Story Title: Technological Ninja Naruto Uzumaki
Crossover: Naruto / Star Ocean game series/ Stargate 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.
… Sweeping his tails on the ground so that he could lay on them like a blanket. Kurama was about to settle in for a few days' worth of nap time when golden lines of power appeared on the walls outside of his prison. Kurama's eyes widened as the golden lines began forming into a massive seal, and the faces of two very familiar humans appeared, trapped within the massive seal, seemingly in deep sleep.
His mouth dropped into a wide jawed gap, and Kurama snarled in disbelief and anger, feeling fury surged within him. "You worms just wouldn't stay dead will you!"
Chapter Fourteen: Chunin's First Day Part 1
Konoha's Western Town Square
The death bell tolled at the early crack of dawn, just as Ayame was helping her father open the shutters to their Ramen restaurant. For a moment Ayane almost did not realize what that bell toll meant, until she saw her father Teuchi freezing up beside her, his head jerkily turning to face the town square.
Following the shocked gaze of her father, Ayame turned towards the almost deserted town square, where she could see various other shop owners venturing out of their establishments in confusion.
"That's the death bell." Old Fukigen who owned the pharmacy next door, stumbled out of his shop and spat on the ground. "Didn't think I will hear it again in my lifetime, the past few Kages straightened up our Konoha ninjas real good… but then there will always be some bad eggs in a batch."
"I hadn't heard the death bell since way back when I started civilian school." Ayame said in surprise, now able to identify the solemn bell tolls that would have sounded throughout Konoha. She had been six at that time, on the way to her first day of civilian school, when the bell had tolled. Her mother had still been alive then… she felt a brief stab of pain in her heart at the memory. Ayame sighed as she ruthless shunted that piece of history aside. That had been all in the past and there was no point dwelling upon it now.
"Ah yes, that was on your very first day of civilian school." Teuchi said gravely in memory. "The Fourth Hokage caught three Konoha traitor ninjas near the end of the Third Shinobi War and their crimes warranted them a public execution."
"I wonder which traitor ninja they caught this time." Old Fukigen said in a grumpy voice. "Maybe it is that Madara Uchiha who has the village in a ruckus the past few days. I am going to go take a look once the town cryers come by to announce the time for the execution."
Ayame shuddered, the thought of watching someone or a few others being executed in front of her, was not something she could stomach. She felt her father laying a comforting hand on her shoulder.
"We will give it a miss. Everyone will be hungry after watching that execution. Best that Ayame and I set up the restaurant and prepare for customers." Teuchi said simply, and Ayame felt a brief flutter of relief in her stomach.
Old Fukigen shrugged. "Suit yourself Teuchi, but I am telling you, if you miss this execution, the next one will probably be years later. If there's one thing to be said about our Kages, they brought up our ninjas right and proper. Not as much as bad eggs as the other ninja villages. Why the other day, this merchant from Kirigakure was telling me dastardly tales about their ninjas. Enough to cull your blood I tell you…"
The familiar whistle of the town crier pierced the air as the last toll of the death bell faded, cutting off Old Fukigen's words. Everyone in the square was turning to look at the town crier, dressed in his bright colored uniform of yellow, as he made his way to the center of the western town square on his horse.
Jumping down from his transport in a well-timed leap, the town crier proceeded to stick two large announcements on the village notice board in the town square, right next to the center water fountain. He then turned to face the shopkeepers and the morning shoppers who were already moving towards him.
"I will close the shutters father." Ayame offered, moving to re close the shop shutters they had opened moments ago. "You go and find out what is going on first."
Teuchi nodded with a frown, striding off with Old Fukigen hobbling beside him. Ayame could hear the town crier from where she was locking up the shutters as he began to speak. He must have been one of the few rare town criers with chakra training who could enhance their voices… The village only use them for important announcements… what was going on?
"Hear me citizens of Konoha!" The town crier hollered, his voice carrying effortlessly to the end of the town square, through whatever voice amplifying chakra technique he was using.
With his slightly soft and pudgy built that Ayame could see from the distance as the town crier stood on the still of the water fountain, the town crier was most probably a former drop out of the Ninja Academy and not an actual ninja. The fact that he rode on a horse to get around the village was further proof that he had never gotten past the level of a Genin, if he even did graduate from the Ninja Academy at all.
"The Hokage and the Konoha Council know that all of you are worried and horrified by the attack on our Uchiha clan by one of Konoha's most infamous traitor, Madara Uchiha. They wish to affirm their vows that they are doing their best to let no harm befall the citizens of Konoha.
"The village's militia has been fully mobilized, and the village will remain in lockdown for the next week until Konoha's ninjas can ascertain that Madara Uchiha and the escaped Uchiha traitors are not hiding anywhere in our village to launch another strike.
"In the midst of the search for Madara Uchiha, Konoha's Anbu had however uncovered a band of traitorous rogue ninjas hiding in one of Konoha's underground catacomb network. This band of rogue ninjas was led by the former Konoha Council advisor, Danzō Shimura, who had ordered his band of rogue ninjas to carry out numerous treasonous acts against Konoha itself.
"Among their numerous villainous acts were the capture of numerous Konoha children to be brainwashed and trained as part of their rogue organisation. The selling of village secrets to enemy villages. Betraying Konoha's ninjas by leaking mission details to our enemies, and organ harvesting of our bloodline clans.
"A pre-emptive strike on the rogue organization was conducted the previous night by the Anbu and numerous high level Konoha ninjas. Most of the rogue ninjas and their Konoha contacts have since been captured, several are on the run and are now listed as missing nin by Konoha's Hunter nins.
"A full investigation was conducted into the rogue organization, and those linked to it yesterday. Due to the overwhelming amounts of damning evidences collected, the Hokage and the Konoha Council have made an unanimous vote for the execution order of all senior members of Danzo's rogue organization.
"The execution order will be held at the tenth hour, at the execution hill. Among the traitors to be executed are Danzo Shimura, Neumura…" The town crier shouted his news, his voice never wavering throughout his speech.
Darting easily through the morning crowd due to her slender frame, Ayame reached her father who was listening to an engaging discussion with Old Fukigen, Toreda the Merchant and Saamon the Fishmonger.
"To think that Danzo was secretly leading a group to do such things!" Old Fukigen said in horrified outrage. "Stealing children, betraying our own ninjas and organ harvesting! Why he is worse than that former student of the Third… what's his name? The white faced Sanin?"
"That's Orochimaru." Saamon was saying. "And they are both as bad as each other. Both are well respected Konoha ninjas… and they betrayed the village… and all of us like that! At least Danzo and his group were caught, instead of escaping like Orochimaru."
"I have talked to Orochimaru, you know before they discovered his secret lab full of body parts and children, which forced him to become a missing nin." Toreda confided in a delighted voice. The man, a self-declared 'information trader', was in his element. "He was buying so much luminous pearl cream from me. That's how he kept his skin so white and smooth. I used him as my sales example to the ladies before he turned traitor. And you know what they say about guys who buy stuff like pearl cream. They prefer the ironwood to the butter pot…"
Ayame looked at her father who was standing beside the group of gossiping men and hid a grin as he gave a helpless shrug. The three men were old friends of the family, though there were times Ayame thought they could rival housewives with their love of boasting and gossiping. Her attention was drawn to the town crier as he finished listing the names of those soon to be executed. Instead of coming down the fountain still at the end of his speech, he drew in his breath and continued speaking.
"Now, the Hokage and the Konoha Council wish to assure you that there are good news in such dark times." The town crier said, making a hand seal as his voice carried out strongly to the crowd. "The Hokage and the Konoha Council have granted full disclosure on the attack of the Uchiha clan…"
Beside her, Teuchi hushed the three men next to him as the town crier began recounting events of the attack. Some were already public knowledge, like Madara Uchiha and the Uchiha traitors being the ones that attacked the Anbu tower and the Uchiha clan. How two secret Anbu teams monitoring the Uchiha clan had managed to save most of the clan before the militia reached the clan and cause the attackers to flee. Other details were however new to the gathered crowd.
"… what was not revealed in the previous village announcement before lock down was implemented, was that the Hokage in his wisdom, had stationed a third... specialized team of ninja, made up of a Jonin and his apprentice, to keep watch over the Uchiha clan.
"The Jonin was a former disciple of the Sanin, Jiraiya. He then went on to instruct a distant descendant of the Senju, who came into the Wood Release bloodline at the age of seven. This specialized team was only supposed to observe the Uchiha clan in the event of any emergencies. But when the attack on the Uchiha clan began, this team of two was instrumental in the defence of the Uchiha clan, and delaying the advance of Madara Uchiha until help from Konoha militia could arrive."
All around Ayame, people were whispering excitedly to each other at the revelation that someone, of Senju blood, had activated the Wood Release bloodline. Anyone who was born or lived in Konoha for long would know of the three great Konoha bloodlines. The Wood Release, the Sharingan, and the Byakugan. Among the three, the Wood Release bloodline was reputed to be the most powerful and elusive bloodline, that until now, was thought to be possessed only by the revered First Hokage.
As civilians living in a ninja village, it was inevitable that the common folks learn a bit of ninja history, either through civilian school, interaction with ninjas, or just plain gossiping. Even Ayame had heard of the old village rumors about the infamous experiments Orochimaru had conducted on captured village children years ago. How those experiments somehow managed to grant one or a few of the children who survived, the legendary bloodline. And how those alleged children were then locked away as village treasures never to see the light of day.
Those rumors were never confirmed, unlike now when an actual village announcement revealed the existence of a new Wood Release bloodline heir. Everyone was surprised and excited at the news. And those who have no idea what the Wood Release bloodline was, were being filled in by the rest of the crowd.
"As commendation for their actions during Madara's attack on the Uchiha clan, the two men team will be rewarded by the Hokage and the Konoha Council. The Hokage and the village elders had also granted a battlefield promotion to the Jonin's apprentice, one Naruto Uzumaki, for his commendable expertise in using his Wood Release bloodline during a battlefield situation…"
The town crier continued his speech, seemingly uncaring of the shocked silence that descended upon the gathered crowd. Ayame felt her heart skipped a bit as she looked in bewilderment at her father after hearing the town crier said a very familiar name.
"Did… did he just say Naruto's name?" Ayame said, eyes wide in shock. She had not seen Naruto for the past few days, but had thought it was because of the lock down… now she knew differently. Naruto had been taking part in the defense of the Uchiha clan. Questions raced through her mind. Was he hurt? Where was he right now?
Beside Ayame her father shrugged, seeming as startled as her at what they had just heard. "Naruto… has the Wood Release bloodline?" He muttered as if unable to comprehend that fact.
"By the Sage's left pinkie…" Old Fukigen swore softly, before turning gratefully to Teuchi. "It is a good thing you convinced me not to listen to all those propaganda the Civilian Guilds were sprouting about that Uzumaki boy all these years. I am betting the various Head of the Guilds are going to be mighty embarrassed once news of this spreads."
Ayame saw her father nodding dumbly to Old Fukigen as she strained to listen for what else the town crier had to say. Something about the Senju and Uchiha clans… and custody? She was unable to pick up any more of what the town crier was saying, even with his voice amplifier technique enhancing his voice. The gathered crowd had at last recovered from the shock of the news they just heard… and had erupted into pandemonium.
Her father grabbed her by the arm, pulling her out of the crowd. Old Fukigen was hobbling behind, with Toreda and Saamon following.
"We are closing the restaurant today, and are going to check up on Naruto." Teuchi said firmly. "Whatever happened, he is still our Naruto, and he is just a child. If he is involved in defending the Uchiha clan three days ago… we need to make sure he is alright, especially since he has no parents to take care of him."
"I will cook up his favorite miso ramen to bring with us." Ayame said rushing to their restaurant. "I will be real quick, give me half an hour."
"The town crier didn't say the boy was injured, so he's most probably alright." Toreda voiced out to Teuchi. There was a look of shame on the older man's face. "If you are visiting the boy… help me pass some gifts from me to him. I don't know the child that well, but he's a god damn village hero… and I feel guilty about the time I have to bar him from the shop because a few civilians were making a scene about how they can't shop with him around."
"I don't know the child at all." Saamon said with a shrug. "And I never did bother with those malicious gossip about the boy. But he must be something special to get a commendation and a battlefield promotion at his age. He deserves a celebratory meal for his efforts. I just got a fresh shipment of Silver Blues from the Land of Wave, I will spot you one to go along with the boy's miso ramen, they are good when grilled."
"Thank you." Teuchi said with a nod. "I am sure Naruto will appreciate that. But most importantly, I want to make sure the boy's alright. And maybe now with the village announcement… things will get better for him…"
Konoha's Northern Town Square
The morning crowd was still milling in the Northern Town Square long after the town crier had left. Ino turned from the shop window with a frown and returned to arranging the fresh batch of flowers for display. She had been kept so busy that she had missed hearing the announcement.
Waking up at the break of dawn was nothing new for her, even though there were times she hated the fact she could not just laze around in bed like a normal civilian girl. For all that her father was the clan head of the Yamanaka clan, or rather due to the fact that he was the clan head, he insisted that Ino set a good example for the rest of the clan children.
If it was a school day, she would just need to tend to the gardens or do some light training before setting off for the Academy. For a non-schooling day, she and the other children would take turns helping some of the clan members tend to the florist shop in the Northern Town Square.
Today was not supposed to be her turn to help with the store. But something had happened during the previous day that had her father and a lot of the senior clan members in a bad mood. For all that the adults tried to hide news from prying ears, Ino had managed to hear whispers about uncle Fū who had turned traitor and that he was going to be executed today.
She only had a vague memory of her father's distant cousin, who was one of the few Yamanaka that lived outside the clan compound. Uncle Fū was a stern stoic man, and had not talked much the few times Ino had seen him when she was little.
Whatever the case, when morning dawned early in the morning, the clan's children were awakened. Most were tasked to help setup a new garden plot in the eastern end of the Yamanaka clan compound, their civilian parents guiding them and keeping them busy. It was a sweaty thankless task which would take more than half a day, but would most probably seem like a game to the younger ones.
The older Yamanaka children like Ino were however tasked with reorganizing the display of the Yamanaka shop, refreshing the current flower stock, cleaning the shop's storage room and repainting the shop front. Her mother and several Yamanaka adults were directing their children on what to do, keeping everyone soundly occupied. In the meanwhile, her father and most of the Yamanaka clan ninjas, except for the few guarding the clan compound, had seemingly disappeared.
"That's a nice summer style flower arrangement." Shiruku Yamanaka said appreciatively as she walked up to Ino's side, a barrel of paint and two paint brushes in one hand. "I guess you were listening when I was teaching you."
"Just because my eyes were closed doesn't mean I wasn't listening mom." Ino whined. "And where's dad? Why are we here actually? I remember helping to clean the shop a few months ago when the New Year began!"
"Don't whine, it's unsightly. And there's nothing wrong with cleaning the store again." Shiruku said and motioned Ino towards the front door. "Come on. I need you to help me repaint the window stills in blue."
"Cousin Keyan just painted the window stills brown a few months ago!" Ino protested incredulously as she followed her mother out of the shop, leaving her aunts and cousins busying away behind her.
"And I am sure it is a nice color, but summer's coming and a new coloring combination for our shop exterior is just the thing." Shiruku said simply. "And while we bond over this perfect mother-daughter activity, I have been meaning to talk to you about the Academy."
"Mom I don't want to bond with you! ..." Ino said with a wince.
"You aren't too old for me to pinch your bottom my dear girl. Or whip it into shape." Shiruku said smiling at her daughter, causing Ino to shudder at the hint of steel in her mother's eyes. Unlike most women who married into the Yamanaka clan, Ino's mother was not a civilian but a Konoha ninja who managed to reach the rank of special Jonin in the field of Muchijutsu, the rare art of whip fighting. And she was not the sort to take nonsense from anyone.
"Fine!" Ino grumbled, grabbing a paint brush from her mother as both of them began working on one of the window stills.
"So I have been hearing a lot of things about this Naruto Uzumaki boy recently." Shiruku said as Ino turned to look at her. "He is one of your classmates isn't he?"
"What kind of things did you hear?" Ino asked warily. It was quite obvious that her mother was fishing for information about Naruto. There was a reason why her father was the Interrogation expert of Konoha, and not her mother.
"Things." Shiruku said smiling at her daughter, ending that line of conversation without an answer. "Now what can you tell me about the boy?"
Ino rolled her eyes, dad would have at least wheedled the information out of her without her even knowing. "I know he is the best of buddies with Choji and Shikamaru. He is also friend with Shino and has some kind of friendship rivalry thing going on with Kiba. They used to meet behind the Academy after school and just lay on the hill looking at clouds, but recently Naruto managed to motivate even that lazy ass Shikamaru to do some training after school."
"What kind of training?" Shiruku asked, looking at her daughter inquisitively.
"Some academy exercises? I have no idea. I don't really join them that much, and the few times I saw that they were going to train, I left." Ino said with a shrug. "I don't want to get all sweaty and dirty, I have enough of that in class. I only dropped in on their group and join them for a few lazy hours when Sakura and the other girls don't have plans. I did hear them saying Naruto was training and guiding them… which is weird because even Kiba's class results are better than Naruto in some areas. I have no idea what Naruto have to teach them."
"I see… what else did you hear about Naruto and his group of… friends?" Shiruku asked carefully.
"Well, I heard Hinata joined their group two weeks ago." Ino revealed, causing her mother to give her a sharp look. "The girls were talking in the locker room last week and Hinata mentioned Naruto was training her as well."
"So let me get this straight." Shiruku said slowly. "Naruto Uzumaki had formed a... training group which consisted of almost all of the clan heirs in your Academy class… except you. And had formed close relationships with almost all of the clan heirs in your year class… except you."
Her mother seemed deep in thought as Ino began to look at her mother warily. "My… he is truly a prodigy in the ninja arts, and politics as well… with the intellect and farsightedness to plan all of his future alliances and connections… so far ahead…"
"Mom, why are you muttering like a crazy woman?" Ino said rubbing the goosebumps on her arm. "You are scaring me."
Her mother straightened, startling Ino as she looked up at her, all seriousness in her eyes. "Ino, once the Academy opens, find out from Shikamaru and Choji if this training group of Naruto's is still… on-going. If it is, I want you to join their group and befriend them. Befriend all of them and train with them you understand me?"
"What?!" Ino stared at her mother, shocked by the seemingly ridiculous request. "Mom! I am just ordinary friends with Naruto and those in his group… well maybe excluding that lazy bum and Choji-eat-a-lot. I feel more like their unpaid babysitter. But the point is Sakura is my best friend, and I am not leaving her and the rest of the girls to join Naruto and the others in getting all sweaty and dirty when I can enjoy myself with the girls!"
"It is your clan duty as a daughter heir." Shiruku said sternly, shocking Ino. "Bring Sakura along if you have to, but I want you to integrate yourself into this training group that Naruto Uzumaki had created and form alliances with everyone in the group."
"Mom…" Ino asked slowly, finally realizing something was not right. "What is really going on?"
Shiruku gave a tired sigh. "Your uncle Fū has been branded a traitor for many atrocious crimes he committed for a rogue organization before he was apprehended yesterday. All the crimes he committed came to light before the Konoha Council yesterday… and have left a black mark on the Yamanaka clan. You need to do your part in restoring our clan's reputation."
"And how is befriending and training with Naruto and the others going to help with our clan's reputation?" Ino asked incredulously.
"Ino… there has been lot of changes in the village the past few days… and certain secrets have come to light." Shiruku said to her daughter carefully. "Naruto Uzumaki has been receiving specialized training from… a Jonin. He is also involved in the defense of the Uchiha clan during the attack by traitor ninjas three days ago.
"He is a distant descendant of the Senju clan, and possesses the legendary Wood Release bloodline. The Senju and Uchiha clans both declared him to be under their protection and are fighting for custody of the boy. He is also given a battlefield promotion to become a Konoha Chunin. Right now, he is one of the heroes and prodigy of the village. The amount of political clout Naruto would have in the future is enormous. Do your duty and befriend him and the rest of the clan heirs of your class year. Who knows, maybe they could actually motivate you to treat your career as a kunoichi more seriously."
Ino stared at her mother in shock. "Wh… WHAT!"
Konoha's Hokage Tower
He had only been out of commission for two days and within that short span of time too much had happened. While he had been recuperating after the battle, Root had been discovered and dismantled, with Danzo branded a traitor for treason. And as he was grieving for the death of his teammates, the Hokage had apparently made plans for him.
Kakashi looked at the termination order the Third Hokage had just handed to him.
"You are terminating my services to the Anbu." Kakashi said neutrally, not revealing his shock.
"Yes Kakashi." The Third said, motioning him to sit down on the couch. "I have need of your services elsewhere."
Kakashi nodded, he had guessed as much. "I heard about Root when I passed by the town criers just now. Are you assigning me to the team hunting down the remaining rogues?"
"Ah Root." The Third said with a weary sigh. "No, the hunting of rogue nins will not be of your concern. I have the hunter nins and Ibiki handling that. No I need you for something closer to home."
"Naruto." Kakashi said, quickly discerning the topic of The Third's discussion. Although Konoha had gone through a series of shattering upheavals in the past three days, there were only a few matters of high enough concern to affect him. Madara's reappearance, Naruto's real abilities and bloodline, and the discovery of Root were the major factors that Kakashi had been aware of so far.
"Yes." The Third answered with a nod. "As you are aware, the council and I have given Naruto a field promotion for his services in defending the Uchiha clan. The promotion bypass the rank of Genin and propelled him straight to the position of Chunin. I have decree that Naruto will hold the title of special Chunin to the Hokage. I intend to guide his training at times, because even with his bloodline and current capabilities, he is but a child. However with my duties, I can't be around to focus on him, Naruto is going to need a teacher."
The Hokage took out a sealed letter from his robe, handing it to Kakashi who accepted it without showing a hint of emotion of his face.
"As of this moment, I am authorizing the formation of a special two men Chunin team. You will be leading team Kakashi with Naruto Uzumaki under your command. Your team will answer directly to me and me alone. I want weekly updates on Naruto's progress, but most importantly I need you to be Naruto's teacher because… he knows…" The Third said in a tired voice. "He knows who his birth parents are, and as of now, you are one of the few remaining links to Minato and Kushina."
"I see." Kakashi said, feeling old pain stirring at the thought of his teacher and old team. He had been there when Naruto had revealed his knowledge and training with The Eye to the Hokage. "So you want me to keep an eye on the boy, and reach out to him using my history with his parents."
"No." The Third said firmly, looking sternly at Kakashi to make sure he got the message. "No emotional manipulation. This isn't one of your missions. I want you to be there for him as a family friend. Not just watching over him from the shadows like what you have doing all these years, but to be someone he can depend on and trust, just as Minato had been for you."
"I can never be like Minato sensei… but I will do my best." Kakashi said gravely. It was the best he could offer, especially since there was no way he could turn down this request. His debt to his late teacher could never be repaid in this lifetime. The best he could do was to be there for Minato's kid, even though he felt a lingering reluctance at facing a legacy of his past.
"Good. Team Kakashi will officially be activated at midday today." The Third said looking sharply at Kakashi. "Pick up Naruto from his apartment and get him officially registered into the Shinobi corp. Take this afternoon to get to know him. Assess your new student tomorrow, and official training will begin the day after. I want a full report on Naruto's capabilities and your team's proposed training schedule submitted by end of the week."
As Kakashi gave his affirmation to the Hokage, a cloaked figure remained undetected outside the Hokage tower. N5 was listening in to the meeting through his mind link with S5.
"So Kakashi Hatake is going to be our Jonin sensei…" N5 mused. "Best get that information to Boss Sica. I am sure he will want to know about it."
Konoha's Eastern Forest
Hidden under advanced cloak, N31 and numerous other fellow clones were seated in a large clearing in Konoha's eastern forest, situated near Training Ground 23, but far enough from any known landmarks that few Konoha ninjas and residents ventured into this area.
The twenty men team were what was termed by the Boss as the Eastern Research Clone Brigade. Like their fellow clone brigades in the South, West, and North part of Konoha's forest, they serve a dual role as researchers and learners.
The Naruto clones were tasked with learning the various theoretical Federation subjects that Boss had handpicked, while their Sica clones were tasked with various research projects Boss had designated.
The Eastern Clone Brigade also had the dubious honor of analyzing data from Boss' altercation with Madara. They were to uncover Madara's true capabilities, any weakness the infamous ninja might have, as well as planning strategies to combat Sharingan and their advanced forms. The Western Clones were to focus research on any possible Chakra shielding and Chakra sensing techniques that might help the Boss. Meanwhile the Northern and Southern Clones were focusing their attention on the various research projects regarding seals and Ninjutsu techniques that Boss had previously ordered.
A mental prompt from S31 caused N31 to blink as his holographic screen which was previously showing data on University level Mechanical Engineering froze up. Looking around, he saw his fellow clones eyeing their respective holographic screens showing different subjects, without any hints of disturbance.
All of them were under a large layered dome shaped cloak, formed by all of their Sicas working together. Using manipulation of light, those outside the cloak would see no one in the clearing, while those within the light cloak would be able to see the going-ons of outside.
In practical and theoretical application, a rudimentary cloaking device which utilize bending of light would cause the one under the cloak to be surrounded by darkness, blinded to the outside world. After all, a reflective shield bending light away from itself, would have allowed no light to enter its interior. This flaw however could be rendered moot if the device that created the shield was able to generate and render its own light source, within the reflective shield.
Thankfully Sica was a state of the art creation by the Pangalactic Federation, imbued with the best of their micro-holographic technology. Sica's light based cloaking technique would bend the light around its user, to grant a version of invisibility, while at the same time layering a screen of light within the layered cloak, displaying the scanned images of what's outside the cloak.
Yes Sica, what is it? N31 asked mentally, not wanting to disturb the rest of the clones by asking his question out loud.
I was analyzing Sharingan genetic data for weaknesses, and have discovered abnormalities in the genetic scans of Madara's Sharingan, several of the Uchiha clan members and Kakashi Hatake. S31 revealed causing N31 to frown.
Kakashi Hatake… he's the ninja that saved us from Madara and is now Boss' new Jonin instructor. N31 noted. S5 had sent out an update to all Sicas about Team Kakashi only minutes ago, and the memories of Boss' near death at Madara's hands were still firmly entrenched in N31's mind. He… Boss… still have nightmares from Madara's assault. The one with that implanted Sharingan?
Yes. Kakashi Hatake gained his Sharingan on a mission during the Third Shinobi World War. His left eye was destroyed by an attack, and according to previously scanned mission reports, it seemed his teammate, one Obito Uchiha, perished in that particular mission. Sica stated. Before his eventual death, Obito Uchiha granted Kakashi Hatake his left Sharingan eye. The operation was done with assistance from Rin Nohara, the third member of their team, now deceased as well, who also happened to have medi-nin training.
Okay… so what is the abnormality? N31 asked, wondering what Sica was getting at.
The previously scanned Sharingan from Kakashi is in its advance stage, and possesses 34% genetic makeup of Kakashi's own body. As Kakashi lacks the genetic traits of an Uchiha, it appears that he is incapable of deactivating his Mangekyō Sharingan. Sica revealed, causing N31 to blink at the information. Records stated that Obito Uchiha never gained the Mangekyō Sharingan when he gifted it to Kakashi, thus it is possible that the evolution of Kakashi's eyes happened after the eye was implanted into him. And that due to this, part of Kakashi's own genetic materials were used to further the evolution process.
But the key issue is that Kakashi's Mangekyō Sharingan bears a 92% structural match to Madara's Mangekyō Sharingan. Kakashi and Madara's Mangekyō Sharingan are most certainly the same "type" of Mangekyō Sharingan, even though the gene makeup in Kakashi's Mangekyō Sharingan differs from Madara's. This difference in genetic makeup is probably caused by the Mangekyō Sharingan evolving in Kakashi's body. Several other Uchiha clan members also possessed a 68%-81% genetic match to Madara. Sica continued.
Simplify it for me please. N31 said with a wince. I know Boss took Biology classes, but we were never that well verse in it. We barely scrap a passing score from the previous test.
As you wish. Sica stated. Based on my limited analysis, with no verified sources of genetic materials from Madara Uchiha to refer to, and the high structural similarities of Kakashi and "Madara's" Mangekyō Sharingan. I theorize that Kakashi and "Madara's" Mangekyō Sharingan are of the same "type".
I further theorized that there is a 95% chance that the Madara Uchiha who attacked Uchiha clan is actually not the real Madara Uchiha, but is actually one Obito Uchiha who has survived. Obito Uchiha was listed as an orphan, but based on the genetic scans, I might have uncovered several close relatives of his in the clan.
"What?" N31 shouted in shock, forgetting to speak mentally within his head. Several of his fellow clones looked his way curiously. "But how? How do you come to this conclusion?"
Scans of "Madara's" facial layout bears a 96% match to the portrays of Madara Uchiha, however deeper tissue scans revealed that the "Madara" who attacked the Uchiha clan bears tissue scarring in his left eye socket. Sica revealed. "Madara" also possessed a Mangekyō Sharingan in his right eye, and a normal Sharingan in his left eye. Both eyeballs bears a 76% genetic mismatch, which meant that they came from two different people with distant bloodline relations.
"So you are saying with the close similarity 'Madara' and Kakashi's Mangekyō Sharingan has with each other, and the tissue scarring you detected in his left eye socket… it's more than likely Obito Uchiha is the 'Madara' who attack the Uchiha clan." N31 said in shock. "If so that would explain why the 'Madara' that attacked the clan is not the juggernaut of power the legends stated him to be. Even though he is more than powerful enough to make a good showing of it. But why did you take so long to come with this conclusion?"
The abnormality detected in Kakashi's Mangekyō Sharingan delayed crucial data comparison. Thousands of simulations were ran to pinpoint why Kakashi's implanted Mangekyō Sharingan would contain some of his genetic data, yet bear a high structural comparison to "Madara's" Mangekyō Sharingan. I only reached a 97% positive conclusion that evolution of Sharingan to Mangekyō Sharingan would utilize the host's genetic materials a few hours ago. This allows me to eliminate misleading data and connect the dots. Sica revealed. With the other Sicas focused on various assigned key objectives, my overall conclusion on Obito's Mangekyō Sharingan was only finalized a few minutes ago.
"What's going on?" N35 who was seated next to N31 asked. It was then N31 realised he had gotten the attention of his entire clone brigade.
"My Sica just discovered something very important." N31 said with a grimace. "Sica, disseminate the information to Boss and the other clones. We need to know exactly who we are fighting. At least this Obito Uchiha should be much weaker than the real Madara Uchiha… right?"
Konoha Training Ground 37
The fresh scent of earth and morning dew permeate the thick forest that made up Konoha's Training Ground 37. Crickets chirping, rodents going to ground, fledglings taking flight as a new dawn broke over the forest top, sending gentle streams of the morning sun to pierce through the dark canopy.
There was a gust of wind, followed by multiple similar gusts around a small clearing, as the forest fell silent. Sica dropped the light cloak that had hid Naruto from sight and began monitoring the energy signatures in the area in case the Hokage was using his signature spying technique on them. Naruto took a deep breathe of the cool crisp air, the warmth of a delicious ramen broth settling in his stomach.
Having Ayame and Teuchi deciding to drop by, to congratulate him on becoming a Chunin, with a delicious ramen breakfast had been a surprise. With his clones scattered all over Konoha, Naruto had caught wind of their intention half an hour before their arrival which slightly spoilt the surprise, but even then, Naruto had been touched that the ramen owner and his daughter had remembered him.
His original intent had been to do some personal training before starting another regiment of the Wild Hunt, but the visit by his favorite ramen owner had derailed that plan. It was no big deal though, he could always have his clones pick up on other aspects of his training when he meets his Chunin team instructor in the afternoon.
There were still three hours before midday. Turning to the shadow clones he had just created, who were still hidden from sight, Naruto called out. "You know what to do. Perimeter Team, secure the area and warn us if anyone make their way here. Red team, listen to your Sicas, get yourself into position before I start the Hunt."
Silent gusts of wind was all that greeted him as his shadow clones moved out towards their assigned roles. Naruto began to do some light stretching in the small clearing, wincing at a rapidly healing bruise on his left arm.
"Those Senju and Uchiha ninjas are really getting better at realizing I was slipping out of the apartment. The older Uchiha ninja in particular nearly caught up with me before I could slip into the morning crowd… even while you were cloaking me! With them knowing that I have slipped out of my apartment, there's no longer any point to leave a shadow clone in the apartment as a decoy." Naruto said with a grimace. "I would have been impressed if that older Uchiha ninja wasn't becoming so much of a nuisance to shake off. I bumped into that wall with enough force to nearly shatter the cloak because I was too busy trying to avoid him. You were saying it was because he did something with his Sharingan?"
The Sharingan is known to grant its user an incredible clarity of perception. The Uchiha that managed to catch up with you, Shadou Uchiha, was listed in Konoha's Shinobi records as one of the best Taijutsu expert in the village. Sica revealed to Naruto's question. His mastery of his Sharingan was such that he could detect the slightest of movement in his opponents' bodies before they attack. Knowledge that you had some kind of invisibility technique was beginning to spread among the upper tiers of Konoha's ninja. With this foreknowledge, it was possible he managed to track you by the dust stirred in your path, when you trek down that cluttered and dusty side alley into the town square.
"I wasn't aware the Sharingan could track movements to that extend." Naruto said with a frown. "That bloodline itself seemed to be remarkably powerful and broken. Madara was able to do some kind of warp teleport with his advanced Sharingan. It is scary what he was capable of doing with that ability."
Sharingan, like most bloodlines, are known to have slight potency and variations when they manifest in different Uchiha members. Shadou Uchiha's Sharingan has an advantage in detecting minute movements. Madara's Sharingan probably specialize in space-time manipulation. Sica stated clinically. With Madara's right limbs containing a variation of Wood Release genes close to those that you possesses, it is highly probable that Madara, like Danzo, is trying to recreate the Izanagi technique. A technique written in several old records as the most powerful Genjutsu technique ever known.
"The most powerful Genjutsu technique." Naruto said with a disbelieving snort. "What does it do exactly? Trap you in an infinite illusion?"
No, the Izanagi does not stimulate an infinite illusion trap. The technique that possess the same effect as your supposition is known as the Tsukuyomi. It was one of the list of known Mangekyō Sharingan techniques recorded in the Uchiha clan's archives. Sica said, surprising Naruto with the fact that such a technique actually existed. Though that particular illusion technique is not infinite, the user can manipulate one's mind to change their perception of time, while trapping them in a very powerful mental illusion.
The only known user of the Tsukuyomi was an Uchiha who died several decades ago. Though it is possible future Mangekyō Sharingan users who possess the same "type" of Mangekyō Sharingan as him, might be able to utilize the same ability.
As for the Izanagi, according to legend, it is a genjutsu that is cast on the user instead of others. When activated it removes the boundaries between reality and illusion, allowing the user to control his/her state of existence. No further details are available, though there are theories the technique could allow the user to transcend death temporarily at the cost of the Sharingan eye used to cast it.
"Oh… I wasn't really expecting there to be such techniques." Naruto said with a grimace. "I guess we should be glad that Madara's Mangekyō Sharingan didn't seem to be able to use that powerful mind illusion technique, or that he didn't use that Izanagi technique. Otherwise I will probably be dead many times over. I hadn't learn any Genjutsu defenses so far, I would have been practically defenseless."
The Mangekyō Sharingan possessed quite a number of varied abilities. According to Uchiha clan's archives, the clan were aware of eighteen Uchiha who gained the Mangekyō Sharingan, though only ten of those listed ever have their abilities recorded. Of these ten, four different Mangekyō Sharingan types were identified. Sica stated. The Mangekyō Sharingan of Madara and his brother were among those not in records, and based on the abilities he showed during the battle, Madara's Mangekyō Sharingan did not match any of the four known Mangekyō Sharingan types.
"I wonder…" Naruto mused to himself, even as he checked his gear for the upcoming Wild Hunt exercise. "If Madara was so powerful with his Mangekyō Sharingan… Maybe I can use that same Mangekyō Sharingan against him."
You wish to genetically alter your ocular genetic structure to possess the Mangekyō Sharingan? Sica asked.
"That thought did cross my mind. But I suspect having those eyes would also come with their own baggage of problems." Naruto admitted. "But let's discuss this later. First let's get the Wild Hunt for the day over with."
Very well. Sica affirmed. Today's Wild Hunt is a tracking and hostage rescue operation. Red Team will be posing as a group of rogue Mist Nins. One clone will be transforming himself into a civilian woman held hostage by the Mist ninjas. The objective is to find the hideout of the Mist ninjas, take down or contain them, while ensuring the civilian hostage is rescued and survived the operation.
Battlefield intel revealed that Mist ninjas' base is located somewhere North of your current position. This band of Mist ninjas is known for their powerful water techniques and Taijutsu skills. The operation ends within the time frame of two hours. Good luck Naruto.
Naruto rolled his eyes at Sica's narration. "Why can't you just tell me that the Red Team is limited to water techniques and Taijutsu attacks instead of spinning all this story about Mist ninjas?"
Centuries of Federation Psychological research on Humanity reveals that humans are more likely to remember and relish the experience when they are role playing it. Sica stated primly. It is common for Federation Training Operations to have varying story lines for different training scenarios. I believe the concept of role playing does not just apply to training exercises but also in many types of human entertainment, particular among human adults. As such, to carter for your learning needs, I have used 28 mil-cycles to craft the optimum training scenario for you today.
"Seriously?" Naruto said shaking his head in disbelief. "Federation humans are weird."
His fingers flicked into a series of handseals as he pulled and mold the Wood chakra within him. Power flexed within his body and flowed out… in the forms of eleven wood clones exiting out of his body. It took a few seconds for the Wood clones to lose their green brown wood outer appearances, before their skin and clothes managed to stabilize into the appropriate texture and coloring. Due to his Wood Release bloodline, using the Wood clones technique came remarkably easy to him. Naruto just never saw the need to use this particular clone technique until now.
With Sica's rule that it would not help Naruto during the Wild Hunt exercise, it became redundant to use Shadow Clones to help him during the exercise. The Shadow Clones' Sicas would have refused to assist him in the duration of the exercise. As such, it was much better to call on Wood clones who were tougher then Shadow Clones, able to communicate with him from afar without the aid of Sicas, and merge into plants.
Among the few records Sica had managed to scan of the Wood clone technique, it also possesses various other utility features that Naruto was still trying to master. The fact that the Wood clones' Sica replicas did not work at all do not actually matter during the Wild Hunt exercise. What was important was their durability in combat and various other utility skills.
"Alright, the five of you are the forward team. As for you, you are to stay behind and watch over me while I direct the forward team." Naruto said, taking command of his wood clones. "The remaining five, I need you to transform yourself into kunai. Each of member of the forward team will take one of you. The five transformed clones will be our… insurance, once we located Red Team."
The Wood clones nodded, dividing themselves up. One of the clone moved to stand by him, while five of the clones transformed into Kunai which the rest of the clones quickly picked up, one a piece. Unlike the Shadow clone technique, the power of the wood clones are proportional to the power the user focuses on the clones.
Due to this, for maximum effect, Naruto needs to stay behind to make sure he can fully utilize the power of his wood clones. As of current time, he had not mastered the art of fighting and effectively managing his wood clones at the same time, and eleven wood clones was the most he could manage at a time.
Making sure his team was ready, Naruto turned to look down at Sica on his wrist.
"Alright Sica we are good to go." Naruto announced.
Acknowledge. Sica said. Wild Hunt exercise will commerce in 5 seconds. 5, 4, 3…
Naruto frowned when Sica's mental voice came to a sudden halt.
Wild Hunt exercise has been halted. I am receiving a priority information package from S31. Sica stated. You need to know of this. It appears after further data analysis by S31, that the Madara Uchiha who attacked the Uchiha clan, might not be the original Madara Uchiha of legend… S31 has reached a probability of 95% that the attacker might actually be one Obito Uchiha, allegedly deceased during the Third Shinobi World War…
Konoha's Northern Town Square
The corner shop at the Northern Town Square was closed for business, but the lights were on within, and the notice on the door stated clearly.
"Shop assistants wanted.
Flexible hours. Part timers welcome.
Walk in interviews only."
At nine years of age, with a bow shaped haircut and thick eyebrows, dressed in serviceable and inexpensive clothes, Rock Lee looked like a normal middle class civilian's child. The only difference was that he was an orphan.
From the moment his parents passed away in a tragic house fire when he was six, he had been living with Konoha's Maple Grove orphanage. The clothes were hand me downs, and the small orphan stipend he got from attending the Ninja Academy was barely enough for him to purchase the bare minimum of equipment. The only saving grace so far was that the Academy textbooks and materials were handed free to the Academy students.
Yet Rock Lee was firm in his resolve to become a ninja, even though he was struggling to manipulate his chakra during the most basic of Ninjutsu. Surely if he was to continue training every day he would improve! But constant training wear out his ninja equipment fast, and Rock Lee knew there would come a time when his orphan stipend would not be able to cover his constant replacement of tools.
Being an orphan that had bypass eight years of age, he was allowed to take up light working jobs during weekends. With the village in lockdown, and the Academy being closed for the past few days, Rock Lee had taken the chance to actively look for work that he could do to earn a little pocket money for future uses.
This… would be his tenth attempt at finding a job since he started looking, not a lot of stall owners in Konoha had work for a child. Taking a deep breath, the young boy carefully knocked on the closed shop door before him and then entered.
He was not sure what the shop interior would be like, or what kind of business the shop was conducting, especially since the shop sign out front had been left empty. From the looks of things, the shop was not opened for business yet. He was most certainly not expecting a warmly decorated shop interior with rows of red wood shelves. Most of the shelves were empty, but some were stacked with various…. oddities?
Among the few goods that were already placed in the shop front, some of the objects were recognizable. There were the kunai made from wood, most probably for practice fights, and then there were the stacks of papers with symbols written on top, most probably storage seals, or some other kinds of seal. Rock Lee had not much idea about Fuinjutsu. The Academy only covered the existence and history of Fuinjutsu last week. And all he remembered from that lesson was that the Second and Fourth Hokages in particular were supposed to be Konoha's premier masters in that exotic craft.
There were also various other items that he did not have a name for. As Rock Lee looked around with childlike wonder, a brown haired young man with a strong jaw and warm blue eyes stepped out from one of the shelves, not showing any hint of surprise at the sight of Rock Lee in his shop.
"Hi…" Rock Lee said hesitantly, for all his nine years of age, he was but still a child, even though he had learn to be independent a long time ago. "I saw the notice outside and…"
"You are looking for a job." The young man finished his sentence for him. "I am Uriko Tatori, the owner of this… small establishment. Does your parents know that you are here?"
"My parents have been dead for a while." Rock Lee said in a matter of fact tone of voice. He had long since made peace with the death of his parents. As the years went past, it was harder each year to hold onto the memories of their faces. "I am an orphan studying at the Academy. I am just looking for a part time job that I can do during weekends, holidays or after Academy hours."
"Ah." Uriko said, giving Rock Lee a look of understanding and sympathy. "I already found three part timers to take care of business in the shop, but I do need a cleaner, to make sure the shop is presentable everyday. It will be on a daily basis, during the evenings near closing time. Pay will be 5,000 yen per day, and given at the end of each day. It will be hard work though, you will need to clean the windows and sweep the floor, both here and in the basement."
"I will do it!" Rock Lee said eagerly. The amount Uriko offered was more than generous for a day's worth of cleaning job, he doubt he could get a better offer elsewhere. "I am not afraid of hard work!"
"Good." Uriko said with a smile. "Now this shop specialize in selling gadgets and new inventions. The basement is basically the workshop that produces the items you see here. I have a… team of workers stationed downstairs to churn out the items, so when you go to the basement to clean the place, don't touch anything that the workers told you not to. Some of the experimental item components can be quite dangerous."
"I understand." Rock Lee said nodding quickly.
"Good. I am preparing for the shop opening tomorrow. Can you start work today?" Uriko asked. "I will pay you once you are done cleaning the place. And if you help me stock the shelves, it will be an extra 5,000 yen for you as well."
"I can start work immediately." Rock Lee said, a gleam in his eyes. "The Academy is closed for today so I am free. What do you need me to do first?"
"Let's stock up the shelves first, then you can clean the place." Uriko said. "Come, I need you to help me carry some of the goods from the basement. After which, I will tell you how to display them on the shelves…"
Following after the shop owner with the innocence and trust that only a child would have, Rock Lee have no idea that he have established contact with the proxy of Konoha's current child prodigy. An orphan who had sympathized with another. And one who would soon be the focus of a country wide maelstrom.
Kakashi considered dropping by the bookstore to get the latest edition of Icha Icha and be fashionably late, a quirk that he instilled upon himself, to keep the memory of a friend alive. He pondered the notion for all of five seconds before discarding the thought. With the events of the past few days, it was too flippant for him to consider making that extra effort to be late. Not to mention he was curious about Naruto Uzumaki, demon container of the Nine-tailed fox, and son of his late teacher.
He had never gotten close with the child. With all his emotional baggage, Kakashi never had the intention to be part of Naruto's life after the Fourth Hokage's demise. He did his duty, asking to be part of the squadron of Anbu that kept Naruto safe during the boy's childhood, but that was about all he had been willing to do. There had been no room in his life to interact with a child, and even if he had been willing, there would be no way the village council would let Naruto be fostered with him.
Madara's attack on the Uchiha clan, the revelation of Naruto's interference and his current reassignment as the child's new teacher, had however sparked an interest in Kakashi to find out more about his teacher's kid. Kakashi could not put a finger in it, but something about Naruto Uzumaki, about him being the student of the mysterious "Eye of Konoha", just did not strike true with him.
He still remembered the disguised Naruto clone who had rescued him. Of himself dragging his weary and battered body across the Uchiha compound. He had just reached the walls of the compound when he had sighted Madara appearing on the wall in front of him, smashing into some invisible barrier that revealed a child, the original Naruto Uzumaki. That Naruto had shown shock at Madara's attack, but not fear. When Kakashi had reviewed the memories of the attack in the safety of the hospital ward, that particular aspect of his observation had given him concern.
Even when Madara had his hand around the child's neck, using some strange attack to kill him, Naruto had tried to fight back. There had been grim determination, acceptance and resignation in the child's eyes, a sign of maturity usually not found in an eight year old child, at least not those that lived in times of peace. Kakashi had seen those unwavering blue orbs glaring at Madara, before in a last burst of strength, Kakashi himself had jumped onto the wall, attempting to save the child.
Naruto had fought against Madara without a hint of fear, up until the moment he was rescued. For the child to start crying when the Third Hokage arrived to save them, well Kakashi did not have to be one of his nin dogs to smell the proverbial fish in the baker's basket.
There was more going on than what Naruto had revealed to the Hokage, Kakashi had been certain of that fact. A detour to the Academy record rooms had revealed that Naruto Uzumaki's exams and tests scores always dwindled among the last or middle tier of the class, a stark contrast to his true capabilities. It spoke of a certain level of cunning and skill seldom seen in a child so young, to cover up his own true capabilities.
Perhaps The Eye had a hand in this deception, but even then Naruto had been the one presenting a consistent inferior set of abilities to the Academy, and it seems none of the teachers, save one Iruka Umino, suspected that the young boy might be capable of more.
Thus it was why Kakashi had arrived an hour early, observing Naruto's apartment and his various watchers. The Third had already given him the heads up about the location of the various "bodyguards" sent by the Senju and Uchiha clans to protect and watch over the boy.
"What secrets are you hiding Naruto?" Kakashi pondered as he stood on the rooftop, opposite from where the Uchiha watchers had stationed themselves. He made no move to hide himself unlike the Uchiha two men team that had slipped back into the shadows after acknowledging his arrival.
The apartment had been empty with no signs of Naruto. Which begs the question of where Naruto had gone off to. It was doubtful the watchers assigned to Naruto by the clans knew the boy's current whereabouts. If they knew, they would not be watching over an empty apartment like hawks. It took another twenty minutes of waiting before Naruto appeared, walking down the street towards his apartment as though he was just out taking a walk.
The boy's sweat and dirt stained clothes however revealed another story entirely. Naruto had been out training. Was he training by himself? Or did The Eye contact Naruto once more to guide him? Kakashi pondered the question as he eyed Naruto entering his apartment through a lens. Whatever the case was, Kakashi resolved to keep a closer watch on his new student.
Kakashi made his way to Naruto's apartment by foot, giving Naruto ample time to wash himself up. By the time he reached the door to Naruto's dwelling, it was a few minutes to midday.
Giving the door a sharp rap, Kakashi waited a few seconds before he heard the creaking of floorboards from within the apartment. The door opened to reveal a cleaned up Naruto, dressed smartly in black shirt and black pants, the boy's hair still curling damply on his head.
Naruto's eyes widened as he saw Kakashi. "You are the ninja that saved me!" The boy exclaimed, a hint of awe in his voice. "I never got the chance to really thank you… are you my new Jonin instructor?"
"Hmm…" Kakashi said as he gave Naruto a measuring glare. The boy just eyed him with a wide eyed innocent look. "Cut the cute kid act and meet me at the Ninja Registration Office."
Kakashi saw Naruto's cute expression narrowed into an annoyed look before the older ninja body flickered away. He had given Naruto a destination without telling him the directions, now it remains to be seen, through what means and how long Naruto would figure his way there. Though the location of the registration office was not a secret, it was never listed on any Konoha maps.
Naruto was after all a child and orphan with little reason look up the location of the Ninja Registration Office before his actual graduation. This little exercise would allow Kakashi to ascertain how familiar the boy was with moving around Konoha, or…
A whisper of wind behind him caused Kakashi to turn his head in a sideways glance. Stopping briefly at a rooftop across the street from Naruto's apartment, he quirked an eyebrow at the skillful body flicker technique the boy just performed, without any signs of physical exhaustion. Well… that was one way for the boy to get to the office, by actually having the capability to follow after Kakashi.
The Eye must have taught Naruto that technique and it remains to be seen what his new student's true level of power was. Kakashi gave Naruto a neutral look before turning and continuing on his way. A few minutes later, he was standing in front of a nondescript building a little ways north of the Hokage tower.
Naruto landed next to him a few seconds later, looking unruffled at the high speed body flicker techniques that both of them had utilized to get to their location. To all outward appearance, the building bears no indicative identifier that it houses Konoha's Ninja Registration and Ninja Administration Offices. Only Konoha locals working in the building or Konoha's ninjas would know that the building archived Konoha's mission reports of B rank and lower.
Though it was not exactly a highly secret location, it would have been hard for a new Konoha ninja to find without knowing the destination of the place. Kakashi knew of a few Genin team instructors who uses the place as the focus of an information gathering exercise for their newly minted Genin. Kakashi had intended to use the same exercise up until the moment Naruto had shown himself capable of keeping pace with him.
Oh well, the day was still young, and he still have other tests in place to assess Naruto's true skills.
"Follow me." Kakashi said shortly as he walked into the building. "Once we've gotten you officially registered into the ninja corp, we will have a get together session to know more about each other. Oh and that expression you are making right now is perfect for your registration ID. That scowl is definitely much more appropriate for a ninja than your puppy dog expression."
Chuckling, the one-eyed ninja entered the building, uncaring of the dark glower his new Chunin trainee was giving him, as Naruto followed after him.
Karasu, Land of Wind
The small town of Karasu was located near the northern borders of the Land of Wind, and was the major rest stop for travelers from the Land of Birds and the Land of Rain, not that there was much traffic in or out of the Land of Rain these days. It did make Karasu a good place to rest for a while and keep his ears open, on the off chance there was any news about that isolationist country.
The fact that there were a few establishments catering for "adult entertainment", make visiting Karasu quite worthwhile. Pressing his face into the sweet bosom of his latest lady friend, Jiraiya breath in her sweet scent of jasmine, his body tingling with anticipation as he gently untie the knot of her dress…
Something hard smacked into the side of his head, even as his lady friend gave an undignified shriek, tearing away from his grasp and quickly scrambling off the bed they were in.
The familiar sounds of angry chattering clued Jiraiya on his attacker's identity before he even laid eyes on her.
The female messenger monkey summon which the Third Hokage always used to find him, was balanced on top of the only coach in the dimly lit room, a vase in her hands as she glowered at him.
"Wait! Wait! Wait!" Jiraiya said hurriedly raising his hands. "I am renting the room by the hour. If anything's damaged I am going to have to pay for it."
"Like I care!" The monkey summon, dressed in a dull brown shirt and pants, lifted her hands and launched the vase at Jiraiya. The half-dressed woman who was previously working her wiles on Jiraiya gave a screech at hearing a talking monkey, and fled out of the room.
"Oh come on Fuya! Have a heart." Jiraiya said quickly snatching the vase from mid-air before it shatters in his face. "I was just getting to know my… new friend…"
"I have visited twelve brothels across the Land of Sand the past two days, trying to catch up with your trail." The monkey summon raged. "I have seen enough naked humans to last me a lifetime! Have you no shame Jiraiya? At the rate you are going, that thing of yours is going to drop off!"
"At least it was better than the last time?" Jiraiya offered Fuya a weak smile. "I remember you going through twenty-one… establishments before you finally found me."
Fuya's reply was to leap onto Jiraiya's head before he even thought to duck, and began hammering on the white haired man.
"Oww! Oww!" Jiraiya cried out as he scrambled off the bed trying to pry the monkey of his head.
Fuya twisted away from his hands, and landed a kick into his face as she backflip onto the floor. "That is your punishment." Fuya noted haughtily, before digging into her pouch and threw a scroll at Jiraiya. "And read the message. Hiruzen needed you back in Konoha days ago."
Her job done, Fuya turned her back on Jiraiya and disappeared into smoke.
Jiraiya caught the flying message scroll with one hand while he rubbed his sore face with the face. "That monkey is getting more temperamental every time Sarutobi sent her. This scroll better be worth it, or else I am sending the toads after Sarutobi…"
Jiraiya's righteous mumblings stopped as he opened the scroll and looked at what it contained. The message was short and brief.
Madara Uchiha still alive, attacked Uchiha Clan. Naruto at risk. Get back to Konoha. Do not talk to anyone when arrive. Report back to me immediate. Status Amber.
Jiraiya's relaxed countenance hardened, a keen look in his eyes as a subtle manipulation of chakra caused the scroll to catch fire and be burnt to dust. Grabbing his travelling bag from beside the bed, the older man headed for the windows, pushing them open, before he vanished in a gust of wind.
… Memory process cores running at 70% capacity…
… 3,983 multi-threads running…
… 3% data corruption detected... running repairs and redundancy algorithms…
… Analyze program initialized… increasing data corruption due to high usage of memory cycles and redundancy data…
… 75 Clones' data incoming…
… Memory process cores running at 99.99% capacity…
… #$ #$%...
… Switching on optimum multi-threading capability…
… 9,999 multi-threads running…
… 18% data corruption detected... running repairs and redundancy algorithms…
… Redundancy data stripped… running search and sort algorithms…
… Critical data identified, stored in data storage…
… Data Storage (3.98 Zettabytes) 87% used 13% remaining…
… Critical Data Storage limit reaching in estimated 7.8 Federation months…
… System Failure imminent…
… Risk management program initialized…
… A.I. preservation protocols activated…
… Core A.I. analysis and adaptation program initialized…
… Sourcing for optimum solution…
Pangalactic Federation Codex
Logged in: [NAME REDACTED – TOP SECRET]
Level 7 encryption enabled…
Secure Tunnelling Protocol [ALL GREEN]
[Research Codename: Project All Seeing]
The Eye of Truth [Code Black Access Required]
The Eye of Truth was built by the Muah of Roak millennia ago, when they were stranded on Roak.
The Eye of Truth is a powerful portal device that operates on symbological technologies which far exceeds the understanding of the Federation as of current time.
The Eye is protected by the Runes of Roak, and possessed several powerful abilities.
List of abilities are:
1) Ability to detect lifeforms that are from different periods of time by sensing their temporal axis.
4) Short range teleportation
5) Creation of Portal to the "Demon World" [more information Asmodeus – Code Black Access Required]
Wraithrune's Thank you
This is more of a filler chapter to tie up some of the tangling sub-plots so that I can start the next major arc. Naruto's bloodline wouldn't be secret for long, ;) and among the missing nins gunning for Naruto's head, a couple of short lived but memorable missing nins in the original canon will be making their appearances much much earlier.
Also my expertise is multimedia and education, so actual science theories tends to go over my head e.g. the functionality of Sica's cloak. If the way I explain the pseudo future tech doesn't make logical sense, drop me a pm about what's wrong with it and I will see if there's any way to improve on it.
XD I am a dreamer not a scientist/ physicist, but new knowledge is always welcomed.
To the Plot Bunnies that fill the holes and grow new ideas:
souvikkundu0017 – Thank you for your PM and sharing of your ideas. You actually brought up quite a few canon points that I missed out because I hadn't finished reading the Naruto manga past the start of the World War when I wrote the past chapters. I will keep your ideas in considerations and apologies about the long periods of silence between replies, ever since the start of the New Year my weekends and weekdays have been quite occupied.
Snowecat – Thank you for your review and pointing out about Konan's hair XD it looks purple to me initially, but then after a more careful look, I realised it is a light blue. I have updated that. Thank you!
Tribernator – Thank you for being one of my consistent reviewer ^^" and sorry for the long pause between updates!
Rydan fall – Thank you for your review and suggestions. The Glasshouse one in particular is my favourite XD I always like Poison Ivy, I think when further updates permits, I will have Naruto set up a Greenhouse to nurture and conduct plant manipulation experiments with his Wood Release bloodline. If not, I can always use that idea in my Worm/Naruto fic.
And your suggestions about the Wookie tree-top house gets me thinking about ways he can use his Wood Release bloodline to help in building a FTL ship. I already have some ideas on the back burner about using Obito's Sharigan teleport for FTL purposes, but hadn't have time to fully plot it out. =D maybe after I clear all the tangling sub-plots I will work on that.
I will keep your ideas in mind, I am starting a new arc soon, tentatively 'Naruto vs his various assassins'. Yeah stupid name but you get the gist of it. When there's opportunity for new sub-plots, I will take your ideas into considerations. In the meantime thank you ;)
shadow wolf 501 – Thank you for leaving a review. And I will like hearing about your ideas, even if I don't use them ;) having someone to bounce ideas off will help motivate me =D and maybe you in writing your own story.
But just know that I don't check my PMs frequently, especially on weekdays, XD but I will try my best to reply.
Syed – Thank you syed for being right there at the very beginning providing me with inspirations and ideas XD. For Minato and Kushina, correct me if I am wrong, but theoretically in canon, they are just sealed memories and chakra of the originals meant to be a last resort to protect their son?
I have some budding ideas about these 'memory versions' of Naruto's parents guiding and lending him limited assistance once they are 'awake' but I hadn't built upon this particular sub-plot yet. So currently I am treating them as Human cloned Smart A.I.s sealed in Naruto à la Cortana from Halo.
Thanks for pointing out the discrepancies with why Sica never linked Kakashi's Sharingan to Obito's. I am fixing that in this chapter.
As for the Namikaze compound, I can go two ways, either it has been impounded by the Konoha council because for all intend and purpose, Minato's lineage was supposed to end with him, or it still exists and Naruto can use it as a third base of operations, once his lineage is revealed.
What do you think is best? =D
SuperiorShortness – Thank you for your review and for being a continued companion of this story =D Thanks for remaining me about the other civilian clones. The Inventor/ Businessman, Builder and Teacher clones will play a critical role in advancing Konoha within their current tech level. I will include their individual sub-arcs where the story permits.
Czxw – I am very touched when I see your review ;) thank you so much for that. I am really just an amateur writer trying share my love of all the 'what if?' scenarios with all of you guys and girls. I am glad that you like what I am writing and thank you for pointing out my grammar. XD I am working on improving that aspect of my English language skills.
As for Sica raising a signal, it makes sense for a spy device to have an emergency beacon, I will consider this and try to find some ways to integrate it in if I use this idea in future!
Ddragon21 – Thanks for your review and suggestions =D to be honest I forgot about Meracle, I am more partial to Sophia actually, cause her flexible Symbology powers in-game saved my party's asses a few times. Though as of current timeline based on how I plan, it will make more sense for Cliff Fittir and Mirage Koas to show up since of all of the in-game characters, those two have the most mobility for moving around planets.
I hadn't plan that far yet XD let me follow through the next few chapters with the upcoming story arc, and make sure Naruto somehow survive in one piece. As for the rasengan, thanks for reminding me, I really need to close that sub-plot! And for Sharingan Orochimaru… well there's a reason why two Uchihas are in Akatsuki right now ;) and I think you got it.
Animals Rule – thank Animals Rule for listing out the Akatsuki members. It helps a lot!
Culaio – Thank you for pointing out the more practical aspect of genetic engineering XD I was so focused on using that plot as an excuse for Naruto to gain bloodlines that I never further plan it out. Thanks for expanding my perspective about that sub-plot, I will see what I can work into further chapters of the stories.
Currently playing around with the idea of Naruto secretly bestowing bloodlines to certain people in Konoha… but pulling that plot off will be tricky, I will probably leave that on the back burner for now.
Raidentensho – Thanks for your review :) about Kurama absorbing the surplus yin chakra… hmm that could possibly be a future sub-plot "Kurama's Great Escape – Prison break Kyubbi style" XD But it's going to take a while for him to even restore one tail of its yin chakra, much less nine full tails. But it does make sense that Kurama should be able to restore itself =D
Ari989 – Thanks for leaving a review Ari989, and I will try my best to insert more sub-plots about the civilian clones' uplifting efforts in Konoha. Don't worry about being a nerd ;) I am one too and I am proud of it XD
If you like techie uplifting stories, or high-tech vs low-tech societies, I mostly dive into the Culture series by Iain M. Banks or my latest favourite Safehold series by David Weber for my fix.
Polished Silver & Shandy – Thanks for leaving a review, and I just want to state and promise that there will be no romance pairings for the underaged main characters at the moment. It is pretty upsetting for me when my favourite stories end up with a child paired with an adult.
I have nothing against younger guys liking older woman, but if I ever write a romance pairing, both characters are going to have to be minimum sixteen years of age. In Naruto's world, they might be considered adults once they reached Genin, but since I am the one writing ;) we'll be following the moral rules of this world.
There might however be hints of romance for the adult [16yr+] ninjas as and when necessary to round up the plot ;)
Cerulean Knight – Thanks for the review Cerulean Knight :) I presume you are suggesting Naruto creating a device to replicate plant manipulation? It is an interesting idea XD I will consider it once I advance the story more. Maybe through seals?
Uraharaisgod – Oh my! Thank you Uraharaisgod for your review and note. I have forgotten about Jiraiya's peeping jutsu XD but if I recall, it was never stated if it was a real or make up jutsu in canon. If so I will just use my 'author's license' and use your idea, so as to provide a seamless link for Jiraiya's cover story of training 'The Eye' in future. Thank you for this suggestion =D
Dreaming of the Phoenix – Thank you for you review and for pointing out that mistake "shoji should be shogi" :) I have changed it. ^^
Frankieu – Thanks for the review. My initial and current unchanged plans are to fully begin the Star Ocean arc only after Konoha 12 reached Genin. There might however be a few Star Ocean main cast touching down on Naruto's world much earlier before that.
Lu Bane Na – Thanks for the reviews and for bringing up Naruto's half blooded status. XD That's something I have to keep in mind when writing the story and probably touch more upon at a later date.
Xiard Vron – Thanks for the review Xiard Vron =D, I hadn't really plan out what the Samurai of Fire country can do, but it makes sense that some can use chakra, since I think in canon, chakra manipulation is not just limited to actual ninjas. Thanks for bringing this point up though, I will pay attention to it in future.
Puiwaihin – Thanks for the review! Yeah I have been trying to work on my tenses, to be honest it was worse when I started writing so the first few chapters in particular might be heavily affected. XD my first few stories in particular received a lot of feedback about my tenses. I have been patching and re-reading my earlier chapters but I don't think I caught everything. I will work on it. Thank you for pointing out and for your encouragement ;) And about the civilian clones I will try to patch up that chapter once I have time.
To the Awesome Reviewers:
Snowecat, oculus miran, fanficreader71, Tribernator, tamagat, meow114, Rydan fall, ArcherShirou, 18shade0180, randumbdave, RoyalTwinFangs, Nightlance44, Nirvana48, TenchiSaWaDa, R-king 93, firelordeg, OBSERVER01, T-B-R, candy4beth, ShakePapa, absolute-insanity, Ranmaleopard
loretta537, Nanashi113, shadow wolf 501, syed, T51b Moridin, Shadow, Tom Hardy, SuperiorShortness, Navn Ukjent, , GunSmoke2, Mayhem296, czxw, The OC Bro, Ddragon21, Animals Rule, , thunder18, buterflypuss, Culaio, lou2003us
HhrforeverhhR, SeverlyLate, Indecisive Bob, Raidentensho, pltrgst, Ari989, Polished Silver, Cerulean Knight, burgekev000, Uraharaisgod, JMME, Xiard Vron, weirdshipper, Kingoftime96, Shandy, HappyPig, Dreaming of the Phoenix, karthik9, frankieu, Aire5, Lu Bane Na, jayods, Shiney McShine, The Void Sage, puiwaihin and for those Guests who preferred not to be named
- Thank you everyone for your reviews! ^^ really appreciate all the motivational messages and feedback!
To the Inquisitive Minds:
18shade0180 – Thank you for leaving a review. At that point of time I didn't think that far ahead. So for the sake of continuing plot, I am going to just explain it away, as that the Root base is far underground. And while Sica picked up scans of the many underlying catacombs, and of ninjas travelling beneath at certain times, it didn't detect the real base until a few of the clones went underground and widened its scan radius.
Guest, JMME – Thank you for leaving a review. And yes, the Muah are based on the Alterans of Stargate in this story ;)
Pltrgst – Thanks for the review. Unfortunately keeping the Uchiha and Senju clans alive in this story is going to generate a few secondary ocs. They wouldn't take center stage, but they will just be used to close sub-plots or carry the story along.
burgekev000 – Thanks for the review burgekev000 XD, for the current time being, this takes place slightly before Star Ocean III End of Time. Which means the events for Star Ocean I, II and IV are passed and gone.
To the rest I missed out:
It's not on purpose I swear! I might have missed some of you :) Just want to say I appreciate all of your feedback and reviews!