A Foxes Tale
AN: Hello all, and welcome back. Firstly thanks to everyone who reviewed the last chapter. Now then for our next order of business update progression in truth I could have updated this a while back but I kept adding to it as I never quite liked where I ended it. That said I want everyone to understand that I do work full time, and on a computer and on my off hours I don't like typing so much so please excuse the longer wait time between updates. That said here's the new chapter.
Isolated within the forest surrounding Konoha blue and green eyes locked on each other with neither showing the emotions of their owner. Gaara was bound in chains wrapped around each of his limbs though that wasn't really necessary as he didn't even have the chakra to put up a fight. Just in front of Gaara sat Akemi within a meditative position her hands held firmly within an oddly shaped seal. Before their eyes she manipulated the seal that imprisoned the one tailed Lord of the Sand and not only strengthened it, adding multiple new layers but basically redesigned it. Naruto had returned fifteen minutes prior having returned to his full human state and hair once more red, though his eyes had remained blue.
"How, how are you so strong Uzumaki?" questioned Gaara speaking up for the first time since Naruto had abruptly ended their battle.
The question had been nagging at him since he first felt the true depths of the other boy's power. It had been massive, so massive and potent in fact he'd even felt it as the demon within him paused as if in shock. Nothing he had ever encountered had ever had that type of effect before and even now
"Good question. Lots of training for the most part, but there are multiple answers to that question, however in your case there is only one truth. Our reasoning is different, it's as simple as that. You fight only for yourself with no care whatsoever about others, one look in your eyes told me that. I fight for others, the humans for all of their flaws have managed to at least get that right. For me I fight for the children, those innocents who have yet to see the true ugliness of this world." Said the Uzumaki as he relaxed and looked up towards the sky.
"When I was little maybe five or six, the old man told me something that I've kept close to me ever since. The village is a family and while at times we may have our problems we all do our part to protect each other. As Hokage you become the head of the family, it becomes your job to safeguard them and place their burdens upon your own shoulders. It was then I decided that I'd become Hokage though not for the reasons most would expect. I couldn't care less about the recognition or respect of the old bastards, they'll all be dead soon enough. However the children are a different story, I want to ensure that no child, be they human, demon, hanyou, or container ever has to live a life like I did."
'Love, is that what love is?' thought Gaara silently.
"Hm this is interesting." Stated Akemi catching both of their attention.
"What is it?" questioned Naruto as he moved to be next to her.
"I figured out why this seal isn't working right, it's meant to work on humans and Gaara isn't human." Stated Akemi.
"I thought as much." Stated Naruto as he walked up.
"You knew?" questioned Akemi in surprise.
"Jiraiya told me that he had the Ichibi placed in him while he was still in the womb. Naturally that type of power would affect his development, so it was a reasonable thought he'd be at least part demon." Stated Naruto.
"Try half. It's because of that the seal is having so much trouble, trying to hold back the Ichibi, Gaara-san's youki and the other soul within him." informed the vixen.
"Can you fix it?" questioned Naruto.
"Normally doing something like that would be troublesome. However since the other soul is similar in feeling to Gaara's I can manage if I use the other soul as a medium I can install a new matrix into the seal to boost its power with that I can also use it as a transfer point using the soul as a buffer as the chakra of the Ichibi slowly transfers over to Gaara." Explained Akemi
Before anymore could be spoken however a plume of smoke appeared and quickly cleared to reveal a young toad. The toad itself was orange in color with purple markings around its eyes, mouth and stomach and wore a blue vest. The toads name was Gamakichi and he is the eldest son of the toad clans boss Gamabunta. He was actually the toad that he summoned the most as he found that he rather liked the little guy so would let him hang around as long as he wanted during his moth training. He knew the toad had quite the lively personality so it put him on edge when he saw the somber look that the young toad sported.
"What's wrong Gamakichi?" questioned the young Kitsune as he eyed the toad.
"It's the Hokage, it's bad, ero-sennin is waitin'."
The words had an immediate effect causing Naruto's eyes to widen before he was up and dashing back towards the village with all the speed he was capable of. Bursting into shunpo he made quick work of cutting through the forest before leaping off the branch of a tree and immediately summoning Kasumi once more in midair. As they landed much like one would a horse spurned her on the result having Kasumi pour in all of her speed becoming little more than a golden blur as she raced back to the village. As they neared the ruined gates Kasumi didn't even slow blowing right through with Naruto tucking himself in. Running through the village proper she slowed just enough to be made out as she dodged around or jumped all manner of obstacles until finally they slid to a stop in front of the hospital doors.
Thankfully Jiraiya met him at the hospital doors as even though he'd gotten pretty good at sensing energy he wasn't yet to the point where he could tell them apart or track one specifically. The Sannin led down to the lower level past a pair of chuunin standing guard at the lower level doors and past two more checkpoints before they arrived at a door guarded by a pair of ANBU operatives. Without the slightest bit of hesitation the ANBU members stepped aside allowing the two of them entry, where they found Asuma, and Konohamaru both sitting at the bedside of the Sandaime. Eyes widening at the sight of the old man hooked up to so many machines he froze and almost robotically moved into the room.
The old man was unconscious and Asuma was in the process of consoling a rather distraught Konohamaru as he focused Naruto could tell his energy was so low he could hardly feel it. Almost robotically he entered the room moving so that he was sitting at the old man's bedside with Konohamaru latching onto him immediately as he sat down though thankfully no longer crying. This proved to be just in time as another person took the moment to make his way into the room.
This man appeared to be within his late sixties and wore white hospital scrubs along with a lab coat. The top of his head was completely bald and only the sides and the back had a bit of aged white hair to them. Naruto knew the man well as the man was his private doctor someone whom the Sandaime had introduced him to when he had to get all his physical work done to enter the academy. His name is Hashimoto Hayato and was considered to be the second greatest medic-nin in the leaf villages history. He was also the man who had taught Tsunade the ground work of the medical field and like any real teacher there was none prouder than he himself was once he realized she had surpassed him in ability
"Hashimoto-sensei, how is he?" questioned Asuma as the man stepped into the room.
"Perhaps you would like to discuss that in private." Said the doctor.
Asuma thought about that for several minutes, as a shinobi and one who had spent plenty of time within the hospital due to injuries he knew there were certain things about doctor-patient confidentiality that the medic's were quite serious about sticking to. In fact the only person who those rules didn't apply to was the acting Hokage as the Hokage would need to be made aware of who was fit for duty and who was not. As he was family and considering the old man was currently out of it he understandably could be told, the question however was whether Jiraiya, Naruto, and Konohamaru needed to be told. In their own way all of them could be considered family however he knew how protective the old man was of Naruto and how proud he was of Jiraiya for the most part, Konohamaru was of course his blood grandson but he was still only seven years old. Still he nodding knowing he'd end up telling them all what was going on anyway.
"From what I've been able to determine with the test run things aren't good. Due to who he was fighting the first thing that was done was checking for any sign of poisoning which came up negative as far as substances are concerned. In fact from what I could tell there wasn't a single major blow landed to his body. The cause of his current condition however is what is known as chakra overload." Explained the doctor.
"I've never heard of such a thing." Said Asuma.
"It's when more chakra than the body can handle is circulated through it." Said Naruto with a frown.
"Very good Naruto-kun; how did you know? Most outside of medic-nin have never heard of it." Returned Hashimoto.
"During my training over the month I brought up learning to control my other chakra. However it was decided against as due to its potency, my age and body type I wouldn't be able to handle it." Explained the boy, information all three elder males filed away while Konohamaru just looked confused.
"Well as Naruto said chakra overload is when the power of ones chakra is more than the body can handle and while he has used far more chakra for far longer in the past that was well over 15 years ago. Over the last 12 years however Hiruzen has used a very minimal amount of chakra, perhaps just enough to light his pipe or other trivial things. Today was the first time he has actually used a large amount of chakra since the last great war and his organs simply couldn't handle it. During the battle he was fine but after the battle and once he stopped using his chakra he immediately collapsed due to a heart attack.
Due to his age and lack of physical activity that had a very high probability of happening but could be easily fixed. However adding his chakra into the mix had an entirely new affect as problems around major areas along both his blood and chakra circulatory systems occurred. Several of his tenketsu had been unable to handle the stress and as a result had ruptured worsening problems in his heart and causing one of his lungs to burst. There were several more problems but none that critical, unfortunately his body refused chakra treatment for the most part and we had to operate the old fashioned way. We were able to repair the damage to his heart and lung, and using a few seals we've directed his chakra into those seals as we can't fix the tenketsu. Unfortunately the damage had already been done and we could only ensure to make him as comfortable as possible."
As the doctor finished Konohamaru burst into tears once more clinging onto Naruto like a lifeline while he himself did his best to hold his own inside. For Jiraiya and Asuma it was easier to hold in their emotions having not only been trained for such things but having gone through several such occasions before as such while they appeared uncaring the two would break down once they were securely away from anyone who could see such a thing.
"How long?" questioned Asuma causing the doctor to sigh.
"According to my rough estimates even with the machines he's got three hours."
And for the next three hours none of them moved from the room all four of them sitting quietly as they reflected on their time with the man. For Jiraiya and Asuma they could mostly feel regret at the fact that they had wasted so much time. Jiraiya had spent the last twelve years outside of the village tracking down threats to the village and eliminating all threats to his godson on top of locating the whereabouts of the bijuu. The truth of the matter was he hadn't had to stay outside the village but had due to the fact that he'd been furious that the Sandaime had released the news of Naruto's connection to the Kyuubi and had refused to do so with his connection to his father.
The man had been blindly adamant in his beliefs in the villagers and it had come back to bite Naruto in the ass. He had pleaded with the man to let him take Naruto and raise him outside of the village and had been denied and told the man had decided the boy would grow up in an orphanage of all things. After that he had left and not stepped foot within Hi no Kuni using his summons to deliver his reports and to check up on Naruto secretly. The truth of the matter was he had only come back after the news of the 'Great Naruto Bridge' in Nami no Kuni had come to him and he'd wanted to know the story behind the name and catch up with the boy.
For Asuma the problem had been a lot more selfish and in hindsight foolish. He had felt that the man had been babying him with his over-protectiveness and as a jounin at the time hadn't liked it. When he'd been offered to join the Shogonin Junishi he had jumped at the opportunity to prove himself and step out of his father's shadow. His father had been furious at his acceptance and that had only made him feel better about the decision and he had only returned a year ago after some problems that had arisen within the group. Though he had been back for a year the relationship between the two of them had been strained quite badly and neither had really made a real effort to fix things.
For Naruto he remembered mostly good times. He remembered all of the times that the old man had come to the orphanage to visit and would tell them all stories about the super powered ninja that had left them all in awe. He remembered how he would summon some of the younger monkeys to play with them or just sit there and listen to whatever it was they had to say. When he had come and asked if anyone wanted to join the ninja academy he had jumped at the chance along with several of the others all of them eager to become one of the ninjas in the stories that they had been told. He had given them all an apartment within the same complex and an allowance bi-weekly for whatever expenses they had. Technically speaking he himself hadn't been there as the matron had already kicked him out earlier in the week but it hadn't taken the Sandaime long to track him and offer him the same deal. He remembered how the old man had first taken him to Ichiraku's and introduced him to ramen and all the times they had repeated the visit.
He remembered the proud look that he'd given him for earning his hitae-tae after all of the problems that had arisen for him to get it. He remembered his reaction and words after the mission to Nami no Kuni and most recently he remembered his words after he had finally unveiled his Shunpo. He remembered his reactions when he had first summoned his mother from out of the seal to speak with him and the time he'd gotten him with his Oiroke no jutsu and even the time he'd painted the Hokage Monument where he and the old man had talked and laughed about it and the chase he'd given the ninja around the village.
When the three hours passed they had all watched silently as the old man's chest went still. There were no emergency sirens blared as doctor Hashimoto was already within the room. Naruto watched as the old man's spirit left his body and looked down at his own body with what looked like acceptance in his eyes. He could only watch stunned as the spirits body glowed briefly before changing into a butterfly and flying away. Numb the teen made his way out of the room and passed the ANBU guards walking through the hospital without a word to anyone before he vanished into Shunpo upon reaching the outside. After several minutes of constant movement he appeared on top of the Sandaime's head on the Hokage Monument and finally alone roared up at the heavens the pain and sorrow within the sound heard all over the village before he fell to his knees and slammed his palms to the ground beneath him ignoring the feeling of the earth shaking beneath him. The next thing he knew would be blissful unconsciousness and he would not notice that behind the monument a part that had been barren of life for over a decade was now a miniature forest in itself.
Elsewhere a buxom blond sat within a hotel room ignoring the trail of tears that adorned her face as she held a scroll tightly in hand. The day had started and gone pretty much normally; she had hit the casino losing constantly and had been on her way to get something to eat when a puff of smoke had occurred just in front of her. When the smoke cleared a monkey had stood in front of her and handed her the scroll before disappearing without a word spoken. She had recognized the monkey as one of the summon creatures her old teacher held a contract with and that was the only reason she hadn't punted it or tossed the scroll over her shoulders to be forgotten. Instead knowing that the scroll was probably important and against her first instinct she had retreated back into her hotel room to read it in private.
Tsunade it had read, if you are reading this than I fear the worst has happened and I have passed on. The last few months have not been kind and I have begun to feel my age. Regardless that is not why I have prepared this scroll for you, but instead to update and warn you. First and foremost I should inform you that your time as a wanderer has come to an end I have allowed it as we are in a time of peace and your legacy prepared a suitable amount of medics for the village. However certain factors of the council have been demanding your return and I fear that the next Hokage will not be so lenient on you. More importantly however I must inform you of a secret that had been kept from you, though not of my choice.
Back during the war after Dan's passing you went through a rough time constantly drinking, something I tried to stop as alcohol is no friend to the Senju. However despite this you were still our best and brightest and as long as you were sober I allowed you to take to the field. On your last mission you were wounded as you know and spent the next few months in a coma. What I did not learn until much later however was that you were pregnant at the time. You were comatose even when the baby reached the ninth month and when you showed no signs of waking the baby was removed from you without my knowledge. It was a healthy baby boy seven pounds eight ounces if my research was correct.
At this point her eyes had widened as the implications of this had set into her mind. She had known she was pregnant for a time and had been contemplating retirement when she went on that mission. However she was told upon awakening that she had lost her baby by the elders who were the first to see her when she awoke. That had been the reason she had left, after all she'd had no reason to stay she had lost her brother, her lover and then she found that she had lost her baby. It had been the last straw and she had wasted no time in leaving and had stuck to her word to never return.
I did not find out for nearly ten years when a certain child caught my eye. First and foremost he was blond and that immediately raised a red flag with me as blondes are quite rare in Konoha as you know. So I did some digging and found that his genetics did not match up with that of anyone we had on record, so I went into the sealed records. One was obviously yours and the others was his fathers, it was Jiraiya's. Over time I tried to get in contact with you through the normal routes as I didn't wish to draw attention to what I was doing, you dodged my messengers. So I did the next best thing I made him one of Jiraiya's students in his gennin team. Almost immediately they bonded to such a degree that it was no wonder when Jiraiya asked him to be his apprentice after he made chuunin. As I'm sure you've realized by now your son eventually became the 'Yellow Flash' and my successor to the title of Hokage.
I had once asked Jiraiya after getting him stone faced drunk with some of Enma's stash, and he honestly had no idea what had happened between the two of you yet he still saw Minato as his own son. However I could never in good conscious tell him the truth, not without you yourself there to tell him. For a time things had looked up Minato had even gotten married as you know, then tragedy struck. Kushina went into labor and somehow the Kyuubi was released, which I only recently learned was no accident. Minato sacrificed himself and sealed the Kyubi into his son, a boy he named Naruto after a character in Jiraiya's first book one, much more tasteful entitled Tale of the Utterly Gutsy Shinobi. For the last twelve years I have tried to get you to come back to help him. The council behind my back released the news of him being the jinchuuriki of the Kyuubi and his life for the most part was an utter hell. However that changed just recently the night of his graduation the guardian of the seal awoke and it was Kushina. More than that with her awakening certain parts of Naruto changed and we discovered something startling, he could use Mokuton.
Throughout this time she had been using her training to hold her emotions back but this revelation had caused her to nearly drop the scroll in her shock. The Mokuton was thought to be impossible to use by anyone but her grandfather the Shodai Hokage. Her mother had been unable to use it, she'd been unable to use it and Nawaki had been unable to use it. No one had been able to figure out the secret behind it and that is in part what made her grandfather so revered as what he had done had been impossible for even his direct descendants. At the same time pride made its way into her as it was her grandson that had discovered the secret all on his own.
For a while I forbid him from using it, knowing the can of worms it would open and he was fine with that. However recently trouble reared its snake-like head as Orochimaru infiltrated the Chuunin Exams in an effort to brand his teammate Uchiha Sasuke with the cursed seal. His initial attempt failed as Naruto held another technique in reserve which had allowed him to escape Orochimaru with his teammates. During the preliminaries Naruto killed Orochimaru's right hand who had been acting as a spy in the village, which was somehow missed. In retaliation Orochimaru ordered his assassination, and sent Guren a kunoichi he trained who possessed the Shoton Kekki Genkai. Naruto beat her and so badly she revealed that Orochimaru planned to invade Konoha with the aid of Suna during the final tournament, even worse Suna had sent the Ichibi jinchuuriki Sabaku no Gaara. Orochimaru made a mistake however as Guren was part of a team sent to assassinate the Yondaime Kazekage and I have Jiraiya heading that way now where he will 'discover' the Kazekage's corpse.
I have assigned Naruto the mission to handle Gaara through any means and have authorized him to use his full capabilities should he deem it necessary. As I stated earlier I have written this scroll as a worst case scenario to be given to you at the time of my death. I have likewise had a scroll delivered to the Daimyo for this scenario as well, and knowing him he will do his best to run things while things are hectic. But it is imperative that you return Tsunade as either you yourself or Jiraiya must assume the role of Hokage, there is no one else I can entrust Naruto's future with.
For a while she just sat there in the chair at the small wooden table looking out over the village she was staying in. This was exactly how her own apprentice saw her when she arrived, it was also her arrival that got the woman moving. Standing to her feet she faced her apprentice with the most serious expression she had donned in years with eyes burning with determination.
"Shizune pack up. We're going home."
When Naruto awoke an hour later he found himself lying with his head in his mother's lap. He clung to her doing nothing to hide his feelings from her even as she wiped his face to remove the tear tracks that stained it. Composing himself after a few minutes he turned so that he was no longer on his side but on his back so that he could look up at the clouds. As he did he caught sight of another woman who stood at about 5'5" and appeared to be about 18 and had long bright red hair that was tied into six braids that fell to near her ankles looking more like tails than anything else. Her eyes were larger round violet orbs much like his own blue ones looking down into his own eyes.
"Hello Kurama." Stated the woman her tone calm but gentle.
"Sochi this is Kimiko." Said Kushina causing Naruto's eyes to widen at the words and as if a signal was given the woman glomped him.
"OH he's so cute!" exclaimed the woman as the teen struggled for dear life as he found his face buried in his sisters chest area before cringing as she squealed yet again.
"Kaa-sama his hair feels like fur!" exclaimed the girl before she began running her hand through his hair.
It was here that Naruto did something he had never done before, something that he would deny with all of his being for the rest of his life, or until the moment was forgotten whichever came first, he purred. Immediately the hands froze as did all movement and sound before both mother and daughter squealed and pounced upon him with reckless abandon. Eventually however the two let up and Naruto found himself lying with his head in Kimiko's lap as she continued to run her hands through his hair.
"So Miko-chan care to enlighten me on what's been going on the last few decades." Said Kushina after the horseplay had died down.
"Well as you know I spent a lot of time training. Aside from that after you decided that you were going to take this vacation of yours it was decided that I would manage things until you returned. Of course things got really interesting once rumors came about that you had a son. Speaking of why wasn't I informed?" explained Kimiko causing Kushina to rub the back of her head.
"Honestly I had wanted to bring him and introduce him in person and I didn't want anyone to know about him before you did. As for why that didn't happen I ended up getting sealed inside him so we only recently came into contact with each other."
As Kushina said this Kimiko's hand stilled for several moments in shock before she resumed running it through his hair.
"You too, how the hell did that happen?" questioned the younger woman.
So Kushina told her of the things that had happened from her trip to Uzu to pay her respects to Naruto's birth and all the drama that had unfolded through that night and what she knew of Naruto's life after. It was a testament to both her training and self-control that Kimiko did not release her killing intent once during the story especially on hearing of the person who had the gall to attack her mother and of how the humans had been treating her brother. Despite all the things that humans were capable of now the village would not have stood a chance if she lost her temper as her killing intent alone would have killed many even if she didn't assume her full demon form. Suddenly three pairs of ears twitched and Naruto who was nearly sleep was wide awake as an ANBU member materialized upon the mountain face with them. Looking them over they found it was a male with Ape mask and still in his combat mode judging by the dried blood staining his attire.
"Uzumaki-san your presence has been called for in the council chamber." Stated the ANBU member with a hint of respect in his voice.
"Fine, though I wish they'd have waited." Said Naruto before slowly standing to his feet at the same time both Kushina and Kimiko had stood as well surprising the masked man.
"Well lead the way ototo." Said Kimiko.
Naruto frowned as he turned to look out over the village taking stock in his reiatsu levels. Though nowhere near full strength he'd recovered enough energy for a bit of travel turning towards the ANBU he gave a brief nod before vanishing in a burst of Shunpo. As he left both Kushina and Kimiko vanished in whirls of water and fire respectively leaving a shocked killer in their wake quickly shaking it off however he himself left in a plume of smoke and a whirl of leaves. Naruto panted as he came out of his Shunpo not long later at the entrance to the tower his forehead already covered in sweat. Normally the little bit of travel he did would have been nothing major but with all he had done that day he was finding that he was more tired than he actually realized. Not two seconds later both his mother and sister appeared shocking the hell out of a group of chuunin. Regardless they made their way through the tower administrative building Naruto leading the way with the familiarity only someone who spent much time there could.
As he passed many of the shinobi spared him a brief nod of acknowledgement though none stopped to speak. Naruto wondered what had caused that as he was pretty sure not many people would have done so before that day. As they reached the council chamber they found Jiraiya leaning on the wall waiting for them and by his expression he was obviously displeased but motioned for the ANBU guarding the doors to open them; they hesitated spotting who was with Naruto but one glare from Jiraiya stopped all resistance. Upon entering Naruto found all of the clan heads in attendance, along with all of the jounin-sensei that he knew and Iruka shockingly enough. Other than that a number of civilians were there including one who he recognized as Sakura's dad who spared him a brief nod as they locked eyes.
"Before we begin I'd like to apologize Asuma-kun, Jiraiya-san, and Naruto-san as I know all of you are still grieving."
The man who spoke was sitting within the seat used by the Hokage and was an older man in his sixties. He had long grey hair pulled back in a topknot and wore a pair of deep red and black robes with the crest of Hi no Kuni stamped upon them. Naruto had seen him once before when he was about eight and the Sandaime had introduced him as the daimyo, he was a legendary figure from the shinobi wars named Tokugawa Ieyasu made legendary for slaughtering fifty jounin on his own when they'd breached his home in his early adulthood. More than that he was well liked because unlike most of the daimyo he made it a point to fight on the frontlines whenever he was able.
"Apologies are unnecessary Ieyasu-sama but much appreciated." Stated Jiraiya getting an understanding nod from the man.
"Before we begin I'd like to know who the two of you are?" spoke Koharu looking pointedly at the two women Naruto had entered with.
"Surely you have not forgotten me already Koharu, it has only been twelve and a half years." Stated Kushina causing the woman's eyes to narrow.
"Uzumaki Kushina how is this possible, you're supposed to be dead." Stated Homura in surprise.
"I'm sorry that is classified information which cannot be discussed in present company." Stated Kushina looking pointedly at the civilians getting an understanding nod from the elder.
"And you young lady I do not believe I have met you before." Said Homura.
"Indeed you haven't. I am Uzumaki Kimiko, my purpose here was to observe my brothers progress in the exams and now ensure his protection." Stated Kimiko placing a hand on Naruto's head.
"As interesting as this is can we get back on track please? I have many things to arrange still and a grief stricken nephew to console." Stated Asuma bringing everyone back to the matter at hand.
"Of course. Shikaku-san if you please." Stated the Daimyo causing the Nara to nod.
"Firstly Naruto-san I wish to congratulate you on the success of your mission. Your actions prevented many lives from being needlessly lost." Stated Shikaku causing Naruto to narrow his eyes.
"How could you know I had succeeded without me saying anything about it. There was no one within five hundred meters of our battle I made sure of it and even the most powerful Byakugan can't see that far." Said Naruto in shock.
"True enough, however you forget of some of our more subtle clans it seems." Stated Shibi as a bug appeared floating around Naruto causing his eyes to widen in shock.
"While defeating Gaara was your mission we always have a backup plan and a team of ANBU was positioned so that they could aid you if needed." Stated Shibi.
This was not what Naruto wanted to hear however as he had gone to great lengths to hide the depths of his abilities. In response to his irritation with the news and the day that he'd had thus far Benehime began to rattle and Naruto had to place a hand upon it to get the rattling to cease. For several moments all was silent as he closed his eyes and took in a deep breath exhaling slowly to regain his composure.
Seeing him regaining himself Shikaku had to withhold a smirk before he continued.
"As I said I wanted to congratulate you on a job well done. However we do have a number of questions regarding the range of skills you displayed." Stated Shikaku, Naruto said nothing and Shikaku took it as a sign to continue.
"The abilities of your sword, and of your Shunpo technique were already known as was the lightning technique as you used all of these during the preliminaries. However you demonstrated a number of techniques of which there was no recorded information including the manipulation of plants, even more you managed to use Mokuton techniques we would just like an explanation as to how." Explained Shikaku causing Naruto to turn to his mother who nodded causing Naruto to sigh.
"Well that's a bit difficult to answer. All of the plant techniques I created and Jiraiya-sensei can vouch for that. As for many of the other techniques they are like Byakurai techniques that were designed for me as they require reiryoku." Explained Naruto.
"I've never heard of such a thing, what is it?" Said Koharu.
"Reiryoku simply put is pure spiritual energy. As you know the human body contains both physical and spiritual energy which combines to make chakra. Each person also holds reiryoku, this however is usually unusable as our bodies automatically form chakra. However I'm a special case as my seal is primarily made of reiryoku of the Shinigami. More than that I did actually die before and it allowed me to access that energy." Explained Naruto causing many to look thoughtful.
"What about the Mokuton, how could you do it?" questioned one of the civilian council members causing Naruto to frown.
"A good question." Stated Shibi which Naruto correctly interpreted to mean it needed answering.
"From what I was told Mokuton is different than other sub-elements. No two people can do it the same way, sure the technique seals are the same but the composition is different for each person. From what I understand everyone before me tried doing it the same way the Shodai did, I didn't have that formal training and subconsciously changed the composition after each failure until I eventually found one that worked for me." Said Naruto for several long moments it was silent as everyone was in though until Homura spoke once more.
"According to the report we received you have the ability to summon kitsune's. Firstly I never knew such a contract existed, how did you come across it." Questioned Homura
"I created it." Stated Kushina shocking everyone and causing all eyes to focus on her.
"When I first discovered I was pregnant with him I decided to create the contract." Explained Kushina.
"Wait a minute I thought he was an orphan! And why the hell would you want to create a contract with those monsters." Exclaimed a civilian councilman.
Suddenly a strangled gasp escaped him and he slammed face first into the table struggling to breathe let alone pick himself up. While most were trying to figure out what had happened Kushina placed her hand on Naruto's shoulder and after several long moments the pressure left the man as he desperately drew in much needed air.
"You'll have to excuse my son, he has had a most trying day and as you can see he is not in a very good mood." Stated Kushina while the man could only nod shakily.
"What just happened?" questioned Chouza.
"What you just witnessed was the effect Naruto's reiatsu has on people. Reiatsu is simply put the pressure his reiryoku generates when it is released. We're still working on his temper and this sometimes happens when he's irritated, though thankfully he's learned to focus it." Stated Kushina.
"As for why I created the contract, why shouldn't the son of the Kyuubi possess such a contract."
Her statement had an immediate effect as the civilians were immediately up and shouting while many of the shinobi in the room went wide eyed in surprise and several tensed. However Jiraiya quickly reminded everyone of his presence as a fierce killing intent filled the room causing an immediate silence to overcome the place before he cut his intent.
"Uzumaki-san would you mind explaining that last bit?" asked the daimyo.
"Tell me what do you all know of the Kyuubi, not rumors but actual fact?" questioned Kushina.
"It is a being of pure chakra with abilities over fire, water and earth capable of causing untold amounts of devastation with just a swing of a tail." Said Shikaku
"Anything else?" questioned Kimiko with a raised eyebrow.
"Unfortunately most of what we know is mere rumor nothing that has been proven as absolute fact."
"Inari-sama humans are such morons." Muttered younger Uzumaki woman shaking her head in disbelief.
"Firstly you need to know that Kyuubi is a title like Hokage. Secondly the Kyuubi and the bijuu in general are beings created initially by the Rikudo Sannin. They were each once part of the same whole which was known as the Juubi a monstrous beast which the sage fought and sealed within himself. During the later years of his life he created the bijuu so that the Juubi would not reform upon his death. For centuries they lived within the lands which you now call the elemental nations and became collectively known as the Lords of the Northern Lands. Nearly one hundred years ago I was born very much premature and would have died within my first week of life, my father prayed to the Gods to spare my life and Inari-sama spared my life, however Inari-sama changed me and made me a Kitsune.
However there was a price, it was stated that I would be needed and thus was taken to train. Years later I was evacuated from Uzu no Kuni with a group of refugees, where I met Uzumaki Mito. Within her she held sealed the original Kyubi and I knew that I was to become his successor. When they transferred my predecessor from Mito into myself I gained all of the knowledge of the former Kyubi and I in turn became the Kyuubi. As for what happened those few years ago, Naruto's birth had left me very much weakened and as such I was attacked and forced into a genjutsu in which I was mentally tortured and as a result lost control of my power and transformed. When Shinigami-sama was summoned however he knew of the situation and instead of devouring our souls sealed me inside of my son so that I could watch over him." explained Kushina.
"I don't understand if that was the case why wasn't anyone told?" questioned Tsume.
"It was decided that it wasn't something that needed to be shared, as we had too many problems within the village. However I knew, as I could sense the difference in her energy and Minato knew so it was enough. Aside from that explaining her abilities would be seen much like explaining the secrets of the Byakugan and Jyuken, or the Ino-Shika-Cho techniques to others outside of that clan. When Naruto was born an announcement was supposed to be made but Kushina was attacked and you all know the results." Stated Jiraiya.
"It was an Uchiha who attacked you wasn't it." Stated Kakashi surprising everyone and bringing the rooms attention to himself.
"During our teams' first meeting Naruto stated his goal was to utterly destroy a certain Uchiha." Said Kakashi.
"Correct, it was an Uchiha. Originally I wasn't going to reveal this information but it seems the reason for that has been negated." Said Kushina.
Before anyone else could speak there was a plume of smoke that erupted. When it cleared a small kit could be seen unlike most Kitsune however this one stood up on two feet and wore a pair of red and white shoes and a pair of white gloves. His fur was golden with white tipped ears and two tails also tipped white.
"Nii-san that Gaara guy has made it out of Hi no Kuni. Akemi-san said that she left him and his siblings right at the border." Said the Kitsune in a high pitched childlike voice.
"Thanks Teirusu, I'll call you back later for that snack I promised ok." Said Naruto as he pet the little guy atop the head getting a large grin before the little guy vanished into smoke.
"You summoned Akemi?" questioned Kimiko with a raised eyebrow.
"Gaara's seal was shit. Even I could do better than that thing was and I'm nowhere near good enough in fuinjutsu to be messing around with soul binding seals." Said Naruto with a look of disgust on his face.
"I have a question what does him being a demon mean?" questioned Sakura's dad bringing everyone back to the subject they were discussing.
"Technically speaking I'm a Hanyou, half human/ half demon. As far as I know I have enhanced senses and more potent chakra. I don't know much else since I just recently found this out." Said Naruto.
"Well we'll find out soon enough. Tsunade sent a message stating that she was on her way here, sensei apparently sent her a letter and she's pissed." Said Jiraiya
"Well surely there's something you can tell us aside from that." Stated Sakura's dad once more.
"Not really he's the first Hanyou born in a few centuries. Most demons don't like to associate with Humans." Explained Kushina
"Now I have a question. Who was the dumbass that decided sealing away the bijuu was a good idea?" questioned Kimiko
"Hold your tongue! It was our Shodai that initially did it and told the other nations how to." Said Koharu.
"I will hold nothing mortal! Do you have any idea what you have done! The only reason these lands are this peaceful is because of the bijuu as no demon in their right mind would dare try to take on nine Daiyouki. But because you decided it was prudent to seal them away and use them as your personal weapons you've left the entire Northern Land open to a full scale invasion! The only reason we are not at war now is because we've been doing our damndest to make it seem like nothing is wrong! If the other lands learn of what happened we'll be slaughtered!" exclaimed Kimiko her eyes glowing red in her anger only for Naruto to place his hand on her own.
"Calm down they didn't know any better. You forget sister that humans are still children they'll learn with time." Stated Naruto catching the entire room's attention.
"What's done is done, all we can do is run damage control at this point." Said Kushina in agreement with her son.
"What are you all talking about?" questioned one of the civilians.
"Something you don't need to worry about." Said Naruto
"That's right what we need to focus on is quelling any thoughts the other nations may be having after the invasion." Stated Jiraiya
"He's right, don't forget the Tsuchikage was here." Stated Inoichi.
"We also need to do something to boost the morale of the villagers after the attack. I'm thinking we should announce Naruto's parentage to the village." Stated Tsume.
"Now's not the time." Stated Shikaku surprising everyone.
"While that might work for the villagers it may also antagonize Iwa into attacking. He may have been able to take on Gaara but the two in Iwa are way more experienced than he is." Said Shikaku causing several people to grimace.
"Do you need me here for anything else?" questioned Naruto.
"I do have something to say that involves you." Stated Ieyasu reminding everyone of his presence.
"One month ago Hiruzen sent me a letter regarding you and your actions which led to the discovery of the invasion and that you were the one who provided many of the plans used to counter it. As you know your promotion to chuunin was already guaranteed for that. However he was worried about what would happen after the invasion if he wasn't around. I have decided that while eligible for the CRA you are not to be pushed into it. Furthermore even if you do participate you will not be forced to have any number at any given time, nor will any be picked for you. For the time being your orders will come directly from myself or Shikaku-san until such time as I have appointed a new Hokage.
I also had an auditor go through the Uzumaki accounts in the time leading up to the exams and they found the numbers highly irregular. All taken funds will be returned with interest as I know neither yourself nor your mother had access to the account in the last twelve years." Said the man causing Naruto's eyes to widen for a moment before he nodded his thanks and understanding.
"Furthermore a few months ago you brought in a man by the name of Gato. I think it would please you to know that he has been sentenced to life imprisonment. I will leave it up to you whether we will announce the truth of the attack to the village populace once the new Hokage has been chosen. You have the rest of the time off until after the memorial." Stated Ieyasu getting an appreciative smile from the boy who thanked him and left along with his mother and sister.
Elsewhere Temari and Kankuro watched nervously as Gaara tossed and turned in his sleep, just the sight of him sleeping causing them to go on edge and stay there ready to bolt at a moments notice. They had finally found Gaara after escaping during all of the chaos of the invasion of the leaf village only to find him held tightly in chains glowing that had been glowing blue with chakra. Sitting in front of him had been a woman wearing some the robes of a priestess only instead of a woman it had been a Kitsune, an honest to Kami Kitsune. Before they could move to help him they had found themselves imprisoned within some type of barrier before blacking out and waking up there. While they were watching him however Gaara himself was going through an experience that would forever change him.
Walking through sand, which was a first for him as he couldn't control it for some reason he came across the sight of Shukaku actually dozing peacefully. Beside the beast he could only watched as a figure made their appearance in a whirl of sand that was quick to solidify and take shape. The form it took was that of a woman with shoulder length sandy-brown hair and deep indigo colored eyes. She wore a brown blouse the cusps of which were tan as was the bottom portion of the shirt. She also wore a beige skirt with black spandex shorts underneath which came to just before her knees while a mesh stocking covered her left leg and her right was bare, leading to black sandals. She had a Suna issued hitae-tae tied around her waist with a red cloth though the metal hung at her left hip. Finally a long yellow scarf was wrapped around her neck.
"Hello Gaara." Greeted the woman her voice actually causing him to relax.
The smile she gave at the single word, that title would have lit the sky with its brightness. This meeting would change his life, his very destiny and though no one knew it at this point and time it would was the beginning of a legend that would live on for all time.
It had taken only a couple hours travelling at the speeds they had but before the day had let out the two women had covered the ground and arrived at the gates of the hidden leaf village gates that were only barely there. They weren't stopped long, only long enough to verify their identities and then they were through and already they could see shinobi and kunoichi running to and fro in the aftermath of the invasion. They could see that many buildings had been damaged by what looked to be a massive snake judging by the damage but it had obviously been stopped, even still it had done enough damage Even still they wouldn't stop to investigate or offer aid, and while the younger of the two wouldn't have minded the elder was on a mission and nothing was going to sidetrack her. It was only as they reached the entrance to the administrative building that they came to a stop.
"Shizune, go help them out at the hospital." Stated the woman.
"Tsunade-sama…" started the woman in confusion.
With her tone and the setting of her face the woman bowed slightly and took off. Over the years she had learned that there were some facets of her mentors personality that she did not want her to witness. Sure she'd seen her drunk enough to be reduced to tears, and had been on the receiving end of a few of her drunken advances but there were times that the woman got into a mood where she didn't want her anywhere near her. For the most part she understood that, Tsunade for all of her faults was a living legend and aside from the legends of her prowess at healing she was feared for her herculean strength and Shizune for all of her training could not survive anywhere the woman lost her temper. Once she was sure her apprentice was a suitable distance away the slug Sannin entered the building and made her way quickly to where she knew the council would be meeting. Coming to the room she completely ignored the ANBU that tried stopping her and when one actually tried physically she grabbed him and threw him into and through the door. As she entered all eyes were on the woman who looked at the room with cold brown eyes. She ignored everyone as Homura after recognizing her approached her with what he thought were disarming words.
"Tsundae-hime while it is good to see you again did you have to throw the poor boy through a door." Said the old man.
Tsunade said nothing for in an instance so quick the man himself had been flung across the room like a rag doll with the woman holding out the instrument of his assault, her index finger. Paling at the show of strength from the woman the civilians decided to keep themselves quite as did many of the shinobi council members. While the woman than turned her gaze onto Koharu.
"That was a warning and he should only be unconscious however if you don't answer me truthfully old bitch I will liquefy your insides, slowly and I'll make it a thousand times worse than the fast death I'm planning on giving you." Said Tsunade her gaze turning even colder if that was possible.
"Tsunade, perhaps you'd like to explain what has brought you here and in such a mood." Stated another male.
Despite the haze that her rage had on her Tsunade recognized the voice and turned her gaze towards it and sure enough Tokugawa Ieyasu was sitting there. In order to ensure that she could not be recalled by Konoha at any point in time she had gone to work for the Daimyou and had done so for three years before she was released with his permission to travel wherever she saw fit and a pass through any country within the elemental nations. He had never asked her of the finer details for her desire to leave Konoha behind her which was a plus in her book at the time so she supposed she owed him an answer.
"This bitch and that decrepit old man that I'll kill in a minute decided it was a prudent move to have my son removed from my womb while I was in a coma and then lie and tell me he had died."
That single sentence caused the room to be consumed with a deadly silence and an immediate understanding of both why the legendary medic had left but her sudden return for everyone within the room.
The revelation had a different effect on Koharu however as she straightened and actually glared at Tsunade as if such a look would intimidate her.
"So what, it was for the best. Everyone around you was dying and in five years the entirety of the Senju clan had been reduced to just you, you were a curse and could not be trusted with the future of such a clan, especially not at seventeen years old." Said Koharu.
Tsunade took a single step and in the next instant found herself held within a pair of strong arms while Koharu looked at her smugly.
"Tsunade-hime I understand your feelings and you deserve it but you can't kill a member of the elder council especially not in front of the Daimyo." Warned Jiraiya.
"You don't understand my feelings at all but you will." Stated Tsunade her eyes not leaving that of Koharu's.
"I was in a coma for almost a year Jiraiya. I had only found out the day that I went under that I was pregnant. I was a drunken mess and I didn't know who the father could be as Dan had died five months prior and I was three months along. Sarutobi-sensei found out though and since he couldn't tell the father to his face, without me knowing it, he put him on his gennin team, on your team."
Just hearing that tidbit Jiraiya slackened his grip allowing for Tsunade to break free. Even still his mind was elsewhere running a mile a minute at the implications, it was easy to deduce who she was speaking of. Minato had been the only orphan on his team and despite the other two being from shinobi backgrounds he'd been not only the most gifted but the one he'd felt closest to. He and Minato had shared many of the same habits except his more perverted ones. Suddenly strange comments his sensei made that he'd always brushed aside now made sense, other things were also beginning to make sense as well like the strange curiosity the two elders had always had concerning Minato. At the time he'd brushed it off thinking they'd been like everyone else who wanted to know who the genius was that had came out of seemingly nowhere and simply had wondered what his limits were.
While Jiraiya was lost in thought coming to terms with the new information that had been presented to him Tsunade simply watched surprising everyone that she wasn't taking advantage of the moment. However those people didn't know Jiraiya like she did, she knew exactly what the information she'd just given him would cause. Sure enough Jiraiya's expression changed as an oppressive aura took over the entire room however before anything else could be said or done Ieyasu's own presence filled the room bringing all attention back to himself.
"I have heard enough, Tsunade, Jiraiya-san while I understand your want of retribution I will see no more blood spilled this day." Stated the Daimyo is tone leaving no room for argument.
"However the actions of the elders cannot go unpunished. As a final favor to my late friend Hiruzen I will spare your lives. However I sentence you to imprisonment to spend the remainder of your lives in the Crematoria facility."
You could hear a pin drop in the room with that sentence. Of all the prisons within the elemental nations Crematoria was the worst. Though no one knew exactly how the architects had managed to build the place within an active volcano beneath the lava. In the history of the place no one had ever escaped, it was a place people were sent to be forgotten and die. As Koharu was sputtering in shock she was unaware of the ANBU member that materialized behind her and swiftly knocked her out with a chop to the neck. Not a single shinobi member of the council spared them a glance as the two elders were whisked away no doubt to be held in confinement and have their chakra sealed away along with whatever sensitive information they were privy to so that it couldn't be used against the village.
"Now then as those two are taken care of we can move on to the next bit of business. I was going to wait until I was able to dispatch someone to get you but as you are here now we can get this settled." Stated the daimyo turning his gaze onto Tsunade.
"I have given you ample time to travel and live life at your leisure. Now however I need to know what you intend to do from here on out."
Tsunade paused at the question and everyone within the room waited for her answer. Her first instinct was to get the hell out of dodge as quick as she could, she had come to settle the score with the elders for stripping her of her chance at motherhood and though she hadn't spilled their blood justice had at least been served. However she had another reason to be here now, her son had a child of his own who had gone so long with no one but the old man to support him and with her sensei dead he would have no one. Instinct told her to take the boy and go but she knew there was no way that would happen so there was really only one choice even if it galled her. However she let no one see how much she disliked her decision as she squared her shoulders and looked the man in the eyes.
"I'll be staying here, I've done enough traveling and I have a grandson to raise." Stated Tsunade getting a nod from the man.
"In that case we must unfortunately move on to the next and perhaps most important piece of business, the selection of a new Hokage." Stated the Daimyo causing both of the Sannin to tense.
"Hiruzen had already chosen his successor, however at this point in time I think we can all agree that young Naruto has a way to go before we can elevate him to such a role." Said the man getting several nods in agreement, though a few scowled at the mention of the boy.
"As such realistically speaking there are only two available choices the two of you." Stated the man.
"It should be Tsunade." Stated Jiraiya quickly only for said woman to turn and glare at him.
"Oh hell no pervert you do it, just because I came back here doesn't mean I want that damn hat." Said Tsunade heatedly.
"I seem to recall a certain kunoichi posing in a picture wearing that hat." Said Jiraiya causing the woman to fume.
"I was nine, I didn't know any better." Defended the woman
'These two are supposed to be the famous Sannin'
Several people within the room thought and sweat dropped as the two went on with their argument. Of course what none of them knew was that while there were plenty of perks to the job, there was one major downside that most only learned about after they became Hokage, paperwork. Now any shinobi of chuunin rank or better wasn't a stranger to paperwork however as Hokage it transformed from a minor annoyance to the bane of one's existence, and that was just on a normal day to day basis. Tsunade and Jiraiya had been shinobi during war time and had both seen Hokage's break due to the workload and didn't want to even imagine the nightmare it would be after an invasion.
"Okay how about we put this discussion on the shelf for the time being." Said Ieyasu bringing that argument to a close.
The memorial for the Sandaime Hokage and everyone who had fallen in the invasion was a massive affair. It had taken three days to get everything in order and every member of every clan was in attendance as was anyone who had a hitae-tae, all of them even Hyuga Main House members wearing them on their foreheads in honor of their fallen in their black memorial attire. Of the shinobi to pass on that day only the Sandaime had been given a funeral and burial within the Hokage's graveyard whereas all others had their bodies burned to protect village secrets. Naruto stood at the head of the procession with Konohamaru to his left between himself and Asuma, while Tsunade and Jiraiya chose to stand behind him and Iruka stood to his left.
One by one people lined up to place a white flower atop a pedestal in honor of the fallen. No words were spoken and aside from those without a hitae-tae not a single tear was shed. For some it may have seemed strange however to them it was a form of respect given to abide by the rules set down for them to live by and giving no outward sign of how any of them were feeling at that moment. As the procession broke up and those attending left to go on about their day none of them was aware of the pair of figures overlooking the village, one of which looked down with a pair of red eyes with three tomoe-like markings within them.
AN: Well that's it chapters done. As this was the aftermath chapter there was no action to speak of however I think it was good all things considered. As always I like hearing your opinions so as always thanks for reading and please review. Till next time LATER