A Month as Naruto Uzumaki
Disclaimer : Naruto belongs to Kishimoto. Ramen belongs to Naruto. Enough said.
September 13, Day minus One
Paperwork was the bane of any Hokage, I knew.
Since I had accepted the post of Sandaime, I expected that three times the forest surrounding Konoha in paper had crossed my desk. Most of it was useless stuff, like permit to open a mixed-sex hot spring (Under one of Jiraiya's false names, no doubt) or the letter of complaint that this or that civilian heir was badly treated by ninja.
Some of it, like the report I was currently reading, was good to know. A hospital memo, one of many, saying that Naruto Uzumaki had been hospitalized for wounds after falling from a rooftop trying to emulate a ninja.
I sighed. Those memos about training accidents were becoming more and more common. I wished I could have someone training him, but knowing who to trust in this case was difficult. The few I could trust were irreplaceable in their post, and could not spare time training a child.
I was about to store this report in its rightful place when something caught my attention. I reread the document and found the passage :
"I, as medic, recommend banning the subject from any form of ninja activity, due to the lack of precautions he seems to exhibit."
I then went to the drawer where I kept all documents related to Naruto and withdrew the previous memo from the hospital, dated five weeks hence. I quickly found the passage I was looking for :
"I, as head nurse, recommend banning the subject from any form of shinobi activity, due to the lack of preparations he seems to exhibit."
The two reports were from two different persons, yet had disturbing similarities. A deeper scan of those papers revealed that this wasn't only this particular phrase, but the whole texts were riddled with unexplainable similarities.
Taking all such memos for the past year, I found the same thing all over again. Due to the scarcity of the reports (one every four to six weeks), I hadn't noticed up till now.
Putting the reports back, I wondered what to do. Getting the truth out of anyone would be a chore.
After a few moments of deep thought, I smiled. I had a plan.
September 14, Day Zero
"You want me to WHAT ?" Jiraiya exclaimed.
"You heard properly." I said.
"I assure you I am perfectly in control of my means."
"I mean, taking your place as Hokage for a month… What could you need to do ?"
"Here" I handed him the hospital reports. "Tell me what you think of this."
The Toad Hermit quickly read the document concerning his godson. "There's definitely something wrong here."
"And that's what I'll be checking. We'll need to be both under Imago seals, and you'll parade as me while I live as Naruto for a month." An Imago seal was a fuuinjutsu version of the transformation technique, only longer lasting. Tsunade had used this as a base to create the technique that kept her younger appearance.
"That's beyond crazy… Why should I do it ?" Jiraiya answered.
I showed him the permit to open a mixed-sex hot spring and the stand covering my crystal ball. The shudder he made at that moment told me that I had him.
September 15, Day One
I made sure to be escorted to Naruto's apartment building by two ANBU, as Naruto had been a month prior. The two ANBU were not of those I knew personally, though their guard was, as usual, without reproach. They left me at the door of the building, and I made my way to the third floor as planned. I had never seen the inside of the building, as I usually flickered in and out with the boy, but what I'd seen up to date was up to specification. The paint was a little faded, and there were traces of unwashed grime, but nothing that could mean the building wasn't being properly looked at.
Coming up to the second floor, my nose started getting an itch. There was some kind of smell in the air I couldn't identify, but knew I should be able to. It became clearer as I ascended the stairs to Naruto's level. It was bugging me enormously.
Seeing the third landing, though, made me forget all that.
On contrast with the rest of the place, the third level was derelict. The walls were faded with age wherever you could see through the grime, and the wooden walls were long-eaten by moisture and insects. There were large spiderwebs all over the ceiling, and the brown spots that dotted the surroundings made my brain catch up with what I'd been smelling the past minutes.
The smell of long-dried blood.
How in the shinigami's belly had this place been so damaged, so abandoned ? Especially since the lower floors visibly had been fixed and washed recently enough that the building seemed normal in perspective.
I made a mental note (The first of many, which I hadn't realized at that time) to double-check the landlord life's and work, starting as soon as this infiltration mission was complete.
Entering Naruto's apartment, I found that it was luckily better than the corridor had been. There were holes in the walls and rust over the few metal items present, though I realized that was just because Naruto was cleaning himself. A quick look around saw nothing missing, though signs of age were prevalent of the various pieces of furniture. The bed was used and the draperies moth-eaten, but it was livable. I turned to sleep quickly, emulating was the reports said the boy did when coming back for the hospital. It'd take a longer look tomorrow.
September 16, Day Two
The boy was out of food and the only thing left to drink was obviously too old milk, so the first thing I did was go out for groceries. I had my own money and wouldn't need to use the one I'd found in Naruto's clothes at the hospital. I'd make sure to leave some food for when he comes back, so he doesn't have to go shopping as soon as he comes back next month.
Entering the closest store for my current living place, only my sharp ninja reflexes saved me from getting an egg straight in the face. Dodging and whirling, I came in to a defensive position to see the shopkeeper going for a tomato.
"Sorry sir, !..." I tried to fake Naruto's inflections as much as possible, but was startled by the reaction and probably didn't do too well.
"Begone, Devil Freak ! We don't serve killers here."
"But…" I dodged the first tomato. "I…" Dodged two more. "Not…" I fled by then, and the chair the man had sent at me crashed into the doorframe. The man quickly followed, armed with a crate filled with overripe fruit.
If only my senseis could see me now… The great Sarutobi Hiruzen, God of Shinobi, fleeing from a fruit-throwing civilian. I'm sure they're rolling in their graves from laughter at the thought.
I managed to evade the man and hid, all the while thinking about the life my grandstudent's son was living. The things running through my head weren't pretty.
September 17, Day Three
I ended up having to flicker into one of the ANBU storage depot and gathered trail rations for the time I'd be here, as the forays I'd made in six different shops had given similar results. The one with the tomatoes was actually not the worst, as a shinobi store actually threw an explosive tag at me. I had to hold back and not kill the guy in retaliation. Yes, the tag was weak, but it could have been deadly if I hadn't dodged and put some space between me and the explosion.
The best I actually found was a cornerstore that refused to sell me anything except the nearly-passed stuff, which along with the milk in Naruto's fridge made me started bringing me to a humbling conclusion. The list in my mind had also grown by forty-eight names, and only the promise I'd made to last the complete month held me back from giving into my rage.
To be productive, I started a full inventory of Naruto apartment, to see how the possible future hokage lived. It couldn't be worse than going outside.
September 18, Day Four
With a kunai I'd found hidden under floorboards, I was currently engraving the various names I'd need to investigate after the infiltration under Naruto's table. The list had grown to add the names of all building inspectors who'd came by during the life of Naruto. It was well hidden, but the apartment was in no better state than the corridor outside.
There was rarely water in the pipes, and when there was brown was to only color to show. The oven was gas-powered and I found it was slowly leaking, with only the fact that the child kept his windows and doors open having saved him. The freezer wasn't working, and the fridge had been tampered with. It wasn't obvious, but if you looked carefully, you could find that it only worked when opened, and five minutes afterwards.
Worse, there were rusty nails coming out at in various corners, well hidden to anyone but a trained ninja. The air conditioning made the room stifling during the day, and freezing during the night, with no functioning switch to alternate between the two. The electricity cut at various intervals, and I didn't like the scorch marks by the outside door.
I engraved the building manager's name a second time, just to make sure I didn't forget it. Someone was going to have to pay.
September 20, Day Six
Thank God for Ichiraku.
After a few days of trail rations, I was ready to kill someone for a good meal. I'd explored the town a little more trying to find a store that would sell food to me to no avail. Twice I was actually run off by mobs, and had to hide for hours before going back to my apartment. I could have flickered, true, but I tried to live as much as Naruto had.
The worse was seeing the children running with the adults, holding sticks and smiling. I'd made the law to insure that the children younger than Naruto wouldn't hate him as the adults did, but it seemed I'd failed utterly.
The only respite I had was today when, without realizing, I passed Ichiraku's Ramen Stand while coming back from another chase. One look from Teuchi and I was on a stool, a large bowl of ramen was before my face and another was in preparation. I could actually have kissed the man.
Now, I'd already eaten many times at this stand, though each time was with Naruto. I wasn't the greatest fan of ramen, being simply neutral towards it as food.
I'd actually never eaten a meal that good in my life. I knew it was part not having anything decent as food since taking Naruto's place and part being accepted somewhere finally, with possibly Teuchi having given better stock than usual. I understood right then why Naruto swore by ramen. I'd have done the same if I had the same life.
I ate twice as much as I normally did, and even then was given four bowls to go, as the cook and his daughter saw that I had barely eaten half what I usually did.
It wasn't until I'd return to my borrowed apartment that I realized I hadn't given them a cent in exchange.
September 22, Day Eight
I had to break my vow to live as Naruto would and used my first ninja technique in self-defense today. It was either that or lose a foot.
I was returning from what was becoming my routine check of new shops. Up to date only three would sell anything to me, and nothing fresh in any of them. Now, I am not nicknamed the god of shinobi for no reason: I've trained extensively in every area possible. That's the only reason I felt the explosive tag activating.
I reflexively flickered, and found myself on the opposite side of the apartment before I'd even had a single thought.
From that vantage point, I quickly analyzed the situation and figured out what happened. It was blatantly simple and horribly effective. Someone, and unfortunately with the tag gone I would never know who, had slipped an active tag under the closed door and simply walked away. Most people didn't look around when entering their own home, feeling naturally safe.
That simply made this attempt even more terrible.
I then remembered the scorch marks I'd seen near the door, and realized it wasn't the first time such a thing happened.
I needed to find a way of making this place more secure quick, else I wasn't going to survive the complete month.
September 23, Day Nine
Where were the damn ANBU ?!
A trio had entered the building during the night and beaten me down to a pulp. Or rather, had beaten a mud clone of me to a pulp.
I was lucky to have prepared one just-in-case, a precaution if I got caught by a mob someday, and hid it in my closet for switching purposes. I hadn't planned using it against three at least slightly drunk men at four in the morning.
I knew beatdowns when I saw them, and Ibiki would have given a good grade to those who'd given that one. I actually had to reinforce to construct with a genjutsu, else they'd have managed to find the ruse.
Once gone, it was then that I realized that I hadn't noticed the presence of any ANBU since, well, forever. They were supposed to be guarding the boy at all times, and the fact was that I hadn't noticed any of their presences in more than a week.
That chilled my blood. That actually meant ninja interference in the application of the law.
September 27, Day Thirteen
I decided to try spending the day in various parks playing with children, if only to test what I'd seen earlier. I very much wanted to believe that that children had joined the mobs because their parents did, and were only happy doing this activity because they were sharing it with their parents.
The first two places were inconclusive, as the parents removed their children as soon as I arrived.
The third, however, was only populated by children, with no parents in sight. I approached carefully, non-threateningly.
I had not said a word the children grouped and bared me passage.
"You ain't welcome here !" One said.
"Monsters aren't welcome." Added another.
"Go away, demon freak"
I was about to say something, anything, to defend myself, when a rock hit me in the shoulder.
"Mommy said you killed my daddy." The youngest boy here, the one who had tossed the rock, cried out.
The rest decided this was a great idea, and I was pelted by rocks to whole way as I fled the scene.
I'm so sorry, Naruto. I've failed you.
September 30, Day Sixteen
I was now sure I was being followed.
I'd first ignored the feeling of being watched in the back of my mind, mainly because I was used to it and due to the fact that ANBU was supposed to watch over the boy, having not been informed of my ruse. Then, after realizing the guard ninjas were missing, I'd passed the feeling as simply the hate of the villagers following me around.
Now, however, I was sure it was more specific than that.
Right now I had a clone in the bed, pretending to be a sleeping Naruto, while I was under said furniture preparing myself for a very specific technique.
It was one of the techniques on the scroll of forbidden seals, one that the Hyuugas had long lobbied to have erased in every shape or form. It was simple: It emulated the Hyuuga eyes, if for a short moment.
The fact that it could stop working at any moment made it too fickle to have any use in combat, but as an information gathering technique it was incredibly useful.
I could only maintain it for two minutes or so, but, as I realized, that was more than enough.
Among the four other occupied apartments in the building, three were occupied by ninja, if you counted the supplies hidden in various caches. One I could even identify as a ROOT member due to the hidden papers I found.
It was the same for the buildings around. There were some civilian families, I could see, but the majority were ninjas, and from the equipment I could find at least ranked chuunin or higher.
Now that was interesting. I'd passed a law as soon as Naruto came to this building that no ninja could live here, or in any of the surrounding buildings of the block.
October 2, Day Eighteen
I swore today that I would never punish Naruto harshly for him pranks anymore.
Today was a very rainy day, so I stayed in the apartment and planned what I would do once the remaining week and a half of my infiltration mission were done.
Now, as might be expected due to the treatment I received, I was in a pretty vengeful mood, and the various plans I made wouldn't be liked by much people. It'd long decided that those who'd hurt me (and, by extension, Naruto) would pay dearly when, during the plan against the shopkeeper who'd used an explosive tag on me, a stray thought came to mind.
'Naruto would like this prank.' It said.
Then every piece fell into place. The boy had nothing to do with his time, as I'd noticed from the contents of his home. No toys, no books, no sport equipment… No friends. Only the hurt caused by the village, which would push him towards vengeance.
I'd never been more glad that the son of the man I'd come to consider my own child wasn't prone to violence more than I was now.
I'd never realized before, but pranking was the only thing he could do to both get back at those hurting him, and at the same time occupy his time. It was a wonder he'd not escalated and started seriously hurting someone.
October 4, Day Twenty
As of October 4, the table was no longer enough to contain all the names I'd need to investigate.
I went yesterday to a police station, intending to see how the Konoha police would react to the presence of the Nine-Tailed's Prison.
They didn't deceive.
I'd barely entered that I was cuffed and thrown into an interrogation room. Four Uchiha then took their time 'interrogating' me.
Now I'd received beatings before, including one from a man who was Ibiki's predecessor, and was every bit his equal. This one was painful, but not overly so. I'd be back to full mobility tomorrow, and even earlier if I could find a spot to heal myself without anyone noticing.
I then passed a night 'unconscious', or pretending to be so, before being thrown out in a dumpster at dawn.
Now done with the table, I started with the back of his bedroom closet's door. I still had at least three-quarters of the Uchihas to write down before tomorrow.
October 7, Day Twenty-Three
By today, I had entered every single shop in Konoha that was available to Naruto. The results couldn't have been farther from pleasing.
Out of all the stores in the city, only a dozen didn't treat my current body as something to be eliminated. Two restaurant, a bookstore, a tailor, two places selling furniture, a fishmonger, a ramen factory outlet (figures), three clothing stores for women and a single shinobi store.
All but two was owned by people from outside the city, and the bookstore was the only one around selling Icha Icha, which suggests Jiraiya's involvement. Teuchi and Ayame rounded up the group.
Something like this smelled of coalition, at the very least.
I added today to the list the whole merchant's council. It was the only group I suspected could have the power to do such a thing at this widespread level.
October 10, Day Twenty-Six
Today was actually Naruto's birthday. Normally, I met with the boy for a dinner at Ichiraku, then left to be present at the kyuubi defeat remembrance festival. Jiraiya probably wouldn't be present, as I'd forgotten to tell him of this particular habit of mine.
The ramen dinner was as good as It had ever been, and the man and his daughter refused as they always had the money I offered. I was wary today, but other than even worse looks than usual, the civilians held their anger back. I was actually surprised, as I'd expected even more mobs today than usual, with the kyuubi on everyone's mind.
Then I found why that was.
I noticed the ninjas on the adjacent rooftop as soon as the festival started, and foolishly thought that at least at the worst possible time they were look out for the child.
Then the explosives hidden under the floorboards blew up, and my leg blossomed in pain.
As I twisted to fall on my uninjured side, I cursed the fact I unconsciously taken this place as a safe haven. I tried rising back up as at least four ninjas flickered in the room, and four seconds later was unconscious, my mangled leg making fight or flight impossible.
???, Day ???
Beep, beep, beep.
My thoughts were sluggish… What happened yesterday again ?
Beep, beep, beep.
I didn't try matching Jiraiya drink for drink like the last time, did I ?
Beep, beep, beep.
Or was it Anko ?
Beep, beep, beep.
I tried shaking my head, only for the pain to surge again. Damn, that was even worse than that one time with Tsunade.
Beep, beep, beep.
A smell of disinfectant. As bad as my memory was acting, that removed everyone I ever drank with. Where in hell was I ?
"Patient regeneration is within normal parameters this time."
What the ?
He felt chakra applied to his body "Drugs are still working correctly. Patient is still unresponsive."
Another voice piped up. "So the poison might work this time ?"
Poison ? What ?
I forced open a single eye, and even that took a major effort. The sight that greeted me chilled my bones. I was still in the form of Naruto, strapped securely to a hospital bed, while two medical ninja were filling syringes with their back to me.
The fact that every single vial they were using had a 'Poison' label didn't escape my mind either.
Thinking quickly, I tried to mold all the chakra that I could. I could feel myself falling back towards unconsciousness, so I released it all in the only technique I could think of that might help.
While smoke was covering the room, I managed to weakly utter "Enma, help…" before blacking out again.
???, Day ???
The second time I woke up was to the feeling of healing chakra.
My eyes opened instantly, and I saw that I was in the same hospital room as before. The two medical ninja were gone though, and replacing them was Enma, who was visibly guarding the door, along with the two of my students that I still trusted : Tsunade and Jiraiya.
I also realized that I was back into my body, as was the Toad Hermit.
And I remembered everything.
Heedless of my injuries, I rose up in one smooth motion, mentally thanking the fact that the Shodaime's granddaughter was such a miraculous medic.
"You're lucky that Enma can see through things like imago seals, or I don't think you'd be alive today, Old Man." Jiraiya spoke as soon as he saw I was in good enough shape. "And that I could find Hime fast enough. You nearly didn't make it anyway. Neither did your leg, actually."
I ignored those facts, and focused on what I had to do.
"Tsunade ?" the woman straightened at the sound of my voice. I sounded incredibly angry. "A favour, please ? Could you go and relieve the ANBU guarding Naruto Uzumaki and replace him or her ? I will be busy for a while, so I'd like you to guard the boy while giving him a complete medical exam."
"One thing though… Should any person try to harm the boy, and I do mean ANY person, you are to dispatch said person in the most brutal and painful manner possible, understood ?"
The woman left at a very fast walk, but my attention wasn't on her.
"Gather here in the shortest time possible Uchiha Itachi, Hatake Kakashi along with the ANBU that was guarding the boy during the last month."
The self-proclaimed Super Pervert wasted no time answering, and left with his orders. It seemed that my current state made people wary of disagreeing with me.
"Enma, many thanks for your excellent protection. I no longer require your services, so you can go if you desire. I once again owe you one, my friend."
"My pleasure guarding you, master." The large monkey then disappeared from the room.
With me alone, I found myself thinking back on the past month and my anger surging to new heights. I know giving into anger wasn't something an Hokage was ever supposed to do, but I was more than ready to make an exception for this one time. I had widespread rebellion right outside my door, and inside my ninja forces as well, so I thought it was more than justified.
A memory flashed back then, of a far off time. I had been there when the Shodaime had declared his brother his successor, and now remembered a phrase I had since forgotten.
"An Hokage must never give into rage." The man had said long ago. "But, should your anger be too much to contain, you must make sure that your anger be three things:"
"Your rage must be cold."
"Your rage must be reasoned."
"And your rage must be legendary."
I didn't understand then what the man had meant, but now could understand better than ever.
And Konoha would remember my anger for a long time.
Jiraiya wasted no time in coming back, and I found out that Hamster-san was the ANBU he'd trusted with the guard of the boy. A good choice.
I could see that the three ANBU had noticed my anger, and were standing rigidly, obviously waiting for my orders.
"First thing first, men. Have any of you badly treated Naruto Uzumaki in any way, insulted him, or went against orders concerning him. Let me make clear that should any of you be found lying, the punishment will exponentially increased."
Kakashi waited no time in answering, falling to his knees. "Many excuses, Sandaime-sama, but I may have been late for some of my guard positions in regards to the boy."
I decided to forgive that slight, if only for now. "See that it doesn't happen again, Kakashi." The man nodded, visibly relieved. "Any others ?"
The two other men declined.
"Then, Hamster-San, I have a mission for you." Said ANBU straightened once more. "You are to go to Uzumaki Naruto's apartment, and note any name engraved anywhere in his apartement. You are to gather all the designated persons which aren't ninjas and have them brought to Ibiki, with orders for him to break them. Understood ?"
"Hai, Hokage-sama." Said ANBU flickered away.
"Kakashi, your mission will be to find out which ANBU were supposed to be guarding Naruto during the past month, and bring me that list as soon as possible."
"Beg your pardon. Hokage-sama," The Uchiha ANBU interfered. "But the ANBU have not been guarding Uzumaki Naruto for the past year."
"As of November First of last year, this mission was reassigned to the Konoha Military Police." November First… that was while I was meeting with the Kazekage in Suna…
"Who put forward this motion ? And who voted for such a thing ?"
"I do not know who voted what, Sandaime-sama, but I know the motion was originally put forward by the Uchiha Head."
Uchiha… that explained a lot of things…
"Then, Kakashi, your mission will be to get me the record of this council meeting, and bring it here as soon as possible."
"Hai." He too vanished.
"Uchiha Itachi, a question. Who in your clan broke the law considering Naruto Uzumaki ?" I'll see if I have to deal with them.
"That depends on your interpretation of the law, Hokage-sama."
"Let me rephrase that. Who in your clan treated Naruto Uzumaki as they would the Kyubi ?"
"It would be better to ask how many did not, Hokage-sama."
"That many ?"
"Then, you are to eliminate every single Uchiha you have knowledge of committing such an infraction, and to bring in remaining to Ibiki for interrogation."
The man's eyes became big. "Being your pardon, Hokage-sama, but only with the council's backing can you send ANBU out of assassination missions."
True, but not all. "Outside of a war situation, you mean." Itachi remained silent.
"As of right now, you may consider Konoha on war footing against any person treating Uzumaki Naruto as the Kyubi. Now do you want a notarized document saying such, or will my word enough ?"
"Your word will be enough, Hokage-sama. Can I have two days of preparation ?"
"You have them. Make sure that none escape. I will be waiting for their corpses in sealing scrolls before the end of the week."
With him gone, I flickered back to my office. I had much work to do, and very little time to do it.
October 20, Day Thirty-Five
In the end, it was a good thing that Itachi asked for two days before his purge… It allowed me to prepare much.
I did prepare the necessary notarized document for declaring war, and made sure it was in place. Ibiki was complaining of lacking manpower, so a dozen specific ANBU were added to his roster after being cleared of possible misconduct toward the boy.
Four of those specific ANBU were Yamanakas, so the great clan purge was now in effect.
Starting with those on the council, I had a squad of a dozen ANBUs along with Ibiki scanning everyone for breaking MY interpretation of the law, and bringing those who'd opposed it to cells in the Hokage Tower. They hadn't been used in decades, but those in Interrogation were already full to the brim.
I'd need a new council soon, also.
But now I was actually waiting on someone. I'd been planning for his visit since I first entered this room, and had actually expected it a while ago…
My door burst open, Danzo being at the forefront of a group usually found together in the council.
I hadn't expected both either of my old teammates, or the heads of the Uchiha and Hyuuga clan to be accompanying him, but it wasn't surprising. Both clan heads were actually on my list of probable elimination, so their presence actually helped. And for my former team members, well…
You can't make an omelet without breaking any eggs.
I acted surprised, then reached out and, hiding my killing intent as much as possible, pressed the button right beside the one for calling my secretary. I was using one of the things I've learned from my time as Naruto.
Ninjas are weak against explosives, when those aren't triggered by chakra.
Every floorboard within two meters of my door exploded.
The smoke having cleared, I called out. "ANBU, please detain all council members in my room for treason, and have all except Danzo brought to Ibiki for Deep Scanning as soon as possible. Leave two ANBU in the room with Danzo."
After a dozen flickers, I was left luckily with Hamster-san and Dog-san standing beside the remains of the door, and the Head of ROOT in a chair trying to limit the bloodloss from his mangled legs. Going in one of the drawers in my desk, I withdrew the sheet of orders I'd stolen from the root operative in Naruto's building, along with the written record of the law that prohibited ninjas from living in the same block as Naruto. I shoved the latter right before his face.
"Danzo, can you tell me what this is ?"
"A written law record."
"What does it say ?"
"That no shinobi of any rank may live within a block of Naruto Uzumaki's residence."
I brought the other sheet forward now. "And this ?"
"I don't know."
I could see the lie in his eye. I turned to the dog-masked ANBU. "Dog-san, level three please."
The ANBU made no sound, but put a palm full of electricity struck the council member's neck. He held the technique for ten seconds while I watched.
Once it was done, I once again brought the order sheet to his face. "What is this, Danzo ?"
Good. "Saying ?"
"I don't know."
"Dog-san, level seven please."
After the required minute of electrical torture, I asked again. "What is it, Danzo ?"
"Orders to watch… Naruto Uzamaki… and to eliminate… if necessary…" the man wheezed.
"Good. Did you write these orders ?" Like all the questions that I'd asked, I already knew the answer, and Danzo knew that I knew it. Only Danzo gave the orders in ROOT, and no one else.
"Dog-san, level twelve please."
A second later, the ROOT leader's head was rolling on the floor.
There was only a single electrical technique in Konoha that was ranked twelve, and that was Chidori. Applied to the neck it was one of the most effective methods of execution.
The last viable level of electric torture was nine.
"ANBU, please remove the corpse of this traitor and have it brought to Investigation. Please notify my secretary that the floor will have to be remade while on the way."
Looking back at my ravaged office, I smiled. That felt very good indeed.
October 22, Day Thirty-Seven
Naruto was back in his new home, a small house in the residential side of Konoha. It was his by virtue of the law of reparations, and old law from the times of the First that specified what happened in the case of one clan committing grievances to another. In a case such as this one, meaning outright treason, all monies, properties and other valuables went for the party in error to the injured group.
In simpler terms it meant Clan Uzumaki (which contained only Naruto) received the full riches of the seventeen clans found having willfully disobeyed the law. Only two of the clans were shinobi, but in total it meant that close to thirty percent of the surface of Konoha belonged to him. Amongst these were ninja stores, market, hotels and even a hot spring.
On the ninja side it was a totally different thing.
Itachi was true to his word and eliminated all members of his family he'd known were in error, which left if as the head of a clan containing six other people, none being a year older than Naruto. By law the Uchiha compound was now Uzumaki property, which the ANBU Captain abandoned. The remaining children had been put into fosterage.
The other clan affected was the Hyuuga clan, and Sarutobi had personally taken care of that one. The whole main house was decimated save a single person, the clan heiress Hyuuga Hinata. Hiashi had even revealed the secret to his youngest daughter, Hanabi, something which forced even her execution. The branch house however lost very few people, and with the only main house living left knowing neither how to use the cage bird seal or how to apply it, it seemed the inhumane traditions of the Hyuuga would be gone before the next generation.
The most bizarre effect was that the branch house members were effectively the propriety of the main house, and therefore by law had become Naruto's belongings.
After having learned that he was the cause of the end of the caged bird seal, they had sworn up and down that no enemy would ever harm him. He was currently under the guard of eight of their numbers, the minimum that could be found at any time.
He'd just made his first step towards Hokage.