Chapter 22- The Residual Blade
The two ninjas clashed in the middle in a deadlock, Naruto and Kabuto stared at each other, one had a devious smirk on his face while the other had a furious scowl. "You do realize that you are going to die, Naruto."
"Is that right?" Naruto replied with a frown and slowly put on more pressure onto Kabuto, who struggled to keep from getting overpowered, "Let's see if your hypothesis is correct, traitor." With that, he pushed him off balance and quickly handled his sword in a reverse grip.
Clang! The sound of titanium grinding against steel was heard as Kabuto blocked a fast attack from Naruto, who let loose a bloodthirsty grin that displayed his fangs, "Come on, Kabuto, you better pay better attention or you make it too easy for me.
Kabuto let out a scoff in frustration before he was pushed back off balance by his blond opponent, who wore a small smirk. At that moment, the Oto spy slowly sensed a presence behind him a bit too late and turned to see Shizune finishing her hand signs, "Ninpo: Dokugiri no Jutsu!" With a deep breath, the aide of Tsunade let a dark purple billowing smoke expel out of her orifice.
"Damn it!" Kabuto cursed in thought as he fell into the poisonous fog. Naruto narrowed his eyes lightly before he heard Shizune cry out in pain, "Agh!" The Jinchuriki looked over to see Shizune on the ground with her leg tendons severed with Kabuto walking slowly over to a shivering Tsunade, who covered in a bit of blood.
The rogue medic nin moved to attack her only for Naruto to block his attack with his palm. "You will stay away from her…you will not lay a hand on this woman, not while I am here, you bastard!" With that, the Uzumaki moved his sword to stab Kabuto while keeping him still only for the medic to cut his tendons to hold his sword.
"Now!" Kabuto thought as he kicked it away from Naruto's hand over to Blade, who caught it between his hands. "Now you won't use that move on me anymore…" the right hand man replied smugly and Naruto got up, holding his arm lightly and rolled his shoulder, "Yeah, only one thing…not only I am a swordsman, Kabuto…I am also a shinobi, I haven't forgotten…"
Naruto disappeared from the medic's sights and a fist slammed deep into Kabuto's face, "My Training!" the Jinchuuriki finished as he sent the man flying. The young boy moved into a stance and bounced about on his toes while staring hard at Kabuto, "Come on, bastard…let's dance!"
"Don't get so cocky! You are not going to win against me!" Kabuto shouted as he engaged Naruto with a kunai in hand. The Jinchuuriki dodged and weaved before landing a body shot to Kabuto's ribs, causing the medic to wince in pain. Next, the medic's head lurched violently to the right, courtesy of Naruto's cross and then the spectacled man was sent, flying back into a rock by a spinning back kick.
"He is too fast…" Kabuto thought to himself as he got up from the rubble only to struck back further. His eyes widened as he saw multiple flashes of Naruto's fists coming at him and his body was wracked with pain as the blows rain down harder and faster.
"At this rate…I am going to die, I can't get time to get away to use my healing technique." Kabuto thought in panic. Finally, Kabuto's pain ended for a brief moment as he was sent slightly upward with an uppercut and then flying again with a roundhouse kick to the liver.
Kabuto groaned as he coughed up blood, holding his side and assessed the damage, "Broken femur, my left ribs are shattered, bruised liver and slightly pierced lung…at this rate, he is really going to kill me." Naruto walked towards Kabuto, who moved back in fear, "N-No, stay back…stay back, you monster!"
"What is wrong, Kabuto? I thought you were on par with Kakashi Hatake, I thought you could kill me without trying at all, I thought you were going to kill me and sensei to dissect us and figure out our power." Naruto stated in monotone, "The truth of the matter is even though I am slightly enhanced and you do have superior skill over me…there are two things that are keeping me strong to kick your ass into submission. One…I really hate you, it's because of the actions of you and your master that the old man, one of the very person I care about in that village is dead along with many good people as well too. There is also the fact that the Sound team you sent for is under my care as well."
Kabuto's eyes widened more at this information as Naruto continued, "And two…I have something to protect, something that keeps me pushing me to pass my limits and go further, strive higher to be strong enough to defeat anyone who threatens the things I love…and right now, that is you, Kabuto…this is the end."
The Jinchuuriki held out his hand to the side and replied, "Hey, Tsunade-san, I held up my end of the bet, so after this, I expect you to keep up yours." Tsunade's eyes widened as she witnessed Naruto's chakra gather into his palm at an exponential rate, "T-That is impossible, his chakra is condensing into his palm…did he…did he actually managed to master that jutsu?"
"Gather my chakra and rotate it all directions…then focus it gradually…and lastly…" Naruto thought as he quickened his pace to attack Kabuto, who tried to run only for the boy to leap to attack his unprotected back.
"DIE!" Kabuto shouted as he threw a kunai into the boy's chest, who looked shocked at the move. Kabuto grinned crazily, "I told you not to be so stubborn, now you are dead, Naruto!" A voice came from below him, causing Kabuto to stiffen in fear, "And I thought I told you not to make assumptions, Kabuto, they have a tendency of making an ass out of people when they end up wrong."
"And maintain it all!" was Naruto's finishing thought. "Now feel the innocent's cries for their lives you took! Rasengan!" Instantly Kabuto felt the effects of the Yondaime's signature jutsu, grinding deep into his abdomen, "What is this…power?!"
Soon he was blasted away in a straight line, spiraling out of control through several boulders before coming to a complete stop with his back slamming straight into it. Naruto panted heavily as Kabuto looked at him with severe burn marks on his abdomen and slowly his vision blurred before the Jinchuuriki coughed out blood.
"Bastard…what did you do to me? Wait…don't tell me…you used that flimsy chakra scalpels and cut something in my body...but that doesn't explain…how the hell you are still standing after all of that?"
"Hehe…I began healing all of my wounds with my chakra during that little speech of yours, so now there is hardly any damage that you did to me."
The Jinchuuriki smirked with blood dripping from the left corner of his mouth, "I got careless, who knew you had something like that up your sleeve." The boy coughed up more blood and Kabuto chuckled as he moved toward Naruto, but his glasses then broke at that moment and his body stiffened up. "But then again, the mechanism of the Rasengan is not only to damage you externally, but internally as well."
The rogue medic ninja fell to the ground as he thought, "I can't move and I don't have enough chakra to actually heal this time around. Damn you!" Naruto looked at Tsunade, who was still shivering and chuckled lightly, "Hey, Tsunade…I may need a bit of help from a doctor."
With that, he fell backwards with Tsunade catching him and immediately began to work on repairing his heart. Kabuto laughed in a mocking manner, "It is no use, I cut his chakra network from getting help from the Kyuubi locked inside him and he doesn't have the strength to save himself."
A shadow appeared over Kabuto and he looked over to see Blade with Shizune over his shoulder with Naruto's sword in hand, "And from where I am standing, neither do you…" He glanced over at Naruto, "I personally trained that kid, he is one tough son of a bitch and he won't die from something this stupid…not from a fletching like you….but…however, if that one percent chance comes up and he dies."
Blade slowly took off his shades to stare into Kabuto's eyes as his coal black slowly bleeds over to became a glowing amber and slanted much like a cat as he finished his sentence, "I will kill your master in front of your eyes before gutting you like a fish."
At that moment, Kabuto started a ranking system in his head of people he feared: Orochimaru, Naruto, Tsunade and Jiraiya, however, at that moment, Blade instantly took the second spot. Tsunade stated as she focused on healing her critical patient, "I call first dibs on him, Blade-san…."
Blade nodded, "Tsunade-san…this may be a bit much for you to take, but you may have to give him some of your blood to speed up his healing factor." The lone Senju looked at the dark skinned man and looked back at his apprentice before cutting herself slightly on the wrist to offer to the Jinchuuriki's mouth.
A few drops went down his mouth and Naruto' s eyes flashed open to amber as he took Tsunade's wrist to suckle her blood. Tsunade felt a euphoric feeling rush throughout her body as Naruto greedily drank her blood as well as found it hard to focus on healing his heart muscles.
Naruto suddenly pushed the wrist away and panted heavily before looking at Tsunade, who healed her wrist and stared at him in surprise, "Sorry about that, I didn't mean to be a burden on you." Tsunade chuckled, "It is amazing you are still alive…"
"What can I say, I really have a strong will of not dying to prove people wrong, it always gets them to have a change of heart…or really piss people off, it's my shtick." Tsunade laughed lightly and Naruto joined in as well, "Well...thank you, I guess I will believe in my village one more time, just once more." Kabuto said in shock, "I can't believe it, he is still alive?!"
"Looks like you lucked out, shame, I don't get to tear you apart now that those two can do it." Blade commented with a smirk. Meanwhile, Orochimaru and Jiraiya battled against each other and they looked over to see that the battle between Naruto and Kabuto ended in the Jinchuuriki's favor.
Orochimaru was furious, not only had his right hand man lost to a mere child in his eyes, but the said child managed to master the Rasengan, his rival genius' prized and strongest jutsu. "That kid is a mere nuisance to me….it would be best for me to kill him now since the Akatsuki are after him."
With that notion in mind, the Snake Sennin moved quickly towards Naruto's position and Jiraiya pursued, "Like hell you will!" Orochimaru merely turned as he fell down and used his long tongue to slam his old friend down deeply into the ground.
He opened his mouth and a snake's head appeared with a chokuto-like blade poised to stab him, but he was stopped by the efforts of Blade, who grabbed the blade with his bare hand, leaving Shizune beside his student while Tsunade protected a weakened Naruto using her body as a shield from the rest of the blade.
"You will not lay a hand on Naruto…I swear on my name, I swear on the name of the Senju and the name of the Hokage." The Senju stated proudly with blood coming out of her mouth. Orochimaru stepped back, "Tsunade, I really don't want to kill you, but if that boy is not killed now, it will mean a lot of trouble…stay out of the way now."
"I refuse…this boy…it is like sensei once said, everyone has their own will of fire inside of them, but there is a select few that will have a strong will to do what is right and protect those they love. So I will bet everything, even my life on Naruto Uzumaki."
"Then I will make you find comfort in death!"
Clang! Blade was there to block his attack, "Not today, you son of a bitch!"
"Who the hell are you?"
"I am the Daywalker, my name is Blade and your end will be near soon if you ever lay a hand on my student."
Orochimaru narrowed his eyes, "So you were the one who trained him, you did train the boy very well, I am impressed. How about it, you join me and train Sasuke-kun? You will be truly rewarded for your services." Blade spat on the Snake Sennin in his eyes before kicking him away, "Go fuck yourself!"
The Snake Sennin moved speedily against Blade and attacked him with precise stabs and strikes, making Blade block each and every own. "He doesn't waste any of his movements at all…despite how handicapped he is, he is very good." The vampiric swordsman thought to himself.
Orochimaru just then circumvented Blade and once again, Tsunade was there in front of his objective and her former teammate aimed a slash at the Slug Sennin, "Out of my way!" The Slug Sennin dodged at the last moment before slamming her fist into his face to send him flying away.
"Maybe I didn't make it clear enough for you, Orochimaru…but you will not kill Naruto and I have been chosen as the Godaime Hokage and I will make this decree, you will not leave this place alive. Seal Release: Mitotic Regeneration…"
The diamond mark on her forehead broke and was released, soon her wounds was healed and she used the blood on her chest to spread it on her forearm. Orochimaru hastened to Kabuto's side as Kabuto did the summoning for him while Jiraiya followed so. The three summonings appeared as Gamabunta along with a large purple snake and a bluish white slug in the middle of the clearing.
"Wow…who knew that summoning was this cool?" Naruto thought as he looked around to see himself on top of the slug with Tsunade. "Naruto…can you move?" the woman asked softly and the Jinchuriki nodded, "Yea…"
"Go where Shizune is…this is going to get pretty ugly, take her somewhere safe and hurry."
Naruto nodded and jumped off to take Shizune, "Let's go, Blade-sensei…this is going to get greasy." Blade quickly followed after his student just as the Legendary Sannin began their explosive battle with Orochimaru vs Jiraiya and Tsunade.
Blade stated, "Your village…they have some amazing people here, a guy could get used to all of this." With that, he had a large grin on his face, "I guess I will be able to go down with a bang after all." Naruto chuckled, "You were never one to take death lying down, sensei…ooh, and this is entertaining to see Orochimaru-teme get his ass kicked all over the past."
Blade's eyes narrowed as the battle came to a close as Orochimaru disappeared into the ground and Kabuto retreated in a standard Shunshin no Jutsu. "They got away…damn, looks like we have to get them next time." Naruto got up and walks towards the two Sennin, "We better get out of here before something else happens."
Jiraiya nodded, "Right…"
Before they move, Tsunade gave Naruto her necklace and put it over his head, "There…here is the results of the bet, Naruto." The Jinchuuriki smiled softly, "Well, well, you do own up to some bets, huh?" Tsunade nodded, but then her body acted up and her body showed off her real age.
"So that seal that you released…it does have side effects, huh?"
"Unfortunately it does, but if I rest up a bit, I will be back to normal and then we can return to the village."
"Well, let's get rest up…not everyone has a healing factor AND a fox in their guts."
All of them laughed as they limped off back to their hideout to mend broken bones and wounds for rest and relaxation before heading out back to the village. Naruto glanced at Tsunade, "Tsunade-dono…"
"I think after that display that you showed here today…I can acknowledge your titles as well as your abilities, you will be the Godaime Hokage and your second chance is granted."
"T-Thank you…for believing in me."
Days later, the group reached their home village and Tsunade smiled, "This place hasn't changed a bit…now let's get down to business." With that, the woman walked in with her entourage and soon the council was assembled.
"First, let's get this meeting under order…"Homura said as everyone was seated, "First, I would like to congratulate Tsunade in returning to her home and taking up the mantle of Hokage just like her predecessors as well as her sensei, may Kami rest his soul."
Tsunade stood up, "Thank you, Homura-sensei…I am…honored to be back in my old home."
"First order of business, I motion that Tsunade is returned back her seat representing the Senju clan." Koharu, Sarutobi and Homura's old female teammate called out. "Seconded…" said Choza Akimichi immediately.
"All in favor," Everyone raised their hand as Homura called out, "All opposed?" None raised their hands after that and the motion was carried. "Second order of business, I would like to discuss the potential promotion of the Genin that participated in the Chunin Exam despite the betrayal of our Suna allies. We will do them by order of last name…first off, Aburame Shino."
Shini, the clan head and the father of Shino resigned himself as he heard the discussions of the council. "Under the circumstances and the recording of Shino's battles, I would like to say that the boy has a good head on his shoulders as well as strategic thinking, but he is not there just yet. I believe with more training and hopefully, no interference will help us make a better decision with him." Hiashi said in monotone.
Shini nodded, "I agree with this final assessment."
"Next, Akimichi Choji…"
Tsume, the feral Inuzuka matriarch, crossed her arms, "To be blunt, the boy isn't taking his career seriously and a bit too focused on his next meal rather than the next mission as well as training, clearly seen in his preliminary match. Only maturity and experience will have him grow and turn him into a great ninja."
Choza smiled softly at the woman, "I understand your reasons and I agree with them, my boy is much too focused on his stomach rather than his training and I hope that he will find his path soon. I would hate to have to correct it."
"Next up is Haruno Sakura…"
Danzo spoke up, "To be honest, the girl has extreme potential and it seems to be increased around a known factor, Uzumaki Naruto. Under the tutelage of our poison expert, she was able to grow from a weak girl with no business in being a kunoichi into an actual kunoichi that can be respected, however, I would like to see more leadership abilities without Uzumaki holding her hand and codling her."
Tsunade thought to herself, "Hmm, Sakura Haruno, huh? Perhaps with her, I could restart my idea of having a combat medic on the teams again."
"His skills are up to par with the average Chunin if not higher, but his arrogance is something that could interfere with that as well as the fact that he was also willing to hurt another comrade without remorse almost to the fact that he was close to killing his opponent."
The Hyuga clan leader nodded silently, but in his heart, he knew that it was part of his fault that he was the one that put his own nephew on that path. Hopefully, he could help out on watching over him and putting him on the right path.
"Way too brash and overconfident, that one…despite his leadership qualities, he is quick to look forward to a fight and would rush headlong into a battle without learning the consequences or even the possibilities of what could happen…I would insist that he keep honing his skills as well as learning how to control him before he gets killed."
"Alright, next is…Nara Shikamaru."
"Troublesome," Shikaku said as he lazily opened one eye at the mention of his son's name. Shini spoke up, "Despite the Nara's trait of laziness, the boy is a great strategist and may surpass his father or even take over the role of Jonin Commander of his generation. During his fights, he utilized the terrain and his opponent's weaknesses after careful planning and deduction on his part as well as thinking ahead, this is something that we need on the battlefield. Furthermore, he chose to sacrifice himself to get his comrades to the main objective, which was the Ichibi Jinchuuriki…I push for him to promote him to the rank of Chunin."
"Now for Uchiha Sasuke…"
Instantly chaos erupted as the civilian side were calling for them to promote Sasuke for the power that he displayed while the shinobi were downplaying it until finally a loud bang was heard, all was silent as they turned to see Tsunade, who looked over them.
"Now that I have your attention, I want to know what the civilian council has to do with shinobi affairs or the decisions with our ninja force?"
"Tsunade-sama, with all due respect, we have been on the council for over 4 years on going."
The lone Senju replied back, "Excuse me, but that still has the fact that you have no business in promoting or doing any type of input whatsoever. Once a civilian has applied and passed the Academy Graduation Exam, he or she automatically becomes a soldier for Konoha, tasked to protecting this country."
"No…I will not budge on this matter, my grandfather included the civilians on the council to talk about matters of how should the village run and its businesses, trades and profits. The only thing that the civilian council is solely created for…as your soon to be leader, I can use three laws that have to be followed immediately before my inauguration. The first is that the civilian council will not be allowed to sit in shinobi affairs or vote on anything that has to do with the shinobi at all from this day forth, unless you are a parent of a shinobi, you are allowed to sit in and watch."
One of them got up in protest, "This is an outrage! You can't do this to us!"
"I believe that I just did…now please escort yourselves quietly and in an orderly fashion outside." Tsunade answered back, "Because if you don't…" She slowly brought up her fist and clenched it, "I will personally send you off the express way."
The civilian council, cowed by her words, left angrily and grumbled quietly except Yuko Haruno, who smiled proudly at the words she heard about her daughter. Tsunade turned to the shinobi council, "Now tell me about the Uchiha without any bias please."
Koharu spoke up, "Sasuke Uchiha has tremendous power and was personally trained by Kakashi Hatake, his sensei. His battle in the preliminaries proved that he has an ingenious mind and can prove to be a capable leader."
Tsume interjected, "Despite that, his mind is unstable due to the fact the trauma that his brother did to him. He has also attacked his own teammate and tried to rape her during the second phase of the Chunin Exams."
"He is also insubordinate and quick to anger as well as he will try anything in the pursuit of power. He deliberately copied Kakashi's own signature jutsu, the Chidori in secret to try and harm our own with it, he is clearly unfit to become a Chunin at this time." Inoichi said in disgust.
Homura weakly stated, "Surely we can overlook that and give him the promotion, it may curb him by putting more responsibility on him."
"That will not detain him any further, the Uchiha will stay a Genin for his actions towards his teammates as well as trying to kill Uzumaki Naruto and speaking of Uzumaki Naruto…he should be promoted to Chunin."
"Certainly not!" Koharu replied hotly, "He is too impulsive on his emotions and coupled with that seal, he could go berserk with his…hidden power."
Tsunade spoke up sharply, "You're being biased, Koharu…on a personal note, I have seen Naruto fight at first hand and he hasn't never used the power of the Kyuubi even once against his opponent that he was facing at the moment."
"The person was probably too weak…"
The Senju's eyes narrowed, "The person he was facing was Kabuto Yakushi, one of the spies that was in Konoha…for my old teammate, Orochimaru. Konoha wasn't the only one searching for me…it seemed that he wanted to heal his arms for a price."
The shinobi clan heads as well as the elders visibly stiffened up except Danzo, who narrowed his eyes at the mention of his old acquaintances. The Slug Sennin continued, "The boy has power, but he has never used it against Kabuto, a person that I admit could match me in my prime or soon surpass me. The only thing that he used was his teacher's gift and that is all he needed to defeat Kabuto…"
Hiashi took over, "There is also the fact that he is a natural born leader, he advised several…fangirls to train more rather than pursue their object of affection or worry about fashion. We have seen an increase of real kunoichi in our force."
The Jonin Commander spoke up, "Not to mention that the boy gave us vital information to prepare enough for the invasion we suffered due to the Sound team that Orochimaru had sent over as well as took down Sabaku no Gaara…he has more than earned the position of Chunin."
Danzo stated, "It is clearly obvious that Uzumaki Naruto should be promoted, he has great power and knows how to use it as well as his mind multiple times. Uzumaki Naruto has Jonin-level power, just barely, but I think he needs more experience in leading teams into battle at least to get there." The other two elders looked like they swallowed a lemon, Danzo usually went with their decisions, but in this case, they were shocked to see him support the promotion of the Jinchuuriki.
"Now for Uzumaki Hinata…"
The Yamanaka clan head scratched his cheek, "I would call the same thing for her, Uzumaki Naruto has greatly influenced her and her power has skyrocketed since her encounters with him. Therefore, we need to see how she handles herself without him in the vicinity or with him watching."
Tsume chuckled, "Piggybacking on what Inoichi said, your daughter is the same for Hinata-san and Sakura-san, albeit her growth was a bit slower than Sakura's or Hinata's. Surely we will see her grow in the next Chunin Exams."
Choza folded his arms across his chest, "The boy has a good head on his shoulder, but he was cut short by Fu-san's attacks. Despite his inability of using taijutsu, he is still a bit naïve and currently possesses no leadership qualities at the moment, so I think we should wait until next time."
"The girl is good…extremely good with weapons as well as her ability with taijutsu, not surprising from Gai's team. However, I would have to decline her promotion to Chunin due to the fact that her strategies are not enough and she will need more strength as well as more definite skills to show us that she deserves it." Hiashi alleged.
"Then we have an accord in promoting Genin Nara Shikamaru and Genin Uzumaki Naruto to the positions of Chunin?" Choza asked.
The shinobi clan heads nodded in agreement along with Danzo and shortly afterwards, the elders and Tsunade stated, "Then let it be so."
Later, somewhere in Kusa, Orochimaru growled in pain as his arms began to act up once again, "Damn him…Damn him…Damn him! That thrice damned Uzumaki Namikaze brat! I can't believe that my plans can be derailed by that damn kid, I want his head on a platter!"
Kabuto heard Orochimaru scream and rage while he held his stomach gingerly, nursing his sore wound with a grimace, but soon his grimace slowly grew to a smile as he gazed at what was in front of him, which were two vials.
Vials that were labeled Naruto Uzumaki and Blade.
Vials of their blood…
Kabuto thought to himself, "Soon…I will be stronger than you, Naruto…I will surpass Orochimaru-sama and kill you and your master…and the ironic thing is that I will be doing with the help of your blood."