Disclaimer-I do not own Naruto in any way, shape or form, nor does my partner in writing Hakkyou no Yami...
Oc's and Concepts: The Original characters and concepts of this story were created by Hakkyou no Yami and myself, we worked very hard to create the original characters and the concepts, and we would appreciate that you do not use our Original Characters or our concepts without expressed permission from BOTH of us.
My answer to Challengers forum challenge 'Naruto's Kage Bride'.
Summary-Mei Terumi, the Godaime Mizukage heads to Konoha expecting to forge an alliance, to find that she had been betrayed as she finds her fiance who she thought was dead, confronting the Sandaime as Naruto obtains the power he has long sought, how will this bode for the Shinobi world...Overall bashing of Konohagakure...
In case any of you are wondering, or have not noticed this story, along with just about any other story made by myself, and Hakkyou no Yami will be AU, the characters will be OOC, and above all else, we will NOT be following canon. We will extract elements FROM canon, but we will not be doing a rewrite of the canon storyline.
Now, before we start the chapter itself, both Hakkyou no Yami and I wish to explain why it has taken so unbelievably long for an update from us as far as our stories.
Now, first off, you all need to understand that while we are proud writers of fanfiction, we also have our own lives we are forced to deal with an endure. I just recently got a job and am attending college, Hakkyou no Yami is also dealing with his own problems as far as education and life in general. So, in this case, fanfiction is not necessarily our number one priority, though we discuss fanfiction pretty much daily.
Secondly, you all need to understand that unlike other writers, we do not like publishing a chapter, or even a story unless we have gotten all our details in place, as many plotholes and inconsistencies removed, and ensure that the story flows relatively well, in addition to making sure the story itself does not suck. You can all use some of my older stories as examples of what happens when you do not do this. For the last few weeks, Hakkyou no Yami and I have been trying to ensure the chapter is good, the story itself good, and that future chapters will not encounter any issues, or at the very least as few issues as possible.
Thirdly…I am sure all of you are at this point aware of the crackdown that occurred on fanfiction just a few months ago, and the lasting effects it has had on this site. To be honest, Hakkyou no Yami and I were trying to finish this chapter months ago, and were almost halfway done with it when the crackdown on fanfics started…this caused our muse and our desire to write to truly die for a little while, not to mention issues in our own lives already driving us bad. It has taken us this long in order to finish the chapter with our broken muse, and with luck it has been mostly restored, however, we are still enduring some issues, so bear with us alright?
There are other reasons, but the above three reasons were the largest reasons why none of our stories have been updated in such a long time
Both Hakkyou no Yami and myself would appreciate if our readers would take the time to
Please check out the following
-Tales of Destiny: Rebirth of the Genesis-Hakkyou no Yami
-Eternal Legends: Rebirth of the Second Onslaught-Hakkyou no Yami
-Dark Legends: Wrath of the Demon King-Mystic 6 Tailed Naruto
-Rage of the Tormentor-Mystic 6 Tailed Naruto
-Naruto: Rise of Hellwing Naruto-TheDemonKingNaruto
-Dark Legends: Ascension of the Abyssal Champion-dracohalo117
-Naruto of the Four Dojutsu: Rewrite-dracohalo117
-Bloody Maelstrom: Redux-Hector Enix
-Eye of the Storm-Lord of Daemons
-Naruto: Strange Aeons-Lord of Daemons
-Hakkyou no Yami's Various Challenges...Dark Naruto Challenges
-Mystic 6 Tailed Naruto's Various Challenges…
-dracohalo117 Various Challenges…Naruto Hates Yondaime…Naruto Quits Shinobi Life
Hakkyou no Yami-Forum link located on top of dracohalo117 profile page
dracohalo117-Forum link located on top of dracohalo117 profile page
Hakkyou no Yami and myself greatly recommend you read the bottom AN's AFTER you have read the whole chapter…
Previously on Kiri no Akumu
The figure shook his head as he slightly came out of his stance, "What was your fiancé's name?"
Mei frowned and wanted to tell him that it was none of his concern, "Naruto Uzumaki…" but just as before, she just blurted out the answer.
The figure's eyes widened again, "Did you just say Naruto Uzumaki?"
Mei shook her head angrily, and glared back at the man. Something about this man was making her speak without considering, even if it was something she did not want him to know. She got into a fighting stance of her own, "Why…what does it matter to you?"
She watched as the man, who before was in a fighting stance ready to attack, stand upright and look at her with questioning eyes, "Because miss…I am he…"
The air seemed to grow still, the wind itself silencing itself as the words escaped from Naruto's lips. Birds ceased chirping, the hum of the insects of Konoha fluttering through the air ground to a halt, and time itself seemed to stop.
It was as if all of creation was watching, waiting for a response…from Mei Terumi.
Mei's eyes had widened to the point they should not have been capable of remaining within their sockets, her mouth hung agape as her body trembled, all the while her lips quivered, "W-what d-did you just say?"
Naruto's face remained stoic, impassive, as he spoke once more, "I am Naruto Uzumaki." he said without a single wasted breath as his eyes partially narrowed at the woman in curiosity, "I have answered your question, now I must ask, what in Yami's name do you mean when you say that I am your fiancé?"
Mei made no motion that she even heard his question, her eyes were focused on Naruto, her eyes drinking up his form…
This man, this…Adonis…said he was Naruto Uzumaki, her long thought deceased fiancé.
How could that be possible?
She had seen her fiancé just the other day, he had spiky blond hair, cerulean blue eyes, and he wore an orange jumpsuit, and his skin was a pale tan color, framing his smaller than average frame.
What she was staring at was a tall, robust, muscled man, with his form covered in light markings that seemed to be as much a part of his skin as its pale tan color, his hair a bleach blond color, streaked with shades of black, with two pure onyx black bangs framing his features…his eyes did not belong to her fiancé, this man's eyes were an amber color, and there was a slit in replacement of a normally round pupil , his body nude except for the tattered orange sweatpants which barely covered his-
Mei's mind ceased at that moment, and her eyes glanced at his pants, and they widened considerably when she took a closer look.
Despite their ruined condition, Mei recognized the pants this man wore as the exact same pants worn by her fiancé just days ago.
'I-it can't be…' her eyes scanned over his form, 'T-this can't possibly be him.'
Mei's eyes shot back up to look at him, his face impassive as he looked at her expectantly. She shook her head and stuttered, "W-what?"
Naruto blinked and spoke, "You have yet to answer my question despite my answering of yours. What exactly did you mean when you said I was your fiancé?"
Mei's eyes widened as the question was processed, and before she could even process what she wanted to say, her body seemed to react on its own, "We were engaged many years ago by our respective parents, b-before you w-were born, we were supposed to marry wh-" Mei's words seemed to die in her throat as she saw Naruto's reaction.
Naruto's eyes widened for but a moment, before they narrowed once more, "Our respective parents." he turned completely towards her and began to walk towards her.
Mei did not know why, but she felt completely frozen, paralyzed as this man…her fiancé, walked towards her. Her eyes simply stared at him as he grew closer to her; her heart began to race as the distance between the two began to rapidly shrink.
"Who were my parents?"
Mei jolted as she was suddenly aware that Naruto was now not even a foot in front of her. She had not even been aware just how close he had been. She had to take a few moments to catch her breath and lower her pulse.
Naruto looked at her expectantly, "You said "Our respective parents", so again I ask you…who were my parents?" he asked with a slight edge to his tone.
Mei gulped and spoke, "Y-your father was Minato Namikaze, the Yondaime Hokage of Konoha, and your mother was Kushina Uzumaki, a native of Uzu no Kuni."
Naruto stared at her for a few seconds, before frowning and turning around, walking to the middle of the training field.
Mei blinked a few times and looked towards him.
Meanwhile, Naruto's expression portrayed a deep thoughtfulness as he allowed the new information to sink in. According to this woman, their parents…his parents, had arranged a marriage between the two, before he was even born…and his parents; the parents he had thought for years were nobodies, that he was but a nameless orphan, it turned out that all these years, he was the child of Minato Namikaze, Yondaime Hokage of Konohagakure no Sato…the same man who had sealed the Kyuubi inside of him in the first place.
The mere thought of it from his old mind, his mind as a mere ningen would have been too much for him, he would have broken into an emotional fit on why he was not told, why he lived the way he did.
But as he was now…a glorious new being, one far transcending who he once was, it was simple how the facts seemed to fall into place.
As he was before, a mortal, he had a similar toned blond hair, and even a similar pattern of spiky locks, even their eye color was relatively similar; while admittedly, Minato Namikaze was not the only blond haired and blue eyed individual in Konoha, he displayed variations of those traits that were truly unique to him at the very least. He may have had his own share of physical differences, the rounded cheeks and the whisker marks, but there were certainly enough markers there to show that they had some kind of physical connection.
Something he should have realized a long time ago.
Scoffing slightly, he thought to himself, 'Further evidence that my…ascension, is more a benefit than being a ningen could ever provide to me.'
At that same moment, Mei chose to walk closer, and she spoke, "Uhm, are you alright?"
Naruto blinked as he heard her question, and turned his head towards her. He could not help but allow a thoughtful frown grace his features, before he spoke, "Yes." he then turned completely towards her.
For what seemed like several minutes, the two of them stood there in silence, Naruto standing with a pose that signified utter clam, while Mei's stance seemed strained, almost unbearably stiff.
Naruto could tell quite easily that she was holding something back; she wanted to say something to him, to ask him something; her stance and posture spoke volumes of that much at the least.
Mei swallowed as she moved to speak, "Uhm, Naruto…"
Naruto quirked an eye, curious as to what she was about to say, "Yes?"
She swallowed once more as she brought herself to speak, "Naruto, d-do you understand w-why I called you my fiancé?" Mei shivered at the closeness, all the while examining Naruto. Why did he look like this? She had seen his visage yesterday, and he was severely different than he was before. What was it that had changed him? She knew she should be asking him these questions directly, but her consciousness was plagued by the fact that her fiancé, the one she had thought dead all this time was alive and well.
Thoughts swum about her psyche, thoughts of finally marrying her beloved, finally being a wife to one she had prepared for months in becoming, finally having a family to truly call her own.
Naruto meanwhile looked at her, processing her question, before he finally answered, "Yes, I understand why you called me your fiancé-"
Mei's heart beat faster, she seemed to be filled with joy, and her eyes seemed to glisten with hope for the first time in over a decade…
"-however I must reject the arranged marriage."
Mei felt her heart shatter as overwhelming despair consumed her, "B-but w-why, am I not-"
Naruto cut her off before she could begin her despaired rambling, "I reject the arranged marriage because of the facts surrounding it. Firstly, this arrangement was set up before I was even born, therefore this would have forced me from birth to marry a woman that my 'parents' had chosen for me, thus removing any chance of me ever making my own choices. The second part of my reasoning is because this marriage is undoubtedly a political ploy by both our parents, either to unify an alliance or as some overall plot for either side, either way, one or both of us would have simply been pawns of our 'respective parents', and I absolutely refuse to be a pawn. Thirdly, I do not know anything about you, and I refuse to be forcibly married to somebody I know nothing about just because my long deceased parents arranged something concerning me before I was ever even brought into this world." Naruto looked at Mei with a stoic face, "There are plenty of other reasons why I will not abide by the arranged marriage, but those three should be more than enough for you." he turned away and began to walk out of the training grounds to find another location to train.
Meanwhile, Mei was in shock, and if one looked closely, a light film of tears had formed on the edges of her eyes. She was no fool, she knew that this arranged marriage had been a plot by both her own parents and Naruto's, but she did not care, she wanted to be with Naruto for some deep reason, in fact, it was as if her life purpose was to be with Naruto.
As she felt more sorrow begin to creep into her heart, a thought came to her mind…and a small ray of hope entered her irises.
Naruto was just about to leave the training field-
When Mei called out to him, causing him to pause as he was about to exit the area as she ran towards him, almost frantically.
She stopped right in front of him, panting slightly, "Naruto, I understand your desire to reject the arranged marriage, but please, allow me to fulfill some use to you."
Naruto raised an eyebrow, "What do you mean?"
Mei stood up straight, "Naruto, I am the Godaime Mizukage of Kirigakure, I have fought and defeated Yagura, the Yondaime Mizukage of Kirigakure, and Jinchuriki of the Sanbi…I could be a valuable asset as a teacher."
Naruto was stoic and silent for a few moments, before he spoke up, "You wish to teach me?"
Mei nodded her head, "Yes, I am sure you already have a teacher, but surely there are things your teacher cannot possibly teach you, things I could grant you knowledge of, things I could teach you in, things your teacher could never hope to grant you in terms of knowledge."
Naruto frowned, he did not have a teacher, however, Mei's ignorance was relatively understandable.
Naruto pondered her offer for several moments, while being what he was, he had little need for human techniques; however, she was correct in one thing, there are things he could learn from her, things that would allow him to accelerate his own training and allow him to grow stronger faster.
It was not as effective as gaining training from others of his kind, but he had no room to be picky, besides, even being what he was, he was still young for his kind, he would have to be a fool to not accept an offer such as training from a Kage.
Naruto sighed and nodded his head, "Very well, if you desire so, I will allow you to train me."
Mei's eyes lit up, and she could not help but allow a smile to grace her features, "R-really?!"
Naruto nodded his head affirmatively.
Mei seemed to shake in anticipation, "Oh thank you!" she said loudly while grinning, her posture and tone portraying excitement, "Trust me, you will not regret this." she allows her giddiness to overwhelm her for a few minutes, before she slowly calms down.
After several minutes, Mei coughed, and looked at Naruto, "Uhm, I need to prepare a few things before we begin training though, could we meet here tomorrow, sunrise?"
Naruto looked at her with a slightly raised eyebrow, sunrise tomorrow, he honestly expected her to want to begin training right now, what could she possibly need to prepare for?
Naruto however nodded his head, "Very well, sunrise tomorrow then."
Mei smiled and bowed lightly, "Until sunrise then." she slowly turned away and headed out of the field with a quickened pace.
When she had finally left his sight, Naruto sighed and turned back towards the training field. Even if he did have training scheduled with Mei tomorrow, there was no reason he could not continue training now. He began to walk towards the center of the field to continue his training…
When he suddenly stopped mid-step, and looked towards his abdomen as he felt a light pulse originating from his naval.
The council of Konohagakure was made up of three tiers. The first tier was the Hokage and his advisors, they were the presiding members, and were in charge of selecting who was allowed to speak and who was not as issues were brought to the stand. The second tier were the heads of each separate Shinobi division, Interrogation, ANBU, medic-nin corps, and even the head of the seduction branch of the Shinobi corps were there, they each represented their own separate divisions of the Shinobi corps. The third tier was the various clan heads, who represented their clans interests due to the fact a majority of the Shinobi were supplied by the various clans. Normally, this would be the only tiers needed, but in Konoha, there was another tier, the heads of Civilian interests, wealthy merchants, heads of civilian families, along with assorted nobles and political figures.
The council of Konohagakure was usually only called in times of extreme importance, and the subject of this meeting was no different…
The Sandaime's decision to allow the Godaime Mizukage of Kirigakure to run around Konoha, doing as she pleases.
"This is an outrage!" shouted the Sandaime's advisor Homura, "A foreign leader is waltzing around our village, dictating orders to our ANBU, and all under your approval!" Homura's monologue was met with cheers and shouts of approval, however, not all agreed.
"How dare you?! You dare to order our Hokage, your superior around! If Sandaime-sama has made the decision to allow her to move as she pleases then you have no authority to tell him otherwise!" shouted Ibiki Morino, head of the Interrogation division. Many shouted out, siding with him and his decision to side with the Hokage.
Not many remained silent however, "He is allowing a foreign leader to dictate our troops, regardless of whether it is his decision or not, it shows a lack of forethought when our leader allows another to do as they please!" Inoichi Yamanaka spoke forth, sternness echoing outward.
This continued onward for what felt like hours, until finally, the Sandaime himself had enough, "Silence!" he shouted, his killing intent silencing the more vocal members of the council, forcing them to give him their full attention, "This petty squabbling over this matter has gone on long enough! This council is meant to advise me, not dictate my leadership!"
Much of the council flinched as they endured Hiruzen's killing intent, and they lowered their heads.
"Hmph." though one was not so easy to scare, Danzo, former leader of the ANBU unit NE, secondary advisor to Hiruzen Sarutobi, and his oldest rival. Danzo was an old man, one arm in a sling, and half his face bandaged. He wore a combat robe and had a cane in one hand, implying a heavy limp, "Leadership, I hardly call your rule leadership Hiruzen. Regardless of your position, the fact you allowed a foreign leader free reign here, especially a foreign leader from Kiri of all places, makes us all question your state of mind, given that particular nation's history." Danzo looked over towards Hiruzen, "Along with your history with the Terumi clan itself."
Danzo's statement caused a whisper to echo out through the council chambers, it was no secret that the foreign leader whom Hiruzen allowed free reign to was the last surviving member of the Terumi clan. However, only a handful knew of Hiruzen's personal connection to the Terumi clan itself.
Danzo was one of the few who did know, and he was clearly trying to play that fact to his advantage.
Danzo seemed to smirk as he looked around, "Oh? It seems that our dear Hokage has been keeping secrets from this council." he looked towards the council, "You see honorable council, our Hokage was friends with a member of the Terumi clan when it was still a noble family of Kirigakure, before the bloodline purges incited by the Yondaime Mizukage of Kirigakure." the whispers of the council hushed as they looked towards the Sandaime.
Hiruzen was impassive, though one who was well versed in nervous ticks could tell that the Sandaime was slowly losing his patience.
Danzo saw this, and could not help but smirk briefly before he became stoic, "In fact, the current Mizukage, the one our dear Sandaime has let run around, doing as she pleases…" he looked towards the Sandaime, "Is the granddaughter of the one he once called friend."
There was silence in the council chambers as every single member of the council looked at Hiruzen, shock, anger, and hate on their faces, all in varying amounts.
Finally, his old teammate Homura stood up, "Hiruzen…is this true?" Homura asked, malice leaking from his voice.
The rest of the council awaited Hiruzen's response, staring at him expectantly.
Hiruzen himself slowly inhaled, closing his eyes…
And suddenly, the room was flooded with the angriest killing intent any of the council had felt in years.
Homura gasped as he was forced to sit back, clutching his chest as he felt the wind get knocked out of him from the sheer force of the killing intent.
Meanwhile, Hiruzen slowly opened his eyes, his angry glare piercing into Homura, "No matter our past friendships…councilor Homura…you will refer to me only as Hokage-sama." Hiruzen's glare then transferred to Danzo, "And you."
Danzo gripped his seat tightly as he felt Hiruzen's killing intent stab into him like a thousand white hot knives.
Hiruzen slowly stood up, snarling as his glare hardened, "You dare presume to supercede my authority, revealing secrets to this council to try to make them turn against me, their Hokage, their superior…and yours!" Hiruzen snapped in anger, causing the entire council to flinch, before he glared at them, "What I do benefits the village as a whole, after all these years every last one of you should know that by now." Hiruzen glared back at Danzo, who was still shaking, "As for the reasons why I am allowing Mei Terumi to run around Konoha, had any of you bothered to ask me why I was allowing a foreign leader to have free reign in our village, as opposed to making wild accusations and ridiculous demands, I would have been more than happy to oblige an answer." he spoke with contempt deeply seeding his voice.
The Council lowered their heads, knowing that the Sandaime's statement was true; all they had done since they called the meeting was make demands and wild accusations against the Sandaime, not once asking why he had allowed a foreign leader to run their village.
Ibiki frowned at his fellow council members, and spoke up, "Sandaime-sama…forgive me, but why have you allowed the Godaime Mizukage to have free reign of Konohagakure, a village you are in command of?"
Hiruzen looked towards Ibiki, "You are forgiven Ibiki." he looked towards the council, "Now, as to the why I have allowed the Godaime Mizukage to roam freely in our village…is because so long as I allow her to do so, she will not unleash her wrath upon us."
The council murmured at this fact, but several shouted in outrage.
"Her wrath?! Konohagakure is the strongest of all the hidden villages, what possible threat could she pose to us?!" yelled a fat merchant whose arrogance was even more disgusting than his stench.
Several others spoke up, and finally Danzo gained the courage to speak up as well, "The point is valid Hiruzen, our Shinobi may have become lax over the years, but as a whole we are far superior to any of the other nations, against all of Konoha, what possible threat could she pose to us?"
Hiruzen frowned towards Danzo, "You wish to know what possible threat the Godaime Mizukage could pose to us? What possible threat the strongest Shinobi of one of the five great hidden villages could do? Especially when the Godaime is a Terumi; a clan as legendary and feared as the Uchiha and Senju clans?!" Hiruzen was quickly losing his patience, and shot several bolts of killing intent into Danzo, making him sit back in silence.
The council began to shudder as they heard the Sandaime speaking of the Godaime, while they all still arrogantly believed that they were powerful enough to strike down any foe, they began to lose faith in themselves, even as their arrogance told them otherwise.
Hiruzen looked towards the council, "I will tell you what threat she poses…I had several ANBU guarding me when she entered my office just hours after she entered our village, and each of these ANBU were the best and brightest of our corps, truly elites among our elites." he glanced at the ANBU commander, "She did not even move…when she used her skills over her Kekkei Genkai to turn all of them into a bubbling puddle of flesh and bile."
The council was shocked beyond imaging, their top ANBU were defeated by the Mizukage, and she did not even move a muscle?
The ANBU commander was the most shocked, they had hand-picked every single one of the ANBU to be the Sandaime's personal guard, and to hear how easily they had been slain, they just could not believe it. They stood up and spoke, "Surely the Mizukage had to have made some sort of movement, hand signs, lip movements, anything?!" they hoped for some sort of information, perhaps discerning a hand sign or lip movement could create a method to counteract the Mizukage's techniques in some manner.
Hiruzen looked at the ANBU commander, "The only sign she had unleashed her jutsu…was a single burst of chakra…and she showed no fatigue from doing the technique at all."
This terrified much of the council; to do such a terrible technique, and not be exhausted from it…it was inhuman.
Hiruzen looked at them, "With that power at her control, she could easily kill many of our finest soldiers, and should we make a move against her, no doubt all of Kirigakure will unleash their wrath upon us. I refuse to be responsible for starting the fourth shinobi world war." he looked around at the councilors, "Now, unless there is anything else you feel requires further wasting of my precious, and limited time, I call this meeting adjourned." he began to stand so as to leave.
"Actually Sandaime-sama, there is one matter I wish to bring forth."
Hiruzen stopped and turned his gaze towards a particularly beautiful woman, her long brown hair placed in a traditional bow, wearing an ornate kimono, and soft makeup on her features. Her kimono was lightly parted to reveal her generous cleavage, and her shoulders were partially visible. Her name escaped him, but he knew her well…she was head of the seduction corps after all.
Hiruzen coughed and looked at her, hiding his mild blush, "What is it?"
The woman looked directly at him, "While I share the rest of the councils concerns in having a foreign leader doing as they please, I will respect your decision, for this provides a…ample opportunity for Konohagakure herself."
Shikaku Nara yawned as he spoke up, "What are you talking about you troublesome woman?"
The head of the seduction corps seemingly ignored Shikaku and continued to speak, "Sandaime-sama, what was the civil war in Kirigakure fought over?"
Hiruzen frowned in confusion at this line of questioning, "Kekkei Genkai. The Yondaime Mizukage desired the death of all Kekkei Genkai holders, and unleashed a bloodline purge, killing anyone with a Kekkei Genkai purely on principle. There was a faction within Kiri who disagreed with the Yondaime, thus leading to the Bloodline Civil War."
The woman smiled, "Correct, and what is the Terumi clan most known for besides their sheer prowess in combat?"
Hiruzen blinked, "Their Kekkei…Genkai." his eyes lightly widened as he began to see where she was going with this.
She smiled, "Yes, the Terumi clan was known for their powerful Kekkei Genkai along with their sheer battle prowess, so no doubt the Yondaime would not have ever considered allowing any of them to live. However, the Yondaime Mizukage is dead, the Civil War won by the opposing faction…and their leader is a Terumi."
Choza spoke up, "What are you getting at?"
The woman smiled and stood up, addressing the whole council, "The Yondaime Mizukage desired the destruction of all Kekkei Genkai within his lands, and he was opposed by a faction who did not want to eradicate the Bloodlines of their nation. Now, the Yondaime Mizukage is dead, and once again, Kekkei Genkai wielders are safe, and can rebuild their clans to their former glory…however, they are no doubt few in number because of the purges, which gives us a great advantage."
Tsume Inuzuka snarled, "Oh stop speaking and get to the point you loose bitch!"
The woman glared at Tsume, "You're one to talk you sluttish mongrel. Do your kids know how easy their mother really is?" she said with a malicious smirk to her lips.
Tsume snarled, "Why you-"
The Sandaime unleashed another wave of KI, "Enough!" he glared at Tsume and the other woman, then glanced back at the woman, "What did you have in mind?"
The woman smiled, "I am so glad you asked Sandaime-sama." she coughed and spoke up, "Due to the low numbers of the bloodline clans, they have a limited chance of rebuilding themselves, it will take many years for them to return to their full state, and no doubt they are not as well protected as they should be due to the entire land having to be rebuilt from the civil war, which leaves them vulnerable. I suggest that we send our forces out to kidnap several bloodline clan members, or in my divisions' case, seduce several bloodline holders, and then kill them. This will give our village an opportunity to obtain whatever bloodlines Kiri has left, and in turn, deprive them of their own bloodlines…increasing our strength by decreasing theirs. And since the Mizukage is here in Konoha, they will be that much more vulnerable."
The council looked at each other, discussing the proposal; they all admitted it was a good idea. In fact it was perfect, if they took the bloodlines from Kiri while the Mizukage was here, then Kirigakure's strength would be reduced, while their own strength grew.
Hiruzen closed his eyes, taking several breathes, before he opened them, "How do you propose we begin?"
The woman smiled and she reached into her Kimono, showing some more of her ample bosom, and pulled out a file, "I am sure this should suffice my lord." she slid the file across the table towards Hiruzen.
Hiruzen looked at the file before he swiftly, yet gently grasped it. He slowly opened the file and examined the first page.
The glint in his eye was all the woman needed before a smile adorned her features.
As Chojuro and Ao were sitting in the apartment they had rented for their stay in Konoha, awaiting the return of their Mizukage. Both of them had just returned to the apartment after another sweep of the village trying to find Naruto. Throughout their search, they had been hassled by several Konoha citizens, and it almost escalated into violence, but the shinobi under Hiruzens command had basically threatened the populace with death should they try anything.
They knew Hiruzen was trying to get Mei, Ao, and Chojuro to change their opinion of Konoha, but they could see right through Hiruzen's lies and deception.
As the two sat in the apartment, they were growing concerned, their Mizukage had not returned yet, and it has been several hours since she had left after the incident near the pond the day earlier. They knew their leader was powerful, but it was still dangerous to be in an enemy territory without some backup.
Finally, Ao had enough and stood up, "That is it, I am going out to locate her." he headed towards the door as Chojuro stood up in protest.
"But Mizukage-sama ordered us to remain here in case-"
Ao snapped, "I refuse to sit here while my leader is out in enemy territory by herself. Hard as it may be for you to understand Chojuro…" he began to open the door while still looking towards Chojuro, "Sometimes you have to disobey orders to do what is best for your leaders."
"Is that a fact…Ao?"
Ao's blood ran cold as he heard the sharp flat voice of his leader. He slowly began to turn his head, to find Mei Terumi looking at him expectantly.
Ao seemed to tremble as the hardness of Mei's eyes seemed to pierce his soul, "M-Mizukage-sama…I-I…"
Mei silenced him as she pushed past him, "Consider yourself lucky I am in a good mood Ao." she moved towards her bags and began to sort through them, as if looking for something.
As Ao slowly closed the door, Chojuro stood and bowed, "Mizukage-sama, we are so grateful that you have returned well and unharmed." he remained bowed.
Mei was too focused on searching for her to even notice that Chojuro was even there.
Mei pushed aside one scroll after another, until she smirked, "Ah, here we are." she pulled out a small scroll, covered in seals which seemed to form a lock-like shape. She turned around and saw Chojuro still bowing, and she frowned, "Chojuro!"
Chojuro bolted up, "M-Mizukage-sama I-" Mei paid him no mind and pushed past him as she walked over to the nearby desk. She looked upon the desk for a few seconds, before she grabbed a stray quill sitting on the edge. She then examined it before lightly chewing on the tip…before she jammed the quill into the palm of her hand until the entire point was inside.
Ao's eyes widened in shock, "Mizukage-sama!" he immediately bolted forward in response to what Mei had done.
Mei snapped, "Pay it no mind Ao." she then pulled the quill out of her hand, and it was now covered in blood. She then looked towards the scroll in her hand, and using the quill, began to rapidly write upon the blank portions of the scroll.
Ao and Chojuro watched Mei as she drew upon the scroll using her blood soaked quill, finally, Chojuro chose to speak, "M-Mizukage-sama, I-"
Mei snapped, "Chojuro, go and grab one of the parchments from the bag."
Chojuro blinked in confusion, "Mizukage-sam-"
Mei snapped her head around and glared as she snapped at him, "Now!"
Chojuro practically leapt out of his skin, "Y-yes Mizukage-sama!" he said fearfully before he bolted over to the bag and dug through it, trying to find the parchment."
Mei continued scribbling the seals on the scroll…until finally, she finished off with a warped swirl, and with a single motion, she pressed her still bleeding finger at a junction of the seal on the scroll, "Kai."
What happened next both shocked and amazed the still watching Ao.
Mei's blood ignited on the scroll, burning the symbols she had written on the scroll directly into the scroll itself. As the burns cooled the page seemed to shift, or so it seemed.
As Ao looked closer, he saw it was the symbols themselves shifting, peeling themselves off the page, and floating just off the surface of the scroll. Ao watched with rapt attention as the symbols began to swirl and shift, floating all across the scrolls surface, creating new layers and patterns all across the scroll.
Ao watched in shock and awe as the symbols kept moving about, in all his years he had never seen anything quite like what he was seeing now.
Mei seemed unfazed by it, as she pressed her thumb against the newly formed design, "Fuin"
The design rippled for but a second, before it adhered to the scroll, before completely vanishing.
The scroll, which once had lock-like designs on it, now portrayed symbols that showed an open lock. Mei swiftly unraveled the scroll, and began to examine its contents.
At that moment, Chojuro returned, holding several pieces of parchment, "Mizukage-sama, I have the parchments you request-" Chojuro jumped back as Mei reached out and snatched the parchments from his hands.
Without a word, Mei placed the scroll she was reading down as she sorted the parchments off to the side. She opened the drawer which held several vials of ink, and took out several vials, and she dabbed her quill inside the first vial. She then looked back at the scroll as she began to write upon the parchment with unbiased focus.
Chojuro seemed shocked, and his head bowed in a depressed manner.
Ao frowned when he saw this and looked towards Mei, "Mizukage-sama..."
Mei stopped her writing as she unfurled the scroll more, revealing more and more writings upon the scroll, only then did she continue to write upon the parchment.
Ao sighed and looked towards Chojuro, "Chojuro, go get some rest."
Chojuro normally would protest, saying how he must be there in service towards Mizukage-sama, but he was too depressed to make any protest and simply nodded his head, "Hai." and headed towards his sleeping quarters.
Ao meanwhile stayed with Mei, watching her as she scribbled on the parchment with vigor he had not seen from her before.
All the while, Mei stared between the parchment and the scroll…a single thought in her mind.
Her fiancé…Naruto…and how she could hope to gain his heart.
Naruto stared at his abdomen, near the area where the pulse seemed to originate from. He slowly reached towards his abdomen, lightly tracing around the area where the pulse originated. As he traced the area, his eyes saw a mild pattern as he traced the pulses origins.
His eyes narrowed as he saw the pattern, 'Is that the…no, it couldn't be…could it?'
As he debated with himself on what the pattern was, he suddenly lurched over as images flooded through his head once again…stances, hand signs, pulses of his power.
Finally, the images ceased, and he looked up, "Only one way to find out."
Naruto inhaled deeply as he remembered the images that had flooded through his head, and he took a widened stance, bending his knees as he adjusted his feet to keep him upright. He then placed his hands out in front of him, adjusting his fingers to form a different hand sign, then brought his hands together to form a hand sign composed of the hand signs his individual hands made.
Taking a deep breath, he began to pulse his energy at seemingly random intervals, allowing the energy to flow through his body.
He exhaled slowly as he slowly adjusted his hands to form a different hand sign.
He finished off with a final pulse of his energy…
Naruto inhaled, then exhaled, and slowly began to open his eyes.
For but a brief moment, his eyes widened, before they returned to normal as he spoke, "So…this is the mind of a Highborn." he said with certainty, as he gazed upon the mindscape…which took the form of a beautiful…yet terrifying landscape, unlike anything the mortal world had ever seen.
Hiruzen Sarutobi examined the papers before him, all the while the head of the seduction corps stood to his left, and the ANBU commander stood to his right.
As Hiruzen examined the final pages, he nodded his head, "This plan is sound, clear, concise…I see no room for error in this so long as everything goes according to plan." Hiruzen looked to his right, indicating his ANBU commander, "Should I approve this plan, will there be any concerns of negligence of duty or inconsistencies in planning?"
The ANBU commander, as emotionless and vigilant as ever, bowed, "If you will this plan to be enacted, then the ANBU corps will die to ensure it is fulfilled to utmost perfection Hokage-sama."
Hiruzen smiled in satisfaction, "Good." he then turned his attention to the head of the seduction corps, "Report to my office as soon as possible, resources must be acquired and diverted properly if this plan is to go underway without a single setback."
The head of the seduction corps smiled, "As you command, Hokage-sama."
Tsume Inuzuka could not help but snarl angrily in the womans direction, her pupils dilating venomously. A harsh glare from Hiruzen silenced her though, and all she could do was brood silently.
Hiruzen sighed and looked towards the council, "As Sandaime Hokage of Konohagakure no Sato, I declare this council adjourned." he grasped the papers in front of him, "You are all dismissed."
At that moment, all the councilors stood up and exited the council chambers, each one heading to their respective destinations.
All except for one Hiashi Hyuuga…head of the Hyuuga clan.
Hiashi had remained silent throughout the entirety of the council meeting, listening, watching, measuring the events that had occurred and would occur as the meeting proceeded onwards.
He was not pleased with the meetings results, not in any way, shape, or form.
Truthfully, he did not care that the Mizukage had been given free reign of Konoha, he did not care whether the Sandaime had been friends with the new Mizukage's grandfather, he cared nothing for whatever stupidity the Sandaime did that showed a sort of leniency towards a foreign leader…except when it involved his clan of course, but that was neither here nor there.
No, what aggravated him…no, enraged him, was the obvious obsession of Konoha's.
Now, Hiashi was a bloodline supremacist due to him being a Hyuuga, believing that those with bloodlines were superior to those without bloodlines.
However, Konoha's blind obsession to acquire every bloodline they could get their hands on was nothing short of stupidity in its rawest form; so few in Konoha realized that it was not the quantity of Kekkei Genkai, but rather their quality, something that was clear when one looked at the ever degrading clans of Konohagakure.
What many had forgotten, was that a clans bloodlines were improved through a very sophisticated pedigree, breeding traits within the family, not allowing a single drop of outside blood entering the gene pool unless it was proven that allowing the interbreeding would improve the clan as a whole. For generations, this had been done, brothers, sisters, cousins, even aunts, nieces, and nephews would produce children together, ensuring the next generation would be even stronger than the previous generation, strengthening the bloodline, and the clan as a whole.
All that changed with the founding of Konohagakure no Sato.
When the village was initially formed by a pact between the Uchiha and Senju clans, it was like a beacon where dozens of wandering merchants, civilians and the like gathered, seeking safety and shelter from the still burning flames of the clan wars. At first, they were beneficial, providing funds outside of the endless missions performed by the clans, and even providing cannon fodder when clans became bold enough to attack Konoha directly.
In time though, their ignorance of the clans and their Kekkei Genkai would ultimately be the undoing of something that used to be great.
Their ignorance…of the clans need to reproduce within their own gene pool.
Now, civilians and those who did not carry bloodlines had learned long ago that when you reproduce within a gene pool, that negative results will be attained. Lower levels of intelligence, reasoning, thought, and some of the more extreme results of inbreeding within these groups resulted in deformities and birth defects that ultimately proved fatal. So they had learned long ago that it was necessary to put as many new and 'exotic' genes within the gene pool as possible to prevent a stagnant source of genes for each generation.
However, what civilians and those who did not carry bloodlines failed to realize, is that Kekkei Genkai were not simply 'exotic' genes, but something else entirely.
In clans which held Kekkei Genkai, keeping the gene pool as closed as possible, not allowing any outside genes in, not allowing for interbreeding between clans, it often produced the best possible results for the next generation. In fact, adding new genes were possibly the greatest risk a bloodline could ever face, as these new genes cause the bloodlines characteristics to fade from the gene pool.
Of course, neither civilian nor daimyo were willing to acknowledge this fact, viewing the clans tendency to inbreed as an abomination, and so forced their will upon the clans.
The results of which were obvious to those who could see it.
The Kurama clan was a powerful clan, one which held a Kekkei Genkai just as dangerous as the Senju's Mokuton, the Uchiha's Sharingan, and even put to shame the Hyuuga's Byakugan. However, over the years, because of the daimyo, the Kurama clan had become an all but forgotten name, and their bloodline was now nameless, forgotten, in fact, the only member of the clan who still had the bloodline was the clan heiress, born from the clan head and his sister in a drunken one night stand. However, the heiress had a long list of psychological issues, which made her a threat rather than an asset; it would not be long before the Sandaime ordered her death to ensure the survival of the village.
The Inuzuka once were a proud and noble warrior clan, their senses were equal to that of the most organized and well survived wolf pack. Now, they were but mongrels, nothing more than snarling, frothing, uncouth mutts.
The Yamanaka clan, the Nara clan, and Akimichi clan, once having powerful inherent abilities, now were reduced to family techniques, most of which could not be used unless they somehow regained the abilities that had gone extinct so many years ago.
The Uchiha clan had also suffered, even though they tried hard to keep the purity within the clan, tried to prevent their powerful bloodline from becoming dormant forever. In the end though, they succumbed to the daimyo's will. At one time, every Uchiha was born with the inherent ability to activate their Sharingan, born with the Kekkei Genkai already awoken, now, the only way an Uchiha could activate their Kekkei Genkai was if they were in a life or death situation, and because of village laws, that rarely happened before they were thirteen, by then, only a handful of Uchiha ever activated their Kekkei Genkai.
No clan had fallen further from grace though than the Senju clan, who had embraced the daimyo and civilian way of breeding with open arms. Now, there was only a single Senju left, all the others had died out years ago, becoming weak from breeding with one civilian after another, and even still, the last living Senju was a mockery to their clan; a drunken gambler, who could not even perform a single elemental ninjutsu, a skill which had made her clan so noteworthy to begin with.
The Hyuuga had been able to survive though. Due to secret breeding programs within their own walls, they had managed to keep their gene pool mostly pure, and so every single Hyuuga could activate their Byakugan at a young age. It was a meticulous process that the Hyuuga had been following ever since they had been forced to join Konohagakure, and for years, it has gone without a single hitch.
However, Hiashi learned the hard way that things will always go wrong.
Due to the Hyuuga's ability to maintain a proper pedigree amongst their clan, their Shinobi had remained top of the line, always vigilant, in a way, perfect in all forms. This attracted the attention of a daimyo who wished to acquire their services for a specific endeavor. This daimyo had come to Konoha directly to speak to the Hyuuga clan, and had brought along his daughter as well.
That night was something that would shame the Hyuuga clan for years to come.
That night, due to the daimyo's presence, the Hyuuga clan, under the orders of the then Sandaime, provided large quantities of sake to amuse the Daimyo. Usually, the Hyuuga would frown upon such wastes of resources as sake, but due to the daimyo's presence, they had to drink, lest they offend the daimyo. To this day, the Hyuuga clan as a whole questions why a refusal to become intoxicated would be offensive to a daimyo, especially when his safety depended on them being in their prime. In the end though, unless they wished for their clan to be shamed, they needed to drink as much as the daimyo did.
In the end though, they were shamed anyways.
Hiashi, a young Jonin had never tasted sake, nor did he desire to, but due to his obligations to the clan, he had become heavily intoxicated that night…that is when everything went downhill. In his drunken stupor, he somehow wooed the daimyo's daughter into a nearby room, and they proceeded to partake in intercourse, in which she became pregnant.
This scandal cost the Hyuuga clan much prestige, and caused the daimyo to permanently take his business elsewhere, while disowning his daughter, refusing to acknowledge a woman who had become pregnant out of wedlock as his kin.
The child born from that pregnancy was none other than Hinata Hyuuga, his heir…and the most pathetic example of a Hyuuga ever seen.
The next pregnancy was with the same woman, but this time the Hyuuga clan had used many forbidden medical techniques to purge the womans DNA and genes from the growing fetus, in the hopes that the resulting child would be less of a failure than Hinata.
The result was Hanabi Hyuuga, a genetic copy to Hiashi, albeit a female copy.
Despite this victory, the shame that had been brought upon the Hyuuga clan was part of the reason Hiashi, now at the sliding gates of the Hyuuga clan council chambers, was being held accountable.
Hiashi took a deep breath, and slowly reached for the door, sliding it apart.
Inside, he found the Hyuuga clan elders gathered, sitting in a circle, looking towards him expectantly.
Hiashi's father, the head elder frowned, "Hiashi, you are late. A clan head should know better."
Hiashi remained stoic, "The council meeting was extended by several councilors, it was unavoidable, unless I wished to bring more shame and disgrace upon our clan by simply leaving."
His father snorted, "As if it were possible for you to bring any more shame upon us than you have already done, which is why you have been called here…now, be seated."
Hiashi clenched his fist, allowed his teeth to grit, before he slowly sat down in his designated seat within the chambers.
Hiashi's father cleared his voice, "We, the council of the Hyuuga clan have gathered to determine the future of our clan. In the last decade and a half, our clan has lost much of its prestige, much of its power, and much of its influence." he cast a harsh glance towards Hiashi, "I am certain that all present know the reason for that."
Many of the councilors glanced harshly towards Hiashi, before turning their attention back towards the head elder.
The head elder continued to speak, "After much deliberation amongst my fellow elders, and those who have concern over the future of the Hyuuga clan, we feel it prevalent to name a new heir."
Hiashi was mildly shocked by this, while true, Hinata would never be fit to be heir to the clan, he had intended to name Hanabi as his heir when she was old enough, he stood up, "Now wait, I know Hinata is unfit but-"
"Silence Hiashi! Your tongue is what brought us into this mess in the first place!" his father snapped at him, making no attempt at concealing the hidden meaning behind his words.
Hiashi grit his teeth, but knew better than to speak out again. He slowly sat back down, but kept a harsh glance burning into his father.
Hiashi's father paid it no mind, and continued, "We have agreed that the best choice to become the new heir…is Neji Hyuuga."
This shocked several elders who were not aware of this, one of whom spoke up, "But Neji is of the branch family, a servant."
Another elder who was informed of the reasoning spoke up, "He is also of one of the pure lineage of the main branch of the Hyuuga, despite him being Hizashi's child, who was second born, he is the purest member of the main branch who could qualify as heir to the clan."
Hiashi refused to stay silent any longer, Hinata may have brought shame to the clan, but he refused to allow the elders to simply go over his head, "Hanabi is a genetic clone of me, she is more than qualified as being pure enough to become clan head one day."
His father spoke up, "That is correct, a genetic clone of you, the one who brought an angry cloud upon our head, stripping us of our strength and prestige, we are barely a noble clan anymore because of your blunder, can we truly risk Hanabi not being the same as you?"
Hiashi growled, "Why you-"
Both Hiashi and his father turned towards another councilor, who was scarred and his Byakugan flaring, "This chamber is to discuss politics, lineage, and dictate policies, not to settle petty squabbling matches and bloody the floor."
As the other elders looked back at them, Hiashi and his father cowed their tempers and returned to business.
Hiashi had more to say, "Then what is to become of Hanabi?"
Another elder spoke up, "It has been decided that Neji and Hanabi shall be married, and upon the day she is capable of safely giving birth, she will be impregnated by Neji, and she shall give birth to the next generation of the Hyuuga clan."
Hiashi frowned, he was not pleased that his daughter was to be used as a breeding factory, but for now there was little he could do about it.
Hiashi's father looked to the side, "Bring Neji Hyuuga to us immediately, and make haste."
On the other side of the sliding door, two shadows disappeared moved with such speed, it was impossible for anyone with lesser eyes to see.
Hiashi glared at his father as he clenched his fist…he would ensure that his father paid dearly for going over his head.
Hiashi's father either did not notice Hiashi's glare, or paid it no mind, either way, Hiashi did not even exist on his radar at the moment.
Several minutes later, the sliding doors opened, and standing on the other side, were two Hyuuga's, flanking Neji Hyuuga, who looked none too pleased to be there.
Hiashi's father waved his hand, "The two of you are dismissed."
The two Hyuuga's used Shunshin to exit, leaving Neji standing in the doorway.
Hiashi's father waved his hand once more, "Neji, come in, please…there is an important matter we must discuss with you."
Neji frowned further, but entered as commanded.
As he entered, the elders whispered amongst themselves, examining him intently.
All the while, Neji's fists were clenched, his anxiety obvious from his stance and the flaring of his nostrils.
As the elders whispered further, Hiashi could not help but glare at Neji. He was subconsciously making the hand sign to activate Neji's seal, killing him…but a glare from his father cowed him from killing Neji.
Finally, the head elder coughed, "Neji Hyuuga, do you know why it is you were called before us?"
Neji turned his attention to the head elder, his fists still clenched and his eyes narrowed. Every nerve in his body demanded he shout at the elder, spit venom and hatred at him, many of his nerves even demanded he try and kill the elder.
However, his reasoning won out, and he spoke, "No, elder-sama."
The head elder could plainly see Neji's aggravation, but paid it no mind, after all, after this meeting; Neji's hate would no longer be the Hyuuga clans concern.
He cleared his throat, "You were called here in regards to an important decision the council has made, a decision which involves you."
Neji's eyes widened in confusion, before they narrowed further, "What kind of decision?"
Another elder spoke up, "It has been clear to us for years that the future of the Hyuuga clan is in jeopardy, our prestige has dropped, our influence cut, and our strength and position dwindling to levels that are unbecoming of a clan of our stature. The source of this problem was obvious, but due to the nature of the problems source, we bit down upon our tongues until recently. This blight upon our family is something which can no longer be ignored."
Neji looked at them intently, "And, what is this blight?"
Another elder spoke forth, "It is not a what, rather a who."
Neji looked at the elder.
The elder looked directly at Neji, "The source of our clans stagnation…is Hinata Hyuuga, the heiress."
Neji's eyes widened in shock and confusion, not understanding what was happening. True, he realized long ago that Hinata was unfit to lead the clan; however he had believed that the council would follow laws, doctrines, and creeds and thus would have Hinata become clan head, despite her obvious shortcomings, since she was the firstborn of the clan head, Hiashi Hyuuga.
So why were they speaking of Hinata as a blight now?
The head elder saw his confusion, and spoke to elaborate, "Hinata's most recent failures have weighed heavily upon the Hyuuga clan itself. Her failures within the academy, being the last placed amongst the Kunoichi who were able to graduate, one of whom was a member of a lesser clan, and another being a mere civilian girl. A failure that followed soon after were the constant mission failures caused by her withdrawn and cowardly personality, resulting in the village losing two important clients, a failure that has caused us to lose standing amongst the nations as a whole. Finally her most recent failure in the Chunin exams, where she was defeated by you in such a humiliating manner…the idea, the heiress of the clan, trained from birth in the most advanced arts of the clan, was defeated by a member of the cadet branch, which only has access to secondhand scrolls."
Neji's eyes flared in anger as he heard this statement. He and many others had always suspected that the cadet branch of the Hyuuga were given lesser equipment, and only the main branch got the truly powerful techniques, but to hear it was another matter entirely. He began to charge chakra to his fingertips and readied to launch himself at the head elder in retaliation.
"Which is why the council of the Hyuuga has decided that Hinata shall be removed as heiress, and you shall take her place as heir to the Hyuuga."
Time seemed to stop as those words reached his ears, and his eyes widened to the point of it being almost physically impossible for his eyes to remain in their sockets, "W-what?"
The elder spoke again, "You, a member of the cadet branch, with limited resources, have brought honor and prestige to the Hyuuga clan. You were the Rookie of the Year, which landed you with a sensei on the caliber of Maito Gai, one of the deadliest Taijutsu specialists in Konohagakure. You then went on to create a perfect track record with every mission you participated in, the only failures caused by your other teammate, Rock Lee. More recently though, you managed to pass through the Chunin Exams which had been run by two of the separate heads of Torture and Interrogation, and made it to the final rounds of the Chunin Exam. Because of you, we managed to regain some of the prestige stolen from us by Hinata's incompetence. It is for that reason that the council of the Hyuuga elects you to be its heir."
Neji was truly shocked beyond reasoning, never in all his years did he expect this day would ever come.
One elder continued, "You will be trained in all of the main house techniques, gain all the privileges of being heir, and will have your seal removed…provided, that you can complete a very important task."
Neji looked at the elders, and then looked down, weighing the pros and cons in his head…he was being offered the chance of freedom, the chance to take command of the Hyuuga when he came of age, the chance to become even greater than ever before…however, to do this, he had to complete a task for the elders.
He could only think of one question…was it worth it?
Neji slowly raised his head, his answer burning in his eyes as he looked towards the elders…
"What would you have me do…honorable council.
Since his ascension, since his surrender of his humanity, Naruto had discovered so many things that before seemed impossible to comprehend. Before, the idea of being able to enter his own mind at will, see his own thoughts, his own memories, see the details he had been unable to see before, it all seemed like an impossible dream, a fantasy for dreamers and false psychics.
Now though, the idea was not just a reality, it was too simple for words…or at least it should have been.
Naruto blinked heavily as he looked at himself, a thousand consecutive thoughts being processed at a fraction of a second through his superior consciousness.
He took in the details of how he entered his mind, what occurred that had been done correctly, what had occurred that had been done wrong…and why it had gone wrong to begin with.
It all came down to experience, he had never before entered his own consciousness before, never before had he done this as a human, and after being what he was for barely over a day, it was shocking he had managed to accomplish this feat at all.
He frowned slightly as he flexed his fingers, 'I am within my mindscape, but…I feel, off, clearly something had gone wrong.' he looked at his other hand and flexed again, same results…something he had done was not done properly.
Frowning further, he could only sigh in exhaustion as he swept that concern aside for the moment, he had far more pressing matters at hand. He allowed his hands to fall to his side as he looked up before him…
And beheld the mind of a Highborn.
Before him was the most spectacular, awe inspiring, and imposing landscape he had ever seen in all his years. The ground beneath his feet was as black as the souls of the most twisted of mortals, allowing not a single drop of light to reflect off its surface, as if the blackness swallowed all light and hope which touched its surface. As Naruto stepped forth upon the soil, his foot brushed some of it aside, and a broken and shattered emblem was revealed. As one looked across the field as the winds kicked up a small sandstorm, the field was revealed to be not simply a field; but the sight of a bloody battle. Broken bones, blades, and shattered armor adorned the field, buried beneath the never-ending black sands, which hid another fallen warrior from sight, only to reveal the mangled corpse of another.
As Naruto pushed onwards, his eyes cast a gaze on the Horizon, and he saw that the field he was in was surrounded by broken and shattered peaks, and far off in the distance were the burnt out husks of several citadels…some of which were still burning.
Naruto took a deep breath, inhaling the intoxicating aroma of the dead plains, and looked to the sky, and beheld its majesty. Sitting above him in the sky was a crimson sun, whose intensity burned so brightly, that the light cast off of it made the three moons which took their own positions in the sky look like burning orbs of black stone, casting an unholy light upon the surface of the burnt and broken lands.
Naruto stared a moment longer at the majestic and dark sky, tinted a blackish tone, stained with a burning tone of reds and deep oranges, before he turned back on his path as the black storm clouds returned, raining down lightning which arced and struck the ground, flashes of scarlet and violet scarred the skies as the lightning struck the black sands, turning it into arcing glass, before shattering and rejoining the dead soil.
Naruto stopped, and beheld a great sight, one which struck curiosity and awe within his new psyche.
In the center of the dead field, a massive lake, waters clear as a polished crystal, its surface as smooth as silk, several small rivers arcing off it to form smaller ponds, each pond becoming as tainted as the landscape, all the while the lake itself remained pure.
And in the center of the lake…a single landmass, with a massive temple overtaking the entirety of it, and a single bridge connecting the dead fields to the temple itself.
As Naruto moved forward, he looked upon the architecture of the bridge, and he beheld a symmetry about it, adorned with the sharp and savage curls and sudden outcroppings which pressed terror into the hearts of those who looked upon it…except for himself of course.
With a single step, Naruto pressed his foot upon the bridge, and made haste towards the temple towering in the distance.
As Naruto pressed onwards though, the bridge crumbled behind him, sinking in to the waters…and within moments, the waters slowly began to change into a crimson tone.
As if the waters became blood.
Naruto paid it no mind though, and continued onwards to the temple, not ceasing in his steps until he reached the end of the bridge, and gazed upon the massive construct before him.
The architecture was not terribly different from the bridge, however what differences were there were not only aesthetically pleasing to the eye, but practical as well. The spikes which jutted out on the bridge transferred over onto the temple, but on the building they seemed to serve a purpose of defense and held out a gracefulness that no mortal could ever hope to replicate, no matter how many centuries they spent in their feeble attempt. The arches and corners of the temple were smooth, firm, and seemed to not only support the structure above it, but supported the structures to their sides.
As Naruto examined the structure, he could not help but be impressed; truly, this structure had been built with forethought that no mortal could ever hope for. Not a single piece was put onto the structure that did not serve an ultimate purpose in the end.
Naruto continued to look upon the structure for but a few moments more, before his attention turned to what obviously were the focal points of the structure before him.
The three gargantuan doors, each one adorned with different symbols, formed in a different shape and pattern, and bound shut by a different lock.
Naruto looked upon the doors, and looked towards the first gate. He slowly stepped towards it, examining it. The doors trim was adorned with dozens of arcane symbols, each symbol seemingly etched in with a burning chisel, crafted to utter perfection. The door itself was simple enough at first glance, a massive gate seemingly composed of black stone, much like the black sands which trickled across the dead plains behind him, however, as he moved closer, he could see strange markings on the surface of the door…similar to the ones which adorned the trimming, but…different. He looked closer, and saw that not only were there markings on the door itself, they also changed every second.
Naruto did not know what possessed him to do so, but he reached forward as a symbol formed, and grazed his finger across it.
In an instant, he grasped his head as his psyche was shot with a single vivid memory…
Standing in a wasteland, surrounded by the corpses of hundreds of fallen warriors, a figure plunged his arm through the chest of a single remaining warrior, before ruthlessly tearing out the broken warriors heart, and carelessly tossing their carcass to the ground. The figure stared at the still beating heart, glowing with an unholy and dark essence, the blood still spurting out of it, dripping down his hand, which was wrapped in an intricate armor, which connected to arcane runes which traveled up the warrior's biceps. His head was adorned in a helm reminiscent of a samurai, with crown-like protrusions jutting out. There was just enough space for the flaring of his lips to be seen, before he savagely dug his teeth into the still pulsing heart, his body enshrouded by his wings of shadow.
Naruto ceased touching the symbol, and grasped at his hand, which was vibrating intensely with the most fierce and vicious burning sensation he had ever felt in his life.
Cursing slightly, Naruto looked back up at the gate, only for him to step back as he saw what had occurred.
The symbol he had touched began to glow an unholy purplish color, which transferred to dozens of other runes surrounding it, which transferred to hundreds more.
Naruto could only watch as hundreds, if not thousands of the runes lit up, the same color as the first one. However, not all the runes lit up, in fact, not even half of the runes lit up in total, many others remained their same black color.
Naruto stared at the door, then back at his hand, all the while, a single word…no…a name burned itself into his eyes…
Naruto looked back at the door, and a determined frown graced his features, and he reached forward…
And touched a newly formed rune…black as the dead sands.
Naruto grabbed his face as his mind was forced to view another memory not his own.
Two armored warriors, glowing with a foul and dark energy charged forth, weapons drawn, flaming with the same dark energy which enshrouded them. They charged forward with vengeful intent; only for one to be swatted aside with a long appendage, and the other to be grabbed by a massive set of deadly claws. The flailing warrior was brought closer to the one who held it, and was forced to stare into the eyes of its captor. The monster which held him was adorned with a closed helm with glowing crimson eyes staring into his own. The helm was twisted and truly unholy, two crescent shaped spikes curved upwards as a sinister glow erupted from slits in the helm, and it parted. As the warrior flailed in a vain attempt to flee, the helm parted, revealing a pair of jaws adorned with dagger-shaped teeth, coated in dried blood. With a guttural roar, the monster tore into the flailing warrior, ripping his chest open with his jaws, and tearing out the warriors still beating heart, before swallowing it whole. The other warrior barely managed to push itself up, and tried to limp away in a vain attempt to flee…only for his back to arch as he was pierced through his lower back, and from his stomach erupted a club-like shape, adorned with three savage spikes. As the warrior began to feel his insides be torn apart, the warrior was turned around by the tails movements, and gazed upon a tall monstrous figure…on his left side were four angelic wings, tattered and burnt, and on his right side, four tattered draconic wings…
Naruto gasped lightly, as he clutched his head from the sudden vision, all the while his hand had the same burning sensation as before.
After a moment, he looked back up at the massive door, and saw the symbol he had touched be filled with a dark and unholy crimson, which trailed across hundreds of others just like the runes did the first time.
Naruto frowned as he felt another name be seared into his psyche…
Naruto looked up at the door, and it became clear what this door symbolized, the memories of the ones who turned him...
Naruto sighed lightly, and looked towards the second door; it was plain, the symbols familiar, its structure…
It was so…human.
Naruto sneered in the direction of this door, it held no use to him now, and it was not what he had come here for.
And so at last, he turned his attention to the final door…this one, was the most extravagant of them all.
Before him, he beheld a door which coursed with power, and echoed with an intent so powerful, that he could not ignore it if he tried. The door was immense in size, tall enough to dwarf the walls of Konohagakure, and inspire fear in all those who looked upon it; even he felt a twinge of concern upon looking at this door.
The door, it seemed to grow out of the ground like an unholy tree, firm and strong, unmoving, unyielding…powerful. The trim seemed to be shift and move as the gate existed in this singular space, its surface was no different. Upon the surface of this gate, he beheld hundreds of corpses, skeletons and rotting carcasses, frozen in time for eternity, mortals, beast, demons…and others still. The outer rim of the door was grasped by root-like growths, entangled in the corpses which adorned the gates…however, what caught Naruto's eye, was the ethereal lock holding it shut.
Tearing from the dark temple, immense chains so great in size that a single one was wider than a single street of Konohagakure, made of an energy that glowed with a light and power that caused Naruto to cover his eyes upon staring at it for too long. Ten of these chains tore themselves from the temples surface, connected to one another by a massive lock in the dead center of the massive gate. The lock seemed to have been forged of the bodies of a thousand dead, as the lock was made of skulls, bones, and metal which echoed a hollowness unlike any he had ever felt, and at the dead center of the lock, a glowing orb, filled with an endless maelstrom, the same color as the chains.
As Naruto stared at the door, he felt its intensity, its presence, the power it held; and he could say without any doubt in his mind, it was the greatest power he had ever felt in his life…
Dwarfing the power of the ones who turned him into what he was…
One would think that such an imposing figure would entice others to flee, to run, to seek shelter, to get as far away from this presence, filled with such power, but with an aura that was neither holy nor unholy…but Naruto could not; would not.
He had come into his mindscape for an expressed purpose, and he could sense the source of his purpose for being here behind the gate before him.
He crossed his arms, examining the gates intently, 'This is troublesome, I need to enter so I can-'
Naruto's thoughts were cut off, as the door pulsed, the chains rattled, and the door itself creaked.
The door shuttered, and the chains which held it shut…shattered, falling to the ground like a rain of broken crystal, soaking into the ground like fresh rain. The limbs on the outer edge of the door began to shift and creak, while the designs on the door itself began to move, as if awakened from an eternal slumber. The door groaned under the pressure of it being opened, and the skeletons and corpses upon its surface moaned and shrieked as they tore themselves from the doors surface.
The central locking piece began to turn, with each turn, a click as loud as thunder, and echoing like a gong uttered forth.
The corpses had all but completely several themselves from the door, and reached out towards Naruto.
Finally, the central locked clicked a final time, and another pulse tore forth…ripping the corpses into ribbons.
The corpses shrieked in agony as they fell from their perch, their remains becoming like a black wave tearing its way forward. As the wave moved towards Naruto, it seemed to part at his presence, flowing to either side, falling in to the blood red lake, which quickly began to boil.
The door itself began to crumble as if it were made of sand, falling forth like a snowfall. Just before it reached the ground though, it ceased, forming an immense cloud…and shot forth into the sky.
Naruto looked briefly towards the cloud of blackness, and watched as it shot through the air, shifting and moving like a serpent through water.
The central lock seemed to hover in place for but a moment before it too fell towards the soil, sharing the same fate as the door it held shut, a cloud of broken and shattered dust, flying through the skies.
Naruto looked towards the path before him, once barred by a door no summon could ever breach, now as open as an empty graveyard. Naruto frowned as he looked upon the trim of the door.
'It shattered when I wished it to…not surprising, but…what is it?' was the question floating through his innermost thoughts. How he desired an answer to this question, but it would have to wait. He had come here for a purpose, and it would be folly for him to simply walk away from his path simply because of a curiosity.
With a firm step, he pushed onwards, entering the inner sanctum, towards his intended destination.
As Naruto walked further and further into this hidden subconscious of his own mind, he stared upon the walls before him. They were simple, simply brick walls, much like the ones within the sewers beneath Konohagakure. Beneath his feet, his feet grazed across the floor, which looked like a sewer drain that had been emptied, and left to dry in the sun. The walls were filthy, littered with obvious water damage, the floors, caked in dried filth, were no different from what he could tell.
Naruto frowned and kept moving forward, never ceasing as he sought the threshold of this journey.
As he pressed onward, he thought to himself on what could possibly be here, what was it that caused that unusual pulse he had felt earlier. It was not the gate, it could not have been, the pulse from the gate was entirely different than what it was he felt in the physical world.
The pulse coming from the gate was hollow, endless, like falling from a cliff, and being unable to see the bottom.
The pulse he had felt earlier had something else to it, it felt like he was being called, though not intentionally called, rather it was a subconscious summoning.
Which boded the question…what could have possibly called him?
This line of thought had continued for such a time, that Naruto could no longer stand considering it.
Naruto angrily looked around at the walls, the same brick, the same floor, everything was the same, not a single difference since he entered this wretched place.
Naruto snarled and pressed his hand against the wall as he pressed his fingers through his hair, 'I have been in here for-' Naruto's line of thought ceased at that moment, and he came to realize something.
He had no idea how long he had been in here.
Days…it seemed as though all time had ceased for him, it was as if time itself had simply stopped.
He could have been in here for years for all he knew.
Gritting his teeth and clenching his fist he straightened his shoulders and pushed forward, 'I will not let this effort go to waste!' he thought firmly and moved forward, his hand pressed against the wall, slowly grazing off it.
And in but an instant, the wall itself began to crumble behind him
Naruto continued onward, unaware that the wall began to shatter and break.
Naruto continued forward, intent on finding the source of his reason for being here.
When he suddenly turned around…and his eyes partially widened as he saw the transformation his mind was taking.
The walls and floor were falling apart, like a wall of ice in the warming sun. As the floor and walls crumbled, it revealed an intense and endless veil which surrounded the entirety of the now shattering tunnel.
He watched the floors crack and separate, forming floating masses of rubble which spanned outward into the infinite realm before him.
As the walls and floors cracked, he beheld the veil before him…
It was much like the Aurora's he had seen in the skies in Hi no Kuni when he was younger, but they twisted and swirled like the eye of a tornado…swirling with colors that were beyond description, beyond any comparison he had ever yet seen in his life.
Naruto blinked but once throughout the whole event, which was enough for the entirety of the tunnel to collapse, all except for the single portion he was standing upon.
Naruto turned and looked upon the veil before him, and he saw hundreds of broken masses of brick and water damaged stone floating about the ether. The colors of the veil glistening off the broken rubble, illuminating them like broken crystals in the sunlight.
As he looked amongst the veil, his eye caught sight of something different from everything else in the ether.
A massive sphere…composed of shadows.
Naruto's gaze shifted entirely to the sphere, something that by all accounts should not be there. It was an oddity in an endless existence of consistency…why was it here?
The question was overpowering, and he walked forward to the edge of his platform, searching for a means to get across the veil.
After a period of time which he could not even feel, Naruto could see no way to get across to the sphere of shadows.
His face scrunched up in irritation, this was his mind, why could he not simply will that he have a means to get over to the sphere?
Naruto's attention shifted to a nearby platform, which began to crumble, the pieces floating towards him.
Naruto watched as the pieces orbited about him, just as the moon in the skies of the elemental nations did each and every day. Finally, they ceased to orbit, and he watched as the pieces floated to the edge of his platform, connecting…
Forming a bridge.
Naruto stared absently at the bridge, and looked up…
The bridge was pointed towards the sphere.
Reaffirming his resolve, Naruto walked forward, and the stones beneath his feet lit up in arcane runes as he continued forward. With each step he took, another row of stone and bricks would form, allowing him to continue onwards to his destination, the bridge behind him crumbling to make way for the bridge forward.
Naruto's gaze was intently upon the sphere, and he sped up his pace, which was matched by the forming bridge.
Finally, Naruto skidded to a halt, and gazed upon the object of his intent…a mere five inches before him.
Naruto walked forward, and reached outwards, expecting his hand to meet some resistance when he touched the sphere; only for the sphere to separate as he came closer.
Naruto allowed a smirk to align his features, and made a single step forward, which was met with the shadow of the sphere rippling apart to make way for his path.
Naruto moved forward, and with each step he took, the shadows which hid this location from his sight vanished, revealing all the secrets which it once held.
As the shadows parted, Naruto looked around, finding himself upon an immense platform, easily large enough to hold a large portion of Konohagakure itself with ease. As he saw this, he pondered…what was so important about this place that the very shadows of his mind hid it from view?
He did not realize just how soon it would be before the answer to his question would be revealed.
As the shadows continued to dissipate, less platform was revealed, and a structure began to reveal itself…a structure that seemed to remain firm and powerful, even here in the endless void of degeneration.
Naruto stared upon the structure, which was still barely hidden from view by the shadows.
Only for him to stop…as he felt the pulse again.
He lurched for but a second before he looked upwards, and the saw the shadows begin to writhe and scatter, in a desperate attempt to cover the structure.
Naruto narrowed his eyes and continued forward…the shadows of his mind would not deny him.
The shadows were pushed back by his presence, though they tried to adhere themselves to the structure, covering it in its entirety.
Naruto sneered and reached forward, "Begone!"
And like a dreadful wind on an autumn day, the shadows dispersed…
And the secret they tried to hide was revealed.
Naruto's eyes remained fixed forward, all the while, a string of emotions ran through his eyes…shock, confusion, anger…what he saw before him, it simply could not be.
He had been promised, assured…there was no way in all of creation that what he was seeing before him was real
No…it was real. Real as his own flesh, what he saw before him, it simply could not be denied.
The ones who had promised him had assumed one thing; that the machinations they had been working with were of human make, that it would be easy to undo, easy to bend and break.
They assumed that what it was that bound him was made by men…mortals.
But they had made one critical error in their assumptions, an error which was obvious before him.
Nobody…not even the Highborn…could undo the work of Gods.
And so as a single shadow moved forward, and as the pulse began to push forward with the intensity he had felt before, as a single slit opened, revealing a crimson eye…
Naruto had only one thing to say, "Hello…Kyuubi."
Ok, now that the chapter is done, both myself and my partner Hakkyou no Yami realize you will have many questions…let us start with your first concerns
1. Mei's willingness to speak completely and utterly freely...This is something that no doubt troubles you, and no doubt a lot of you have formulated your own theories on this, however, we will not be revealing more on this until later chapters…otherwise it would ruin the story…trust me and my partner on this one.
2. Naruto's composed reaction to discovering who his parents are…Naruto had lived the whole of his life without parents, never having them, and never really needing them. He had survived on his own for so long that the concept of parents is more a nuisance to him than anything, or at least that is what should have happened, I know that in canon this is not the case, but as you can see in the above AN…we do not follow canon to the letter. In addition, his ascension, his surrender of humanity also played a part in this, how and why is not hard to figure out if you look at the story as a whole…especially his attitude towards his 'old self' and his 'ascension'.
3. Naruto's 'harshness'in rejecting Mei…Naruto made this point in the story, though no doubt many of you have your own concerns on this…ok, first off, as was mentioned in the chapter, the arranged marriage was initiated before Naruto was ever born, so it would remove his chance to choose for himself who he wanted to be with for the rest of his life, and no doubt this would cause strain in the relationship, making it fail utterly in the end…secondly, it is pretty obvious that the arranged marriage was a political ploy by both of their parents, making both Mei and Naruto pawns in their parents designs, and with Naruto's newfound life, it is doubtful he would ever stand for being a pawn, no matter who it was…and thirdly mentioned in the chapter, Naruto knows absolutely nothing about Mei, it is foolish for an arranged marriage to occur, it is even more foolish to arrange that marriage, have the children never once meet until their wedding night, and expect the marriage to work out, the only way an arranged marriage would ever work is if the ones involved in the marriage knew each other for a significant portion of their lives, were raised together, allowing them to get the chance to get to know each other, and in time love each other…the other reason…well, you have to read in to his interactions with humans and anything remotely human to get that final reason, but it is there.
4. Mei's strange obsession with Naruto...Mei's obsession stems from her longing for a Husband, when she was younger, she had been excited for one, and she was deeply hurt when she heard he was dead, and this had caused a long lasting effect on her psyche for the last thirteen years…but once she learned that he was alive, her old feelings, her excitement and longing for a husband had come back in full force, and it caused her to immediately develop an obsession with him.
5. Why would Neji accept the Hyuuga's proposal to make him the heir when he hates the main branch…as much as you all probably want to know this…you will have to wait until later chapters to find out.
Now, hopefully that answers any lingering questions…and before any of you ask, NO, we will NOT be ACCEPTING PAIRING OPTIONS…the pairing has already been decided.
And without further ado, this has been dracohalo117 and Hakkyou no Yami, bringing you Kiri no Akumu…read, review, post comments, or PM us.