Chapter One: Getting Acquainted
A/N: This spin-off fanfic is based on what happened in Chapter 56-71 of Neo Yondaime Hokage. I hope most have read that fanfic or at least those 16 chapters before this one otherwise you won't understand what's going on.
(In The Forest Of Death: Sector No Return)
"Jiraiya-sensei, for years you have forsaken and gotten me."
"You weren't there for my son Naruto when he needed you for all those years after you took on the role as his godfather. Therefore you have forsaken and forgotten me…By all rights Jiraiya-sensei, my son should have been raised by you."
"Why weren't you there when my son needed you most?"
"…Staying on the road and chasing after a traitor for years took precedence over my son's needs?"
"You never even met your godson until after the beginning of the Chuunin Exams a few months ago!"
"How can you stand there and tell me that going after Orochimaru on the road took years of priority over the son of the man you said was like a son to you?"
Minato's words played in Jiraiya's mind over and over again as he hurried to where N. Naruto and his female company were. He had to know how he was able to summon Minato from the belly of the Shinigami, a damn well impossible feat Jiraiya believed. There was so much he had to explain and ask Minato besides his forgiveness, most of which revolved around Uzumaki Naruto.
"Wait!!," Jiraiya called out to them but his voice fell on deaf ears, especially since he was still some distance from them.
"Is everything alright," N. Hinata asked. Looking at the girls, Naruto assured, "It's nothing to worry about; just a chat with the old pervert about looking after my brother."
"And you couldn't do that here," Temari asked with a tad bit of annoyance.
"It was on a more personal matter," Naruto replied, "For Jiraiya anyway."
Temari decided not to argue about it further but to accept it instead.
"Let's go home now," Naruto said only to see the girls nod their heads in unison. A moment later, the seal of the Hoka Sekai Senshi appeared and glowed under the four of them. The Toad Sage finally caught up to where the group was. Just as he was about to called out to N. Naruto, in a burst of light and smoke N. Naruto and his female company vanished and were teleported back to their home dimension, never to be seen or heard from again. Jiraiya just stood there looking at the spot where N. Naruto and the girls were. His questions would never be answered; what he had to say to the Yondaime would forever be kept in silence.
"…Minato," Jiraiya say in a low undertone, "Could you ever forgive me…?"
As if the answer came to him, Jiraiya remembered Minato's final words to him…
"The past can't be changed that I know, but the future is not yet set. You're here now and I hope that things for my son, your godson will improve for the better. I ask you, as your proclaimed prized pupil and son-figure, that you don't let me down and fail Naruto. Good-bye Jiraiya-sensei."
Despite all the sins that had happened to Naruto, Jiraiya realized that Minato found it in his heart to forgive him, and he still asked of him to watch over and protect Naruto. Minato gave him a chance to atone for his past mistakes and negligence instead on passing judgment and verbally cursing him for all the suffering Naruto had to suffer.
"I won't let you down nor will I fail Naruto again, Minato," Jiraiya said with a new resolve, "I will fulfill my role as his godfather."
With that resolve, Jiraiya turned and started on his trip back to the village.
(Meanwhile In Konoha)
Hinata was walking through Konoha with Kiba and Shino tagging along with her. Yesterday's events were still fresh in their minds and there was still so much they wanted to ask and find out from N. Naruto and his girls.
"I know there's more to their story than they're letting on," Kiba said, "Do you suppose we can arrange another meeting with them?"
"That depends on whether or not they are up for another meeting at all," Shino replied.
"I still have to hand it to Naruto," Kiba snickered, "Finding and revealing that loincloth was priceless."
"Kiba-kun," Hinata rebuked with a heavy blush on her face. Though Hinata rather enjoyed the sight of the piece of fabric however, she felt sorry for how Naruto's actions incurred the wrath of its owner, his counterpart.
"I found the meeting with our visitors most enlightening," Shino remarked, "We saw first hand what they're capable of thus demonstrating our own hidden potentials. I believe you brought this out the other day Hinata."
Hinata nodded, remembering meeting with Tsunade after their first encounter with N. Naruto and his girls before and during their battle with Leviathan.
While they were walking together, Kiba crashed into someone who seemed to be in a hurry to get somewhere.
"Hey," Kiba grumbled, "Watch where you're going!"
The group saw that it was a female civilian no older than fifteen years old with long dark brown hair that reached down to her lower back. She was dressed in a scarlet colored kimono that had decorations of a river and mountains with the rising sun overcasting them. She was also wearing white socks and sandals.
"I'm sorry," the girl apologized, "I didn't mean to bump into you like that."
Kiba and his two friends looked at the girl carefully.
"You're not from around here," Shino realized.
"No I'm new here actually," the girl admitted, "I moved here recently hoping to start life anew here."
"Well cutie," Kiba grinned, "Please pardon my rudeness. Since you're new around here, how would you like for me to give you a tour of Konoha? I promise to be the perfect gentlemen. By the way, I'm Inuzuka Kiba and this is my partner Akamaru. The two next to me are my friends Shino and Hinata."
"Welcome to Konoha," Hinata greeted, "We're happy that you joined our village."
"I'm pleased to meet all of you," the girl said, "But I'm really in a hurry and I still have a lot of work to do. Thanks for the offer though."
As the girl turned to hurry away from the trio…
"What's your name," Hinata asked politely.
The girl turned and smiled, "My name is Ryota. And I hope we can become good friends."
Ryota departed from them and continued on her way.
"She's a really pretty foreigner," Kiba smiled, "I wonder where she's from."
"I'm sure we'll find that out in the future," Shino said, "After all, she said she hopes to become our friend, yes?"
Hinata agreed, "She seems like a nice girl. Hopefully, we'll see her again soon."
"Hey you guys," a feminine voice called out to them. Team 8 turned to see Sakura and Ino coming over to them.
"Sakura-san, Ino-san," Hinata greeted.
"What are you guys up to," Ino asked.
"Meeting the new girl in town," Kiba answered.
"Who is she," Sakura asked curiously.
"Hey name is Ryota," Shino said, "That's really all we know of her."
"You mean you didn't get anything else on her," Ino asked looking for the latest gossip.
"She was in a rush to get somewhere," Hinata explained, "She didn't leave us time to get to know her. At least for now."
"Well I hope to see her again," Kiba remarked out loud.
"Does someone have a crush," Ino teased.
"What, no," Kiba retorted with a light blush on his face.
"Don't be embarrassed," Ino encouraged, "Was she pretty? How does she look like? You can tell me!"
"Ino-pig that's enough," Sakura said, trying to get Ino off Kiba's back, "They already told us that they don't know much about her."
"Kill joy," Ino muttered.
"By the way," Sakura asked, "Has anyone seen Naruto? He never showed up when he was supposed to meet up with Kakashi-sensei and I this morning."
"I'm sure there's a good explanation for it Sakura," Hinata said trying to defend Naruto.
"Fortunate for him the mission was canceled," Sakura replied, "Otherwise he would have been in a world of trouble."
"Niichan wasn't feeling well this morning," a young voice explained. The group looked to see Konohamaru coming over to them.
"What happened to him," Sakura asked.
"He fell sick for some reason and had to go back home to recuperate," Konohamaru said.
"Maybe I should stop by and see how he's doing," Sakura suggested.
"Don't bother," Konohamaru cut in, "I tried and he wouldn't answer the door. He's sleeping as hard as the dead."
"That's not very funny," Sakura scolded.
"I'm sure if we let him rest he'll be up and running by tomorrow," Konohamaru suggested, "Hopefully well enough to play ninja with me."
"Play "ninja"," Ino and Kiba asked simultaneously with confused expressions, "What kind of ninja plays "ninja"?"
"That's exactly what I said when I first heard it," Sakura remarked.
"Whatever," Konohamaru replied, "Anyway I have to go. See'ya!"
Konohamaru ran off from the group and went on his way to wherever he was going.
"Now you know why Naruto didn't show up Forehead," Ino remarked, "Still up for paying him a visit?"
"Konohamaru said that Naruto-kun won't answer his door," Hinata reminded, "Maybe it would be best to let him rest as Konohamaru suggested."
"Oh, he'll answer if Sakura comes calling at his door," Kiba teased, which earned him a frown from Hinata and a full blown glare from Sakura.
"Do you want some missing teeth," Sakura remarked while cracking her knuckles. Kiba nervously backed away, "Sorry, I was only joking!"
"You better be," Sakura warned.
"You guys can do whatever you want," Ino said, "But I have to go. I'll check you guys later!"
Ino turned and left the four of them as she headed back to her family's flower shop.
(At The Hokage Tower)
"Shizune," Tsunade called out. Her young assistant entered the office.
"Hai, Tsunade-sama," Shizune responded.
"I have a most important task for you and I trust only you to retrieve this for me," Tsunade said as she handed Shizune the medical envelope.
"What do you want me to do," Shizune asked as she read through the documents.
"Retrieve Code File UK12674," Tsunade instructed, "And Namikaze Minato's medical records."
Shizune looked at her sensei curiously, "Why do you wish for me to retrieve Yondaime's medical records along with this unknown file?"
"They'll be needed for the next council meeting coming up in a week," Tsunade said, "Naruto's files will also be needed for this as well."
"What would you need with Naruto-kun's files," Shizune asked.
"To do something that should have been done," Tsunade remarked, "A long time ago."
(Later At Naruto's Apartment)
Naruto tossed and turned a couple of times. His mind was still adapting to the gift his "older brother" gave him. While in his sleep he was seeing many visions of what the other Naruto left behind for him. None of which were nightmarish but it left for him momentary discomforts here and there.
In Naruto's mind, he saw a vision of his "older brother" sitting at a table that was holding up a very large scroll opened up in front of him. The older Naruto looked to be in deep concentration while using an ink brush to pen everything he had to record in that large scroll. Next to the older Naruto were several baskets of scrolls that he was reading and recording from into the large scroll. Everything he was writing had to be precise, in order and accurate.
(Meanwhile Outside Naruto's Apartment)
Someone was knocking on his door. The knocking got louder with Naruto's ears falling deaf to the noise outside his apartment.
"Naruto are you in there," Sakura called out as she knocked harder on the door.
"Sakura," Hinata interjected, "Konohamaru told us that Naruto-kun needs his rest and-"
"When did Konohamaru become a medic," Sakura replied, "If anything, I suspect that he's covering up for Naruto for whatever nonsense he and Naruto were doing."
"I doubt that," Shino countered, "I sensed no form of deception in Konohamaru's tone from earlier. He was being truthful."
"Let's just wait till tomorrow to see him," Hinata suggested, "He's clearly not answering his door."
Sakura sighed in defeat, "…Fine. But come tomorrow, that baka will have some major explaining to do or else."
"That's nice and all but can we go now," Kiba replied with Akamaru barking in agreement with his master. The group turned and exited out of the building. While on their way out, Kiba's eyes fell upon a familiar sight.
"Hey," Kiba recognized, "It's that cute girl from earlier."
"Ryota-san," Hinata said.
"Hey Ryota," Kiba called out to her. Ryota turned to see Kiba and the others approaching her from the building they were coming out of.
"It's you three again," Ryota remembered, "What are you guys doing here?"
"We were coming to see and check up on our friend Naruto," Sakura explained to the older girl, "But we couldn't get a reply from him. So you're Ryota?"
"That's right," Ryota smiled, "I moved into this area recently."
"Why this area of all places," Kiba asked.
"Rent is cheaper in this area," Ryota lied, causing the others to sweat drop.
"This area is rather rough though," Sakura said, "Are you sure you couldn't find a more suitable location to live in?"
"Don't worry about it," Ryota assured, "Considering the last village I used to live in, I'm not concerned about the appearance or people in this area. Besides, you yourself said that your friend Naruto lives in their area, so it can't be all that bad."
"You make a good point," Hinata admitted, "So where do you live at?"
"About a block from here," Ryota answered, "I really don't live that far from your friend I see."
Turning to Sakura, Ryota pointed out, "By the way, you didn't tell me your name."
"Oh," Sakura realized, "I'm Haruno Sakura. I'm Naruto's Genin teammate and Kakashi-sensei is our team leader."
"Ah," Ryota said, "Now I remember where I heard Uzumaki Naruto's name from. You guys are that well reported Team 7 that went to Nami No Kuni sometime back."
"So you heard of us," Sakura smiled.
"Nami No Kuni thinks highly of Naruto and his team," Ryota said, "Considering that they named that huge bridge after Naruto in his honor. This Naruto must be an amazing ninja."
Don't hold your breath, Sakura mentally snorted.
"Naruto-kun has many promises and potential," Hinata agreed, "Plus…"
Ryota saw the blush that crept up on Hinata's face. Ryota was no fool. During her days spying on Naruto, she caught sight of Hinata spying and watching Naruto from time to time, using him as her prime source for her own inspiration and self motivation. The older girl was well aware of Hinata's feelings for the blond Genin. She was also well aware of Naruto's unrewarding infatuation with Sakura, something Ryota wasn't fond of.
"You guys don't have to tell me too much so soon," Ryota interjected, "I'm just starting to adapt to being here."
"Oh you'll love it here," Kiba said, "Are you still up for that tour I offered earlier?"
Before any reply could be said, Kurenai appeared in front of the group.
"There you guys are," Kurenai said, "I was hoping to find you three sooner."
"What is it Kurenai-sensei," Shino asked.
"I know this is on short notice," Kurenai explained, "But I scheduled a practice drill session today at Training Ground 15 with Team 9. I expect you three to be there in the next hour."
"Huh," Kiba said, "But I was just about to-"
"Kiba," Kurenai interjected, "If there's anything I learned the other day is that we have much to improve on and I won't accept any arguments. Are we clear?"
Kiba sighed in defeat, "…Yes, ma'am."
"Good," Kurenai said, "I'll see you in the next hour."
Kurenai shunshin'd from the group, leaving Kiba frowning with disappointment.
"Looks like I won't be able to give you that tour today," Kiba said.
"It's alright," Ryota smiled, "I'm sure I can get by on my own. I'll see you guys later."
Ryota turned and walked off from the group to her next destination.
"She seems friendly," Sakura said, "I just wish she could have chosen a more tasteful location to live in."
"That in itself tells much about Ryota," Shino remarked, "There's more to her than she's telling us. But since she said that she'll be living here, we'll learn more about her in time."
"We might as well go about our other affairs and leave also," Kiba suggested. The group dispersed and left the scene to their next destinations after Sakura departed from them.
Ryota, trying to keep a low profile for now, decided to travel to the bridge for some time alone. It wasn't long before she arrived at where she wanted to go. Standing in the middle of the bridge, the young former Iwa kunoichi started to wonder what the future had in store for her. She started wondering how life for her was going to be like once word of her origins gets out to the public. Her mind soon drifted off to Naruto, the very Genin who captured her interest and fondness in spite of the fact that they never actually met face to face. She was wondering how she was going to introduce herself to him and…
"I can't believe myself," Ryota said to herself, "Someone with my background and experience already worried about first impressions."
She looked down over the bridge and watched the moving waters flow by. As she stood there, she sensed someone approaching her from her left.
"May I help you," Ryota asked as she turned and saw the kunoichi dispel her genjutsu, being visible again. The genjutsu mistress suspected from earlier that Ryota was more than she made herself out to be, especially now after she was able to detect her genjutsu. Taking a very good look at her, Kurenai said, "I knew I recognized you from somewhere."
"Have we met before," Ryota asked, "Besides in the district where you intersected your Genin team not too long ago."
"No," Kurenai answered, "But I read about your profile in the bingo books some time ago: Ryota, High A-Class Jounin better known as Iwagakure's Shining Stone."
The teen kunoichi sighed; she knew that this would eventually happen. Kurenai sensed no threatening aura from Ryota, but she by no means dropped her guard just in case.
"Your bingo books need to be updated," Ryota corrected, "Because I don't go by that title anymore. Iwa removed and dismissed me as one of its own."
That totally caught Kurenai off guard, "Excuse me?"
"I was recently disowned by my home village," Ryota explained, "I rather not discuss the reasons for it. But I will say that I came to Konoha in hopes to start life anew here. If you don't believe me, you can always ask Tsunade-sama herself. She'll show you my official discharge papers from Iwa if that'll serve to erase whatever doubts or suspicions you may have of me."
Kurenai saw that the girl was telling the truth, but her curiosity was still present.
"Why Konoha of all places," Kurenai inquired, "Why a village that's not on friendly terms with Iwa?"
"I wasn't exactly on friendly terms with my former village either, something I found Konoha and I have in common," Ryota remarked, "Tsunade-sama allowed me to join and be registered as one of Konoha's Jounins but I'll be under probation for the next few months."
Kurenai let out a small smile, "I admit your story sounds honestly hard to believe."
"I can understand your doubts about me," Ryota said, "I would feel the same way if the situation was in reverse. I'm not expecting to win everyone's trust or acceptance. But I'm certain that I'll find something…or someone precious in Konoha worth protecting."
There was a brief moment of silence between the two females. The older of the two saw that Ryota was being sincere with her words without a trace of falsity in her tone.
"I don't think I properly introduced myself," the older kunoichi said, "I'm Yuhi Kurenai, a Genjutsu Mistress and you already met my Genin team."
Smiling at the older woman, Ryota replied, "I'm happy to meet you Kurenai. I'm Ryota, and I hope to make my new mark as the Stone Leaf of Konoha."
(At The Hokage Tower)
Tsunade was at her desk reviewing some documents when the door to her office opened, revealing Shikamaru entering the office.
"You wanted to see me," Shikamaru asked as a matter of fact.
Tsunade placed the documents down and told the Chuunin to close the door. After he did as instructed, he turned to face the female Hokage.
"Your skills in detective work are rather remarkable," Tsunade said, "I see why Sarutobi-sensei placed you on Asuma's team."
"My father turned in my report I see," Shikamaru stated. Tsunade explained everything that happened when Shikaku, Inoichi and Chouza entered her office hours earlier today. Shikamaru listened without interrupting until she was done.
"So in one week," Shikamaru spoke, "You're going to have a meeting with the council and advisors in establishing Naruto as the true heir of our late Yondaime."
"That's right," Tsunade confirmed, "And I would like for you to be there also since you were the Chuunin who unmasked irrefutable evidence solidifying Naruto's rightful heritage and inheritance."
"Will the council be willing to grant Naruto his inheritance," Shikamaru asked. Tsunade shook her head, "Knowing them, they'll give me a hard time, even with DNA proof. Regardless, your father and his original team have swore to support having Naruto established as the last Namikaze clan heir."
"How do you suppose Naruto will react to the revelation of his Namikaze heritage," Shikamaru asked, "Especially after he learns that it was own father who sealed Kyuubi into him?"
"Hard to say really," Tsunade replied, "He's been through a great deal and him finding this out will trigger him to react in who knows what way."
"When the time comes," Shikamaru asked, "Will you appoint someone to break the news to him?"
"That won't be necessary," a voice said from the window. Tsunade and Shikamaru turned to see Jiraiya entering through the opened window.
"How long were you there," Tsunade asked.
"Since the conservation between you two started," Jiraiya said, "I was going to report that the other Naruto and the girls are gone when I overheard what you both were discussing."
"So he and the three with him have been sent back," Tsunade said, "Any idea of the identity of their summoner?"
"All he told me was that his summoner was dealt with and that the scroll used to summon them into this world was completely burned and destroyed," Jiraiya explained.
"At least the secret to that jutsu won't fall into the wrong hands," Tsunade commented, "But enough about that. We still have to discuss the matter of Naruto's heritage and inheritance."
"Let me break the news to him," Jiraiya suggested. Tsunade looked at her former teammate with a surprised expression.
"You're not going to argue and say it's not time to reveal Naruto's heritage," Tsunade asked, "Why the sudden change of heart?"
"Let's just say I had an epiphany before arriving here," Jiraiya remarked, "As the boy's godfather, I owe it to him…I only hope he that he'll find it in his heart to forgive me."
"Both of us really," Tsunade replied.
"Is there more that you need from me," Shikamaru asked.
"I would like for you to inform all of the clan leaders and the other officials on the council of the meeting that will take place in one week," Tsunade instructed, "If they ask for what purpose, tell them that it regards important matters concerning the late Yondaime that can not be ignored and failure to show up for the meeting will not be accepted, by order of the Hokage."
"Hai, Tsunade-sama," Shikamaru said before turning and leaving the office to carry out his order. As he reached for the door…
"Shikamaru," Tsunade called out to him. The teen Chuunin turned to look at the Slug Princess.
"Yes," Shikamaru asked.
"There's something I need to ask you," Tsunade said, "After investigating and discovering Naruto's familial roots, what are your thoughts about all this?"
"I think that this whole conspiracy and village cover-up surrounding Naruto's life was one of the most, if not solely, troublesome things I've ever encountered in my shinobi career thus far," Shikamaru replied, "However it gave me a better insight into Naruto's life and how he had it far worse than anyone I can think of."
"Alright," Tsunade remarked, "Now, what do you really think?"
"Does it really matter," Shikamaru asked.
"I'm asking you to be honest and frank with me," Tsunade stated.
There was a brief moment of silence among them. A moment later, Shikamaru decided to break the silence and speak.
"Permission to speak freely," Shikamaru requested.
"Permission granted," Tsunade said.
"I lost a great deal of respect for my father, the villagers and both you and Jiraiya-sama entirely," Shikamaru said bluntly, "It will be a while before I can look at you both, my father and the villagers without feeling some measures of shame and disgust."
With that said, Shikamaru turned and left the office, leaving the two Sannins to their own thoughts. Jiraiya had no argument to say in his own defense. After what Minato told him earlier, he felt he deserved the younger generation's disappointment in him.
Tsunade knew that once news about the truth concerning Naruto's heritage gets out into the public opening, there was going to be major repercussions on a series of levels. Seeing how Shikamaru felt, she could only wonder how the rest of the other Genins and those of the younger generation was going to react when the truth about Naruto's life and familial line was publicly revealed…
Ryota got acquainted with Team 8 and Sakura though she wonders about how she's going to introduce herself to Naruto. How will that turn out? And after the meeting with Shikamaru and Jiraiya, what more is to come. Find out next time.