Story Title: Technological Ninja Naruto Uzumaki
Crossover: Naruto / Star Ocean game series
Disclaimer: I do not own any characters or plot from Naruto anime/manga series and the Star Ocean Video games series. This is a work of fanfiction.
Author's Note: A word of warning, this story will be going slightly AU in terms of Naruto canon/fandom, especially in terms of Konoha's military strength. It really tested my sense of belief when the cannon states that the Allied Shinobi Forces numbered close to 80,000, and the Feudal Lords of the Six Elemental countries are presented as wimpy politicians, who let the Kages of the Hidden Villages control their total military might... In terms of logic, if you're the president of a country, will you let someone else control the total 13,000+ of your country's soldiers, let them form a village, let them become loyal to the Kages controlling them? What's to stop the more corrupt Kages from just dethroning you or led those soldiers against you? A number of readers have highlighted to me that Konoha should have a lot more ninjas based on cannon figures... but 13,000+ ninjas from one village? Let's pause a moment and try to imagine the size of the village, with its supporting civilians needed to support such a large infrastructure of ninjas. Konoha will be the Hidden Leaf City if that's the case... ;)
Since Naruto canon is currently not clear on that little detail, I am going to take it as the Feudal Lords do have some kind of guarantee, something that will deter the Kages serving them from just killing them and taking over their lands and wealth. The military strength is also pulled from all over the country, not just Konoha. I will still follow the cannon figures of military strength, making Fire country's military strength number around 13,000+ or maybe more since they are the more powerful Elemental country. However I will be making a clear distinction on the Ninja forces from Konoha, and the Military forces controlled by the Fire Lord. Their numbers combined will make up Fire country's military strength. It make sense, at least to me, that the Feudal Lords control the majority of their military strength in order to keep their more powerful but lesser quantity ninjas in check... more will be explained in the story... enjoy... :)
Chapter Twelve: The Lost Legacy
S17's scan picked up Danzo's words as he recovered, and transmitted those words directly into N17's mind.
"That's certainly interesting... Naruto Uzumaki... I will make you my tool... one way or another..."
Dread settled in N17's stomach as he continued following Danzo a mile apart, cold sweat beading on his forehead.
"Get Boss to send a replacement soon." N17 plead to S17. "I don't want to follow a pervert who likes little boys, to wherever he's going!"
His journey into the catacombs underneath Konoha remained undisturbed. He had kept up a constant chakra pulse through his journey, sensing his surroundings for any signs of young Naruto. His chakra scan of his surroundings had however revealed nothing. It seemed that the boy must have long since fled.
Bypassing the traps, he gave a nod to the Root ninjas on patrol in the shadows. His hands flashed into several coded signs, quickly and silently conveying that he want the guards to maintain constant chakra scans of their surroundings. With the skills Naruto possessed, this was a necessary precaution in case he discovered the Root headquarters before Danzo was ready.
Though Naruto Uzumaki might be young in terms of age, the small test that Danzo had put him through earlier revealed that Naruto was no weak child to be quailed. Detecting Naruto on the journey here, capturing him, and using words to inflict psychological turmoil on the boy had done nothing but to make Naruto more stubborn and resistant. If he was to get Naruto to his side, Danzo knew he had to either entice him to join Root or break the boy's spirit totally.
Walking deeper into the catacombs, Danzo was unsurprised when a flicker of wind breezed by his side, his trusted ninja, Fu, appearing beside him.
"The guards have received your message. Constant chakra scans around the Root headquarters will be kept up constantly." Fu said in a voice devoid of any emotions.
"Good. I've found a rare jewel in Konoha today, Naruto Uzumaki, who possessed a technique to vanish from sight. The only way to detect him is by sensing his chakra." Danzo said with a contemplative smile. "He had tried to tail me tonight. We must make sure that he does not discover headquarters, at least not until I am able to bring him into the fold."
"You wish to recruit Naruto Uzumaki?" Fu asked in an unassuming voice.
"Yes, the skills Naruto possessed will be a boon to Root should he use them for our cause." Danzo said with a chuckle. "It is too late to cultivate his mind to be loyal to us, but everyone can be broken if their weakness are discovered. I already have plans to break the boy of his dependence and loyalty to the Third. Once that is done, it will be easy to get him to become part of Root. But that is a matter for another day. How goes the preparation for tonight?"
"The doctor is ready. The seal masters are standing by, they can begin inking the seals you require anytime." Fu said simply, bowing to Danzo. "Orochimaru's agent has delivered the solution containing cultivated cells from the body of the First Hokage, as per our arrangement with him. Using the catacomb tunnels, Io met up with the agent outside the village without any problems. The harvested hand from one of the dead Uchiha and the gathered Sharingans have been cleaned, and the necessary sacrifices have been drugged. The procedures can start anytime."
"Good set up extra guards. Under no circumstances must the procedures be disturbed once they begin." Danzo said, a gleam in his eyes as his mouth twisted into a satisfied smile. "Tonight will be the night when I will acquire enough power to protect Konoha, and to lead Root to a new future."
Fu gave a silent nod as he followed Danzo in quick fast strides towards the medical room deep within Root headquarters.
N17 had no idea if he should be relieved or embarrassed that Danzo's not a pedophile afterall, just a ruthless and cunning old man who if Sica's latest scans were to be believed, was attempting some sort of complex fuinjutsu to seal a carefully cultivated solution of the First Hokage's Wood Release cells into a hand. The seal arrays Danzo and his seal masters were currently crafting on the hand was of a complex design. It was a design that even Sica with all of his recorded knowledge from Konoha's library, was unable to decipher.
The only clue N17 and S17 had of what the seal arrays does was from Danzo's conversations with his subordinates. With S17 projecting a mental image of the visual and audio scan, it was as though N17 was standing beside Danzo himself.
"Once the seals are completed, bring the five sacrifices so that I can craft the binding seals on them." Danzo had ordered the Root Ninja Fu, shortly after he entered the Sealing Room.
"I will do that." Fu had acknowledged. "One of the sacrifice is unfortunately putting up quite a fight, using her chakra to burn through the drugs. I may have to administer a double dosage. Will that interfere with the sealing?"
"No it wouldn't. The seal arrays doesn't care if the life given to power the seal is given willingly or not, or under heavy drugs. It's the life force that's important." Danzo said dismissively. "Who is the sacrifice in question anyway? My orders to you was to find some street kids or orphans to use as sacrifices, children that no one will miss. They shouldn't be able to use their chakra against drugs."
"It's Yaiba Chikai's daughter. The agents picked her because she was an orphan with no relatives or guardian in Konoha. They had found her collapsed at the academy training fields last night and thought she would be easily missed in the chaos. No one knew that her old man taught her some tricks before his death." Fu said in an emotionless voice. "With the added patrols in Konoha, most of the homeless had been housed in the shelters, and the agents had picked what they could find especially within the short time frame."
"I am not blaming you Fu. But to think of the coincidence... Yaiba was Konoha's foremost Weapon and Poison master." Danzo said shaking his head as he heard Fu's reply. "It was a great loss to Konoha when he died in that A-rank mission last month. He must have been grooming his daughter after his footsteps. She would probably make a great addition to Root, but right now I need her life more than I need another recruit. The Pentagram Binding of Five Paths seals are the only way to bind a bloodline to a part of the body without attempting those full blown genetic alterations that Orochimaru is fond of doing, though it is thanks to Orochimaru's continued experiments into bloodlines that we even have a concentrated solution of cells from the First Hokage at all."
Danzo gave a sneer as he continued. "The only unfortunate aspect of the seals is that those seals need living sacrifices to power them. To think Minato had these seals and more in his library and he never used them, hoarding them away like some dark secret. He had always been a fool. It is a good thing his whole library of knowledge now resides with us. Root will make better use of his knowledge than he had done."
"It is as you say Danzo sama. I have best be on my way to prepare the sacrifices." Fu said, moving out of the sealing room.
"Give me and the seal masters two hours of preparation before sending the sacrifices in." Danzo had ordered. "Once the Wood Release bloodline is sealed into the hand, bring the doctor in. He'll need to attach the hand to me as soon as the sealing is done. And straight after that, all of the harvested Sharingans must be implanted into the hand."
"I will see to the preparations." Fu had affirmed.
The conversation had taken place half an hour ago, and N17 had been more than grateful that Boss had already sent two other clones as backup, both who were now scouting out the different parts of the catacombs where the Root base was hidden in. Of course, Boss had initially sent the backup for N17 because of N17's mistaken impression that Danzo had some sick fetish for young children, they had not expected to literally stumble on a minefield. That Danzo was in the midst of conducting some sick technique to graft the Wood Release bloodline into a severed hand, which would then be attached to Danzo's body. N17 got the idea that the altered hand would probably grant Danzo access to the Wood Release bloodline, but he had no idea what Danzo's intention was for the numerous Sharingans he had harvested to implant into his new hand. The thought that Danzo had ordered his agents to dug Sharingan eyes out of dead Uchihas were more than a little disturbing to N17.
Of course, after N17 and the other clones had gotten over the initial shock that Danzo had a cozy base hidden deep within Konoha's catacombs, a base containing ninjas loyal to Danzo who were also aiding him in conducting some sickening fuinjutsu techniques, they had quickly spread out to gather as much information as they could. All the information their Sicas had scanned were then sent back to Boss who was frantically compiling all those data into a cohesive whole. Danzo's conversation with Fu had also alerted them to the fact that the supposed library full of Fuinjutsu knowledge belonging to their father, the Fourth Hokage, might somehow be in Danzo's hands. How the library ended up with Danzo, none of them had any idea. But based on scans so far, that supposed library was not found anywhere in Root's base.
Their tasks were made more difficult by the fact that Root's sentry ninjas were ordered to conduct chakra scans of their surroundings. After the scare Danzo had given N17, the clones were fully briefed by their individual Sicas of the power and range of Sensor ninjas, which unfortunately was not much. Sica's scanned library of knowledge had contained information about Sensor ninja training, but Chakra Sensing was the type of ninja training that developed differently in different individuals, and it was difficult to tell how accomplished a Sensor ninja was, without detailed prior knowledge of the ninja himself.
There were two known types of Chakra Sense training. The more common Chakra Echolocation method, which consists of sending one's chakra out from the body in precise pulses, echoes of which would then return to the users. Ninjas using this method were trained to decipher images, smells, sensations, taste or sounds from the returning chakra pulses. What the ninjas would be able to sense, was highly dependent on the ninja in question. High control over one's chakra was needed to use this method, and the furthest distance this type of ninjas were able to scan in record was sixty meters.
The second lesser known and more difficult method was termed the Chakra Web. It was created based on the analogy that everything in life was connected. All sentient living things have life force, which also means they have chakra. Chakra were known to resonate with each other, constantly reaching out to nearby chakra sources unless one's chakra was heavily shielded. This type of "leakage" was common among civilians, genins, and chunin level ninjas. It was also one of the common principle that all things in life gravitates towards each other.
A master of the Chakra Web was recorded as able to sense chakra sources up to eighty meters away with all known senses, visual, touch, hearing and taste. Legends even spoke of true masters of these methods, the creators of the Chakra Web, being able to sense the life force of plant life itself and access the uppermost thoughts of living beings within his/her chakra range. The ultimate level of the Chakra Web was bordering on Senjutsu, and according to records, Sages were well apt to use and would greatly empower this technique.
According to old legends, the Sage of the Six Paths was recorded as being able to communicate mentally with anyone using this technique within a two mile radius due to his connection with nature. However, users of Senjutsu had decreased in numbers and powers with each generations. Konoha's only known Sage was Jiaraya of the Sanin, and no other Hidden Villages had users of Senjutsu for the past few decades. It was also a highly contested point in ninja history, that no known Sages of the past few generations were able to match up in power to the legendary Sage of the Six Paths or any of the first generation Sages.
Of course, there were also known bloodlines that actually enhanced Chakra Sensing abilities. At the end of it all, it was a fact that there was virtually no way of knowing if a ninja knew any Chakra Sensing techniques, which method he/she knew and up to what range to avoid. S17 had been calibrating its scans to see if it could detect the chakra pulses emitting from Sensor ninjas if they were using the Chakra Echolocation method. There was however no way to detect if a user of the Chakra Web method was scanning his/her surroundings for chakra since they have no need to emit any additional energy signatures. All those myriad reasons had been why N17 had been caught by Danzo. Basing the chakra sensing abilities of Root ninjas on the limited information they had, the three Naruto clones had decided to use the largest known scan range, and keep a minimum distance of at least eighty plus meters away from any of the Root sentry patrolling the base.
"New information from Boss." S17 said within N17's mind. "A high priority message had been sent to the Third Hokage regarding our discovery of Root and what Danzo is about to do. Boss is also implementing a rescue plan for the five sacrifices. His exact words are, 'He will not have the lives of five innocents on his conscience just to gather more information.'"
"Good." N17 agreed whole heartedly. "If he had decided otherwise, I would have intervene by myself. But he is aware that the moment Danzo is aware of what is happening, he might try to flee?"
"Yes, that is why more clones are on the way to implement the second part of his plans." S17 said in answer to N17's question. "The layout of the catacombs has been mapped, and Danzo is going to find out shortly that all of the alternate tunnels out of the Root base are going to mysteriously collapse, save for the one tunnel where the main force will be arriving through. It will take a large amount of Earth Release techniques just to dig out of the block ins that Boss had in mind. Boss is also planning to set up a wide varieties of traps in those blocked tunnels, to maximize the chance of the main force capturing the Root ninjas alive."
"That's good, but what main force are you talking about?" N17 asked curiously.
"I am referring to the ninjas that the Third Hokage is gathering now." S17 revealed. "The Third had received the message... and he is not pleased at all..."
It was already dusk. Sarutobi knew that he should be returning back home to rest, especially after the intense council meeting that had only ended an hour ago. Add in the fact that he had barely few hours of sleep for the past two days, what with the capturing of the Uchiha dissidents, the arrival of Madara Uchiha who had released and gathered those dissidents to attack the Uchiha clan, the rescue that followed, the lock down of the village and the whole mess with the council surrounding the fate of Naruto. Sarutobi had to admit that at the very moment, he was feeling every bit of his sixty fifth years.
Koharu's masterful play of the council in regards to Naruto's supposed history had led to two of the most prominent clan in Konoha fighting for guardianship of the boy. The goodwill that Naruto was sure to gain from Konoha's citizens after the council members spread the news of Naruto's actions would serve to land Naruto deeper into the village elders' debt, whether the boy knew it or not. It was also a certain way to prevent Naruto from betraying them in the future. After all, should Naruto exposed the village elders' lies, he would instantly lose whatever prestige he would be gaining from Konoha shortly.
There were times when Sarutobi cursed the hold his old teammates, the village elders, had over him. In most Hidden Villages, the Kages served as the foremost authority of a Hidden Village. The decisions of the Kages could only be overturned if there was a majority council vote against the decisions in question. The positions of the villager elders served as pure advisory roles to the Kages, made up of people the Kages could trust. Each of them had two votes to cast during a council meeting, which was the equivalent to the number of votes a clan head possessed. In Sarutobi's case however, the relationship between him and his old team mates were a bit more complex.
As village elders, Koharu and Homura had the right and authority to virtually sit in to any meeting Sarutobi was to conduct. They also have the rights to go through any materials in Konoha's archives, even those dealing with S-rank missions. It basically meant that very few things could be kept secret from them. Add in the fact that Koharu and Homura were very well respected ninjas in their own rights, with Koharu having many civilian contacts due to her family's connections as powerful bankers, it basically meant that the two of them combined carried significant influence among the clan heads and civilian council members. The two of them were able to shift any council decisions in their favor if they had a mind to it, and special care had to be taken in dealing with his old teammates.
If Sarutobi had a way to prevent Naruto from being embroiled in the schemes of the village elders, he would have already done so. But with the elders united against whatever decisions he might make in regards to Naruto, there was precious little he could do, not without exposing what The Eye had done to Naruto to the whole council. In a way it was better that everyone thought Naruto was born with the Wood Release bloodline rather than to realize the truth that Naruto only gained the bloodline through some artificial experiment. The child already had the stigma of being known as Konoha's demon container, being labeled as a bloodline thief would only make things worse.
There was a knock on the door, breaking Sarutobi's bitter thoughts. He carefully composed himself as the door opened, revealing one of his Anbu on duty.
"The Fire Feudal Lord had sent a message." The eagle masked Anbu said, walking swiftly forward, placing a scroll on his desk.
"Thank you. Return to your duties." Sarutobi said with a nod, waiting for the Anbu to leave before he picked up the scroll and opened it. He had sent the Feudal Lord of Fire country a scroll concerning Madara's attack on Konoha shortly after day break. The relationships between Hidden Villages and their Elemental countries meant that figuratively, the Hidden Villages have to answer to their respective Feudal Lords. In actual fact however, the Feudal Lords served a role more as patrons of the Hidden Villages allied with them. The Feudal Lords provided the Hidden Villages with jobs, income and trade. In times of war, the ninjas of the Hidden Villages pay their dues by serving as powerful front line soldiers.
Sarutobi was fully prepared as he read the scroll, skipping past the flowery proses of the Fire Lord, which hinted at the Feudal Lord's disappointment at Sarutobi in not being able to apprehend Madara. Now that Madara had escaped, it made the rogue ninja a threat and a great inconvenience to the Feudal Lord.
"... Fire country is thus informed of the unfortunate attack of the rogue nin, Madara Uchiha, on the Uchiha clan... The Fire Lord sends his regret that so many of his valued Uchiha subjects had perished in the attack... and agree with the Hokage of Konoha that the whole country should be put on alert... the full military might of Fire country will be notified of the presence of this rogue ninja... rest assured that the thousands of soldiers in Fire country's military will not let Madara Uchiha passed unharmed if found..." Sarutobi snorted at the thinly veiled remark that the soldiers of Fire country would do a better job at dealing with Madara then Konoha ninjas.
Shaking his head, Sarutobi rolled his eyes at the pompous habit of the Fire Lord, who always wrote his scroll in the third person. But even if the Fire Lord was a pompous ass, he was still the leader of Fire country, controller of a massive army and wealth, which meant that Sarutobi had to pay him a certain degree of respect.
In terms of military strength, most of the Elemental countries have a military might that numbered in tens of thousands of ninjas and soldiers. This number however could be further broken down into the ninja forces of the Hidden Villages and the military forces of the Elemental countries. Nowadays, the total ninja strength of a major Hidden Village numbered in a little more than a thousand, though the numbers used to reach over two thousands before the Third Shinobi World War. The various Feudal Lords on the other hand, had a military might made up of numerous thousands, whether they were pure foot soldiers, samurais, or specialists trained to use chakra.
Knowledge of how to use chakra was not exactly a secret in the Elemental countries, and many common ninja techniques could be bought or sold in the major cities. One of the common clause in the treaties between Hidden Villages and Elemental countries was that ninjas from the Hidden Villages be sent to train the soldiers in the Elemental countries how to use chakra and the more common ninja techniques. The actual true military might of the Hidden Villages lies in their powerful secret ninja techniques and bloodlines that each Hidden Villages possessed. The ninjas of a Hidden Village were treated as super soldiers by the Feudal Lords, the spear point of the Elemental country in times of war. The thousands of more ordinary chakra users in the military force of the Elemental countries would however serve as supporting forces during war.
Even though the chakra users in the Feudal Lords' armies usually only reach genin or chunin level with their common place ninja techniques, their large numbers meant that they effectively served as a effective counter to the ninjas of the Hidden Villages living in the Elemental countries during times of peace. There were times when quantities would still trump qualities and this was one of them. This added layer of protection meant that no Hidden Villages would ever think of killing off a Feudal Lord and take over his country as well as his wealth. Should any Hidden Village attempt it, they would pay a heavy cost. Even if the military force of the Elemental country in question could not put them down, the Hidden Village would still suffer significant losses in lives. Not to mention the fact that the neighboring Feudal Lords would band together to deal with a Hidden Village that dared to disrupt the normal succession of power.
The only time the full military might of an Elemental country was called, was during the Shinobi World Wars. The Kages would act as proxy military commanders of both the ninjas from their Hidden Villages and the military forces of the Elemental countries. But even during those times when the Kages controlled ten of thousands of soldiers, all knew that the true loyalties of the Elemental countries' military forces lies with their Feudal Lords. It also meant that Sarutobi had to be painfully polite and respectful to the Fire Feudal Lord, even when there were times Sarutobi felt like kicking the wimpy lord in his ass.
Sarutobi pulled out a sheet of paper, and began drafting a polite reply to the Fire Lord. Carefully he begun stating that Madara was a Kage level ninja after all, and even the thousands of soldiers in the Fire Lord's army might have difficulties apprehending the man without due caution.
A knock sounded on his door again. Sarutobi looked up, his eyes narrowing at the door as it opened to revealed another Anbu. He stiffened and stood up quickly as he saw the scroll in the Anbu's hands.
"Hokage sama." The Cat masked Anbu said with trepidation. "The Eye has passed me a scroll. His messenger asked me to bring it to you directly..."
Sarutobi had already taken the scroll from the Anbu before he had finished speaking. That The Eye had sent a scroll meant that he was still alive. That he had more information to send Sarutobi did not bore well for the village, especially not after The Eye was the one to uncover the many plots in Konoha and informed him of Madara's attack. The fact that The Eye had specifically asked the scroll to be delivered to Sarutobi had made Sarutobi wonder what other plots The Eye had discovered. Or had The Eye discovered that village elders' schemes in regards to Naruto and was going to make his opinion known? After all, The Eye did took Naruto in as an apprentice...
Sarutobi opened the scroll, reading its contents without sending the Anbu away. There might be a chance he might need the Anbu around if The Eye was to deliver anymore village shattering news.
"Danzo..." Sarutobi paled as he read the first part of the message. His eyes traveled down, reading the rest of the message, his face beginning flushing a deep red as he realized in horror and anger what The Eye had now discovered.
"That old war hawk has gone too far this time." Sarutobi said coldly, crushing the scroll in his hands. The look of unadulterated rage in his eyes caused the Anbu in front of him to take a step back. "Cat, with the exception of those serving in the village patrol teams, summon all the Anbu, Jonins and the Special Chunins that are currently active at once. I want all of them gathered at the Great Hall within the next half an hour... We are going hunting... and burn out some troublesome roots..."
Terror, was the foremost emotion that Tenten was feeling right now, even as she struggled against the potent drugs injected into her body. A weaker ninja academy student would have long since fallen unconscious, but she was no ordinary student, she was the daughter of Konoha's Weapon and Poison master, and she had been taught the methods to counter sleeping drugs, by burning it out of her system. The only problem to her current dilemma was that her chakra reserves were beginning to run low. Pretty soon, she would run out of chakra, and the drugs would knock her out totally.
Tears welled in her eyes as she laid helplessly in the small cell which contained four other unconscious bodies of children of various ages lying beside her. From the ruffled and dirty looks of the children around her, the four were most probably street kids. Whoever had kidnapped them were most probably targeting children that were easily missed. For the hundredth time, Tenten cursed her foolishness in training at the academy grounds until she had collapsed. It had made her an easy target for whoever had kidnapped her, and with her father dead, there was going to be no one looking out for her.
Her father had trained her to be responsible and self reliant, which was why even though she was only nine years old, her only relative, Aunt Yuri, had allowed her to continue staying in Konoha alone, to continue studying in the ninja Academy. Without any guardian reporting of her disappearance to the Konoha police or Anbu, Tenten knew with a sinking feeling that if she was to escape from her kidnappers, she had to do it on her own.
She had kept her body still and her eyes closed as she worked to burn out the drugs with her chakra. The first time she had successfully fought off the drugs and began struggling in her bonds, the guard outside the cell had spotted her and administered a more potent dosage into her body. If she was able to counter this more powerful dosage in her system, she would have to find a way out of the ropes binding her in a more subtle way. Tenten would not make the same mistake twice, not when her life and well being was at stake. She had no idea what her kidnappers needed her and the other children for, but she seriously doubt that it was for something good.
Fighting off the clouded feeling in her head, she tried to keep her leaden body still. Just a few more minutes and she would have burn out the drugs. After that... after that she have to think out a plan to get away from here.
A choked gurgle sounded outside the cell, followed by a dull thud. There was metallic screeching as the rusty iron gates were opened, and suddenly Tenten felt something cut through her bonds as she was freed. Opening her eyes in shock, she found herself staring at the deep blue eyes of a blond haired man.
"Can you move?" The man asked urgently, even as he sliced through the ropes binding the street kid beside her. "We need to start moving before more ninjas arrived."
"I... I can." Tenten said through dried throat, forcing her numbed and drugged body to move. She stood up, swaying slightly.
"Good, I don't want to waste chakra creating a clone in case I have to fight." The man said. He bend down, quickly swooping up the four kids now untied, two in each arm. He then bend down, his back facing Tenten. "Climb on and hold tightly. I am getting all of you out of this hellhole."
Tenten forced her numb body to corporate, even as she tried to fight off tears of relief at being saved. Somehow she knew that everything would be all right soon, clinging to her savior's promise of getting her out of this place, as only a child would.
With her secured on his back, the man began running out of the cell, down the twisting maze of corridors. Closing her eyes and hanging on tightly for her life, Tenten thought she heard distance sounds of explosions and fighting down the many myriad tunnels of her prison.
His first day as Acting Commander of the Anbu and he was already handed a pile of political shit the size of the Hokage mountain. Shikaku had to suppress his groan at how troublesome everything was as he stood in the hastily set up command post near the western factory area, listening to the relays of the Anbu, Jonin and Special Chunin teams that had been gathered, assembled, and then sent into Konoha's catacombs all within half an hour's of time. Due to the fact that the village was still on high alert, gathering the forces within a short time period had been the easy part. The difficult part had been to come out with a plan of operations to infiltrate the headquarters of Root, which was allegedly hidden somewhere deep in Konoha's catacombs based on a scroll by The Eye.
The Eye, a mysterious and powerful infiltration agent that had set the upper circles of the Anbu abuzz for the past few months. Being the Vice Commander of the Anbu at that time, Shikaku had been aware of the existence of The Eye as a rogue nin who had seemed intent in helping the village by ferreting out miraculous information. He was the one tasked by the Hokage to find any signs of The Eye being injured or killed in the aftermath of Madara's attack on the Uchiha clan. With little information on what The Eye looked like, and the numbers of dead and injured in the clan compound, it had been thought The Eye had perished. When the Hokage and village elders had surprised everyone in the council meeting with Naruto's promotion, and that he was taught by a mysterious Jonin who had died in Madara's attack, it did not take long for Shikaku to put together the pieces.
Naruto Uzumaki was most probably taught by The Eye. If that was the case, The Eye also had the Wood Release bloodline. The fact that the Hokage had labeled The Eye as a rogue nin for the past few months meant that the cock and bull story the village elders had spin up was probably a political coverup of some kind. And now The Eye had returned from the dead, with a scroll full of information about Danzo's plans and Root. And the moment they had arrived at the factory area, a frightened street kid had passed them a second scroll from The Eye near one of the catacomb entrance at the factory area. The street kid had looked at the assembled ninjas with fear and awe before stuttering out that someone had paid him a large sum of ryo to deliver the message.
The second scroll had contained a detailed layout of the catacombs, with all of the pathways carefully sketched out. The Eye had stated his plan of hindrance and diversion, as well as to collapse all of the catacomb exits except the one Shikaku's forces would be using once the mission starts. With no way of contacting The Eye, Shikaku had to assume that the mysterious ninja had some way of knowing when the Konoha ninjas began storming into the catacombs.
In a rare show of grim authority, the Hokage had drawn out the plan to take out Root, leaving Shikaku to marshal and direct the forces. As the only one besides the Hokage who knew the full information within the scrolls The Eye had sent, Shikaku was visibly uncomfortable and slightly awed at the plan the Hokage had thought out. The Hokage not only planned to put down Root by physical force, he had also planned to destroy Danzo's power politically.
"... Team 4 has located five children near one of the tunnels. Four of them are heavily drugged. One of them is awake... she is Yaiba Chikai's daughter." A voice reported in shock and outrage over the communication radios. "The daughter, Tenten is telling us that a blond haired young man had rescued them and set them near the tunnels minutes before our arrival. She was saying that the young man told her to stay put, and that help is coming before puffing into smoke."
"Shadow clone." Shikaku muttered as he listened to the transmission. That The Eye had somehow detected Team 4 before they reached their current location and knew that they were friendly forces probably meant that The Eye had a powerful chakra sensing ability. It was also highly probably that The Eye was the visual kind of chakra sensor, able to see what he sensed. Mentally, Shikaku cataloged that ability to The Eye. It always pays to know if a ninja had chakra sensing ability, and what type it was. It would help in future if Shikaku ever need to go up against The Eye in battle.
"Get the children back to the entrance at once Team 4, scrub the assignment given to you." Shikaku commanded even as he was turning the dial on another radio, speaking into the mic attached to it. "Team 7, there has been a change in plans. I need you to cover Team 4's location once you're done with your section."
"Understood Commander." The gruff voice of the leader of Team 7 answered.
Another radio piped up, with the ninja manning the radio set turning to Shikaku. "Sir, Team 9 is reporting that they are nearing the location of Root's Seal room."
Shikaku froze, his eyes flickering to the grim visage of the Hokage who had been silently standing near the command post since the operation started. As per the Hokage's orders, Team 9 was a ten man team, made up of the current eight most powerful Anbu, with one of them being a Senju. The other two were a Hyuga Jonin and an Uchiha Jonin. None in the team were told of what was actually in the room except that Danzo and three seal masters were within. Shikaku steeled himself, knowing that there was a reason the Hokage had assigned a Senju, an Uchiha and a Hyuga to the team. Once they saw what was in the room, and their clans learn of it... Danzo would be lucky to get out of this mess alive.
"Ask them to be prepared. Danzo most probably knows his precious Root is already under attack." The cold voice of the Hokage suddenly said from the side. The ninja manning the signal set quickly nodded, speaking into the mic.
"Misato, dial up the radio for Team 9." Shikaku said, already knowing what was to come.
Crunching sounds of metal sounded through the radio as the ninja manning the signals dial up the volume. There was a loud sound of explosion and cursing through the radio. "... There was an explosion seal on the door. It seems Danzo was prepared for our arrival, none are injured, we're going in..."
Shouts, screams and the roaring of various ninja techniques sounded through the radio. Harsh breathings came through the radio, and then there was an outraged scream. "... eyeballs... there are Sharingan eyeballs here! Sage's mercy! What is Danzo planning to do?... Inori has gone berserk... Wutai! Restrain the Uchiha, he'll be killed in that state!"
Shikaku closed his eyes even as screams of outrage sounded through the radio. The ninja manning the signal system looked aghast while the Hokage simply listened on stonily. Finally after a long ten minutes, the harsh voice of Team 9's leader came over the radio.
"We've subdued Danzo and two of the seal masters, one is killed in battle. Seven men down in Team 9, four of them suffered from serious injuries. Danzo used some obscure seal that ripped off their arms and legs. We need the medic nins right away!"
"Team 5 and 2 are near the area, send them in at once." Shikaku barked out, even as the ninja managing the radios relayed the message.
"... Commander... we found a tray full of Sharingan eyes in the room..." The leader of Team 9 spoke again, this time hesitantly over the radio. "We had to knock out Inori Uchiha when he saw them and gone berserk. Yue Hyuga was... disturbed by the find, I am afraid she might have heavily damaged Danzo's organs during the fight. There was also a container filled with some kind of serum. None of the Seal masters are talking and Danzo's unconscious, we need someone to identify what it is."
"Seal up the Sharingans and the serum." Shikaku said in a firm voice. "We'll need them as evidence before the council hearing. Team 5 and Team 2 are on the way. There are medic nins in the teams, stabilize your injured and wait for their support. The three teams will merge and escort the prisoners back to the entrance once the injured are attended to. You'll have command."
"Commander, Team 1 is patching through." The ninja beside the radio spoke up, as Team 9 went back to radio silence.
"Commander, we've found a library deep within Root base protected by powerful seals. We only managed to get in because part of the sealed walls had been blasted apart by some kind of powerful explosive." The astonished voice of Team 1's leader sounded over the radio. "It is filled with scrolls with the emblem of... the Fourth Hokage!..."
Shikaku's eyes widened at the news, nothing in The Eye's scroll mentioned that! But if someone had already broken through of the seals protecting Root's library, it would probably meant that The Eye must have already found the location. And scrolls with the emblem of the Fourth Hokage... Shikaku closed his eyes, massaging his head. He had a feeling of certainty that Danzo and his Root agents definitely would not survive the night once news gets out. Not when their crimes include bloodline theft of a massive scale and being the ones to steal the Fourth's Hokage's knowledge. Knowledge that had been missing for years following the Fourth Hokage's death and the breaking in of his clan compound by unknown ninjas after his passing.
"Shikaku." The calm and controlled voice of the Hokage interrupted his thoughts. Shikaku looked up and was shocked by the look of burning anger in the Hokage's eyes. "Handle the operations here. Tell Team 1 to touch nothing in the library and stand guard... I am going in."
Twelve hours later, Hokage's Tower
Koharu walked into the Hokage's room her back straight and her gaze firm, with Homura following closely behind. She had not bothered to knock or acknowledge the Anbu guarding the doorway, simply throwing open the door as she walked up to Sarutobi seated behind his desk, who was looking up at her calmly.
"Sarutobi, I just received news that you've called up most of the Jonins and the special Chunins for an unauthorized mission!" Koharu barked out. "What's the meaning of this?"
Sarutobi observed her with a look that sent chills down her spine. In that flash of an instant, Koharu suddenly realized that something had gone wrong, the look Sarutobi was giving her now was one of contempt. In all the long years she had worked beside him, he had never once looked at her that way.
"Wolf. Please close the door." Sarutobi called out to the Anbu at his doorway. The Anbu nodded, shutting the door. Koharu then watched in shock as Sarutobi's hands flashed through several handseals and sealed the room from any outside attempts at spying.
Sarutobi stood up, walking around the table and began stalking towards Koharu who was shocked to feel the sharp killing intent radiating off him.
"Sarutobi! What's the meaning of this?" Homura said as he looked at his old teammate in shock. The old man looked as if he intended to give Koharu a thrashing.
"It has been brought to my attention that Danzo had been operating Root secretly all these years." Sarutobi said grinning coldly at Koharu and Homura, though there was no humor in his voice. "But of course I needn't tell the two of you that since both of you already knew."
"Root was necessary for Konoha's survival." Koharu blistered with false bravo as she stared at Sarutobi. "Even if you and Minato refused to acknowledged that!"
"Root's agents nearly caused a Fourth Shinobi war right after the Third War ended!" Sarutobi snapped harshly, causing Koharu to step back in alarm. "And their actions over the past few years will start a Shinobi war if they are ever known to the world! Assassination of Water and Iron countries ambassadors without council approval, starting a personal war in Rain country... the list goes on."
Koharu's eyes widened in alarm as she stared at Sarutobi in shock. "How did you..."
"As of this afternoon, Root is no more." Sarutobi said staring straight into her eyes, cutting off what Koharu was about to say. "Danzo is charge with treason of the highest level. Death by decapitation, for the stealing of Sharingan eyes, liaising with Oruchimaru to formulate a serum of Wood Release genes, assembling his own personal army, conducting missions that threaten the stability of Konoha. We have Inoichi go through Danzo's mind... and you know what we discovered?"
Koharu's breath hitched as Sarutobi towered over her, Homura quickly stepped forward, trying to stop the brewing confrontation. "Sarutobi! Koharu and I were aware of Root's existence, but believe me when I say that we've no idea Danzo had gone so far! The original intention was for Root's agents to go on missions deemed too damaging or dangerous for Konoha ninjas to take on. Root's agents had been specially trained..."
"To be the emotionless dolls of Danzo, to do as he command." Sarutobi spat out in disgust. "I know that Homura, just as I know that Koharu had been the financial backer for most of Root's operations that even you know nothing about. Just as I know that she had collaborated with Danzo to send agents on "missions" that could start a war between countries! Just as I know she and Danzo were the ones that concocted the plan to break into the Namikaze compound after Minato's death and strip the compound of all of Minato's knowledge! Knowledge which Konoha had thought for years were stolen by some enemy villages!"
Homura stumbled back at Sarutobi's accusation, looking at Koharu who was staring palely at Sarutobi in shock.
"Koharu, based on our past friendship, the contributions you've made to the village, and the village's secrets you had helped guarded over the years, I will spare you a traitor's death. Your involvement in this whole affair will be kept silent, same to you Homura." Sarutobi said in a voice of steel. "However I can no longer trust you to make sound decisions for Konoha. You know what you should do Koharu."
There was a moment of long silence as the two village elders stared at Sarutobi in shock. Sarutobi gave them one last glare before turning and walked back to his desk, waving dismissively at them. "You may go now."
"Sarutobi... I want you to know that I never intended..." Homura began but was cut off by Sarutobi.
"Just go Homura. There will be a council meeting this evening, and I need to prepare. You'll be told what was uncovered during last night's mission at the same time as the rest of the council members. " Sarutobi said looking away from them.
When Sarutobi continued to ignore them, Homura turned, giving Koharu a harsh look before stalking out of the room. With leaden feet and tears in her eyes, Koharu sagged in defeat before following. There had been a reckoning, and this time Koharu would not be able to escape it even with all of her wealth and power.
For the second day in a row, another council meeting was called with great urgency near sunset. Jittery council members had gathered in the Hokage Tower wondering what bombshell was to drop on them now. Had Madara been found? Was there another attack? The massive recalling of Jonins and Chunins yesterday night had not gone unnoticed by the different clans inhabiting Konoha, and most if not all had been waiting the whole day for the other shoe to drop. A few clan heads who had ninjas from their clans pulled into the mission already knew a little of what had happened, and their grim visage were doing nothing to improve the atmosphere in the council room.
Outside the walls of the Hokage Tower, N5 was listening into the meeting, the mental playback of the meeting by Sica within his mind gave him the impression that he was standing unnoticed within the meeting room.
"... the discovery of Root and Danzo's actions... the mind walk by Inoichi revealed that Danzo had arranged with Orochimaru to develop a serum of Wood Release genes, which he planed to seal into a harvested arm, strengthening the arm so that it could support the implantation of Sharingan eyes which he had also harvested... he was trying to develop the legendary Izanagi technique, following the legends of the Sage of the Six Paths." The Hokage's grim voice announced the morning's mission. Sounds of chaos and outrage sounded in the council room but the Hokage pressed on in a voice that cut through the cries of horror and anger. "The seal arrays needed to implant the Wood Release gene into the arm required the sacrifices of five lives... It appears Danzo and his agents had in addition to their crimes, kidnapped five children off the streets of Konoha... The Fourth Hokage's missing library had been found within Root's possession... It seemed that all these years while we thought enemy ninjas were the ones that stole the knowledge of the Fourth following his death, the real culprits were much closer to home..."
"Following that the Anbu had uncovered numerous mission scrolls containing black ops Danzo and his agents had conducted over the years... It appears Danzo had been conducting guerrilla warfare against other Hidden Villages without Konoha's knowledge... These missions might very well start a Shinobi war if the public knows of them, as such these missions will be sealed in Konoha's archives under the highest security level... Twenty-three Root trainees have been found as well, age range between 5-12, it is my decision to put them into a rehabilitating program so that they could live normal lives again... Upon my command as Hokage of Konoha, Danzo and his agents have been charged with treason of the highest level... they will be decapitated at the break of dawn tomorrow... I gather all of you now to inform and plan out what the public should be told..."
The council descended into a mess of chaos shortly after the full revelation of all that had happened, stunning even Danzo's supporters into silence. N5 keep an ear on the meeting even as his thoughts began to wonder.
"So Sica, what is Boss planning to do with all the new scanned knowledge from scrolls left by our father?" N5 asked out of curiosity. As a clone of Boss, who was a child of the Fourth Hokage, learning that the other clones had found the Fourth's legacy within Root base had been a great shock to him.
"Not all the scrolls could be scanned, quite a number were sealed. However those that S20 had scanned had increased our research and knowledge capacity." S5 remarked. "With the new seal knowledge we've gained from the Fourth's scrolls, the research Sicas deduce that all our research projects are sped up by 30%."
"That's great news. I wonder what old man Hokage will be doing with all of father's scrolls. I hope that he pass them to Boss, S20 never did manage to scan the Fourth Hokage's signature Flying Thunder God technique. It might be hidden within some of the sealed scrolls." N5 mused thoughtfully.
"It is highly doubtful that Boss would be able to open those sealed scrolls. Scans by S20 showed that they are highly specialized security seals which need the blood of those keyed to the scrolls, and some other words spoken at the same time to unseal them. Failure to meet the requirements of the scrolls will result in the death of the one attempting to open the scrolls, and the destruction of the scrolls themselves." S5 revealed.
"But at least if the scrolls are given to Boss, we have a chance of finding a way to unseal them and learn what was contained within them." N5 remarked.
"Analysis of the Third Hokage's past actions... there's a 70% chance he might pass the newly recovered library of the Fourth Hokage to Boss due to Boss' blood relations." S5 calculated.
"I hope so too, I know the clones and Boss would like to have at least a piece of our father to remember him by... They might be the only memento we'll be able to retrieve in the years that had past." N5 said, feeling a sense of nostalgic as he returned his attention to the council meeting taking place in the Hokage Tower behind him.
The council meeting had ended with many of the council members expressing shock and disbelief over what Danzo and Root had done in the past few years, as old mission records were taken out and shown to those gathered. The Uchiha clan in particular were out for blood after learning of Danzo's theft of Sharingan eyes. In a rare show of unity, the Hyuga clan head had stood by the Uchiha clan's demand of giving Danzo to the judgment of the Uchiha clan. Even the Senju clan head had cast his vote in favor of the Uchiha clan's demands, until a majority vote by the rest of the clan heads and council members had overturned it.
Most of the gathered had wanted to see Danzo and Root get true justice. Danzo had not just betrayed the clans of Konoha, he had betrayed Konoha itself. The judgment which Danzo and his Root agents would be given, would be based on the village's decisions. In the end, it was all for the best. When the public execution of Danzo and his agents were carried out tomorrow, Konoha's village council would be a united front, with a fully planned out cover story to be told to the populace. Of course, the Fire Lord would have to be told the full truth, but Sarutobi had decided to leave that task for tomorrow. For today however, today he had a promise he needed to fulfill, a promise that was already eight years in coming. A promise he had long thought he would never be able to fulfill.
Dressed in dark stealth clothing, Sarutobi made his way out of his office, jumping across roof tops silently. The few patrols he saw on the way silently turned the other direction after he made the signal to identify who he was. A final jump, and he was through the window of an apartment, standing in a brightly lit room where young Naruto appeared to be bending over several scrolls scattered on the floor.
"Old man Hokage!" Naruto said in shock as he saw Sarutobi, quickly standing up. "What are you doing here? It is late."
"I have some news that I need to tell you." Sarutobi said with a smile, looking at the young boy that to him looked like the second coming of Minato. The features were there, if one had thought to look. In a way it was a mixed blessing that none of the villagers had ever made the connection, seeing Naruto as only the demon container. It had kept Naruto's true identity safe, but it had also put a lot of hardship on the child.
Many times in the past, Sarutobi had wished he could do more, only to be stopped by either the council members or the village elders. But now with the power of his old team mates weakened by their ties with Danzo, ties which were kept secret only because of intervention by Sarutobi himself, Sarutobi had discovered that he had more freedom to make decisions about Naruto. It was a freedom that he was going to fully exercise. For instance, passing Naruto his legacy left by Minato. It was something Sarutobi was sure the village elders would never agree to, if Sarutobi had not destroyed the hold they had over him with the political blackmail he now had over them.
Closing the open window in the bedroom and drawing the curtains over them, Sarutobi made the handseals for the privacy technique, sealing the room. Sarutobi then turned to an expectant Naruto, a smile on his face as he told Naruto simply. "Your teacher is still alive."
For a moment, Naruto looked taken aback, his mouth gaping. "My teacher?... Oh yeah my teacher! That's great!" Naruto had gushed in joy, a grin on his face.
"Yes with all that had already happened. I must say I have a degree of trust in him, even though he is not a Konoha ninja. I will not press you for information should he ever attempt to contact or meet up with you." Sarutobi said, looking at Naruto seriously. "However should he contact you in the future, help me tell him that I would dearly love a face to face meeting with him. I have tried leaving a message for him at a location we've last agreed on. But I am afraid there's no response from him yet."
"I will do that." Naruto said nodding his head enthusiastically. "But I am not sure if Teacher will agree though. He is a very private person."
"I understand that." Sarutobi said with a smile before bending down towards Naruto. "There's a second reason for my coming here. There's a new mission last night which your Teacher was involved. Suffice it to say, at the end of the mission, we discovered a cache of valuable items that rightfully belong to you. Have you ever heard about the missing library of the Fourth Hokage?"
"I think so, it's in the textbook about Konoha's history. Enemy ninjas broke into the Fourth Hokage's clan compound after his death and took away all of his valuable scrolls." Naruto said with a nod. "Konoha never found who those enemy ninjas were."
"Well, those scrolls had been found after last night's mission, and I believe you are the rightful heir to them." Sarutobi said as Naruto's eyes widened. Sarutobi reached into his pouch to take out a scroll and a small metal cube with a complex array of seals on it. "The scrolls are all sealed inside this scroll. But the real legacy your father and mother had left for you... is this." Sarutobi showed Naruto the small metal cube. "It was found together with the scrolls, whoever had taken it knew that it was more than just a trinket, but I doubt they ever managed to understand what they truly have in their hands."
"So what is it?" Naruto asked confused. "It look like a metal cube to me."
"To answer that, I will need a drop of your blood." Sarutobi said, wondering if Naruto would be squeamish about it, especially considering his age. Naruto had simply shrugged and bit one of his finger, a bead of blood forming from the small bite. Sarutobi nodded. "Good, I need you to prepare yourself. Focus on the image of you opening a door. I need you to hold the mental image, as you smear your blood on the cube and said the words 'Sanctuary'. Are you ready?"
"I am ready." Naruto said with a nod. He looked at Sarutobi curiously as the older man lay a hand on his shoulder in a tight grip.
"Good, begin." Sarutobi said. Naruto had given him a mystified look before following his instructions, smearing his blood on the cube, a look of concentration on his face as he said the words. "Sanctuary."
The very air around them shivered, a roaring of energies surrounded them... and the essence of time... shattered.
Author's last notes: Hope this chapter doesn't disappoint :) let me know via your reviews. I will also like to thank the readers who have been PM-ing me with great suggestions which I might or might not incorporate into the story in future. ^^ There's too many to list, but a few who really made an impact to the way I plan out the story are Culaio, Rydan fall, Kingdark, You-Lack-Badassery, Vikraal, Muroshi and FoXsHaDoWwRaItH. To the rest of the readers who provide constructive reviews, thank you as well!
Lastly, thanks Stelle600 for attempting to correct some of my grammar/spelling in chapter 1. Appreciate it!
Military breakdown of Technological Ninja Naruto Uzumaki
Fire country has two Military forces:
1) Fire country military
2) Fire country shinobi/ninja
Fire country military is under command of the Fire Feudal Lord
2) Soldiers trained in using basic chakra and common ninja techniques
Fire country shinobi/ninja is under command of the Hokage