him there to support her.
"Good morning you two!"
Naruto and Hinata turned to look at the mysterious man as he appeared before them.
"It's about time you showed up! Do you have any idea how long we've been waiting for you?" Naruto shouted in frustration.
"If you listened to when I told you to arrive then you should have been here for….. about an hour." He said simply with a chuckle. Naruto growled low in his throat but said nothing as Hinata giggled at their brief exchange.
"Now then it's time for the two of you to get in touch with your power. Naruto you are the one with the most experience so I'll let you demonstrate to Hinata." He said in a serious tone.
Naruto nodded as he pulled out his blade and closed his eyes. He concentrated until he could feel the warm glow that represented the divine chakra derived from the dragons. Naruto began to pull the power to him until he began to glow a golden color. Hinata had never had the time to fully take in how much he changed when he called upon so much divine chakra at once and slowly walked to him as he opened his eyes. They were a deep golden color just like his hair and the black serpentine dragon tattoo was present as the head was once again over his right eye.
Hinata could almost feel the chakra pulsing through him and it resonated within her as she felt a pulse come from her daggers. However, before she could decipher the power that felt both alien and yet familiar to her, Naruto cried out with pain and fell to his knees.
"Naruto-kun!" she cried out as she held him as he passed out.
"Well….that's not a good sign." The man said as he scratched his head.
Naruto opened his eyes to find himself in front of the cage that held the fox. The great demon's eyes were open as if he had been awaiting Naruto's arrival.
"Been a long time since we met like this kit." Kyuubi said as Naruto looked around in confusion.
"What just happened? I haven't felt pain like that since I nearly blew myself up in the forest of death." Naruto said to the fox hoping that it would be able to tell him something.
"That's not far from what happened. Sit down boy because I have some bad news." Kyuubi said as he lay down so that his face was directly in front of Naruto.
"What is it?" Naruto asked as he sat before the great fox. He was well within the range of the fox's claws but had enough faith that Kyuubi was not going to try and kill him, yet.
"The pain you felt was exactly due to the reason you just gave. What you felt was once again the backlash that occurs when divine and demonic chakra are mixed together." Kyuubi said much to Naruto's confusion.
"I don't get it. I wasn't using your chakra when I called on the divine chakra." Naruto stated.
"Have you forgotten about what happened when your mate was killed? You went berserk and pulled far more of my chakra then you should have been able to. Using two and especially three tails of my chakra should have caused your body to explode from the amount of chakra alone. That we are still alive is a miracle. However, there have been side effects. The seal was placed under an unimaginable amount of strain and had to compensate in some way. It did this by allowing more of my chakra to pass through into your own." Kyuubi said as he stared at Naruto. Naruto seemed slightly confused until the meaning became somewhat clear. Kyuubi decided to make everything clear.
"Currently, my chakra is being filtered into your system much faster and at a larger rate than before. When you use the divine chakra it reacts negatively to the presence of the demonic chakra and the feedback can be quite debilitating as you just experienced." He said.
"But what about before all this happened? The seal should have been filtering your chakra into me all along. Why didn't I feel this pain before?" Naruto asked as the grim news began to settle on him.
"The seal now allows quite a bit more of my chakra to be filtered through. Before, the trace amount of demonic chakra was small enough that you wouldn't feel the negative feedback. However, now it seems that your chakra system has become used to handling larger quantities of demonic chakra and the seal is allowing much more to be sent through as it is not causing harm to your system." He further elaborated.
"You got any idea on how I can fix this?" Naruto asked in a worried tone as the reality that he might not be able to safely call upon the power of the dragons became clear to him.
"That's something that you will need to ask him when you wake back up." Kyuubi said with a small growl.
Naruto caught the fox's ire and knew that is was directed at the strange and secretive man. He wondered what the history between them could be as he left his mindscape.
Naruto awoke to Hinata's concerned face and as he reassured her that he was alright, he told both Hinata and the man about what the fox had told him. Hinata looked concerned about the development while the man simply spoke in a tone that let Naruto know that he had at least guessed that this complication would arise.
"Really, well that's unfortunate." He said softly.
"Kyuubi said that you may know of a way to help." Naruto said in a bit of fear. He didn't want to lose the ability to summon the dragons.
"The best way to go about that would be for you to mentally force the demonic chakra back long enough for you to access the divine chakra." He stated after a moment of thought.
"What do you mean?" Naruto asked in confusion.
"I think I understand Naruto-kun. He wants you to do what you did earlier when you tried to connect with the divine chakra but to sense the demonic chakra as well. Instead of drawing the demonic chakra like you'll do the divine chakra, you must restrict the flow of demonic chakra being sent into your system." Hinata explained.
"That's not going to be easy." Naruto muttered to himself.
"Nothing in life worth doing ever is." The man said in his jovial tone. Naruto sighed in annoyance as he closed his eyes to concentrate once again.
"Hinata while he does that, why don't you try to call upon the power of the angels?" The man commented as they both saw Naruto glow red for a moment before the glow became golden. He stopped meditating quickly with a pant of exhaustion.
"Yeah, this is going to be tough." Naruto said as he closed his eyes and tried again.
Hinata squeezed his shoulder and gave him a small peck on the cheek before standing up and walking away. She wouldn't be able to concentrate with Naruto so close to her. He was a natural distraction for her and she knew she would need her utmost focus to achieve what she had done against Itachi.
Hinata sat in a meditative stance and closed her eyes. She could still hear Naruto try, and fail, to simultaneously restrict his demonic chakra and allow his divine chakra to flow. Hinata forced herself to block it out as she concentrated. She felt the world fade away as she concentrated on trying to summon up and control the powerful gift that she had been given or reasons yet to be revealed.
Hinata wasn't sure what she was searching for as the last time she tapped into that power she had done it purely by instinct. She continued to concentrate on anything that seemed new or strange to her and finally she found it. It was like spotting a small speck of light in a dark tunnel. As she focused on it she felt a strange feeling overtake her and flood her body. She gasped at the rush of power and had to take a moment to compose herself. Once this was done she found herself floating in the same white void that she had been in when she had died not very long ago.
"It's good to hear from you again young Hinata."
Hinata turned and saw a woman cloaked in a pure as snow white robe. Hinata could instinctively tell that this was the same woman that had spoken to her a few months prior and was both relieved and a bit apprehensive to be speaking with her once again.
"You saved me." Hinata said in a tone that expressed that this was a statement and not a question.
"That I did, you're welcome by the way." The female responded a bit amused.
"Who are you?" Hinata asked as she sought to learn more about her savior.
"Does it really matter? All that you really need to know is that you were saved for a purpose and that I am here to help you succeed."
"For what purpose did you save me? Is it to help Naruto-kun?" Hinata asked as the woman began to walk towards her.
"I'm so fortunate to have such an intelligent ward." The woman said as she removed her cloak.
Hinata did not recognize the woman. Her skin was even paler than Hinata's own and yet it seemed to glow with warmth. Her hair was as white as snow and her eyes were a piercing gold. Hinata noticed that the strange markings on her skin were similar to the ones of the woman.
"Unlike that idiot on earth that was tasked with helping your boyfriend, I have nothing to hide with my identity. Call me what you will as my true name is not for human ears." She replied to the stunned Hinata.
"Um a name? May I then call you Hitomi?" Hinata asked softly.
"The name of your mother, I am honored that you would seek to refer to me as such." Hitomi said with a smile.
"Enough with the formalities though. You are here because you seek to learn to harness the power of the angels. For this to take place you must first earn the trust of your butterfly daggers. You have yet to feel or hear from them as they are still attempting to discern whether or not you are worthy to wield them." Hitomi said as if she were reading Hinata's mind.
"How do I do that?" Hinata asked as she desperately sought information on how to grow stronger.
"They will hold a test for you but what this test is even I do not know for it is up to them to decide. However until they pose this challenge I can at least help you learn the basics of your new powers. The daggers may not respond to you just yet but that won't stop you from being able to learn to control the divine chakra." Hitomi said as she crossed her legs and began to float.
"Will you ever manifest yourself in the physical world as Naruto-kun's helper does?" Hinata asked as she took up the same position and began to float.
"No, he was given special privileges to do that. I will be able to instruct you and advice you on what to do but I cannot directly affect the outside world." She said as she began to softly chant. Hinata's special markings began to glow and she felt a rush of power come over her.
"This is you first taste of power that you can remember as you were not fully in control of yourself when you used it before. We will start your training now Hinata." Hitomi said as she began to glow an ethereal white.
Naruto groaned in annoyance as he once again lost control over the divine chakra. He felt the terrible burning sensation from within that revealed the clashing of divine and demonic chakra.
"Hmm, it seems you can only hold control over the divine chakra and repress your demonic chakra for around two minutes." The man said off handily as he sat on a branch above Naruto.
"You could help you know!" Naruto growled in annoyance. He took a moment to look over to where Hinata had walked and saw her floating in the air with a white glow around her body. The faint markings on her body were glowing as well.
"It seems she is learning how to harness her power. Regardless that doesn't concern you right now. Even though your control over the divine chakra isn't perfected just yet you can still hold it long enough to summon up a dragon. You should try summoning Drac to begin with." The man said as he ignored Naruto's earlier rant. Naruto gave a grunt of irritation before trying to call upon the divine chakra once again.
It wasn't easy. Attempting to draw upon one power while restricting another all at once was nearly impossible to maintain, hence why he could only hold onto his ascended state for roughly two minutes currently. Naruto took a deep breath and began to push back on the demonic chakra leaking from the seal. As it was repressed he felt the telltale power from the dragons overtake him.
"Come forth: Drac!" Naruto shouted as he thrust he sword towards the sky and a golden beam of light shout up.
It wasn't long before they heard the roar of the dragon lord of fire and Drac began to appear in the distance. As he approached Naruto could see some changes in him. Drac seemed larger than before and his red scales had taken on a darker tone and seemed to bulk out around his chest area giving the look of something close to a chest plate of armor. Also, two think horns were growing from his head. All in all, Drac appeared far more fearsome than he had just a few months prior.
"It seems that Drac is going through a growth spurt." The man said softly.
"Hello Naruto." Drac said after giving a significant look to the man.
"What's up Drac. You got bigger." Naruto said in a bit of wonder.
"I told you that I was a young dragon relative to my other family members. Also, it seems that being summoned to the mortal realm after so long allowed me to draw upon the natural fire chakra in the world." Drac commented as he settled to the ground and looked down at his summoner.
"Why have you summoned me Naruto?" Drac asked in curiosity.
"I would like for you to tell me more about your family and what I can expect from each member. Also, this was kind of a test to see if I could consciously summon a dragon of my choice." Naruto said the last sentence with a sheepish smile.
"It doesn't really matter to me as I do enjoy returning to this world. However, I cannot help you with your request." Drac said seriously.
"Why not?" Naruto asked in confusion.
"My brothers and sisters feel that if you want to know more about them than you should summon them and ask directly. They forbade me from telling you about them." Drac said in a serious tone letting Naruto know that he would not budge from his declaration.
"I understand." Naruto said as he gave a grunt of pain and was forced to release the divine chakra coursing through his system as his time limit was up and he couldn't hold back the demonic chakra any longer.
"You seem to have a problem wielding our power. That is very unfortunate and you will need to work on that before I can teach you." Drac said with a sigh of annoyance.
"Teach me? Teach me what?" Naruto asked.
"Every dragon is a lord over an element. This being the case, we can teach you how to wield these elements to a lesser degree. However, you must be able to harness the divine chakra from your blade to utilize these powers." Drac said as his ruby red eyes stared at Naruto with a hint of agitation and accusation.
"Why are you looking at me like that Drac? Have I done something to anger you?" Naruto asked with a bit of annoyance in his voice. Drac had always been a laid back guy, at least for the amount of time that Naruto had known him. However, it seemed that Drac was being very short and a bit angry with him.
"…I am sorry Naruto. It's just that many of my brothers do not agree that you are worthy to call upon us. I have been defending you along with Tetsuya. However, they are adamant that you will fail to prove yourself worthy while I have faith in you. I hope that faith is not misplaced. When you can better control the warring powers within you then call upon me once again. Until then, take care." Drac said as he rose in the air with a single flap of his massive wings and took our in the air until he disappeared in a flash of light.
"Well that got me nowhere." Naruto raged as he punched the ground in frustration at his predicament.
"Yes, it seems that the other dragons are not very friendly towards you. You will definitely need to train harder before you attempt to draw them forth. The others will not be as accommodating to your recent struggles." The man said nonchalantly.
'Great. Just great.' Naruto thought in annoyance as he got back in a meditative position and tried again.
(One week later)
A week had passed and both Naruto and Hinata were running into problems with their training. Naruto was unable to hold onto the divine chakra for longer than two minutes and Hinata, while able to call upon her power, was unable to communicate with her daggers and according to Hitomi, this would inhibit her progress. The mysterious man was of no help as he told them that there wasn't much he could do to help them, though Naruto had his suspicions about this statement.
There was a bright side to all of this though and that was that Jiraiya had finally been cleared to leave the hospital. He would forever have a slight limp and some of the toxins Orochimaru injected him with couldn't be completely cured, thus he would be severely weakened physically. All in all, Jiraiya told Tsunade that he would probably only be able to fight at around one half of his full strength for the rest of his life.
Despite this, Jiraiya had joined the trio and immediately helped Naruto and Hinata. While they couldn't yet improve with their secondary powers, they could improve their bases abilities. In Jiraiya's opinion, Naruto was at least a high chunin and Hinata a low chunin in terms of abilities. Jiraiya was determined to improve upon these abilities and quickly began to teach them what he knew. Strangely enough the mysterious man was always present and would add insight and advice for new techniques.
Naruto and Hinata were now walking to Ichiraku ramen stand for a brief lunch before returning to training. They looked around their village and could see how things had changed. Orochimaru's last attack had hurt the village. It was now roughly at only half of its original strength and most of the jounin, including Kakashi and Kurenai, were out of the village performing missions to keep up appearances that Konoha was still powerful enough to be considered the best of the hidden villages.
"Hey there you two." Ayame said cheerfully as they entered and sat down to eat.
"Hey Ayame. We'll take the usual." Naruto said with a smile as he thought about the delicious ramen he was about to devour.
"Coming right up!" She said as she went in the back to get their meal.
Naruto and Hinata began to talk about their training as other customers came and left. One such customer wore a dull brown cloak and a hood that covered everything but his mouth. He sat at the back of the stand and simply observed the young couple. With the brown cloak on, no one noticed how the man's eyes flashed red for a brief moment when he looked at them.
'Even during lockdown, this village is simple enough to infiltrate if you know where its weak spots are.' Itachi thought to himself.
Itachi observed the couple that sat not five feet away from him. His emotions were mixed at the moment and that in itself was strange as Itachi had stopped allowing himself to feel anything after he had been forced to slaughter his family all those years ago. However, he was unsure what he was feeling at the moment. He felt annoyance at not knowing how he had been driven off by the Hyuga girl. He was slightly excited to see that the leaf village was not in as bad of shape as he first thought.
Contrary to what many in the village may have believed, Itachi loved Konoha with his entire heart and soul. He had killed his family for this very reason. The Uchiha clan was a very prideful clan as it was considered one of the strongest in the world aside from their eternal rivals the Senju. Before the hidden villages came into being, clans warred against one another all the time for power and the Uchiha and the Senju were the two most powerful clans in the land. They hated each other with an undying passion and when one country hired one of the clans another would hire the other clan.
This all changed when it was decided that far too much blood had been spilt from the endless fighting and the two clans decided that it would be best that they joined forces. Once this happened other countries were terrified of the union and sought to establish ties with each other so that they wouldn't be conquered. Slowly but surely the hidden villages began to form. The leader of the Senju clan at that time was chosen to become the first Hokage and peace seemed to reign for a time for the Uchiha clan.
'Still that all changed a few years after the Kyuubi decided to attack the village.' Itachi thought as he closed his eyes and remembered how things went downhill.
The Uchiha clan had been losing power, in its own mind. It no longer held as much power and influence as it had done so long ago and was even beginning to believe that the village was distrustful of them. That they were given their own compound at a far corner of the village that had walls separating it from the rest of the village only heightened this suspicion. Itachi was unsure who had first proposed the idea but the clan had somehow gotten it in its head that it should be in control of the village and a coup against the Hokage was planned to take control.
This could not be allowed to happen. The third great ninja had just ended and tensions were still high. If the village dissolved into a civil war, then the other villages would jump at the opportunity presented and attack as well. This would cause Konoha's allies to jump in the battle as well and another ninja war would have erupted and caused the deaths of an untold amount of people. Itachi couldn't allow that to happen.
He had told the Third and Sarutobi desperately tried to appease the clan without blood having to be shed. However, the Uchiha were adamant in their thinking and couldn't be negotiated with. After this, the elders and Danzo ordered Itachi to kill his family to save the village. It was by far the most difficult thing that Itachi had been forced to do. Itachi had seen the pains and brutality of war and couldn't stand to allow another to take place simply because his clan had decided that it wanted more power. Itachi did his duty…with help.
Afterwards he left the village, though he left his younger brother alive. He loved his brother more than anything, including the village. He couldn't bring himself to kill him. He even threatened the elders and Danzo that they should leave Sasuke alone or else he would reveal the truth of the incident. Itachi had killed his emotions after that day or the pain from what he had done would have driven him mad.
Despite all of this, Itachi could honestly say that he felt more anger than sadness with Sasuke's death. He had wanted his brother to grow strong and eventually kill him and bring the Uchiha clan back to glory. However, his idiot brother fell into the same trap as the rest of the family. He began to feel that he deserved power and recognition without first earning it. It had led him to cockiness and he went to Orochimaru for power.
Itachi despised the snake sannin ever since Orochimaru attempted to take his body over when they first met each other in Akatsuki. He had taken the snake's hand off and left it at that. Had he instead killed Orochimaru like he first thought about then maybe things would have been different. Still, it was Sasuke that had fallen for the lure of more power and that had been his downfall. It seemed that the Uchiha clan was destined to be a cursed clan and that there was no way to redeem it.
'With Sasuke gone, who will take up his duty to kill me?' Itachi thought as he opened his eyes and noticed that Naruto and Hinata were leaving. He could have taken them right then and there. He still felt a slight bit of animosity at the blonde for killing his brother and the Hyuga for being able to defeat him. However, Itachi wanted them to live. He was interested in seeing just how powerful they could become and testing himself against them in the future. His leader had stated that they would resume acquiring the demon containers in three years time. They only wanted to capture Naruto quickly so that he wouldn't become too powerful. However, Itachi had decided that he would ignore this order. It may get him into trouble later but should the leader kill him then he would get what he wanted regardless.
'I look forward to seeing how powerful the two of you will get in the future. Maybe it will be one of you that can finally kill me and give me peace.' Itachi thought.
"Can I help you?"
Itachi looked up and stared at Ayame. She had a smile on her face at the silent customer and was waiting for his order. Itachi ordered a single bowl and watched as she left him to get it. Itachi would quickly eat and then he would rendezvous with Kisame. Kisame hadn't been allowed to come as he was far too noticeable with his skin and height. Itachi could use a very quick genjutsu on anyone that attempted to question him and even without this measure, it would be hard to recognize him as he had dyed his hair and had his sharingan deactivated. He looked and behaved like any other citizen.
"Here you go!"
Itachi looked up to see Ayame had returned with his food. Itachi began to eat and was surprised that it was as tasty and filling as it was. He quickly finished and placed a large tip on the table. He was about to leave when he heard something that made him stop.
"Hey there Ayame-chan! How about going on a date with me?"
Itachi turned his head and saw a rather large man leaning on the counter, leering at Ayame.
"For the last time, no. I'm not interested in dating someone like you. Now if you're quite done ruining my day would you please leave?" Ayame said in a clipped tone. It was obvious this was not the first time that she had had to put up with this person.
"Don't be like that baby. I promise I'll show you a good time!" He said as he grabbed her arm. Ayame glared at the man and tried to wretch her arm from the man but he held on and pulled her towards him.
"Let go of me!" Ayame shouted and she kneed him in the groin. He fell to the ground and she quickly grabbed a frying pan and bashed him over the head. He fell limp and Itachi was astonished by her tenacity. However when she turned her back, the man proved that he wasn't yet unconscious and staggered to his feet and by the look on his face, he was not happy. Ayame remained oblivious.
Itachi quickly walked over and grabbed the man's hand, which was raised in preparation for coming down over her head. The man turned to look at him in surprise and Itachi quickly disabled him by pulling his arm behind his back and putting him in a special hold that only Anbu knew. The man bellowed in pain as Itachi pulled him towards the door and kicked him out with a single command.
"Leave." Itachi said as he met the man's eyes and let his flash momentarily. The man would only be able to see a glow in Itashi's eyes but not the tell tale red glow of a sharingan. The man swiftly left in fear and Itachi made to leave as well.
"Thank you." He turned to see Ayame with a smile on her face.
He inclined his head and turned to leave, though he paused for a moment in thought as he looked back at the retreating form of Ayame. He might have found a way to get more information on Naruto and Hinata.
'I may be eating ramen fairly often.'
(Three weeks later)
The time had come. Hinata looked at herself in the mirror and took a deep breath as she prepared herself for what she had decided to do. She grabbed the indigo head band that Naruto had bought her so long ago to cover her curse seal. Even though the accursed seal was no longer present, she still wore it over her forehead from a force of habit. She traced a few of the faint markings that adorned her skin as she dressed and prepared to leave. The last thing she took before leaving her home was her twin butterfly daggers. They still refused to speak to her but she took them with her everywhere she went.
Hinata opened the door and saw Naruto standing at the bottom of the steps with a grim expression on his face. She had told him days in advance what she wanted to do and while he certainly was unsure whether or not he agreed, he knew that it was important to her and she would have his support.
"Are you ready for this Hinata-chan?" He asked with a determined look on his face.
"I am Naruto-kun." She said softly but with a firm resolve. He still looked unsure but nonetheless he grabbed her hand and gave a comforting squeeze.
They didn't speak as they walked towards the Hyuga compound. Tsunade met up with them soon enough and all three walked towards the gates of the compound. Tsunade, not being the most patient, loudly announced their arrival.
"Open up! I've got business to handle with Hiashi!" Tsuande shouted in a booming tone. The Hyuga guards at the gate knew better than to contend with an irate Tsunade. They quickly ran to alert Hiashi of her arrival.
Hiashi arrived with an arrogant stride as the gates opened. He gave a short glare at Naruto and ignored Hinata entirely. He addressed Tsunade in a tone that was just shy of rude.
"To what do I owe the pleasure of your visit, Tsunade?" He asked coldly.
"First of all you had better watch your tone! I am the Hokage Hiashi and as such I will not put up with your disrespect! You will address me as Hokage-sama or I will have your sorry butt detained and locked away." She said in an equally cold tone that even made Hiashi grimace. Tsunade was not like Sarutobi and had no stomach for insubordination in the least.
"My apologies Hokage-sama. However, I am very busy so I would like to know why you have seen fit to come to my home." Hiashi said in a slightly more subdued tone.
"You Hiashi Hyuga are under arrest for treason and an attempt to assassinate a shinobi of the leaf." Tsunade said in a no nonsense tone.
Hiashi's expression became clouded for a moment before it cleared. He looked unconcerned suddenly as if he had nothing to fear.
"Those are some very strong accusations. What proof do you have?" he asked.
"You don't need to worry about that right now. Just know that we have the evidence and will present it when you stand trial." Tsunade said in a definitive tone. Hiashi gave a sigh and shook his head.
"You should know that to accuse a clan head of something like this is a very serious thing Hokage-sama. I doubt my clan will take kindly to it." Hiashi said in a confident tone.
"That's only if you're still the clan head by the time the trial takes place." Tsunade said in an equally confident tone. Hiashi looked confused by her statement.
Hinata took a deep breath and clutched Naruto's hand for support.
"Hiashi Hyuga, I challenge you for the position of clan head of the Hyuga clan." Hinata said in a low but determined tone.
"What did you say?" Hiashi whispered in a deadly tone. His expression was actually more shocked than angry as that specific rule had not been used since the years when the clan first came to Konoha.
"You heard her you stuck up piece of crap! She's going to kick your butt and become the clan head." Naruot said in a loud tone that drew the attention of the few Hyuga that were wandering around the compound. They came out to see what the commotion was and word soon spread that Tsunade was present. Soon enough the Hyuga elders that made up the council of the clan arrived.
"What is this about the ancient law of the clan head being invoked?" one of the councilmen asked.
"Hinata here is challenging Hiashi for the position of clan head." Tsunade said, much to their shock.
"T-that's not possible! She was banished from the clan." The elder said in anger.
"That doesn't matter. Any former clan heir or head is allowed to invoke the challenge." Hinata said as she glared at the elder. This one was actually Hiashi's father and Hinata's grandfather. He was one of the main members that despised her caring ways and was in the forefront in having her banished.
"Very well, I accept. However, know that when you fail, your life will be forfeit." Hiashi threatened as he walked into the compound.
Tsunade looked at Hinata and Naruto and after receiving mutual nods, she led them into the compound. Hinata looked around and saw the same stares that she had grown up around her entire lives. The main branch looked at her with disdain while the branch family looked to her with hope filled eyes.
'I will succeed. I can't afford to lose.' She thought.
She got a surprise when she saw her younger sister Hanabi. Unlike the rest of the clan her eyes held a different look to them. Hanabi actually looked slightly pleased to see Hinata and the cold, superior look had all but evaporated from her eyes and Hinata remembered what Neji had told her during the chunin exams. Hiashi had decided to marry Hanabi away to some other family for the betterment of the clan. Knowing how he was, Hinata could guess that he had told Hanabi of this and quickly reminded the girl that she was no longer the clan heir or important. It was only another offence added to the long list that Hiashi had against him in Hinata's mind.
"We are here. This will be the site of your defeat and inevitable death." Hiashi said coldly as they stood in front of a large dojo.
Hinata recognized it immediately. It was the same dojo that held so many horrible memories for her. It was where she had been beaten daily in the form of training exercises and it was the very place where she had been settled on her knees and had the curse seal applied.
'It will be a fitting place to exact retribution.' She thought as she entered.
Hinata and Hiashi faced one another as the entire clan filled into the room. Naruto and Tsunade were there as well and were in Hinata's corner, so to speak.
"This battle will only end when one of us surrenders or is dead." Hiashi warned as he activated his byakugan and settled in the classic Hyuga stance.
"I understand." Hinata said in a clipped tone as she closed her eyes and began to concentrate. Hinata was not stupid. No matter how powerful she had become she was no match for Hiashi as she was. She would need help and immediately called upon the power of the angels to assist her. After much training she was now able to summon up the power with only a few seconds of concentration.
The clan, as a whole, gasped at the pure white aura that surrounded her. Her markings began to glow and her byakugan was released, revealing her pure white eyes. She had also discovered that her byakugan could only be used when using the angel's power. It seemed to be due to the angelic chakra being able to override the curse seal, as long as it was active.
"You still disgrace us. To require help from an outside source is only more proof that you are nothing but a failure as a Hyuga." Hiashi said in a scathing tone.
"Good! I'm tired of all or your rules and regulation! I'm tired of what you consider to be a good and proper image for a Hyuga! I can't stand your 'superior than though' ways and the happiest day of my life was when you kicked me out of this retched compound as it was the first day that I truly began to live! Now if you are quite finished talking I would like to finish this battle. I have far more important things to do with my time." Hinata said as she gave a stone, cold glare at Hiashi who was stunned silent for a moment. Actually, the entire dojo was dead silent except for the snickering of Naruto and Tsunade.
Hiashi didn't reply. He simply attacked. He struck towards her chest and Hinata tilted back slightly. His palm flew centimeters away from her and she quickly attempted to retaliate. However, her swift kick was blocked by his other palm and he kicked her legs out from underneath her. Hinata quickly rolled as he slammed the ground with both his palms. She felt the chakra burst from this move and knew that he was playing for keeps. That blow would have seriously harmed her had she not moved.
Hinata focused once again on Hiashi and concentrated on his form and movements. The gentle fist style was considered the most elegant of taijutsus and it was considered foolhardy to ever battle a Hyuga in close combat. However, the weakness in the style was its predictability. The clan was averse to changing even the slightest detail of the style and that had caused it to become stagnate when it could have continued to flourish. With this in mind, Hinata, who had a deep knowledge of the taijutsu style, could take advantage of the very few flaws in it if she was quick enough to notice them. At the same time she had to be careful to avoid taking any damage while she awaited her opportunity. It was going to come down to who made a mistake first.
Hinata pulled out her daggers and changed her stance. She had been coached by Hitomi on the special fighting style of the angels. While they were not the enforcers of Kami's will like the dragons, they still had to defend themselves. Their style reflected this as it was not truly an aggressive style. Hinata began to weave and block with her blades. This style was similar to the serpent style in that it required constant movement and flexibility, both of which Hinata had in spades. She would choose the perfect time to strike but unlike the serpent style, she wasn't aiming at lethal spots on the body. Instead she was seeking to land multiple non lethal but debilitating hits. This made it easier to keep from killing an opponent as they were more likely to pass out from pain or blood loss.
Hinata was not seeking to kill Hiashi and thus she kept her calm. She swiftly struck with her left blade and wounded Hiashi across his leg. He was surprised and attempted a double palm thrust to her chest. Hinata leaned far enough back that her head actually touched the ground. She completed the back flip and struck with both of the blades across Hiashi's chest, ruining his top.
Hiashi jumped back and looked at his wounds with an analytical eye. He removed his top and glared at Hinata, though he had a grin on his face.
"I must say that I am slightly impressed. I didn't think you would perform so well against the standard Hyuag style. However, know that this will not save you. I will stop holding back now." He stated as he entered a stance that Hinata had never seen before. She was unsure what he was doing before he launched himself at her. It seemed that his speed had doubled and even with her heightened senses and reflexes, she was being slowly moved backward. It was as if he had six arms instead of two. It took all of Hinata's skill to avoid being struck. However, she slipped at the wrong moment and Hiashi capitalized.
"Mountain Crusher!" he shouted as he thrust his arm forward and caught Hinata in the chest with the rock crushing burst of chakra.
Hinata was sent sailing through the air and landed heavily on her back. She quickly got to her feet but the pain in her chest was excruciating. She had luckily seen the attack coming and was able to concentrate a majority of her chakra to her chest, protecting her from the attack.
'Something strange occurred just now but what was it?' She thought as she got back to her feet and readied herself.
"You only cause yourself more pain. Surrender now and I will make your end merciful." Hiashi spoke coldly.
"No." Was Hinata's answer as she dashed forward and attacked Hiashi. He was momentarily taken off guard when she switched from her angelic fighting form to the serpent style. Her more brutal style took him by surprise and she was able to quickly slash him across his body. The wounds were deep and Hiashi gave a gasp of pain and surprise. He had no idea that she could be so brutal. He went to attack and Hinata swiftly retreated to her angelic fighting style. It was better for defense.
Hiashi stepped back and smiled as his stance changed once again. When he attacked his blows were similar to before but now it seemed that he had eight arms. Hinata was having a very difficult time protecting herself and he was able to land a glancing blow to her shoulder. Hinata slashed blindly and was able to catch him across his face before he could take advantage of her disabled arm.
Hiashi touch his cheek and was infuriated that her blind slash had come so close to hitting his right eye. How dare she strike him in the face? Hiashi had had enough and decided that she should realize just how futile her battle was.
"Do you have any idea just how much I am holding back? The style that I have been using is a special form that is only passed done to the clan head. As I'm sure you noticed every time that I attacked that there were more and more blows to avoid. This is the secret of the style. I would explain further but there are ears present that need not know the truth behind it. Only know that should I require, the number of my attacks will increase drastically. I believe it's time to show you just how futile this battle is." He said as his chakra began to increase. A blue shell appeared around him and his hands were so covered in chakra that it was impossible to actually stare at them with her eye. Hinata had to look away or be blinded and that was when she made her mistake.
Hiashi was on her instantly and now his strikes came even faster. If it appeared that he had eight arms before that number had now increased to twelve. Hinata was been pressed harder than ever and she was now taking damage and blow after blow was able to get through her defense. Hiashi surprised her by falling back and changing his style once again, this time however she was well aware of what was to come, even though she could do nothing to stop it.
"Kaiten!" He shouted as a large dome of chakra expanded from his body and slammed into Hinata. She was thrown back by the blow and was only able to rise to her feet before he was before her in an oh so familiar stance.
"Eight trigrams: 128 strikes!" he shouted as he struck Hinata repeatedly. Hinata fell limp and didn't move. The indigo headband that she kept around her forehead fell to the ground at Hiashi's feet.
"Hinata-chan!" Naruto shouted in alarm. Tsunade kept her composure better than him but she too was deeply concerned.
"Pathetic. It seems that news of your exploits have been greatly exaggerated. Tell me, will you submit now that you realize just how inferior you are to me? If you give up now then I may be merciful and allow you to live." Hiashi stated as he grabbed her by the back of her jacket and lifted her up. She was still conscious and stared into his eyes. She saw nothing but cold lifeless white eyes. How she detested his eyes.
His eyes had always been the thing that she hated the most about him. Some of her first memories held those eyes in them and her worst nightmares used to be centered on them. They had never held the warmth that her mother's had. They were always like twin pieces of ice: cold, lifeless, and they would chill her to the core.
Against her will, Hinata felt the same helplessness that she had experienced for the first 12 years of her life. She felt the smothering blanket of failure overcome her as she stared into the cold eyes that had haunted her ever since she could remember first gazing into them. The sight of his eyes made her feel as if she was seven years old once again and looking into the disappointed eyes of a man that would in the coming years prove that he felt nothing but shame and anger towards her. It was a cold and smothering sensation and she hated it.
However, Hinata also felt something else. She felt pulsing warmth coming from her hands. Her twin daggers were glowing brightly and seemed to be posing a question. Would she submit, or would she fight?
'That's a stupid question. If I were to quite here then I don't deserve your help nor do I deserve Naruto-kun's love.' Hinata thought as she felt the blades give something similar to an acknowledgment. It was as they were congratulating her on making the right decision.
"Do you have anything you want to say?" Hiashi said with a condescending grin.
"You talk too much." She replied softly as the nearly nonexistent aura around her exploded outward.
Hiashi dropped her in surprise and Hinata got back to her feet. The power she felt flowing through her was three times as potent as before.
'You are now one with your weapons. They have accepted you as their handler and together, you are far stronger.'
Hinata recognized the soft voice as that of Hitomi, her angelic trainer. She gazed up at the stunned Hiashi and calmly walked over to pick up her indigo headband. She ripped it in half and wrapped the handles of her daggers with the pieces. This was her way of symbolizing a new beginning for herself.
"I am sick and tired of hearing you speak. I'm going to defeat you now and you will stand trial for your crimes." Hinata said in a soft yet powerful tone that all watching felt as well as heard.
"Say that once you've actually won." He replied as he overcame his shock and once again fell into the strange style.
Hinata calmly watched him as he attacked once again. She could tell that he was moving even faster than before, yet she now saw the single flaw in the style. His legs were firmly planted in the ground and actually had chakra flowing into them.
'He's using his chakra to ground him. With his feet stuck to the ground then he doesn't have to worry about backlash as he unleashes all of his power forward. Once he sees an opening then he switches back to the regular gentle fist style and attacks.' She thought as Hiashi came towards her.
She had decided on a different way to beat this style. While she still dodged, instead of moving backwards while dodging as she did before, she moved slightly to the right. This forced Hiashi to twist his body as his feet had to remain stuck to the ground. Whereas before Hiashi could push her back, he was now forced to shift with her movements. This gave Hinata an advantage.
She ducked under one of his blows and quickly slashed his right leg. The wound wasn't very large but that wasn't her goal. She continued to dodge and then struck his left leg. While Hiashi didn't show it Hinata knew that his balance was dangerously shaky and she capitalized. She leapt to the side and Hiashi was forced to move with her once again. However, the wounds on his legs prevented him from being able to move quickly enough to prevent Hinata from getting to his right side. In fact his right leg buckled under the pressure being applied to it and he went to one knee. Hinata was instantly on him and began to kick, slash, and punch Hiashi mercilessly. He was thrown back from one such kick and rolled onto his knees. He was surprised when she didn't immediately attack him.
He looked up and saw her standing before him. There was no fear in her eyes. All he could see in her expression was a determination that made him question for a split second whether or not he truly could defeat her.
'Nonsense, there is no way that she will be able to keep this up.' He thought as he got to his feet. He was bleeding from a number of wounds but didn't seem to notice. He fell back into his stance and was preparing himself when Hinata spoke out.
"It's no use." She said simply.
"What are you talking about?" He asked, confused by her comment.
"I have figured out the weakness of this style of yours." Hinata said with a small smirk at his shocked look.
"You lie!" One elder behind Naruto shouted.
"Do I? Very well then, I will explain. This style relies on a great deal of speed and energy to be used to both injure and confuse an opponent. The number of attacks coming is nearly impossible to perceive much less dodge. An opponent that isn't fast enough will be completely overwhelmed while anyone that is fast enough to dodge will have no counter and be forced to continue to move backward. This is exactly what you want to happen. The secret to this style is that it is completely stationary. The force and speed behind you attacks are dependent upon your ability to keep a strong base. You adhere your feet to the ground using chakra, achieving this goal. Once the opponent is forced back, you can slowly move forward. Once you do this the number of attacks you send lessen however your opponent is still so shocked and worried about the dangerous style that they fail to notice." Hinata said softly.
Hiashi, as well as the elders, were shocked. To be able to notice something like this was truly frightening. While everything she said was true, no one had ever been able to actually figure it out. Hiashi had indeed been forced to keep his feet on the ground and for every step Hinata took backwards, he moved forwards. For her to be able to see that his blows were lessening and to see that his balance was shaky when he lifted his leg, she would have had to been completely focused on his form and movements. This should have been impossible as she had to have all of her concentration on dodging the attacks. Not even the byakugan could concentrate on two differently things at the same time to the degree that she had just done. Hinata wasn't done speaking though.
"Thus, while this style is truly powerful, now that I know its weakness it has no chance against me." Hinata said confidently as she put away her daggers.
"You truly believe that you can defeat me without those daggers of yours? They were the only thing keeping me from destroying you earlier. Without them, you lose your range advantage." Hiashi said as he prepared himself once again.
"I have no more interest in fighting you. I will end this battle now." Hinata said as she held her hand out. A white column of energy appeared and like before, Hinata bent it backward and grabbed the middle. She pulled back and was once again holding her bow of chakra.
'W-what is this? Such power!' Hiashi thought as his byakugan showed that the power of that bow was beyond anything he had experienced before.
Hinata said nothing as she released three arrows.
"Kaiten!" He shouted as he once again began to spin and formed the sphere of chakra to protect himself. However, his legs felt surprisingly weak. The dome of chakra was therefore not as strong as it normally would have been and the three arrows shattered the Hyuga's legendary ultimate defense. Two arrows hit Hiashi in his shoulders while the third hit his chest. The arrows exploded upon contact and Hiashi was sent flying out of the ring, unconscious before he hit the ground.
"I have won this match, and by law I am now the clan head of the Hyuga clan." Hinata said softly as the angelic chakra left her. She felt a wave of exhaustion come over her body. She faltered until she felt two arms wrap around her form. She looked up into the smiling face off Naruto. She could see pride and adoration shining brightly in his face.
"You were great Hinata-chan!" He said softly and he helped her steady herself.
"Yes she was, oh and just so none of you forget, Hiashi is no longer the clan head and he is now to stand trial for the attempted murdering of two Konoha shinobi. I trust that this is no longer a problem?" Tsunade asked in a tone that dared anyone to contradict her. None seemed brave enough to tempt fate, but one elder did have a grievance.
"She is still too young to be the clan head. That position can only be given to someone at least 16 years of age. She will have to remain the clan heir and choose and clan head." The elder stated.
"What? That's a load of crap." Naruto said in annoyance, though Hinata placed her hand over his to calm him.
"I already knew that something like this would come up. Thus I have an idea of who is to be the clan head. I will reveal the candidate soon enough. However, I will not accept the heir position. I am very happy with my life outside of the clan and will return to it. Also, I don't have the time to be an adequate heir." Hinata said and she saw the disappointed looks on the faces of the branch family.
"Who is to be the heir then?" The elder asked, hoping that she would say Hanabi. Hanabi was still young and they might be able to corrupt her again.
"I choose Neji-nii-san." Hinata said, much to the elders' and even Naruto's surprise.
"Neji? Why him Hinata-chan?" Naruto asked in confusion.
"Because we discussed it beforehand."
Naruto looked to the door and sure enough, Neji was standing there with his arms crossed. His head was held high and his eyes burned with passion.
"What are you doing here?" One of the elder's asked.
"I am here to retake the position as heir of the Hyuga clan." Neji said in his usual tone. There were murmurings from all of the Hyuga present. The elders and a majority of the main branch were actually okay with this as they still believed Neji to be the cold and heartless person he used to be. The branch family was unsure of how to feel. When Neji had first become the heir they thought that he would be sympathetic to their plight. However, this was proven false as he acted like a miniature Hiashi.
"I will make up for my past mistakes and lead this clan to a bright future, once I've come of age." Neji said loudly.
"My choice for the new clan head will be delivered shortly. For now Neji is the heir and Hiashi is to be detained immediately." Hinata said as she turned to leave the compound. Naruto and Tsunade walked right beside her and Tsunade stopped to pick up the unconscious Hiashi.
Hinata gave the entire compound one last long look. This had been where she had lived for much of her life but it had never truly been home to her. Home was where the heart resided, it was said. If this was true then wherever those that cared about her were, that was her home. She turned and the left the Hyuga clan for the last time. She would not return as it was now a part of her past. She looked at Naruto's beaming face and knew where her future resided.
Neji looked into the eyes of the clan. The branch family still looked distrustful of him and that was to be expected. He could see that the elders had scheming looks on their faces and he knew that he would have to tread carefully with them. The new clan head would normally be chosen by them but Hinata's victory made her the temporary leader and she could pass that position off to whomever she wanted.
'I hope you know what you are doing Hinata. For this clan still has a long way to go before it is where we would like it to be.' He thought as the clan came up to him and began to bombard him with questions.
(One month later)
The matter of the Hyuga clan had yet to be completely resolved. Hinata had selected a member of the main branch who was known for his sympathy for the branch family to be the new clan head. He was actually a distant cousin of Hinata. He and Neji were already collaborating about the new direction they wanted to take the clan in.
Hiashi had been convicted of treason and sentenced to prison. Jiraiya had applied a seal to suppress his chakra and Tsunade had also forbidden the clan from harming Hanabi in any way. As her father was imprisoned, the elders wanted to place the seal on her but Neji, the new clan head Ko, and Tsunade put a stop to this and ordered that while she was no longer the heiress of the clan she would remain an main branch member.
Hinata was thinking on all of this as she sighed in contentment as Naruto massaged her shoulders. She was very happy that things had worked out. She had freed her clan from a tyrant and her little sister was free from ever having to worry about the seal. Also, Ko and Neji were going to work together and take the clan in a new and better direction, she hoped.
"Enjoying yourself HInata-chan?" Naruto muttered softly in her ear as she gave another appreciative groan.
"Immensely." She said as she looked over the field in which they were sitting.
They were still training with Jiraiya and the mysterious man but they had taken a break. Naruto had noticed how stiff she looked and began to give her a massage. They only had a short break before they would have to begin training again but they savored their time of rest.
The village was slowly changing. Even after the last invasion, moral stayed strong. The Will of Fire burned strongly in their village. They had overcome worse times before and the village stood together as it began to slowly rebuild its strength. Up and coming genin and chunin like the rookie nine were looked upon as the future that was to be protected. In the minds of the villagers and elder shinobi, the future of the village rested in their hands, and they were confident that everything would be okay. In their minds it was always darkest just before dawn and the sun was quickly rising for the village of Konoha.
Hinata turned and kissed Naruto, who was more than happy to reciprocate. They remained in each other's arms, simply enjoying the warmth and love they felt for one another.
'Who would have thought that I would be here with the most beautiful girl in the world at my side? So much has changed in my life. I discovered my burden, found out who my parents' are, found out that dragons have chosen me to save the world, and last but certainly not least I have found the love of my life and a family. All because I listened to a little advice and discovered my true nindo. I wonder what the future holds for us.' Naruto thought as Jirayia called out to he and Hinata.
"Come on Hinata-chan. Let's get back to training. I have a feeling that we're going to need it soon." Naruto thought.
Hinata was about to respond when suddenly she got a headache. She closed her eyes and visions began to appear. She saw an older Naruto fighting against legions of dark figures. She saw herself soaring above the trees at high speeds, her face lined with concern. She saw the village of Konoha burning from numerous fires as people yelled and ran. And worst of all she saw a complete darkness beginning to overtake the land, bloating out all life and existence as a single red eye with three tomes watched on with glee.
Hinata opened her eyes with a gasp of shock as Naruto held her in his arms.
"Hinata-chan what happened?" Naruto asked in concern.
"I don't know Naruto-kun, but I have a feeling that you are right about our training. It will be needed very soon indeed." She said softly as the foreboding images sent a shiver of fear down her spine. The cold feeling retracted a bit as Naruto wrapped her in his arms and let her know that he was there for her.
"No matter what comes Hinata-chan, I will protect you and everyone that I love even if it should cost me my life. For that is my true nindo, my ninja way!" Naruto said with a bright smile that washed away all fear from Hinata face and heart.
"Yes Naruto-kun, that is our nindo and we will uphold it!" She said happily as he kissed her and led her back to their training fields.
No matter what came their way, they would face it together. They would protect everyone and everything that they cared for with their very lives, for that was their nindo. Naruto's and Hinata's true ninja way.
That's chapter 57 and the last chapter of Naruto's True Nindo! I thank everyone who reviewed and enjoyed my story and all the support I got from my friends. I never imagined that this story would become so popular and am deeply touched that you all enjoy it. I thank God for you all and hope to see you when the sequel comes out! What strange adventures await or heroes? Will Naruto overcome his new weakness? What do the visions that Hinata had mean?
THAT IS A SECRET!
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Till next time everybody, Kyuubi123 out!