"Well, that was a clusterfuck, if you don't mind my saying it so," Naruto groaned, even as he threw himself listlessly upon the cot within the cell in which he was placed.
"No really," Rikudo scoffed, sarcasm evident as he glared at his apprentice, "what did you think would happen? That they would welcome you with open arms, and make you the leader of all the three clans combined at once? Do you even think before you speak, boy? Announcing that you can see ghosts is one thing, but you literally pulled that shit out of the air, like a scene from one of those movies which you used to see in the future," the sage snarled, when suddenly he paused, and turned towards Naruto, glaring at him, "You didn't …," he stared at the boy with something akin to horror in his eyes, while Naruto shifted his eyes guiltily.
"Well…," he began with a whine, before seeing the sage's bloodshot eyes and gulped as he began to explain quickly, "It is a cool plan, it has to work, and it is not like they can get the reference, movies will not even be invented for another forty years! Look, we are in the past, we have no way to explain my existence, and for them to accept my status, and your eventual presence, we need to lay it on thick, as much as we can, this has to work," he insisted.
After a few minutes, the sage of the six paths, the once living God of the Ninja world sighed, as he slapped his forehead, "As asinine as it sounds, it just might work, now… tell me everything you have planned," he ordered as he sat in front of the boy, while Naruto grinned.
Meanwhile, in the clan elder's rooms, tempers were at breaking point. After the boy's claim that he had been trained by the ghost of the sage of the six paths himself, the two clan leaders, Madara and Hashirama had snapped. They had the boy removed from their presence and isolated, while they debated what should be done. The elder leader of the Uzumaki had not spoken at all, but had simply sent for the elders of the Senju and the Uchiha to arrive at once.
Senju Touka, who had been a silent spectator since the interrogation's abrupt and rather spectacular end, began to worry as the arguments between the clan leaders began to grow more violent. She didn't want her child's return to end even before it could materialize. Silently, making her way out, she made her way to the room where the boy had been isolated.
After terrorizing the guards posted at the door into petrified stillness, she entered the room, only to find the boy seated in a deep meditative pose.
"I am not disturbing you, am I?" she asked in a calm tone as she looked at her son, who opened his eyes and gazed at her blankly, before shaking to indicate his head that she wasn't.
"So, what is happening over there?" he asked her, while she smiled and sat down.
"Well, you have finally pushed my cousin and Madara-san to the breaking point. They have finally found someone whom they despise more than each other."
"So, what is going on? Why am I here?"
"Well, after what you said, they are literally at the breaking point. Do you have any inkling of what you have done?" she asked, arching her eyebrow.
"Ooh, I don't like the sound of where this is going," Naruto winced, as he looked at her, with a frown on his face.
"Let me explain," she sighed, "You … claimed that you were taught by the ghost of the sage of the six paths. More than that, you said that the sage claimed you as his true descendant and heir. Do you know what you have done? By claiming that, you have just about challenged the very existence of the Senju & the Uchiha clans, and tried to claim their birthright from them. The Senju and the Uchiha are descended from the two sons of the sage, and the Uzumaki are a branch of the Senju. By saying that the sage has claimed you as his heir, you have literally denounced the 900 year history of these clans, claiming that their existence has been based on a lie. How do you think they will respond to that?" she asked as she gazed at him with a wary look in her eyes.
"Damn it," the sage groaned in Naruto's mindscape, while the boy mentally wept tears of blood.
"So, I take it that they are not happy?" he asked, while his mother gazed at him, with a raised eyebrow. The question of are you really that stupid, did not need to be asked.
"Well, it is not exactly what I expected, but their reactions are well within what I anticipated," he shrugged, while Touka did a double-take.
"You …," she whispered aghast, as the boy stood up and began to pace around.
"What are they doing right now?"
"Hashirama believes you are mentally unbalanced, my uncle is of similar mind. Madara believes you have been turned insane by the power of those eyes, and that you are clearly not capable of wielding them. They have sent for the elders of the Senju & the Uchiha. You will be required to provide some proof of your claims, and if you fail …," she faltered, while Naruto smirked.
"Which brings us to the reason as to why you are here, right? Did you really think that even if I escaped by taking advantage of those two idiots outside the door whom you have placed in a genjutsu, that the clans would leave me alone?"
"You noticed?" she asked in shock, while the boy grinned and pointed towards his ringed eyes.
"Don't worry, if I wanted to, I could escape at any time, and there is not a person present here, who can stop me," he grinned, as he sat down.
"But …," Touka was flabbergasted as the boy waved all her concerns aside, and sat down.
"So, they want proof. Well, that is not too hard to provide, but I need to know what kind of people I am dealing with. Can you tell me more about them?"
"Uh … sure," she nodded, as she sat down in front of him.
"Well, first is my uncle, he is the head of the Uzumaki, he has more knowledge and experience than anybody alive today, he is the oldest shinobi in the world as of now," she concluded while at the same time implying that he should be careful when he dealt with the old man.
"Next is the chief elder of the Senju clan, Butsuma senju, he is the former head of the clan, as well as the father of Hashirama and Tobirama. He is a man with very militant views, and believes that all shinobi must be prepared to sacrifice their lives to achieve their aims. He is also very belligerent, and has a short temper."
"Okay," Naruto nodded, man he sounds like a more premature version of Danzo, he thought while his face betrayed no emotions.
"Then there is the chief elder of the Uchiha, Tajima Uchiha. Like his counterpart, he is the previous leader of the Uchiha, and is the father of Madara, and Izuna, and your grandfather. He is a very analytical man, willing to do anything that will bring him an advantage over his enemies."
"Good, that I can use," Naruto replied, while his mind raced with the possibilities. So, he is just like how old man Onooki was, before Gaara got to him. That I can work with.
"Then, there will be Hashirama, Madara & Tobirama," she continued, while Naruto nodded.
"Yeah, I know, the first one is bipolar, the second one is a grouch, and the last one …," he sighed, as Touka finished bluntly, "… is an asshole."
When Naruto looked at her in surprise, she shook her head, "Don't get me wrong, I love Tobirama like a brother, but that doesn't change the fact that he is an asshole. He is a pessimist, who always looks at the negative side of things, and insists on obeying the law to the letter, even at the cost of his, and preferably others lives," she scoffed, while Naruto shook his head in dismay.
Damn, he is like the Sasuke of the Senju clan, only more fanatical.
"And you are certain of this?" an old voice rasped, even as the owner of the said voice looked at the face of the young man, kneeling in front of him.
"Hai, Tajima-sama, the boy is indeed your grandson," Hikaku Uchiha replied, as he looked at his clan elder.
"Never in my wildest dreams would I have dreamed that Izuna would go against the most sacred tenet of our clan, but, there is a silver lining in every cloud I suppose," the old man muttered as he gazed at the sunset in front of him while standing in the porch of his house; while Hikaku stiffened, even from his kneeling position behind the old man.
"At least, my line survives to fight for another day," Tajima Uchiha whispered, as he turned around to face his nephew.
"And you are certain about the boy's bloodline?"
"Hai, Arashi-dono confirmed it beyond a doubt, and it has been authenticated by bloodline tests. The child possesses the Rinnegan. Of that, there is no doubt."
"Hmm…," the old man muttered as he paced around, "Finally, our end of the line has matured. The younger son's line was gifted with our ancestor's chakra, and loath was I, to see it appear fully in Hashirama. Try as we did, we never could unlock the final stage beyond the Mangekyou, in our clan's nine – hundred – year history. Even I had come to believe that the gift of the power of our ancestor's eyes which was granted to our line was a myth, and that he had chosen only his youngest; but now, finally, we have achieved it. And all it took, was for my son to break our most sacred tenet, and sleep with an enemy," he scoffed.
"Regardless of how it was achieved, uncle, I have witnessed the power of those eyes myself. Even at the age of 13, the boy has managed to withhold his own against Hashirama, Tobirama, Madara & Myself, without any extreme effort, and his bloodline is yet to mature. We cannot afford to let him stray from our clan, from his true family," Hikaku muttered, while a calculating look appeared on the older man's face.
"Show me," he commanded, even as his eyes morphed into the sharingan as he looked into his nephew's eyes, which mirrored his actions. For a few minutes, the three tomoe's within each of their eyes whirled like a pinwheel, as one pair of eyes replayed a set of memories, while another watched.
"At last," the old man whispered with a hint of pride in his voice after watching the said memories, "a worthy heir to our glorious line, this youngster will gain for us, all that was denied to us rightfully. What actions has my son taken to bring his nephew to his true family?"
"There were unforeseen complications, uncle, it is better if you witness it yourself," Hikaku muttered, even as the old man looked at his nephew keenly.
After watching a new set of memories, the old man paled considerably, before recomposing himself.
"Let us go, Hikaku, I have a son to guide, and a grandson to gain."
"Father, we cannot allow the boy to go to the Uchiha, it will herald the end of our supremacy over them, and can turn the balance of the conflict to their side," Tobirama spoke harshly, while Butsuma Senju remained pensive as he sat in his chair, while his youngest son knelt in front of him.
"What would you have me do, Tobirama? The ancient laws are very clear. A son, especially one who is the heir, will always belong to the clan of his father, not his mother. Our hands are tied, if we break this law, then it will destroy our credibility, our reputation, and our allies would abandon us, for committing such a treasonous heresy."
"Father, I would lay down my life to uphold the laws, you know that better than anyone. But this is a situation, in which even the law must take a step back; our very survival is at stake here. Hashirama has again reverted to his foolish romanticism. He believes that by handing over the boy to Madara, he can rekindle his friendship with Madara once more, and have peace, a peace that would not last for even three years, before the Uchiha come to destroy us, with this boy leading them."
"What would you have me do?"
"Hashirama is a lost case. Speak with Touka; the boy is already showing signs of attachment towards her, however slight they may be. She is the boy's mother, and the boy has never known the love of his true parents. His attachment to his mother can be the lure that brings him over to us. And through him, we can finally unite the two halves of the bloodline within the confines of the Senju itself."
"What? Explain yourself … now," Butsuma spoke harshly as he gazed at his son, who frowned and narrowed his eyes before speaking.
"He is your grand-nephew, and more to the point, he wields our ancestor's bloodline, in full. I sensed it, father, and those eyes, along with the energy of the boy … they are in perfect harmony. He will be the second coming of the sage, I know it in my soul."
"Hmm …, well it has been too long since the steps of a child were heard in this house. I will speak to Touka, and see to it, that she convinces her child. After all this … even I am eager to meet him."
"There is something else … father, something you should know," Tobirama spoke hesitantly, while his father looked at him in surprise.
"It regards the one, whom the boy claims to have received training from …" he spoke in a low voice, while his father listened in astonishment to the next part of the story.
In the meeting hall of the Uzumaki clan, one day later,
The silence in the hall was absolute. The three clans, who had descended from the sage of the six paths, united, under a single roof, for the first time in a millennia, it was history in the making, and the reason for it, stood in the center of the hall, as all eyes fell upon him.
Standing in the middle of the hall was Naruto Uzumaki, time-traveler, and the chosen apprentice of the founder of the ninja world. In front of him, were the leaders of the three most powerful clans in the world.
Senju Touka stood firmly behind her son, garbed in civilian attire, even as all eyes fell towards them.
She began by giving an introduction of everyone present to her son. The eyes of Tajima Uchiha never wandered from the form of his grandson, not for a second.
Butsuma Senju was looking at mother and son, with an inscrutable look on his face.
Tobirama Senju appeared to be disgruntled, glaring at the boy in a calculative gaze, while Hashirama seemed content, more like at peace with himself, and surprisingly, Uchiha Madara appeared the same.
Uzumaki Arashi, by virtue of his experience, and seniority took the lead.
"My boy, you have leveled some very serious claims, which have the potential to undermine the foundations of the existence of our clans. Should you fail to provide proof, dire penalties shall be levied upon you. Do you understand?" he asked with a gruff tone, while Naruto nodded, while absently noting that Touka's hands were trembling badly.
"What sort of proof would you like me to provide?" the boy asked, surprising everyone in the room.
"Something through which you can prove beyond doubt, that your claims are true; that will suffice," Butsuma Senju replied in a harsh tone, while Naruto nodded.
"Do you have any means through which you can witness a person's memory? Memories can never be faked, so you can be rest assured that what you will see is the truth. Otherwise, you will not believe what I say, no matter how true it is," he replied, while the elders pondered on the question.
"That is indeed an elegant solution, my boy. Otherwise, we will be plagued by claims and counter-claims of authenticity and deceit, by both factions, regardless of the true nature of the evidence provided. As the impartial adjudicator of this council, the Uzumaki clan approves of this step, unless any of you have anything to say," he spoke sternly, as he gazed at Tajima and Butsuma respectively, and after deliberating with their clan members for some time, both clan elders gave their assent.
With a pleased look on his face, Arashi turned to his daughter, "Mito-chan, get the scroll of sealing."
Mito looked perturbed, while her father shook his head, "the severity of the situation demands it, Mito, retrieve the scroll," he ordered, while his daughter nodded, and left the hall.
"Do not think that I do this lightly," he continued as he looked at the other two clan representatives, "Even though we are allied, the Senju have never been granted the right to look at our scroll of sealing, and I take a huge gamble in revealing its existence to the Uchiha. I am about to hand over one of our most prized techniques to both your clans, and I shall expect suitable compensation in the future," he concluded, even as both clan elders nodded grudgingly.
Although if this works, the result should be compensation enough, if what I suspect is true.
After Mito had returned with the scroll, which Naruto recalled instantly as the one which had changed his life in the future, although it was thinner than he remembered. After a few minutes, Arashi had retrieved the required technique, and allowed the members of the Senju & the Uchiha to inspect it, to let them know that they were not being misled in any way.
After both clan elders and heads had confirmed that they were satisfied, Arashi nodded, and moved towards the boy, while Mito gathered the scroll. As she left the room, she glared at her husband for daring to question the honor of her father, while Hashirama cringed. It looked like he would be sleeping on the couch for the next few weeks.
As Arashi approached Naruto, he asked the boy to sit down in the middle of the hall, even as chakra began to appear in his finger-tips, taking the form of Kanji.
"Whoa … I have got to learn how to do that," Naruto exclaimed in wonder, while Arashi smiled.
"If your claim is proved, my boy, then I shall teach you personally," he smiled indulgently, while Naruto's eyes lit up in childish glee.
"Are you serious, old man?" he asked, while Arashi nodded.
"I never go back on my word, that is my nindo," the old man spoke, while Naruto's heart skipped a beat, before he bowed down deeply in gratitude.
Uzumaki Arashi had no idea that he had just earned the eternal gratitude and undying loyalty of his once would-be great-great-grandson. The repercussions of that simple act would have an incalculable impact on the future to come.
As he moved around the boy, a sealing matrix appeared on the floor.
"This seal will pull out an image of your mindscape in the outer world. All you will need to do is to think of the memory, and it will appear on the outside, where all of us will be able to view it. Deceit is impossible, do you understand?" he asked, while Naruto nodded.
"You may proceed, when you are ready," Arashi spoke while Naruto nodded.
I am going to owe my existence in the past to the most awesome and badass movie of all Time. Rurouni Kenshin, Tsuio–Kuhen, you rock! I will ensure that you are remade in the future.
Then, with a nod to the sage, who took over his mindscape, he settled down in deep meditation, while the prepared memory played out.
None of the members in the hall would ever know that they had been duped, not even the old master sealer Uzumaki Arashi, for they were not dealing with just a boy now; they were also dealing with the Sage of the Six Paths, who had returned to guide his descendants back from the darkness that had enveloped them and their world.
Unaware, as the memories came up, everyone leaned in eagerly, to watch.
The scene moved to depict a small caravan moving around in a jungle. Three wagons, within which a few young women were seated, while a few men walked ahead. Next to the middle wagon, a small boy of eight years walked, smiling as he held a small candy in his hand, while one of the girls in the wagon smiled at him.
To everyone watching, it was plainly evident that it was Naruto at mainly eight years old.
Everyone marveled at the clarity of the view, while Arashi frowned. Though he had not mentioned it, the technique was quite chakra intensive, and from the literally life-like clarity being depicted, it was clear that the boy was expending a huge amount of his chakra, with nary a concern on his face, nor did it appear as if he had even felt the drain.
Frowning, he returned to the memories, deciding that he would look into it later.
Suddenly, out of the wilderness, a group of bandits charged in, with swords brandished, yelling loudly, as the members of the caravan shrieked and tried to run. With ruthless abandon, the bandits began a methodical slaughter of the members of the caravan. Shredding limbs, ruthlessly impaling their victims with their sharp spears and their blades, while the little boy watched with fear in his eyes.
With trembling hands, the little boy picked up a fallen sword, and gingerly made his way towards them, when one of the girls from the middle wagon, covered his mouth and dragged him back, while covering him with her body, while her companions huddled around her.
One of the girls ran towards the bandits, pleading as she screamed, "Please spare the child," even as the bandit ruthlessly cut her down.
The girl holding the boy whispered, "Naruto! Naruto! You are just a child. You have not yet chosen your life, as we have been able to. You cannot die now, you must live. Live a full life for the sake of those who died today," she whispered frantically, even as one of the bandits yanked her by her hair and held her upright, before driving a sword through her neck.
Gurgling, the girl fell down, whimpering as she clutched the blade, even as she looked at the boy, and whispered, "Live," as her eyes closed for the last time.
The silence within the hall was so severe, that one could have heard a pin drop. All the ninjas watched, with a hardened glint in their eyes, while Mito and Touka eyed the boy with a bit of sympathy in their eyes. Accustomed to death and violence as they were, even they could not help but wince as they noticed the brutal slaughter, before their shinobi training set in, and hardened their minds to the violence that played out before their eyes.
Finally, as the boy was left alone, one of the bandits moved towards him, even as the boy whimpered in fear. As the man neared him, suddenly there was an unearthly scream from the bandit, who screamed and fell down holding his head, before he stilled and died, foaming at the mouth.
The boy stared numbly at the man, unaware that his eyes had mutated, and had changed, causing that death in the first place.
"Is that when he awakened his bloodline?" Tajima Uchiha muttered, while looking at the scene, even as everybody else became pensive.
"It seems that the imminent threat to his life forcibly awakened it," Madara muttered, as everybody nodded in agreement.
"Quite similar to how the Sharingan is awakened, albeit in a more extreme manner," Tobirama observed in a rather sulking tone, while the others remained silent.
As the boy remained catatonic, one of the bandits approached the boy in rage, with his sword raised, but the boy did not react a bit to the imminent threat. Suddenly, the bandit turned around as he heard a few screams, and turned around only to watch two of his fellows being literally quartered.
Out of the darkness, a lone figure appeared, wielding a sword. He had long, spiky hair flowing backwards, in a style similar to Madara Uchiha's. He wore what appeared to be a cloak with a high open collar and armor similar to that which was worn by Hashirama Senju, showing his necklace with six red magatama. And a Shakujo staff was strapped to his back.
As he appeared closer, it was revealed that he had a somewhat angular face, with his lengthy black hair which was tied in a pony tail, and a phenomenally developed physique. His cloak was revealed to be a white colored ankle-length cloak, with red collars and trimmings at the bottom.
"Who the hell are you? You bastard …," the bandit roared, even as he charged at the man in a blind rage.
"You are about to die, so it is pointless for you to know my name," the man whispered, and before the blink of an eyelid, the bandit had been literally vaporized as a pile of ashes fell at the man's feet.
With a roar, the rest of the bandits charged at the man, who sighed, and pointed out with his palm facing the bandits, and uttered a single phrase, "Shinra Tensei"
The effect was instantaneous. All of those men were literally shredded into nothing, as the very skin was shredded from their bones, while their skeletons themselves shattered into pieces, and a small hailstorm of bone pieces showered the area.
Silence, utter horrified silence reigned in the hall. Veterans they were, enough power they had to literally reshape the landscape, and yet the sheer scale of the power displayed visibly nauseated them, the greatest ninjas of the current era, as they watched whom they now knew unquestionably to be the god of their sect; the sage of the six paths, even as they watched him bringing down dozens of men, with devastating ease.
"He was not lying, he really was not," Arashi's voice trembled, as his very body shook with wondrous awe as he watched their ancestor, with shock wide open to see for everyone in his eyes.
"Never had I imagined that I would live to see this day," Tajima Uchiha whispered in awe, while Butsuma Senju could not even open his mouth at the sheer enormity of the moment.
Madara, Tobirama, Hashirama and the others could only mutely nod.
"Glad I am that the boy did not use that technique in full power as he faced us," Hikaku whispered, as he now realized that the boy had used the same technique the sage had used, during their battle in the village. Tobirama suddenly paled and swallowed nervously as he too remembered the battle in the village.
"It was fate that led me to this path, tonight," the man spoke even as he cleaned his blade, and sheathed the sword, while approaching the boy. "Bearing a grudge against these men, will not bring your loved ones back. Revel in the fact that you survived," the man advised the child, even as he turned around and left.
Then, the view changed, and the visitors noticed that it had become daylight. As the man, whom the viewers now knew to be the sage, returned to the same area, they noticed the surprise on his eyes and face. Then all of them noticed that the landscape itself had changed, and they all noticed that dozens of graves had been dug, and multiple crosses had been stuck, one on each grave.
"I notice that you've made graves for both the bandits and your family," the man spoke, while the boy retorted calmly, "they were not my family, they were slave traders. I was sold to them after my guardians died."
"Guardians?" the man asked confused, while the boy replied, "my birth parents abandoned me and handed me over to a family in the land of rain. Even though I was not their child by blood, they cared for me as their own. They died of cholera two months ago, and then I was caught by some ronin and sold to those slavers. Anyway, after death, they are neither bandits nor slavers, they are just corpses."
"What are those stones for?" the man asked as he pointed out to three graves which had been dug more dutifully, with three small stones placed as grave stones upon them.
"Hinata-san, Sakura-san, Ino-san, I only met them yesterday, but I wanted to protect them. I was the only boy in the group, yet they tried to protect me. 'Please spare the child' they said. I wanted them to have special graves, so I wanted good stones. These were the only ones I could find, but I have no flowers to put upon them."
The man slowly walked towards the graves, and uncorked a bottle, as he poured sake over the gravestones. "It is unfortunate to have entered nirvana without tasting good sake, so this is my tribute to them."
"Thank you," the boy whispered in surprise, as he looked at the man who turned around.
"I have many names, but I am usually known nowadays as the Rikudo Sennin, or as some people call me, by the title of 'The Sage of the Six Paths'. I am what one would call as a ninja," the man spoke with a thin smile adorning his lips as he turned around to look at the boy.
"Ninja?" the boy asked in wonder, even as the man looked at him with seriousness in his eyes.
"My boy, you failed to protect something very delicate. You were entrusted with those three lives. Your tiny hands will remember how heavy their bodies were," he mentioned even as he looked at the boy's palms, which were covered with grime and blood, and continued, "but you will carry the far heavier weight of their lives with you forever. You have already carried them. Now, you must acquire the strength to support yourself and protect others. Then, you will be able to live your life, and defend cherished lives."
"Defend cherished lives?" the boy asked in confusion, even as the man nodded and put his arm around the child's shoulders.
"Boy, what is your name?"
"Naruto, a worthy name, for a gutsy child like you. I am going to teach you, boy. Teach you my forte! The art of ninshu!" he spoke with a proud voice, as they watched the sun set together.
Suddenly, the memory shattered, and the seal died out even as the boy's eyes opened.
"What happened?" Hikaku asked, with a dazed tone, as he was still enraptured with what he had seen.
"Why did you stop?" Mito asked with a trembling voice, as she looked at the boy with wonder in her eyes.
"Rikudo-sama has permitted me to show you only this much," the boy spoke quietly, as a deathly silence prevailed in the chamber.
"The sage? You speak with him?" Tajima asked in wonder, as he looked at his grandson, who nodded.
"He is with me, as always. He is still in this chamber, though you cannot see him. He says that you are yet to earn the right to hear his voice. When the time is right, I am to show you the next set of memories, so that I may pass on his commandments, to you, who are his descendants," Naruto shrugged, while everyone became still.
Then, as one, every single member in the hall, stood up, and then knelt before him, and bowed down deeply.
"You have done us an honor that is beyond compare, one that we can never hope to match, grandson of mine," Tajima whispered, even as everybody nodded.
"Thank you, but please rise, you are making me uncomfortable," Naruto replied quietly, at which everyone stood up, while he continued, "because master has just told me to which clan I belong, and he wishes me to pass on a message to all of you," he concluded, as everyone watched at him with rapt attention.
Damn, it took me more than two years, but I finally did it, I finally cracked the barrier that was the writer's block. In hindsight, the wait proved useful, as the latest chapters of the manga provided me a wealth of information with regards to the clan wars era, which I could finally use to revive this story from its dead slump.
Now, this chapter may be a bit shaky, but I did manage. Due credit goes to Rurouni Kenshin, whose elements I have incorporated and modified, for use in this chapters.
A couple of points. Some of you may feel that I have portrayed Tobirama harshly, but know this, I am by no means bashing that character. It is integral to the story. Bashing characters is something I simply don't do.
Yes, the sage's appearance was a mix between that of Seijuro Hiko from Rurouni Kenshin, with a snippet of Naruto canon details. And for the lack of focus, on his Rinnegan within this chapter, that was intentional. We have multiple sets of fake and real memories to view in future chapters, in which everything will be explained.
Please don't expect another update for at least two months. I am trying to revive 'Reverse the pendulum' next, but the new directions that Bleach has taken, might provide a bit of problems. I am trying to get around that as we speak.
Well, that is life.
Thank you once again, for waiting so patiently for this update. I promise, this is one story that I will not abandon, no matter what.
SNIPPETS OF FUTURE CHAPTERS:
" I will join the ... clan"
"Nobunaga-sama, our spies bring word that Lord Tokugawa Ieyasu of the Land of Fire, has managed to unify the ninja clans of the Iga province, and has sworn them to his service. The Uzumaki, Uchiha & Senju clans have united to form a ninja village, which is a direct threat to our existence and warrior code. We await your orders, sire!"
"I told you that I would show you the next set of memories, when Rikudo-sensei deemed you were ready. You are … now. Please bring me the Uchiha Stone tablet, the Senju tree bark parchment, and the Uzumaki scroll of sealing, so that I may unlock the sage's commandments to his descendants."