Chapter 12-Clash, Swordsman versus Sennin
"So…Tifa, how did you meet my apprentice here?" Jiraiya questioned curiously. Naruto glanced at Tifa, who replied, "I was a tour guide at a village when he came on a mission, I took him and showed him around the place, although I don't know what he was looking at the ruins."
"I feel no deceit from her words, looks like I can trust her with my godson for a while…not to mention she is good material for my next novel." Jiraiya thought seriously for a moment. Naruto voiced as he picked up on his thoughts, "Kyofu, I highly suggest that you reconsider your perverted thoughts right now or else I will make you regret it after Tifa-sensei has her way with tenderizing you up."
Jiraiya gulped as Tifa cracked her knuckles effortlessly, "I'll be good."
Naruto smirked, "Nice decision, now let's keep going, Tsunade-dono isn't going to get any younger if we are not making any progress here." With that, the Jinchuuriki began to walk towards the next town with Jiraiya and Tifa right beside him.
They reached one town and Jiraiya went over to Naruto, "Hey, Naruto…do you have any money on you?" The Jinchuuriki raises his eyebrow, "You are really stupid if you think I am going to give you my money when I know you are an author of an international smut series as well as a ninja under Konoha's command."
Jiraiya protested, "I am just trying to protect you from the ninja vices."
"Sounds like you need more protection from these so called vices more than Naruto does, Jiraiya-san." Tifa said in a deadpan tone. Suddenly a huge explosion was heard and Naruto turned to see a huge castle crumbling to the ground and a makeshift shadow of a huge snake, making his eyes narrow in anger, "Orochimaru…he is here, he must be after Tsunade as well."
Jiraiya grew serious, "We better move fast now…let's go." He ordered. The three companions sped off into the streets, weaving in and out of the panicking civilians. Upon reaching the site of the castle, now reduced to rubble, Jiraiya spoke up, "Damn it, it looks like we just missed the both of them."
Tifa glanced over at a nearby wall, "Look at this, whoever this Tsunade or Orochimaru person is, they must have amazing strength to be able to punch through this wall into rubble like that." Jiraiya answered, "That would be Tsunade's work…her second greatest strength is her taijutsu and her amazing chakra control. By utilizing that control, she can push her chakra and release it into a single point to pulverize her enemies. She could send you flying from a single flick even…"
Tifa smiled, "Sounds like a woman I would like to meet in person."
"And you will get that chance once we find her again. At least this tells us that we are close, but Orochimaru is after her too and his intentions for her are not good at all."
Later in the evening, Tifa sighed in exasperation, "WE have been looking all day and we have found her at all, this isn't good at all…it shouldn't be that hard to find a Sennin like that with her gambling luck at all."
Tifa perked up in surprise and shock, "Oh, you have got to be kidding me."
Naruto turned along with Tifa to see a buxom blonde with a small blue diamond in the middle of her forehead, accompanied by a brunette woman with a small clothed pig in her arms. "Tsunade…we finally found you." Jiraiya said in relief.
Jiraiya's group joined Tsunade along with her companions while Tsunade asked, "Why are you looking for me as well?" Naruto said in a matter of fact tone, "So we were right, Orochimaru did contact you." The Slug Sennin turned to them, "First matter, who are these two brats?"
Jiraiya said, "This is Naruto Uzumaki and his friend and taijutsu teacher, Tifa Lockhart. I took them along since I am teaching Naruto some things." Tsunade quirked an eyebrow, "Are you sure about that, Jiraiya? All of your students that you have taught have a tendency of dying young."
Naruto spoke up, "I assure, miss, I plan on living for a long time…I have too much at stake to die this early in my life."
Tsunade said nothing, but turned to her former teammate, "So what is your request from me?"
"Not my request, Sarutobi-sensei sent us to bring you back in order to become the next Hokage. It is time for you and Shizune as well as Tonton to come home."
"I refused to take up the mantle of Hokage, it is a fool's errand." The Slug Sennin replied in a harsh tone.
Shizune whispered in worry, "Tsunade-sama…"
The Jinchuuriki replied, "Ma'am, regardless of what you think of the position we need someone to fill the position. Jiraiya is much better as a spy and likes his freedom way too much, Orochimaru is obviously out of the question and the other candidates are either too lazy or not experienced enough."
"Plus it is your blood, granddaughter of Shodaime Hokage." The Toad Sennin piped up.
"I don't care about what you say, I am not becoming the Godaime at all and I want nothing to do with Konoha." The woman vehemently snapped.
"You do realize that your home is the one that is granting full rights to roam throughout Fire Country without you turning into a missing ninja. Hokage-sama will not hesitate to do what is necessary to bring you back home and you know Jiraiya will get serious if he has to in order to bring you back, Lady Tsunade."
Tsunade growled in anger, "Are you threatening me, boy?"
"No, I am stating the obvious."
"You have no idea what pain that position has caused me."
"Your brother and fiancé are dead! There is nothing you can do to change that, the both of them died fighting for what they believed in, the least you could do is do what they couldn't do at all instead of wallowing in your self-pity with your booze and gambling!" Naruto said.
Tsunade slammed her hand down on the table, "How dare you?"
"Are you sure that you are one of the Legendary Sannin? There are many people who have lost someone to war or on a mission? What makes you any different from them? The only reason that you are even out here is because of Hokage-sama's position! Now the time has come for you to stop running and face the reality that no matter what you do and how far you run, you can't change the past nor hide from your calling."
Tsunade roared in anger, "Outside. Now."
The Kyuubi Jinchuuriki sighed as he walked after Tsunade in the middle of the street to face her. "You are going to pay for your words, brat. I will take you down with one finger!" she shouted. Naruto wordlessly tightened his gloves and moved into a stance, "This should be fun."
The Sennin sprang forward with her finger drawn as if she was going to flick him. Naruto dodged to the left only to block a devastating kick aimed to his ribs. "She is strong." He thought to himself, "But I will show her that I am strong too."
He pushed away her leg and sent a palm strike to her chest, but she caught it and moved her finger forward to flick him in the forehead, but Naruto used his foot to send her arm upwards and used the other to send her off balance.
Tsunade moved her foot back, enabling Naruto to quickly send a hard palm strike to her diaphragm, making her gasp out her lungs full of air and next, he drove his knee into her abdomen before jumping and sending her flying with a roundhouse kick to the face.
"Is that all you got?"
"Hardly, you bastard! Tsutenkyaku!" she shouted as she leaped into the air and slammed her leg downward at the Mako enriched boy. The Jinchuuriki blocked the attack, making the ground where his feet were planted become a crater.
Naruto winced in pain as he felt his bones fracture, mostly around the forearms, "Damn that hurt, no doubt that she has still got it." Pushing her off of him and jumping back while letting his arm hang, Naruto stared at Tsunade, who was surprised, "No one has ever taken on my Tsutenkyaku head on…"
"Until now…you still want to continue this, I can last all day if you need me to."
Tsunade relaxed from her fighting stance, "Why?"
"Why do you care so much about me coming back, you don't even know me, kid."
"I don't know you, but I know pain…but I believe it is stupid to sit there, grieving about it all of the time than to get up and do something productive about it. We have talkers and doers, the talkers…just talk, but it is the doers that makes the changes around this world…so the question is, Tsunade, are you going to talk and whine about your loss or are you going to do something about, so no one will go through the same thing that you have been through."
Tsunade thought to herself silently before looking at Naruto, "Jiraiya…what are you teaching him?"
Jiraiya perked up, "I planned on teaching him the Rasengan."
The Slug Princess looked at him incredulously, "Are you stupid? What business do you have in teaching that jutsu to him at all?"
"Because I believed that he can master it hands down."
"Then I will make a bet with him…if you, Naruto, can master that jutsu in a week, then I will return to Konoha without a fuss, but if you fail, you will hand over your money and cease to be a shinobi." She said in a loud voice, "I'll even throw in this necklace too."
Shizune shouted, "Tsunade-sama, that necklace…"
"Shut up, Shizune!" Her master replied sharply
"What do I care about some trinket?" Naruto questioned the medic with a raised eyebrow.
"This trinket…as you call it is the First Hokage's necklace, it is enough to buy three mountains, so what do you say? Do you accept the terms?"
The Jinchuuriki smirked, "Alright, I will humor you then, Miss Senju…I will accept your conditions, now if you will excuse me, I am going to our hotel…" He began to walk off, but stop and turned around with a slight blush on his face, "Which is um, where again?"
Jiraiya deadpanned, "We didn't get one…Tsunade, where are you staying at?"
"Come on, I will show you." The Slug Sennin replied as she walked towards the hotel with Shizune and Tonton. Shizune stared at the back of Naruto as she thought to herself, "I can't believe he accepted such a thing…the fool has no idea what that necklace's true intentions are. The only one who can wear that necklace of death is Tsunade-sama…"
At the bar, Jiraiya sat next to Tsunade, drinking on sake. "Why did you pick that kid here anyway?" Tsunade asked her old teammate suddenly. The Toad Sennin paused for a moment and answered, "That kid is my godson, but I really can't call him kid anymore…he has gotten very powerful over the years in secret. To tell you the truth if you had let him fight with his sword, he would have given you a hard time."
Tsunade scoffed, "Yeah, right…"
"Ever heard of the Heartless Angel?"
"The one who killed Zabuza Momochi…don't tell me that he…"
"Yep, that was all him…his kenjutsu is very exceptional and if he defeated and killed Zabuza in his element, that means he is very adept, close to being a master possibly. Plus he is the best remainder of what you lost…"
Tsunade glared at the Super Pervert, "I don't need you to remind me what I have lost, Jiraiya!"
"No, I suppose not…but he is right, Tsunade. You need to stop running from your past and go back to the village. I seriously think he is right, you have had enough time to grieve and now it is time to do your duty as a Konoha kunoichi and a member of the Legendary Sannin."
The Legendary Sucker said nothing and nursed her saucer, then Jiraiya asked, "So this deal with Orochimaru…does it involve on bringing back Dan and Nawaki back to life?" Tsunade turned to him in shock and the man said, "Don't act all surprised that I figured it out…besides that is the one thing that you would love most to be brought back to you."
Tsunade said nothing, the Toad Sennin sighed before speaking, "Tsunade…if you take Orochimaru's offer to heal his arms…then I will not hesitate to kill you." The woman replied in a somber tone, "I know…" Meanwhile, Shizune knocked on the door and Naruto opened it to see the apprentice of Tsunade, "May I help you, Shizune-san?"
"Don't take the necklace!"
"I said don't take the necklace, if you do…you will die!"
Naruto chuckled lightly, "Okay, Shizune-san…the bet was that I need to learn the Rasengan in a week and master it completely, the consolidation prize is gaining Tsunade and by proxy, yourself back in the village as well as that necklace. I sense that there is some sort of history behind all this then, yes?"
Shizune nodded silently and the swordsman allowed her inside the room before going to sit in the chair to stare at her with his elbows on his knees with fingers interlocked to rest his chin on them, "Well, then…go ahead."
"A few years back, when Tsunade was a teenager, her brother, Nawaki just turned twelve and he expressed his dream to become Hokage. Tsunade decided to help him out by giving him the necklace in hopes that it would give him strength to attain his dream…but on the day of his birthday, he and his team were sent out to attack an outpost during the war and he fell into an explosive trap…his body was unrecognizable, the only thing that gave his identity to us was that necklace. So she took it back to wear it again only to give it away to a second person…Dan Kato, my uncle and her lover." Shizune spoke in a somber tone.
She paused to wipe her tears and continued, "They met during a council meeting where Tsunade proposed that each squad should have a medical ninja on the team and Dan strongly advocated with that, considering that he lost his younger sister. After that, they began to date each other and soon after a few months, my uncle Dan expressed his feelings about the Hokage position. So once again…Tsunade gave the necklace once again to encourage my uncle to follow his dream…then he was fatally wounded on the battlefield and Tsunade-sama did her best to save him, but he died and it traumatized Tsunade greatly."
Naruto was silent for a moment, "So …you want me to avoid taking the necklace because it cursed the one who wears other than Tsunade?"
"That is correct, I know it sounds stupid, but you have to trust me, Naruto."
"I believe you and I appreciate your concern for me…" Naruto said as he got up, "But I am not backing down and I will be taking that necklace from Tsunade's neck. You didn't discourage me, but you have intrigued me with this matter…looks like I will have to prove you wrong, I could have died many times in my village."
He smirked, "Looks like I have a chance to be unpredictable again and prove that the impossible is possible." With that, the swordsman walked out into the night to train hard at mastering the Rasengan and the intent of claiming the necklace of death from the Slug Sennin's neck.