A/N: Here's the next chapter of Kyuubi: Ninja of Konoha. Enjoy.
With a bit of luck the next chapter of Duma will be finished before the weekend, but I can't guarantee that.
Kyuubi: Ninja of Konoha
Chapter 2: I'm like him, only worse
It wasn't common for jounin-senseis to bring their genin to after-mission reports. So when Kakashi arrived with Naruto in tow for the after-mission report for the wave-mission Sarutobi knew something had to be wrong even before he saw Naruto's new wardrobe. Gone was the orange jumpsuit, replaced with black standard issue ninja-wear. The dark blue cloth of his forehead-protector worn as a bandana to hide the sun-kissed blond hair except a few stray hairs. A mask like the one Kakashi was famous for wearing, either borrowed from the copy-ninja or bought at the same shop, hid Naruto's face. The dark shades, impenetrable like the ones worn by the Aburame, made it impossible to see the eyes.
Basically Naruto in the course of one mission had gone from hyperactive most surprising ninja ever seen by the element countries to a faceless assassin who would calmly hide in a dark corner until the perfect opportunity to strike his target down presented itself. Though maybe a bit of the original loud personality remained. The sword on Naruto's back wasn't a ninja-to or even a longer katana it was a full-blown nodachi; almost as long as Naruto was tall; and it certainly wasn't just a lump of sharpened steel.
From the moment this new Naruto had set foot in his office the old Hokage had felt the faint malevolence emanating from the sword. Even without that he would have recognized the nodachi for what it was; one of the great-demon swords forged by the insane blacksmith Muramasa hundreds of years ago. After all the nickname the Professor did not just come from his almost encyclopaedic knowledge of jutsus.
Kakashi had just finished his recount of the events after the battle on the bridge. Hiruzen wanted to call the copy-ninja a god-damn liar, wanted to scold Naruto for talking Kakashi into playing such a sick trick on him, he more than anything wanted to deny the truth he was staring at but couldn't. He couldn't for one simple reason; during the whole debriefing Naruto hadn't such much as twitched a single time. The Naruto he knew had always been bursting at the seems with energy, it was unthinkable for him to stand perfectly still like that for the whole debriefing.
"So it's true, Naruto is dead and you have taken over his body?" The old Hokage asked with a weary sigh.
"Yes." Even the voice was different; deeper, darker holding something primeval.
For a long time nobody said anything.
"What's going to happen now? You're obviously not going to destroy Konoha, or you would've already done so."
"As Hatake-sensei," Kakashi flinched at that, "already told you, my freedom came at a price. I had to give my word to serve Konoha for 56 years and I am bound by my word. How I do that depends at least partly on what you're going to do with what you've been just told."
"What do you mean?"
"I'm perfectly happy to be a small cog in the great machine that is Konoha, meaning acting like all the other ninja here; take on missions, obey orders from my superiors etc. If of course you do not want me here, I can also act from the shadows; track down enemies and traitors and deal with them before they become an acute threat to the village." He paused for a moment tilting his head slightly to the right obviously thinking about something. "I personally would prefer to stay in the village as that would make it easier for me to protect those Naruto held dear to his heart."
"How do I know you're not going to destroy Konoha from the inside? After all you already tried once."
For a moment time was turned back 12 years to the fateful day the demonic fox had attacked the village. Incomprehensible rage abruptly filled the spacious office and drove the air out of the two human's lungs. Eyes burning with rage so brightly they were visible through the dark shades bored into Hiruzen. "Do not question my word human! I'm a demon, my words binds me. If I give my word saying I'm going to do something then I will do it come heaven or hell!"
The terrible pressure let up allowing Kakashi and the Hokage to finally breathe again.
"So you will obey any order I give you?"
"As long as the order is one concerning my duties as a ninja of the Leaf and it doesn't directly endanger you, your grandson, the Ichiraku proprietors, Iruka Umino or the remaining members of Team 7, then yes I have to obey your orders."
"So I cannot order you to kill yourself?" The Hokage just had to ask.
"No, but you could send me on suicide missions, hoping something kills me. Though the chances of that happening are marginal at best."
The third Hokage pondered this. In perfect world he would have already send the demon away, actually in a perfect world the fox would have never attacked the Leaf in the first place and Naruto certainly wouldn't have sacrificed himself for his team-mates. Sadly this wasn't a perfect world and even worse he could actually see a use for a somewhat loyal demon-fox in his employ, as long as nobody else knew of this. Danzo was getting restless and while he had no concrete proof, Hiruzen was sure the crotchety bastard was planing something only waiting for a chance to take action.
"So you have to protect the members of Team 7, the Ichiraku proprietors, Iruka Umino, my grandson Konohamaru and myself at all costs?"
"Take of your glasses, please." Kyuubi did so. Looking the fox-demon straight in the eyes the third Hokage ordered. "Your orders are as follows. For now you are to continue to act like a member of Team 7. In two days I will officially announce that the leaf will host the next chunin-examinations starting in four days. Kakashi will nominate Team 7 for the exam. You're to participate in the exams and ensure that you and your team-mates make it to the end of the second round as the first two rounds will be team-based tests. During the third round, which will be 1 on 1 combat, you are to refrain from killing or dealing crippling damage to fellow ninja of the Leaf but still win the matches. After the exam you will be promoted to chunin and will receive new orders either from myself or Kakashi. During the exams you are to follow the instructions of the examiners. You are to disregard any orders not coming from myself or Kakashi if they contradict the order a just gave you. Have you understood your orders or do have any questions regarding these orders?"
"I have understood your orders and will follow them to the best of my ability. I have no further questions."
"Good, you may leave now. Kakashi, stay here."
Two days later:
With a sudden poof of smoke Kakashi appeared at the customary meeting-place of his team, only three hours late.
"You're late!" Sakura screeched in his direction.
But somehow the accusation had lost it's power since Naruto wasn't joining in anymore. In fact Naruto, or what looked to be Naruto, was sitting cross-legged on the ground apparently meditating and only now after Sakura had announced Kakashi's appearance opened his eyes.
"Sorry," he apologized, not really feeling like coming up with some unbelievable excuse for his tardiness.
"We won't be doing any missions today. So I'll see you here tomorrow at the usual time!"
"What? We waited for three hours for that?" Sakura angrily demanded but Kakashi had already vanished before she finished speaking. Her male team-mates were already on their feet, walking away in different directions.
This is my chance! She thought and quickly ran after Sasuke. "Hey Sasuke-kun, how about we go eat something together since we aren't doing missions today?"
Her dark haired team-mate didn't bother to look at her when he replied. "Get lost."
Devastated Sakura stopped in the middle of the road and half expected Naruto to come bouncing up to her and ask her to get something to eat with him. But Naruto didn't come and he didn't ask her to go eat something with him. In fact he was already a good distance away.
Okay, this is going to end now! New determination filling her she ran after her other team-mate.
"Hey Naruto, wait up!" He didn't stop, didn't even slow down. "What's wrong with you? Do you want to talk about it? We could go get something to eat and you could tell me what is bothering you."
"I'm not interested."
Sakura blinked, stunned by the flat reply. Did Naruto just shoot me down? Now I know something really is wrong! A sudden strange shuffling coming from behind her stopped Sakura from demanding answers from Naruto. Looking back she saw they were followed by a square box, painted to look like a rock, with two small holes in the front-side.
"Is that obviously fake rock following us?"
"Yes." Naruto replied without bothering to stop or even look at the obviously fake rock.
"Aren't you going to do something about that?"
"Should I? They'll lose interest soon enough."
"AHA," a voice coming from the rock exclaimed before said rock exploded with a loud bang and lots of smoke.
"Too much gunpowder." Another voice coughed in the large cloud of smoke.
Slowly the smoke dissipated revealing Konohamaru and his two friends Udon and Moegi.
"I've seen through your dastardly plan, Boss!" Konohamaru exclaimed before looking around surprised. "Hey where'd he go?"
Surprised Sakura also started looking around finally spotting Naruto just walking into a side street, not having stopped walking during Konohamaru's dramatic appearance. The three children seemed to have spotted him also as they quickly ran after him with Sakura trailing behind.
When she rounded the corner that three wanna-be ninja had surrounded Naruto and had somehow managed to get him to stop walking.
"But Boss, you said you would play Ninja with us once you come back from that mission!" Konohamaru whined.
"Get lost punk, I've got better things to do!" Was Naruto's flat reply.
"You're mean! You're not my boss any longer!" The boy cried out and ran away around another corner.
Slowly approaching her strangely acting team-mate Sakura couldn't help but ask. "Don't you think you were a bit to harsh on him?"
Whatever he was going to say was left unsaid as from around the corner a loud 'ooof' was heard followed by a voice snapping. "Watch were you go shrimp!"
"Hey, let me go!" This was Konohamaru's voice sounding strangled.
"Have I told you that I hate unfriendly shrimps, who run into other people and then don't even apologize? Always makes me wanna kill them!"
Sakura could clearly hear Naruto's teeth grind as he walked toward the side-street the three young children had vanished into. What had happened was readily apparent, Konohamaru had run into an older boy wearing a Hidden Sand forehead-protector as did the girl beside him with the large fan strapped to her back.
"Drop the brat!", Naruto flat out ordered.
The boy holding up Konohamaru by the collar of his shirt blinked surprised then grinned. "And what will you do if I don't drop the brat, shorty?"
Sakura clearly saw Naruto's mask crinkle in a truly sadistic smile and a unnatural cold settled into her bones.
"I knew he would say that," Naruto's voice was a deep rumble full of dark anticipation.
Slowly he brought up his hands and began moving his fingers in intricate patterns clearly visible to the other boy. While Sakura had no idea what the meaning was, the cat-suited boy from Hidden Sand clearly understood what was going on. Eyes widening in shock he threw Konohamaru away from and made to get rid of the wrapped bundle on his back. But it was already too late, the contents of the bundle burst out of it's wrappings revealing itself to be a wooden puppet with four arms.
Two of these arms as well as the legs immediately wrapped themselves around the boy, pinning his arms to his sides immobilizing him. The free arms twitched, made loud clicking noises before suddenly foot long poisoned blades shot out of their wrists. One blade poised itself over his heart, while the slowly dug into the cat-eared hood directly above the place where the boys ear would be under the hood.
Temari didn't hesitate when she saw the strange Leaf-nin high-jack Karasu and immobilize her younger brother Kankuro. She grabbed her battle-fan and made to unsling it to blast the creepy ninja to smithereens. Her hands barely touched the metal of her fan when an arm reached around her from behind and the sharp point of a kunai caressed the flesh of her throat directly above her jugular-vein.
Out of the corner of her left eye she could see the same boy, who had high-jacked Karasu, leer at her over her shoulder with his mask pulled down. He pulled the fan off her back and threw the weapon neglectful away to the side where it landed with a clatter. His free hand suddenly painfully grabbed her breast, roughly kneading the sensitive flesh.
"Mhh," he hummed. "Y'know I could eat a peach for hours!" He said softly, leaning his head over her shoulder and licking her cheek.
"Let them go, or I'll kill you!" Temari never in her life had been so happy to hear her youngest brothers voice.
Carefully turning her head to the side his voice had come from, she saw Gaara hanging upside down from a large tree branch. Her elation lasted only for a moment, because the next another masked Leaf-nin, identical to the first two, appeared directly beside Gaara. There was no warning, no smoke, no sound, nothing. One moment Gaara was alone the next he wasn't. The masked nin reached out lightening fast, grabbed Gaara by the left shoulder and dug two fingers deep into the flesh of his shoulder.
Sand leaped from out of the gourd on her brother's back to crush the one who had dared to touch it's host. There was a pulse of dark tainted chakra and Gaara gasped in pain, his knees unloccking with only the hand on his shoulder keeping him in place. The sand that had been only moments from attacking shuddered and then fell to the ground, shortly followed by the sand from the dissolving gourd and then Gaara's sand amour.
"W-what are you?" Temari asked horrified. Never before had she seen someone so easily and casually deal with her youngest brother.
"I'm like him," the one holding Gaara in place started, "only worse," the one molesting her finished.