Chapter 5: Conspiracies and a Reunion with the Past
By: Terror of the Azure Flame
I don't own Naruto because Kishimoto does. If I did then Naruto wouldn't have to deal with the king of 'emo' and he would be a god among men.
During Naruto's fight against Mizuki he dies but Kyuubi saves him by unlocking a power not seen since the Yondaime Hokage. What is the secret behind the two blades Naruto now possesses and what other secrets lay behind his new power and abilities? This will be a Naruto/Bleach crossover and a narutoxharem with character bashing.
"Talking" normal talk
'thinking' normal thinking
"blah!" Bijuu/summon talking
"blah!" Bijuu/ summon thinking
I would like to apologize to all of my readers for the long delay in posting more to this story since it has been more than entire year since my last posting. Hopefully, I can now commit more of my time to working on this once again to the best of my abilities. I have read over reviews of some of my readers and there are some or your ideas for my story that I have taken into consideration and may include them. I don't want to get into a long rant over my extended absence so now onto the story and I hope you continue to enjoy this Naruto fanfic.
Team Eight made their way out of the Konohagakure along with their client on their mission to escort the heiress back to her village. Ayane was riding along in a horse-driven carriage with Hinata and Kurenai riding along with her inside to keep her company as well as stay close for her protection. Shino was riding up front with the driver to keep a forward lookout for any sign of trouble while Anko and Naruto ran alongside them to either side near the rear to watch for an attack from the woods. They were at least expecting a bandit attack since the area they were in was known for bandit raids of caravans that made their way to Konoha despite their close proximity to the village. They had only left Konoha a few hours ago with both Anko and Kurenai being downright pissed at Kakashi for his sexist belief that they couldn't handle this mission since they were kunoichi but it wasn't surprising since many look down upon kunoichi since they were physically weaker than Shinobi with few exceptions such as Tsunade, the Slug Sannin and Kushina Uzumaki, the Red Death. They already knew that ever since the events of team eights genin test he had been quite sore and always tried to get one over on them especially when it was a matter that involved Naruto which was quite sad.
Despite the fact that Kakashi was considered a prodigy and was a well-known Shinobi he was quite petty and fell in with the majority of the villagers and their hatred of Naruto with his burden of containing the Kyuubi no Youko. One would think that with the fact that he was trained by the Yondaime Hokage he would have more faith in the choice that Minato made of making Naruto the jinchuuriki of the Kyuubi and the fact that he was an extremely skilled in fuuinjutsu but Kakashi could only see Naruto as the Kyuubi in a weak human form and the reason he lost his sensei in the first place. It didn't help the fact that he always tried to portray his team as being stronger than their genin since he had the Last Uchiha on his squad along with the Inuzuka heir and the top kunoichi at the academy, Sakura. Kakashi took a lot of pride in the fact that he was able to train the 'rookie of the year' but many knew the main reason was because he was the only one in the village that could train Sasuke in the use of his sharingan once he awakened his kekkai genkai and not because he was a great teacher since this would be the first team he had ever trained since his retirement from Anbu.
It quickly became known to Anko and Naruto that team seven could barely be considered a legitimate genin squad since they had absolutely no teamwork at all since the Anbu squad that watched over Naruto had a few of their members spy on the training of the other genin squads to evaluate their abilities and report back to the Sandaime. As a team they mainly performed teamwork drills to try developing their nonexistent teamwork skills with Kakashi reading his porn while merely watching over his students with an occasional comment to correct them on their mistakes. He mainly interacted with his team whenever Kiba and Sasuke butted heads over who was the superior member of their squad with Sakura always siding with the Uchiha as his loyal fangirl and Kiba turning on the pink-haired howler monkey. However, when their training sessions ended he would always hold Sasuke back and give him additional training in taijutsu and ninjutsu while feeding the boys ego on his superiority of his kekkai genkai over all others. If not for the fact that Kiba received additional training from his own clan mainly his mother and sister then, he would've been left behind by the Uchiha. It wouldn't have mattered to Sakura if she knew of Sasuke's additional training or not since she believed that if anything were to happen to her then Sasuke would always come to her rescue while proclaiming his undying love for her. Amongst the new rookie genin only teams eight and ten had any interactions with each other outside of training with only a few interactions with team nine such as their training swaps. Although, it was rather difficult for all the members of the two teams to get along with each other with the fact Neji and his hate for Hinata was growing with Shino and Naruto being added to the list since the two boys were very protective of the Hyuga heiress. Plus, the jealous tension between Hinata, Ino, and Tenten since the three girls were constantly vying for the attention of Naruto despite the fact the blonde was seemingly oblivious to their wants. It was rather amusing to see that the village pariah was gaining quite a bit of popularity amongst the female population since his changes despite many still hating him.
However, those were matters for another time as team eight were going to make sure that Kitima heiress made it safely back to Uzurai while under their care. The three genin had been instructed to use their various abilities to keep an eye out for any signs of an enemy attack from bandits or even the possibility of rogue shinobi. Hinata was using her Byakugan every so often to scan the immediate surroundings while Shino had some of his Kikaichu scouting the area while relaying information to him of anything of interest that they detected. Naruto was probably the most adaptable to the situation since he was able to summon large numbers of Kage bunshins and have them henge into various animals while spreading out in a perimeter around them to act as an early warning system since if they saw something suspicious then, they would dispel and Naruto would know what they saw. With his clones he able to cover more distance than Hinata's Byakugan could see and without having to wait on the delayed time for Shino's Kikaichu to relay messages to him he could help them come with a defense more quickly if they were attacked. He also utilized an additional technique called 'Chakra Sonar' which worked by having the user send out of pulse of chakra and whenever the pulse came into contact with another chakra source it would bounce back to the user and depending on the size of the echo one could tell whether it was an animal or a person. One of Naruto's Anbu guard had taught him the technique and it took him a while to get it down because he had a hard time distinguishing the difference in the chakra echoes but now he was easily able to distinguish the difference between animals, civilians, and Shinobi due to the properties of each echo. Anko and Kurenai found it funny that despite the fact Naruto was never considered to be a tracker he was fully capable of being one since due to him being the jinchuuriki of the Kyuubi his senses had also been enhanced with his sense of smell being on par or even better than an Inuzuka. They both came to realize that with all of the enhancements that Naruto had received from Kyuubi over the years his body was fully adapted to the Shinobi lifestyle. This was in fact the case with all jinchuuriki since each of the Bijuu wanted to ensure the survival of their hosts while they were contained until the time they could be released again back into the world to roam so it was only natural for them to make sure their containers were as strong as possible. It was also due to the fact that according to what sort of fuuinjutsu was used to bind them to their host they may be allowed to roam free upon the death of the jinchuuriki or sent to Makai where they would have to remain for one year according to how many tails they possessed before they would reform in the land of the living again.
Hinata and Kurenai were currently passing the time away by conversing with Ayane about their different lifestyles with the Kitima heiress being very interested in the life of Shinobi. Ayane found it fascinating the Hinata was a part of the Hyuga clan who were considered to be nobility as well while at the same time being a Shinobi family and was impressed how she was able to balance the two out.
"I wish that I was able to live the sort of life that you are able to, Hinata-san. I have always been fascinated by the stories I have heard from Shinobi that passed through my village and wanted to take part in that sort of adventurous lifestyle and get away from the monotonous everyday life I was living." Ayane said.
"Our lifestyle isn't as simple or as glamorous as many believe it to be since a Shinobi tend to lead very short lives. There is always the danger of a mission going bad with you or your comrades being injured or killed and also the threat of invasion of your home village by another village or even a group that is strong enough to attack one. Luckily, we haven't had any major wars since the last great Shinobi war which caused the deaths of many good Shinobi that could've probably become great if not for the fact their lives ended so abruptly." Kurenai said.
Ayane smiled, slightly. "Oh, I am quite aware of how dangerous the life of a Shinobi is since there are quite a few retired ones living in Uzurai and I have had the chance to sit down and talk with each of them from time to time. I would just like to have a little bit of adventure every once and awhile to spice things up a little and a little bit of danger may sound a little overwhelming but if I had someone like Naruto-san with me then, I'm sure I would be fine."
Kurenai raised an eyebrow at the last statement. "I still would like to know how it is that you know of Naruto-kun when you claim you have never met before this mission since you did specifically request for a team that he was a member of. I would've been a little suspicious of you and think that you were trying something against him but he isn't known outside of the village. I also find it strange that with the fact that you are heiress to your clan that you traveled alone to the village to conduct the dealings in the first place without any attendants considering you are only in your late teens. So my question is how do you know of him?"
Ayane giggled. "As I stated before I am acquainted with someone that is quite familiar with Naruto-san but I can't give you the identity of this person other than she is a woman as well. As to why I am the one attending to these dealings is quite a simple reason with my father being bedridden because of health problems at the moment and can't really handle affairs for the village. My mother is running our village in his stead and I have been groomed to handle these sorts of things from a very young age by accompanying him on his various outings in the past to get me accustomed to them. I don't have any attendants with me at the moment since they were handling other bits of business in Konoha and I wanted to return to my father's side as soon as possible. I had heard so much about Naruto-san that I wanted to meet the young man my friend spoke so highly of and that was why I requested you and your team to be my escorts back over my originals."
"Ano, Naruto-kun must know this person if she speaks so highly of him." Hinata said.
Ayane nodded. "I am not allowed to tell you the full scope of their relationship but I can say that at one point she did live in Konoha and that was how she was able to become acquainted with Naruto-san."
Kurenai frowned at this. 'If this mystery woman is from Konoha then, she may be aware of Naruto-kun status as the Kyuubi jinchuuriki. If she was a spy for another village then this may be a ploy to get him away from the village by using Ayane-san as a cover to get him away from the village so that they can capture him. I need to warn Anko and the others that we may have to worry about an attack from Shinobi in the near future.'
Kurenai could tell that appeared not to have any evil intentions towards Naruto but she couldn't be entirely sure since with the fact that someone that was originally from Konoha had knowledge of the young Uzumaki was not very comforting. This was added to the fact that from her own knowledge of how the villagers treated the young jinchuuriki as if he was the Kyuubi reincarnate it seemed highly unlikely that anyone would think very highly of him. She already knew that he had very few friends amongst his peers and only a few of the civilians actually treated him like the hero that he was such as the Ichiraku's and many of the Shinobi just barely tolerated his existence. It was sad that so many of the villagers praised the Yondaime Hokage for his genius and skills with his deed of defeating Kyuubi being considered his greatest achievement but at the same time they had so little fate in the seal that was used to keep the Bijuu locked away inside of Naruto's body. Ever since she had first witness Naruto's training that time she had been intrigued by the young blond and despite the fact she never got the chance to do anything for while he was younger she has grown to care for him ever since he became her pupil. It was even a shock to her that she was actually able to teach him some of her genjutsu although they were some of her low level ones but it was still surprising since even Naruto himself had admitted that he wasn't any good with genjutsu due to his large chakra reserves. She was not aware that Naruto was able to manage his chakra a lot better ever since Kyuubi was able to teach him a chakra control exercise called 'Chakra Spinning'. This was an exercise that had been used by both of her previous jinchuuriki to help them deal with the massive amount of chakra they possessed but she hadn't told him this so he was made to believe it was something she had learned in her journeys in the past. The idea behind the exercise was to force your chakra to flow in the opposite direction than it normally would and then, focus on compressing it into a tightly packed orb at your chakra center while maintaining the flow. This had an effect of help an jinchuuriki suppress the excess chakra that would normally bleed out of them on a constant basis and make it more difficult for one to be detected by a chakra sensor. This also had an added effect when Naruto stopped suppressing his chakra to create a brief moment of extreme pressure that is felt by everyone in a twenty meter radius of him in the same way as how Hyôrinmaru and Senbonzakura had taught him how to do with his reiryoku. She was glad that she was able to become the sensei to Naruto as well as Hinata along with Shino and she promised herself that she would train them as best she could so that they could grow to be strong amongst their generation of Shinobi.
She focused her attention back onto the conversation between Ayane and Hinata with the Hyuga heiress explaining to the other girl what she and the others had went through during their time at the academy. It didn't really matter what was about the academy since all they really focused on was history and the practical things that every Shinobi learned.
"Is trading with Konohagakure the only type of commerce for Uzurai, Ayane-san?" Hinata asked.
"No, we receive the income to support our village through various other means. While the selling of chakra conductive metals is one of our primary revenues Uzurai does deal with other precious ores that are used throughout Hi no Kuni. This is how Uzurai and many other villages like my own can make business with Konohagakure and even the samurai that guard the daimyo use our metals in the making of their swords since I've been told that they used some chakra related techniques." Ayane replied.
"Yes, Naruto-kun said that before and even the swords that he uses are capable of special techniques that he says only he can do since it's a part of his kekkai genkai so it isn't something that myself or my teammates could learn. It is the same for me and Shino as well since we have techniques that are exclusive to us that anyone not a member of our family can't learn." Hinata said.
Ayane nodded at this as their conversation continued on various topics between the two girls with the occasional input from Kurenai on various matters. Meanwhile, Anko, Shino, and Naruto were also engaged in conversation over some recent developments in their training much to the confusion of the carriage driver since he knew very little of the Shinobi lifestyle only that they were capable of some pretty amazing feats. The three remaining members of team eight were discussing some of their recent team strategies that utilized each of their strengths. Hinata was considered a close range taijutsu specialist because of her use of Jyuuken but she did have a few Suiton ninjutsu in her arsenal to give her more avenues to attack from since they learn she possessed a water affinity that she was able to learn from Naruto since he possessed affinities for fire, water, and wind. The Hyuga heiress was also even able to use genjutsu effectively due to her precise chakra control a fact that made Kurenai proud that she could pass her prized art onto at least one of her students. She was also continuing to work on her own version of Jyuuken with Naruto being her normal sparring partner since he was able to recover more quickly from Jyuuken strikes due to his use of Kyuubi's chakra or his reiryoku in order to open his tenketsu and even went as far as adding her water affinity into some of her attacks with various results of efficiency. Shino was considered a mid to long range specialist since the Aburame were never really known for their taijutsu but was able to incorporate kenjutsu into his offensive repertoire but not much in the way of ninjutsu despite the fact he possessed an earth and fire affinity. The reason being that because of the Aburame's symbiosis with their Kikaichu feeding on their chakra in order for them to bond with their host they didn't really possess much remaining chakra to use for any type of ninjutsu higher than c-rank ones due to the high chakra cost that was why Anko had asked Yuugao to teach him some Kenjutsu. The Aburame had even suggested the idea of a special sword that was hollowed out in its design to allow him to have some of his Kikaichu reside within the blade during combat so that whenever he clashed blades against his opponent they could quickly latch onto his opponent and drain their chakra. Naruto was able to attack from all ranges but was mostly known for his close range taijutsu and kenjutsu but also had various ninjutsu to augment his fighting style since he possessed three affinities which were believed to be contributed to the fact that he was the Kyuubi jinchuuriki since most jounin only possessed two affinities at the most. He normally utilized his wind chakra in conjunction with either Hyôrinmaru or Senbonzakura to increase their cutting edge even though the spirits of his zanpaktou assured him that they were already capable of cutting through most ordinary weapons and would only have a slight bit of resistance against more specialized chakra blades because of they were normally augmented with his reiryoku to increase their cutting edge. He knew this for certain but could never be to certain that something would happen to them and since they were a part of his soul he wanted to make sure they always remained in pristine condition. He was also working more on his kekkai genkai techniques that could only be used by him since it required only the use of reiryoku that Hyôrinmaru and Senbonzakura were instructing him making him even more versatile when you added in his ability to use what were known as Kido spells which could be used for attacking, binding, defense, and healing along with Shunpo in conjunction with his zanjutsu he was a well-rounded Shinobi.
Naruto looked around his surroundings as he took in the view of the countryside. "Still can't believe that this is the first time I've actually had the chance to explore outside of the village and really see what the outside world looks like." Naruto mused aloud.
"Well, we tried to get permission from the Hokage to take you outside of the village for training but he didn't want to risk something unexpected happening so he didn't allow it. I don't know why he thought something would happen since you would've had nine Anbu level Shinobi protecting you at all times while we trained you but we couldn't disobey a direct order from our superior." Anko said with a nonchalant shrug.
"Jiji was probably worried that the civilian council would learn that I was outside of the village walls and raise a huge stink over saying that I wasn't being properly watched or that I would go berserk and kill you and the others before escaping. Even if we were attacked by Missing Nin and one of you guys got hurt they would've tried to put the blame on me and call for my execution to remove the village 'taint'." Naruto said with a slight frown as he thought of the civilian council.
Shino raised an eyebrow. "Why would the civilian council want to have you executed for simply leaving the village for training? It is illogical for them to want to cause harm to someone that would become one of their future protectors. You are a known orphan with your only crime against the villagers have been harmless pranks that many Shinobi find amusing."
"Because humans always look to get rid of what they don't understand or deem unnatural instead of coexisting with what may be beneficial to them in the future." Kyuubi suddenly said with Naruto ignoring her for the moment.
"Well, civilians aren't the most logical people around since there are many things about the Shinobi lifestyle that they know nothing about yet those on the council think that they Shinobi should bow down to them and their wishes even if two-thirds of Konoha's population are the Shinobi and Kunoichi that protect them. There is a rumor going around that my parents were traitors to the village and that once I get enough training that I will follow in their footsteps and become a threat to the village." Naruto lied.
Anko snorted as she caught onto the lie. "As if we would've allowed that to happen to our favorite little gaki in the first place and with the clan heads on your side then, you didn't have much to worry about. They could get all prissy if they wanted to but the moment they tried to pull a fast one on you I would've shown them why I'm a former Anbu and second-in-command of the Anbu Interrogation and Torture division when I introduced them to my snake summons."
Naruto shuddered for a moment as he remembered whenever Anko would use her summons to help with his training when he was younger and now with his teammates while at same time mentally grinning at the thought of the civilian council being on the opposite of the summons. A sudden thought occurred to him as he turned his gaze to the former 'Hebi' masked Anbu operative.
"Anko-sensei, I've been meaning to ask you why you left the Anbu in the first place and became a regular jounin sensei?" Naruto asked.
"I thought you would've figured that out by now, gaki. The reason why I retired from Anbu was because I wanted to get the chance to be your jounin sensei but didn't expect Hokage-sama to let me and Nai-chan train you and your friends since most teams only have one jounin sensei but I'm not complaining. You still are my favorite gaki and their still some more things that I want to teach you so now I got plenty of time to do that without Anbu missions interfering." Anko replied with a grin.
Naruto nodded at this bit of info. "Were you the only one that wanted to be my sensei?"
Anko smiled. "You should know that was hardly going to be the case, Naru-chan. Each one of us wanted the chance to be your full-time jounin instructor so we had a few contests to decide who get the chance and I was lucky to win."
Naruto sighed as this was nothing new amongst his Anbu guard from back during his days of training with them before and during his academy days. Since each were still considered full-time Anbu members they were limited on the time they could all spend with him at any given moment. Hiruzen made sure to give them as much free time as possible in order for them to train Naruto but they had to keep up the appearance of being a part of the regular Anbu forces since they were some of his best operatives. If the amount of missions they took were to decrease then, people like Danzo or even the more intelligent members of the civilian council would grow suspicious and begin making inquiries into their actions. No one needed to know that the Sandaime was having his Anbu training Naruto to become the type of Shinobi that the Yondaime wanted him to be since if he had stuck to his original plan of Naruto living the life of a regular orphan then, he really would've been the dead-last of his graduating class and would've struggled through his career until someone would've cared enough to properly train him. He was brought out of his musings by Shino's voice as he was questioning Anko about something as he focused back onto the conversation.
"Anko-sensei, is it possible that while we are in Uzurai that I commission them for an order of chakra metal to be shipped to Konoha? I've already made plans to request Higarashi-san to begin construction of the hollow blade that we've discussed as I would like to implement my kenjutsu training as soon as possible." Shino inquired.
Anko nodded. "Yeah, we should be in the village long enough for you to take care of that. I've already talk to a friend of mine and she's agreed to teach you some kenjutsu basics to get you started and I plan on working on your earth affinity as well once we get back. The Chuunin exams will be starting in Konoha in a couple of months so me and Nai-chan have to make sure the three of you are ready to put the smack down on Kakashi's brats especially the Uchiha and that howler monkey he has for a pet." Anko finished with a predatory grin as she envisioned the humiliation they would suffer at the hands of her team.
Naruto shook his head and sighed. "You just want us to beat team seven so that you can brag to Kakashi that the three of us beat his team if we have to face them during the exams." Anko's grin widened causing Naruto to adopt one as well. "I don't have that much of a problem with that since Uke-chan has been really getting on my nerves with all his demands to fight him and he has the guts to demand that I give him my swords and teach him my techniques or he'll tell the council to revoke my Shinobi registration or some other crap. With the most of the village praising the greatness of the last Uchiha loyal to Konoha has caused Sasuke to gain an ego the size of the Hokage Mountain with his belief that everyone else is beneath him. I never really liked the Uchiha very much after I learned about how their kekkai genkai worked and how they gained a lot of their techniques by taking them from others whether it was an ally or an enemy. The only downside to their copying ability was that if they didn't have the affinity for it the jutsu wasn't as effective as it normally would be or if the chakra cost was higher than what they were capable of then, they couldn't perform the jutsu with the risk of chakra exhaustion if they tried to force the technique to work which could easily lead to death. An example of this would be an Uchiha with only enough chakra reserves to perform c-rank jutsu trying to perform an S-rank jutsu that they copied from another would lead to death because it would drain all of their chakra once the final seal was used."
Shino nodded. "Yes, that would be a true conclusion of one of the abilities of the Sharingan of the Uchiha and I've heard from many of my fellow clan members of how they gained much of their fame as warriors before the founding of Konoha and through all three great Shinobi wars. In regards to Sasuke-san my father has mentioned in the past that he has made demands of all of the other clans to be taught any of our techniques that could prove useful to him in order for him to get strong enough for him to defeat Itachi-san and regain the honor of his clan. Many have said that he has made claims to avenge his clan as well as resurrect it to its former glory but has only been shown to be interested in gaining power."
"The gaki is only interested in gaining power and like Naru-chan said he has a huge ego to go along with that classic Uchiha superiority complex that they all seemed to have with a few exceptions. From what I've seen of his training he does know a few good jutsus and is pretty proficient in the use of Uchiha taijutsu but without his sharingan he can't use it to its full capacity since the style is like Naru-chan's as it requires the user to react accordingly to an opponent's attack then, counter it. He's an above average genin but he has a long way to go before he will even stand a chance at facing of someone like Itachi who was capable of single-handedly massacring his entire clan in the span of one night." Anko said. "As to his desire to resurrect his clan he has to at least take an interest in at least one girl but he's to obsessed with his revenge and if he tries to go after Itachi anytime soon he'll be killed and that would be the end of the Uchiha clan and their sharingan in Konoha since Kakashi can't pass his own since he isn't a full-blooded Uchiha."
Naruto nodded. "I remember Itachi-san from when he was among some of the Anbu that would watch over me and from hearing how he was a prodigy on par with the Sannin and even the Yondaime Hokage himself. I don't really understand the why someone as gifted and skilled as him who was loyal to the village would suddenly just turn rogue while killing his own family like that." Anko could only shrug while Shino remained silent as he had no answer as well.
'Good riddance to that blight on my record. They were nothing more than power hungry thieves and all that remains of them are a pathetic runt and a traitor.' Kyuubi sneered.
Naruto blinked at the unexpected comment and wondered what Kyuubi had against the Uchiha clan in the first place but decided he would wait until later to speak to his inner demon. The trio lapsed back into silence with the occasional comment between the three while remaining focus on their surroundings in search of any foreign chakra signatures. It was long before they had to settle down for the night to rest since if they would reach the village of Uzurai around early afternoon if they continued to move at their current pace. As they set up for camp Shino and Naruto were assigned to gather wood for a fire while Hinata and Kurenai gathered some fresh fish from a nearby stream they had positioned their camp next to. Anko used a doton jutsu to create a small depression in the ground so that they could build a fire inside of it so that the flame wouldn't be too visible to any passerby and decrease their chance of an enemy attack. Within moments everything was gathered together with everyone settled down to eat the provided fish while lightly conversation. Shino found it amusing how his fellow male was feeling rather uncomfortable with the fact that Naruto was surrounding by all four females with Kurenai and Anko seated on his left and Ayane and Hinata on his right as close as possible to the blond Uzumaki. Even the driver found it amusing to see the heiress trying to get close an outsider to their village as he already knew that Naruto was the young Shinobi she had wanted to meet her entire time she was in konoha because of their mutual acquaintance. They quickly settled in for the night and when the sun arouse to announce the next day they each set about to quickly freshen themselves up before returning to the road to continue their journey.
As the sun raised high above Hi no Kuni, many civilians within the walls of Konoha were setting up shop for the day while Shinobi were preparing for missions, training, or just enjoying a day away from their normal routines to recuperate or catch with their fellow nin. Beneath the village of Konohagakure lay a labyrinth of tunnels that made up the headquarters of the root or Ne Anbu. This specialized unit of Anbu is made up of highly trained Shinobi that have been conditioned to be the perfect Shinobi weapon by removing their emotions so as to not interfere with their capacity for combat. This special force was originally established during the Third Great Shinobi war to better train Shinobi for the Konoha's forces and bolster their forces with more a more efficient fighting force. The leader of this force is a member of the advisory shinobi council Danzo Shimura and a strong political figure amongst the many members of Konoha's governing powers. He was once a strong candidate for the position of Sandaime Hokage but was overlooked by Tobirama Senju in favor of his rival Hiruzen Sarutobi for the title during the final mission of Suiton master. Danzo was considered at times to be a war hawk since his main standing upon his ascension to the title of Hokage was to wage war against the other elemental nations to prove the overall superiority of Konohagakure and rule over them all. However, after his rise to power and with the end of the Shinobi wars Hiruzen had ordered Danzo to disband his Ne forces since he felt they were unneeded in the time of peace that was to follow. On the surface Danzo had seemed to concede to the demands of the Sandaime but he continued the operation of his forces while also expanding his roster. He had many supporters of his activities amongst the civilian council as well the advisory council which consisted of the Sarutobi's former teammates, Homaru and Koharu. Through the efforts of his supporters they had managed to gain much power after the Kyuubi attack before the Sandaime had retaken the Hokage seat. Upon learning of Naruto Uzumaki's status as the jinchuuriki of the Kyuubi no Kitsune he had attempted to pull the young Uzumaki into his root under the pretense of the training him to control the bijuu's power to be used in the service of konoha. In truth he had wanted the young jinchuuriki under his complete control that way he could use his power to take the Hokage seat from Sarutobi and once he was the Godaime Hokage he would wage war on the other elemental nations with Naruto as his invincible sword to strike down his enemies. It was not to be as Sarutobi had blocked his every wish to train the boy so he had set another plan into action with the collaboration of advisors and civilian council. His plan was to alienate and persecute the boy until he became so desperate for acknowledgement that he could easily swoop in and pretend to be his salvation and could then manipulate the boy as he wished. It would've been easy since he could use the anger of the civilian and Shinobi populace in the wake of the Kyuubi attack to turn them against the boy with a few well-placed rumors of the boy being the Kyuubi stripped of his power and locked into a human form by the Yondaime. With the quick manipulation of the citizens of Konoha into a vengeance-fueled mindset it was assured that his plans would come to fruition and he would stand as the ruler of the entire elemental nations.
It had seemed that nothing could deter his plans until Naruto's fifth birthday Sandaime had made an intervention into his plan. The matron of the orphanage been placed was one that supported Danzo and his plans so in accordance to his orders she had made sure that every year that Naruto was outside the safety of the orphanage walls on his birthday which was also when they celebrated the Kyuubi festival to honor the sacrifice of the Yondaime to the Kyuubi as well as remember those that fell in battle that fateful night. This was also when civilian and Shinobi alike would gather to participate in what was known as the 'fox hunt' as mobs would be formed to search for the young Uzumaki and if found would proceed to deliver their 'rightful' vengeance against the 'demon brat' for the lives of their loved ones that 'he' had taken from them. The first time Naruto had been cornered by a mob he had merely been three years of age and was beaten until an Anbu squad led by Neko had come across the mob on a return mission. The crowd had quickly dispersed when the purple-haired Kenjutsu user had descended upon then and struck down two Shinobi that had been attacking Naruto. Upon his arrival at the hospital the hospital staff had refused to treat the boy until the arrival of the Sandaime and his threat to send them to Ibiki if they didn't tend to Naruto's more serious injuries. It was after this event that Sarutobi decided to assign Anbu guards to watch over Naruto to ensure his safety but even this was not effective since many of the Anbu corps also held Naruto in a negative light with the exception of Neko's (Yuugao) and Tora's (Tenzo/Yamato) squadrons who would actually perform their duty to keep him safe. Even with many being sent to Ibiki for their neglect of duty with those on the council that hated Naruto getting them out of trouble it made little difference so Sarutobi tried to assign only the Shinobi he could to protect Naruto. The next major attack on Naruto hadn't occurred until his fifth birthday when the matron had kicked Naruto out of the orphanage on his birthday forcing him to defend against the yearly mob that would gather during the Kyuubi festival. As the mob had begun to physically assault the boy they were suddenly stopped by the arrival of the Hokage and his own personal Anbu squad before anything could seriously done to young Naruto. However Naruto was lucky to have passed out because of the mental and physical trauma that occurred that required him to rest for several days in the hospital under Anbu guard.
It was at that moment Sarutobi realized that despite his great hopes that Naruto would be able to grow up living a normal life if what he had manage to prevent was a preview of things to come then he would make his own preparations to offer Naruto the protection he would require to survive. It was not a hard decision to make considering he knew of how many other jinchuuriki in the past were normally ostracized by the people of the villages they resided in simply because the people never seemed to have any faith in fuuinjutsu since it was such an obscure Shinobi art in the first place and very few took a true interest in it beyond the basics. With a new resolve Sarutobi gather nine of his most loyal Anbu guards to watch over the young Uzumaki and assigned them as his personal protectors. Each one of them were completely dedicated to their new role since most of them had been witness to the sealing of the young Uzumaki and therefore knew of his true connection to the Yondaime Hokage as his son and would do everything within their power to ensure that the Namikaze/Uzumaki heir grew up to be the Shinobi that he was destined to be. Sarutobi didn't even mind when the members of his special Anbu squad had taken it upon themselves to train the boy in the Shinobi arts to prepare him for the academy but had also decided to further train him when they learned that his education was being sabotaged by the academy instructors with the exception of Iruka Umino upon his third year of attending the academy. However, since Iruka was only one person it was left of them to properly train the young Uzumaki so that he was not left behind by his classmates. Although they were quick to learn that Naruto was very much the same as his father being a prodigy of hard work with the determination to push forward against any obstacle that stood in his path. With the training he would go through over the years he would grow in leaps and bounds as even Sarutobi would come to realize that Naruto would be stronger than many of the other academy students upon his graduation. Another interesting result of the training he received was the creation of his idiot mask as inspired by a certain purple haired Hebi Anbu that would later become his jounin instructor to continue to watch over him which was also used to hide his skills away from everyone else that hadn't already knew about them making him the 'dead last' of his class.
Upon learning of this action by the Sandaime Hokage, Danzo had attempted to learn of the identities of these special Anbu but was unable to since the Sandaime didn't seem to keep records of them in the Hokage office or amongst his records vault since his Ne Anbu had been unable to find any clue to their identities. He could only assume that either the elderly kage didn't keep records of them or he had them sealed away in the Sarutobi compound with his more personal records which was a right that each Hokage was allowed since they tended to keep things away from the public that related to their clans or could affect them personally. Danzo was quick to learn that all of his plans to breakdown the young jinchuuriki and make him his personal weapon would be thwarted but he didn't realize the severity of it all until after Naruto had graduated from the academy. When he had been assigned to team eight he had thought the boy would be unskilled but when he had heard the rumor of how he had performed against Sharingan no Kakashi then, he decided to take a look in upon the Kyuubi jinchuuriki himself and was quite shocked as well as pleased with what he learned. With his sudden increase in skills including a version of the Shushin no jutsu (Body Flicker) that didn't require hand seals, his change in attitude from a loudmouth brat to a more emotionally reserved youth, and the two swords in his possession with strange abilities similar of the swords used by the Kiri no Shinobigatana Shichinin Shū (Seven Ninja Swordsmen of the Hidden Mist) he was becoming the mold for an ideal weapon for Danzo to enlist the services of. The only problem was each time he would enlist one of his Ne to approach the boy to offer him further training they were always intercepted and disposed of by Naruto's own Anbu guard under the order of the Sandaime to keep Naruto away from Danzo's influence. Danzo was not so easily deterred as he knew he had to be a little more patient before he would gain the needed edge to convert Naruto into one of his prized Ne and with Naruto's abilities as the jinchuuriki of the Kyuubi no Youko then, he would easily take control of Konoha from Hiruzen and assume his destined place as the ruler of all the elemental nations.
Hiruzen Sarutobi stood before the window of the mission room office looking out over Konohagakure as he watched those that he was sworn to protect go about their daily lives as he waited for his Shinobi to report in for their missions to be assigned by either him or one of his chuunin assistants since the academy instructor had some free time on his hands with the academy closed at the moment before the next batch would attend. After having to have dealt with the Kakashi and team seven two days ago before he had started to partake in his favorite pastime of smoking his pipe since he had already finished his paperwork for the afternoon and to relieve the stress their little argument had caused him. He found it funny that he was given the nickname of "Kami no Shinobi" because of his battle prowess and his masterful uses of his extensive jutsu repertoire but even he could never figure out how to overcome the bane of every Kage, paperwork. It was actually Naruto who had given him the idea of using shadow clones after he had learned the technique and through his use of them in training he had discovered the secret behind them and told Hiruzen. Naruto was also responsible for pointing out to the Sandaime that the obscene amount of paperwork that he tended to get was mostly dealing with civilian matters and as the Hokage that was why he had the civilian council to handle such matters. The elderly kage quickly rectified that matter by making sure his secretary understood that all civilian matters were to be handle by the civilian council and if any of their paperwork arrived to his desk it should be for his final approval only. Naturally, the civilian council were quick to object and began to try to argue that they had more important matters to attend to that required their attention such as try to come up with more ways to usurp more power from the Hokage as well a line their own pockets more. They had even had the nerve to demand that as important political figures that they have Anbu protection for themselves and their families. A quick blast of killing intent and Sarutobi was quick to remind them that despite the fact they were members of the council Konohagakure was primarily a military village and their roles were only to help the civilians could live more comfortably.
'I've been allowing myself to become far too complacent since I retook the position of Hokage due to the peace we have obtained over the years since the last Great War. I've even allowed the civilian council to push me around in many decisions as I try to keep Naruto safe from the clutches of Danzo. However, now that he is a Shinobi under my command they can no longer touch him and with his Anbu guard always watching over him then, I can once again concentrate on wresting my power back to way that it should be. The council has used the circumstances behind Tobirama-sensei's death to keep the civilian council running. Unfortunately, they have been pushing their luck far too much to realize they are setting themselves up for a huge downfall. The more evidence I can gather against them will be quite useful the next time they try to pull a power play against Naruto or try to usurp my rule and will have them remove when they next step out of line.' Hiruzen thought with a chuckle.
The elderly Hokage shifted his thoughts to his surrogate grandson and his team that were currently on their first c-rank mission to escort one Ayane Kitima back to her home village. He knew that team eight was more than capable of handling this assignment since they were the most of his efficient of the rookie genin teams from this years with the most missions so far straight out of the academy even if they were only d-rank with the exception of Naruto's solo B-rank mission. Naturally there had been many voices of opposition in regards to the members of the new rookie nine team arrangements which mainly came from the advisory and civilian council. Many had wanted Naruto to be placed on team seven under Kakashi along with Sakura and Sasuke but Hiruzen had quickly denied that request for many obvious reasons. It was plain to see that if he had assigned Naruto to team seven he would've been ignored in favor of the other two members of the team, mainly Sasuke. With Kakashi's obvious hate for Naruto being the Kyuubi jinchuuriki and the fact that both Sakura and Sasuke held the young Uzumaki in low regards due to the influences of the older generation it would have been problematic for Naruto. His growth as a Shinobi would've been stunted by Kakashi while Sasuke and even Sakura would improve while Naruto would remain a talentless dead-last of the rookie nine with only massive chakra reserves, henge, kawarimi, and the Kage Bunshin as his only Shinobi skills. Well that would've been the case if Naruto was actually anything like the emotional mask he had created over the years but Hiruzen knew that Naruto was far more skilled than the supposed 'Rookie of the Year' and he would not allow his grandson to be used as a stepping stone for a spoiled brat of an Uchiha. He was quite aware that the boy had been receiving special training from many of the instructors and given special favors by those that wanted to gain favor with the Uchiha heir. Since all his Shinobi were required to have periodic mental evaluations to make sure that they were suit for field duty he knew that the boy was considered a flight risk Inoichi and Yoshino Nara. The boy was so obsessed with achieving his revenge against Itachi for the Uchiha massacre and would do anything to acquire power.
'I even had to deal with civilian council in the behalf of Sasuke making demands of Naruto for his swords and techniques. Naruto has managed to avoid any confrontations so far but after what happened the other day he may go to the council to try to force Naruto to give up what is his. I'm actually looking forward to that event so that I can reveal Naruto's bloodline and further protect him by establishing him as the heir of the Uzumaki clan but will have to hold off on revealing him as a Namikaze until he has at least reached chuunin rank. If he continues to progress at the rate he is so far along with his teammates then, they should put on a good showing when the chuunin exams take place in six months' time. I should make sure that Jiriaya gets the message to return during that time since he wanted to begin training Naruto when he became a genin. Jiriaya had already informed me that Minato had left some notes for how he was to train Naruto but I can only guess what that may be.' Hiruzen thought.
Hiruzen was drawn from his thoughts and suppressed the urge to groan in annoyance when he saw that it was once again team seven that was paying him a visit although he was surprised to see that team ten was also with them and wondered what was going on. Moving away from the window and making his way to his desk, he took a few moments to get himself settled and noticed that Sasuke was giving him a look of annoyance at his actions and Kakashi quickly putting away his orange book so he could talk undistracted. He knew he would have to deal with the boy real soon and his arrogance of his name as an Uchiha. Maybe he could get Naruto to help in teaching the boy a few lessons in humility since he knew the blonde would take a bit of satisfaction in beating the dark haired avenger around a bit.
Somewhere it the outskirts of Hi no Kuni, a young blonde swordsman grinned evilly while running his hand across the hilt of the sword attached his waist. One of his companions, a purple-haired caramel brown eyed kunoichi mirrored his grin before turning to each other in confusion before shrugging it off.
"What is it that I can do for the two of you and your teams today?" Sarutobi inquired of his son and the copy-nin.
"I would like to put in a request for a c-rank mission for my team since we have reached the requirements of the minimal amount of d-rank missions for one?" Kakashi said with his famous eye-smile.
Sarutobi resisted the urge to sigh. 'Most teams tried to do more than the minimal amount to build up as much teamwork as possible before attempting a c-rank so that they are confident in their teammates to assist them in case something bad occurs. They don't have any sense of teamwork at all and he still wants to take them on a c-rank mission simply because team eight has already taken one and it hurt his pride that I turned him down for that mission.'
Sarutobi smiled. "Yes, I believe you have reached the allotted minimum for a c-rank mission. Are you here for a c-rank mission as well since you already have more than enough d-ranks to request one, Asuma?"
Asuma shook his head before smiling. "Maybe that can wait for another day since my team isn't fully convinced they are ready for one just yet and want to work on a few more teamwork drills before tackle something bigger. I was actually stopping by to ask if team eight was assigned a c-rank since today was planned for us to have an inter-team spar and I haven't been able to find Anko, Kurenai, or their genin at their usual training ground."
Sasuke snorted in amusement before smirking. "They're just too afraid to take a higher ranked mission because they know how weak they are and need all three of them combined to even come close to measuring up to a fraction of my skills. I'm an elite and as the last Uchiha I am also the role model of the type of Shinobi they should strive to become if they want to be known in the Shinobi world."
Sarutobi frowned. "I don't believe that I gave you permission to speak freely, genin. You would do well to remember you are in the presence of several of your superiors and such outbursts are not tolerated unless told otherwise." Sasuke's smirk quickly became a frown.
Sakura frowned as well at the chastising of her crush. "But he was just giving his honest opinion of what we know of team ten, Hokage-sama. None of the other rookies are even half as good as Sasuke-kun and I still say it was a mistake to send team eight on that escort mission the other day."
Asuma and team ten frowned at the obvious disrespect being shown in their presence by Sakura and Sasuke with Ino being sorely tempted to go knock her former best friend out while Chouji and Shikamaru were tempted to take down Sasuke. Surprisingly, Kiba didn't add a comment but the smug smirk on his face was enough to give anyone a clue as to what his thoughts were on the matter with Akamaru giving a whine at his master and his teammates for causing trouble again.
Sarutobi level a hard gaze on the young Haruno. "Are you questioning my judgment as the Hokage as to who I should send on a mission, Haruno-san? I was the one that decided that team eight should take that mission and to have a fresh genin question my actions makes it seem as if you're calling me incompetent or unworthy to wear the mantle of Hokage."
Sakura quickly shook her head as she realized she could be charged with insubordination while the Asuma, team ten, and the chuunin all resisted the urge to face palm at the stupidity of the pink-haired genin. Sarutobi stared at her for a moment longer before looking at Kiba and Sasuke to see if they had anything to say while noting the dark-haired youth's frown before turning his gaze to Kakashi with the copy-nin flinching under hardened gaze of his leader. The silver-haired nin knew that his team was already on thin ice with the elderly kage after the events of the other day but he was just trying to appeal to the Hokage that his team was the better choice for protecting an important and attractive client like Ayane. Plus, he was tired of hearing his team complaining about constantly having to complain about the d-rank missions that were meant to improve their teamwork which was almost no existent. Most jounin instructors wouldn't allow their teams on higher rank missions since Konoha's teaching were about teamwork and wanted all future ninjas capable of supporting each other during missions. However, Kakashi was confident that despite all the tension between his genin they would pull through when it really counted and succeed in any missions since with his obvious skills and all of Sasuke's potential as an Uchiha would assure success. Kiba and even Sakura would be able to pull their weight when the time came as he was confident that his awesomeness would rub off on them eventually. Kakashi was quite arrogant since he failed to realize that as an instructor he really sucked and if Minato was still alive he would've beat the arrogance right out of him in a heartbeat.
"Kakashi, I would suggest that you make sure that your genin learn when they are allowed to speak when they are amongst their betters before they find themselves removed from active service because they feel they are more important than they really are. It doesn't matter if Sasuke is the last of his clan or that you have the Inuzuka and Haruno heirs on your squad. As of now they are the lowest ranked members of our Shinobi forces and it is your duty to improve their skills so that they can rise in our ranks when the time comes as well as teach them how to properly conduct themselves outside of combat situations." Sarutobi said with an edge. 'Who am I kidding Kakashi is the worst possible candidate to teach them about how to conduct themselves. The Inuzuka heir already has a perverted streak and if Kakashi manages to get any of them to pick up his bad habits may cause me to go insane.'
Kakashi gulped as he nodded. "I understand and will take care of that as soon as problem, Hokage-sama." The copy-nin quickly leveled a glare at his genin with Kiba and Sakura flinching while Sasuke looked indifferent.
'As if you are actually my better just because you're the Hokage. You're just lucky that it was the Senju clan that was the first to lay claim to the title of Hokage for this village instead of being ruled by their rightful betters, the Uchiha. It is just like father said that they were trying to hold the Uchiha back from being Hokage and showing everyone the superiority of our kekkai genkai.' Sasuke thought with disdain. 'Once I've defeated Itachi and regained the honor of my clan I will appeal to the council that I'm the best choice for Hokage and the greatness of the Uchiha will be known by all.'
Sarutobi chose to ignore the smirk that suddenly appeared on Sasuke's face as he turned his gaze to Asuma and team ten. "Well, I suppose you can already make a guess as to the status team eight at the moment. I sent them on a c-rank escort mission to guard a young heiress on her way back to her village a few days ago and they should be back in a few days as well. Was that there anything else that you needed from me today?"
Asuma rubbed the back of his head. "Nah, I think we'll just take a quick d-rank mission and get back to training a little more."
Sarutobi nodded and quickly retrieved a d-rank mission that was handed to him by one of his chuunin assistants before handing to Asuma as the bearded jounin stepped forward to retrieve it. He turned back to his team and opened the scroll to see what their mission assignment was going to be before grinning at the three genin under his command.
"Alright, we have a mission to help a farmer clear away some land on his property which is a pretty good physical workout for Ino and Shikamaru so let's get to it." Asuma said.
The three genin of team seven were expecting the platinum blonde girl to complain about doing physical labor since she always complained about it back in the academy but were surprised by what came from her mouth.
"Well, since I wasn't able to find Naruto-kun today I'll just use the workout to get stronger so that the next time we spar I can show him why it isn't a good idea to leave without telling me." Ino said with a smirk.
Shikamaru shook his head. "You are the two most troublesome blondes that I've ever had the pleasure of knowing. You always try to beat Naruto up when we spar whenever he does something and not let you know about it. You act like you're his girlfriend or something with the way you're always worrying about him all the time whenever he isn't around."
Ino blushed before glaring at Shikamaru but before she could say anything she was interrupted by the pink-haired howler monkey also known as Sakura Haruno screeching to gain her attention.
"WHAT THE HELL, INO? WHY ARE YOU SO INTERESTED IN NARUTO-BAKA ALL OF A SUDDEN?" Sakura screeched causing everyone to wince at the sound of her voice before glaring at the girl.
"Not that it's any of your business, Sakura but Naruto-kun is a nice guy now that I've had the chance to get to know since his team and my team get together every now and then to spar. We're really good friends and he tolerates me a whole lot better than he does you whenever I have a minor fangirl moment which Anko-sensei and Kurenai-sensei are helping me to get over." Ino said then, grinned. "Also, do everybody a favor and stop all of that screeching before you burst our eardrums with your annoying voice. I don't even see how your teammates can stand listening to your screeching all day long."
Sakura glared at the girl but decided to tone down her voice when she noticed everyone else in the room was glaring at her for her outburst causing the girl to shrink under their gaze for a moment. She returning to glaring at her rival when she noticed she was holding back from laughing at her misfortune with the rest of team ten looking amused as well.
Sakura smirked. "Well, I guess that means you given up on Sasuke-kun if you're interested in a loser like Naruto-baka. I used to think that you had a higher standard of tastes but if you have a thing for the dead-last then, you're as hopeless as he is since he doesn't have the slightest clue about how to approach a girl and get her attention. All he ever does is act obnoxious with all of his yelling and asking me for dates when he knows I'm not even the slightest bit interested."
'You're one the talk with the amount of times I've seen Sasuke turn down your date offers back during the academy and I know he's done even more since you guys became teammates. Why do girls always have to get into such troublesome arguments whenever a guy they like is involved?' Shikamaru thought with a sigh.
Chouji nudged his pineapple-haired friend. "Hey Shika, I think I'm starting to see a pattern with how Ino and Sakura act every time it comes to a boy. Remember this is kinda how they started arguing over Sasuke at the start of academy but now it's about Naruto. You don't think this is going to start another rivalry between the two of them again with Naruto being caught in the middle."
Shikamaru shrugged. "I don't think that's going to be the case this time around, Chouji. Don't forget that on the day of team assignments Naruto made it pretty clear that he doesn't have a crush on Sakura anymore and Ino was friends with Naruto before we started our academy training."
Chouji nodded. "Yeah, I remember that Naruto was friends with Ino and Sakura up to about a month before we started. He was kinda like Sasuke is but wasn't really emo and was sort of anti-social like Shino but all of a sudden he changed and started acting like a goofball. I remember my dad said that it was kinda strange that his personality took a quick one eighty and mention he probably finally snapped cause of the pressure of his burden. I didn't know what he meant by that and he wouldn't tell me what he meant no matter how many times I asked."
"Yeah, my dad was saying the same thing and makes me wonder if there is something about Naruto that we don't know about. Even though we attended academy with him for six years we really don't know that much about him except that he's an orphan that was born during the Kyuubi attack. I would've classified him as the goofy dead-last of our class but ever since we started sparring with team eight he's been a totally different person and is lot more skilled than he was back in the academy. At first I thought that it was because he had been training hard since the academy but he's not only a better Shinobi but a lot smarter to." Shikamaru said then, sighed. "Naruto has become such a troublesome mystery and I just know it's going to nag at me until I figure who Naruto really is."
The two girls continued to argue back and forth to amusement of some and the annoyance of others with both Asuma and Kakashi sighing in embarrassment at how their two female genin were arguing in the presence of the Hokage. Hiruzen had a stern gaze as he stared at the two girls with everyone else waiting for him to lose his cool and chastise the two girls but inwardly he was laughing at the irony of the situation that the two were arguing over his surrogate grandson. However, he decided it was time to put an end to their arguing so that he could get back to work. Hiruzen decided to release a quick burst of chakra to draw everyone's attention to him since killing intent would've most likely been too much for the genin to handle.
"As pointless as this argument seems to be I believe that team ten is supposed to be on a mission right now and that team seven is still waiting to receive one. Normally, I would reprimand the two of you for such unbecoming behavior in my presence but I'll let it go this one time so make sure this doesn't happen again or else I won't be so forgiving." Sarutobi said with a stern gaze.
The two girls nodded meekly before the four members of team ten left to perform their assigned mission with the team seven standing at attention before the elderly kage to receive their mission. He motioned to Iruka to bring him a few c-rank mission scrolls before carefully looking through each one to judge which one should be appropriate before picking up an escort mission similar to the one that team eight received.
"Well, I've decided to give the four you an escort mission since you were adamant the other day about receiving one. Your client is named Tazuna, a bridge builder and he requires an escort back to the land of waves while receiving protection from bandits. You are to meet him at his hotel room to go over any details you feel are prudent and this mission will require you four to remain with him until the completion of the bridge. Do you accept this mission, Kakashi?" Sarutobi said.
Kakashi stepped forward to receive the scroll and after a brief scan of its contents saluted his commander. "Hai, team seven accepts and will depart first thing in the morning to the land of waves."
Hiruzen nodded and quickly dismissed the four man cell before leaning back in his chair with a sigh. Iruka walked over to collect the remaining scrolls but paused as he turned his gaze to regard his leader.
"Hokage-sama, are you sure that it's wise to send team seven out of the village on a mission like this? Out of all the rookie genin their squad has almost no teamwork at all with Kiba and Sasuke wanting to prove their dominance over each other and Sakura still being an Uchiha fangirl." Iruka said.
"I am aware of their lack of teamwork but I believe that if they get a taste of what real Shinobi work is like they may just shape up a bit to act like a real team. They are most likely to be attacked by a few bandit since the road to wave isn't usually frequented by any missing nin and with their skills even Haruno can handle a bandit or two. Besides, Kakashi will be there to watch over them and I know he will do his job correctly since he has the heir of two of our Shinobi clans and the heir to one of our civilian clans under his guidance so he won't allow them to be harmed or risk punishment. If he feels that his team can't handle the mission he knows to pull out and return to Konoha for us to assign a different team." Sarutobi said.
He had no idea that he was going to be receiving an enormous headache because of the actions Kakashi and that this mission would also be a crucial one in the development of his surrogate grandson as well. Iruka nodded at the words of his leader before returning back to his duties alongside his fellow chuunin while at the same time wondering how Naruto was doing on his mission. He was well aware that out of all three rookie teams that team eight had the most missions under their belt and the best teamwork followed by team ten with team seven in last place. He allowed a small smile to grace his face as he knew that whatever may happen on his mission that Naruto and his teammates would be able to handle themselves. Maybe he would take the blond out for some ramen when he got back since they really had time to spend time with each other ever since the Mizuki incident and he knew his surrogate brother wouldn't turn down an offer for free ramen but he could only hope his wallet could survive their little get together.
It was mid-morning of the following day that we find team eight and their carriage escort assignment once again making progress on their way to Uzurai village for the completion of their mission. All five members of team eight were now running alongside the carriage while maintaining their watch for any signs of trouble in the surrounding forests. Despite Ayane's assurances that their wouldn't be any bandit attacks this close to her village they knew that you could never truly let down your guard since the nature of a bandit tended to be unpredictable depending on who was their leader or their interests. Conversation was held to a minimum so as to not distract them and cause them to miss anything so Naruto was using this moment to have a conversation with his inner spirits as he set his body on autopilot.
'Naruto you have been progressing quite well with your use of Bakudo (Way of Binding) and Hado (Way of Destruction) spells as well as your use of Hoho with your Shunpo becoming even faster as your body adjusts to the strain that is caused by such fast movement. Your use of Hakudo has given you a new taijutsu style to utilize and your Zanjutsu is progressing as well making you capable of utilizing a Nitoryu (Two Sword Style) style of fighting with myself and Senbonzakura.' Hyôrinmaru said with a hint of pride in his voice.
'Yeah, everything has been coming to me much easier now that I can use my reiryoku almost as well as I can use my full chakra. I was also wondering about something that has been bothering me since you and Senbonzakura started teaching me these techniques.' Naruto thought back.
'You have been wondering about the origin of the techniques that we have been training in how to use in conjunction with us, right?' Senbonzakura inquired with a small giggle.
Naruto resisted the urge to sigh. 'I should've known that since you're a part of me that you should have access to my thought as well and yeah that is what I've been wondering about. The techniques that I've been using so far are pretty powerful and I just found it strange that I've never heard of anyone else using them before. I know that you said that it's a part of my kekkai genkai but if others had this power before me then, there should be some sort of records of my ancestors using zanpaktou and using Kido spells.'
'The reason you have never heard others using this power before is because your ancestors were very secretive of their kekkai genkai because the way it came to be bestowed upon them. Originally, this power belonged solely to the Shinigami and I'm talking about more than Shinigami-sama that sealed away Kyuubi within you. Before the time of the elemental nations this world was a thriving metropolis that didn't rely solely upon chakra as a way of combat. Back during that time there was heaven which was known as the Soul Society which all pure souls went when they passed to the afterlife and Hueco Mondo were all of the evil souls went where they became another life form known as a Hollow which were creatures that took various animal and humanoid forms with holes on some part of their body normally the center of their abdomen and white bone masks across their faces. Hollows were known to feed upon other hollows as well as pure souls that had yet to leave the world of the living to gain more power and to combat these beings the Shinigami were created by the Spirit King to protect the pure souls as well as the world of the living. The war between the Shinigami and Hollows lasted for thousands of years until a Shinigami turned upon his comrades to side with the hollows with a goal to overthrow the Spirit King and obtain ultimate power. He did this by created two different races that would play a crucial role in coming battles known as Arrancar and Vizards. An Arrancar came to be when a hollow removed their masks and gained the power of a Shinigami while a Vizard came to be when a Shinigami gained a mask that was a representation of their inner hollow making the two hybrids of their original races. The rogue Shinigami whose name was Sosuke Aizen eventually began a war against the Shinigami with the world of the living being the final battlefield but in the end he lost to a Vizard by name of Ichigo Kurosaki thus saving the human and spirit world. However, to prevent such an event from never happening again the spirit king created a being of unprecedented power known as the Juubi which coincidentally was the very first Bijuu to wipe out all of the hollows and Shinigami before he set about establishing himself as the one judge of life and death. The Juubi accomplished its mission with little difficulty since it was the ultimate anti-thesis of the Hollows and Shinigami since it was a being made of tainted chakra but once they were all wiped out it turned its sights upon the world of the living and began its destructive rampage that wiped out much of mankind. The Spirit King upon realizing his mistake blessed a human with the power of chakra which was the only thing capable of harming the Juubi and the very first Doujutsu known as the Rinnengan who became known as the Rikuudo Sennin or Sage of the Six Paths. The Rikuudo Sennin battled the Juubi and finally defeated it by become the very first jinchuuriki after sealing the Juubi into his body where it remained until his death.' Hyôrinmaru explained as he paused to allow Naruto to absorb the information he was being told.
'Okay I understand everything you've said so far but if the Rikuudo Sennin kept the Juubi sealed away in himself wouldn't the Juubi have been released back into the world upon his death since that what normally happens to a jinchuuriki when he or she dies from what Jiji has told me?.' Naruto inquired.
Senbonzakura was quick to answer. 'You are quite correct, Naruto-kun but the Rikuudo Sennin had already planned ahead for the day when that would happen. Upon his deathbed he used the power that was granted to him by his Rinnengan to split the chakra of the Juubi into nine different beings that would become known as the nine Bijuu lords of today while sealing the body of the Juubi into the moon. During his life after having sealed the Juubi away he set about teaching the remaining survivors of the Juubi's rampage the ability to use chakra but as it turned out not all Shinigami were wiped out with Ichigo Kurosaki and another Shinigami named Rukia Kuchiki as well as an Arrancar named Nelliel Tu Odelschwanck having survived while settling down to form a family since their duties as Shinigami were no longer applicable. As their blood passed through the generations the power of a Shinigami or in some cases the power of a Vizard would manifest in their descendants and would become their kekkai genkai. At first they had been afraid that the spirit king would seek them out to destroy them as he had established himself as the one true Shinigami but he didn't and allowed their newly created clan to flourish with their ability as master swordsman being known throughout the newly made elemental nations. However, as others began to fear their power they were eventually hunted down to the brink of extinction with the survivors vowing to never use their power again in order to prevent themselves from being targeted. It wasn't until two generations later when your father whom I shall not reveal at this time that the power of the your clan was revealed to the world again. Luckily, those that had wanted to end your clan had long since died out so he didn't need fear being hunted down like his ancestors and you are now the latest user of the power of the Shinigami and we are glad to be your spirit partners. The techniques of a Shinigami are naturally attuned to your soul and as your partners we have access to them and can teach them to you as well. So does this sate your curiosity of how your kekkai genkai came to be a part of the elemental nations?'
Naruto was speechless for a moment as he allowed his mind to process this information. 'I never knew that there was so much history to my kekkai genkai and to believe that my ancestor was once responsible for saving the world only to have the one being he saved to order the extermination of him and everyone like him. I can understand he was angry that one of his guardians had tried to usurp his power but to get rid of even those that didn't have anything to do with it is just plain cruel.'
'You will come to learn that the beings that rule our world are not always as benevolent or evil as they are portrayed as it could be seen by the history of the Shinigami and Hollows. Not all Shinigami were good and not all Hollows were necessarily evil just as the same with humans and even the Bijuu are not all entirely evil as I have come to learn from talking with Kyuubi-sama.' Hyôrinmaru rumbled.
'What do you mean, Hyôrinmaru?' Naruto asked.
'It is just as he has said, Kit. Although we Bijuu are classified as demons since we were born from the tainted chakra of the Juubi we are comprised of both Yin and Yang chakra. When I was to be sealed within you the Yondaime Hokage had planned to separate the two and seal only my yin chakra into you while sealing the yang chakra within a scroll that was kept safe by his toad summon and his subordinates but this also caused an imbalance with your soul and eventually would give birth to your own inner hollow. Right now it is in a state of infancy and can't act on its own but from what I've been able to determine is that it shares some characteristics of me as well as your own but I don't know what the results of that will be just yet. However, that isn't something you should worry about right now but you should be prepared for the future when it may try to take over. As I was saying before, all Bijuu are not as malevolent as humans have made us out to be during our existence after the fall of the Juubi. For example, the Nibi no Bakeneko, Sanbi no Kyodaigame, and the Rokubi no Namekuji are the three most pacifist of the Bijuu with the Ichibi no Shukaku, the Yonbi no Saru, and the Gobi no Irukauma being the most aggressive while the Nananbi no Kabutomushi, the Hachibi no Kyogyū, and myself only really fought if we were attacked but mostly kept to ourselves.' Kyuubi explained.
Naruto found himself becoming confused. 'So technically you're only half as strong as you should be so that makes your overall power around the same as the Yonbi or Gobi and I will admit that I considered all of the Bijuu to be evil though my opinion has changed much since I've had to talk to you.'
'Thank you kit but I have to correct you on your assessment of my power. Even if I only possessed the yin half of my chakra I would still be considered the strongest of the Bijuu since all he would've done was remove any positive influences that I may have had leaving us constantly at odds with each other. Shinigami-sama realized the dangers of sealing only half of my chakra within you since it would've caused an instability in me so instead he sealed both halves of my chakra within you knowing that because of your kekkai genkai you would be able to handle my immense power more effectively as the seal did its job. This is why I have been capable of maintaining my reasoning and even though I know the reason why the Yondaime Hokage had planned to separate my chakra it was a foolish plan that would've left you quite vulnerable to the one that caused me to attack Konoha in the first place.' Kyuubi said with a hint of anger in her soft voice.
Naruto was quick to pick up on this. 'I think you mentioned something like that before but you didn't say anything else about it so I kinda forgot and now that I think about the only time I've ever heard you sound angry has been when you mentioned about their being a reason why you attacked the village and yesterday when I was talking about the Uchiha clan. Do you have something against Sasuke-teme's clan or is it just because you picked that up from me and my dislike for them cause of how they treated me when I was younger?'
Kyuubi sighed. 'No, my hate for them is quite genuine and it stems from the fact that their highly coveted Sharingan is actually descended down from the Rinnengan of the Rikuudo Sennin. What the other two didn't mention was that during his life the Rikuudo Sennin had two sons that received separate aspects of the power that was given to him by Shinigami-sama. The elder of the two received his powerful spiritual aspect that resulted in him gaining the Sharingan which is actually a mutation of the Rinnengan caused by the tainted chakra of the Juubi affected it within the sons body during his birth. The youngest son received his powerful physical aspect which affected the body of the clan that would become known as the Uzumaki giving them longevity, a higher physical endurance, larger chakra reserves, and in some cases the ability to regenerate body parts or even control their aging. Some of the Uzumaki would later split from the clan to become known as the Senju and due to mixing their blood with commoners would lose much of the gifts of the Uzumaki while gaining a higher control over their Suiton elemental affinity as compensation. This was how the Shodaime Hokage was capable of using the Mokuton by combining his Doton and Suiton affinities while the Nidaime Hokage had such a strong Suiton affinity that he was able to pull water out of the very air by mixing his chakra with air molecules. Because of the fact that the Senju, Uchiha, and Uzumaki were descended from the Rikuudo Sennin the abilities of their kekkai genkai allowed them to counter us Bijuu. The Mokuton of the Shodaime Hokage could restrain us while suppressing our chakra, the Sharingan of the Uchiha was also capable of suppressing the chakra of a Bijuu and even capable of enslaving a Bijuu to the user's will if their mind and will was strong enough. Lastly, the Uzumaki were the perfect Jinchuuriki bodies because of all their physical gifts granted to them by their kekkai genkai allowing them to seal even me as only the body of an Uzumaki could withstand my infinite power since as the Kyuubi I am far stronger than the Hachibi since I received most of the Juubi's power. That is why I hate the Uchiha more than I hate the Senju or the Uzumaki since their Doujutsu has the power to rob a Bijuu of its will and effectively make us a slave despite our great power. Before his death he was to choose a successor to carry on his teachings and despite the elder being the stronger of the two he was quite arrogant in his power so the Rikuudo Sennin chose his youngest son to carry on his legacy. However, his eldest son wouldn't stand for the fact that he wasn't chosen and killed his brother which would lead to the rivalry between the Senju, Uchiha, and Uzumaki clans until many generations later when the Senju and Uchiha would come to a non-aggression agreement and later form Konohagakure while the Uzumaki would form Uzushiogakure (Village Hidden among the Whirling Tides) since they were located on an island community that resides with in Mizu no Kuni before its destruction.'
Naruto perked up at this. 'So does this mean that I may have some family located in Mizu no Kuni and possibly Kirigakure?'
'It could be possible but I highly doubt that since the Uzumaki clan was highly feared because of their Fuuinjutsu as well as their seven swordsmen known as the Uzushio no Shinobigatana Shichinin Shū (Seven Ninja Swordsman of the Whirling Tides). Uzushio was allied with Konoha at the time with one of your ancestors Mito Uzumaki being married to the Shodaime Hokage, Hashirama Senju to further improve their alliance. However, the fall of Uzushio came when Iwagakure, Kumogakure, and Mizugakure formed an alliance to eliminate Uzushiogakure. Despite the small size of the village their fuuinjutsu and the abilities of the seven swordsmen allowed them to hold them off for a time while they waited for reinforcement from Konohagakure and Sunagakure but before their allies could reach them the village fell with the survivors scattering across the lands. From what I came to learn the ruins of Uzushiogakure still remain since despite its people being gone the treasures of Uzushio are still protected by very powerful fuuinjutsu that have yet to be countered with Kiri managing to claim the seven swordsmen and there blades at their own. As a way remembrance of their alliance with Uzushio the spiral symbol that his worn by Shinobi of Konohagakure is actually the symbol of Uzushiogakure and that is why you should always wear that symbol with pride since many Konoha nin don't even know the significance of the symbol they so proudly wear.' Kyuubi replied.
'You sure do seem to know a lot about my ancestors and even known a lot of things that I never heard of in the academy. I guess since the fact you and the other Bijuu have been around since the beginning of the Shinobi era you would know much of our history. I'm actually surprised you've been so cooperatively with me lately since you once told me that you would only tell me things if I gained enough respect from you.' Naruto said.
'Kit, I am only telling you such things since they are a part of your history and since I am a bit regretful that because of me you didn't get raised the way that you should've been. It's not surprising that many don't see you as a true Uzumaki despite your last name since the Uzumaki were all known to have various shades of red hair and you are the first blond Uzumaki I have ever met. I guess that in a way I see you as my own kit instead of my jailor and that is why I want you to become as powerful as you possibly can become so that you carry on my legacy as well as the legacy of your ancestors. Like I said before I am not as evil as they say I am even though my power is fueled by all of the negative emotions of the human psyche I have been influenced by the positive as well.' Kyuubi replied.
Naruto allowed a brief smile to break his emotional mask. 'Thanks a lot for everything, Kyuubi-Kaasan.'
Kyuubi was glad that Naruto wasn't in his mindscape or that the fact that both Hyôrinmaru and Senbonzakura were in the own areas of his mind or they would've seen the light blush that now adorned her features at hearing Naruto's new name for her. She quickly pushed down the blush while wondering why she was becoming so soft of Naruto before responding to his last words.
'You're welcome kit now I believe you should focus back on the outside world.' Kyuubi said with Naruto giving a mental nod before severing the connection with his inner spirits.
Naruto was surprised that during the entire time he was having his inner dialogue that no one had attempted to engage in a conversation with him and counted himself lucky since he was still unsure as to how Anko and Kurenai would react if they knew he was in contact with Kyuubi or that his body contained two more spirits as well. He was suddenly drawn away from his musings when the driver announced that they would reach Uzurai after crossing the next hill. It was only a moment later that the village came into view and the genin of team eight were impressed by the village. It was smaller than Konohagakure being only about two thirds its size while surrounded by high mountains with the village nestled at the valley of two mountains. A large river flowed through the very center and branched out into various smaller ones with the village itself being almost on par with Amegakure in its industrialization. It was surrounded by a high wall with four sentry watchtowers with two archers positioned in each tower with samurai guards walking the walls itself and posted at the both gates at the northern and southern ends of the village. With his enhanced eyesight Naruto could just barely make out many of the populace moving around within the village walls indicating them engaging in various trades of goods and wares meaning Uzurai was known for and showing that the village was indeed a commercial village just as Ayane had informed them. Upon reaching the village gates, Kurenai quickly showed the guards their mission scroll as Ayane presented herself for visual verification before making their way inside. As they made their way to the Kitima mansion they saw how everyone made way from them while greeting the Kitima heiress indicating that her family was well-loved amongst the populace. Upon their arrival at the mansion, Ayane quickly disembarked from the carriage and greeted the servants of her family while beckoning team eight to follow her inside. They followed her through the large mansion while taking in the beautiful design of the building.
Ayane turned to them as they stepped into a large room that could be considered a reception hall. "I shall arrange for rooms to be prepared for your team so that you may take a rest since I know some of you would like to conduct some business here in Uzurai. They will attend to your needs as if you were a member of my family since you are my honor guests so feel free to ask them of anything that you are not certain as it pertains to the village."
Kurenai spoke up. "We understand and I'll make sure that Anko and Naruto stay out of trouble so as not to offend you."
"Hey, why do you have to assume me and Naru-chan are going to cause trouble? That isn't very nice putting us on the spot like that, Nai-chan." Anko pouted.
"That's because you always get rowdy when you get angered or if you have a little too much sake while Naruto-kun would prank someone if they managed to offend him in some way. Although, he hasn't pranked anyone in a while but you can never be too sure since he's still Konoha's most unpredictable Shinobi even if he acts more reserved nowadays. I just don't want our first c-rank turning into an international incident because you offended someone important in this village or got into a fight with someone and caused some sort of structural damage." Kurenai replied with a grin.
"Don't worry I'll be on my best behavior and make sure to keep Anko-neechan out of trouble, Kurenai-sensei." Naruto said with a small grin.
"Oh, don't tell me you're going to turn on me as well, Naru-chan. You're supposed to always be on the side of your lovely neechan and now Nai-chan has charmed you away from me. I think me and Hinata-chan are going to have to keep a close eye on her as well and make sure she doesn't try anything inappropriate." Anko said with a teasing grin.
Hinata and Kurenai blushed as they realized what Anko meant before the crimson-eyed beauty glared at her friend with the purple-haired kunoichi playfully sticking out her tongue in response. Ayane, Shino, and Naruto could only watch in amusement with the former sneaking glances at the blond the resisting the urge to blush as she thought of naughty things to do with him that was unbecoming of a young woman of her status.
"Well, I see that Ayane-chan has returned home and that she has brought back some rather interesting guests from Konoha with her." A soft, feminine voice said from behind the group.
Naruto stiffened at the sound of the voice as he and the rest of the group turned in the direction that the voice came from before his eyes widened in shock. Entering the room from left side was a young woman in her late teens with long silvery-white hair that was split into two braids that extended across her shoulders (her hairstyle is just like Retsu Unohana from bleach) and amber colored eyes. She was around the same height as Kurenai with fair-skin and they could tell she had a rather lithe athletic build due to the fact she was dressed in a pair of blue Shinobi pants and a loose short sleeved shirt and casual slippers. She had a towel draped across her right shoulder indicating that she had been working out before coming to greet them. As she made her way towards the group Anko, Hinata, Kurenai, and Shino could clearly see that she was walking directly towards a stunned Naruto which made them confused while Ayane watched amused as she knew the reason why. Once the woman was standing a few feet in front of Naruto she placed her left hand on her hip and flashed him a grin.
"Well, are you going to stand there and gape at me for being so beautiful or are you going to properly greet me like you should, foxy-kun?" the girl inquired still grinning.
Naruto knew that only one person would've ever called him by that name and knew without a shadow of a doubt that the young woman standing before him was his old childhood friend, Kanae Sanada. His hand instinctively reached up the grasp the pendant at his neck as so many questions raced through his mind as to why she was here and where had she been all of this time. He barely realized as he took a few steps forward and once he was in range he embraced the girl with the amber-eyed girl returning the gesture as she was happy to see her old friend as well. She knew he had questions for her but as the others looked on now they were merely happy to be in the presence of one that was precious to them.
A/N: Well after over a year of not being able to update this story I have finally been able to bring you chapter 5 of Konoha's Shinigami. I had originally had this chapter planned out another way but I kept having problems with the direction it would go and had to constantly rewrite it as more ideas came to me. In this chapter I gave a background history as to how Naruto's bloodline came to be since in my story the Shinobi nations came to be after the Juubi destroyed our modern world before being revived as the elemental nations after its fall. I know that I may get flamed for some of the events that I have placed in this story but this is a story of my creation so the history is designed to support my theme for this story. I'm not going to go into a long rant or give any previews to the next chapter as I want that to be a surprise but I hope that you like my story so far and I will try to update at least once a week from now on. As always I appreciate any reviews and all ideas will be considered so if you see an idea of yours appear in my story it's because I have acknowledged your creativity. Also, the harem shall remain in single digits and I may change which girls are in it so be on the lookout for a girl that you wanted may or may not appear so until next chapter peace and bye for now.