Story Title: Phantom Brave

Crossover: Naruto/Phantom Brave

Author: Wraithrune

Disclaimer: I do not own anything from Phantom Brave or Naruto, this is just a fan written fiction.

Summary: During the battle with Haku, Kyubi's attempt to break out of the seal caused Naruto to obtain a new bloodline. For he is now the summoner of the dead.

Chapter Twelve – Clan of Spirits

Previously in Phantom Brave...

"Hokage sama, Team 7 have settled in the Uchiha compound. And they are ready. To begin the next step of the plan." Kakashi said in a neutral voice, yet the look in his eyes spoke volumes.

Sarutobi nodded as he got up. He knew what Kakashi was hinting at, Naruto was ready to make the spirit compound that Mikoto had said would allow the phantoms to roam physically freely in.

"We'll hold the discussion of Root till later. I think it's best for us to head for the Uchiha compound now." Sarutobi said looking at Homura and Koharu who had also gotten up. "It's time for us to meet again... with old friends... and get more information from them."

2 hours ago, Konoha, inside Uchiha clan compound

Naruto looked at the four man team of phantoms that Mikoto had explained were from the Phantom Migration Bureau in the death realm. One of the phantom was nothing but a large hairy eyeball floating in mid air of all things, with long waving tentacles hanging down beneath it. Two others looked like some sort of lizard man creatures. The last of the group was a dog phantom... that could talk.

"So let me get this straight, to open up a spirit compound in the mortal realm, I need to register with this Phantom Migration Bureau place in the death realm. Agree to follow their laws which is to allow any phantoms they approve to live in the spirit compound. In return, some of the approved phantoms will provide service to me within the spirit compound, the Phantom Summoner of this world." Naruto said in a tone of disbelief.

"Yes it is one of the recent laws set in the death realm." The hairy eyeball spoke, though how it created the sound needed for audio speech was a mystery. "There has been an unprecedented increase in Phantom Summoners throughout the multi-verse as children of the old generations of Phantom Summoners awakened to their bloodlines. Many of the phantoms belonging to the worlds which Phantom Summoners have awakened were tempted and began to petition strongly for a chance to return back to their worlds in physical form. It is however a sad fact of reality that most average Phantom Summoners can only remain bond to a maximum of fifty phantoms even at the height of their powers."

"The governing authorities of the death realm, in response to the overwhelming petitions sent by zillions of phantoms, set up the Phantom Migration Bureau to address this need." The talking dog phantom spoke up. "Creation of spirit compounds requires a Phantom Summoner to act as anchor to the mortal world, while powerful phantoms in the death realm pump pure spirit energies through the summoner. In the past, spirit compounds were set up for Phantom Summoners in return for a significant quantity of mana, or as your world call it, chakra. All that however is history. Now, in return for aiding the Phantom Summoner in setting up a spirit compound, the Phantom Summoner must sign a binding pact with the Phantom Migration Bureau that allows the Bureau to introduce phantoms native to this world into the spirit compound. This pact is binding to you and your descendants. It will last for as long as you and your family controls the spirit compound. But do not worry, the Phantom Migration Bureau will set up an office in the spirit compound to help regulate these phantom residents in accordance to the laws of the death realm."

"But I am suppose to keep my bloodline a secret." Naruto began, shooting a look at Mikoto and the rest of his phantoms standing beside him.

"The Phantom Migration Bureau knows of your need for secrecy." One of the lizard man interrupted. "Phantoms introduced to your spirit compound will have to pass through a selection process. We'll ensure those that are selected know of the need to keep your bloodline a secret. Also they will swear a pact to keep your bloodline a secret before their induction into the compound."

"By their selection process, they are talking about phantoms who can actually pay them enough chakra for their application to be approved." Nawaki muttered disapprovingly beside Naruto. "Good thing about those selected phantoms is that they are all going to be those with a lot of chakra reserves, most probably meaning they are powerful ninjas or something similar in their mortal lives. Bad thing is, you can't order them around. Your relationship with them is similar to being a landlord to a large number of powerful residents."

The hairy eyeball turned and shot the young Senju an evil look. Naruto gulped nervously wishing Nawaki would not agitate the strange phantom unwisely. He could feel a great sense of power radiating from the eyeball creature.

"But I don't understand what those phantoms have to gain by getting to stay in the spirit compound." Naruto said, sweat forming on his forehead as the hairy eyeball continued glaring at the nonchalant Nawaki who was standing beside Naruto. "I mean sure they get to return to the world they are born in with a physical body, but that's only within the spirit compound. They can't travel out of it physically, not unless they are bond to me as my phantom, after which I can summon them."

"They can't travel out of the spirit compound physically, that's true." The talking dog creature replied. "However within the spirit compound where they have physical form, they could still communicate with the outside world through letters or messengers, and any dealings they need to conduct in this world can be done in the spirit compound."

"You mean I am supposed to allow strangers contacted by these approved phantoms into the Uchiha clan compound?" Naruto asked incredulously looking at Mikoto. "This isn't my home in the first place..."

"This is your home as of now." Mikoto said firmly. "You and Sasuke have the right to make your own decisions about who or who not to let into the compound. That includes people invited by any of the phantom tenants."

"I don't think Kakashi and old man Hokage will be happy about this." Naruto said warningly. "This is why you ask me to talk to all of you in private isn't it?"

"I am afraid they simply have no say in the matter." Hizashi said lying a hand on Naruto's shoulder. "The rules for setting up a spirit compound cannot be changed, the only concession is that any phantom residents let in are sworn to keep your bloodline a secret. And Naruto, you are the Phantom Summoner. The power to summon the phantoms is yours. You are your own man and you need to begin to learn how to make the best decisions regarding your bloodline, not to look for others to make the decisions for you."

Naruto bit his lips, his thoughts turning inwards. He was silent a long moment before his shoulders straightened, having made up his mind.

"You are right Hizashi, I can't keep having others make decisions for me. I am a genin now, an adult in the ninja world." Naruto said turning to the four phantoms from the Phantom Migration Bureau. "I will sign the pact with the Phantom Migration Bureau in return for a spirit compound. But run through all the clauses and requirements with me. I don't want to be cheated."

"This isn't a fish market, we're not going to swindle you." The dog creature said narrowing its eyes at Naruto.

"Nevertheless, run all of the contents in the pact I am going to sign by me again. Sure I know Mikoto and the others have already seen it, but I'll rather look at it with my own eyes." Naruto said looking back at the four phantoms from the Phantom Migration Bureau firmly. "I am the one that's going to be bond to it, I'll rather see first hand what I am going to get myself and my descendants into."

"Very well." One of the lizard man said with a sigh. A glow of light and stacks of papers appeared in its hands. "We'll start with clause number one. The number of approved phantom residents is in accordance to how large a spirit compound is..."

Present time, Konoha, inside Uchiha clan compound

The moon had already risen when Sarutobi, Homura, Koharu and Kakashi left the Hokage Tower and arrived in the Uchiha clan compound. As the group crossed the high walls of the Uchiha clan compound, Sarutobi felt a chill creep down his back as he sensed an abnormally high concentration of unusual spirit energy in the compound itself. It felt like spirit energy, yet at the same time not.

"The concentration of spirit energy within this place is smoldering." Koharu said with a shudder as they landed on the eastern side of the Uchiha clan compound. "Have they started the process of creating the spirit compound without waiting for us?"

"Uchiha Sasuke's family home is close by. We should proceed there and find out what is going on." Sarutobi said as he jumped onto the nearest rooftop and began running quickly towards their destination.

All of the buildings they passed on their way were in states of disrepair, reeds overgrowing in the lawns, some of the roofs were even collapsed or filled with holes. Not surprising since except for Sasuke's family home, the rest of the buildings in the large Uchiha clan compound had been left unused and unmaintained since the night of the Uchiha massacre.

Sarutobi who had been leading the group suddenly halted on one of the rooftop, glancing down below him in shock. Sounds of a woman sobbing in grief and happiness reached the group. Sarutobi and the others watched in disbelief as they saw Tsunade seated on a stone seat below them, crying her heart out as she was hugged by a young Nawaki and a man that looks like Kato Dan, Tsunade's fiancee, who had died in the Second Shinobi World War. Shizune stood by the side, her eyes gleaming with tears as she watched the impossible reunion.

"I think it is clear that Naruto did create the spirit compound without waiting for us." Sarutobi said in a soft voice. "Come, let's not disturb Tsunade for now. We'll get our answers from Naruto and the others."

Running quickly past the next few rooftops, they arrived at Sasuke's family home where Team 7 was gathered at the lawn. Mikoto was standing beside Sasuke, while Sakura was giving weary looks to four weird looking creatures talking to Naruto. One was a large hairy looking eyeball with numerous tentacles, one was a flying dog, and two looked like a hybrid of half man half lizard. Sakumo, Hizashi, an unknown young man and woman were standing not far away talking among themselves. Of Haku and the supposedly bonded phantom Zabuza, there were no signs of them.

"Naruto." Sarutobi said as he landed lightly beside Naruto who had turned around to look at him. Sarutobi's full attention was however on the four strange creatures in front of Naruto. "I see you've created the spirit compound without waiting for us. And who are these... people..."

"The eyeball is Izumei, the floating dog is Uo, the two lizardmen are Menki and Monki. They are the governing phantoms from the death realm assigned to this spirit compound." Naruto said in introduction though Naruto's words served to confuse Sarutobi even more.

"I am sorry Naruto, but can you elaborate? I am unclear about what is going on." Sarutobi said turning to look at Naruto.

"To put it simply, to create the spirit compound in the mortal realm, Naruto have to sign a pact with the phantom authorities in the death realm." Mikoto said as she walked forward. "One of the clause in the pact is that any phantoms approved by the phantom authorities can live a physical existence in Naruto's spirit compound, either as civilians, or to provide support services to Naruto, such as setting up shops. These four phantom authorities are assigned here to maintain order among the soon to be new phantom tenants."

"What? Why were we not told of this before hand?" Koharu said, a frown on her forehead. "We need to know of such matters..."

"For what?" Mikoto said in a harsh voice. "The way I see it, Naruto is the bloodline wielder. He is the one summoning the phantoms and making the pacts. It is his decision to make, not yours, not the Hokage, and most certainly not any business of the village. And regarding the matter of decisions, it's time Hizashi, Sakumo and I have a talk with you three old birds. Sakumo has been listening in on your meeting and your solutions to keeping Naruto's bloodlines secret are ridiculous. Binding seals? You three are delusional if you think us phantoms will allow you to go forward with your plan."

Koharu and Homura's eyes widened in shock, at Mikoto's implication that Sakumo in phantom form had spied on the discussions between the the Hokage and the elders. Sarutobi simply kept quiet, giving Mikoto and the rest of the phantoms a contemplative look.

"What is this about Binding seals?" Kakashi asked, his eyes narrowing dangerously as he looked at the pale faced elders and a silent Sarutobi.

"That's what we're going to be talking about." Sakumo said as the rest of the phantoms in the area walked forward, standing beside Naruto in an united front. "I think we'll need to put things in perspective for the Hokage and the elders. You see, we may be phantoms bond to Naruto, but in a way, we also perceive ourselves as guardians of Naruto since he has no family to do that for him. And we're going to ensure that he is not going to end up the short end of the bargain, while you three are deciding on matters for the good of the village."

"Naruto is like my own grandson. I have only his best interest at heart." Sarutobi spoke up softly, causing Naruto to look at him with surprise and gratitude.

"We shall see." Mikoto said as she motioned to everyone and turned towards her family home. "Come, now that we phantoms can remain physical in the spirit compound, it's time we trash things out with you three. Kakashi. Come along as well, we'll need your opinion. Naruto, Sasuke and Sakura, the three of you will listen in since all of you have a stake in this. As for you four official types... go set up your base of operations. The old family home of Eniki beside this building should be enough for you. And as agreed upon, we shall leave the western and northern quarters of the clan compound undisturbed to serve as the living quarters of your approved phantoms."

"Thank you Mikoto, we shall not disturb you then." The eyeball said as it floated into the sky towards the run down building just beside Sasuke's family home. The dog creature flew after it, while the two lizardmen turned and followed on foot.

"We shall use the living room for the meeting." Mikoto said as she led the way, with Sakumo and the other phantoms herding the elders and Sarutobi into the house.

"... Binding seals are little more than slavery seals. I will not allow you to use it on the children." Mikoto's stern voice cut through the loud arguments currently breaking out among the phantoms and the village elders. Seated at the edge of the large square table, with Naruto next to her, Sakura was beginning to feel a sense of unease at the direction the conversation was going.

"... Those seals are going to be no better than the Caged Bird seal the Hyuga clan use on members not of the main house." Hizashi said in a fierce voice. "You say the seal is only to bind, to prevent secrets from being leaked, but the one controlling the main binding seals holds a certain degree of power over those bond by the seals. A change in the main binding seal, a silent trigger, and you can instantly kill those bond by the seals. I am not going to let Naruto start his new clan this way!"

Sakura sat in pale faced silence as she watched the gathered adults raised their voices at each other. The whole conversation was degenerating into a shouting match. A fight that the two elders were losing ground as the Hokage who remained seated across the table with the elders stayed silent throughout the whole conversation.

"Enough." The Hokage's firm voice suddenly spoke out. "Mikoto and the rest of you have brought out valid arguments. But the elders have also raised an important point as well. Binding seals are the most certain way of keeping the secrets of Naruto's bloodlines in wraps. If you are all against the Binding seals, what other methods do you suggest in keeping Naruto's bloodlines secret?"

The phantoms gave each other uncomfortable looks, and there was a long drawn out silence.

"Currently, of those that knew of Naruto's secret, are all of us here, Tsunade and Shizune, as well as Haku." Mikoto said at last looking at the Hokage and the two village elders. "It is very unlikely any of us would break Naruto's trust. Tsunade, Shizune, Haku, Kakashi and even Sasuke are tied to Naruto because he allows them to see the phantoms of their love ones. The true unknown factors are you three seated here and Sakura. You four have no connection to Naruto. No way to be certain you will act in Naruto's best interest."

"We realize the importance of Naruto's bloodlines..." Koharu began but was instantly shoot down by Mikoto.

"Yes we all know you elders realize the importance of Naruto's bloodlines to the village." Mikoto said giving the two elders a derisive look. "But if you give more thought to it, you should realize Naruto's bloodlines could not be kept a secret forever. Sooner or later, someone from another village is going to find out about it. What we're doing now is delaying the inevitable bloodline hunters that's sure to come after Naruto once the other villages knew. And Hokage sama, even you have to admit you can't protect Naruto forever, he will need to learn to be able to stand on his own against the many powerful ninjas that's sure to come for him in the future."

"What do you suggest than Mikoto?" The Hokage asked in a calm voice, giving Mikoto a measuring look.

"For now, let's place our trust in all that knows of Naruto's secret. Our numbers are few enough that it will be very easy to keep watch on one another in the event one of you turned traitor. The phantoms... will be keeping silent watch over all of you as well." Mikoto said, causing the Hokage to nod at the hidden implication that the phantoms would be watching the actions of the living. "And during this time, we'll need to rapidly build up the ninja skills of Naruto, Sasuke and Sakura to a higher level. Once the secret of Naruto's bloodlines are out, he will not be the only one hunted down. Many headhunters tend to go after those close to their targets, to use them as bargaining chips. Sasuke and Sakura, as his team mates, need to know how to defend themselves from such threats."

"You are suggesting using the basic principles of trusting each other while using the phantoms to monitor the living unseen." The Hokage said with a grim smile that the elders did not share. "Yes, that might be a more effective method in making sure Naruto's secrets stayed safe. After all with someone unseen monitoring our actions all the time, it should keep all of us on our best behavior, as any wrong actions can be instantly revealed. As for further developing Team 7's abilities, it is going to be inevitable what with all that has happened. I suppose you phantoms will be wanting to mentor the genins then?"

"I will like to personally guide Sasuke in the Uchiha fighting style and the Sharigan, with Kakashi's help." Mikoto revealed, causing Sasuke to smile in delight.

"Nawaki have expressed an interest in teaching Naruto his ninjutsu and fuinjutsu knowledge. I will also like to work with him to develop Naruto's potential." Sakumo said in reply. "I will need to train a successor in the blade anyway, since Kakashi did not seem to take after me in that aspect."

"The trip in the sub-dimension seemed to have given Sakura precise control over her chakra. I will like to guide her in chakra training based on some of the Hyuga clan techniques. Also with Tsunade's inclusion to the group, perhaps she might be interested to take up another apprentice with high level of chakra control." Hizashi spoke up. "Also Hokage sama, about my brother and son..."

"We'll talk more about that matter privately later." The Hokage interrupted Hizashi's words, giving him a serious look. Hizashi gave a nod to show that he had heard him. The Hokage then turned to look at the elders in grim humor. "Now that the teachers for the genins are decided, Koharu and Homura, do you have any problems with Mikoto's proposal?"

Koharu gave a frown. "While I might not wish to be monitored by an unseen apparition day and night, I can certainly see how it could be an effective deterrence to anyone wanting to reveal Naruto's secrets. Just the threat that someone is watching is enough to keep most people on the straight and narrow."

"I second Koharu. I may not like the method, but I see the merits in it." Homura spoke up with a nod. "And since this method will be better accepted by everyone here, I will keep my peace and go along with it. We will show to the phantoms that we have nothing to hide."

"Then it is decided." The Hokage concluded firmly. "Now, let us proceed to other matters, like the Chunin exams occurring in three day's time."

"What!" Naruto and Sasuke shouted in surprise.

"I've forgotten about that, what with the dislocation in time." Kakashi said in a bemused voice. "If you want my assessment on Team 7's capabilities Hokage sama, I feel they are ready for it."

"Good, because after this year, the next four Chunin exams will take place at other ninja villages." The Hokage said narrowing his eyes. "If Team 7 is not ready this time round, they will not be allowed to take part in the other Chunin exams since we simply cannot allow Naruto to be compromised on rival villages' testing grounds. And if none of you can pass this year's Chunin exam, you will have to wait until the village council decide to promote you as Chunin through a majority vote or until the Chunin exams takes place again in Konoha."

"That doesn't seems fair." Naruto said with a scowl.

"It is for your own protection. Here in the village, we can at least limit the damage should your bloodlines be exposed. On the home grounds of other ninja villages however, you will be under great threat." The Hokage said firmly. "On that note, during the Chunin exams, you are not allowed to call upon the phantoms unless you are in a life and death situation."

"Alright, I promise." Naruto said with a serious nod. With what the phantoms and the elders had discussed for the past hour, Naruto had began to comprehend the seriousness of the situation.

"Now that this matter is resolved, Team 7 please leave the room. I am sorry, but I have something I wish to discuss with Mikoto and the others." The Hokage said turning to smile at Sakura, Naruto and Sasuke. "Go and get some rest, it is getting quite late in the night."

Sakura quickly jumped to her feet, glad to be released at last from the stifling atmosphere of the meeting. Naruto however remained seated.

"I am staying." Naruto said firmly, causing the Hokage to look at him in surprise. "I am the Phantom Summoner of Mikoto and the others. Whatever they say and whatever they tell you is not going to stay a secret between me and them. Also as Phantom Summoner, I have the right to accept or reject any activities you might ask my phantoms to do."

Hizashi gave Naruto a smile of approval. "That is true. We phantoms are bond to Naruto after all, not to the Hokage or the village."

"Very well... Naruto may stay." The Hokage said with a heavy sigh. "But Sakura and Sasuke will have to leave. There are things I am going to talk about that concerns village security."

"Sasuke, show Sakura to the bath house. The both of you might as well clean up and turn in for the night. We're going to be here a while." Mikoto spoke out while Sasuke hesitated behind Naruto, as if contemplating to ask if he could stay.

Sasuke nodded his head jerkily before following Sakura out. As the door closed behind them, the Hokage turned to face the phantoms.

"Now... let's talk about Danzo. And on that note, I can see a lot of potential in using phantoms to monitor the activities of some suspect ninjas in the village... is there a way to hire more phantoms for such... purposes?"

The three phantoms appeared and materialized into the spirit compound in physical form. The three of them were dressed in simple black and white ninja garbs. One was an elderly man, with long white hair and a gray blindfold tied across his eyes. Though old, he remained tall of statue and regal in posture. Of course, as was the case with phantoms, even though their default appearance was the one they died in, they could still shift the physical age of their bodies through a substantial and continuous drain in their spiritual energies. This phantom appeared old only because he wished to stay in this appearance.

The two younger men beside him were obviously related to each other, with similar facial features. One had short blond hair and a pair of piercing blue eyes. He wield a large hammer shouldered behind his back. His face was relaxed, his mouth twitching a little as if smiling at a joke only he knew of. The second, slightly taller than his sibling, had long dark hair and fierce dark eyes. A long sword was sheath at his waist. His face however was a sharp contrast to his blond haired sibling. A frown was etched on his forehead and he had a perpetual stern look on his face, as if he was angry at something.

"Seiro Mutsu, Seiro Ichiji and Seiro Kaijo. Your phantom immigration process have been approved." The floating dog phantom crouched on a counter in front of them spoke out. His head was lowered, as he read several pieces of parchment in front of him. "I see you've agreed to offer services to the local Phantom Summoner in the areas of blacksmithing, fuinjutsu as well as opening a weapons' shop in the spirit compound. Please note that you're only allowed to offer sale of weapons, armors, and seals, to protect the interest of the merchant phantom bond to the Phantom Summoner. Items other than the ones listed are prohibited."

"Duly noted." The blindfolded phantom, Seiro Mutsu, said in a gravel sounding voice. His reply was short and direct.

There was an expulsion of chakra from the dog phantom, and a detailed map of the spirit compound appeared, floating into Ichiji's hands.

"That is a map of the entire spirit compound. All immigrating phantoms are allowed to have quarters in the highlighted areas of the map. A house with a shop front has already been assigned to you. It is marked with a cross on the map. Please note that an annual payment of 79,898,156 spirit energies is required for your continued stay in the spirit compound." The dog phantom said. "We've already processed your payment for the first year. The next payment will be processed one year from now. If you've no other questions, you may proceed. I've a back log of twenty other phantoms to introduce into this compound before midnight today."

"Very well, we shall not disturb you any longer Uo san." The friendlier Seiro Kaijo said with a smile. "Come, let us go and take a look at our new home."

Uo lifted an eye as the three walked out of the door leading out of the Phantom Migration Bureau headquarters in this world. The three phantoms certainly made a contrasting trio.

"Next!" He barked out.

This time a red haired young man seated on a large wooden snake puppet appeared.

"Watashi Sasori, you've applied to open a puppetry workshop I see..."

Nawaki glided down the catacombs in his phantom form with unhindered ease. The reunion with Tsunade and Shizune had taken most of the night. Tsunade had refused to let go of Nawaki and Dan until Sakumo had arrived with a mission from the Hokage, with approval from Naruto. With the exception of Kane, May and Zabuza who were assigned to watch over the movements of the Hokage and the village elders, all of Naruto's phantoms were out in full force tonight, combing the old catacombs beneath Konoha, with the intention of mapping out Root's headquarter and any possible entry or escape routes.

Nawaki paused as he sighted a particular nasty trap seal engraved on one side of the wall in the tunnel he was currently in. If he had been in physical form, he would have been pierced by multiple earth spikes released by the trap seal.

Making careful note of the location of the trap, Nawaki floated down the tunnel, exiting the opening of the tunnel to find himself into a large cavern. The floor was riddled with holes and the outlines of a large rectangle was drawn in faded white paint. Apparently the area was a training ground of some kind. Nawaki shook his head, he had already found three other similar training grounds several tunnels behind him. For some reason, Root had spread out all of its training areas. Nawaki shook his head. The nasty black ops ninjas led by Danzo were just full of surprises.

Nawaki looked at the three tunnels leading to the training ground. He already knew where the one behind him goes. Choosing at random, Nawaki headed to his left. This particular tunnel was filled with six trap seals and three other physical traps that he could spot. A large metal door stood at the end of the tunnel, blocking the way.

Poking his head through the metal door, Nawaki's eyes widened at the amount of weaponry inside.

"Seems like I hit the jackpot this time." Nawaki muttered to himself in delight. "From the looks of it, this seemed to be Root's main armory..."

Uo gave a sigh of relief as he finished, giving a brief verbal walk-through to the last group of phantoms to enter the spirit compound. Once the phantoms left, he floated off the counter just as Izumei, or as the current Phantom Summoner like to call her, the eyeball creature, entered the room. Izumei had paid no mind to Naruto's rude description of her. The Beholder phantoms, the species Izumei was from, were called much worse in the death realm. Not surprising, since the Beholder race as a majority tend towards actions most races viewed as dark and evil.

"Menki and Monki have finished with the induction of new phantoms on their side. So have I." Izumei revealed as she floated towards Uo. "It seems you are done as well."

"Any problems on your side?" Uo asked in an inquiringly tone as he accompanied Izumei out of the room.

"There was this particular obnoxious phantom approved by central headquarters. Called itself a Borg Queen or some such nonsense." Izumei said with distaste. "The first thing it did when it physically materialize is to assault me. It has the nerve to tell me it is going to assimilate me and make me part of its collective. I quickly taught it the error of its ways. We aren't considered tier 3 phantoms in the death realm for nothing, and it is only a measly tier 17 phantom. Of course, I also terminated its application on the spot, sending it packing back into the death realm with no refund."

"You are evil." Uo said approvingly. "What about Menki and Monki? They run into any mishaps?"

"It's all peaceful for them." Izumei stated giving its many floating tentacles a shrug.

They passed an open window and Uo paused, staring out at the bright moon hanging in the dark sky.

"Izumei, have you ever wondered if we are actually doing the right thing?" Uo asked suddenly, his eyes distant. "Following the orders of the higher ups, to not reveal to all first year Phantom Summoners what they have to live through."

"You mean the first year clause? The power of Death is closely tied to the essence of time. It is one of the core cosmic laws that new Phantom Summoners have to spend one year to collect enough time essence to stabilize their bloodline." Izumei said derisively. "It is how the Death Gods can hunt down the new Phantom Summoners before their powers matured. Before the Phantom Summoners can ascend into Death Gods tied by no cosmic regulations. Not that it's any business of ours if this new Phantom Summoner should survive. Either the Death God wins or the Phantom Summoner wins. In the meantime, us governing phantoms of the death realm are to stay neutral in this cold war. We do not reveal the location of the Phantom Summoner to the Death God, thus if the Phantom Summoner survived and become a Death God in the future, we've offended no one."

"This new summoner is... different." Uo said in a distracted voice.

"What do you mean different? He seemed like another irritating human child." Izumei snorted in a disbelieving tone.

"You do know what I am right? I am a demon dog, meaning I am closely attuned to death and spirit energies. I have been in the vicinity of several Phantom Summoners in the past. Those still suffering through their one year clause and those having matured in their abilities. I have gained quite an accurate measure of the death energies within them." Uo stated, turning to look at Izumei. "The Phantom Administrative Bureau recorded that Uzumaki Naruto first activated the phantom bloodline 1 month, 1 week and 2 days ago. But the death energies I sensed within Naruto when I was near him was that of a new Phantom Summoner who have spent close to three months stabilizing his bloodline. He just need another nine months of time to absorb enough time essence to stabilize his Phantom Summoner bloodline."

Izumei paused, giving Uo a measuring look. "You are serious."

"Yes, I am pretty sure of my judgment." Uo replied. "Somehow the boy has found a way to mature his bloodline at a rapid pace. If other new Phantom Summoners can replicate what he did, it will totally alter the war between the Death Gods and the Phantom Summoners. It can have great repercussions on the death realm."

"Are you going to report this to the Administrative Bureau?" Izumei asked in a measuring tone of voice.

"What do you think?" Uo asked, a calculating gleam in his eyes.

"I think... we should wait and see. Whatever happens, we're in the thick of it. And it may perhaps prove profitable to our career." Izumei said wriggling her tentacles in greed.

Uo smiled, showing his teeth. "Yes, I am of the same mind as you. Let us... wait and see."

The three stood on air, hovering next to the eastern wall of the spirit compound, or as the citizens of Konoha knew it by, the Uchiha clan compound. Hanging so high in the air, they could see the many lights of Konoha's residential areas and other clan compounds.

"Konoha, Village of the Leaves. Formed from the cooperation of Senju and Uchiha clans, as well as the support from the lesser clans." Kaijo said in a voice tingling with pride.

"The Uchihas are nearly decimated." Ichiji growled in disgust. "While the power of the Senjus have diminished. They are both failures, a shame to our blood."

"Do not judge hastily." The elderly man beside them spoke up. His blindfold was removed and he was looking down at Konoha with shimmering eyes. "A great change is coming to this world. That is why I've brought the two of you here. To observe, to learn, and maybe to guide the one that will become the pivotal point of this world."

There was a moment of silence before the older man continued.

"As you've learn Kaijo, not all will embrace the love for peace or have respect for all lives." The man spoke in a firm voice. "And for you Ichiji, time have proven to you that having great power does not mean everyone will follow your lead. It also does not mean everlasting peace... A Phantom Summoner has been born to this world, a far distant relation to the Senju, who may yet bear Kaijo's ideal. And a twist of fate has bind one of the last Uchiha to this young man. An Uchiha who has suffered through great tragedy, who chose forgiveness over vengeance. These two and those around them... Their very actions will prove important to the fate of the Elemental Countries... We'll watch, we'll learn and then... we'll provide guidance to those that needs it. But above all... we will not interfere... in the natural order of things."

Up Next: The first test of the Chunin exams is coming. And the citizens of Konoha are getting the shock of their lives when the Uchiha clan compound was sold to another for one ryo.