AN: Update? What, an update? WTF!
I know, you guys hate me, don't you? Well, I don't blame you, since it was my fault for not updating in a long time. But I have a reason for my lateness – It's called...erm, research? Yeah, research. I stopped writing for a while because I wanted to see what the manga had to offer. I just want to see how Kishimoto does his war before I make mine; it's all part of planning :)
Please continue reading if you are still here
Chapter 6: War preparations
"So, how are things going with the Shinobi alliance?" Kabuto asked. The silver-haired, glass-wearing medic-nin sat around a small circular desk. He was wearing a dark greyish/brown cloak connected to a cowl. Half his face was covered in the shadows brought by the hood.
For some time now, Kabuto had been part of the Akatsuki group. He had managed to convince Madara with a little deal, and it had worked. He couldn't help smirking inside as he saw his ultimate plan go into place. Phase 1, done...
In front of him sat Madara. He had a new mask – rather than his old spiralled mask with one eye-slit, now he wore a mask with the rinnegan's rippled pattern combine with the tomoes of the sharingan and now with two eye-slits.
Madara leaned forward onto the table letting more light on to his shadowed face; his eyes, Kabuto noticed, were unique – His right eye was the sharingan, while his left eye held the legendary dojutsu, the rinnnegan. It'd been a couple of days now since he had obtained the ripple-patterned eye – A couple of days ago, Madara had 'visited' an ex-member of Akatsuki. The visit didn't go that well as he had wanted. The ex Akatsuki member, Konan, had resisted against his Idea of resurrecting the Juubi, and also refused to give him what he wanted, Nagato's eyes, the rinnnegan. The purple haired woman was quite a formidable foe, if he hadn't used one of the sharingan's greatest move, the Izanagi, he wouldn't be here now. "It seems that they had arranged another Kage meeting, meaning that they know we're on the move," Madara replied calmly.
Kabuto nodded, "So they're getting ready for us, what do you propose we do now?"
"I've sent Zetsu to Kumo to spy on their little meeting. We will then plan what we are to do depending on Zetsu's report of the meeting. But I was planning on capturing the Eight-tails and Nine-tails first," The masked Uchiha explained. "The faster we obtain them, the better. If we managed to get those Jinchuurikis early, we'll be able to revive the Juubi and end this war."
"I suppose I can see your reasons," Kabuto agreed with a nod. "But, there is one more problem," his eyes suddenly sparkled wickedly and a smirk appeared. "What are we going to do with the spy?"
Immediately after he said it, a figure jumped down from the shadows of the ceiling and retreated towards the door.
How did they know? Taro thought, sweat forming on his forehead. The Tsuchikage had entrusted him to spy on Akatsuki, but it seemed that he had failed. Everything was going fine until now. He had made sure to cover his tracks on the journey here. He had made sure that his infiltration was silent, and definitely made sure that there were no witnesses or evidence. How did Kabuto detect him?
His train of thoughts were stopped when his only exit was blocked by the cloaked medic. "Where do you think you're going?" Kabuto asked and licked his lips hungrily. "Do you really think you can escape?"
Taro didn't listen; he just took out a kunai and got ready for battle. He was determined to get out of here and finish his mission. He had to tell the Kages that there's a spy among them. Taro knew that escaping was his top priority. If he could somehow distract the cloaked shinobi enough, he might just have a chance at escaping.
But before he could even put his plan into action, everything around him started to go change. Everything turned jet black before melting down as if it was a liquid in the first place. Suddenly, in the blank darkness, a pair of eyes appeared in front of him. Taro couldn't keep his mouth shut from shock. The two eyes were different, one he knew was the sharingan with the familiar three tomoes, but the other one, he wasn't very sure about it, but Taro knew that it was dangerous.
"Now," A voice said from the background. "Let's see what I can do with you," a sudden pause followed. Taro knew whose voice it was, and that very knowledge set his heart into overdrive. He couldn't take this feeling. It was as if he was being suffocated from the inside. "Ah, I know... how about you play spy for me."
That was all he heard other than his screams of pain.
"Naruto! What's the meaning of this!" Tsunade yelled while pointing towards Naruto's joint hand with the Mizukage's.
Naruto sighed and closed his eyes. "Calm down baa-chan, you're going to make a scene."
"Oh hell yeah!" Tsunade replied back harshly. "I'll make sure to make a scene!"
"Hokage-sama, I think it's wise to keep it down," Kakashi said gently. He actually figured that Naruto was into the Mizukage since he first saw them together. It was quite sad that Naruto had given up on Sakura, but it'd happen someday. Kakashi just hoped that Tsunade and Sakura could keep their dangerous temper down. Well, actually, make it Tsunade only – Sakura seemed awfully quiet.
"Hokage-sama," Mei started slowly with her most confident voice. "Please, we'll discuss this inside."
Tsunade's anger seemed to have cooled a bit, but just a tiny bit. She blew out fume from her nose as she went inside. "This better be good." Tsunade stalked her way inside and plopped down roughly onto a sofa. "Well? You told me to come in, why are you still there?" She gave a glare to both Kakashi and Sakura, signalling them to move in.
Naruto was sweating like crazy. The sweat might've not be on his face, but his body was drenched. He was drop dead scared of Tsunade. He knew what it felt like to be punched by her, and he definitely did not want experience it again or anytime soon. And this time, if he were to say the wrong words and get punched, he was definitely gone; not even the Kyuubi could save him. Because this time, Tsunade had a reason to kill him.
He gingerly made his way to the living area and took a seat on the sofa directly in front of the one Tsunade and the Konoha group were sitting on. Mei then joined him shortly after. She had a confident expression, but Naruto knew her well enough to see her fingers trembling lightly. She wasn't scared of being killed by Tsunade, she was afraid that Tsunade wasn't going to accept her. Naruto took hold of her hand and squeezed it reassuringly.
Tsunade seemed to have seen the little movement and immediately intercepted it with her voice, "Explain, now!"
Both Mei and Naruto fidgeted in their seats nervously, "Well you see..." Naruto started.
"We erm- I mean...," Mei then added.
"Spit it out!" Tsunade's honey brown eyes turned hard as stone as she darted her voice from the Blond shinobi to Red-haired Kage. She didn't know why she was acting this way. Shouldn't she be happy that Naruto? After all, the young shinobi deserved some love in his life. But he is loved back in Konoha, her mind fought back. Why was she so against this?
Realisation dawned on Tsunade. She wasn't mad because Naruto was with a girl, she was mad because Naruto was with the wrong girl. From the first time she saw Naruto and Sakura, she imagined their future together and what they could achieve together. Naruto and Sakura would've been a great couple. Now she ruined it by sending Naruto to that... seductive bitch.
Tsunade looked over to Sakura, the young medic had a faraway look on her face, a sad one that is. Tsunade returned her glance back to Mei, hatred boiling in her blood – The woman took away her student's only happiness.
Kakashi stood against a wall beside the sofa that Tsunade was currently sitting on. His gaze was at her and Sakura at all times, but it seemed that he only had to watch the blond Kage – Sakura looked to be in deep thought, but no bad vibe coming from her, but Tsunade was releasing a lot of killing intent. He just hoped that she wouldn't do anything irrational or anything that could jeopardize the Alliance.
He knew what Tsunade was thinking, but it was how life worked. He would've been very happy if Naruto ended up with Sakura, they would've turned into one hell of a couple, but things like this change over time, especially at the time it was taking for Sakura to make up her mind about Naruto.
Kakashi's lone eye then turned towards the new couple. A sad smile tugged at his lips. He was happy that Naruto found love, but he was somehow disappointed that he had given up on his last love. Naruto was lucky to have the Mizukage, she was strikingly beautiful, elegant as a female Kage could be, and had a little bit of seductiveness in her. A great mix, Kakashi mused.
"You guys are having a baby, aren't you?" Tsunade suddenly said anger evident in her voice. "A mistake from a one nighter that you started, I presumed?" She said, glaring accusingly at the red-haired Kage.
"I beg your pardon!" Mei shouted, standing up roughly from her seat.
"You heard me, Mei-sama," Tsunade retorted, standing up herself with her chin held high.
The two Kage, glared at each other, each thinking about making the first move. Before Naruto or even Kakashi could react to the situation, Sakura entered the conflict and attempted to fix it. "Just leave Naruto alone," Sakura said softly to Tsunade, a fake smile tugging at her lips.
"But Sakura-" Tsunade tried but was cut-off.
"Just please, it's Naruto's choice," She said firmly. "It's none of our business." Sakura then looked away and walked over to the door gently, not giving the people behind her a second glance.
Kakashi sighed, relief. He was proud of Sakura, she seemed to have taken it in and accepted it, but he could see a trace of sadness in her features. He then looked over to Tsunade, "Tsunade-sama, I think Sakura is right on this matter, it's not of our concern."
Tsunade sagged, but her glare was still strong. "Fine," she muttered grudgingly, "I'll see you at the meeting tomorrow." Tsunade then stalked her way out of the room, Kakashi following behind. But before he left, Kakashi turned and gave Naruto and Mei and apologetic look.
"I'm sorry about this," Kakashi said sheepishly. "I hope we didn't offend you in any way, and Mizukage-sama, I'm sure that our Hokage didn't mean to say those unnecessary words to you, I apologize on her behalf on that."
Before Naruto or Mei could say another word, Kakashi had left the room.
Mei then collapsed down onto the sofa behind her. She covered her face with both of her hands then sobbed. "It's not going to work, Naruto."
Naruto was immediately beside her, his arms around her protectively. "What are you talking about, Mei, of course it will," he tried to assure her.
Mei sobbed harder and found sanctuary on Naruto's chest. "No it won't! Weren't you just here a couple of seconds ago, your Kage hates me!"
"No she doesn't," Naruto said softly. He caressed her back affectionately, calming her sobs down considerably. "She just doesn't know you well yet, I know that she'll like you if you give her time to get to know you."
"Really?" Mei looked up, she looked so frail and fragile. Her cheeks were stained with tears, eyes puffy from crying, but her face was still beautiful and glowing as usual.
Naruto couldn't help but smiling broadly. She looked so cute to him. He brought a hand up to her face and wiped a rolling tear away. "I'm sure of it, Mei-chan." He then kissed her forehead gently.
Kakashi walked behind Tsunade with both hands in pockets. To people passing by, Kakashi did not look like an intimidating ninja, especially with his easy going demeanor, but for everyone who knew him, he was still deadly even if he looked not to be.
Kakashi stared at the two figures walking in front of him with his lone eye. First, his eye gazed at the blond-haired one then moved to the pink-haired beside her. He could tell from how their slightly slouched posture that their minds were preoccupied, probably with what had just happened minutes ago.
For what seemed like ages, the three of them finally arrived at their doors, but neither Kakashi nor Sakura were leaving Tsunade's side to go into their respective rooms. Tsunade, not acknowledging their presence, opened her door and left it open as she went inside. Both Kakashi and Sakura followed her closely, closing the door behind them in the process.
Tsunade's room was almost the same as Naruto's, except smaller. It had one bedroom with a king sized bed, a well furnished bathroom with a large Jacuzzi that could probably fit ten to twelve people, and a living area filled with expensive furniture. Only a person with a Kage status could afford a hotel room like this.
Tsunade sat on a black leather sofa slowly and eased her back onto the back. Sakura sat beside her, knees drawn closely together with her hands resting on them. Kakashi simply leaned against a wall with his arms crossed and a blank face.
There was a few seconds of silence before Tsunade finally spoke, "I can't believe this," she said, her voice barely a whisper. Tsunade took a long deep breath and exhaled it slowly, "I can't believe Naruto left you for her!"
"Stop it!" Sakura yelled out, jumping out of her seat in the process. "Why can't you just accept it? Naruto's moved on, alright! It's not his fault that he found love somewhere else, if it's anyone's fault, it's mine!" The pink-haired collapsed down onto the sofa, face now filled with flowing tears. "I made him wait too long, it's my fault!"
Tsunade's feature totally changed from anger to one of sympathy. She pulled Sakura into her chest and hugged her protectively. "My chest hurts, shishou," Sakura cried into her chest. "Why does it hurt so much?"
"It's going to be alright, Sakura," Tsunade said gently into Sakura's ear, caressing her pink hair in the process. "It's going to be alright."
Kakashi stared sympathetically at Sakura. What she was saying is true, she did make Naruto wait to the point where the blond felt that he wasn't wanted. But Sakura was also wrong, it wasn't her fault – actually, it's no one's fault. Kakashi knew that Sakura felt that she wasn't ready for a relationship, even with what her feelings told her. It was all sad, really.
Kakashi stared out the window, his lone eye gazing into the greying clouds. How would Minato-sensei handle this? He thought sadly.
The next morning turned out to be quite grey, the sky was fully covered by a thick layer of cloud that seemed to be getting even thicker, not to mention darker. Was this a normal morning for the people in this village? It was sure a depressing sight for a morning.
Naruto woke up with a shiver. He felt a light, feather like touch brushing against his bare back. It was warm, very warm. He felt the heat seeped into his skin, giving him warm sensations as it glided over his skin. It was highly comforting.
Naruto didn't even look back to see what was caressing him, as soon as his eyes were open they were immediately pulled in by the emerald green ones directly in front of him. Mei was staring at him affectionately but looked to be in deep thought. A smile tugged on Naruto's lips. "Good morning, Mei-chan."
The two were currently in bed, side-by-side and facing each other. Mei had her long auburn hair act like a blanket and covered both her and Naruto. They didn't even need to sleep under the sheets, her hair was enough to keep them warm. Not to mention that Naruto just couldn't get enough of her hair, it smelled so wonderful.
She was pulled out of her thoughts as she heard his voice, a smile of her own appeared. Mei wrapped her arms around his waist and pulled him closer to her, enveloping her with his warmth. She nuzzled her face into his bare chest and released a relief sigh. Mei felt content with the way she was now, she wished that this moment would last forever, but of course this was reality and it meant that both of them had to get up soon. Soon, but not yet.
"Morning, Naruto-kun," she replied against his chest, sending shivers up his spine.
Naruto responded by setting his nose down onto her head and relished her addictive scent. God, she was intoxicating.
The two of them stayed in that position for quite a while before Mei removed her head from his chest and started to shift way. Her attempt to get away was short-lived as Naruto immediately pulled her back by her waist and gripped her tightly, but not uncomfortably, against him. "Stay," Naruto simply mumbled into her ear.
A soft smile appeared on her features, "Naruto..." she started gently. "You know we have to go soon."
"Yeah, soon," Naruto replied, a gentle smile of his own appeared. "But not now." He then nuzzled his face into her neck, inhaling her scent hungrily.
Mei suddenly let out a stifle moan and lifted her head up, giving Naruto more access to explore her neck. She wrapped her slender arms around his neck and ran her fingers through his wild golden hair. But when things started to really kick in, a knock was sounded from the door.
Both Naruto and Mei separated in an instant and were sitting upright, faces faced into the direction of the front door. Mei was the first to regain her mentality; she immediately stood up and quickly wrapped her night-dress clad body with one of the hotel's robe. She blew Naruto a little apology kiss before making her way to the door.
While Mei took care of the visitor, Naruto slipped himself into the bathroom and had a quick wash of his face and hair and a good brush of his teeth before getting dressed into the black tank top with the mask connected.
Naruto looked at himself in the mirror for a short second to see if there were any traces of sleep left on his features. Satisfied that he looked good enough, Naruto strolled out of his bedroom and to the door where Mei stood talking with what seemed to be a cloud shinobi, a kunoichi to be exact. She had short blond hair with a fringe, a bust that could pretty much rival Tsunade's.
Naruto knew the woman; she was the captain for the cloud team that went to Konoha to deliver the message about Sasuke to the Hokage. How could he forget, the tanned girl from her team had beaten him to a pulp, with his permission.
Mei noticed his presence and turned to acknowledge him. "Oh, there you are Naruto. I want you to meet someone," she said and gestured him towards the door, towards the blond haired woman who was staring at him like he was some kind of mythical creature from sky and beyond. "Samui, I want you to meet Naruto, my personal bodyguard."
"Hi," Naruto greeted cheerfully. "Nice to meet you."
Even with his cheerful demeanor, the blond's stare did not waver. "Naruto?" she said, testing the way it rolled on her tongue. "Funny, I recognise that name from somewhere, but it seems that I cannot remember."
"Really?" Naruto said hurriedly, obviously panicked. No one was supposed to know his real identity; it was the sole reason of his mask. "I wasn't aware of that, but you know, there's always someone else in the world with the same name."
"Yeah, true," Samui said blankly, face expressionless. "But I remembered him having blond hair like yours too."
Naruto almost flinched from surprised. "W-what?" he stammered. "I'm s-sure that i-it's just a co-coincidence."
Naruto looked over to Mei for help but she seemed to be amused by the whole matter. How could she be amused at such a critical time?
A thoughtful expression appeared on Samui's face, an expression that Naruto definitely did not want to see. "Maybe," she said with a nod, then her suddenly eyes darted to his and her expression turned into a daring one. "So, just to make sure, may you lower your mask?"
There was a moment of silence from all three of them, Samui was still gazing at him daringly, and he was silenced to the point of disbelief. Did she just ask him what she had just asked? Did he hear properly? All these questions his head asked answered with a big 'yes'. Naruto, not knowing what to say, gave the best answer he could muster. "What?"
Out of nowhere, the two women surrounding him laughed. Naruto stared at both of them incredulously. What was so funny? His eyes darted from Mei to Samui, confusion written all over his face. "What's so funny?" He asked, pouting.
"Aww, I told you he looks cute when he's confused," Mei said to Samui, her laugh dying down. "Isn't he adorable?" She walked over to Naruto and gave him a tight hug.
"A cutie and a hero, what more can you get," Samui replied, eyeing Naruto from head to toe openly.
"And a sweetie, too," Mei added softly with a smile, now releasing Naruto from the hug.
Naruto, still in his world of confusion, stood still and stiff, not even reacting to the hug. Again, all he could say was, "What?"
The two women laughed again, but not as hard as before. Naruto, finally returning into the real world opened his mouth to speak again but closed it before anything was said. "Okay, no more games," Samui said lightly. She held her hand towards Naruto for a handshake, "Hi, I'm Samui, jonin of Kumogakure."
Naruto raised an eyebrow at her suspiciously but took the handshake, cautiously that is. "I'm-"
"No need," Samui interrupted, her voice now cool and calm. "Mizukage-sama over here already told me about you, Uzumaki Naruto, chunin of Konohagakure."
Again, Naruto was dumbfounded. He looked over to Mei, eyes questioning. "Don't worry Naruto, Samui won't tell anyone," Mei said with a smile.
"You two know each other?" Naruto asked, more confused than ever.
"Oh, we knew each other," Mei started, a faraway smile appearing on her face.
"I met her before you were even in the academy," Samui continued with a nod. "I met her on my first mission as a chunin captain, though as her enemy."
"After that, we kept on running into each other on random missions and we somehow became friends," Mei added.
Finally, Naruto got the whole picture. "Oh," Naruto said in realisation. "I guess it's nice to meet one of Mei's old friends."
"Cool," Samui answered simply.
"So, how did you know I was here?" Mei then asked. The two girls then blasted into a full out conversation like best-friends who hadn't seen each other for years, which was pretty much their case.
Naruto slowly backed away, leaving the two girls to their business. He wouldn't want to ruin it for her, she looked so happy today and seeing her old friend helped it more, she was a total opposite from what she was yesterday. He eased into the bedroom quietly, with a satisfied smile on his face as he saw the glee on Mei's face – She had never looked so happy, in his opinion.
Like all other buildings in Kumogakure the Kage tower was built into the mountain. Also like usual, the Kage tower was the grandest building around with its massive size and unique design. Naruto whistled, astonished. "That is one hell of a building," he murmured to Mei who was walking beside him.
Naruto was dressed professionally in his shinobi attire, a black tank top connected to a mask that covered the bottom part of his face. Over it was a light metal chest plate, equipped for extra protection. His pants were standard shinobi pants, black, slightly baggy for better movements, and had multiple slots around the waist area for easy to reach kunais. On his feet were blue shinobi sandals and over it all was the specially made red trench cloak, high collar to give him a superior look and black flame running around the hem of the coat. Overall, Naruto looked so professional that he looked like a Kage himself rather than a bodyguard of one.
"Meh," Mei replied, disinterested. "I reckon Mist's is better."
Naruto rolled his eyes, "Come on, you have to give it some credit, it does look amazing."
Mei sighed, defeated. "I guess it does," she said softly but then quickly added, "But Mist's is still better."
Naruto shook his head, amused. "Whatever." The lobby of the tower practically oozed elegance with its nicely polished marble floor, grand furniture, masterly carved designs on the ceiling. Kumogakure might be a more military type village but the place still had style. Like other Kage towers, the place was full with busy shinobi bustling around with their own jobs. One in particular though walked straight to them.
She had the same dark coloured skin as other Kumo natives and had short hair, red hair that is. She had a somewhat sharp predatory look enhanced more with her yellow coloured eyes. Naruto recognised her immediately; she was the girl who was part of the Kumo team that came to Konoha for information about Sasuke. She was the girl that had beaten him down. Karui was it?
"You must be the Mizukage," she said in a formal tone and bowed slightly. "My name is Karui, and I'm in charge of escorting you to the War room."
Mei bowed in reply, "Nice to meet you, I'm Mei and this is my bodyguard," she said and gestured towards Naruto.
Naruto, following Kakashi's attitude, only bowed with a blank expression lying on his face. It was the perfect mask for his job. Naruto tensed slightly as his eyes saw the widening of her eyes as she looked at him. Her widened eyes immediately settled when he saw her eyes gaze over at his headband, his Mizu headband. "It's a pleasure to meet you," Naruto said calmly in a voice that was completely out of his character.
Her gaze stayed on him for a few more seconds before turning away and gesturing Mei and him to follow. Mei instantly followed but Naruto waited until Mei passed him before he too followed. A proper bodyguard always protect the back. They had to climb up quite a few stairs and had to walk through what seemed to be a maze before they reached the entrance to the War room.
But before either Mei or Naruto could admire the beautifully carved-on huge two doors acting as the entrance to the War room, the Konoha group came. It was unexpected but in a way it was somehow expected as this was a Kage meeting and Tsunade is a Kage.
They came from the opposite side, probably took another set of stairs. Their escort was Darui, the silver haired guy from yesterday. Naruto felt his heart beating faster as he saw them, his eyes darting back and forth between Mei and Tsunade, worried. He hoped they didn't make a scene, especially in a place like this, even he knew that...well, unless necessary.
There was an awkward silence as both parties took in each other's presence. Naruto felt the tension rise, the air felt somehow more... thicker, or was it just him? He hated silence, more than anything else; it made the world feel dead to him. "Tsunade-sama," He said bowing, attempting to kill the silence and stay within character.
Tsunade's eyes seem to soften as he said it. It was the first time that Naruto had addressed her respectively, but it didn't feel quite the same as when he would call her 'baa-chan', there was no love in it. She knew what Naruto was doing and she just might go along with it, even if she didn't particularly like Mei.
She looked to her right, to Sakura. She had a weak smile on, a fake one. Tsunade felt her heart clench in sympathy as her memory replayed yesterday's events. Sakura had cried for what seem to be forever, against her chest and under her arms. She was her student, and she was very protective of her even in emotion.
Her eyes moved back to Naruto, sadness rising into her system. How could he leave Sakura? Why did he leave Sakura? Why Mei? All those questions felt unanswered to her even when the answer was right in front of her – Naruto was happy, that was it. But in that process, a heart was broken. Tsunade really wished that she hadn't sent him to be her bodyguard; why didn't she just send Kakashi? Then she remembered her purpose, to protect Naruto.
It was time to accept Naruto's decision. She smiled at that thought but when her eyes looked back to Sakura, it turned into a frown – She might have accepted Naruto's decision, but accepting the subject of Naruto's decision might take some time.
The two parties entered the room quietly and it seemed that they were the last two. The room was plain in a sense, not as decorative as the corridors or the lobby. It had no windows and the reason for it was quite obvious. The walls were a yellowish white that gave the room a lighter atmosphere even when the purpose of the room was quite heavy. In the middle of the room was a huge round table where all the Kage sat around.
Naruto recognised almost all of them except two. He recognised Gaara with his siblings standing as guards behind him. He remembered the Raikage vividly from their encounter; he was a big man with a body that could probably destroy mountains. The one he didn't recognised was the short man with a large, stone shaped nose. From the headbands his two bodyguards were wearing, the short man seemed to be the Tsuchikage. The other one, dressed in sleek black silk kimono was probably the samurai from the Land of Steel. Sadly though, Naruto didn't know his name.
Mei took a vacant seat beside Gaara and gave a little greeting to everyone present in the room before getting comfortable in her chair. Naruto stood respectively behind her like all the bodyguards in the room did. He brought his arms up to his chest and crossed them, now all he had to do was wait and watch. His eyes glance over all the bodyguards present, they all had a partner. Actually, all the leaders in the room had two bodyguards; Mei was the only one with one.
Naruto felt pride running through his system – Mei had put a lot of trust in him to not request for another ninja to accompany her.
The meeting started as soon as all the leaders were seated. They first discussed about recent Akatsuki movements then moved on each village's army size. The topics the Kages discussed jumped from one to another then back. They argued, they agreed and they kept on talking.
"This is where Akatsuki are currently hiding at," said Mifune, the now named samurai. He brought his index finger and pointed over the map, on a location marked with a big red 'x' – The Rain country. "Rain is practically surrounded, if we place our armies at the right places around the place, we'll be able to keep them contained."
Tsunade stood up and examined the map laid out on the table. "Rain, again? But the people there are still recovering from the last war," she said thoughtfully. Memories of her time and Jiraiya played in her mind. Rain was hit hard by the last war, the country couldn't bear taking another hit – It was because of the last war that Nagato had turned the way he was.
Mifune sighed, "It seems so, but it's the only to go."
"I have to agree with this," The Raikage then said. "If we keep them contained, it'll be easier to wipe them out. Tsunade, if we put Konoha's army around here," he pointed at the border between Fire and Rain. "Suna, here," his finger then moved to Wind's border. "And-"
"They moved," the Tsuchikage suddenly said. He didn't bother to stand from his chair as he talked. "The Akatsuki moved. Rain was their headquarters when Pein was still in 'charge'. My scouts have reported that they moved-" One of his bodyguards, a huge person, kinda fat in Naruto's eyes, dragged the map over to the Tsuchikage so he could reach. "-Here," he finished. His finger pointed on the peninsula in between Earth country and Lightning. "The Mountain's Graveyard they called it."
The Raikage's eyebrow scrunched together as he pieced his thoughts together. "I've been there before, ten years ago. That place is the very definition of hell, the mountains are almost impossible go over and the place stinks of death. Not a suitable place for a war."
The six leaders then started their expected argument about army placement. Naruto, even without interest, listened intently into the argument. He might need to know this for when he was Hokage; after all, it was still his dream. It took quite a long time before the six leaders could agree on a strategy. "Okay, if we put Konoha's and Iwa's army here," Mifune said, fingers pointing over the border of Konoha, Waterfall and Sound. "We'll have a complete surround. Suna can be the backup for the army on this side and Kumo on this side."
"What about Mizu," Mei asked calmly.
Mifune smirked. "Mizu will be the backup of the backups, but I would also propose that a quarter of your army should be placed around here," Mifune brushed his fingers over the ocean surrounding the peninsula in which Akatsuki's are basing their headquarters at. "I believe your village are experts on water warfare?"
Mei returned the smirk, "We'll make sure they never even touch the water."
Gaara rubbed his chin thoughtfully as he examined the map. "What are your samurais going to do?"
"We'll be helping Konoha and Iwa in the front lines, my samurais like battle head-on," Mifune replied calmly.
The Raikage nodded in agreement and soon all the Kages followed. "I see, everyone agrees. We'll proceed with this plan then." The tanned Kage then interlaced his fingers together. "Now, on to the next topic – How are we going to handle the Jinchuurikis?"
Everyone on the table stiffened, including Naruto, but no one noticed. The Raikage continued, "I believe that they should be contained – It'll be easier for us to know that they are safe, after all, Akatsuki's goal is to capture them." Another argument erupted from the leaders, though all the way through it, they weren't aware of the Jinchuuriki among them.
Naruto couldn't help clenching his fist. They were going to contain him? That wasn't fair, at all. He could fight, they knew he could fight, especially Tsunade, but why was she agreeing with this. It seemed that Mei was the only one trying to support him, even if it was by a little.
"I have a place that we could hide them," The Raikage announced. "Over here," he said pointing over to the ocean between Kumo and Mizu. "There's an island there, a moving island."
"Moving island? I don't recall any moving islands over there," Mei said, inspecting the map.
The Raikage smirked, "As I said, it's a moving island, it moves around. The island is actually a large turtle, about the same size as your Forest of Death, Tsunade. It's the perfect place to hide them."
He was going to be stuck on an island? A huge turtle island...that can move? Naruto winced at that, was the sky falling or what. If he was put there, he wouldn't be able to escape and if he couldn't do that, then he wouldn't be able to help out in the war. Great.
"Do we all agree on this?" The Raikage asked, his eyes looking over all the Kages. Mifune agreed first, then Gaara, then Tsunade, and finally Mei, hesitantly that is. "Then we'll send them there two days from now."
Naruto closed his eyes and breathed. He had to calm down, if he didn't, then he was probably going to burst his cover and make a huge scene, something that he was desperately trying to avoid. He tried to just stay still and breathe but it didn't help him one bit – Naruto then decided to go into sage-mode, the process somehow calms him, the energy it brings calms him. So he did it, he closed his eyes tightly and stood so still that a bird might think that he was statue.
The energy filled his system instantly, bringing the peace he needed so desperately. But being in sage-mode meant that he was able to sense everyone, anything and everything. His eyes opened suddenly as he felt an ominous chakra. With lighting quick hands, Naruto grabbed a Kunai from the slots around his waist and threw it in the direction of the unknown chakra.
A black and white figure jumped as soon as the Kunai cracked the wall where the figure had blended in. In a blink of an eye, all the Kage and their bodyguards were up and on their guard. Though before action could proceed, the black and white figure had already blasted the door open and disappeared down the corridor.
No one moved for second before the Raikage moved and shouted out orders to capture the black and white creature.
"I know that thing," Mei said with her eyes narrowed. "Zetsu or whatever his name is, he's from Akatsuki."
"I remember him too," The Raikage stated. "He was the one who had interrupted the meeting in the Land of Steel with Madara."
"He's gone sir!" A Kumo ninja shouted as he barged into the room. He was breathless and sweaty. It must have been quite a chase.
The Raikage sighed and collapsed onto his seat, the other Kage's followed, but not as roughly. "We have to change plans," he suddenly said.
"But we can't," Mifune argued. "This strategy is the only way."
"Not that one," The Tsuchikage said grumpily. "He's talking about the Jinchuurikis. That thing probably heard about the turtle island, it's only smart for us to change location."
Mei gave Naruto a knowing smirk before turning over to the Kages. "I have a place to hide them."
End of chapter 6
So, how was it? Good, bad, readable?
If you enjoyed it then thanks, if you didn't, then it's my fault.
This chapter is pretty much the start of everything – The action, the drama, the everything basically. You could pretty much call this chapter the start of this story.
About this chapter:
I bet some of you thought that there was going to be some Sakura bashing, weren't you? Guess what, you guessed wrong. Character bashing is dumb and immature, and I will never ever do it in any of my stories, even if I despise the character. And after all, I am also a Narusaku fan, so bashing Sakura is out of the story.
About the war, well. I'm not planning to do it like Kishimoto, since his version is very...all-out, you could say. I like mine to be more towards strategy and less on man power, but I am still putting the whole resurrection thingy.
And note this – Sakura will play a big part in this story. I'm not going to tell you if it's going bad or good, you just have to find out.
See ya next time :)