Author Note

Hello there and welcome to another chapter of Meshii.

Not much to say, except to answer a couple reviews.

Roboguy45 – Chakra strings will not be a part of his arsenal. Because of his excessive chakra capacity, chakra strings will serve as an advanced level of chakra control so that Naruto can improve his control.

Cerulean Knight – Sorry, but he does not possess other kekkei genkai other than his Meiton. Naruto gave Akatsuki's ring to Jiraiya for analysis. As to his fight with the monkeys, it will continue in this chapter as his training progresses. At the same time, it would be overkill. Due remember that Hiruzen and Enma fought against Orochimaru, Shodaime and Nidaime Hokage at the same time. At most, Hiruzen will use Enma's diamond staff against Naruto's sword.

With that, here is the chapter.


Chapter 23 – Cutting loose ends

Beta: Kyuubi123

It had been two months since Hiruzen and Naruto left the village towards their training trip.

Since then, both grandfather and grandson travelled throughout the elemental nations as Naruto established constant contact with his spy network. Aside from that, Hiruzen focused on tutoring Naruto to the best of his abilities, with the help of both Monkey summons Enma and Sarubo. Throughout this time, the spy had already mastered how to perform chakra strings as an advanced method of chakra control. He was also able to incorporate Sasori's vast knowledge in poisons. With said knowledge, Naruto ended up making a powerful mix that worked similarly as just as deadly. He injected all of his weapons with the substance and thus chose it as his quick death choice. He learned that Sasori had some sort of time complex and did not enjoy prolonging the battle longer than it should. Naruto enjoyed it and incorporated as his own. It was no use wasting time and effort when you can simply throw a poison needle and be done with it.

Hiruzen approved of it, but still focused on his grandson's other skills mainly taijutsu and ninjutsu.

Because of the chakra strings exercise, Naruto's ninjutsu improved rapidly. He now used less chakra for his technique than before and with fewer hand seals. His water manipulation showed rapid progress and Naruto had already learned a couple of highly useful techniques. Unlike with earth-based techniques, which were more supplementary in nature, Naruto's training in water ninjutsu focused both on defensive and offensive techniques. One of them was the Kirigakure no Jutsu (Hiding in the Mist Technique). Much to Hiruzen's constant displeasure, his grandson tended to focus first on more subtle methods of fighting. The Kirigakure no Jutsu allowed Naruto to use his senbon techniques, almost without problem. Only high-level shinobi managed to escape quickly by timely use of the substitution. Sarubo would constantly curse his summoner for said tactics, but he could not argue that he lost the fight.

Naruto also learned one defensive technique called Suiton Suijinheki (Water Release: Water Wall Technique) and two offensive ones, with the first being the Suiton Suiben (Water Release: Water Whip Technique) and Suiton Hahonryuu (Water Release: Destruction Torrent Technique). The spy was still engrossed in water manipulation exercises, so Hiruzen opted to focus on C-ranked techniques for the time being. Tobirama's state of the art techniques simply required a great deal of control and large quantity of water around. The ability of using the water molecules in the air was forever lost with the Nidaime Hokage's death. The spy also practiced his current lighting and earth-based techniques. Due to his profession, a single hesitation was completely frowned upon. If Naruto wasted more chakra or missed a single hand seal, it could prove to be fatal.

Aside from his training, grandson and grandfather had travelled the elemental nations.

Naruto's responsibility could not stop, as Konoha needed its constant Intel on other villages. Eventually, both crossed the border to Rice Country. Hiruzen understood from Naruto that he was still due to find a worthy informant inside this country. Hiruzen understood his grandson's plight. Not even Jiraiya managed to keep tabs with Orochimaru all the time. Speaking of the snake sannin, Hiruzen had found a rather thorough investigation made by Sasori about him. The former Sandaime Hokage was baffled by the amount of knowledge he was able to gather about the snake sannin. He used to believe that Konoha had amounted a very detailed dossier about Orochimaru, but Sasori had far surpassed it, detailing not only Orochimaru's deeds while still a loyal shinobi to the Leaf, but also his actions after his betrayal. After each passing line, Hiruzen's sorrow deepened. To this day, a small part of Hiruzen saw Orochimaru as a son.

When his parents died, Hiruzen ended up filling the parental role and ended up protecting him even when reports of insubordination and bad conducts reached his desk. For a long time, Hiruzen backed Orochimaru's actions, with the sole belief that the man behaved like that because he seemed deeply affected by his parents' death. Hiruzen remembered the pain in his chest when he found out about Orochimaru's dark experiments conducted inside Konoha soil. Afterward, according to Sasori's report, Orochimaru expanded his actions, starting in Earth Country and Iwagakure. Still suffering from the loss in the last great shinobi war, Iwagakure had made some drastic choices in their shinobi program, pushing their shinobi and kunoichi to the extreme and beyond. Onooki, the Sandaime Tsuchikage, declared that those who failed the program would be kicked out of the force. Orochimaru would then appear to those who failed, luring them with false promises.

In the end, all of them suffered brutal deaths in Orochimaru's hands. Subjects was the word described in the report as the snake sannin conducted all types of experiments with them.

Eventually, Orochimaru moved his operations to Water Country. Because of the Mist's bloody civil war, the snake sannin had access to bloodline users in Mist who were persecuted by the Yondaime Mizukage. Famous clan names such as the Kaguya and Hozuki clans were among Orochimaru's choice of subjects. It all added up in the end in Hiruzen's mind as he had connected the final formula to Orochimaru's equation. The snake sannin's goal was to form the ultimate being. A shinobi without weakness, the report said. The Kaguya clan's bloodline and Hozuki Clan's ability of water manipulation would greatly contribute into creating the perfect body. With that done, the man would then seek what, in Orochimaru's opinion, was the ultimate tool a shinobi could possess.


According to Sasori's report, Orochimaru first attempted to capture Uchiha Itachi. The attempt failed as Itachi was far too skilled for that, hence why Orochimaru decided to target Uchiha Sasuke instead. Hiruzen knew what happened next, hence why he stopped reading. Two times Hiruzen had the opportunity to resolve the issue of Orochimaru's betrayal. In both times, he failed. He knew that Tobirama-sama and Shodaime-sama would be deeply offended by his inability to deal with this, specially the Nidaime. Unfortunately, so, it would be very hard for Hiruzen to have a third opportunity to settle this matter. Hiruzen observed his grandson as they travelled silently into the night. The odd part was that Naruto did mention the he did not have a spy in Rice Country, so why were they travelling deeper into the country and even avoiding the scouts.

"Why are we here, Naruto-kun?" The question appeared as soon as Naruto landed on a thick tree.

"I did say I am still looking for an informant here in Rice Country. However, that does not mean I am without applicants for the position." Hiruzen frowned, but heard more explanation. "A couple weeks before rescuing Suna's Jinchuuriki, I found someone who openly despised Orochimaru's actions and felt that the Rice Daimyou should have expelled him from the country. It so happens that said declaration was made public in a bar not too far from here, actually, filled with Orochimaru's thugs. Could you venture a guess as to why this man was not executed on the spot?" Someone who had either the same level of skill or same level of fame would only make such a bold declaration against an S-ranked criminal.

"Well, an S-ranked shinobi would, but that would still be a bold declaration. I'm guessing someone with large fame inside Rice Country." Naruto nodded with a smirk on his face.

"Does the name Fuuma Arashi ring any bells?" Hiruzen raised his eyebrow in surprise and cleared his throat in thought. "It's no secret that some members of the Fuuma Clan decided to join in Orochimaru's army, but the majority of the clan still despised the man for meddling in their territory. Once Arashi left the bar, I approached him and asked for his assistance in hopes to defeat Orochimaru eventually." Hiruzen nodded, but was able to conclude Arashi's answer quite quickly.

"He said 'no' I assume? Otherwise, we would not be having this conversation." Naruto did snort at his grandson's comment.

"Actually, his choice of words were much more colorful, but essentially he was not interested." Hiruzen smirked at that, remembering his previous conversations with other Fuuma clan members. "Because of his fierce denial, I decided to use a trump card supplied by Jiraiya actually. When he coordinated the spy network, one of our spies from Bird Country came across some information that a small branch of Fuuma members were plotting with the snake sannin to kill Arashi and take his place as clan head. When I told him this, Arashi became furious, as he already had a name in mind as to the leader of this small branch, Fuuma Kamakiri. He then told me he would join the spy network if and only if I agreed to kill Kamakiri." Hiruzen sighed in dismay at the story. Right now, he had no doubt about what happened next, nor did he bother asking what Naruto's decision was. He would be a hypocrite by condemning said practice, considering that he had done similar deeds in the first great ninja war.

"I just hope that whatever you did cannot be linked to Konoha." Naruto snorted at the comment.

"I would not be good at my job otherwise. All it took was a single poisoned needle and his life was forfeit. I now plan to see if Arashi will deliver his end of the bargain." Hiruzen nodded along as he followed his grandson's swift and precise movements. Hiruzen could barely hear Naruto's footsteps as the boy had thin layers of chakra circulating under his feet. Normally, that would hinder his speed, but it did not seem the case with Naruto. Since his eyes were useless, Naruto's navigational system relied entirely on his chakra, hence how his reaction time was much more effective, at least during the night. In no time, the two arrived in a small village, immediately reaching for the hidden corners. To the residents, not even a blur appeared. Quickly navigating through dark corners and rooftops, Naruto and Hiruzen reached the Fuuma Clan Compound. Naruto signaled Hiruzen to hide behind the limits of the compound, as Arashi would easily recognize him.

Hiruzen nodded before watching his grandson infiltrate the compound. He would stay put just in case his grandson is walking into a trap of sorts.

Naruto kept going until he saw the man in question. Arashi had long smooth chin length purple hair and grey-colored eyes as his bangs hung just over his eyebrows. He wore a green short sleeve shirt, but the collar and sleeves were white. Two black arm sleeves and long grey pants complemented the man's wardrobe. Looking at the man standing there for two minutes, Naruto extended his senses in order to find other presences nearby. When he was satisfied, Naruto let out a strong but subtle burst of chakra, immediately alerting Arashi to his presence. In the meantime, the spy went through a number of hand seals as a heavy mist surrounded the area.

"Oh boy aren't you punctual? I was under the impression that you would never show. What is with the mist?"

Arashi kept calm with his arms crossed and Naruto could not detect anything from the man. If he knew that Naruto was actually very close to him and in perfect position to strike, he did not show any hint of fear or anxiety for that matter. Naruto concurred with his choice. Arashi was considered an A-ranked shinobi according to the bingo books and his position as the Fuuma Clan head would keep the snake sannin away.

"I do not like to make people wait." Naruto knew he was paraphrasing, but he enjoyed Sasori's line way too much. "I have kept my end of the bargain."

Arashi showed a smirk, not even bothering to search for his contact inside the mist. For some reason, the man was enjoying every minute of this interaction.

"You sure did, I am impressed. To this date, none of my clan members are even close to giving me the actual cause of death." Arashi said he was impressed, but the truth of the manner was that he was actually perturbed by the spy assassin's efficiency. Since no one could see any wounds on the man's body, the obvious answer would be death by poison. However, there was no weapon near Kamakiri's body. Without it, they could not detect what poison Naruto applied; hence, they could not identify the likely suspect. Truly terrifying indeed. A powerful individual meant only that Arashi should never double cross him. He only needed information about a certain individual and Arashi saw no reason not to comply.

"In exchange for this favor, you need information about a certain snake, I take it." Rhetorically speaking, Arashi continued. "Hmm, I do wonder what type of information you require?"

"His actions will do nicely, although his actual location would be preferable." Arashi nodded.

"I can't say much about his actions. He is quite slippery, as you may have heard. However, I do know the location of the base he constructed here in Rice Field Country." Technically speaking, the country had changed his name to Sound Country. However, Arashi knew that Orochimaru had somehow coerced the coward Daimyou into this, so he would kill himself before calling his homeland differently. Naruto frowned about the lack of knowledge in regards to the sannin's actions. He needed that to report to Jiraiya. However, the base's location could prove to be even better as Naruto could dig up a lot of information. However, he learned from Jiraiya about never letting his spies get too comfortable.

Arashi could very well turn on him, after all.

"The favor I granted you was conditioned to you supplying everything you have on him." Arashi felt the sudden spike in killing intent. Until now, the man was at ease, knowing that Naruto would not hurt him. Now, he was not so sure and Naruto could hear Arashi's muscles tightening in preparation. He could not help but smile at that. A fight was not his intention as Arashi could very well have future information for him. "However, the base's location is a first." The heavy atmosphere lessened and Arashi nodded reluctantly. He grabbed a scroll from his pocket and threw on the ground. While he did not know about Naruto's location, he felt a sudden blur passed by him, meaning that the spy had acquired the scroll. "I'm looking forward for out upcoming meetings, Fuuma Arashi." The mist soon faded, leaving Arashi alone in the clearing of the night, as if the meeting had never taken place and despite the single sweat drop forming on his left cheek, the man could not help but smile. It was the first time he sensed such fear was in the presence of Orochimaru himself.

Now this man wanted to hunt down the snake sannin and Arashi was glad that he was on the spy's good graces.

Hiruzen looked just as Naruto landed by his side, throwing the scroll for Hiruzen to catch.

"Arashi came through and supplied me with Orochimaru's base location in this country." Hiruzen looked at his grandson for a while, before opening said scroll. It was indeed a map, but they needed to verify it first to ascertain the validity of the Intel. However, if the map had merit, they could perhaps hinder the snake sannin's plans by raiding it. Hiruzen was skeptical as to actually finding his former student. Orochimaru was known to be quite elusive.

"According to the map, it would take us two days of travel to reach there. I do worry about all of this being a trap from Orochimaru." Naruto nodded. Arashi could have orchestrated this entire scenario.

"True…" Naruto responded, before making some hand seals, before a Doton Kage Bunshin emerged from the ground in front of them. "My clone will travel to the location ahead of us. If it's a trap, we'll know." Hiruzen accepted it as they watched Naruto's clone vanish towards the location of the base. The real one and Hiruzen would be at least two hours behind it just in case.

===Lightning Country===

A lone figure appeared running throughout a narrow water tunnel. The few parts illuminated by the full moon showed what appeared to be a woman kunoichi as she kept running, most probably escaping. She had long, straight, blond hair bound with taut bandages and dark eyes. She wore a short-sleeved black and purple blouse and black pants, both of which had a design similar to clouds on them. Fingerless gloves, bandages around her arms and a standard Kumo forehead protector completed the outfit of jounin Nii Yugito. Eventually, the narrow corridor ended and she reached a larger tunnel. Within two seconds, a large three bladed scythe traveled at her back with high speed, forcing the woman to jump immediately, showing her incredible agility.

Flipping in mid-air, Yugito then skidded across the small water stream as she turned to face her attacker.

"You dodge well…actually my attack speed is the slowest in Akatsuki." The light then illuminated two sets of feet. A drop of sweat could be seen in Yugito's face as she faced her opponents.

"I see…I know you were a part of Akatsuki."

"It's only you left." This time, a much deeper voice had spoken, sending chills up her spine.

"You're quite skilled, aren't you?" The first one spoke once more, earning a snort in irritation from the man's partner.

"Hidan, she is the jinchuuriki of the Nibi. You will die if you don't pay attention."

"Don't talk to me like that Kakuzu! I'd be rather thrilled if she manages to kill me." Kakuzu looked at his partner and snorted. He cursed the man's existence and cursed the necessity of having him around.

"Let's go then." Kakuzu was about to attack when Hidan showed an amulet.

"Before doing that, I have to pray to my god." Once more Kakuzu snorted at the man.

"You're always a pain to deal with."

"It's a pain to me too, but I have no choice. The rituals are quite rigid." Hidan closed his eyes as he initiated the praying ritual. To Yugito this long prolonged wait suited her just fine as she made a single hand seal.

"You must believe that I'm trapped right now…but you're wrong. I lured you two here!"

Immediately, the paper bombs exploded, closing all the exit doors. "Now that I know you're Akatsuki, I cannot let you escape."

Hidan looked at the rocks covering the door behind them and sighed.

"Wow, we fell into a trap Kakuzu." The man in question nodded.

"No problem, in fact this works in our favor." Yugito ignored it, as she got ready to use her trump card against these two, releasing the two-tailed demon. Little did she know however that it would not be enough.

===Two days later===

The real Naruto and Hiruzen had traveled to what appeared to be a deserted plateau. So far, Naruto's clone had yet to dispel itself, so they had to wait for it. That being said, they chose to take the time and rest in possible preparation for what they would discover inside the base. Orochimaru may not be there, but the man would not leave the base unguarded. While the real one and Hiruzen waited, the clone reached the location and hid behind one of the hills of the plateau. The base's location was right in front of the clone. He could see two guards stationed at the base entrance, however for someone like Naruto, those two may very well be mercenaries disguised as shinobi. He could see their chakra levels and it was smaller than a genin-level shinobi.

Naturally, Orochimaru did not need to have quality shinobi to act as gatekeepers.

The clone could not see ahead of the cave entrance for other presences, therefore he could not determine if it was a trap or not. Faster than anyone could see, two black needles flew towards the unsuspecting gatekeepers and pierced their necks. The clone appeared in between them, seconds after the sleeping agent spread throughout their bodies. Both would be asleep for at least two hours, long enough for Naruto to search the entire cave and leave. The inside hall appeared empty, but the Naruto clone ventured inside with his senses on high alert.

Quickly expanding his senses, Naruto clone stood still as he could sense chakra all over the walls. The Naruto clone could not help but applaud the snake sannin. The weak gatekeepers and this empty hall would led everyone into believing that the base was abandoned. However, just one-step in the wrong direction and all the seals would go off at the same time. Naruto's little experience with seals allowed him to identity the seals. He could see exploding tags that formed a chakra link with chakra detection seals. Naruto's best guess was that the chakra detection seals had the information of the snake sannin's shinobi. Therefore, the seal would activate when in the presence of foreign chakra. Before triggering the first line of seals, Naruto clone went through hand seals.

Doton Dochuu Senkou (Earth Release: Underground Submarine Voyage Technique)

The clone went underground and crossed the hall until he was sure that he passed through the path protected by seals. Slowly rising above ground, the Naruto clone was surprised to see intricate designs on the walls and fire torches to illuminate the path. That alone meant that the base was not abandoned, hence the clone immediately dispelled, sending the information back to the original. Within thirty seconds, the real one and Hiruzen appeared, using the same method as the clone. Both looked around for a while, quietly absorbing the scenario and the chakra residues. After all, even with the guards and the seals, it was still possible that the base had nothing of value for them. For that to be ascertained and validated, however, it became imperative that they needed to look around the premises for clues of any kind that could aid Konoha against Orochimaru.

"It seems that we can certify Arashi's Intel. Now I believe we shall look around for clues." Hiruzen nodded, though Naruto noticed the far off look displayed by the elder next to him.

"Naruto-kun, I believe it's better if we go separate ways. We can cover more ground this way." Not bothering to question his grandfather, Naruto immediately walked away, searching for any information he could confiscate in one of the doors. The former Sandaime Hokage looked at his grandson's back for a while, before strengthening his resolve. When someone gets older, the word 'instinct' was replaced by 'experience'. Sarutobi Hiruzen had the urge to smile at that. The last time he simply acted according to his instinct, it was well over forty years ago. A Hokage just could not explain his reasons based on feeling. He needed to certify every possible rumor there is to make a suitable decision. Right now, however, the old man was free to act upon his instinct, which told him that he would find what he was looking for in this place.

Certainly, the chakra residue felt familiar.

===With Naruto===

After parting ways with Hiruzen, Naruto walked throughout the hideout, passing straight through the labyrinth of doors. He found little reason to open each door as he could use his chakra technique to track chakra residues. He would only enter the doors in which he could feel chakra behind it. He chose a few of them to enter, finding it to be dorms of some sort. The chakra residue was weak, meaning that one of the snake sannin's low-level thugs used it to sleep. It took another five minutes walking until he stopped in front of a plain double white door. The feeling he was receiving was quite considerable; not the amount of an S-ranked shinobi, but close enough to an elite jounin.

Quietly opening the door, Naruto swiftly entered the door and quickly used the Meisaigakure no Jutsu (Camouflage Concealment Technique)

Certainly, he was not expecting to see this scenario. It looked like the lab of a mad man. He could see rows and rows of jars, containing all sorts of substances, both human and animal body parts. It was quite a disturbing sight for the spy as he focused instead on the presence he felt once he got inside. Controlling his breathe to a minimum and lowering his chakra capacity to almost undetectable levels, Naruto calmly watched as a person calmly walked towards one of the lab tables. Naruto did not need to have memorized the bingo book in order to perform identification and analysis. Ever since the invasion orchestrated by Orochimaru, it became public knowledge that Yakushi Kabuto was a missing-nin, A-ranked. The man was busy preparing a type of drug that Naruto recognized for its healing purposes. For whom, though, the spy did not know nor did he care now.

Deciding to venture into a hunter-nin position, Naruto made the decision of taking care of this threat to Konoha. It would be superb if Kabuto provided thorough information about his boss.

No sooner had Kabuto opened the door to walk outside, then Naruto had already made hand seals. Yakushi Kabuto closed the door and calmly walked towards his next destination. Eventually, Kabuto left the hallways of doors and entered one of the place's training grounds. As soon as he had reached the center, he quickly grabbed a kunai as Naruto emerged from Kabuto's shadow, throwing a barrage of poisoned senbon at the missing-nin, who managed to deflect them all. Kabuto sensed the attacker's chakra merging with his own when he left the lab. It was minimal, but it could not fool a shinobi of Kabuto's caliber. Nor did Naruto expected to anyway…he wanted to test the results of his training and Kabuto would do nicely.

"Who are you?" Normally, Orochimaru's second in command enjoyed playing with his opponents, goading them. He did not know the attacker's identity and he can feel immense chakra coming from him as well.

"My identity is of no importance." Naruto went through a quick series of hand seals. GenMeiton Kokuangyou no Jutsu (Dark Illusion: Journey into the Black Darkness Technique)

One second later, Kabuto looked in alarm as the training ground went dark. Knowing that it was a genjutsu just was not enough. Kabuto still had to disable the technique, before ever hoping to get out of this fight alive. Something told him that the man before him was no joke. His instincts allowed him to block what appeared to be sword strikes, before he created some distance with the opponent. This genjutsu was tough to break, possibly A-ranked in nature. He did manage to break eventually and came face to face with a lightning powered sword mere inches from his throat. Evading as quickly as he could, Kabuto winced in pain as the sword scratched his bicep, sending thousands of volts into his system. Naruto was about to attack even more, when he saw the wound he inflicted on Kabuto close in seconds. One attentive look allowed Naruto to see Kabuto's chakra focused on the region of the cut. There was indeed a reason why Orochimaru chose Kabuto as his second in command.

If Naruto was correct, defeating him would require drying the man's chakra supply so that he could not use to heal himself. Certainly, the poison did not appear to work on him either.

"It took me a while, but I managed to recognize you…Sarutobi Naruto." The blond in question looked as the man got up, this time showing a predatory smile on his face. "Now that I know who you are, I know what you're capable of; this battle is now over." Normally, the taunting would work on most, but not on someone, whose hearing was ten times the equivalent of a normal human. Still, Naruto enjoyed the little game Kabuto initiated. He charged once more with his lightning sword, always keeping his reaction time ahead of Kabuto's, much to the man's ire and constant usage of chakra to heal the minor wounds caused by the sword. Easing the odds, Kabuto charged chakra scalpels into his hands to which Naruto took a step back, while analyzing what he was seeing. Quickly summoning two Doton Kage Bunshins, Naruto stood behind, watching as Kabuto worked his ass off trying to fend the clones off. Kabuto managed to hit one of the clones with his chakra scalpel and the original quickly learned just what it did.

He needed to keep pressuring, but not without paying close attention to Kabuto's hands. Creating some distance, Naruto went through quick hand seals.

Raiton Kangekiha (Lightning Release: Wave of Inspiration Technique)

From Naruto's hands, emerged a large amount of lightning in the form of a spiral, forcing Kabuto to evade quickly. Naruto kept pressing the attack and Kabuto only evaded. Providing a single burst of chakra, Naruto closed the gap between him and Kabuto and attacked once more with the sword, this time using the reverse blade side. He managed to hit Kabuto's shoulder quite hard. He even increased the amount of lightning chakra, forcing a scream of pain from Kabuto. Naruto only smirked as he felt his own power rising. The amount of power served only to fuel his desire to hurt his opponent even more. Whatever bravado Kabuto had, or even one attempt at taunting soon ceased, as Kabuto looked at his opponent with dread. The information about Sarutobi Naruto was outdated, probably two years old, when the kid left Konoha on a long-term assignment. Kabuto went below ground in order to catch Naruto by surprise.

He appeared behind Naruto, quickly casting a disorienting genjutsu on the Sarutobi member. Naruto managed to dispel before jumping away and unleashing a rain of black senbon at Kabuto, who parried it with kunai. No sooner had Kabuto landed on the ground; then Naruto went through another series of hand seals.

Suiton Hahonryuu (Water Release: Destruction Torrent Technique)

Kabuto was surprised at the sudden change in nature ninjutsu and could not escape the powerful torrent of water. Naruto smirked and went through another series of hand seals.

Raiton Kangekiha (Lightning Release: Wave of Inspiration Technique)

The lightning current spread throughout the entire torrent and Kabuto was hit dead on, his chakra working diligently in order to heal his every wound. Orochimaru's right hand man cursed as this kid was toying with him the entire time. He got up and looked at the opponent, trying to focus on something he could use against Naruto. Suddenly smirking, the right hand man grabbed a scroll from inside his holster. Taking his time to unroll the scroll, he then opened, showing ten circles with kanji inside of it. Naruto was about to attack when he sensed ten different chakra sources all of a sudden. Naruto was surprised when from the circles, emerged ten different individuals. What surprised him more, however, was that all of them were members of Konoha's Anbu. Their movements seemed erratic at best, however, as if they barely had usage of their legs.

"Lucky of me to have these in my collection. Do you like it? I took them when Orochimaru-sama invaded your pathetic little village."

Shikon no Jutsu (Dead Soul Technique)

No sooner had Kabuto done the single hand seal, the man's army of Konoha's Anbu began to convulse and moan, just like in a horror movie. Naruto remained impassive as he figured his next steps while Kabuto kept smirking at the Sarutobi. Without the Anbu, Kabuto would be defeated quite easily. Of course, he still had the tactical retreat to think about, but Naruto would never let him do it. The boy proved to be one-step ahead of Kabuto the entire time. Adjusting his glasses with a chuckle, Kabuto already envisioned the consequences of Naruto's death at his hands. Orochimaru would certainly be pleased that they would ruin the Akatsuki's chances of capturing the Kyuubi. Naruto, meanwhile, placed his sword back inside its scabbard, slightly unsettling Kabuto. He figured the boy always favored swordfight, but then again he first believed that raiton was Naruto's only affinity.

"You truly believe you can use them to hide from me, Kabuto?" The man in question narrowed his eyebrows as he saw Naruto smirking back at him.

===With Hiruzen===

Not knowing about his grandson's fight, Sarutobi Hiruzen walked calmly throughout the seemingly empty hallways.

To most, his path seemed random, a guess at best to figure out if his wayward student was somewhere inside this facility. However, Hiruzen did know or at least he knew the path that led to said man. The Sandaime Hokage felt himself acquainted with Orochimaru's peculiar chakra when he was still loyal to Konoha. The feeling only intensified when they battled three years ago, to the point that it almost became palpable. Hiruzen passed by four or five doors that interested him very little compared to the one he was standing before now. Hiruzen smiled grimly as he sensed the chakra presence much easier now. Hiruzen was by no means a sensor, but he had a very good memory about chakra he felt before in his life.

Opening the door, he saw the look of shock coming from his student. Another look of surprise appeared on Hiruzen's face as he saw the man lying on his bed, looking worse for wear.

"Sensei…" Hiruzen snorted and closed the door, before approaching said student with his arms behind his back. Orochimaru, for his part, looked at the man with a bead of sweat on his face.

"Orochimaru…" The snake sannin did not need to hear more, perfectly understanding the meaning behind his master's tone. Certainly, his eyes alone already showed how disappointed the old man was. Certainly, disappointment described Hiruzen's thoughts entirely. "As I come to understand from a certain report, you've been quite busy after your betrayal. It surprised me to read that you not only had your dealings with Sunagakure, but also Iwa and Kirigakure. Also, your little escapade with Akatsuki as well, hummm." The snake sannin narrowed his eyes in suspicion, before coughing uncontrollably, even going as far as spitting blood from his mouth. If possible, Hiruzen was even more disappointed. "All your doings, my wayward student…"

"How did you find me sensei and how do you know about me? That fool Jiraiya's spy network could not have gathered this much or else the invasion would have been different."

Right now, all Orochimaru could do was hope that Kabuto arrived shortly to distract Hiruzen. With the strength he had now, the most Orochimaru could face was a low-level jounin.

"Oh no, you made that quite cleverly, fooling everyone. Jiraiya's spy network greatly aided me. However, when you were concerned, the most he ever managed to find out was your participation in Akatsuki. No, a certain individual had an ever greater and more thorough spy network than Jiraiya's. It was thanks to his knowledge that I found out quite a lot about you. A lot of the information made me sick to my stomach. However, I came to understand that the student that I cherished like a son was dead a long time ago. The war perhaps…no, it could not be." Orochimaru simply listened to the old man speaking apparently to himself. "No, war would not break you. Everyone always praised your level thinking, even throughout tough times. What was it, I wonder…what was it that killed the old Orochimaru and made you into what you are now…this despicable human being, capable of many atrocities, all for the sake of one miserable concept, death."

It was actually the only flaw in Sasori's journal. The puppet master, like Orochimaru, always craved for eternity. A body without weakness…a body that would not suffer any hindrances in the midst of battle.

"You're not very talkative right now, I take it. Three years ago, you just could not control that tongue of yours and now you are speechless."

"Damn that Sasori…!" Hiruzen smirked as his student made the connection. "So it was Konoha that defeated him. He had too much faith in his puppet collection. Who was it that killed him?" Hiruzen considered telling him, but simply smirked instead. His student was indeed crafty and very slippery, like a true snake. Hiruzen noticed how weak the man was right now and perhaps Orochimaru believed that eventually someone would come to help him.

"At first, I came in expecting a vivid conversation with my former favorite student. However, you do not seem to enjoy my presence here, instead asking me questions hoping to stall. Quite unbefitting of a man who is considered an S-ranked shinobi, the man who killed the Sandaime Kazekage. I am afraid that it is now time for me to cut the one loose end that I left for my new successor. You do not appear in the best of shapes, which is quite pitiful. Three years ago, you could not stand against me on your own, so you used the Edo Tensei of the Shodaime and Nidaime Hokage. Also, you attempted to take advantage of the invasion so that I would not focus entirely on our fight. Now, however, you have nothing to use against me. With that being said, my former student, it is time I take responsibility for training and honing Konohagakure's worst criminal.

Orochimaru immediately cursed as he activated the few paper bombs, exploding the very room he was in. The blast opened a sizaable hole on the ceiling and even the entire cave, taking sensei and student outside.

It was time for their last fight.

===With Naruto===

In the end, Naruto dealt with the Anbu army, using his black tendrils technique. Of course, it would not be enough to kill them, as they were already dead. Because of this, the tendrils would not work like before. Usually, once the tendrils get a hold on the opponent, it would only get stronger since the opponent would attempt to struggle against the bindings. The tendrils held all ten Anbu in place while Naruto had casted another genjutsu on Kabuto. Orochimaru's second in command took precisely five seconds to break, but it was enough for Naruto to land his right hand on Kabuto's forehead.

Meiton Seishou Douka (Dark Release: Energy Absorption Technique)

Kabuto let a loud scream of pain as his chakra was absorbed by Naruto.

"A normal shinobi would have died a long time ago…the only method I could use was to drain your chakra capacity until you could no longer use your chakra to heal your wounds. Then you summoned the dead Anbu army to keep me occupied while you recovered your chakra. At first, I was inclined into progressing with this fight a bit longer, but then I grew bored actually. They say you are an A-ranked shinobi, however I sincerely believed you would pose more of a threat than this. I guess I was mistaken." Naruto finished before yanking his hand from Kabuto's forehead, his hands glowing in bright blue chakra, before it vanished, going inside Naruto's body. Kabuto was on the ground, unconscious from chakra exhaustion. Naruto was about to perform the killing blow when he heard an explosion and then felt the base shaking. Quickly administering a powerful sleeping agent in Kabuto's system, Naruto sealed the man inside an empty scroll and then went to find out what caused the explosion. He ran until he saw the rays of sunlight coming from one of the doors.

Once he crossed it, Naruto saw his grandfather battling against a grotesque looking snake. Immediately, he appeared by his grandfather's side before facing the snake. His grandfather did not look harmed and in full power. Looking at the snake, he remembered the chakra feel from the invasion and narrowed his eyes. So this was Orochimaru's true form. Hiruzen looked at his grandson and could see that his grandson had been occupied for a while. Probably in facing whatever shinobi Orochimaru had in his base. Orochimaru took on the opportunity and lunged for the two Sarutobi; however Naruto worked fast and went through hand seals.

Meiton Kuro Shouheki (Dark Release: Dark Barrier Technique)

Orochimaru found his path blocked and Hiruzen wasted no time in summoning Enma and attacking Orochimaru with Enma's staff form. Orochimaru had little chance against the onslaught. Hiruzen sent the snake flying, then gave the staff to Naruto, while he prepared hand seals for multiple jutsus at the same time.

Doton Doryuu Taiga (Earth Release: Moving Land River Technique)

Doton Doryuudan (Earth Release: Earth Dragon Missile Technique)

Katon Karyuu Endan (Fire Release: Great Dragon Flame Missile Technique)

Naruto only watched as the sequence began. The ground where Orochimaru fell transformed into mud. Then from the mud river, emerged a head dragon, spitting mud balls at Orochimaru. Hiruzen finished the sequence igniting the mud balls on fire, all of the projectiles hitting the snake head on, catching the snake on fire. The staff transformed back to Enma, the Monkey King. All three kept looking at the raging inferno in front of them. The snake screamed in pain as the fire started melting its body. Enma snorted and crossed his arms with a smile. Naruto did nothing but stare at the scene with his technique. He could not feel Orochimaru's chakra anymore, meaning that the man was finally vanquished.

Neither Naruto nor Enma saw the tears that fell from Hiruzen's eyes.

And that's about it for now. Please review. Kabuto is captured and Orochimaru was killed. Make no mistake, he is dead. Of course, he can be revived through one of his cursed seals, but that is irrelevant, considering that no one knows about this method. So, basically, he is dead. If you believe that Naruto's fight against Kabuto was too easy, do remember that, before acquiring Orochimaru's cells, Kabuto was at the same level as Kakashi and that was before the shippuuden era. Also do remember that the only time he ever fought alone was against Naruto in canon.

Next chapter, I'll end Naruto's training trip and proceed with the shippuuden events.

Please review.