Hello there and welcome to another chapter of Cursed Eyes.
I have received many positive reviews concerning the fight against Sasori and I'm thrilled. Naruto will now move on with his training, becoming more and more like Uchiha Madara. In addition, he will see something in Madara's books that will surprise him greatly. His discovery will ignite something in his mind that was long since forgotten. Now, without further a due, here is the chapter.
Chapter 19 – Discovery
Slowly opening his eyes, the sheer intensity of the sunlight overwhelmed the elite chunnin, forcing him to close his eyes abruptly. He opened them again briefly, still not fully used to the strange environment he found himself in. It took about two seconds for him to realize that he was inside a hospital room. As he recalled his last memories, Naruto wondered what happened afterward. He certainly did not recall leaving the cave after battling Sasori. The last thing he remembered was feeling the presence of four individuals entering the cage, before passing out due to exhaustion. It always struck him as odd how he was able to do that. He had never told anyone about it, because frankly he was unaware of it, as being a skill in itself, the fact that he was able to sense other presences. It was precisely this way when he looked to the left as he could feel his captain's chakra entering the room followed by a strong chakra presence, possibly as strong as his.
The door opened revealing not only Genma, but also Gaara, revealing himself as the strong presence Naruto felt before. So the Ichibi was not extracted after all.
"It seems you're up, Naruto. Certainly took longer than I expected." Naruto blinked at his captain's statement, wondering how long he was unconscious. "You've been asleep for two days straight. Izumo and Kotetsu were actually running bets on how long it would take." Genma would always throw in a funny comment about the situation, no matter what happened. The bad thing was that sometimes Naruto did not know if the man was making a joke or commenting about a funny situation. As usual, he played along, as Itsuko instructed him a couple months ago.
"So who won?" Genma laughed warmly at the answer. "What happened after I passed out?"
"As soon as you passed out, Maito Gai's team appeared with Izumo and Kotetsu in tow. Kakashi and Kasumi were able to protect Kazekage-sama from the S-ranked Iwa shinobi by the name of Deidara. The man managed to escape by the way. Kazekaga-sama was escorted to safety back here to Sunagakure. He had beaten you by an entire day. Unfortunately, the Ichibi no Shukaku was almost entirely extracted, so Gaara only retained one tenth of its power. He decided to come along and thank you personally for saving his life." Naruto appeared a bit uncertain for taking the credit, before he remembered using a clone to yank Gaara away from the technique Akatsuki used to extract the beast. Genma had already said his goodbye stating that they would return to Konoha as soon as the hospital released Naruto. When the door closed, Naruto and Gaara stood alone. Certainly, Naruto was not expecting Gaara to initiate a conversation, based on what he perceived from his conversation with Temari.
"As I understand, you came here to thank me, but you certainly don't have to. Our team is trained for rescue assignments such as this one."
Naruto was not expecting any sort of reply, but strangely so, Gaara shook with his head, indicating that he wanted to say something, as odd as that appeared, based on his stoic behavior.
"A mission it may have been, but to this date, I had yet to meet someone that would face such impossible odds to save me. Certainly not even a direct order from the Kazekage was enough. For this very reason, I find myself wondering why you and your team members did it?" Naruto blinked for a couple of times, wondering what the hell was all that about. One thing he was certain of however. This did not sound like a thank you for saving me. Naruto looked up and saw that Gaara had just stopped talking and it dawned on him that the former Ichibi Jinchuuriki was actually waiting for a response. Naruto released a long sigh, suddenly wishing that he was having this conversation with someone else. He almost dared to believe that having a youthful conversation with Maito Gai and Rock Lee was better, but then again perhaps it was the same.
"Gaara, I don't know the answer you're expecting here. I can't speak about the missions here in Suna, but I take my missions in Konoha seriously." Gaara was taken aback at the slight emotion that came out of that single statement. Even Naruto found himself surprised about it, but he continued. "It matters little to me what happened to the shinobi I am rescuing or his background. All I am interested in is getting him or her back to safety." Naruto's eyes lost its focus as he remembered the one comrade his team lost. Gaara, for his part, stood there not exactly expecting such an answer. He half expected that Naruto's presence was due to them being demon hosts. Now that he saw, however, something inside of him sparkled at the entire idea of Naruto's profession. Besides being ordered to rescue others, Naruto set upon himself to face overwhelming odds just to be sure that the wounded shinobi or kunoichi returned home safe, even at the cost of his own life.
"So you focus on rescuing those in peril?" Naruto nodded, before turning to see that Gaara was contemplating something. "You've given me much to think about Uzumaki Naruto".
Gaara did not even wait for a response as he vanished in a sand shunshin, leaving Naruto alone inside his room, still waiting to hear the words 'thank you' coming out of Gaara's mouth.
Senju Tsunade was busy going through her usual pile of paperwork, deeply wanting nothing more than to burn everything and go to the bar. It has been too long since Genma's rescue team left to save Gaara and she had yet to hear any form of report. She was not known for worrying ahead of time, but it has been four days and nothing. It was unlike of Kakashi and even Genma to take this long before reporting and frankly, she was considering sending backup. Her focus shifted when she heard bickering from the window. Turning, she spotted a hawk that always came bearing news from Sunagakure. Normally, the bird would go straight into the communication office, but now it came straight to her. Getting the message and shooing the hawk away, Tsunade unrolled the small parchment. The text did not come from the Kazekage, but Kakashi instead.
Sakura and Shizune came inside the second the bird went away. There was another person inside the office that was curious about the message as well.
"What is it Tsunade-sama?" Tsunade looked up to see her apprentices looking at her expectantly. The sannin Hokage was showing what looked like a relieved smile on her face.
"Message from Kakashi…the team managed to stop the Ichibi no Shukaku from extraction and brought back Gaara to Sunagakure. According to Kakashi, the two members of the Akatsuki were Akasuna no Sasori from Sand and Deidara from Iwagakure. Deidara managed to escape, but Naruto and Genma managed to defeat Sasori." The last part really surprised everyone, as the Red Scorpion Sasori was the strongest puppet user in Suna's history. To believe that Naruto managed to kill him even if with Genma's help was quite surprising. The three medic-nin thought they had heard someone making relieved noises, but none commented about it. Surely, Tsunade knew the source, but merely smiled. Itsuko, for her part, just could not sleep easily knowing that Naruto was up against two S-ranked missing-nin. Now, her boyfriend would return safe and sound, after all.
"…to believe that Naruto was able to defeat an S-ranked criminal…he surely has grown." Sakura and Tsunade nodded at Shizune's comment.
"Yes, I believe he's ready for the jounin test. I will talk to Genma about filing the recommendation since he is Naruto's jounin commander." Usually to everyone in Naruto's career, a promotion to jounin barely three years after passing the chunnin exams was only possible during times of war. Even during times of war, a promotion like that was very rare. A chunnin would have to wait at least five years for the promotion and only when said chunnin had the backing of a jounin or higher ranked shinobi. Strangely, so, there was not a single argument, with experience being the exception that would invalidate Naruto as jounin material. Tsunade even recalled hearing the same from Genma and Naruto's comrades on occasion.
***Two days later***
As soon as Naruto and the others were ready to leave Sunagakure, the teams from Konoha stood at the only existing exit from the hidden village in the sand. Everyone was having a laugh at Gai's team, however. Kakashi used a lot of chakra because of the sharingan and thus did not have the energy to travel back. Gai had volunteered to piggyback him to Konoha and Kakashi did not have the strength to refute the man's help. It did not help that Kasumi was holding her stomach laughing at her boyfriend's situation. The rest of the team joined Kasumi as soon as Lee, who saw his sensei's actions a challenge of youth, offered to piggyback Neji back to Konoha. Seeing the stoic Hyuuga's firm refusal at Lee's offer was enough to make everyone pee in their pants.
Naruto found the scene quite amusing, especially when he heard Kakashi's echoed scream, begging Gai to stop running.
He was about to follow his squad when he sensed the presence of Gaara once more, a couple meters behind him. After describing this strange feelings to his sensei, Genma explained to him about his newly developed sensor abilities. As if the sharingan alone was not enough to allow Naruto more awareness about the situation, now he was a sensor as well. Gaara just kept looking at him for a while, not saying nor doing anything. Naruto found himself under some sort of scrutiny by the fellow jinchuuriki. Naruto turned when he heard Kotetsu calling out to him. At this point, Gaara left using a strange sand shunshin. Shrugging his shoulders, Naruto turned once more to follow his team back to Konoha.
Three days later, everything was quite calm in Konoha. The sky was clear and the birds were chirping. The scenery was quite peaceful at the gates as the local citizens went about their lives without a care in the world. It all changed however when a green blur charged from the west gate, screaming about his youth to the heavens, as he carried an almost unconscious looking Hatake Kakashi on his back. Gai did not stop upon entering the village, however, going straight to the hospital. The rest of the team soon emerged from the gates, with Kasumi following to the hospital. Her amusement had ended as soon as she counted in her head how many head injuries her boyfriend sustained on the way home. Gai was having none of her complains, however, claiming that she was underestimating his big rival Kakashi. The rest went straight to the Hokage's Office for the report.
After everything was over and done with, the teams were given a small rest and recuperation period of three days, which Naruto tended to use for training.
The fight against Sasori, although extreme, led him to believe that the puppet master was not the strongest member in the Akatsuki organization and that scared him. He knew at least that Itachi and Kisame are stronger than the puppet master, but surely, there were missing-nin even more powerful. He couldn't allow himself to waste precious time training to better himself out there. He knew where he needed to go in order to acquire more power and that was the Uchiha Clan Library. His path was halted, however, when he sensed a presence coming before an Anbu with long purple hair materialized in front of him, both hands on her waist. Naruto didn't need to see his girlfriend's face behind the mask to know that she was pissed about something.
"Hi there…" Naruto tried greeting, but was stopped by said woman.
"Let me guess…you're going to train again, aren't you?" Naruto could not help but flinch. "…facing an S-ranked criminal, one that was responsible for killing the Sandaime Kazekage and coming out alive just was not enough for you, huh." Once again, Naruto tried to argue his case, but the woman just placed a hand in front of his face. "…from the report, your body was ninety five percent wounded and a few ribs were broken. They even found reminisces of poison running through your system. What were you thinking, huh, facing against Akasuna no Sasori? Despite the verbal onslaught, Naruto was touched by the sentiment hidden behind Itsuko's anger. Therefore, without giving an answer, Naruto just stepped forward and gave the woman a hug.
"I know you're worried about me and I appreciate it. I missed you too…"
It did not take too long for the Anbu kunoichi to return the hug. Her anger had already subsided after the onslaught of questions and slight killing intent directed at Naruto. However…
"I am still mad at you, you know." Naruto smiled. "You're still not free, however. As I recall, you promised to come with me to visit some of the orphans when you came back. My shift is already finished." Naruto nodded, creating a kage bunshin that would head to the library and read on more material from Madara. Seeing as he could not train today, he could at least start on some reading. Itsuko looked at the departing clone and then to her lunatic and impossible boyfriend.
"So who are we visting today?" Naruto actually enjoyed running these errands with his girlfriend. Being an orphan as well, he was able to connect with these children and even give them something he did not have as a child; at least he did not until the incident where he had lost his eyes thanks to Uchiha Itachi. He would play with them and even tell some of his missions, without the gruesome parts of course. He, on occasion, even summoned a few tiger pups to play with the children. The small creatures also enjoyed immensely, because they could interact with humans. Naruto was their first summoner and many of the tigers had yet to meet a human being, away from the battlefield. Itsuko was smiling as they walked. It was rare in their profession to simply kick back and relax. Itsuko would see through the end of it and hang out with Naruto all day long.
"We've been there before, a few months ago, remember. Kenta and the others surely misses you. I bet that little Misao misses little Shirotsume like crazy."
(AN: For the record, Shirotsume is Shirotora's son. Check chapter 15 for reference)
Naruto smiled, nodding. He remembered the scene quite vividly. Misao was four years old and her parents were shinobi. Her father perished in a mission that took place near Iwagakure and her mother fell into a deep depression upon hearing of her husband. Her body's immune system thus was not enough to save her from a virus. The only one that was able to take her to the hospital was little Misao. The little girl was three at the time and hardly had the ability necessary to reach the hospital in time. For a while, little Misao became recluse. She did not want to talk to anyone and hardly did anything other than cry for her parents. Then she saw the never-ending bundle of white joy. Like a light switch, Misao tackled the little guy and played with it for hours. The matrons looked at the scene with a relieved smile, as neither knew what to do with her.
"Last I heard, Shirotsume had grown a bit and was already receiving training from his father, but I believe he could spare a few minutes." Naruto said before biting his thumb.
Kuchiyose no Jutsu (Summoning Technique)
Shirotsume appeared instantly, looking around for battle, but instead found only Naruto staring at him in wonder.
"What with the armor, Shirotsume. I do not remember your father wearing one?"
Now that he thought about it, the small pup he remembered was now mere inches below his father in size.
"Oh hi Naruto, yeah tou-san believed that I would favor the physical abilities of the clan. He and the others are training me into the ground every day. Tou-san also taught me some illusion techniques, but I actually prefer to use it as a last resort." The blond nodded in appreciation. It was similar to his choice regarding the sharingan. While he did not neglect the ability of illusions, Naruto always favored the ninjutsu and taijutsu part. "So ah...not to sound like I'm complaining or anything, but why have you summoned me here? I was about to start my training." Itsuko came forward and scratched his ears gently, earning a growl in delight from the ferocious creature.
"Actually, Shirotsume, we were on our way to visit a little friend of yours, so we were wondering if you wish to come along. I know that Misao-chan will be really happy to see you."
Despite growing in size and training under his father, Shirotsume did not lose his spontaneity and agreed immediately while jumping up and down. Naruto could still remember the small cub trying its hardest to bite his father's ear. Immediately upon arrival at the orphanage, it did not take long for someone to run straight to them, even lifting dust in her path. Misao appeared instantly in front of Shirotsume as both had grown, since last time. The tiger was bigger, though and Misao was busy embracing Shirotsume's face with a bright smile on her face. Misao has large greenish blue eyes and wore her black hair cut to chin length on the sides of her face, but in a long, thin braided ponytail in the back. The little girl then climbed on the tiger's back and used it as a horse. Her infectious smile brightened up the entire place as opposed to her previous behavior after her parent's death
While Itsuko was already dragged by the other girls of the orphanage, Naruto was content in watching the little girl riding his summon tiger. Only after half an hour did Misao jump away from Shirotsume.
"Naruto-neechan, I have been practicing those moves you taught me, wanna see?" It was no secret to anyone how much Misao wanted to become a kunoichi. The matrons at the orphanage tried to dissuade the girl from this future, but Misao wouldn't hear it. Both her parents were shinobi and her father was a respected mid-level jounin. The first time that Naruto visited the orphanage, he saw her attempting to practice some punches and kicks. With a smile, he taught her a few moves here and there, in hopes of fixing her stance. It then evolved to him teaching her a taijutsu style to her, the same that her father created. He supposed the little girl would not have it with any other style.
"Sure Misao-chan, show me." The petite girl beamed and jumped from the tiger, before falling into the stance Naruto have taught her.
Shirotsume stood by Naruto's side as they watched Misao go through the katas of her father's taijutsu style. She threw out a sequence of high and low punches, meant to disable the opponent quickly. The taijutsu style was based off the regular Anbu's style of fighting. Misao had to focus on precision and agility. Of course, she was barely out of her diapers in terms of fighting and when she kicked an invisible enemy, Misao lost her footing and feel backwards, being stopped by the soft fur of Shirotsume, much to the girl's delight. Naruto got up applauding the girl from her movements. Offering his hand to help her get up, Naruto then gave his views.
"Your punches sure improved Misao-chan. When you kick, however, you must remember to force your body weight onto your support leg, not onto the leg you're kicking." Misao smiled at Naruto with her. She then asked Naruto about his exploits, earning a snicker from the chunnin. As he told her one of his stories, Naruto missed Itsuko looking at him fondly. Misao was like a little sister to her boyfriend. However, in her mind, it is thanks to Misao, that Naruto manages to cope with everything.
The next day, Naruto found himself immersed in scroll after scroll, containing his notes on Madara's abilities using fire ninjutsu. Every time, he looked into the material, Naruto was astounded by Madara's expertise, especially when it came to fire ninjutsu. Of course, he was adept at many other abilities, but fire certainly was his most dangerous. History showed that the man was able to burn an entire forest using only a single ninjutsu. Said jutsu, for instance, was the one Naruto picked up from the library called Katon Goka Messhitsu (Fire Release: Great Fire Destruction Technique). Surely, there were other abilities like wind techniques, fuuinjutsu and even a lot of material about Madara's physical abilities that being his taijutsu and kenjutsu style, as well as shurikenjutsu. Not having a wind affinity and not knowing anything about fuuinjutsu, aside from the basics, Naruto's interest was solely on Madara's fire technique capabilities.
The rest perhaps only applied to Madara himself, although Naruto found that fuuinjutsu could be a branch to work on later. Especially since Madara mentioned someone named Uzumaki Mito as perhaps the most gifted sealing arts expert in existence. Naruto's interest in the name increased when he heard the all too familiar growl inside his head, meaning that whoever this Mito person was, Naruto had the feeling that Kyuubi knew her. Training aside, the woman's last name spiked his interest. Naruto did not know whether the name was given by the Sandaime due to his orfan status or Uzumaki was in fact his name. If it was indeed his name, then Naruto's entire life could flip one eighty degrees.
In truth, said subject rather slipped from his mind, replaced by the events that started after he received Uchiha Sasuke's sharingan.
Now that the thought came, it just would not leave him. Kyuubi usually enjoys a good conversation, but regarding this subject, the fox became mute. The meaning of this was only logical. Kyuubi had something to do with his family, or at least one of them. Naruto did not know if both his parents were Uzumaki or if only one of them were. Memorizing Mito's name for later research, Naruto's focus came back to learning Madara's S-ranked jutsu. The fact that it required a large amount of chakra was no news. Naruto remembered how much chakra he had to use for the other technique he learned from Madara. Fortunately, chakra was like a commodity for him and he had plenty to use.
***At the Hokage's Office***
While Naruto was busy training, his captain Genma was inside the Hokage's office, pondering on what he heard from Tsunade.
"So what do you say Genma? Is he ready?" In actuality, his chunnin subordinate was more than ready for the jounin trials. A part of him wished for Naruto to receive more experience, but that aside, Naruto had more capabilities than most of mid-level jounin in Konoha, including a couple of the elites. The fight against Sasori was no joke and Genma doubted that even he would not be able to defeat the puppet masters on his own. Naruto managed to hold his own against Sasori and Genma could not find anything wrong with Naruto's actions during the fight. Looking up, he realized that Tsunade's finger was already tapping and that meant the woman's patience was wearing thin.
Geez…I was just thinking…I wonder how Sandaime-sama dealt with her in the past.
"Although I wish he had a bit more experience under his belt, no one can deny he possesses the skills of a jounin." Tsunade grunted at the man taking so long to answer that, but nodded nonetheless.
"Yes, however Naruto's sensei became a jounin when he was thirteen years old. Certainly, Naruto has the same amount of experience that Kakashi had when he became jounin. Naruto's assignments, these last three years, were focused on rescue and retrieval, meaning that the majority of his missions ended up in confrontation." That was precisely Genma's problem with Naruto receiving the promotion as Naruto would not know how to behave in a non-aggression type assignment. However, with him being used to being assigned when a mission goes wrong, Naruto could obtain knowledge on what to do in order to reduce the chance of mission failure, whatever the objective is.
"Ok Tsunade-sama, I will talk to him about it. I will see to the necessary papers." Tsunade nodded with a smile, before she saw Genma leave the office using a shunshin.
"You do understand that should he be promoted, Naruto will receive his parents' will, right?" The woman frowned as she looked at Jiraiya standing outside her window. Indeed, Namikaze Minato's will was for his son to be made aware of his parenthood by the time he reached the rank of jounin. A part of her questioned whether she should have been the one to tell the blond chunnin about who his parents were. Essentially, her sensei should have told him in secrecy. Hell, even the child's godfather would be better.
"I do hope that when I do tell him, you'll be by my side the entire time. Of all of us, you are the closest he has to a family, being his godfather and all."
"You say as if I deliberately kept him from the truth all this time, hime."
The woman sighed, finding that she could not blame this on her comrade, but rather her sensei.
"Yes, I know." Truth be told, the subject technically involved the Godaime Hokage as well, seeing as her grandmother was a member of the Uzumaki Clan as well. That being said, she and Naruto were indeed family. She had many fond memories of her time playing with her grandmother. Jiraiya could see a slightly nostalgic look from Tsunade's face and decided to leave the woman be for now. There was plenty of research for his novels after all.
When he saw the sun began its majestic descend, Naruto decided to end practice for the day and run to the library.
The arena ground was torched from over use of fire ninjutsu, but still Naruto realized it would take a while for him to master the technique. Madara's jutsu required a steady stream of highly concentrated fire stream, whereas in other techniques, he needed only a strong burst or maintain a thin line of flames and expand it upon close contact. This specific technique required both high fire manipulation and excellent chakra control, with the latter being Naruto's biggest problem as he had a great load of chakra. Still, he figured that it was only a matter of time and a few clones here and there would not hurt his chances. Now, however, his thoughts were of another subject or rather another person.
Uzumaki Mito or rather the Uzumaki Clan as a whole.
Naruto had considerate knowledge on all of Konoha's shinobi clans and even those from other villages. The fact that the name meant nothing to him, in terms of knowledge, meant that perhaps he was trying to find information on an extinguished clan. That thought alone had saddened Naruto somewhat. He had gained hope upon reading Mito's name in Madara's books. Perhaps, he could find his missing family after all. As soon as he entered the library and went straight to the history section, Naruto picked up a few scrolls he believed would give him the information he was searching. Of course, regarding the clans, the library's material was restrictive at best. The most sensitive information would be inside the clan's private grounds. Naruto was not interested in secrets, however, but any quote that would provide him with answers.
The majority of the scrolls he selected contained information about Konoha's history.
Naruto could in fact be running blind here, because if the Uzumaki Clan originated from Konoha, then he would have known it by now. Nevertheless, he was going by two factors in his judgment. One was his last name and the other was that he believed Madara to be a patriot that cared for the village just as much as Senju Hashirama, the Shodaime Hokage. He would not say what he said about Mito if she didn't at least have something to do with the village hidden in the leaves. It took a total of two hours going through the material he picked up and so far, nothing however. Naruto had already learned the majority of the information in the past. The chunnin released a long sigh in resignation while looking around the place. It was already dark outside and the library would close anytime now. Shifting through the pages in random, Naruto looked briefly at a picture of the Shodaime Hokage next to the Nidaime Hokage, both wearing their trademark armor. A woman was standing next to the Shodaime, wearing a white robe. Strangely, so, Naruto could see two paper seals strapped to the woman's earrings. There was a miniature text below the picture and Naruto had to pick a magnifying glass to read it.
Senju Tobirama, Senju Hashirama and his wife, Uzumaki Mito
The small text did contain more information, something about a specific date that marked the foundation of the academy. Naruto simply stopped reading, however, when he learned that Mito was actually the Shodaime's wife. Naruto recovered his shock quite quickly when he saw the librarian announcing that the establishment was about to close for the day. He needed more information and he needed immediately. He picked another scroll this time, focused entirely on the Senju Clan and left the library. His mind was so focused on what he discovered that he didn't hear the fox's constant snarl inside his mind. Since Kyuubi was being uncooperative, he simply ignored the beast's existence. Grabbing his dinner to go, Naruto was inside his apartment in less than half an hour. He tossed the scrolls and his dinner take out on the kitchen table and immediately went to work.
His body was aching from the training and his chakra coils were strained from attempting Madara's jutsu. However, he just could not think of getting some rest. All that mattered, right now, was finding more about the clan that could perhaps be the first link he had to his family since ever. Opening the book after eating one of the onigiri, Naruto read about the start of the clan as well as the rivalry against the Uchiha Clan. Recollecting some of Madara's quotes, the Uchiha had displayed enormous respect for Senju Hashirama, despite being the man's mortal enemy in the past. The clan wars took casualties from both sides, before the Uchiha Clan were defeated. It was after this war that both Senju Hashirama and Madara Uchiha founded the Hidden Village in the Leaves. Stopping to make some tea, Naruto then found a chapter that made his heart skip a beat.
It was there…The Uzumaki Clan.
Naruto was unaware how much time passed since he reached his apartment as he kept reading. According to the book, the Uzumaki Clan originated from the Land of Whirlpools and were distant relatives of the Senju Clan. Immediately after reading this piece of information, Tsunade immediately appeared in his mind. If this was true, then the Godaime Hokage was related to the Uzumaki Clan as well. In addition, if he was in fact an Uzumaki that meant that he and Tsunade were related. The Shodai Hokage was her grandfather, so if Mito was the Shodai's wife, then she was Tsunade's grandmother. Naruto just did not know what to feel about this revelation. Anger would the first, if he is in fact related to the Uzumaki Clan. Anger towards many people, actually. First, the Sandaime Hokage surely knew about it, considering that he gave the name to Naruto. Tsunade being possibly the last living relative. He was not sure if he could blame the rest – Kakashi, Jiraiya and the others. Jiraiya could as well have known about his family, since he knew a lot of Konoha's sensitive information.
Subsiding somewhat, Naruto now turned onto a different question. Supposing that he was related to the clan, then his parents must be Uzumaki or at least one of them. So far, he had only known about one member of the clan, that being Mito. It would be too much of a coincidence if Naruto's mother or father, for that manner, was related to the Shodai's wife. He remembered reading that the Uzumaki Clan members possessed red hair, had great vitality and chakra capacity. His golden hair and former blue eyes didn't help him very much in this regard. Aside from that, however, he had a lot of chakra and always healed quickly from his wounds. Whereas before he attributed his fast healing to the fox inside his gut, he now had his doubts about it. His appearance or least former appearance led him also to believe that he may have inherited it from someone else other than the Uzumaki Clan. The only ones with blond hair were the Yamanaka clan members, but he would have known by now if he was related to Ino's clan.
Naruto would have continued his train of thought had someone decided not to break his concentration.
"I suppose the level of your focus in this particular subject is even higher than the amount you use during training."
Naruto released a sigh before closing his eyes. When he opened them, he was staring at the fox.
"Look who decided to speak…I don't understand how someone claiming to enjoy a good conversation and then avoid all of my questions. If you were straight with me when I asked, I would not be forced to go look for it myself. It is quite annoying to learn that everyone had withheld information the entire time. The only thing I know, so far, is that in fact existed an Uzumaki Clan and that I may or may not be related to it." Once more, Kyuubi said nothing, but Naruto pressed his luck further. "Since you reached out to me, can I presume you have decided to answer my questions? If not, then I don't see the reason to be here any longer." Naruto was slightly peeved about the sudden teeth showing from the fox. Naruto knew what would come next. The fox would circle around the matter for hours and not help him reach any sort of conclusion.
"I believe that I will be much more amused when you find the answers you seek straight from those you seem to cherish. I certainly have the answers you seek, but I am in no mood to share them with you."At first glance, it would seem that Naruto had hit a dead end, but he knew that the fox would not ruin his concentration to simply state that he would not tell anything. Sure, said antics irked the blond to no end.
"You always start out by saying that, but we both know you only wish for me to keep going." Kyuubi showed a slight smirk at Naruto's comment. "Since you won't tell me anything, I suppose it won't hurt to hear about the Uzumaki Clan straight from you. Since you claim to possess a lot of knowledge about everything, you could tell me about the time the clan was in full swing." The fox received the indirect request and nodded. He certainly enjoyed these conversations.
"As you previously learned, the Uzumaki Clan's prowess was in the sealing arts. However, that would be an understatement, I believe. They possessed immense knowledge on the art of sealing and such there was not much that the clan could not do using fuuinjutsu. In fact, one of the village's main defenses, as I recall, were two gigantic whirlpools formed purely from their mastery in fuuinjutsu. Yes, that face you just made is evidence enough of their prowess in seals. They could bend the laws of nature quite easily." Naruto was not easily impressed by mere words, but such a statement came from a fifty feet high nine tailed fox. Even if the seals alone were able to bend the forces of nature, Naruto could imagine the amount of chakra necessary for such a thing. He was sure that the Uzumaki's high chakra capacity came into picture.
"I gather that they were powerful and had the backing of the Senju Clan, thus Konoha upon its formation. So why was the clan extinct? What happened to them?"
"It's how your pitiful world operates. The more power you gain, the more enemies appear. The Uzumaki Clan was immensely powerful through not just for their use of seals but also, like you said their relation with the Senju Clan and Konohagakure. With the use of fuuinjutsu, it was a walk in the park for them to seal pretty much anything and use it against their enemies, even demons for that manner. In a coordinated effort,Kumogakure and Kirigakure managed to win the war against the clan, destroying everyone. A pity, really, if you ask me. However, no one can really understand how you humans think. It is too troublesome to attempt an understanding."
Naruto imagined that this was part of the First Great Shinobi War. Every action taken during war was legitimate, considering that Konoha had done just as much harm to others as well. However, his focus right now was not on revenge against the two villages for attacking his homeland, but something that the fox said before the part of the clan's destruction. By asking the right question, now, Naruto could jump to perhaps knowing a thing or two about his parents.
"You said before that the Uzumaki Clan had the ability of sealing demons. So that means that you were sealed into me by a member of the Uzumaki Clan?"
A tense silence filled the air right after Naruto's question as the fox just looked at his jailer.
"How interesting…that you simply brushed your clan's destruction as nothing and managed to focus on this specific information. Indeed, the Uzumaki Clan designed the seal that keeps me locked inside you. And before you come to the inaccurate conclusion, no it was not an Uzumaki who performed the sealing ritual." To this, Naruto stopped talking and turned to think. Just what sort of riddle is this? Acknowledge that the Uzumaki Clan created said ritual and then state that a member of the clan did not perform the sealing. It just did not make any sense. Any self-respected clan would treasure its creations and discoveries as a top ranked secret. Naruto would assume that a seal capable of holding the strongest demon in existence would qualify as top secret. Kyuubi, for his part, simply indulged Naruto in his questions, but the beast could not help but notice one peculiar fact that his jailor seemed to have forgotten.
"Despite all that intellect of yours being focused on the Uzumaki Clan, you seem to have forgotten a little bit of history. You do remember who was it that sealed the almighty Kyuubi no Yoko, sacrificing his life in the process?" The blond chunnin looked up immediately in shock ignoring the patronizing smirk. How could he have forgotten? How could he have forgotten that one responsible for the sealing was none other than the Yondaime Hokage, Namikaze Minato? However, coming to terms with it, his doubt remained. The Yondaime Hokage was not a member of the Uzumaki Clan, but he had knowledge on the seals created by the Uzumaki Clan. The fourth Hokage was considered a master of fuuinjutsu, but said mastery did not extend to him having access on the Uzumaki Clan's fuuinjutsu. Said access would have come from another circumstance and Naruto could not think of any other variable other than a member of the Uzumaki Clan teaching said seals to the Yondaime Hokage. Mito could be a possibility, but the woman was in her twenties by the time she married the Shodaime. When Minato received the title of Yondaime, if the woman was alive by then, Mito would be close to her eighties, if not older.
"Was there any other known Uzumaki in Konoha, besides Uzumaki Mito?" The Kyuubi didn't answer right away and Naruto elaborated. "The material I collected indicated Mito as the only Uzumaki ever to take residence in Konoha, because of her matrimony with the Shodai Hokage. By the time of the Yondaime, I assume that Mito wasn't alive anymore, so for the Yondaime to learn the Uzumaki style of fuuinjutsu, a member of the clan would have taught him. It's the only way I can envision him having access to the seal used to imprison you." When Naruto finished explaining his reasons, he saw the fox smiling at him once more, this time differently.
"You are too close to the answer for comfort, Naruto. At this point, anything I say will inevitably supply you the final key. As I said before, I am in no mood to supply you the answer, but I appreciate the conversation." Naruto growled at the fox for this, but before he could complain, the chunnin had woken up to the outside world. The sun was rising and a few beams were already invading his apartment.
He got up from his chair and organized the mess he created in the kitchen with the scrolls and his notes. He saw the bangs below his eyes in fridge reflection but shrugged it off. According to the fox, Naruto was mere inches away of discovering the truth. He had already obtained the answer of his lineage. He was a member of the Uzumaki Clan. Normally, it would take a blood test for that to be certified, but he would not waste time doing one for now. If his parents were sensitive topic in Konoha, then chances are that he would not have access to any Uzumaki member's blood test to confirm. He learned that his clan designed the seal that kept the Kyuubi inside of him, but instead the Yondaime Hokage performed it. Therefore, the Yondaime was connected with another member of the Uzumaki Clan whom ended up teaching him the advanced sealing rituals needed to seal demons.
Quickly preparing some breakfast, Naruto kept his train of thought when he heard a knock on the door. Naruto sensed Genma's chakra and frowned at the man appearing at such an early time.
When he opened the door, he greeted his captain and invited him inside.
"Something happened taichou? I thought we were on temporary leave?" Genma nodded in the negative with a smile as he closed the door, before taking a closer look at his subordinate.
"Last night must have been great, huh? You have not slept one bit. Should I tell Itsuko that her boyfriend has a secret agenda?" Always the joker, his captain.
"I stayed up all night, Genma-taichou. I became engrossed in an interesting subject and I just could not take my eyes from it. As a matter of fact, I have just finished reading it when you knocked on the door." Genma frowned at hearing this. Based on what he knew of Naruto, the kid knew nothing of the meaning of a 'hobby'. All he ever does is spend time with his team, his girlfriend and train his ass off. Now, the kid even forgoes his sleeping hours. That was just unnatural and it worried Genma greatly.
"Naruto, you should lighten up you know. A hobby is important in our line of work." Naruto looked amused. Perhaps, it wasn't just Itsuko that expressed concern over his training ethics.
"Do not worry taichou, the subject I was studying wasn't chakra related. I just caught up with an interesting point in history and became fascinated, that is all. It's really nothing to worry about." Genma immediately relaxed. While he did not consider history a 'hobby', he certainly felt more at ease knowing that Naruto was taking it easy. The fight with Sasori was intense and Naruto suffered a lot defeating the puppet master. "Say taichou, you are still due to explain what is it that made you come here at such an early hour." Genma nodded while serving himself some coffee.
"Right, I guess it slipped my mind. I came here early because I wish to relay to you an interesting conversation I had with Hokage-sama about you." Naruto looked at his captain, now wondering about it.
"What was it? If it is about my recklessness in fighting an S-ranked criminal then I have already received enough verbal assault from Itsuko-chan." Genma nodded with an amusing smile. That woman was indeed a fiery one. "My ears are still suffering from it, so…"
"It's not about it…well, not entirely. Tsunade-sama conveyed to me about the possibility of you taking the jounin trials." Naruto looked at the man for a while in slight surprise at the topic of conversation.
"Jounin…me?" His promotion to chunnin happened quite quickly after his graduation from the academy. However, he figured that it would take much longer time to simply be eligible to the jounin trials, let alone become one. Aside from Kakashi who was already a jounin when he was thirteen, the others in Naruto's team only received the promotion recently and both Izumo and Kotetsu are reaching their twenties right now. "I don't know Genma-taichou; I don't have much experience compared to the others. What do you think?" Genma smiled and placed a comforting hand on top of Naruto's shoulder. The kid was something else, indeed.
"Naruto, you managed to beat an S-ranked criminal on your own. While it is true that you are a bit wet behind the ears that does not mean you do not have what it takes to be a jounin. Your skills alone are already beyond what's expected of a chunnin and you have earned enough respect from your peers that I could not imagine anyone going against your promotion. I will be honest with you and say that you needed at least another year or two before the promotion, but said time was only to give you more seniority." Naruto kept looking at the man and found no deceit coming from Genma's words. Still, now that the possibility crossed his mind, Naruto started to entertain the idea more. The paycheck would certainly improve and he could have unlimited access to all the available material inside the Shinobi Library. The Uchiha Clan Library had a lot of material about fire techniques, but it was relatively scarce about other affinity related abilities. It was precisely why he focused in earth manipulation to train his yoton ninjutsu.
Certainly, I could find some notes on advanced earth manipulation and even some advanced techniques. I have heard someone state that Sandaime-sama had some interesting ones that he created.
"I guess it can't hurt to take the trials, right. At least, I will know what I actually lack in case I do not pass." Genma nodded approvingly.
"Excellent…the jounin trials happen once every two months and I just happen to place your name for the next one that will happen in two days." Naruto's accusing look only served to amuse the senbon chewing shinobi more. "Don't look at me like that, this is the first time I've sponsored someone to take the jounin trails, kid. I expect nothing but the best coming from you. You are to appear before the Hokage in two days with this written consent that you need to sign as well. I've already signed as well." Naruto took the consent and nodded. "Now, I have to run…apparently, your two little buddies thought that they could blackmail an Anbu Captain, by stealing her favorite underwear. Now, I have to go rescue them…thanks for the coffee." Genma then vanished from the room, earning a snicker from Naruto. Izumo and Kotetsu quite enjoyed a prank or two on occasion.
Looking at the consent he was holding, Naruto could not help but smile in wonder.
"Jounin huh…what are the odds?"
Ok that's about it for now.
Naruto is onto something important that certainly will rock all his foundations. Also, he will be attending the jounin trials. Next chapter i will focus on these two subjects...Naruto's heritage and the jounin trials. See ya all next chapter.