Sarutobi had dimmed the lights in the office and gave the giant cat Onukashi a shank that he had promised him, but as he looked at the way the cat was at ease, he could only imagine what the plane the War Panthers had come from. But before he could do anything to find out, Sarutobi saw Iruka appear at his door, looking crestfallen as he appeared, not yet noticing the giant cat near his couch.
"Hokage-sama." Iruka started, but as he looked to the right and saw Onukashi for the first time. "Excuse me, Hokage-sama?" he asked, watching the creature breathing at the side of the couch.
"Iruka, meet Onukashi of the War Panther summons." Sarutobi smiled, gestured to the big cat as the Panther stood up from his impromptu nap. "Onukashi-sama, this is Iruka, Chuunin instructor at Konoha's Academy." He said, watching how Iruka acted around the big cat.
"Ah, Iruka-san." Onukashi purred as he looked at the Chuunin. "I hear you have trained great shinobi." He said, his lips churning in a snarl-like manner.
"What do you mean, Onukashi-sama?" Iruka said as he looked around. "I have only trained several classes and have not felt the real idea of a 'great shinobi' until recently." He sighed. "And only then there was only Sasuke and Naruto who stood out."
"Oh I wouldn't worry about the Uchiha, Iruka." Sarutobi laughed as he looked around. "As soon as I am sure that Naruto is okay, and I have some idea of what really happened with him, I am having the Uchiha put into protective custody." He said, looking Onukashi in the eyes. "I have discovered that someone used Sasuke as a prison of sorts, and that the prison was forcefully ripped away from him, and he has yet to recover. That was three days ago." He explained.
"Wait a minute, Hokage-sama." Iruka said quietly. "Are you saying that since the ingested prisoner was ripped away, that Sasuke can't be a shinobi?" he asked.
"Iruka. Sasuke's chakra was never his own." Sarutobi growled. "He had levels of chakra that rivaled a Chuunin." He explained. "And now that Imiko has removed herself, he hasn't got the chakra coils to even manage a henge. I will not have the last Uchiha male still loyal to Konoha DIE because he couldn't manage to finish a single fight."
"Hai." Iruka said as he looked around the room. "I just wish there was a way to give him something."
"Oh he'll be taken care of if I have any way of it." Sarutobi chuckled as he looked at the Chuunin. "So, how is our favorite little gaki?" he asked.
"Well, according to our lowly doctor, he should be dead." Iruka frowned, ignoring the shocked looks of Sarutobi and the look of amazement on Onukashi. "Fractures, lacerations, broken bones. The chakra coils on his right arm are damaged so bad he shouldn't be able to use any more jutsu, but somehow things are repairing them as usual. The doctor said that he should be back and annoying everyone in no time. Not my choice of words." He explained, holding his hands up defensively as Onukashi growled at him.
"Okay." Sarutobi groaned, worried about what would happen next. "Did you give him his headband?" he asked.
"I left that bundle by his table in his room. So he should find it when he wakes up." Iruka sighed. "Chelsea is in the waiting room right now waiting on him." He smiled. "I just hope we can get some answers."
"Hokage-sama." Onukashi began, drawing everyones attention towards him. But as they looked at him, they saw how his skin changed colors again, this time to a placated blue with a tinge of green. "I have received word from my tribesman and the man who smells like a forge." He explained. "They have found many bodies deep below us. Many were killed by wind jutsu from the look of them. And they were not just the 'Great Breakthrough'." He whispered. "And also, the blacksmith says that Naruto's 'kunai' and 'shuriken' are there, which are being picked up to cancel any thoughts of blaming the boy. But there are many blast areas from senbon detonation."
"Senbon detonation?" Iruka asked, looking at the Hokage. "No senbon has ever had explosive notes on them before." He replied.
Sarutobi could only chuckle. Pulling out a small package from under his desk, he smiled as he pulled out a long senbon needle. "Here a while back, Naruto gave me a package." He began, examining the senbon. "In it, I found these little guys in seals, along with other weapons. All of them were forged by Naruto, Iruka. Take a look." He smiled, handing Iruka the needle.
Iruka could only gasp as he looked at the needle. All along the needle were different seals. One of them, actually to Iruka's knowledge the only one that he could recognize, a high yield explosive note emblazoned on the needles edge. "Hokage-sama?" he gulped, looking at the cooling emotion on the Panthers skin. "Is it alright for Naruto to have these?" he asked. "I mean, all that damage that was caused, from the looks of just THIS needle, could have been caused by Naruto!" he shouted.
"Iruka, calm yourself." Sarutobi began. "Naruto for one has immense chakra reserves, and thanks to him being expelled from the academy and actually being taught, unlike what was happening at the Academy, except for when you were able to actually train him, he is able to use them." He explained. "Not only that but I made him promise not to use these unless they're enemy shinobi and never on a ceiling. If Naruto would have used them on the ceiling, he would have been breaking his promise to me, and you know how he is about that." Sarutobi chuckled as he remembered Naruto glaring at him when he made him make that promise.
"Now, as it is, Onukashi-sama and his tribe of summons are a part of the Uzumaki birthright." Sarutobi began. "I don't know all the details, but apparently before Kushina Uzumaki was born, her grandfather was able to save the War Panther tribe from obliteration, or something to that matter." He sighed. "Now, however, the tribe needs Naruto's help. If he could find them a summon scroll and is able to send them to their domain once again, then Naruto would be able to gain their tribe as a summon."
"Not only us, Hokage-dono." Onukashi began. "We also are a part of the Panther and War Cat tribes. So in other words, Naruto would be able to summon a LOT of cats with our summon scroll." He explained, causing both Iruka and Sarutobi's mouths to hang open.
"So, your saying that Naruto Uzumaki would have control of the entire cat species?" Iruka asked dumbly, hoping he wouldn't anger the giant cat.
"I said that he would have a LOT of cats to summon, but not when he hasn't earned their trust." The cat explained. "He has already gained my trust through his actions and with his heart." The cat began. "Even as he was passing out, at that rubble sight, I could see in his posture that he did not like having to do what he did." Onukashi said as he lashed his tail slightly.
Sarutobi could only smile as he watched the cat. "Now, you say that he's in bad shape, Iruka." He asked, getting a nod from the Chuunin.
"The doctor wasn't exactly 'exact' about his status, since Chelsea-san was there and we all know how she gets about her Naruto-kun."
Training Ground ~ Imiko
Imiko Uchiha, now none as Imiko Inzushima Zeruma, after who her mother had initially married. She had originally come to Training Ground 32 to see what had happened to her 'special tree', something that her and her brother had named a large oak that was split and had grown in three different directions.
Looking down at a nearby stream she could only smile at how she was looking. She had forgone the typical Battle Kimono, which anyone would have expected of a Kinouichi, to wearing something a little bit more different. She was wearing a black and purple Battle Kimono, but wore a red skin tight jumpsuit under it, kunai holsters strapped against her stomach with a small Ninja-toe strapped to the side of her back with a shuriken holster strapped to her left thigh. She didn't even bother wearing sandals, going with a pair of light blue combat boots with hidden daggers on the toes. Smirking, she looked back to the tree. What would you think of this, brother dear? She thought as she fidgeted with her kunai pouch.
As if by accident, Imiko seemed to picture her brothers face, fading away into the tree. A lone tear slid down her face, not even realizing what was happening.
The office was needless to say stock still as Sarutobi frowned. "Okay," he sighed. "We'll give Sasuke another week to prepare himself. Hopefully he can regrow his chakra coils and be able to do the job of a shinobi." He explained, looking at Iruka.
"Well." Onukashi began as he looked from Sarutobi to Iruka. "If we have concluded the talks about Naruto, I will take my leave." He said softly, his back spines popping as he raised himself up, shaking slightly. "When the boy recovers, please tell him that I wish to talk to him in the Forest." He said humorously. "I can't wait to meet him."
"Hai." Sarutobi frowned, watching the big cat seem to fade out of the office. If Naruto learns how to do THAT, he thought. The entire village would be in trouble. He chuckled. "Iruka, get Sasuke in here." He ordered. "I think it would be time for him to learn of his fate."he explained as the Chuunin nodded and walked out of the office.
Sasuke walked around the Uchiha grounds outside of his house, his back in pain as he walked. Damn that bitch! He snarled, his fists clenching angrily. If she would have stayed put in her fucking prison, none of this idiocy would have happened! His eyes scrawled to an area of the grounds where a small patch of grass appeared to be disturbed. His eyes however, were moved away from the grass instantly as he felt someone walking into the grounds. Turning toward the errant intruder, expecting it to be Danzo again, coming to beg him to join his group in ROOT so he could become stronger. But to his surprise, it was Iruka, that stupid, boring, Chuunin Instructor from the academy, who had told him that he would never be able to become a ninja now, what with most of his chakra and capabilities gone. "What can I do for you, Chuunin-san." He snarled out angrily, his teeth mashing together.
For Iruka however, this was something he didn't want to do. He knew that Sarutobi had asked him to do this, and that It was something required of him, but he did not want someone to be able to bring hope to someone who physically could NOT be anything but a civilian. So the idea of him giving the boy hope just to satisfy some old people on the council who can't get over themselves, it was truly disgusting. "The Hokage wishes to speak with you, Uchiha-san."
"Hn." Was all Iruka got in return as Sasuke began a rather slow walk down the road toward the Hokage's Office. Iruka was barely able to keep his eyes from rolling into the back of his head as he proceeded to follow the boy.
But as he followed the boy, he was greeted with glares and severely angry looks from villagers and some shinobi alike. Turning to one of the newer Gennin, he frowned as the kinouichi in question, wearing a pale green Battle Kimono, seemed to reach behind her back for what must have been her kunai pouch. "Watch what your doing, Gennin." He snarled. "Now why is everyone glaring at me?" he ordered.
"I don't have to answer a damn word you have to say, Demon Lover!" she shouted, her light red hair falling across her eye. "You should just go and die with your demon instead of killing Uchiha-sama!" she snarled.
Her snarling was stopped however, when Iruka's hand was brought across her face. "You're a disgrace if you even say something like that to me." He growled back at her before throwing her over his shoulder. "Maybe a nice chat with the Hokage will cause me to get some answers."
"Put me down!" she shouted, pounding his back as he once again proceeded to follow Sasuke once again. "I swear if the Hokage sees me like this my mother and father will be very pissed off!" she threatened.
"I don't care about your precious mommy and daddy, little girl." Iruka growled. "You're an adult as soon as you put on that headband." He explained. "Your mommy and daddy can't do shit to me."
Needless to say, the girl was suddenly quiet, making Iruka glad that that was a rule buried below all of the other laws. But even as he walked, the glares continued.
Mizuki was silently happy as can be. And as he watched Iruka and Sasuke walking down the street, he had to stop himself from laughing as he watched the interaction between Iruka and the little Gennin. He wont get anything from her, not with her fear of her parents being killed. He thought as he watched Iruka walk away, the Kinouichi thrown over his back. He remembered talking with the villagers last night.
Xxxx Flashback xxxx
Mizuki stood before a small group of villagers in front of a large bonfire near the crater of the explosions. "Look what that old fool has done to us!" he shouted, gesturing to the destruction. "He has allowed that demon to think it is one of us for the last time!" he shouted, causing some of the villagers to pale. "Not only has the demon caused this destruction, but he has caused the deaths of the Hokage's own Advisors!" he shouted. "I have seen the demon do this!" he shouted angrily, causing several of the villagers to become angrier. "But do you know what the Hokage is planning to do to the Demon?" he asked, looking at the Tower. "He plans to make him one of our shinobi!" he yelled, causing the crowd to become angrier.
"I don't think so!" someone shouted.
"I would rather DIE than have that thing to be near my daughter!" a woman called out. "I say we kill the damn thing!"
"It wont be that easy!" Mizuki called out, causing the crowd to step back. "The demon has started already to cast its human shell, and has bewitched several of my colleagues, as well as the Hokage and much of his staff!"
"He lies!" someone shouted out, causing everyone to look toward the back, and causing Mizuki to sneer. For standing in front of him was Morimino Ibiki. "Mizuki-teme," the aged interrogator smiled. "Your under arrest for the crime of creating civil unrest." He laughed, causing Mizuki to chuckle finally.
"Oh only if you can catch me, Ibiki-kun." Mizuki laughed.
"Oh are you telling me that you're a clone too?" Ibiki laughed, causing many to sweet drop. "But then again if you hadn't noticed? We've already caught the rest of your clones."
Mizuki was now pissed. But seeing as how his job was already done, he smiled at the interrogator before using Shunshin to get away from him.
Xxxx Flashback End xxxx
Mizuki knew that the I & T Division was on the look-out for him. But even as he watched Iruka running away with the Kinouichi toward kami knew where, he could only feel a sense of pride in the fact that he was able to plant multiple seeds of mistrust. I should have been in Counter Intelligence. He thought as he tried to figure out what he would be doing.
"You know, I should just kill you now, what with the severe amount of charges going against you right now, Mizuki." A feminine voice called out, causing Mizuki to sigh before turning around. He was only mildly surprised to see that the person behind him was not an ANBU, but someone of completely different temper. He was staring at the Hyuuga Branch Member who he had tried to seduce for many years.
"Minezia-chan!" Mizuki smiled, not noticing the killer stare he was receiving. "Did you come by to take me up on that offer I gave you?" he asked. "I mean, you and I could start an entire clan together." He explained.
"I already told you, Traitor." Minezia snarled. "I am not going to leave the village on your stupid idea of a date. I have a man and you are not going to be alive very much longer." She sneered, her eyes burrowing deep into his own.
Mizuki sighed before looking back to the street, holding his head down slightly. "I'm sorry to hear you say that." He frowned, his hands flying up. Suddenly his hands flew into a seal.
"Expecting something in the lines of me being a screaming baby on the ground clutching my head or something, Teme?" Minezia asked. "You never handled much in the way of common sense did you Mizuki-teme."
"Why? Aren't you in the Branch House!" Mizuki snarled as he pulled out a pair of kunai. Before he could do anything however, he was pulled off his feet by someone behind him. Turning back around he was greeted with the sight of Ibiki once again having found him. Mizuki could barely contain his scream as he was jerked back towards the Hokage Monument, and to the I & T Divisions Headquarters.
Minezia however, could barely contain her laughter as she saw the man begin to kick his legs in a vain attempt to get Ibiki to let him go. Sighing in a slight amount of happiness, Minezia then looked toward the hospital, and the place that Naruto was now sleeping. She knew what had happened in the Underground. Or at least what the Hokage had told her and just about everyone else. Damn that Danzo! She growled internally, before another sigh escaped her lips. At least Naruto-kun is going to be okay. She thought with a small smile, not even realizing the slight blush permeating her cheeks. Maybe I should go and help him 'recover'? she thought before shaking her head and walking off, not even understanding why, but never the less heading to the Hokage Tower.
Sarutobi smiled as he picked up the last pile of already signed paperwork and put it in the proper place. Okay now that that's done. He smiled. He turned around and tried walking away before the doors barged inward and a sweating Chuunin ran into the office, his hands ending on his knees. "What is it?" he asked worriedly.
"Hokage-sama!" The Chuunin panted, standing up slowly as he tried to catch his breath. "The… Civilian… Council is in… session without you!" he stuttered before falling back to his knees.
Sarutobi growled inwardly. I was just on my way to see Naruto too. He thought as he walked near to the Chuunin. "Come on, lets get you to a nurse." He said to the clearly exhausted Chuunin, who slowly stood up and nodded, walking in front of the Hokage. Sarutobi frowned as he turned and sealed off the office. Nobody's getting in there. He smiled smugly as he looked at the seal on the door.
He quickly ran down the hall toward the Council Chamber.
Chelsea was once again staring at Naruto's bedside. Come on, Naruto. She urged. Get up, PLEASE! She begged. For the last two days she had been begging the blonde to wake up, even if it was to call her a name or something. Daishyn had been at the forge, working his head off trying to get some sort of project done for the shop. She couldn't even really fight that part. No matter how much her heart ached for Naruto to wake up and show everyone that he was okay, and that no matter what anyone could throw at him he would be the victor. He had successfully taken out the only thing in the entire Village that was an obstacle to peace. ROOT was made, not to protect Konoha, but to protect and enforce the Ideals of a Mad Old War Hawk. Danzo only cared about bringing the Village prosperity through war and violence. But now that he, his puppet advisors and ROOT soldiers were dead, Chelsea could only imagine the kind of power struggle that was soon to ensue throughout the village. I just hope Sarutobi can fulfill what he has planned. She thought absently as she reached over to Naruto's hair and once again brushing it aside so she could look at his bandage covered face.
"This council session has now come to order." A rather balding man smiled as he looked around the gathered Civilian Council. He was a small man who had been able to commend massive respect only due to his own mother's fortune. He had quickly sold all of what his mother had given him when she had died and gained numerous businesses that had only recently created fluid resources enough to give him a seat on the council.
"Why did you call us here, Malay?" another of the Civilian council called out, rubbing her temple to stem any noises. "We just had a Council Meeting last week."
"That was before Danzo, Hamaru and Koharu were murdered by that blasted Demon Brat!" Malay shouted, stunning many of the Council. "The Demon destroyed most of our Special Forces and caused a crater in the Eastern Block of Konoha."
"That would be impossible!" an older Councilman shouted from his seated position where Shibi Aburame usually sat. "No boy much less a demon could destroy that much of the Village without a full scramble of the ANBU."
"And yet we have our loving grandfather figure, defending that thing?" Malay snarled, pointing to the man directly. "You spend too much time with those bug-cavorting freaks for your own good."
"Shut your mouth, Malay." The man growled, raising himself up. "You forget where you stand."
"Resay Vushoun." Malay laughed, shaking his head. "I know where I stand." He sneered, pointing at the desk. "I stand in the seat of the Council of POWER!"
"Last time I checked, that was the seat of the Hokage!" Resay shouted back, pointing to the Hokage's own desk and chair. "This is not a civilian village, you stupid young pup." He growled. "This is the Hidden Village of Konoha, the greatest Village of the Five Elemental Nations." He explained.
"This 'Hidden Village' you so call it? Is a fallen corpse of what it was ever since that stupid Yondaime Hokage sealed the Kyuubi instead of killing it!" Malay shouted. "Every single clan in this entire fucking Village should be casted out of here and sold as slave labor for US!" he laughed.
"And what do you suggest we do about the people who would destroy the Village, Mallay." An elderly voice called out from behind him, causing Malay to sweat ever so slightly. He gulped before turning around and gasped.
For in front of him, stood the Hokage in his robes and hat, a very serious look upon his face as he stared at Malay. "I asked you a question, Civilian Council member of a Shinobi Hidden Village." Sarutobi snarled, barely holding in his anger as he looked at the rest of the council.
"I would not have allowed a demon to run around causing havoc, that's for sure." Malay gasped as he looked behind the man, seeing the doors closing behind the Hokage. "You should have had it killed when the boy was still a baby. Like my father wanted to happen. We wouldn't be IN this mess if you did!" he growled.
"Oh, and what mess would that be." Sarutobi asked quizzically as he looked around the room, watching Resay once again as the elderly man rubbed the bridge of his nose.
"I know you already know what that DEMON did to the Western Block." Malay snarled.
"I know of only one thing happening to the Western Block." Sarutobi began. "And last I checked the information about what happened has not even been made public much less to this Council." He sighed. "As it is, it was dealing with a Shinobi of this village, so you, Malay, have no say in the matter. Now why did this Council become convened without my knowledge?" he asked.
"We the Council are moving to demand that BOY's miserable existence!" the woman councilor growled. "You have protected him for too damn long!"
"You people cannot even see a boy instead all you see is a damn beast." A disembodied voice called out amongst them. Every one of the Councilors looked around, anger in their faces at being called out as such. "Don't bother finding me. Since I am not really that important." The voice sighed. "You Civilians need to learn your place. After all, listening to you all bicker and bitch about Danzo-teme and his stooges getting killed has sent you all looking to take their places." It snarled.
At this point, Sarutobi realized who it was. And all he could do was smile. You really know how to stir shit up, don't you my friend? He thought as his smile deepened.
A: I know this is short for me but I wanted to get this chappy out to my fans and readers. I am NOT giving up on any of my stories and am in fact on the way to finishing up another of Uzugan, but had to rewrite it. Will be updating the others as soon as possible.