The Raikage Chapter 18: Alliance
I do not own Naruto what so ever or any of the characters or any of the OC that I used from other shows or games.
-In Naruto's Office-
Currently sitting at his desk, the Rokudaime Raikage, Uzumaki Naruto was looking down at his crystal ball.
It had been over two weeks since the Alliance Gathering had started. During that time, Naruto had been in meetings with Tsunade, Gaara, the Mizukage, Kokimi (Iwa representative/Godaime Tsuchikage sister) and the other Shinobi village representatives, negotiating various deals with them and finalizing their separate treaties. The negotiations had been long and tiring, but thankfully they had just about come to an end.
With the negotiations nearing an end, Naruto decided to have a little fun and relax a little, believing that he earned a little rest.
As he was watching his crystal ball, Naruto heard a knock on the door.
"Enter" answered Naruto
When the door opened, he saw his friend and right hand man Seiwa Anisu enter the room. (1)
"Hey Anisu, what's up" greeted Naruto.
"Nothing much, just came to report that Kicho-sama and Zhuge Liang-sensei have just about finished up negotiations with Kiri and Mizu no Kuni. All that is left is for you to tie up the last few loose ends with the Mizukage tomorrow" answered Anisu with a knowing smile, which made Naruto suspicious.
"Is there something you're not telling me?" Naruto asked.
"Nothing that can't wait until tomorrow" an amused Anisu replied, which made Naruto even more suspicious. But before he could press his friend on the matter, Anisu change the course of the conversation.
"I notice that Nanao wasn't at her desk, is she on an errand or something?"
"Actually, I gave her and the girls the afternoon off, they're at the Civilian hot spring"
When Anisu heard this, he now became the suspicious one, "That's funny Isaribi, Sun Li and the rest of the girls also have the afternoon off too. They also said they were going to Civilian hot springs with some friends, as the Shinobi hot spring was seemlyclosed for some reason."
"Funny coincidence, heh" Naruto replied with a smirk, which made him all the more guilty in Anisu's eyes.
"Cut the crap Naruto I know you well enough, you're up to something and it has to do with what you are watching on your crystal ball" said Anusi as he walked up to Naruto's desk.
When he looked into Naruto's crystal ball he saw the images of girls bathing and relaxing in the hot spring or to be more precise his wives and fiancés. With them as well were Naruto's wives and fiancés, (with the exception of the Daimyo's Kicho, Koyuki, Haruna and the High Priestess Shion).
As soon as Anisu saw what Naruto was watching he turned to glare at his friend. "It is one thing to watch your own wives and fiancés bath, Naruto. But it's completely different matter when you are also watching "MY" wives and fiancés."
"Whoa, Whoa, Whoa, easy there Anisu, it's not what you think!" Naruto said quickly as he raised his arms up in defense, since he could already feel the room getting colder.
"Then please explain…quickly."
"I'm not watching the girls, I'm watching HIM!" Naruto said as he pointed at the crystal ball, which was now showing Jiraiya hiding in a tree near the hot spring, taking notes and looking at the girls through a telescope.
"Jiraiya-sama!" Anisu said in surprise, "What's he doing there?"
"What do you think?" Naruto asked in a sarcastic tone, since it was obvious what Jiraiya was doing.
"I know, but how did he get by the barriers and the seals that Soifon and the others had you put around both the Civilian and the Shinobi the hot spring?" Anisu replied. "Wasn't it to make sure that something like this wouldn't happen?"
"You forget Anisu, this is Jiraiya and even though he is a major pervert. That doesn't make him any less of a Shinobi and he didn't become the strongest of the Sannin for nothing. He's also one of the top Fuinjutsu masters in the Shinobi world, so taking down seals and barriers like the ones I put around the hot spring wouldn't be much trouble for him."
At this Anisu just nodded, as despite being past his prime, Jiraiya was still a highly skilled Shinobi and his old age meant that he knew a great deal of the different Shinobi arts.
"So how did you know he was spying on the girls at the hot spring?"
"A few days ago my private alarm alerted me that some seals and barriers were slowly being weakened. When I checked which ones they were, I found that the ones being weakened were at the hot spring and it didn't a genius to figure out who was behind it all."
"Huh! So you decided to lay a trap for him, by somehow leaking the news that the girls were all going to the hot spring together and using your wives and fiancés, along with mine, which if I may I don't appreciate, as bait" Anisu replied with a frown.
"Hey it isn't something I'm thrilled about either. But I knew I had to lay a big enough bait to make sure the Toad takes it, as well as make sure he gets what coming to him."
"What do you mean?" asked Anisu.
"This" replied Naruto, as he had the scene change from Jiraiya back to the bathing girls and zoom in on one of them.
When Anisu saw who Naruto zoomed in on, the ice user turned as white as his hair.
"Are you crazy? If she and the other girls find out what you did, you be worse that dead, especially if "SHE" finds out!"
"I think that they will be too focused on punishing Jiraiya to figure out what I did" replied the blonde Raikage with a grin. After which he did a single hand seal and reactivating the barriers and the seals around the hot spring.
At the same time, Anisu couldn't help but shake his head; he "might" have pitied the man, were it not for the fact that he was ogling his wives and fiancés.
Currently hidden in a tree near the hot spring, the famed Toad Sage of Konoha was eyeing up all the young attractive women, who were relaxing in the hot spring and making notes of their figures and descriptions.
Not long after having the tour around New Kumo, Jiraiya decided to use his free time to do some "research" for his next book. But when he arrived at the hot spring, he found out that there was some kind of barrier around the woman's side of the hot spring, which prevented him from getting close to the woman's side and looking in.
He also found that there were several security seals around the woman's side of the hot spring, which would alert the staff that someone had breached the barrier. But as strong as the barrier was and as good as the seals were, they still weren't good enough to keep the self-proclaimed super pervert from keeping him out. He spent the next few days slowly weakening the barrier and seals. Making sure not to attract attention and cause suspicion
As Jiraiya watched the girls, couldn't help but envy Naruto and Anisu, who were either engaged or married to most of the women in the hot spring. Each of the girls had their own allure that would attract the attention of any man.
Jiraiya of course couldn't resist the chance of having a peek of the girls in the hot spring, after he overheard some New Kumo Shinobi talking about it.
But as attractive as all these women were, there was one woman who gained his attention. This woman was none other than Unohana Retsu Head of New Kumo Hospitals and of its Medical-nin unit. The reason why he was so focused on her was because of the woman's assets, which seemed to be as big as Tsunade's, something Jiraiya believed he would never see. It also made Jiraiya wonder, if what he always secretly suspected was true, that Tsunade had used some kind of medical Ninjutsu to make her breasts bigger. Given how flat chested she was in her youth, it wasn't entirely impossible.
"Damn who would've guessed that she was hiding all "that" in those ropes of hers" Jiraiya thought as she focused solely on Unohana's ample chest.
Sadly though, Jiraiya's "research" time was suddenly brought to a halted when he saw the female clerk from the woman's hot spring run into the hot spring and yell;
"The security seals have just alerted me that a man has breached the barrier and is spying on you!"
"WHAT?!" cried Takara (Lightning fist user) in surprise.
"I guess that someone has a death wish" Yuffie muttered, as she stood up from the hot water wearing nothing but a towel to cover her wet body. After which a large Fuma Shuriken appeared in her hand from out of nowhere.
"And I would be more than happy to grant it" replied Soifon as she stood up and put on her gauntlet, which suddenly appeared in her hand.
"Shit!" Jiraiya cursed, realizing that he was busted "What the hell happened?! I thought I deactivate all the security seals!"
Knowing that he needed to get out of here fast, Jiraiya tried toSunshin (Body-flicker) away, but when he tried he found he couldn't.
"Fuck, what's going on? Why Can't I Sunshin out of here?" Jiraiya asked himself, before her heard a female voice yell.
"Over there, I think I heard something from behind those trees."
"Damnit" cursed the White haired Sannin as he tried to run for it, but only got a couple of feet, where he was stopped by the barrier.
"What the hell! I brought the barrier down!" Jiraiya cried before he realized that someone must have reactivated not only the security seals, but the barrier as well.
Before he could try anything to escape, he suddenly found himself surrounded by a large number of wet nearly naked women, clothed only in wet towels.
Now normally Jiraiya would've been ecstatic at seeing this, but given how most of these women were seriously pissed off Kunoichi. He wasn't able to enjoy the sight as much as he would've liked.
"So it was you Jiraiya-sama, I should have known" said Nanao (Naruto's secretary) as she glared angrily at the cowering Sage.
"Once a pervert always a pervert" commented Ayane, as she glared at the elder man, while at the same time playing with a Kunai.
Seeing this of course made Jiraiya sweat heavily, as he wondered what the purpled haired Kunoichi planned to do with the Kunai. (2)
"Wait! Now girls this is all one big misunderstanding, I wasn't peeking" The Toad Sage said quickly hoping to avoid another near death experience at the hands of an angry near naked woman.
"Really and what exactly where you doing?" asked a sarcastic Fu
"Eh…I was…eh..." said Jiraiya as he looked around trying to find something believable to say, before quickly pulling some flowers off the ground"…I was picking some flowers!"
"Oh is that all, ok then you can go" said Yugito.
"Really?!" asked Jiraiya, who could not believe that actually worked.
"NO!" yelled all the women together, dashing the Toad Sage's slim hope of survival.
"So what should we do with him girls?" asked Taira (Lightning Goddess) with a devilish looking smirk, which Jiraiya couldn't help but notice, that it made her even more attractive in a way.
"I believe a justified punishment is in order" commented Tomoe (Metal Release user) "Wouldn't you agree Unohana-sama?"
"Yes I do" replied Unohana, with a smile that was far too sweet and a dark evil looking aura around her, where Jiraiya once again saw the same demonic visage from before, hovering over Unohana. (3)
"Wait, Ladies, Ladies please, I'm sure we can all come to some sort of understanding here?" Jiraiya begged when he saw the surrounding women take out various weapons and preparing various Jutsu.
"Dibs on his balls" said Tomoe as two blades appeared out of her fist.
"Mercy" squeaked the cowering Jiraiya before the angry group of Kunoichi pounced on him, where his cries of pain and agony could be heard all over the village, along with the manic laughter of a certain blonde Kage.
-Later that Day in New Kumo Shinobi Hospital-
Currently walking through the hallways of New Kumo, the Godaime Hokage Tsunade was looking for her former student and friend Unohana Retsu.
For the past two weeks, Tsunade had been in heavy discussions with Naruto and his advisor Zhuge Liang over Konoha becoming a protectorate of the Heavenly Alliance. With the talks now nearing an end, Tsunade thought now would be a perfect time to catch up with Retsu and relax a little.
Accompanying Tsunade was Kakashi and Darui, Kakashi was acting as Tsunade's guard, while Darui was acting as her escort.
Darui was a shinobi well known to both Tsunade and Kakashi long before the civil war in Kumo and Kaminarino Kuni (Lightning Country) and the rise of the Heavenly Alliance.
During that time Darui was one of Kumo's top Shinobi (and still is) and was the right hand man of the Yondaime Raikage. He possessed the Ranton (Storm Release) limit and was only person alive who could use the Kuroi Kaminari (Black Lightning) technique created by the Sandaime Raikage. In terms of skill the man was easily on par with Kakashi, which made him the perfect escort to be with them.
Ignoring their level, Kakashi and Darui also found out that they had a lot more in common with one another.
Both were fairly easy and mellow going people and had a lazy appearance about them, yet they both took their Shinobi duties very seriously and loved their respected villages.
As the three walked down the hospital hallway they suddenly heard a large commotion happening in the hallway to their right.
"You're never going to capture me, there's no way I'm going back to that torture chamber you call a treatment room!" yelled a familiar voice.
When the group turned to look, they saw a badly beaten Jiraiya covered in bandages and was seemly running away from someone.
When Jiraiya saw the three he quickly raced over to the three.
"Hime! Oh thank Kami you're here, you gotta save me from them, you gotta save me! You've no idea what they are putting me through, the things they're doing to me back there…it's…it's horrible, it's inhuman!" cried Jiraiya in terror as he fell to his knees and grabbed hold of Tsunade's legs begging her to save him.
Naturally the female Hokage and the two Shinobi were surprised by the state Jiraiya was in, but before any of them could ask what Jiraiya was talking about another familiar voice suddenly spoke.
"Please Jiraiya-sama I must ask you to lower your voice, as this is a hospital and people are resting here. I also must tell you that there is no running here in the hallways."
When the group heard the new voice, they looked up and saw the head of the New Kumo Hospitals Unohana Retsu walking towards them, and accompanied by two female medic-nins.
As soon as Jiraiya saw Unohana walking towards them, he turned ghost white, as if the devil herself had arrived (which she had as far as he was concerned).
"Hime please, I'm begging you save me, save me from her!" Jiraiya pleaded as he began to cry.
"My, My Jiraiya-sama, you're making me sound like some kind of monster or something" the female medic said with an amused smile and a slight giggle, while at the same time emanating an evil looking aura.
When Kakashi and Darui saw this dark aura, both men had a sudden case of the shudders.
"If you don't mind me asking Retsu, but what is Jiraiya talking about?" Tsunade asked, while at the same time wondering what the hell Jiraiya did this time.
"Oh it's nothing really Tsunade-sama, we are simply treating him for his injuries after he was caught peeping on several Kunoichi when they were bathing in the hot spring."
Upon hearing this, Tsunade face palmed herself and groaned loudly before thinking "I should've known."
Naturally Jiraiya just chuckled guilty, knowing that there would be no point in denying it.
"I hope it is not too much trouble Tsunade-sama, but I was wondering if we could take Jiraiya-sama back and finish histreatment…I can assure you, he will be brought back to your hotel later tonight, fully treated."
At this Jiraiya looked up at his former teammate and shook his head violently, pleading with her not to.
"By all means Retsu, take as long as you like" Tsunade replied with an evil looking smirk, all the while thinking "I have got to get Retsu to tell me her secret in scaring Jiraiya and everyone else, as I didn't think anyone other than me could scare Jiraiya this much".
Seeing that his former team-mate had abandoned him, Jiraiya decided to make a break for it and dashed down the hallway.
Sadly though for the Toad Sennin, he didn't get very far as Unohana ordered one of her female medics to stop him. Who quickly took out an Injection shot Sniper (4) and fired a dart which hit the White haired man right in the buttocks.
Within seconds Jiraiya fell to the floor as he felt his entire body go numb.
"Haruna-sama, Yui-sama, will you both please take Jiraiya-sama back to the treatment room and sedate him. I will finish his "treatment" later myself."
"Hai Unohana-sama!" responded both female medics together, where they quickly went over and started to drag the man away by his legs, ignoring his screams for mercy and help.
"No, No NOOOOO! Please anywhere but back there, anywhere but back there! Kill me; Kill me now for Kami's sake!"
When Kakashi saw this he naturally felt like he should do something, but before he could try anything Darui placed his hand on his shoulder and shook his head.
"Sorry Hatake-san, But I think its best you leave him be, for everyone's sake."
At this Kakashi just nodded and began to wonder what would happen to the Toad Sage and if he would ever be able to write Icha Icha again. He also hoped that Unohana and Anko never got together, since if Unohana could terrify Jiraiya this much, Kami knows what the two of them could do together.
After Jiraiya was dragged away by Unohana's people, the female medic turned to her former teacher and politely asked her why she was here.
When Tsunade explained that she had come here to ask her out to have a drink and catch up with one another. Naturally Unohana agreed, stating that she would be delighted.
Once Unohana signed herself out, the two female medic-nins left the Hospital together to catch up with one another.
-A Few Hours Later-
After meeting up together at the Hospital, Tsunade and Unohana headed for a nearby drinking bar.
When they arrived they took a small private room to drink and talk in peace, while Kakashi and Darui stood outside. When ordering drinks, Unohana ordered tea instead of Sake, stating that she had no taste for it, unlike her mentor, who ordered a few bottles.
For the next few hours the two began to talk about the events that happened to each other since they last saw one another and about people they had both known, like Shizune.
"I have to say I'm still surprised that you actually joined New Kumo, you never showed any interests in joining any Shinobi village. You always said that you preferred to help and heal people" Tsunade commented after taking a sip of sake.
"What changed your mind?"
"The Raikage can be very persuasive when he wants to be. When he first asked me to join New Kumo after the civil war ended. I simply told him I had no interest in being part of a village. But he refused to take no for an answer and continued to ask me to join every day for three weeks."
"Sounds like Naruto" Tsunade said with a smile, as she knew Naruto could never take no for an answer when he wanted something. "So what exactly did he offer to get you to finally join?"
"He offered me the opportunity to create the same kind of medical Shinobi program that you designed.
He also offered me complete reign over all medical Shinobi and hospitals, allowing me to run both the hospitals and the Medical Shinobi program any way I wanted, without any interference from him or anyone else and full funding for whatever I needed."
"That is a very generous offer" Tsunade commented, as she had to admit if she had been in Unohana's position and someone had given her that offer. She would've taken it as well. "I'm guessing that having access to Naruto and his daughter Yami's Bloodline Limit also didn't hurt matters either."
"I would be lying if I said no, as I'm sure you can see the value of their healing Bloodline, when it comes to a medical standpoint. But I was not aware of Yami-sama's abilities until much later."
Nodding at this, Tsunade continued "Speaking of Naruto's children, I've heard that you plan to take Naruto's daughter Nene as you apprentice later on?"
"Yes…" replied Unohana, "…as you've no doubt have seen, given the healing properties of her Chakra and her ability to heal people without having to do hand seals. Nene has the potential to be an exceptional medic-nin, where she has the potential to become as great if not greater than your grandfather the Shodai Hokage-sama."
Tsunade of course nodded in agreement, even though she was hailed as the Greatest Medic-nin of her time. Tsunade knew that her Grandfather was on an entirely different level; his skill was so great that that he could heal himself and perform medical Ninjutsu without forming hand seals.
"Yea, Naruto's brats are just as interesting as he was when he was their age" commented female Hokage. Before she began to stare sadly at the sake bowl in her hand, where she thought of Naruto back when he was a boy.
Seeing this, Unohana spoke once again "If I may be so bold Tsunade-sama, you should know that he does not hate you."
"Excuse me?" asked Tsunade as she looked up at Unohana with slight surprise.
"The Raikage-sama, or should I say Naruto-sama, he does not hate you, he is just angry over how you hid the identity of his parents from him. He does not hold you responsible for being banished, nor does he blame you for his cruel life when he was a boy."
"How do you know that?" Tsunade asked.
"When I first met the Raikage-sama he mentioned to me that he knew you. Later when he was helping to rebuild Kumo, Kaminari no Kuni and forming the Heavenly Alliance, he would sometimes mention you and others from Konoha. In some ways he views you as a mother-like figure."
"A Mother?!" Tsunade spluttered as she nearly spat out the sake she was drinking at the idea of her being a mother figure for anyone, let alone Naruto.
Unohana of course chuckled slightly at her sensei's reaction before continuing. "Yes, or at the very least, an elder sister figure, since from what I know, the Raikage-sama grew up as an orphan and had no true parental role models. At least not until he joined Konoha's Shinobi Academy and met Umino-sama (i.e. Iruka), who the Raikage-sama views as a father figure, or at very least as an elder brother."
"If that's true the brat sure hides it well" Tsunade replied glumly as she remembered how coldly Naruto treated her and others after the battle of Konoha. Although he did treat them more warmly when they arrived in New Kumo, but Tsunade knew he was only being diplomatic.
"As I said he does not hate you, he is just angry over how you hid his parent's identity from him" Unohana answered before continuing. "He knows and understands that you only did it because you were trying to protect him. He also knows that you only tried to deny his inheritance after the battle of Konoha because you were doing your duty as Hokage. The only reason he is still angry is because he's too used to feeling angry."
"What would you suggest I do?" Tsunade asked.
"Talk to him alone and perhaps apologize for hiding the truth from him. He wants to forgive you, I am certain of it. He is just too stubborn, as I'm sure you've known, to admit it, especially to himself" Unohana replied.
After hearing this, Tsunade couldn't help but smile, since she knew how stubborn Naruto could be when he was younger.
"You might be right Retsu, but if you don't mind me asking, why do you care so much about my relationship with Naruto?"
"I am a medic Tsunade-sama, and as a medic it is my duty to heal those around me, physically, mentally and emotionally. And regardless of how well he hides it, some of the events in the Raikage-sama's past still wound him and it is my duty to try and heal them and help him move on with his life."
When Tsunade heard this she could not help but smile since his former student was a true medic, right to the very core.
For the next hour the two women continued to talk with one another until eventually Unohana stated that she needed to get back to the hospital. Nodding in understanding, Tsunade accompanied her back to the hospital (with Kakashi and Darui) before biding her goodbye and returning to her hotel.
-The Next Day Conference room in The Raikage's Tower/Mountain-
Currently sitting in the Conference room Naruto was going over the final details of the treaty between Suna and the Heavenly Alliance, with his friend and fellow jinchuriki Gaara, who was sitting opposite to him on the table.
Standing next to Gaara and acting as his guards were his two elder siblings Temari and Kankuro.
Standing next to Naruto was his personal bodyguard/wife Fu and the leader of the Go Genso no Megami (The Five Elemental Goddesses). Cai Wengi. Who was better known as the Kaze no Megami (Wind Goddess), founder and leader of the Go Genso no Megami.
Cai Wengi was the leader of the Wengi Clan she was a powerful women who had an aura of strength and nobility around her and was well respected by everyone. She was a powerful Genjutsu Mistress as well as an extremely powerful Wind Mistress. She was also a woman of strong conviction and always did what she believed to be best for her Clan no matter what the cost was to her personally, she also valued loyalty and showed respect to those who she believed worthy of it. (5)
Like many members of the Wengi Clan, Cai was able to perform Suna no Jutsu (Sand Techniques), although nowhere near the level of Gaara or the other Shukaku hosts. It was believed that due to their extensive knowledge of the Ichibi no Shukaku and its abilities. The Wengi Clan knew how to do Sabuton (Sand Release).
Originally she and her Clan were from Suna but they were force to leave the village when they learned that the Yondaime Kazekage was planning to have them killed and claim that they were traitors.
The reason why the Wengi Clan fled Suna was because the Wengi Clan had been the Guardians of the Demon Ichibi no Shukaku (One-Tailed Shukaku) and were sworn to keep it from harming the people of Suna. After seeing the destruction that the former host of the Ichibi no Shukaku caused. The Wengi Clan pleaded with the Sandaime Kazekage not create another jinchuriki fearing that Shukaku would drive the host mad like it did to others and create another unstable jinchurikithat would threaten Suna. Eventually the Sandaime agreed to seal the demon back into the tea kettle. But when The Sandaime Kazekage disappeared (secretly killed by Sasori) and replaced by The Yondaime Kazekage, the agreement was nullified. The Yondaime Kazekage sealed the Ichibi no Shukaku into his unborn son despite the Wengi Clan's objections and warnings. When The Yondaime Kazekage realized that the Wengi Clan had been right all along he ordered his son to be killed but all attempts failed.
When the Wengi Clan heard what the Yondaime Kazekage was planning they offered to take Gaara into their Clan. They even offered to train him and help him try and control the Ichibi no Shukaku. But unfortunately the Yondaime Kazekage forbid this, fearing that the Wengi Clan would use their knowledge of the Ichibi no Shukaku, and turn Gaara into their own personal weapon and try and take over the village.
Later the Yondaime Kazekage ordered the Wengi Clan to be wiped out under the guise that they were planning a Coup D'état. Fortunately though, Cai and her Clan learned about the order before it could be carried out and fled Suna.
For the next fourteen years Cai and her Clan wandered around the Elemental Continent where they eventually joined in the civil war in Kumo and Kaminari no Kuni. There they joined the former Daimyo Yoshiaki and The Godaime Raikage in the return of the promise of a new home and a position as a powerful Clan in Kumo when the civil war ended. When the war ended, they were forgiven by Naruto where he then offered them the same deal that the Godaime Raikage offered them.
Naturally both Cai and her Clan accepted the generous offer and swore loyalty to Naruto and Naruto alone after he spared them and gave them a new home.
For the past few hours Naruto and Gaara went over the final details of the new treaty that would make Suna one of the Heavenly Alliance newest allies. During the talks, Gaara even invited Cai Wengi and her Clan to return to Suna, telling her that he learned the truth about what his father did and wanted to mend relations with the Clan.
Cai Wengi of course thanked the young Kazekage, but declined his offer, saying that New Kumo was their new home and that they would not leave it. But she did say that she and her Clan would welcome the chance of reconnecting with their former homeland.
"So we are in agreement that each of us will send a least one Shinobi from our respected villages, where he or she will act not only as the representative. But they will also help in the improvement of our respected villages" said Naruto, as he read over one of the agreements in the treaty.
"Yes, although I am curious as to why you requested Chiyo-sama, as she is retired."
"To put it simply we require someone with extensive knowledge on the workings of puppetry and who better than the former head of the puppet brigade and legendary puppet master."
"With respect Naruto-sama, the puppetry arts are a highly valued fighting style that has existed in my village since its founding. There are many in my village who would be greatly displeased at the idea of sharing it with another village, even if they are our ally. Chiyo-sama herself will most likely resist the idea of sharing her puppetry knowledge."
"I understand that Gaara, but I can assure you we don't want your village to give up all its secrets. We simply want Chiyo-sama to share with us her knowledge on the mechanical workings of the puppets themselves. We have no real interest in forming our own puppet brigade, she may keep the secrets of how to control them and use in battle to herself."
When Gaara heard this he naturally became curious, since he could not understand why Naruto only wanted to know the mechanical workings of the puppets and not know how to use or operate them.
"May I ask why you only wish to know the mechanical workings of puppets?"
When Gaara asked this, Naruto remained silent for a moment, but before Gaara could ask again, Naruto finally spoke.
"For the past year, the heads of my Research and Development Department have been working on a special project code named Doll. The project involves creating automatic puppets that would attack enemy forces by themselves, where they could weaken or disrupt enemy forces in battle."
"Interesting" commented Gaara, as he could see many possibilities for automatic puppets. Even his elder brother Kankuro was of the same mind, as it had been a long time goal of the puppet brigade to create puppets that could fight without their puppeteer.
"But if I may ask Naruto-sama" Gaara continued, "…why would you need Chiyo-sama? Surely your own people could accomplish this, given your advance technology as well as access to the Library of Benzaiten."
"Although that is true" Naruto replied, "It would take several years of heavy research and experiments. But given Chiyo-sama vast experience and knowledge in the puppet arts, we could cut that time down greatly. Not to mention she could help us greatly in another project in or medical department."
"What sort of Project?" Gaara asked.
"An Experimental project involving prosthetic limbs for wounded Shinobi, although instead of using wood like your village has done in the past, we plan to use metal. We call the project automail."
"Automail? An intriguing prospect" commented Gaara with a thoughtful look, as he could see a lot of uses for such idea. As not only would it allow for wounded veteran Shinobi to stay on active duty. But by using prosthetic limbs that were made of metal, the limbs themselves would be more durable in battle, than the wooden limbs that some Suna Shinobi use.
"Yes and if you agree, we will of course share any and all research with your village, should either one or both of the projects succeed" added Naruto.
Naturally after hearing this Gaara became even more intrigued. He of course knew that if he brought the idea of sharing some of their knowledge of the puppetry arts to another village to the Suna Council. There would be many who would oppose it, especially Chiyo herself. But if he explained that all research on the two projects would be shared with Suna, the Council would be more open with the idea. Since both projects had the potential to greatly benefiting both villages, hence the possible gains would greatly outweigh what they were risking. But still Gaara knew that there would still be some stubborn members on the Council that may feel that they were still risking too much, especially if the two projects fail.
"Your proposition is very tempting Naruto-sama and should these projects succeed, they would indeed benefit my village greatly. But still there are some on my Council who may believe we are risking too much, when revealing the workings of our puppets. That is why I would like to request that the representative you send to my village be a Fuinjutsu (Sealing Technique) master"
"A Fuinjutsu master?" asked Naruto.
"Yes, although my village has many skilled Fuinjutsu users, when compared to the Fuinjutsu masters of Konoha or your village, we are greatly behind. That is why I would like your representative to be a Fuinjutsu master, where he or she could teach those of my village and improve their Fuinjutsu skill."
When Naruto heard Gaara's request he closed his eyes and thought deeply about the matter for a few minutes.
Eventually though he came to a decision and agreed to send one of his seal masters to the village so to help Suna, since by improving Suna's Fuinjutsu users. They could better protect their village from enemy attacks, or more specifically from the Akatsuki, who would eventually come after Gaara again for his Biju.
For the next hour or so, Naruto and Gaara went over the last remaining details of the treaty. Once they had finished, Gaara asked if he could speak with Naruto in private about one other issue that wasn't mentioned in the treaty.
Curious as to what his friend wanted to talk in private about, Naruto dismissed Cai Wengi and Fu and told them that they would be alright. In turn Gaara did the same, where he told his siblings to return to their hotel and that he would join them later.
Once everyone had left and the doors had closed, Naruto turned to Gaara, "So Gaara what is it that you need to talk to me alone about?"
"To put it simply Naruto-sama, I wish for you to marry my sister Temari."
At first Naruto said nothing and kept a blank expressionless look on his face. But eventually he broke out into a fit of laughter.
"Hahahaha…oh man…hahahaha…good one Gaara you had me going there for a minute…marrying your sister...hahahaha…and here I though could couldn't tell a joke…hahaha"
"Do you find the idea of marrying my sister humorous Naruto-sama?" Gaara asked in his usual dull tone.
"Oh come Gaara, you're not serious, this is joke right?"
"I can assure you Naruto-sama I am very serious" the young Kazekage replied.
"Really?" asked Naruto with a disbelieving look.
"Really" answered Gaara
"Look Gaara, I'm flattered and all, but you know my situation and I don't think your sister will be all to thrilled about it. Plus if this is about trying to strengthen ties between Suna and my village and the Heavenly Alliance there's no need, I consider you a good friend and one of my closest allies."
"As do I Naruto-sama, but this is not about strengthening ties between our respected villages, I am asking you to marry my sister to protect her and to help my village" the red headed Kage replied.
"What do you mean?" Naruto asked not understanding where his friend was coming from.
"Tell me Naruto-sama have you heard of the Kuze family?"
"Who hasn't, their one of the wealthiest families on the continent and the wealthiest in Kaze no Kuni (Wind Country), they run Kuze enterprises, which controls most of the trade in the west and south. They have their hands in nearly all types of trade, from food, cloth, herbs and everything else. Very little gets through Kaze no Kuni without their approval, so what have they got to do with your sister and your village?"
"As you know Naruto-sama, twenty years ago my village was on an economical decline, due to the pervious Wind Daimyo reducing my village's funding. Who gave missions he would normal give to us to Konoha and other villages. We eventually overcame this troubling time, when the pervious Wind Daimyo was replaced by his brother and when Konoha fell into decline. But before his death, my "father" the Yondaime Kazekage made several deals to support our village, which are now putting it in danger."
"To help support my village, my "father" used his Jiton (Magnetic Release) Bloodline Limit to draw out gold dust to sell to merchants. To get the best value for the gold, the Yondaime Kazekage went to the Kuze family, who controlled most of the trade in gold in Kaze no Kuni. After much negotiation, my "father" was force to agree to give the Kuze family complete monopoly in trade in my village. He was also force to agree that when my elder sister Temari was of age she would marry the Kuze family heir. Later after my father was killed by Orochimaru and I became Kazekage, the head of the Kuze family visited me and informed me of what my father had agreed to and stated that he expected me to fulfill the agreement…"
"And if you don't he'll place an embargo on your village, leaving your village alone and to slowly dry up. But if you agree, they could use your sister as leverage to get you to do whatever they want."
"Precisely and I'm certain if I were to refuse. They would also use their significant influence in the Wind Daimyo's court to have him do the same thing his brother did before, and divert missions and reduce funding to our village. Since several of the Wind Daimyo's advisors are in their pocket, either through bribes or blackmail."
"I see your point" Naruto said with a frown, "But still I don't see why you don't deal with them. You could always just eliminate them without drawing suspicion, like causing an "accident" or digging up dirt on them."
"Unfortunately I can't at this time, since I believe that some of my own Shinobi and some of the members of my Council are also in their pocket. As I have received a great deal of pressure from some members of my council to have my sister marry the Kuze heir. If I were to move on them without knowing how far the Kuze corruption goes, I could cause an incident that would hurt my village. I also believe that there is another group helping the Kuze family, as anyone who has ever threaten them businesswise or political wise, has met with some kind of accident."
"How can you be so sure?"
"Several months ago, an advisor in the Wind Daimyo's court hired some of my Shinobi to protect him. He had been threatened to support a bill that would give more control of trade in the north of Kaze no Kuni to the Kuze Corporation. Not long after refusing to support the bill, the advisor was attacked by three unknown Shinobi, who were highly skilled. My Shinobi were able to protect the advisor and killed two of the assassin, while capturing the third. But before we could interrogate him, he killed himself."
"Are you sure they weren't nuke-nins who the Kuze family hired?" Naruto asked.
"No, we checked their faces with all known Nuke-nins and they were too skilled for them not to be mentioned by any village if they went rogue. They also had no identifying markings or objects that would allow us to trace them back to whoever sent them."
"I see" Naruto hummed, "But how have you been able to keep Temari from marrying this Kuze heir, since eighteen is the marrying age and your sister is well past that."
"I have been using several legal loopholes to delay the marriage as long as I could. When she was seeing Nara Shikimaru, I had hoped that if things went well that I could use their relationship to form an arrange marriage between Suna and Konoha. But as you probably know their relationship failed and I am now I running out of time, as I can no longer hold the Kuze family back. This is the only solution I can think of that could save my sister and help remove the hold the Kuze family has over my village."
"But won't the Council members who support the Kuze family object to this?"
"They will, but there are some on the Council, like myself, who see what the Kuze family are doing and have given me their support. Ever since you revealed yourself as the Rokudaime Raikage, we have been subtlety suggesting the idea of arranging a marriage between you and my sister, saying that it would strengthen our new alliance with the Heavenly Alliance and New Kumo. Most of other Council members are in favor of the idea and see the benefits of doing this. With most of the Council on my side, those Council members who are involved with the Kuze family cannot do anything to stop it."
"And let me guess" Naruto said as he began to realize what Gaara's plan was. "By doing this you also make sure that the Kuze family can't hurt you back. They would fear that if they were to try anything against you or Suna, I would hit them back in retaliation, given how we would be family."
"Correct, given the events of the past few months, the Heavenly Alliance has complete control over the eastern sea trade and given the number of nations with or allied to the Alliance. The Kuze family cannot afford to make you or the Heavenly Alliance an enemy."
"Does Temari know about this?" Naruto asked, since from what he knew of Temari back when they were younger. She didn't seem the type of person who would allow herself to be used as a tool against her family, and would fight tooth and nail with anyone who tried.
"No, my sister does not; Kankuro and I have been able to keep it hidden from her. Since we know she would not allow herself to be used by anyone and would most likely put herself in harm's way to protect us or our village."
"That does sound like her" Naruto commented.
"So you will agree?" Gaara asked.
Signing slightly, Naruto did not answer straight away, "Gaara I won't lie to you, what you're asking is not a simple thing and you're putting me in a difficult situation. I will have to talk to my advisor and my family about this. So I will have to ask you for a few days, I will of course give you my answer before the end of the Gathering."
"I understand, and I do apologize for placing you in this position Naruto-sama. But you are the only person outside my own village who I can trust with my sister's safety."
"That alright Gaara, I understand" Naruto replied, "We do what we have to protect our family. I'll also see to it to have Masato (Head of Naruto intelligence division CIND) look into the Kuze dealings from other angles. He and his people might turn up something your people might not know of."
Nodding, Gaara thanked Naruto and said he would appreciate any help he could give him. After which the two Kage's stood up and left the room together before bidding each other goodbye
-Later with Naruto in his office-
After his meeting with Gaara, Naruto headed back up to his office and called his advisor and former teacher Zhuge Liang to discuss what Gaara proposed.
When Zhuge Liang heard everything he began to scratch his chin and thought deeply about everything. (6)
"Hmmm, I have to admit the Kazekage-sama has thought this through, on the surface, this can been seen as a simple political marriage. But in reality it's much, much more, by having his sister marry you, he secures her safety from the Kuze family and those in Suna who support them. For without her they cannot force the Kazekage to do what they want and can do little to stop the marriage. As most people would see it as the Kazekage's way of cementing a lasting alliance with us and if they try to oppose it, they will shunned by everyone else. Also with the new terms for trade and goods with Suna and Kaze no kuni, Kuze enterprises will lose their monopoly over the village and will have to focus their attention on their new rivals. Allowing the Kazekage time to clean Suna up of the Kuze supporters and position himself so that he can strike the Kuze family when he is ready."
"Gaara is not someone you should underestimate and he didn't becoming Kazekage simply because he is a strong Shinobi" Naruto said.
"Indeed, we are fortunate to have him as an ally; I can see why Suna has prospered so well under his rule. He will be a valuable assist when it comes to dealing with the nations in the southern part of the continent, as we have few allies there and Suna would be extremely valuable in the west, should things get out of hand with Iwa later on. (7) That's why I believe you should take the Kazekage up on his offer, as it would only help us further down the road."
"Huh, you would, especially given the mess you've gotten me into earlier, but what worries me now is this group that is helping the Kuze family. They're clearly professional and want to keep their involvement with the Kuze family hidden" Naruto muttered.
"It is very likely that this group is helping the Kuze family, so to cause disunity in Suna, thereby weakening the village" commented Zhuge Liang.
"I can think of several villages and groups that would like to see that happen and who might operate like this."
"The Akatsuki perhaps, weakening Suna would allow them another opportunity to capture Gaara? Iwa also would be a possibility, since Iwa and Suna have had their own share of bad blood, especially since Suna has been Konoha's ally for many years."
"Iwa maybe, but I doubt the Akatsuki. This isn't their style; those guys that Gaara's people fought were clearly disposable pawns. They made sure not to have anything on them that would link them back to any village or group on the chance that they were killed or captured. The Akatsuki don't care if you know about them or not, they operate in a small group, made up of only the most dangerous Shinobi, they don't send lackeys to do missions for them."
"Well whoever they are, we will have to keep an eye out for them" Zhuge Liang replied, where Naruto just nodded.
"Speaking of allies, have you and Kicho-chan finished things up with the representatives of Hi no Kuni (Fire Country) and Mizu no Kuni (Water Country)?"
"Yes everything went rather smoothly, both Shingan-sama and Kenshin-sama and the Water Daimyo made no complaints with the treaties when we went over with them together."
Nodding at this, Naruto then began to frown as talking about Gaara's proposal and Mizu no Kuni reminded him of the mess he was now in thanks to his meddling sensei.
-Flashback several hours ago-
"…Well Mei-sama, I believe we can accommodate that, but in return, we will require that you send several ships to the eastern shore of O'uzu Island, as we have reports of pirates raiding some of the small village ports there" Naruto said as he looked from the paper next to him.
Sitting next to him was Zhuge Liang and Anisu, who were assisting him in the negotiations for the treaty with Kiri.
"I believe that we can spare some ships, although I would like an increase in the materials for the rebuilding of our fleet, since as you know we lost many ships in the recent war" Mei responded, who was accompanied by one of her guards Ao.
"About fifteen percent."
Turning to Zhuge Liang, Naruto quietly conversed with his former teacher and advisor.
"Unfortunately we cannot accommodate that much materials, at most we can increase the shipment of materials by seven percent" Naruto replied.
After hearing Naruto's response, the female Mizukage frowned, as she thought over the offer and after a minute or so, she answered. "Very well Raikage-sama I accept, now I would like to draw attention to the final issue of our treaty."
"Which would be?" asked Naruto, as he picked up a glass of water and began to drink it.
"Regarding the marriage between you and me Raikage-sama."
At this answer Naruto spat out the water he had been drinking and yelled "MARRIAGE!"
"Yes, did Anisu-sama and Zhuge Liang-sama not tell?" asked the female Kage with some surprise.
"No they did not, it seems that they neglected to mention this new arrangement" Naruto replied as he turned to glare at the two men. Who had amused smirks on their faces and didn't look the least bit worried when Naruto glared at them.
"Mizukage-sama, would you excuse us for a moment, so I may talk to my two advisors"
"Of course" replied Mei, as she and Ao walked out of the Conference room.
When the double doors closed, Naruto stood up and walked over to the other end of the table, (the Mizukage's side) so that he would be opposite Anisu and Zhuge Liang. After which he took a deep calming breath stared directly at his two friends/advisors.
"Now I know there is a good explanation for this, so please tell why you two agreed for me to marry the Godaime Mizukage, without even telling me about."
"Actually we did not agree to anything, we simply left it as an option, it is entirely up to you" Zhuge Liang answered.
"Well that's good, but it still doesn't answer why you're even considering it and didn't just deny it, or let me know about it" Naruto replied in an annoyed tone.
"Actually the part of not telling you was my idea, I thought it be fun to see the look on your face when the Mizukage told you about it" Anisu answered with a smile.
"Well Hah, Hah, you got your laugh, now could you please tell me whose idea was this and why it is even on the table?"
"Well actually the marriage is only a façade at most you'll be engaged, unless of course you decide to go through with it later on. The propose of the marriage itself is to be symbolic, to represent a new union of friendship between us and Kiri, as for whose idea it was, it was the Mizukage's. There is still a number of her Shinobi who feel resentment towards us"
"But why? And why do we even need to go through with it? We're on the verge of a new peace treaty and we helped them get rid of the Godaime Mizukage Shiro and the pervious Water Daimyo and are helping them rebuild the village and Mizu no Kuni."
"That may be true Naruto, but you should know better than most, how deep hatred can run with people. Especially with those who have lost loved ones and friends, not just from the recent war, but from the other Shinobi Wars and on missions. Simply signing a peace treaty will not end people's anger or hatred. If we really want to bring about a lasting peace, people on both sides will need a symbol of unity."
"You mean just like when Kicho-chan and I married?"
"Precisely" answered Zhuge Liang, "After the civil war the people of Kumo and Kaminari no Kuni needed a symbol to help them believe that they could reunite and rebuild. You and Kicho-sama became that symbol when you married as the people looked up to both of you in different ways during the civil war."
"So basically this supposed marriage with the Mizukage is completely symbolic, that might not even happen? It's only to help improve relations with us and Kiri?"
"Not unless both of decide to go through with it later, if you don't that's fine, the engagement itself is purely symbolic" Anisu replied.
"And when is our "supposed" marriage to happen?"
"Five years from now" Anisu answered.
"Five years?!" Naruto repeated in surprise, "But why so long?"
"That is the estimate time of how long it will take Kiri to recover most of its strength, after which they will officially petition to join the Heavenly Alliance." Zhuge Liang responded.
"And what better way to symbolize Kiri joining the Heavenly Alliance than with the Mizukage marrying one of the Alliance founders and leaders" Naruto finished dryly when he realized what his sensei and friend were thinking.
"Told you he would catch on" muttered Anisu to his former sensei, who nodded before turning back to his other student. "Like we said Naruto you do not have to actually marry Mei-sama. Your engagement with her is simply to help ease tension between Kiri and us until they become part of the Heavenly Alliance. When they do, we can call the engagement off."
"So Raikage-sama will you agree to this or not?" Zhuge Liang asked.
As Naruto thought back to the meeting, he could not help but sigh. He of course told the Mizukage that he would have to consider it and would give her an answer before the gathering ended.
But with Gaara now asking him to marry his sister, things had become a lot more complicated.
"Ah, its times like this that make me wish I had never agreed to become Raikage. Things were so much simpler back when I was just a regular Shinobi."
"The ruling of a nation is a heavy burden Naruto, more so when you are leading a vast alliance of other nations, I taught you that long ago. As leaders, we must make personal sacrifices for the betterment of those we rule over."
"Yea…I know, but it still doesn't make things any easier, if I had known the kind of things I would have to put up with or have to do. I probably wouldn't have been so eager to become a Kage when I was a kid."
"So does that mean you've come to a decision already regarding the Kazekage and the Mizukage proposals?"
"Hoooo, yes I can't refuse Gaara when he needs my help, especially if what he has told me about the Kuze family is true. If we let them have their way, they will become a serious problem later. As for the Mizukage, I agree to the engagement, but only because it might help ease the peace process and when the time comes, we'll call it off."
"I understand Raikage-sama" Zhuge Liang replied with a small smile, before he stood up to leave Naruto's office. But before he could leave Naruto suddenly spoke up.
"Before you leave, I have something that I would like both you and Anisu to do?"
"And what would that be?" asked the Nemuriryu (Sleeping Dragon).
"Well given how the treaties with Konoha, Kiri, Suna and the other nations are nearly finished. I have agreed to give a brief personal tour of the Library of Benzaiten."
"The common area's I'm assuming?"
"Of course, you hardly think I would be foolish enough to let the likes of Danzo or Koharu see the Shinobi section of the Library."
"So you wish us to show the representatives around the Library."
"Actually I will be showing them the library personally."
"Then what is it that you want me and Anisu to do?" asked the elder Shinobi.
"I would like both you and Anisu to break the news of my "engagement" to the girls, since it was you two who got me into this mess. At the same time you can also tell them about Temari and explain to them why I have to do this."
When Naruto finished he was gratified to see a slight twitch of fear in his former teacher's face. As most of Naruto's wives were strong fighters in their own right and were quite terrify when they were angry, but when all of them were together and were angry, they could make a Kage level Shinobi tremble in fear.
"I'm sorry Raikage-sama but I'm afraid that I have several important matters of state that need to…" said Zhuge Liang but before he could finish, Naruto interrupted him.
"I'm afraid refusing is not an option Zhuge Liang-sensei, and I don't believe that you or Anisu would dare disobey a direct order from your leader now would you?" the young Raikage asked with a shit eating grin that said "Payback is a bitch."
Knowing he couldn't refuse Naruto, after reluctantly nodding, Zhuge Liang quietly left the room, all the while thinking if he should put his affairs in order before it was too late.
-The Next Day-
Outside the entrance of the Raikage mountain/tower, the representatives of the various nations (with the exception of Iwa) who had come to New Kumo had gathered together for their tour of the Library of Benzaiten, accompanied by a squad of New Kumo SHOCK members.
They of course did not have to wait too long as they were met by Naruto and Killer Bee.
Naturally the representatives were surprised that Naruto would be the one to giving them their tour of the library. Before any of them could ask why he was doing it, a massive roar of several angry women shouting at the same time was heard from the Lightning Daimyo's palace.
"HE HAS TO WHHAAATTTT?!"
The angry cries were then followed by a series of large explosions and sounds of men screaming in pain.
"EEEhhhh is there something we should know Raikage-sama?" the Water Daimyo asked worriedly when he looked over to where the angry cries were heard.
"Oh it's nothing Daimyo-sama, just some unexpected news being delivered" Naruto answered with a dismissive wave. Although some of the more observant members of the group notice a twitch of a smirk on Naruto's face.
Naturally this answer made everyone even more curious, but when some of them asked, Naruto simply deflected the questions by saying that they should get going.
After a few minutes of walking, the large group of people finally arrived at the entrance of the Library.
The Library entrance was shaped like a giant stone Gateway carved into the side of one of the mountains that flanked New Kumo with two massive thirty foot wide stone doors.
On the archway of the Gateway, the group could see that there was something written on it.
"Welcome all seekers of truth and students of wisdom, who have come here to quench their thirst for Knowledge."
"So this is the Great Library that is supposed to have all the knowledge in the world? I kind of expected something different" commented Kiba as he looked up at the Gateway.
"Well I wouldn't say all the knowledge in the world, but it has a lot and trust me it's a lot more impressive when we go in" Naruto replied. After which the large double doors opened and the group entered.
As soon as all the representatives had passed through the Gateway they found themselves in a large square shaped hall with another closed double door entrance way in front of them.
The hall was large enough to easily accommodate everyone in the group and still have room to spare. It had grey tiled floors, beautiful carvings of animals and people on the walls, which seemingly told a story about something. There were also paintings of people and animals on the ceiling and like the cravings on the wall; they seemed to tell a story.
After the group had entered the hall, the large double doors behind them closed, but they still had light, thanks to some special light emitting crystals on the walls and ceiling, which glowed softly, giving the hall a very soft but strong amount of light.
When the doors closed behind them, Naruto explained to everyone that they would just have to wait here for a minute until their escort came.
As the group waited, some of them looked at the carvings on the walls and the paintings on the ceiling (which was about forty feet above them). As they studied them, Sai noticed that there seemed to be a popular trend with both the cravings and the ceiling painting.
The trend was that the same two animals appeared on both the cravings and the ceiling painting and were highlighted more than the other animals or the people.
The first animal was an Owl, which was drawn bigger than a normal person and was seemly being followed by several other small owls. The Second was a fox, which Sai found oddly curious, where on the ceiling paintings it showed several more foxes running away from different lands and places, carrying what looked like scrolls in their mouths. But before Sai could think more on the carvings and paintings the stone doors in front of them began to open.
When they opened, the group was surprised to see a massive twenty foot tall Owl walking towards them, accompanied by several small brown foxes and a dozen or so white cloaked Shinobi wearing blank ANBU like masks.
"Kotonkor -sama, thank you for allowing this tour" Naruto said as he bowed respectfully to the large owl.
"You're very welcome Raikage-sama" Kotonkor replied with a nod.
"Honored Guests, I would like to introduce to the wise and noble Kotonkor-sama, Guardian and Caretaker of the Library of Benzaiten.
"Guardian?" asked Tsunade.
"Yes, when the Order of the White Lotus first began building the great Library, they acquired two Summons, to help them gather knowledge and to help them protect the Library from greedy hands. They were the Owl summons and the Fox summons."
"Foxes?" said Jiraiya in surprise.
"Zanko (Good foxes) to be exact, they are nothing like the Kyuubi, they are in fact quite friendly" Naruto said with a smile, as he bended down to scratch the ear of a small fox that walked up to him. Who then started to wag his tail and squeak happily.
"So I'm assuming that they helped the White Lotus Order steal knowledge from all around the continent and bring it back here" Sai said. After he realized what the carvings and the paintings on the walls and ceiling meant.
"Correct, they continued to do this even after the White Lotus order was destroyed by the Shinobi Clans and villages."
"If the White Lotus Order was destroyed then who are these people" Sakura said as she pointed to the white cloaked figures.
"They are the Bookmen unit, they are a group of Shinobi who I assigned to help care and protect the Library."
"Yo Motoi, Howa hanging?" said Killer Bee as greeted his Childhood friend.
"I should have known you would know me even with my mask on Bee-sama" replied the masked man standing next to Kotonkor. After which he took his mask and hood off to reveal his face and bumped fists with Killer Bee, as they would do when they were kids.
Motoi was average height with dark-brown, spiky hair and dark eyes. His most prominent feature was the dark green mark that ran down the bridge of his nose. Underneath his White cloak, he wore the standard outfit of a Kumogakure Shinobi, complete with hand and shin-guards as well as flak jacket.
"Everyone I would like you to meet the head of the Bookmen unit Motoi, who will be escorting us as we tour the Library."
After introducing Motoi to the group, the Mizukage decided to ask a question about something she had been wondering about.
"If you do not mind me asking Raikage-sama, but I was wondering, earlier you thanked Kotonkor-sama for allowing us to tour the Library; does the Library not belong to New Kumo and the Heavenly Alliance?"
Before Naruto could respond to this, the Great owl summon Kotonkor suddenly spoke "The Library of Benzaiten belongs to no one nation or group of nations. New Kumo and the Heavenly Alliance are our allies and in return for helping to protect the Library and helping to gather more knowledge we allow them access to the Library."
Naturally upon hearing this, the visiting dignitaries were surprised to hear this, as many of them believed that the Library was controlled solely by Naruto. But before anyone could comment on this new information Kotonkor spoke again.
"If it is acceptable to you Raikage-sama, I believe we should begin the tour before it becomes too late in the day."
"Of course Kotonkor-sama" Naruto said respectfully, "Although if it is alright with you, could you take a less imposing form. Since I believe it would make some of our guests more comfortable as you guide us around the village."
Nodding the Great Owl suddenly puffed into a cloud of smoke and turned into a tall middle aged man with shoulder length black hair, wearing a crimson red Chinese top and brown pants and sandals. (7)
After Kotonkor transformed, the guardian summons quickly explained that he used a Henge (Transformation) technique to make everyone feel more comfortable.
Once everything was explained Kotonkor and the Library guardians led the dignitaries through the opened doorway and into the great library.
For the next half hour the large group travelled through a series of large dark hallways, and stairways. As the group followed their guides many of the Shinobi members notice that there were many different hallways around them and that everything looked the same, no matter which direction they took.
It was of course not hard to guess that this was the point, and that they were in some sort of underground maze, which was designed to protect the library should anyone find it and enter it. Several of the members, tried to memorize the different directions they took, but found it impossible, since there were too many turns and no discernible features in the hallways, to tell them apart from one another.
Eventually though they finally arrived at another set of large stone double doors with carvings of Owls on them with Bookmen guards standing at opposite ends.
Upon seeing the group, the two guards, pushed down two set of levers that were next to them, allowing them to open the doors.
When the doors open and the group entered, the visit dignitaries found themselves in awe at what they were seeing.
After walking through the large doorway, the group found themselves in a massive man-made underground cavern, walking on a large stone bridge. When they looked up they saw a massive dome shape like ceiling at least a hundred feet above them, covered in carvings and paintings indicating key events in ancient's times.
As they walked across the bridge they could see at the other end of the bridge. A massive floor level, stretching as far as the eye could see from one side to the next. The entire floor level was filled with hundreds of bookshelves that were at least twenty meters high and were filled with hundreds if not thousands of books and scrolls.
But as surprised as they were when they saw this, they were completely blown away when they looked down into the vast chasm below them. There they saw a dozen more levels on both side of the cavern connected by more stone bridges directly below them. With each level as vast as the first level and filled with just as many scrolls and books. (8)
"Welcome to the Library of Benzaiten" Kotonkor said a small amused smile, when he saw the stunned looked on the guest's faces.
"Unbelievable" muttered a stunned Choji.
"The Legends were true, every word of them" Tsunade said as she looked around in disbelief.
"This entire mountain is the Library, incredible; no wonder no-one could find it!" the Mizukage commented, as she looked down into to chasm, to try and see if she could see a bottom or how many levels there were. But she could not, where it seemed as if it was bottomless.
"Damn, What Orochimaru wouldn't give to be in here right now" Jiraiya thought as he looked around, knowing that Orochimaru would give up his left and right arms to be here.
"My God, how many books are there?" Kakashi asked.
"More than any one person could possibly read in a dozen lifetimes" the Guardian owl replied, while at the same time not fully answering the copy-nin's question.
"Truly amazing" the Water Daimyo commented, as he and the other non-Shinobi dignitaries gabbed at what they were seeing.
"Now if all of you will, shall we begin our tour?" Kotonkor said as he indicated to the group to follow him.
For the next few hours Kotonkor and Naruto led the visiting people around the various parts of the library.
During the tour Kotonkor explained that each level was dedicated to different subjects, such as History, Music, Architecture, Biology, Languages, Science and many other subjects.
As they toured the different vast levels of the Library, the visiting dignitaries could not help but stare at the vast wealth of knowledge. Many were even tempted to ask if they could read any of the books or scrolls.
Others however, like Danzo and Koharu stared at the various books and scrolls with envy and concern. Since they knew first hand that in the world of Shinobi knowledge was power and with access to a wealth of knowledge like this Library, New Kumo and the Heavenly Alliance had the ultimate weapon.
The two elders also knew that there was probably more than just books and scrolls here, since the Order of the White Lotus had been known for collecting artifacts, ones that could hold great power, much like the three Celestial Swords.
During the tour, some of the members of the tour like Sai noticed several paintings and maps of places he was unfamiliar with on the wall. He paid close attention to the largest of the maps which displayed a full detail drawing of the world, showing the entire elemental continent and other continents across the sea. (9)
During the tour of the science level of the library, Kotonkor took them to the astrology chamber which Naruto stated was one of his favorite rooms in the library.
When the group entered the chamber, they found that the chamber was actually one big machine, made out of phosphorescent crystals, marble, stone, jade, brass and other fine materials.
The astrology chamber worked on gears and cogs like a watch, where all a person would have to do was turn the ring shape dial in the centre of the room to a date they wanted. The ceiling was shaped like a dome, and would mimic the way the stars would appear that night by using crystal light to mimic stars, along with several rotating planets, to act as a kind of almanac, showing both recorded history and projected future planetary alignments. (10)
Naturally the group was highly impressed with the machine, especially when Naruto demonstrated how it worked, by showing when the next lunar eclipse would be.
After leaving the astrology chamber, the group continued with their tour, where they visited the seventh lower level. This level was dedicated to Literature, which was filled with thousands of stories written by different authors and poets over the years, who were either well known or not.
Naturally when Jiraiya heard this he immediately asked if any of his books were here.
But before Kotonkor could respond to this, Naruto interrupted the Library guardian by saying "The Library only holds books worth preserving, not third rate porno books that lonely closet perverts buy at discount stores."
As soon as Naruto said this, an indignant yell was heard from the Toad Sage, who then began to rant about how his books were literately art. Naturally Jiraiya was backed up by his number one fan Kakashi, who stated that they were a work of genius.
But as soon as they had finish ranting, Naruto turned to the two with a bored blank look and said "Sorry did you to say something, I wasn't listening."
As soon as the group heard this, nearly everyone in the group busted out laughing, as Naruto preformed a perfect Kakashi on the two. It was made even funnier when they saw the disbelieving look on both Jiraiya and Kakashi's faces.
At the same time Gai then started ranting how Kakashi's "cool hip attitude" had been passed onto Naruto, while Kakashi himself thought "So that's how that feels."
Eventually after a little while, the group settled down and continued with their tour of the Literature level. But once they had finished it Naruto turned to face the group again.
"If you excuse me everyone, but I'm afraid I must end the tour of the Library here, since as you know the signing of the treaties is tomorrow and you will need all your energy for them."
"But there is still so much to see" the Mizukage said with a touch of disappointment.
"I apologize Mizukage-sama, but I'm afraid we have no choice, as it would take several more hours to tour the rest of the library and I'm afraid we simply do not have the time."
"Are you sure you are not just making excuses Raikage-sama?" Danzo said suddenly, gaining everyone's attention. "Clearly you do not wish for us see the other levels, such as the ones that deal with the Shinobi arts."
Naruto of course wasn't surprise by this question, since he had half expected Danzo or someone to complain about not being able to see the level in the Shinobi arts.
Before Naruto could even respond to Danzo's comment, Kotonkor intervened.
"The levels that deal with the fighting arts are all restricted to everyone without clearance and I am afraid none of you have clearance to enter."
"So much for the Heavenly Alliance policy on sharing" Koharu remarked with a scoff. "We are your allies and yet you horde all of this vast knowledge for yourselves.
At this remark, several of the Bookmen and the SHOCK shinobi who were escorting the group glared at the old woman, but before any of them could say anything, Naruto spoke up.
"Konoha is not our ally it is a protectorate, and it would be wise to remember that Koharu-san" Naruto replied with a cold smirk. "The only reason you are allowed in here or even allowed to set foot in my village is because of my good grace, which you would be wise not to test. Now I suggest that you and Danzo both watch your mouths and treat me with more respect, because if not, I will have you both set back to Konoha."
Upon hearing this, the two elder narrowed their eyes and glared at the young Raikage, who simply ignored them, but eventually the two nodded their heads and said "Yes Raikage-sama".
At the same time Tsunade and Jiraiya and several others smirked at how Naruto put the two old fossils in their place.
After Naruto had dealt with the two elders, he explained to the other representatives, once they became members of the Heavenly Alliance they would be given access to the more common levels of the Library, such as the ones they have seen. He also explained that copies of scrolls and books would also be distributed to all member nations of the Alliance so that the knowledge may be shared. But the fighting arts, involving, Ninjutsu, Kenjutsu, Genjutsu, Fuinjutsu, and certain artifacts were restricted to everyone. To gain access to these levels people would have be fully vetted by Kotonkor and the Alliance Council due to the danger they pose.
But what Naruto didn't tell them was that even if the person had been vetted, a person would only have limited access to certain Jutsu, such as E, D and C level Jutsu. Thanks to special seals that were placed on all of the books and scrolls in the library. A person could not read any scroll or book that contains Jutsu that is above their access level. If they tried, all they would see would be a blank page or jumbled up words mixed together making no sense. The seals also prevented any scrolls or books from being stolen from the library, since if someone tried to take a book or scroll from the library. The book or scroll would immediately return to their original place in the library, once the person stepped out of the Library.
To gain further access to more powerful Jutsu a person would have to request it from Kotonkor. Who would vet the person carefully and place them under a powerful Genjutsu to make them tell him why they wanted higher access and find out what kind of person they were. If he was pleased with the person, he would then inform Naruto and then give the person access to B or A rank Jutsu.
The only section that was restricted to everyone, with the exception of Naruto, his inner circle Kotonkor, the other summon guardians and the Key Alliance leaders from the Shinobi nations, were the S level Jutsu and certain artifacts. This was because of the danger they posed to everyone, if they fell into the wrong hands.
Despite the disappointment of having to leave the Library, the visiting dignitaries followed Naruto and Kotonkor's wishes and made their way back to the main entrance to the Library.
-Later that Night-
After finishing their tour of the Great Library, the visiting dignitaries were escorted back to their hotels where their meals were ready for them in the dining rooms.
Upon finishing her meal, Tsunade headed up to the hotel rooftop, where she walked over to the railing and looked out at the vast village, which was lit up with lights.
Before long she was joined by her former team-mate Jiraiya, who was carrying bottle of sake and two drinking plates.
"Ryo for your thoughts hime?" the white haired man asked, as he handed the blonde woman one of the plate and poured some sake. "You've seemed distracted ever since we came back from the Great Library. Aren't you impressed with everything?"
"A little too impressed" Tsunade replied, after she drank the sake.
"Look at it" Tsunade said as he pointed out at New Kumo. "Only a couple of years ago this entire country had just finish fighting a bloody civil war and in just under four years Naruto rebuilt it into a thriving nation. He's even built a massive alliance made up of most of the Shinobi villages and other nations, something my grandfather and Sarutobi-sensei both tried and failed at. I can't help but wonder if I had found a way to keep Naruto in Konoha and he had become Hokage, would Konoha be the one that is thriving now?"
For a moment or two Jiraiya said nothing and stared out at the vast village, but before long he drank the Sake that was in his plate and then said. "A wise woman once told me no matter how much we want to, we can't change the past. The best we can do now is look to the future and do our best with the time we have left."
At this Tsunade, smirked, remembering her words when she talked to Jiraiya a few weeks after the battle of Konoha. But before she could comment, a new voice suddenly spoke from behind them.
"Wise words Jiraiya."
When the two Sannin heard the new voice, they turned to look and saw Homura slowly walking towards them.
"Homaru, what are you doing here?" Tsunade asked in surprise.
"Like you Hokage-sama, I came for some fresh air and to clear my head a little" the old man replied, where he then walked over to the railing and looked out at the village and let out of tired sigh and muttered "The will of fire."
Hearing this, the two Sannin looked at their late sensei's former team-mate with curious looks
"Something on your mind Homaru?" asked Jiraiya.
"Just remembering something Hiruzen once told me, when I saw him using his crystal ball to watch Naruto" Homaru replied.
"What exactly did he say?" Tsunade asked.
"He said that the will of fire burns more brightly in Naruto than any other Shinobi he has seen. Now after seeing how he has rebuilt this village and has founded the Heavenly Alliance, I understand what he meant all those years ago. Hiruzen saw the potential Naruto had, even though the rest of us could not. He may be the one who could realize the Shodai's Hokage's dream of bringing a lasting peace to this land."
"You might be right about that" Jiraiya muttered where he then began to think about Child of the Prophecy told to him by the Great Toad Sage and began to wonder if Naruto may be that Child.
After a moment or two, Homura let out another tired sigh and spoke again. "We were fools to send a treasure like the boy away. Hiruzen was a far wiser man than I and now because of our folly; Kumo is the one who is prospering and our village has fallen into decline."
At this, both Tsunade and Jiraiya nodded silently, where after a little while the three elder Shinobi decided to head to their rooms as they had a long day ahead of them.
-Inside Room Number Thirty-Three-
Currently looking out of his room window, the infamous Shinobi no Yami (Darkness of the Shinobi) Shimura Danzo looked out at the vast site that was New Kumo.
As he looked out, he could sense the watchful eyes of Naruto's SHOCK teams on him, although he could not see or sense them, he could feel their eyes on him from the shadows.
As he continued to look out his window, he suddenly heard a knock on his room door.
After hearing the knock the old Shinobi slowly turned around, away from the window and answered with an "Enter."
When Danzo answered, the door opened and his fellow elder Utatane Koharu entered his room.
"Koharu-san, I've been expecting you" the elder man replied, where he then offered the female elder a sit.
Not surprised that Danzo was expecting her, Koharu took the seat Danzo offered her. Who then took the other remaining seat in front of her.
"I assume that you know why I am here?" Koharu asked.
"Of course, like myself you're concerned at the level of power New Kumo has, which has proven much greater than we feared."
"Yes" replied Koharu "With the knowledge of Library of Benzaiten alone, New Kumo has an overwhelming advantage over all the other nations. Even if Uzumaki says he is sharing the knowledge, he is the one who controls how much is shared and has unlimited access to it and as long as New Kumo controls the Library, they are the driving force behind the alliance."
"Agreed and now thanks to that foolish girl Tsunade we are under that boy's thumb" Danzo said with a frown. "No doubt the boy is purposely slowing down our recovery time by making us pay these concessions of his so that he can consolidate his power base now that Suna and Kiri are allied with the Heavenly Alliance."
"I concur" said Koharu "It makes sense, I don't believe he doing this to Konoha, simply because we banished him, he much smarter than he used to be. By having us send shinobi to help protect the smaller villages boarders and improving their shinobi, he's limiting our manpower, insuring that we are reliant on the Alliance protection and at the same time improving the fighting ability of his allies."
"Yes" answered Danzo, "And at the rate things are going it will be at least a decade before Konoha is back to full strength, although something tells me that will change once Tsunade retires as Hokage."
"What do you mean?" Koharu asked.
"Think about it, once Tsunade retires as Hokage who are the most likely candidates."
"Konohamaru and Sasuke" Koharu replied as she began to realize what Danzo was getting at.
"Correct, no doubt Uzumaki wants Konohamaru to become Hokage given their strong relationship. Once Konoahamaru is Hokage, Konoha will no doubt receive a new surge of support from the Alliance, which will greatly improve things in the village, where naturally the people will credit to Konohamaru's efforts as Hokage. But in reality it is because of Uzumaki, who would be using this to solidifying Konohamaru's position as Hokage and he will then use his relationship with the boy to manipulate him into doing what he wants, making Konohamaru nothing more than a puppet ruler."
"Yes I believe you are correct Danzo, which is why we must stop him" Koharu said. "Our best option is to get Uchiha Sasuke to become Hokage."
"That could be more of a problem than a solution" a frowning Danzo replied. "Ever since Uzumaki made his reappearance, Sasuke has not been as compliant as he once was. If Sasuke was to become Hokage, I'm fairly certain Uzumaki would make things worse for Konoha and make it look like Sasuke's fault, which would not very hard to do, since all the boy really cares about his killing Itachi. But that's if we can help him become Hokage, since given recent events such as his attack on Uzumaki, many people who once supported Sasuke's claim as Hokage, are starting to have their doubts that he is the right choice, including the Fire Daimyo."
"Do you think that is what Uzumaki was really hoping for when he goaded Sasuke into attacking him?" Koharu asked.
"That is very possible; in fact, I would not be surprised if that was one of his goals. Especially given how he manipulated the entire war to maneuver New Kumo into becoming the strongest of the five Shinobi nations and to eliminate or weaken all his major rivals."
"So what do you suggest?"
"For now, we must focus on limiting as much as Uzumaki's influence on Konoha as we can. At the same time I will also have my agents try and monitor New Kumo's movements as much as possible, since we have to find something that will weaken Uzaumki's hold over the Alliance."
"What of Sasuke?" Koharu asked.
"I will try and get Sasuke to fall in line with things, but if that fails we may have to finish what we started all those years ago and then try and find a way to get Konohamaru to see that Uzumaki is only using him."
"That will not be easy; the boy has idolized Uzumaki ever since he was very young, as has my Granddaughter Moegi and Homura's Grandson Udon. Even if we tell them, they will not believe us; in fact Moegi has barely spoken to me since Uzumaki was banished."
"What of Homura and his grandson?"
"Although Homura relationship with his grandson has improved in the past few years, I fear he will not be of any help. Recently he has been falling more into Hiruzen's line of thinking and will side against us on this."
"Yes I believe you may be right about that Koharu" Danzo said, since he had notice the slow change in Homura as well, where he began to have second thoughts over past events. He was even sure of this, given how Homura supported Tsunade's decision to become a protectorate of the Heavenly Alliance, stating that it was in the best interests of Konoha.
"It seems that the fate of Konoha is in our hands Danzo."
"Yes and for the sake of Konoha and all the sacrifices that have been made over the years, we must prevail at any cost" Danzo replied.
-The Next Day Alliance Meeting Hall-
Following their tour of the Library of Benzaiten, the visiting representatives were brought to the Raikage tower/mountain and to the Alliance Meeting Hall.
The Alliance Meeting Hall was a large round underground room underneath the Raikage tower/mountain. The room was filled with seats and tables in a circular pattern facing a large table where the heads of the Alliance would sit.
In the centre of the room was a small podium for someone to speak from and a small table in front of it, which held the different treaties for the various visiting nations. Above the dignitaries were the stands for the observers, which included the dignitaries escorts, the Samurai leader Mifune and Temujin leader and representative of the Oushu League and other observers who were there to witness the signing of the treaties. (11)
The Oushu League was similar to the Heavenly Alliance, where it was a coalition of nations from a foreign continent working together. The League was located on a continuant south of the elemental continuant and had recently become an ally of the Alliance. The Oushu League was built by an old friend of Naruto named Temujin, whom he had befriended during his travel before becoming Raikage.
Once the hall was filled and everyone had arrived, the large doors to the room closed and Naruto. Who was dressed in his official Kage robes and hat and was seated at the head table next to his wife Kicho (the Daimyo of Kaminari no Kuni (Lightning Country)), stood up and walked down to podium and began to speak.
"Today we mark a historic occasion for this Alliance, today; we mark the expansion of the Heavenly Alliance and welcome new allies and friends who share our dream of building a land free of war and conflict. A land where our children can grow up not knowing the horrors we have seen during our lifetime, a land, where people from different nations can live in peace and work together and build something worthwhile."
Once Naruto had finished his speech, the room filled with the sound of applause from everyone in the room. After Naruto returned to his seat at the Alliance head table, Zhuge Liang moved from his seat at the Alliance head table and walked over to the podium. There he then called over Kokimi (Iwa Representative) to sign the peace treaty between Iwa and New Kumo.
After Kokimi signed the treaty, a loud applause erupted in the room again.
For the next hour Zhuge Liang called out each of the visiting representatives to sign the treaties that would make them either a member of the Alliance or an ally (or in Konoha's case a protectorate). When a representative signed the treaty that involved them, the room would be filled with the sounds of clapping people.
Once everyone had signed the treaties, Naruto walked back down to the podium and took out a small sheet of paper from his robes and spoke. "Before we officially end the signing of the treaties, I would like to read to all of you a small speech that I have prepared to mark this special event which embodies my belief of what this alliance represents."
"This World we live in speaks in many languages, but only in one voice,
The language is not of any great Nation of this Continent or any distant far off land.
It speaks in the language of hope,
It speaks in the language of trust,
It speaks in the language of strength and the language of compassion.
It is the language of the heart and the language of the soul.
But always, it is in the same voice,
It is the voice of our ancestors, speaking through us and the voice of our inheritors, waiting to be born.
It is the small, still voice that says,
We are one.
No matter the Blood, No matter the Skin,
No matter the Nation, No matter the Religion,
We are one.
No matter the Pain, No matter the Darkness,
No matter the Loss, No matter the Fear,
We are one.
Here, gathered together in common cause,
We agree to recognize this singular truth,,
And this singular rule.
That we must be kind to one another,
Because each voice enriches us and ennobles us
And each voice lost diminishes us.
We are the voice of this Great Land,
The soul of creation,
The fire that will light the way to a better future,
We are one."
As soon as Naruto had finished his speech the entire room erupted into a thunderous applauds, as most were moved by Naruto's words.
After a few minutes of clapping and cheering from the majority of the people in the room, the room quieted down, where Lady Kicho officially ended the treaty signing. After which the doors to the hall opened allowing everyone to leave.
-Later in a Private Room-
Not long after the treaties were sighed, the shinobi leaders of the various visiting villages were called to a meeting with Naruto and his advisors Anisu and Zhuge Liang.
"Thank you all for coming" Naruto said respectfully, once he saw that everyone had arrived. "Now I know many of you were looking forward to enjoying the celebrations, but I'm afraid the matter of which I have to speak to you about could not wait."
"What is it that you wished to talk to us about Raikage-sama?" the curious Mizukage asked.
"First off I would like you to open the small boxes that are in front of you."
"What are they?" Tsunade asked, when she saw the small glass orbs and looked at them.
"They are called Projection Balls; I created them by using my knowledge of Sealing and a certain technique I learned about. They work as a two way communication link between all of us. All you have to do is place the ball in your hand and think of the person you want to speak to. The person will know that you want to speak to them when they see their ball glowing or feel it heating up. Once they pick up the ball, an astral projection of you will appear in front of them, as will a projection of them appear in front of you. It also has an added security measure, where I added a Blood seal, all you have to do is spread you blood on the ball and it will work only for you."
"Ah yes, I remember Saito telling me about this" the Mizukage said as she looked at the small ball.
"Impressive" Tsunade remarked, as she quite impressed with Naruto Fuinjutsu.
Jiraiya, (who surprisingly had been invited to the meeting as well) was equally impressed with Naruto's skill and was unsure if even Minato could have done something like this.
"As impressive as this is, Raikage-sama, I'm sure there is more to this meeting than to simply give us these projection balls" Gaara said.
"Yes your right Kazekage-sama" Naruto said with a nod, "Now that the treaties between the Alliance your respected villages have been signed. I believe that I should share with you some important details that involve everyone."
"What sort of details?" asked Hanzaki (Head of the Fuma Clan in Ta no Kuni (Rice-Field Country) and leader of New Otogakure)
"Details involving both Orochimaru and the Akatsuki" answered Anisu in a serious tone.
At the mention of the Akatsuki and Orochimaru, everyone stiffened.
"One week ago before any of you arrived here the Heavenly Alliance launched a multiple simultaneous attack on Orochimaru's network of bases across the elemental continent, severely crippling his organization" Zhuge Liang said, surprising everyone in the room.
"I'm guessing that Intel you got from the Shoton (Chrystal Release) user helped you do this?" Jiraiya said, since Guren was one of Orochimaru's chief lieutenants and would know a lot about his organization.
"Correct" said Anisu, "Although unfortunately both Orochimaru and Kabuto were able to escape our forces when they attacked. We believe that he has at least a dozen hidden bases that even Guren was unaware of, which is why we are sharing our information on Orochimaru and the Akatsuki with you."
"You're hoping that by pulling all our combine resources we can improve our chances in finding them" Tsunade said.
"Yes, Jiraiya-sama intelligence network is especially valuable to us, as he has been following Orochimaru's movements for several decades and could yield some possibilities that we have not thought up of" Zhuge Liang replied.
At this Jiraiya just nodded and agreed to share whatever he had with Alliance on Orochimaru.
With everyone filled in on the attack on Orochimaru's bases, Zhuge then decided to move on to the other half and most important part of the matter.
"Now as some of you may be aware of, several months ago New Kumo learned that the members of the Nuke-nin group, who called themselves the Akatsuki were gathering together in one of their hidden bases in Mori no Kuni (Forest Country)."
"Acting on the news" continued Zhuge Liang "…New Kumo launched a strategic attack on their base and although we were unable to capture or eliminate any of them. We were able to force them to retreat without suffering any fatal casualties."
After hearing this all the Shinobi leaders just nodded, they had all heard about the attack, since it would be difficult for a clash between New Kumo and the Akatsuki to be kept quiet.
"Were you at least able to gain any information that could be of use?" Shizuka asked (Leader of Nadeshiko no Sato (Nadeshiko Village) and one of Naruto's fiancés).
"Yes we were, in fact the information we gathered from both the attack and what we were able to gain from our own intelligence is in the folders in front of you."
When the Shinobi leaders opened their folders they were surprised to find detailed reports on each other the members of the Akatsuki, mentioning their abilities, skill levels, weaknesses, what type of Jutsu they normal use and what effective ways to counter them.
Naturally the Shinobi leaders were highly impressed, since they knew how valuable this information would be when faced with members from the group.
As they looked through the folder, Gaara suddenly asked, "Pardon me Raikage-sama, but could you perhaps elaborate more on the two newest members of the Akatsuki?"
"I believe I can answer for one of them Kazekage-sama" the Mizukage said suddenly gaining everyone's attention.
"The blonde haired man is named Senchi Rēsā of the Senchi Clan, and he is formally of my village. During the great Bloodline Purge of the Yondaime Mizukage's reign, he abandoned his Clan and fled Kiri. He is a deadly Shinobi who is skilled in assassination; swordsmanship and he also possesses the Senchi Clan's Jinton (Swift Release) Bloodline limit."
"A dangerous enemy" commented the leader of Benisu-tō(Crimson Sandbank Island).
"Indeed, but what concerns me is his partner Saikyo, who is a member of the Amako Clan" the leader of Getsugakure no Sato (Village Hidden under the Moon) said. "Would I be correct in assuming that he possesses his Clan Bloodline limit, the Kuraingusandāparusu (Crying Thunder Pulse).
"Yes, he does" Naruto replied. "Saikyo is one of the few missing-nins from my village and is classified an S-class threat. In fact we believe he is the one responsible for not only the Yondaime Raikage's death. But also was part of the group that assassinated the previous Lightning Daimyo and his family, with the exception of Kicho-chan."
"What else can you tell us about the man?" Tsunade asked.
"With the exception of fighting and becoming stronger, Saikyo cares for very little. Even when the civil War started he forsook his Clan and decided to go rogue, stating that he was tired of his Clan's tireless pursuit in trying to dominate Kumo. In many ways he is like Kumo's version of Kisame, he is extremely bloodthirsty and a real fighting manic, and gets his trills out of fighting strong opponents. He also likes to play cruel and sadistic games with people weaker than him, to satisfy his narcissistic nature and enjoys challenging himself through forced fights."
"Sounds like a real peach" Jiraiya remarked as he looked at the man's profile and picture.
"Trust me, he is not a someone that can be easily dealt with, before the Yondaime Raikage's death, Saikyo was regarded as one of Kumo's strongest Shinobi and was one of the few people who could stand up to the Yondaime Raikage in a fight" Naruto said. After which a somber look appeared on the Shinobi leader's faces, since the Yondaime Raikage reputation as a powerful Shinobi was well known by them.
"Is there anything else you can tell us about him?" Gaara asked.
"He's also the elder brother of the late Godaime Raikage Amako Zankuro and is stronger than he was."
Upon hearing this, the Shinobi leaders frowned, since this just made them more concerned with the man, as the Godaime Raikage was no weakling either.
As Naruto and the other leaders discussed the two newest members of the Akatsuki, Jiraiya continued to read the information Naruto and his people had gathered on the Akatsuki.
Eventually he came to stop at the profile of the female member of the Akatsuki, whom he recognized instantly.
Seeing the surprise look on the Toad Sennin's face, Zhuge Liang spoke, "Is there something the matter Jiraiya-sama?"
"I know her"
"Tsk yea right, where did you see her at some bar or red district place?" Naruto said not believing the elder man.
"No I'm serious, her name is Konan and I'm the one who trained her" Jiraiya replied.
"What?!" said Naruto in surprise and joined by Anisu and Zhuge Liang, who were just as surprise.
"Jiraiya what are you talking about?" Tsunade asked as she turned to her former team-mate.
"Look at her profile Tsunade, don't you remember her?" Jiraiya said as he had the female Kage turn to the page he was on.
When Tsunade looked at the woman's face, like Jiraiya she recognized the woman, despite the fact that the last time she saw her was when she was a young girl.
"Her partner…did one of them have short spiky orange hair or did he have red hair and strange eyes?" Jiraiya asked, knowing that Akatsuki travelled in pairs and knew that Konan would never go anywhere without either Yahiko or Nagato.
"You are referring to the Rinnegan?" Naruto asked, surprising Jiraiya and everyone else.
"The Rinnegan?" Shizuka asked.
"But I thought that Doujutsu was just a myth?" the Mizukage said in surprise and confusion.
"I can assure Mizukage-sama, the Rinnegan does exist, I have seen it with my own two eyes, the one who possesses it calls himself Pain and he is the leader of the Akatsuki" Zhuge Liang replied.
Upon hearing this, the other Shinobi leaders frowned in concern as they had all heard of the legendary Doujutsu, which was used by the Rikudō Sennin. The original Shinobi no Kami (God of Shinobi) who founded the Shinobi arts and was said to have saved the world.
"Jiraiya why didn't you ever mention finding someone who had the Rinnegan?" asked Tsunade, who was rather angry at only learning this now.
Before the Toad Sage could respond to Tsunade's question, Naruto suddenly interceded, "More than likely he did it to keep the one who possessed the Rinnegan safe. He was probably afraid that if he told anyone, people like Danzo might learn of it and go after the person and kill him, before he could become a threat to them. He also probably did it because he believed that the person was the child of prophecy."
"You know about that?" Jiraiya said in surprise.
"Of course, Shima-sama and Fukasaku-sama both told me of the prophecy when I started my Toad Sage training, they even told me that at one time you thought Namikaze was the Child of Prophecy."
"Pardon my intrusion, but what is this prophecy you're speaking of?" Gaara asked who like everyone else was curious about what Naruto and Jiraiya were talking about.
"Back when I was young and was in the middle of my training in the Sage arts at Mount Myoboku, the Great Toad Sage foretold that one day I would have a student that would bring a great revolution to the world of the Shinobi. This person would be the Child of the Prophecy and that my actions would determine if this revolution would be for the world's salvation or the world's destruction. At the time I believed the one who possessed the Rinnegan was this child, but after I thought he died and later started training Minato I began to believe he was the one. But now…"
"But now you think I am that child, like the toads do now" Naruto said interrupting his godfather and surprising many people.
After Naruto said this Jiraiya just nodded, since given everything that Naruto had done in recent years and given his new found Bloodline which was a transcended a Bloodline like the Rinnegan. He believed that Naruto may be the only person alive who could stand up to Nagato and defeat him.
At the same time Jiraiya also began to wonder what could have happened to Konan and Nagato to have them turn out like this and what happened to Yahiko.
When Jiraiya turned to the next page, which had Pain's profile, he was surprised to see not one picture but six, five of whom he recognized who were people he met or fought against long ago. Their appearance had changed slightly, where they all had black spikes in their bodies, orange hair. But what confused him even more was that they all had the Rinnegan, including Yahiko, which surprised him even more.
"What they hell is going on here?" Jiraiya thought, "Why does Yahiko and all these other people have the Rinnegan and where the hell is Nagato?"
"Jiraiya-sama, if you know something about this Pain person and his partner Konan, I ask you to please tell us. Any information you can give us could be very important" Zhuge Liang said.
At this Jiraiya let out a tired sigh before eventually speaking, "Forty years ago, after Hanzo defeated us and gave us the title of Sannin, Tsunade, Orochimaru and I came across some orphan kids. After seeing they had no-one to care for them, I decided to stay behind and spent the next three years teaching them the Shinobi arts, giving them a chance to survive. During that time the two boys Nagato and Yahiko were attacked by an Iwa Shinobi, but when I arrived to help them, the Shinobi was already dead. He had been killed by Nagato, who awakened the Rinnegan."
"So this Nagato person is Pain?" the leader of Getsugakure asked.
"No, the person here is Yahiko and the other people with him are people who I fought years later."
"Wait! Are you saying that six more people have the Rinnegan as well?" the leader of Benisu-tō asked with concern at the possibility.
"No, none of them had the Rinnegan when I fought them and given the change in their appearance I would guess that either Yahiko or Nagato did something to them."
"I believe we can answer how this is possible" Naruto said gaining everyone's attention.
"How?" asked Jiraiya.
"For the past few years, the head of my CIND (Central Intelligence Network Division) unit Masato has been gathering information on the Akatsuki. During our investigation, one of my agents came across a nuke-nin who was formerly of Hanzo's guard. He had somehow managed to escape the slaughter of Hanzo supporters after he was killed…" Naruto said but before he could finish he was interrupted by Tsunade
"Wait! Are you saying that the Akatsuki were the ones who killed Hanzo and took over Ame?"
"To be exact, Pain was the one who killed him, along with all his followers and their families" Anisu answered.
Upon hearing this, the mood in the room became ever serious. Since for many years the identity of the new ruler of Amegakure (Hidden Rain) had been a curious subject for many people, especially since he was the one who killed the legendary Sanshōuo no Hanzō (Hanzo the Salamander).
"You knew this and yet you wait until now to tell us?" Tsunade said with some anger in her voice.
"Konoha was not an ally and in case you have forgotten Hokage-sama you had a spy in your own council. Also after I revealed my identity, several of your Shinobi and people tried to have me imprisoned or killed, so you will excuse me if I didn't feel like sharing that information with you" Naruto replied in a cold yet authoritative tone.
After being rebuked by Naruto, Tsunade had the decency to look ashamed, as she realized she let her emotions get the better of her for a moment. Since she couldn't believe that the Akatsuki base of operation had been at striking distance from Konoha and they never even knew about it until now. Naturally after realizing her fault she apologized, which Naruto thankfully accepted, after which Naruto continued with his explanation.
"When our agent found the Ame-nin, he was able to extract some information from him, where he explained that six individual's each with unique powers and the same eyes had defeated Hanzo and conquered Ame. After getting him to describe the eyes the agent returned to New Kumo, where I had researchers look for any Doujutsu that matched his description in the great Library" Naruto explained where he then continued.
"After much research we discovered that it was the Rinnegan and after the spies I sent to Ame confirmed what the man told the agent. I had our researchers find everything we could about the Rinnegan and its abilities."
"What did you learn?" Mei asked.
"Not much I afraid, as details on the Rinnegan and its abilities are extremely limited, even in the great Library. But we did discover after several months of heavy research that the Doujutsu gives the person the ability to completely master all five basic nature transformations that form the basis of Ninjutsu. Meaning that wielder has all five nature affinities as well as the sixth paths."
"What are these Paths?" asked Gaara
"They are special techniques that can be used by those who wield the Rinnegan" Zhuge Liang replied.
"What exactly can they do?" Hanzaki asked, which Zhuge Liang answered.
"The first path is called the Deva Path and is arguably the most powerful of the six paths. It gives Pain the ability to manipulate attractive and repulsive forces, not unlike a magnet. Allowing him to repel any attack or to bring a person or object to him. The second path is called Asura Path, which is seemly a person who has been modified artificially, allowing him to use mechanizes weapons that are inserted into his body. The third path is called the Human Path, our knowledge on its full ability is unknown but from what we could gather, it is mainly used for hand to hand combat and from what we've learned from old documents in the library, it has the ability to remove souls. The fourth path is called the Animal Path, which allows Pain to summon various creatures, which also have the Rinnegan. The fifth path is called the Preta Path; it gives Pain the ability to absorb an infinite amount of chakra in any form, making it the perfect tool to block Chakra based attack. The sixth and final path is called the Naraka Path our knowledge is very limited I'm afraid, all we really know is that it has the ability to summon a humanoid being that has the Rinnegan as well."
"So are you saying that all these peoples have these abilities?" Shizuka asked in concern.
"No" replied Anisu, "During the interrogation the Ame-nin said that the group did not act normal and spoke together as one, as if they were of the same mind. After much research Zhuge Liang-sensei theorizes that given their numbers and how they acted, the group was not six people, but one single individual."
"How is that possible, is it through some kind of possession technique?" Tsunade asked.
"No, the people are in fact reanimated corpses, which Pain controls; each body uses one of the sixth paths, allowing him to use all the abilities at once" Zhuge Liang replied. "This means that this Nagato person Jiraiya-sama mentioned is in fact Pain"
"Hmm, that makes senses, but how is he able to control them?" the Mizukage asked.
"He is able to control them by implanting rather unusually rods in their bodies, which allow him to transmit his chakra into the bodies and control them remotely, as if they were his own body, similar in some ways to puppetry" Naruto answered. "We also learned after our attack on the Akatsuki that Pain has six separate fields of vision at the same time. Essentially working as shared vision for the Paths, this allows Pain to coordinate their attacks and to provide defense for them without a blind spot. He is also able do the same thing with his summons which have the same rods implanted into them, where he can fill in any blind spots he has with them."
"That would make it very difficult to fight him especially alone" commented Shizuka.
"Yes I believe that is why he created the paths in the first place" Zhuge Liang replied. "He can use them to fight strong opponents without risking harm to himself and uses the paths numbers to make coordinated attacks to overwhelm his enemies. That is why it is best to face him in a group of at least six or more and try and separate the paths from one another."
"What I don't understand is where did he get these strange rods?" the leader of Benisu-tō asked when he looked at a picture of the rods, since he never heard of such things.
"I'm afraid we do not know, even our Research and Development Department has been unable to figure out where they come from. All we know is that they get hot whenever chakra is being transmitted into them and that they are incredibly durable, where it takes a great deal of force to break them" Naruto replied.
"How do you know so much about them and how Pain controls the bodies?" Tsunade asked.
"During our attack on the Akatsuki, we were able to capture one of the paths and brought it back here for examination" Anisu answered.
"How did you do that?" Jiraiya asked.
"When Zhuge Liang-sensei came up with theory that the paths were reanimated corpses, and that they were being controlled by the rods in their bodies. He suggested that best way to defeat the paths was to sever their connection from Pain, by sealing the bodies" Anisu explained.
"Smart" muttered Jiraiya.
"If I may Raikage-sama, I am curious, if you know where the Akatsuki main base is, why have you not attacked them?" Gaara asked, joining the conversation.
"For several reasons, the first is that at the time that we first learned about it, we did not have the capability to make a direct attack on the main base and were still recovering from the civil war. Another reason was that we hoped to gain as much information on their movements and other bases as we could by monitoring activities from Ame" Naruto replied.
"But you have the capability now, why don't you attack like you did earlier?" Tsunade asked.
"Unlike the last time we had surprise on our side, if we were to move on the Akatsuki in Ame, one of several things could happened" Naruto answered.
"The first being that unlike our last attack, we would have to gather a large invasion force, since the forces of Ame are fanatically loyal to Pain, to the point where most people consider him a god and Pain himself claims to be one according to Zhuge Liang-sensei. If we were to attack it would be a bitter and bloody battle, which could result in a massive body count on both sides. Another reason is that the Akatsuki may be prepared for our attack, especially since they now know that we are targeting them, resulting in many lives being lost. Since unlike our battle in the base, they'll be out in the open where they can use their fully abilities. There's also the possibility that they may simply abandon Ame and we lose our only solid connection to them."
Hearing this, the Shinobi all frowned, as Naruto made several valid points, all nine members of the Akatsuki were very powerful and were not people that should underestimated.
"You being unusually cautious Raikage-sama" Tsunade commented.
"I have to be; right now the whole continent is still unstable from the sudden shift in power in the last war. If I were to attack Ame and it turned into a disaster, Iwa may try to take advantage of it and attack, drawing other nations and causing utter chaos, which the Akatsuki or Orochimaru would use to further their own gains."
"So your plan is to let them make the next move" Jiraiya surmised "That's risky."
"That may be true Jiraiya-sama" Zhuge Liang replied, "But for now it's the best move, right now we cannot afford to focus all our attention solely on the Akatsuki and Orochimaru. We will of course closely monitor their movements and follow any leads that may help us capture or eliminate them. Since we know that whatever they are planning, they require the Biju. So we know that sooner or later they will come after the Raikage-sama, the Kazekage-sama and the others and by knowing this, we know where they will strike and can make preparations for when they do. For now, we must focus on the painful process of rebuilding."
"Do the Akatsuki know that you are aware that you know that their main base is in Ame?" the leader of Getsugakure asked.
"We are unsure, but would we be surprised if they do by now?" Anisu replied.
"Then what's the point of monitoring it?" asked leader of Benisu-tō.
"Because there is still the possibility that we may learn something more about the Akatsuki, since only recently we learned that they have links in Kiri" Naruto said.
"How so?" asked Shizuka, who was curious, since this was the first she heard of this.
Before Naruto could respond, Mei spoke up and began to explain.
"After the death of the Yondaime Mizukage Yagura, it became rumored that the Mizukage was not acting of his own accord. Some of the more senior Shinobi even stated that there were times when the Yondaime Mizukage would act confused when they came with reports from orders he had given, and acted as if he didn't know what they were talking about. But later he would then return to normal and pretend it never happened."
"After his death, and given the strange events involving him, many people began to question if the Yondaime Mizukage was even in control of himself, given his odd behavior. But before a detailed investigation could be done, Shiro became the new Mizukage and pushed the investigation aside so that he could further his goal to eliminate the Bloodline limit holding clans. But it was noted that on the night of the Yondaime Mizukage's death, a few Shinobi notice a hooded figure wearing a black cloak with red clouds on it, leaving the village."
"So you saying that the Akatsuki were somehow controlling the Yondaime Mizukage and are responsible for the Bloodline purges in Kiri, using the turmoil caused by it as a way to maintain control" Jiraiya said.
"It is a likely theory, but we're still unsure on how they were able to control the Yondaime Mizukage and who was the person controlling him. It is possible that this Pain or Nagato person was the one controlling him using the Rinnegan, since as the Raikage said, it's full abilities are unknown to us" Mei replied.
"That is conceivable" Naruto said, "Originally we had heard rumors that the Akatsuki were formed in Kiri. But given what Jiraiya said about Pain or Nagato to be exact, I am willing to bet that they were originally formed in Ame, since that is where Nagato and the woman named Konan are from. It possible at some point they were forced to leave Ame, where somehow they were able to enter Kiri and secretly took control of the village by controlling the Yondaime Mizukage where they then used the village's resources to form the Akatsuki. Later after the Yondaime Mizukage's death they returned to Ame and took control of it, making it their main base of operations."
"That is indeed very possible Raikage-sama" Gaara remarked, since it seemed to fit with what they knew.
"If I may" Hanzaki said, gaining everyone's attention. "But why is the representative of Iwa not here? As the Akatsuki are as much a threat to them as they are to the rest of us, surely regardless of the past hostility they would see that it would be in everyone's best interest to work together."
"Normally you would be correct, but the fact is Iwa has a strong link to the Akatsuki as well" Naruto replied.
"What do you mean?" Tsunade asked.
"From what our intelligence has told us, shortly after Ryoku became the Yondaime Tsuchikage. He began to frequently hire the Akatsuki to secretly fight for him during any quarrels his village would encounter, allowing Iwa to rebuild it forces without appearing weak. Even after the Akatsuki captured one of their jinchūriki, they refused to act against them and ignored the issue" Anisu explained. "The fact is we simply cannot trust them, where they could leak the information to the Akatsuki, hoping that we would either destroy one another or be weakened enough for them to finish us off later.
"Also" added Naruto, "Unlike you Hanzaki-sama and the Mizukage-sama, Berugu has good reason to hate me. I was the one who killed his father, which only adds fuel to the fire that is burning inside him, since I'm certain that Ryoku has passed on his hatred for my family unto his son. The only reason he has even agreed to this peace treaty is because he knows that in a direct conflict, he cannot beat us."
"But what of his sister?" leader of Benisu-tō asked. "She seems reasonable enough; perhaps if you spoke to her she could convince her brother to see that it would benefit everyone to work together."
"Maybe, but to be honest I trust her even less than her brother and I do not entirely know what she would do with such information. From what I heard Kokimi, has earned a rather infamous reputation in the Tsuchi no Kuni (Earth Country) royal court. Rumors say that she controls everything that happens there from the shadows and she was the one responsible for the previous Earth Daimyo's untimely death. She then framed his son with his murder and had him imprisoned, while at the same time maneuvered the late Daimyo's weak willed nephew to become the new Daimyo. Making him nothing more than a puppet ruler, allowing Ryoku to do whatever he wanted without issue."
"Do you have any proof of this?" Shizuka asked, since by law, Shinobi villages were forbidden from doing such things in their own country. If caught the other Shinobi villages would be obligated by international Shinobi law to destroy said village. Since if this was allowed, other Daimyo's would fear their own Shinobi villages and would be forced to destroy them or risk being overthrown as well.
"Unfortunately we do not, all we have is rumors and speculation, Kokimi-san is much too clever and careful to leave such evidence" Zhuge Liang replied. Who knew that if they had proof they could justify any invasion they made on Iwa and Tsuchi no Kuni or could use it to cause unrest in both nations and possibly remove both Berugu and his puppet Daimyo, without having to send their military.
After hearing this, the Shinobi leaders all frowned, since things had certainly become a lot more complicated, even with the war now over.
After another hour of talking and discussing what to do, the meeting came to an end. By the end of the meeting, all the visiting Shinobi leaders agreed to pull the recourses and work together in dealing with the Akatsuki and Orochimaru.
-Later that Night—
That night after the treaties had been officially signed; all of New Kumo was alive with celebrations, the night sky was alive with fireworks. The streets were filled with people, both Shinobi and non-shinobi, who were eating, drinking, dancing, laughing and cheering.
The Lightning Daimyo's Palace was no different, as it was filled with hundreds of people, who were celebrating the expansion of the Heavenly Alliance.
The palace was rectangular in shape with a large wall surrounding it and a large courtyard and gardens. It had two main entrances from the front and rear and several narrow connecting moats inside the courtyard and a larger one around the palace itself. Connected on opposite sides to palace by small bridges were the guards and servant quarters, which were also surrounded by small moats. So that in the event of an attack the palace could be easily defended on all sides. (12)
The inside of the Palace was very grand, it had nearly a hundred rooms, the hallways, floors and walls were made of white marble, and were lavishly decorated for tonight's festivities. It had both an indoor and outdoor training area, a large dining room for state dinners and private study rooms for both Naruto and Kicho, when they were working.
The Grand hall of the palace had also been done up especially for the celebration, where lanterns hung from the ceiling, and decorations hung on the walls and pillars.
The hall was also filled with large long tables and chairs for the visiting dignitaries, where the tables were lined with food.
In front of the tables was a large stage platform with a long table where Naruto, his family and the all high ranking members of New Kumo sat and ate. (13)
Once everyone had finished eating, musicians were brought in to play some music, while at the same time, drinks and snacks where being served to the guests who began to move around and converse with one another.
Not long after the musicians started play, Killer Bee stepped up and had the musicians play a rapping theme, while he entertained everyone with his "stylish" rhymes.
For the first few minutes most of the guest found Killer Bee's style a rapping humorous, where some quietly laughed or smiled.
But eventually Killer's Bee rapping came to an abrupt halt after he said "Dreams, dreams, dreams, dream, lots' o' dreams! My Dream is a middle aged Blonde woman's chest!"
Needless to say, the female Hokage did not take Bee's verse towards her breasts too well, where the Hachibi jinchūriki was sent crashing through several walls, resulting in the repair damage being added to Konoha's debt.
A few hours later, (after Killer Bee was taken to the hospital for his injuries), Naruto excused himself from the party and made his ways to his daughter's room, which was at the other end of the palace.
When he entered the girl's room, he found that they were all fast asleep in their beds.
Also sleeping in the room was Iruka and Anko's daughter Aiko, who had become fast friends with his three daughters, much to the joy of their parents. For much of the past few weeks Aiko was usually found playing with Naruto's daughters. Nene and Yoshiko had even started to refer to Aiko as their cousin, as well as their partner in crime, where the three of them could often be found playing pranks on people.
After kissing his sleeping daughters good night on the foreheads, Naruto made his way to his private study, where he then sat at his desk and closed his eyes for a moment, enjoying some alone time.
Eventually he opened them again, where his eyes then drifted over to a picture of his parents, which he had recovered from his family home.
As he picked it up, he looked at his mother, where a small smile appeared on his face, but when he glanced at his father, who had his arm wrapped around her and was smiling, his eyes narrowed.
No matter how much he wanted to, he couldn't hate the man anymore, even after spending ten years hating him. He could no longer hate the man after he fought him at Konoha, and it bothered him. For years he had dreamed on beating the man who had been the cause of all his misery, but when he finally did, it was not as satisfying as he thought it would be.
Eventually Naruto was brought from his musing when he suddenly heard a voice from behind him.
"Reevaluating previous beliefs Naruto?"
After hearing the voice, a Kunai suddenly appeared out of Naruto's sleeve and into his hand, where he then spun around in his chair to face the person.
When he turned around he was surprised to see that it was his former sensei Zhuge Liang.
"Sensei, what are you doing here?" Naruto asked in surprise, while at the same time wondering if his former teacher was taking lessons in stealth from Masato (head of Naruto's CIND unit).
"Your absence was noticed in the Grand hall, so I decided to look for you" the Sleeping Dragon replied as he walked around Naruto and took the seat in front of Naruto's desk.
"I just needed to take a break from talking to all the representatives, since there is only so much I can take. Besides Kicho-chan and the others are much better at it than I am and they can cover for me for a while."
"Perhaps but that still does not change the fact that people will notice that you are gone, for in case you have forgotten you are the founder of the Heavenly Alliance and a symbol to many people."
"How could I forget" Naruto said dryly since Zhuge Liang never missed a chance to remind Naruto of how important he was to the Alliance. "It's just that I need a break now and again, that's all, and to be honest there are times that I missed being a Genin, where things were much more simple."
"Things often seem simpler when we are young, but as time moves on, things become more difficult and perspectives change."
"If you don't mind sensei I prefer if you get to the point, since to be honest I'm not in the mood for one of your mind games" Naruto said.
"Very well, to put it simply I was curious as to your feelings toward your father the Yondaime Hokage."
"He's my father in name only…he doesn't have the right for me to regard him in any other way" Naruto replied with a frown.
"I see" Zhuge Liang replied, with a blank look, so that Naruto couldn't guess what he was thinking.
"Why do you ask?"
"Because regardless of your status as Raikage, you were still once my student and I am concerned for your well-being. It does not do well to dwell too much in the past, especially if they bring nothing but pain and sorrow."
"I have moved past that, as far as I'm concerned my life in Konoha is in the past, I moved on."
"Have you?" Zhuge Liang.
"The fact that I haven't destroyed Konoha or left it to the mercy of the other smaller nations should prove that."
"Really, and the fact that publicly humiliating Konoha, with your life story and making it pay concessions and making it a protectorate, meant nothing?" the elder man asked. "Naruto you and I both know that what it is that you wanted to do was humiliate and shame Konoha for everything it did to you."
"You and the others never voiced a problem with my plans when I told you them."
"Because from a tactical point of view, you plan assured that New Kumo and the Heavenly Alliance would become the dominate power on this continent. The problem is that I am concerned that you may have forgotten why we first formed the Heavenly Alliance, which was built on nations setting aside their differences and as you so poetically said in your closing speech…become one."
"I have not forgotten anything" Naruto said, where he then narrowed his eyes. "The fact is Sensei you forgotten that there are still dangerous elements inside Konoha, elements like Danzo and Sasuke. Who would try to take advantage of any generosity I show and use it against me, seeing it as a sign of weakness. For now I need to keep Konoha under my thumb, at least until I'm certain it is no longer a threat to the Alliance."
"Perhaps, but don't forget Naruto you still have friends in Konoha, people who you know well and who have defended you in the past and they will share whatever you have planned for Konoha. Also if you are too harsh on the village then the later generation of Konoha will resent you as much as the older generation and the cycle of hatred and anger will continue on"
"I have not forgotten that either Sensei" Naruto answered, "So you need not worry. All I ask you is to trust me a little longer, as I know what I must do regarding Konoha."
After hearing this Zhuge Liang nodded slowly and said he would. After which he then turned to the next matter he was concerned about.
"And what of your father, what are you feelings regarding him?"
"I don't hate him if that is what you're asking?" Naruto replied calmly. "As how can I hate him after he said that he was proud of me and that he still loved me, despite everything I said and did to him?"
"But you haven't forgiven him have you?" Zhuge Liang asked.
"No, I may no longer hate him but, that doesn't mean I have forgiven him, he knew what would happen to me and yet he still did it" Naruto said. "Forgiveness should be earned not given and that man has not done anything to earn my forgiveness."
"Perhaps, but still the Yondaime Hokage was faced with an impossible choice when the Kyuubi attacked Konoha. As leader of Konoha he was sworn to protect it, just as you are sworn to protect New Kumo. By sealing the Kyuubi into you, he not only prevented Konoha from being destroyed, but he entrusted, its great power to the one person he knew would not abuse it and could trust it with…you."
"Tsk, he only did it because of the tradition involving jinchūriki, hoping that I would remain loyal to Konoha, even when they shunned me."
"Naruto you do not believe that any more than I do. Your father was not the type of man who would do something like that, just for the sake of an old tradition." Zhuge Liang retorted.
"How would you know? It's not like you knew him?"
"Actually I did"
"Many years ago when the flames of the Third Great Shinobi World War were beginning to erupt, I met your father when he was on a mission for Konoha. At the time he was sent on a mission to retrieve a dangerous artifact, an artifact that I was also seeking, which was how our paths crossed. When we both found it, naturally neither of us wished to give it up, but before a battle between the two of us could erupt, a group of Missing-nins attacked us. We escaped with the artifact and hid in a nearby town, but were followed, where we were force to work together to defeat them, while at the same time protect the artifact and the village."
"I'm guessing that the two of you defeated the Missing-nins" Naruto said.
"Yes, although during that battle one of the Missing-nins was able to steal the artifact from us. He then sent a Kunai with an exploding note tied to it towards a nearby building where some villagers were hiding, hoping that we would be too distracted with the explosion to chase after him. But instead of going after the missing-nin, your father told me to go after him while he saved the villagers, something that greatly surprised me at the time" Zhuge Liang said. "After your father saved the villagers and I retrieved the artifact from the missing-nin, we began to talk with one another. When I asked him why he risked his life from the villagers and why he trusted me to return with the artifact, where I could easily have fled with it. Do you know what he said?"
"What?" Naruto asked.
"He said that it was the right thing to do and that he could tell that he could trust me" the elder man replied with an amused smile. "A trait you share Naruto, and regardless of what happened to you when you were growing up in Konoha. What your father did to you was not just place a heavy burden on you, but also help you become what you are today. You have faced many harsh trials in your young life and they have helped make you stronger and the Kyuubi's power has helped save you and others on many occasions."
At this comment Naruto frowned and looked away, he knew his former teacher had a point, since on several occasions; the Kyuubi's power had helped save his life. But still it didn't make up from all the abuse he went through.
"Why did you never tell me that you knew him?"
"You never asked?" the Sleeping Dragon replied with a smile, which annoyed the Blonde Raikage.
"Whether you want to admit it or not, in many ways Naruto, you are more like your father than you want to admit" Zhuge Liang continued. "Not only are you both great Shinobi, but you also have a caring heart and would do whatever it took to protect those you care about."
"So you're saying that I should forgive him for sealing the Kyuubi in me despite knowing what would happen to me?" Naruto asked with a frown.
"Forgiving him is entirely up to you, all I am asking you is to understand things from his point of view. If you were face with the same situation that he did on that night, would you not do the same thing, to save New Kumo, to save thousands of lives?"
"Even if I was in such a situation and I was forced to seal a Biju into Yami, Nene or Yoshiko. I would never leave them in a place where they would knowingly be abused, like Namikaze did, I would make sure than they were raised somewhere where they would be happy and safe."
"Perhaps, but you would still do it, which is why I think you should just let your bitterness regarding your father go." Zhuge Liang replied. "I'm not asking you to forgive him, I'm just asking you to move past it, that's all. As I said earlier, you are like your father in many ways, but you are still your own man. The Yondaime and Sandaime Hokage may have been too idealistic when it came to people's feelings towards jinchūriki. But I believe that what you and the other jinchūriki went through when growing up, was not in vain, because thanks to all of you. Any future jinchūriki in New Kumo and Suna will not have to go through what you went through when growing up and eventually jinchūriki will be respected by all Shinobi nations."
"How can you be so certain?" Naruto asked.
"Let us just say I have faith" Zhuge Liang replied with s knowing smile, causing the young Raikage to shake his head in amusement, since Zhuge Liang would rarely give a straight answer when it came to certain things.
Seeing that Naruto had much to think about, the famed Sleeping Dragon excused himself and left the room.
As soon as Zhuge Liang left the room, Naruto once again picked up the picture of his parents and stared at it for a few minutes, before letting out a tired sigh and placing the picture back on his desk.
Not long after, Naruto heard a knock on the door and after responding with an "Enter" he was surprised to see Tsunade enter the room.
"Hokage-sama, to what do I owe this unexpected pleasure?" Naruto replied with neutral tone and expression. "Also if you don't mind, could you tell me how did you know where to find my private study?"
"Zhuge Liang told me where to find you after he saw that I was looking for you" the blonde Hokage replied. This then caused Naruto to sigh again and mutter to himself, about having a word with his former teacher about sticking his nose in his private business.
"I see, well then please have a seat" Naruto said where he then indicated to one of the two empty chairs in front of his desk.
After Tsunade took one of the seat, Naruto then spoke, "So Hokage-sama, what is it you wish to talk to me about."
"I wanted to say I'm sorry" the elder woman replied.
"Excuse me?" Naruto said who was surprised by what Tsunade just said.
"I wanted to say I'm sorry" the blonde woman repeated, "I'm sorry that I wasn't able to stop the council from banishing you. I'm sorry that I tried to deny you your inheritance when you asked for it and more importantly, I'm sorry for lying to you about not knowing who your parents were. At the time I thought you would be in even more danger than you already were if you knew who your parents were, given the number of enemies your father had. I know that isn't much of an excuse, but at the time it seemed like the right decision and I hope that you can one day forgive me."
When Tsunade finished, Naruto was naturally surprised, since he had half expected Tsunade to try and use their past relationship to lessen the penalties he had placed on Konoha previously before the Alliance Gathering. But instead she had come to apologize to him and he could tell that she meant it, since he could hear the remorse in her voice and see the regret on her face.
After taking a moment to get over his surprise, Naruto then spoke. "You didn't need to apologize, I had long since forgiven you for hiding my parent's identity from me. But I appreciate you saying it, and as for refusing my heritance at the beginning, that is all water under the bridge…Baa-Chan."
Now under most circumstances if a person called Tsunade Baa-Chan, then that person would be sent into orbit. But Naruto was one of only two people Tsunade would allow to get away with (the other being Konohamaru). But what would surprise most people even more was that Tsunade was ecstatic that Naruto called her that, since it meant that Naruto really had forgiven her and she could hear the warmth in his voice when he said it.
"Thank you Raik-"
"When we are in private you can call me Naruto" Naruto said with a kind smile as he interrupted the female Hokage.
Nodding at this Tsunade smiled back and said "Thank you Naruto, I wasn't sure if you would forgive me and that you would hold me in the same regard that you hold Jiraiya."
At the mention of the Toad Sage, a large frown appeared on Naruto face.
"As far as I am concerned that Toad is beyond redemption, he doesn't even deserve the title of being called my Godfather."
"Naruto, I know you're angry for what Jiraiya didn't do, but he regrets his decision for not raising you or even visiting you. When we thought the Akatsuki had captured you, Jiraiya used every single contact he had to try and find you; the both of us were even ready to kill Danzo and Koharu when we learned of their plan."
"Huh, Well I'm afraid that is too little too late, that ship has long since sailed, he had over twelve years to step up, but as always he shook away his responsibilities. Caring or even visiting his godson was just too much of an unconvinced for him" Naruto replied in a cold tone. Since as much he disliked his father for what he did to him, Naruto detested Jiraiya, he knew everything and yet he lied right to Naruto's face and hide his parent's identity from him. He even knew how Naruto would most likely be treated in Konoha and yet he never he went to check up on him once.
Naruto might had even forgiven the Sannin had he told him the truth after they first met, but he didn't, which was why he could never forgive the Toad Sage.
When Naruto finished, Tsunade let out a sad sigh and closed her eyes, as she knew how much Naruto's words would have hurt her former team-mate had he heard them.
Tsunade knew a lot about trying to run away from your problems, since she had spent several years doing that. Trying to find answers to questions she would never get answered, from the bottom of a Sake bottle and allowing depression to rule her.
Although Jiraiya did not go the same path she did, his was not far from it. He had spent years following Orochimaru's movements after he left Konoha, since he had never forgiven himself for not stopping their former team-mate when he had the chance. He also never forgave himself for not seeing that path Orochimaru was heading sooner, believing that he could have done something to prevent it. Jiraiya also blamed himself for Minato dying, (who had been like a son to him), believing he could have done something had he been there, which was why he became so obsessed with writing his books, since they allowed him to forget his pain for a while.
But now it seemed that all his mistakes had come into fruition in regards to Naruto.
After a few more minutes Tsunade and Naruto eventually left the room and headed back to the party.
Not long after Naruto re-joined the party, the former head of the Hyuga Clan, Hyuga Hiashi suddenly walked up to him.
"Excuse me Raikage-sama, but if it is not too much trouble, could I talk to you in private?"
Having an idea of what the former Hyuga Clan head wanted to talk to him about, Naruto just nodded and led Hiashi to a nearby empty room.
"So Hiashi-san, what is it you wish to talk to me about?" Naruto asked when they entered the room, "If it is about apologizing, you needn't bother?"
"No, Raikage-sama it is not about that, as I know that you have every right to hate me, since I was the deciding vote that had you banished and I have no right to ask for your forgiveness" Hiashi replied with shame.
"Actually that isn't what I meant, I mean I don't hate you" the blonde Kage replied, which greatly surprised the former Hyuga head.
"I beg your pardon?"
"I don't hate you" the blonde repeated, "Sure for the first couple of years I hated you and blamed you for having me banished. But later I realized that being banished from Konoha was the best thing to happen to me. If I hadn't been banished I would never have met Mitsuhide-sensei, Saiyuri-sensei, Anisu, Zhuge Liang-sensei or any of the others in Kumo. I also would never have become the Raikage, form the Heavenly Alliance and become as strong as I am now, so in some strange way I owe you."
When Naruto finished, Hiashi left stunned, he expected Naruto to yell at him and say how he despised him for forcing him out of his home and away from his friends. He had even half expected Naruto to hit him a few times out of anger, but instead Naruto was thanking him and was in some way grateful for being banished.
After a few minutes Hiashi got over his surprise, and even though Naruto said he no longer hated him. Hiashi could not help but feel a deep sense of shame, since he had still betrayed the Yondaime Hokage, who had been once a good friend of his in the past. Also if he had voted to have Naruto stay, certain things could have been prevented.
"So Hiashi-san if it is not to apologize for banishing me from Konoha, then what is it you wish to talk to me about?"
"I want to talk to you about Hinata."
"What about her?" Naruto asked with some concern in his voice at the mention of his female friend.
"She is in love with you."
Well that's it everyone for another Chapter, sorry about the long wait, but life after college does not leave you with much free time, especially in this economy. Also sorry about the cliffy, but this was the best way I could think of to end the Chapter.
Now that pretty much raps things up for the Alliance Gathering. The next Chapter will of course deal with the aftermath of this conversation and you will of course find out Naruto's reaction to the news that Hinata is in love with him in the next Chapter, so you needn't worry.
Also in the next Chapter we will deal with Naruto forming his own Genin team, which I am sure will excite all of you.
With that now said, I would also like to tell all of you the next coming Chapters will be a bit shorter than earlier ones. Also I will be doing some refurbishing on the earlier Chapters, where I will be making some improvements and fix some mistakes that I have made when creating this story, nothing major will be changed, as the plot will remain the same. I just plan to remove some things that I realize weren't needed and fix some other things.
Also please enjoy the two Omake after the Author's Note section.
As always please read and review as I like to hear all your opinions on the Chapter or on the story in general. Please note that I will answer all your reviews since I believe that authors should reply to their reviewers. Also note that any suggestions for the story are welcome and will be listened to and I will tell you what I think of them.
Now as for my grammar and spelling mistakes, although they may be a problem for people, I now have a beta reader who is helping me with all future chapters and fixing spelling mistakes and grammar.
Another thing to note is that flames are not welcome here, as I force no-one to read my stories and if you don't like them then don't read them. Also please note that all flames will be ignored or the flamers will be flamed back.
Beta'd by Mohamad Rabee Al-Zawahreh "Proud to be able to help"
(1). for an image of Anisu, please go to my profile for the address to the image number 60
(2) For an image of Ayane, please go to my profile for the address to the image it will be number 41.
(3). for an image of the Demonic image over Unohana please go to my profile for the address to the image number 61
(4) Go to Naruto wiki for more info on this device
(5). for an image of Cai Wengi, please go to my profile for the address to the image number 4
(6). for an image of Zhuge Liang, please go to my profile for the address to the image will be number 62
(7). Go to my profile page for image of Kotonkor and his human form, it will be number 63.
(8). Go to my profile for an image of this scene, it will be number 64.
(9). Go to my profile for the map of the Naruto world, which includes other continents, it will be number 65.
(10). Go to my profile for an image of the Astrology chamber, it will be number 66
(11) Go to profile for an image of what the Alliance Meeting room looks like, it will be number 67
(12). Go to my profile for an image of the Palace, it will be number 68.
(13). Go to my profile for an image of the Grand hall, it will be number 69.
After being knocked out by Unohana assistants, the famed Toad Sage of the Sannin Jiraiya found himself strapped to an operation table and looking up at the ceiling.
"Wh-Wh-Where the hell am I?" Jiraiya asked out loud, and he began to look around.
"Ah Jiraiya-sama I'm glad to see that you're awake" spoke a familiar female voice.
When Jiraiya looked up he saw much too his horror Unohana Retsu with her usual smile, which to Jiraiya was more frightening than facing off with the Kyuubi.
"Where am I?" Jiraiya asked again as he looked around the room for anyone else only to find that he and Retsu were the only people in the room.
You're in my private treatment room, where I personally treat unique individuals such as yourself Jiraiya-sama.
At this Jiraiya gulped not liking the sound of that.
"W-Wh-What do you plan to do to me?"
"Do not worry Jiraiya-sama your wellbeing is my top priority" Unohana replied with a kind smile that seemed almost devilish like to Jiraiya.
"Now before we begin your treatment, we will have to wait for someone who has shown interest in my methods.
"Wh-Who?" Jiraiya asked where he became even more nervous.
Before Unohana could answer Jiraiya the doors to the room hoped and much Jiraiya horror, entered one Umino Mitarashi Anko, former Student of his former team-mate Orochimaru. Who was also a former lieutenant of the Interrogation division and one of the most feared women in all of Konoha, second only to his former team-mate Tsunade and Hyuga Hinata the Hyuga Shikyo no Megami (Hyuga's Goddess of Death).
When Jiraiya saw the purpled hair woman, he almost wet himself in fear. Since he was very familiar with Anko's reputation in the Interrogation division and was almost as sadistic as the head of the Interrogation division Morino Ibiki, a trait she inherited from her former sensei Orochimaru.
"I'm very pleased that you could join me Anko-sama" Unohana greeted with a friendly smile.
"Of course, I wouldn't miss this for the world" replied Anko with an evil looking grin, as during her stay in New Kumo she had heard of Unohana infamous reputation in New Kumo, where no-one dared cross the woman, not even Naruto.
Naturally after hearing all the stories, Anko couldn't wait to talk to the woman in private and see her in action, knowing she had so much to learn from the elder female medic.
"Now that you're here, shall we begin?"
"Of course" Anko replied with glee, as she couldn't wait to get started, where she then saw Unohana flip a small switch on the wall, which then activated a large machine that hung above Jiraiya.
When the two Konoha Shinobi looked up, they saw a large machine with a dozen or so long metal arms, not unlike a spider's leg. Each with a different type of tool attached to it, like a knife, saw scalpel, buzz saw and needles the size of Jiraiya's arm.
Upon seeing the device, the two Konoha Shinobi reacted different, to Jiraiya it looked like some kind of torture machine from some horror movie. But to Anko it like the greatest creation ever made.
"What is it?" Anko asked excitedly, where her eyes lit up like it was Christmas, "And where can I get one?"
"It's my own invention; I haven't exactly come up with a name yet. But I'm sure it will come to me sooner or later" Unohana replied with smile that seemed almost too sweet.
"No, No, No…please…I'll never peek again I swear!" Jiraiya begged, as he tried vainly to break out of his restraints, while at the same time watching as Unohana's machine came down closer towards him.
"Do not worry Jiraiya-sama, as I said your wellbeing is my top priority…although you may feel some discomfort when my machine starts working, as I have yet to work out all the kinks. So please feel free to yell, as this room is soundproof...so no-one will hear you" Unohana said, with a kind smile and dark evil looking aura her.
Soon after, the room was filled with the screams of a fearful Jiraiya and the manic laughter of one Umino Mitarashi Anko.
Ninja Unit: Bookmen
Purpose: Bookmen is an independent group of Shinobi that Naruto formed after founding New Kumo. The group is responsible for protecting and maintaining the Great Library of Benzaiten and insuring that the knowledge and artifacts in it are kept safe.
Uniform: A simple White Porcelain animal masks with no identifying markings. They wear standard New Kumo uniform with a normal Kumo flak jacket, although they wear a white hooded cloak over it, to help distinguish themselves from other Shinobi forces.
Weapons: Standard weapons of any Ninja and all carry Katana's on their back.
Missions: Bookmen do not take any official Shinobi mission, unless they request a mission, the main duty is to guard the Great Library and help categorize, maintain or copy various books and scrolls.
Abilities: All Bookmen members are highly trained Shinobi who have several years of experience from various different Shinobi missions and battles. The group is mainly made up of ANBU and Jonin level Shinobi.
History: After finding the great Library and being allowed access to it by the Library Guardian Kotonkor. Naruto agreed to assign an independent group of Shinobi to help protect and maintain the Library. The group is made of mainly Shinobi who are on the reserve list; although any person who is made one must be a veteran of several years, have high security clearance (which is why the group is mainly made up of former ANBU and Jonin level Shinobi). The group is led by retired Motoi and they answer to the Library Guardian and Naruto.
Special Thanks to for his hard work in betaing this Chapter