Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto.
Naruto grinned, watching the form go flying into the trees, before fading as crows replaced the body. Turning to stare at where the enemy first came from, Naruto noticed his wound was already closing up. There was a blur before a form appeared before him and the other Genin, peering directly into Sasuke's eyes.
Sasuke's world turned red and black, as he appeared in front of his clan estate. Feeling his body move of its own volition, he realized that he was watching a dark figure move across the ground, stalking towards one of the outer houses.
"What is this?" Sasuke questioned, slightly afraid of the answer.
"My own personal realm. For the next seventy-two hours, you will see and experience me killing all of our clansmen." Itachi's voice echoed from above, as Sasuke screamed at the skies.
"I'm going to kill you!" Sasuke yelled, tears pouring into his eyes from the sight of his clansmen perishing under Itachi's blade. He watched as Itachi worked through every home systematically, making exact cuts and slowly moving inwards, to his own home.
"Then do it, dear brother. Face me when you can, and attempt to kill me." Itachi murmured, causing Sasuke to get even angrier.
Itachi stared emotionless at the pleas of his younger brother to stop. This was of course going to traumatize him. However, with Tsunade of the Sannin in the village, it wouldn't take much work to fix his brain back up. That was why he targeted Kurenai so obviously, there would be few repercussions to this other than wasting chakra. Watching as the sight ended, as his brother shut his eyes to avoid the sight of his mother and father lay there, blood pooling by their dead bodies.
"Seventy-one hours, fifty-nine minutes, fifty-nine seconds left." Itachi's voice echoed, as Sasuke stared on in horror. "Please. Stop!" Sasuke begged, his eyes unable to shift away from his kinsmen being murdered again.
"Revel in the pain!" Itachi boomed, making Sasuke flinch.
"WHY!" Sasuke yelled, the question repeating itself in his head. "WHY WOULD YOU DO THIS?"
"Because." Itachi replied, his tone barren. "I wanted to test my power." Sasuke had heard that answer before, all those years ago. To hear it again caused more mental wounds to open up. While the time slowly ticked away for his younger brother, Itachi mentally prepared himself for what came next. As soon as he was kicked out from his technique, he would be faced with an empowered Naruto.
His plan was to Tsukuyomi again, and then die from chakra exhaustion in this body, giving him an excuse to tell Pein and Madara. They would believe that Itachi had used a lot of chakra from his Mangekyou techniques, even Madara admitted that they were powerful and for their power, had a price to pay. Hearing his brother sobbing at the emotional trauma, Itachi played the entire technique through, before finally sending them back towards their bodies.
Feeling himself enter his body, Itachi forced himself not to flinch at the closing in claws of the Kyuubified Naruto. Peering directly into the eyes of Naruto, which slightly frightened Itachi, he intoned his technique. Watching from the corner of his eyes as his brothers body collapsed before his eyes, showing the exact same symptoms Kurenai had, Itachi trudged on.
Feeling the last of his chakra evaporate with the technique, Itachi and Naruto were warped into the black and red plane. There was a large difference from before, Itachi noted, as there was a giant metallic cage before him.
"What is this?" Naruto questioned, having returned to his normal self after he was transported.
"You are in a world of my controlling, Naruto-kun." Itachi said, watching the darkness inside of the cage warily.
"WHO DARE BRING ME HERE!" The ancient Bijuu intoned, claws and tails snapping onto the metal bars, shaking the entire plane. "YOU!" The tails stretched forward, coming within an inch of Itachi who flinched, evidently still fearful of the thing that had attacked in his youth.
"It was me." Itachi intoned, as the Kyuubi let out a feral growl.
"I have simply come here to talk, away from prying eyes." Itachi pleaded, not wanting the great demon to rip the dimension apart, which would effectively end his technique.
"Speak!" Kyuubi intoned, one eye peering through the cage.
"I have come here to tell you many things, Kyuubi, and you too, Naruto-kun." Itachi began, watching the single eye through the cage.
"I am on your side, Naruto-kun." Itachi said, as Naruto stared disbelievingly.
"On my side?" He questioned, his face parallel to Itachi's.
"I am on Konoha's side. I have done the things I did for the village to continue, Naruto-kun. I work under the Sandaime, against my two leaders. Should he fall before I do, I will be sending all of my messages to either you or Jiraiya-sama." Itachi said, as Naruto's eyes still had a questioning persona of them.
"Two leaders?" The other question sprouted up, as Itachi gave a simply nod of understanding.
"Yes. Two leaders, I understand that the Kyuubi is familiar with one. Uchiha Madara." Itachi intoned, the Kyuubi let out a gigantic growl, vibrating the dimension again.
"He is still alive, and is the true leader of Akatsuki. He wants the Bijuu for his own use, to put him on par with the Rikudou Sennin of the scriptures. We cannot allow that to happen." Itachi said, as both of the Kyuubi's eyes opened, realizing he had a potential ally here. "Naruto, you will be the only bastion against him. With the Kyuubi's special chakra, you are the closest to the Rikudou Sennin than any other, and because of that, Kyuubi will be sealed last." Itachi said, as his eyes closed, hard in thought and concentration.
"The Kyuubi is to be sealed last, because of its frightening power. You must work your hardest, for even I cannot defeat Madara, even at my best. I do not know the extent of his abilities, only knowing that he can control the Kyuubi in its entirety." Itachi continued, as the shaking of the metal bars happened again, evident of the Kyuubi's anger.
"I WILL DESTROY THAT PUNY HUMAN!" It roared, causing Naruto and Itachi to both tense up.
"It will not be possible, Kyuubi. He has control over you, our only chance is Naruto-kun here. Through him, you have the only chance of getting vengeance and finally destroying the man that has abused your power." Itachi finished, as it went silent.
"IT SEEMS WE MUST WORK TOGETHER." The Kyuubi intoned, peering directly at its container.
"It seems so, Kyuubi." Naruto replied, as they stared each other, unmoving. He would be the villages weapon, as well as Kyuubi's to wield against Madara.
"Naruto-kun, you can't speak of this conversation to anyone, even in private. I have taken it upon myself to talk to you. Hokage-sama nor Jiraiya-sama know of it. You're excuse will be that Kyuubi simply ripped the dimension apart, sending us back to our bodies. Train hard, as even the Yondaime wasn't able to defeat Madara in combat." Itachi finished, and with a wave of his arm, they were sent recoiling back to their bodies.
Jolting back into his body, Naruto realized barely a second had passed, as Sasuke was still in the process of collapsing. Watching the body morph into another, Naruto realized that they hadn't been facing the real versions, only special doppelgangers. Retrieving the body, Naruto hurried over to Sakura as she grabbed Sasuke's body, who was quickly turning pale and shivering, evidently suffering from heavy mental trauma. Their only chance was to wait for the others to defeat the fake 'Kisame' and meet back up where they were.
"Itachi-san, Kisame-san." Pein said, staring at the two figures, as everybody's eyes shifted to them.
"How did your research go, and how were you two defeated?" They were questioned, as Itachi moved to talk.
"I used Tsukuyomi three times, as well as Amaterasu once. The heavy drain on my already low chakra in it quickly led me to chakra exhaustion, as well as meeting Kyuubi in the Tsukuyomi realm." Itachi said, allowing Kisame to state his reason of defeat.
"I stalled the reinforcements from Konoha, as well as Jiraiya-san from attacking Itachi, who went hunting for the Kyuubi Jinchuuriki. My strategy to stall expended a lot of chakra, and I had little to use to actually conduct techniques with. This put me at pure Taijutsu with several Jounin, and I ended up being defeated by Hatake Kakashi's 'Raikiri'." Kisame intoned, receiving several glances from the surrounding ninja.
"Jiraiya-sama's transformation was not able to complete, however we were able to verify some of the facts Orochimaru has provided for us. " Itachi said, shifting foot from foot to slowly get feeling into his body. "With the transformation, he acquires a special chakra of unknown name or quantity. To transform, he must be completely still for a few minutes or longer, the longer the time, the more chakra he has to expend. With the transformation, he gains several tell-tale traits. His features appear akin to a toads. He gains a massive boost in strength, speed, and chakra control." Itachi finished, as Pein pondered over it.
"It seems Jiraiya of the Sannin is far more powerful than we imagined. We will be wary of him now, I will not tempt the wrath of him on our still budding organization. We will work on obtaining the other Jinchuuriki, as well as earning money. The Kyuubi Jinchuuriki should be of no consequence whether is he trained or not, for I shall go after him if Itachi and Kisame fail." Pein declared, enforcing his opinion.
"After the last sealing is complete, we will each have different missions. With the war, it will be far easier to undermine the economy, and earn us money. Kakuzu and Hidan will work on bounties. Kisame and Itachi will work on capturing the Rokubi, who will be astutely guarded now that we have been found out in taking Han, the Gobi Jinchuuriki. Sasori and Orochimaru, you will work on the war effort against Konoha, as well as capturing the Ichibi Jinchuuriki. Konan and I will be looking for outside support to get us more funding, as well as helping the war effort against Konoha. Zetsu will continue spying for information, while Tobi will..." Pein appeared in thought for a second, having forgotten that they had a spare member.
"Tobi's a good boy!" The orange masked man yelled, causing Konan's glare to fall on him.
"Tobi will be allocated with Kakuzu and Hidan, helping them gain bounties whenever possible, as well as filling in for anyone that happens to die in our line of work." Pein said, as Kakuzu scoffed and Hidan yelled.
"He's a heathen! Kakuzu already pisses me off! What the fuck!" Hidan's enraged voice echoed throughout the cavern, ringing in everyone's ears.
"Silence, Hidan! We will do as Pein says." Kakuzu murmured, nodding to their leader. Pein nodded to Kakuzu, pleased with his answer, as he moved to speak again.
"I have heard mutterings of a Iwa missing-nin, having stole on of their Kinjutsu. His name is Deidara. Itachi and Kisame, you two will search for him while in pursuit of the Rokubi. Should you find him, persuade him to join our organization." Pein spoke, emphasizing the 'persuade', receiving nods of affirmation from Kisame and Itachi.
"Very well. Everyone has their assignments, we are to finish sealing off the rest of the Bijuu, then proceed." He spoke, as every ninja in the room sighed, knowing what was to come.
"Bodies of the Shugonin Juunishi.." Kakashi said, viewing the two prone forms before everyone, his tone disbelieving.
"How could such an unyouthful thing be happening?" Gai questioned, staring at the two bodies.
Prodding the bodies, Jiraiya came to a conclusion quite quickly. "I can't be sure. You have to get them to Tsunade for an autopsy, so she can better examine their chakra patterns and any leftovers of whatever actually happened. Naruto and I will continue on the mission. They had said two of the Daimyou's bodyguards hadn't been found, and now we know why." The Jounin gave a nod, Kakashi carrying the incapacitated Sasuke.
Naruto's mind was on another topic, as he absentmindedly paid attention to the conversation going on between the higher ups. Prodding the cloaks that now lay apart from the bodies. Jiraiya had taken them off to better examine the bodies, allowing Naruto to actually get a better look at the material and style. Grasping the soft material, Naruto rubbed his hands up and down the soft material, awed by it.
Jiraiya had struck Itachi with awesome strength several times, and they had even used close range fire-techniques, as well as oil, however there were no marks or tears in what had been Itachi's uniform. Kisame had a large gaping hole through his, evidence of Kakashi using his prized lightning techniques.
Gripping it tighter, Naruto forced chakra through his fingertips, and grew a much more contemplative expression when the chakra seeped into the garment. Normally clothing took time to assimilate chakra, over time growing more and more malleable to allow it to enter. This clothe seemed to instantly take to chakra, which Naruto had never seen before. Knowing the piece of clothing would cost in immense amount, Naruto grinned, picking up both sets of cloaks.
He had more money then he could use, due to being Yamato's apprentice. He would take Itachi's cloak with him, as it was undamaged, and have Yamato send the other to a tailor, for when he got back. He would like to have several replicates made, as well as the red clouds replaced with Konoha's symbol in red, signifying that he was the Leaf's ultimate weapon.
The cloaks truly were truly his type of clothing. Impervious to most blunt damage, as well as a lot of residue. Naruto had seen it come in contact with fire and stay in close range of it, and there were no frays or scorched fibers. The cloak had stopped past Itachi's arms, meaning that it would be much longer on Naruto, and had stopped at about mid calf for Itachi, signifying that it would drop to about his ankles. He would have to get it tailored when he went to retrieve it from wherever Yamato would take it.
"Yamato-sensei." Naruto called over, as the older man looked in his direction before walking over.
"Hn?" His response came, as Naruto gave him 'Kisame's' ripped cloak. Yamato gave a glance at it, before shooting one at Naruto.
"Take it with you when you go back to Konoha. Give it to one of the shinobi tailors, and have them find more material like it for my return. I'll pay as much as they want for a replicate." Naruto asked, as Yamato simply nodded, bringing out a seal to place it in.
"Fuin!" Yamato uttered, as the cloak disappeared with a poof of smoke, directly into the scroll.
"I'll have someone reputable look at it." He said, as Jiraiya finished speaking with Gai and Kakashi.
"Have Tsunade look at the Uchiha as well, we don't know what Itachi could have done to him." Jiraiya finished, as the three Jounin nodded. Moving back onto the main path, they parted ways, Jiraiya unable to run after suffering such exhaustion.
They continued on for a few minutes, before Jiraiya spoke up. Naruto had been stuck in thought, mulling over the battle he had just witnessed. If that wasn't a true high-level battle, than what was?
"We aren't that far from the capital. We'll retrieve the wife and daughter, and make our way back tomorrow. If I'm well rested then we can easily run back, the wife and daughter will probably come with a caravan. They come every so often, offering their wares, and this will simply provide them the timing needed. They'll have the protection of us, virtually free of cost because of the Daimyou." Jiraiya informed, Naruto continuing beside him.
"Come to think of it.. Their daughter about your age, I think. Their older son is training with the Samurai's in the Land of Iron, as he is being groomed to be the future Daimyou." Jiraiya said, wiggling his eyebrows in mock perversion.
"Really, Jiraiya-sensei? I'd rather not get another chewing out from Tsunade-hime after the Mizukage made her 'comment'." Naruto shuddered, still afraid of her angered face. Jiraiya gave a loud laugh at that, remembering the occasion. Jiraiya had been poking and prodding Naruto, making several suggestive comments, when Tsunade had blatantly yelled at them both, Jiraiya for his perversions, and Naruto for thinking about her lewd comment. The Jinchuuriki had never been so frightened out of combat his entire life, and had starkly apologized before straightening up, much to her approval.
"Gaki, she has given me that speech a million times, and it never gets less funnier. It was just that much enjoyable watching you get yelled at instead of me. Still, you should try hooking up with this one, Naruto. You have a lot to gain from it. You'll wrack up a lot of political power, as well as having a better shot than anyone at Hokage." Jiraiya informed, causing Naruto to sigh questionably. This was a topic Yamato and the Sandaime had breached with Naruto, and the blonde had spent nights thinking upon it.
"I don't want to be Hokage, Jiraiya-sensei." Naruto said, his expression morphing into a grim one. Jiraiya's smiling expression immediately morphed into a contemplative one, staring down at his new apprentice.
"What do you mean, you don't want to be Hokage? It's what your father was, and what everything you fight for embodies!" Jiraiya urged. Jiraiya himself would not be a Hokage, he had things to manage. His spy network had slipped a little too much because of his 'research', and he would rectify it, before it could cost the village any more.
"I know what it embodies, sensei. I just think it would be useless to put me in that mantle, when I would be much more useful actually doing missions and leading forces. Knowing the current Hokage, I know they spend most of their time on the job, paperwork, interviewing ninja, dishing out missions, receiving reports, that they just don't have enough time to donate to their actual shinobi careers." Naruto said, beginning to list off his dislikes.
"I also can't deal with that politics bullshit, pussy footing around other villages. It just seems like a title for those with great minds, and don't like fighting or war. It would put my Bijuu, and me to waste to throw me in such a position." Naruto finished, Jiraiya merely nodding.
"That was partially the Yondaime's reason for turning into a Kage. He had grown weary of wiping out platoons of soldiers, slowly losing himself to the mental aspects of war trauma. The only reason he was able to become a Hokage was because Kushina and I helped bring him back, along with Sarutobi-sensei's urgings. I guess you are right, it would be a waste to put you in that position..." Jiraiya said, slowly sinking into his own thoughts.
"Hmm." Naruto responded, sinking into his own thoughts of his father. After meeting Jiraiya, Minato's past had been shrouded in mystery. He had been entered in the academy at the standard age, graduated and turned over to Jiraiya as his Jounin-sensei. Jiraiya had tried digging up information on the past, but no clan with the name Namikaze ever existed, nor merchants, or anyone else Jiraiya tried to look for. Continuing on, he had been the centerpiece of Konoha for the Third Great Shinobi War, effectively winning the war.
He had developed his unique technique, Hiraishin, allowing himself to instantly transport himself with brief yellow flashes, to anywhere with the use of his seal. After defeating an entire Iwa force by himself, Iwa had labeled him as the first SS, or R, ninja. R stood for Retreat, meaning that if you sighted him you basically had no hope. He had effectively created two new ranks within the bingo-books, earning himself a spot in everyone's but Konoha. Afterward, he had taken the title from the Sandaime, as peace began to settle over the village.
The Kyuubi was a great mystery, as no one but Sarutobi knew of its specifics, and even he did not release them to Naruto. It had been summoned one day, out of nowhere, forcing Minato to react and use his newly summoned son, on a on the spot sealing, leading to the Bijuu's containment. Naruto's mother, had been killed in the onslaught of the giant beast, along with several others. Naruto quickly dragged himself out of his thoughts, turning back to the battle.
"Sensei, what was that when you transformed? They talked about it the entire fight, however when you did it, it didn't seem to do much." Naruto questioned, earning a glance from Jiraiya in response.
"Didn't do much!" Jiraiya scoffed, appearing haughty. "They outsmarted me, causing me to form the transformation early. It's called Sennin Moudo (Sage Mode), because it turns me into a being complete with nature. It offers quite a bit, improving all my techniques by a large margin. Giving additional chakra, strength, speed, and reflexes it is the best transformation you can get, that's why it is so heralded. Hanzou was the closest one to reaching a Sennin status with his Salamanders, before he was apparently killed." Jiraiya informed.
"Unlike the Kyuubi, going into Sage Mode is actually beneficial to your health, cleansing it. However, there are some intense drawbacks to it. Should you absorb too much Senjutsu chakra, you will turn to stone. It also has a time limit to actually transform into it, taking about five minutes to get maximum potency. You can't keep on going into Sage Mode without Senjutsu chakra, you need to stand still to gather it. I use the elder toads to help me along at that part. If you transform early, you will suffer severe exhaustion like I did, and even if you perfectly transform, minor exhaustion will still occur." Jiraiya explained, as Naruto looked on.
"Can I learn how?" Naruto questioned, eager to gain such abilities.
"I don't think it would be wise to teach you until you are past puberty, which will be at about fifteen or sixteen years old. The reason is because your chakra fluctuates quite a bit, along with the Kyuubi's. Should it fluctuate while you are gathering Senjutsu chakra, than it can easily lead to dire consequences. We also don't know what would happen if the Kyuubi's youki mixed in with it. However, you can start meditation now, as it is extremely important to have a peaceful mind to do so." Jiraiya offered, Naruto's face fell a bit before perking at the aspect of at least beginning meditation.
"Meditation?" Naruto questioned. He knew what it was, just didn't think it would help.
"Of course! You need to be able to balance your mind and body, and meditation is the key to that. I'd say do it on the nights where you don't sleep, as well as before and after training. It allows the body to rest and freshen up, and will easily help you become stronger." Jiraiya said, earning a nod from Naruto.
"Another thing is, your father could barely even touch Sage Mode. He was a peaceful man, of course, but Fukasaku-sama said that his body just wouldn't harmonize. Even I can't do it perfectly, I over transform, just by a small margin. The sign of a perfect transformation is an orange pigment appearing around the eyes, where your red markings are. I simply get extended red markings, as well as a more toad-like appearance." Jiraiya stated, as he began to pick up the pace.
Following behind his teacher, they ran across the landscape, making much faster progress than their earlier sedate pace. Naruto had decided that he would leave outfitting in 'Itachi's' uniform once they had arrived at the hidden settlement the Daimyou's family was being kept at. The distance between the capital of Hi no Kuni and Konoha were purposely this long, so if Konoha was taken, then Shinobi could retreat to the capital, if the capital was taken, reinforcements could arrive to help protect the civilians escaping, as well as help defend with the positioned archers and samurai.
If a ninja ran at complete speed, they could easily reach the capital within an hour, while walking would take several hours. They wouldn't have to worry about invasions after the royal beating they had given Iwa and Suna. Now that war was declared, the countries would go through several stages.
They would first begin to populate and strengthen their shinobi ranks, intending to get as much force as they could behind each hit. After making sure they had a good supply of shinobi, they would begin making war constructs. Giant tools of war, watch towers, and invest into better technology. Third, they would finally begin to test openings, looking for a weak points to attack. Exploiting one weak point would cause several others to show up, and thus making their pathway to victory.
If war was all strategy, then Iwa would have won the Third War, easily. However, strategies can be thrown awry by anyone, and in this case it was the Yondaime. Now that Naruto was the Yondaime's legacy, it was his time to influence the war, for the betterment of Konoha. Iwa would continue to use Akatsuki, making it even more dangerous for him to move on the front lines, but Konoha had to take chances to win the war.
Jiraiya immediately raised a fist, indication for Naruto to stop. Giving a light 'thunk' as he stopped, Jiraiya began talking.
"We are just about at the capital. Civilians out of normal shinobi villages don't take to Shinobi too well. We seem to trump them in every aspect, which annoys them greatly. Shinobi have better reflexes, longer lives, and have a stronger intelligence than normal civilians. Do nothing to irk them, or else the Hokage will have to do a lot of political slogging." Jiraiya spoke, as he began to move onto the main path again. "Just follow me, and don't speak unless acknowledged."
"Hai." Naruto replied, as he took the right hand side of Jiraiya. Schooling his features, Naruto put on a facade of no emotions, ensuring that he was as professional as possible. The more astute you looked, the more people that requested you for high-paying missions, therefor the more money you made your village and yourself. Tsunade, despite her gambling and drinking habits, made a lot of money just off of being requested for sick relatives or family, even for the simplest of problems, such as colds or headaches.
Striding up to the great entrance to the town, Jiraiya stood still awaiting an answer, directly in front.
"Who goes- Ahh. Jiraiya-sama!" The guard announced, shuffling behind the gate to quickly get it opened.
"Haha, nice to see you to Torune." Jiraiya waved to the man, as they passed by him.
"Nice apprentice you have there as well! I've heard the stories!" He shouted, giving Naruto a wave as well. Naruto nodded at the man, keeping pace with Jiraiya. Moving out of sight of the man, Jiraiya quickly gave a quick look around, before speaking.
"That was the epitome on how you should speak to non-clients. I know Yamato has probably given you a brief overview, but I'll be going a lot further in depth on how a Shinobi works on and off the clock. There are a lot of things you'll have to pick up quick, because eventually you will be working alone." Jiraiya said, a hurried pace to his steps.
"You never speak of a mission unless you are within the confines of a secure location. Civilians find enjoyment in giving Shinobi trouble, because one day we might be sent to assassinate them." Jiraiya informed, as he turned a corner to face a much larger gate, which was guarded by many samurai and archers.
Naruto stared quizzically as Jiraiya led him past the guards, giving them a nod, as him and Naruto ducked into a much smaller pathway, leading away from the giant estate. Jiraiya counted the bricks from the entrance, whispering, before striking out and hitting a single one, as the passageway closed off.
"This is the Hi no Kuni refuge for the Daimyou and his family. The outer layer of the actual place is covered by lead, to stop any sensory ninja or Dojutsu from seeing through it. I am probably one of the few Shinobi that now live, that know about it. I'm trusting you that you won't tell, considering you already know so much key information about Konoha. You were also offered a position by the Daimyou, meaning that he shows a level of trust in you." Jiraiya said, as they slowly walked further into the passage.
Reaching a doorway at the end, Jiraiya knocked several times, before standing still. Instantly there was a hoard of sound as the door opened, revealing a middle aged women, who sighed at their appearance.
"Thank whatever deity exists! Jiraiya-san, I hoped to all hell that they would send you. Oh, and who is this at your side?" She questioned, visibly letting a posture of calm and serenity come over her.
"Sorry for that, this here is Uzumaki Naruto, my apprentice!" Jiraiya exclaimed. Naruto gave a simple nod to the women, who merely smiled in response.
"Well come in! We'll be leaving early in the morning, I already had word spread around that you would be guiding us back." She explained, as they walked onto the threshold. Naruto glanced around, taking in his surroundings. It looked like a perfectly normal home from the inside, however the windows were incredibly thick, and the entrance they had just come through was hidden behind a false wall.
"Hope you didn't run into trouble on your way here?" She questioned, giving Jiraiya a stare. Jiraiya simply gave a glance at Naruto, before looking back at her, grinning sheepishly.
"Nothing you need to concern yourself with." Jiraiya simply responded, as she stared at him for a few seconds, before concluding her thoughts and looking away.
"Amaya-chan! I thought I told you not to go in there!" She called, as she showed them towards the dinner table, currently empty. A sound of bustling and scratching of metal came from the other room, supposedly the dojo. Footsteps echoed on the food floor as a teenage girl flew into view, a sword strapped to her hip.
"Jiraiya-sama! It's been a long time!" She said, slightly surprised, before moving closer. "And who is this?" She eyed Naruto, looking him up and down to determine him as a person. Naruto noticed she was his senior by about two years, though he was taller because of his physical maturity.
"Uzumaki Naruto, apprentice of Jiraiya-sensei." Naruto replied, before looking her directly in the eye, his form of character judgment. She held his gaze for a few seconds, before breaking away, shied by his display of power. Naruto moved to question, but was quickly cut off.
"Amaya Tennou. Hime of the Hi no Kuni line." She uttered, reaching out for his hand, which he met at an equal distance. Gripping her hand tightly, Naruto was careful not to crush it, knowing that his superior force and strength could easily do so. Releasing, Naruto moved to seat himself by Jiraiya, who was awaiting the hostess to begin the process of cooking food.
"Oh! Where are my manners! I'm Michiko Tennou, wife to as you know, Atsushi Tennou." She exclaimed, as she quickly juggled the pots and pans, preparing them for her type of combat, cooking.
"Hey Amaya-hime, why don't you get Naruto here to show you some of his Shinobi skills?" Jiraiya said, suggestively. There was an immediate pang of silence, before the sound of an irate female was heard.
"Really Jiraiya! You can't even go one time without making some lewd comment!" Michiko raged, giving a scowl in Jiraiya's direction.
"Hey! Relax, I'm just saying, Amaya-hime does want to be Tsunade-hime's apprentice eventually, and she can have Naruto test her skills! She's only had tutors so far, and no real experience..." Jiraiya said, prodding Naruto. Naruto didn't know if Jiraiya was being literal or completely perverted, but stood up at the older woman's nod, who perceived him as a much more... unperverted character.
"I'm at least a year older than him! There's no way he could know more than me, even if he is Jiraiya-sama's apprentice!" She argued, giving the two elders a patronizing glance.
"Haha. Amaya-hime, you shouldn't be so quick to judge. Naruto here is very well known throughout the ninja community nowadays..." Jiraiya said, pushing Naruto to get up and follow the girl, who simply nodded before standing up to exit.
"We'll see." She simply said, as she shut the screen door as they left. Following her quietly, she quickly led him to a room much further down the hall, opening a screen door. Immediately Naruto viewed a large dojo, easily capable of holding several dozen people. It was put to well use as well, due to the scorching and scratches lined everywhere.
"How long have you been a Shinobi?" She questioned, moving to the center of the training area, Naruto leading himself oppositely.
"Just about five years now. Apprenticed at the age of eight, to an ANBU Commander, and then apprenticed to Jiraiya-sensei a month or so ago." Naruto responded, as her gaze slowly sized him up as an opponent.
"I've been personally tutored by as many ninja as father and the Hokage could provide, even some of the Twelve, ever since I was six. I've been wanting to meet Tsunade-sama for years, however father was never able to garner an audience with her. Now that she is in Konoha, I wish to stay there and train under her." She explained, releasing the sword from its scabbard. "Physical contact only, I don't feel like having mother yell at me again."
"Hn." Naruto responded, sinking into his stance. He would let his bloodline show itself in the midst of battle, rather than early. It didn't matter whether he told her anything or not, she was the Daimyou's daughter, she would learn everything soon enough. She pushed her left hand closer to her, beckoning for him to come.
Gazing over her form, Naruto picked it apart, finding openings he could abuse. She kept her sword in a defense position, not in a lazily swinging manner, meaning that she either didn't know someone that often used Shunshin, or just didn't believe Naruto could abuse it to such extents. She also kept herself in a stationary pose, meaning that she would like to defend her position, and then attack, rather then go immediately on the offensive while providing a good defense.
Raising a simple hand, Naruto instantly disappeared from her sight. She felt a finger press at her temple, the owner saying one word, "Dead."
"Again." She said, motioning for him to move back. Watching her stance again, Naruto noticed the slight swinging of the sword, meaning that she was at least attempting to counter his Shunshin. He had another theory to test, and rushed to do so. She wasn't melding chakra into her sword, which even in sparring, was a must-do for ninja. Should the metal grow lax from not constantly have chakra pouring through it, it would be that much harder to do so during an actual battle.
"Prepare yourself." Naruto said, rushing forward as she narrowed her eyes at him. He had left his chest wide from an open strike from her sword. He moved into a close range, she immediately braced her back foot. Swinging in a downward arc, she watched in horror as he moved his arm to block, his palm outstretching towards her face. His palm stopped several inches from her face, as her gaze switched to the sword.
It had seemingly bounced off of his arm, and one word echoed through the dojo again. "Dead."
"How?" She questioned, sure, he had his palm near he face, but he had no weapons that she could see, and her sword 'should' have impaled his arm.
"Watch." Naruto simply said, as he sprouted a palm blade, ending barely a centimeter from her forehead. She gasped, immediately jumping back. "Never assume the abilities of your opponent, you'll end up dead. You may know theory and actual combat, but it seems you never had any experience past your tutors."
"You're stances, and sword play are both astute. You, however made many key mistakes. First, always use the most general defensive block, no matter the opponent. Had you used it, you had a much better chance at countering my Shunshin. Second, always keep chakra going through your weapon, it'll help for when actual battle comes. Normal weapons may not cut through my bone armor, chakra imbued ones can." Naruto explained, earning several nods from her, before she used her sword to maneuver him back.
"Prepare yourself." Naruto said again, as he went for another strategy this time. He had tested her defense, now for her speed, strength, and balance. Pushing his forearm forward, Naruto gripped the beginnings of bone that emerged out, forming the somewhat hilt of a sword. Watching as she concentrated chakra to go into her sword, Naruto did the same, his bone easily absorbing it.
Rushing forward, Naruto clashed his sword against hers, contesting for power. He easily overwhelmed her, but seemingly overstepped his bounds as he received a kick in the midriff, causing him to let out a 'oof''. Dodging a series of complicated jabs, Naruto parried the last jab away, before spinning and attempting to decapitate her with his heightened speed and momentum. Easily ducking below it, she sweeped his legs from underneath him.
Falling back, Naruto tossed his sword up before back springing, catching the blade in mid flight. Shooting forward again, Naruto lashed out with a vicious horizontal swipe at her chest, which she blocked, causing her to wince at the amount of force behind it. Jumping, Naruto lashed out with horizontal sweep, aimed at her head. Blocking it with her protected forearm, she tried catching his thigh the her blade, but was sent skidding at the force behind the kick.
Grunting backwards, she swung her sword to her side, gasping from the pain as it was nearly ripped from her hand. Naruto had shunshined, moving to get behind her, and she had appropriately countered, intent upon bringing him down. Naruto, however, had Shunshined with his sword in front of him, knowing that the intense speed leading him would cause the sword to bounce off with an immense amount of momentum.
Reaching into her belt, she whipped out a dagger, swinging with her left hand, intent on stabbing him in the back. Realizing he would be caught if he countered, Naruto lunged to the side, as they both moved harmlessly in his previous position. Knowing she was much better than him at sword-play, Naruto moved to even the playing field. Jumping backwards, he quickly began to unbutton his shirt, causing it to drop at his waist. She stared at him quizzically, leading him to smirk.
"Karamatsu no Mai!" Naruto intoned, as his arms were completely covered by curved bones. She gasped at this, knowing that the fight just had gotten more dangerous. Sprinting forward, Naruto brought his sword down, intending on crushing her skull under the might. Jumping backwards, she threw her dagger at him, causing him to take it in the shoulder, unwilling to give up ground.
Bracing past the pain, Naruto went through a series of complicated movements, intent on forcing her completely on the defensive. Unable to lash out due to his now arms that could block, she was forced to jab at his chest, which was easily block able. Knowing she would be trapped against the wall soon, she darted to the side, opening her tools pouch in the progress. Pulling out several shuriken, she tossed them on his direction, as they all flew a bit too wide.
"Now you're dead." She said, as she quickly began to move closer, intent on getting him to admit defeat.
Attempting to move, Naruto quickly realized that those had been tied with ninja wire, effectively halting his movements. Naruto quickly began struggling, before watching as the wires grew tauter and tauter, unable to dig any deeper against his arm's bones. Pushing up with all his might, Naruto was able to snap the wire in time for her to have to dodge the retort from the sharp wire, ending her approach.
"Well played. It seems you are pretty good at close-range combat, how about I take it up another step?" Naruto said, sticking his sword into the ground, before bracing himself to speak again. "Yanagi no Mai!" She watched in shock again, as this time bones sprouted from his palms, shoulders, knees, and elbows.
"So now, on top of your arms, I have less angles and you have two blades?" She said sarcastically, growing annoyed at the defenses the boy had.
"Indeed." Naruto replied, before shooting forward. His speed easily outmatched hers, however her sword-play was on a level way beyond his, as well as her technical skill with tools and knowledge of them. He had more strength, and any other advantages he had were disallowed in a physical combat only spar.
Going in for a double jab, Naruto was easily able to overstep his area of safety, allowing the various spikes of bone to protect him. Jumping aside, she quickly brought her sword down in a vertical slash, trying to dissect Naruto's midriff. Allowing his legs to collapse, Naruto fell to the floor as he moved his arm down to block her blade. Tossing chakra at the point of the palm facing the ground, Naruto quickly twisted, his entire body balanced on the single bone, allowing the either to ward off her as he spun.
Jumping back again, she surveyed her opponent as he reverted back to a standing position. Swings would be blocked quite easily, and the only other option she had were jabs. Swings would only be viable aiming for his legs, which he seemed to keep well protected, keeping his center of gravity rather low. She noticed his muscles go taut before he moved, bringing his blade diagonally down to meet hers.
Scraping across his bone blade, Amaya quickly slid her blade down, attempting to mutilate his palm. Knocking her blade away, Naruto grimaced as his palm was skinned, before darting in and trying to lash out at her stomach with his left palm. Slashing her midsection, Naruto watched as she sucked in as much as she could, reducing the slash to merely a small cut. Blood for blood.
Bringing her weapon down vertically, attempting to chop into his now unprotected shoulder, she watched as Naruto lunged forward, using his chakra control along with his bones to front spring past her. Moving to dodge the now extended knee blade, which would have easily decapitated her, the princess quickly swung at his exposed ankles.
Realizing his mistake, Naruto tucked in as fast as he could, barely dodging the blow. Releasing out of the now-spin, Naruto slid across the floor for a second before halting, his momentum great. Sprinting again, Naruto ran slightly to her right, as she adjusted, turning to the right. She immediately layed the sword flat, allowing the hilt to point in Naruto's next direction.
Realizing her counter of Shunshin, Naruto dived in again, capitalizing on her misplaced sword. Pushing his one hand forward, she rushed her movements, allowing her stance and form to falter. Immediately Naruto shunshined, bone palm sticking right underneath her throat, able to penetrate with the slightest movement. She sighed, realizing defeat.
"Nice move." She stated simply, sheathing her blade. Naruto's bones dropped to the ground, Naruto ending the chakra flow to them.
"Thanks. You should really work on your speed and strength." Naruto advised, as she stared at him contemplatively.
"Why just those two?" Amaya questioned, as she slowly slid the door open, revealing the interior of the hallway. The two began to make process back to the dining room, as the aroma of cooked food made its way to them.
"Your swordsmanship is a lot better than any of the Genin's I know, however you can't use it to its full advantage because of your lacking speed and strength. It shouldn't be that easy to overwhelm you, even if there is a gender difference. You were lucky that nothing was pulled or strained from the force you were exerting." Naruto responded, as the door slid open, revealing a seated Jiraiya with a standing Michiko.
"Oh, great! I was just about to come and get you two. Hope you two didn't rough each other up too bad." She said, scrutinizing them. Amaya simply gave a small glance at Naruto's palm, which was already healed. Giving a small gasp, she stared in wonder as he raised it at her peculiar glance.
"How?" Amaya said in confusion, allowing Naruto to drop his healed appendage.
"You don't worry about it Amaya-hime." Jiraiya said, indicating a dismissive tone. Nodding, they moved to sit down as the utensils were quickly laid out.
Dinner passed quickly, as Michiko asked about the going ons in Konoha, as well as about Naruto personally. Naruto answered every question truthfully, knowing that there was no reason to keep secrets from a family that trusted him so, and it didn't really matter, any information they wanted, could easily get.
Everyone except for Naruto turned into sleep early, mostly because of the early rising. Jiraiya had simply collapsed in his room, showing his exhaustion. Naruto had slept for a few hours, before waking. His sleep cycle was still effected by the Kyuubi, even after learning how to control some of its power. Slipping off of his futon, Naruto searched the surrounding area for irregular sounds, a practice he often attempted.
Padding quietly to his sliding door, the Jinchuuriki listened intently, unwilling to wake anyone up. Taking great strides, staying close to the walls of the hallway, Naruto quickly made his way to the dojo. Treading ever so carefully, Naruto silently opened and closed the door behind him, before staring into the dark area around him. Naruto kept the light switch off, not willing to meditate in the light. Walking quietly, Naruto seated himself near the center, before attempting what Jiraiya had told him too. The process of meditating was both simple and complex, depending on the person.
Due to his emotional training, Yamato had often made him go meditate when high 'emotional' periods came up. However, what Jiraiya requested was a complete calming, complete serenity, to know nothing, and be nothing. Sighing, Naruto slowly evened out his breathing, forming a rhythm. Willing his bursting chakra to slowly leak out, leaving the air reflecting his persona at the moment, calm. Breathing out, Naruto allowed all of his muscles to go lax, allowing him a sigh of relief.
Naruto slowly allowed it to take him over. Knowing he had a few hours before everyone awakened, Naruto continued progressing his meditative state. Closing his eyes, he paid no attention to anything, merely allowing his breathing to keep its rhythm and him to find sanctity. His body was teaming with energy, yet he controlled it, willing it to slow. Time seemed to be non existent, allowing the blonde to completely engulf himself into the task.
Time passed quickly, inconsequential to Naruto, as he stayed in his meditative state. Naruto was jolted from his state by the sound of the door sliding open, his eyes cracking to welcome the sight of Jiraiya.
"Nice to see, gaki." Jiraiya simply said, switching the lights on. Naruto blinked away the shock, having sat in the darkness for well over a few hours.
"Only slept a little bit." Naruto responded, earning a simple nod from Jiraiya, seemingly already knowing.
"Keep on doing that. You'll have to be able to meditate while keeping your eyes on your opponent, through noise, and a mixture of other problems. Start off with normal meditating, than slowly begin to incorporate the others." Jiraiya instructed as he stepped back out of the dojo, Naruto hurrying to follow him.
"Are we leaving?" Naruto questioned, as Jiraiya strode into the dining room, the eyes of the two brunette women drawn at their arrival. How had he not noticed them walking about, just outside the doorway? He had probably gone to deep into meditation.
"We got word from the merchants at the caravan. They are all prepared, we'll just eat up and be on our way." Michiko informed, drawing a grunt of confirmation from Jiraiya. Naruto seated himself by Jiraiya, while Amaya sat on the other side, awaiting food cooked by her mother.
Breakfast was a quiet affair, three of the occupants deciding it was too early to talk about menial things. Naruto simply lumped himself in with the group, not willing to speak either. Eating as silently as he could, Naruto finished right after Jiraiya. He ate much more than the older man, and at a faster pace. Setting his plates in the sink, Naruto quickly moved back to his room, deigning to place 'Itachi's' cloak on. He would be able to test movement in the piece of clothing, as well as hopefully try out some techniques and get some sparring in with Amaya.
Slipping off his full-sleeve shirt, Naruto tossed it to the ground. The material was pretty flimsy, already having grass and scuff marks, and he was lucky it lived through the momentary manifestation of the Kyuubi's power against Itachi. The robes would have to be designed as resistant to heavy amounts of youki, as Akatsuki was hunting down Jinchuuriki.
Shirking the robe a few times, Naruto quickly donned it, closing the buttons as he went. The robe was perfectly fitted for Itachi, who was taller than Naruto by only a small margin. Closing the last button, Naruto twisted and turned, testing its flexibility. It went up to his nose with the utmost button done, but Naruto quickly released it. The arms gave no view of his own, and he could barely grasp the edge with his fingertips if he attempted it. It stopped just at the end of his calves, shielding his entire body from view.
With the release of the top button, it gave view of chin and lips, leaving the cloak to arc off at his cheeks, shielding the bottom portions from view. Taking a step, Naruto automatically figured out things that would need to be corrected. The waist was a bit loose, so Naruto would have to completely shirk the cloak in combat, which would not be the best choice of action, it would need to be tightened up. Several size adjustments would need to be made, as he was more muscular than Itachi, but Itachi was taller with age.
The much wider ending of the sleeves allowed Naruto to conceal the Shunshin hand sign, which would make it much more dangerous. It would also make the Rasengan that much more surprising, when faced with it out of nowhere. Slipping on his ninja sandals, Naruto completed the getup.
"Oi! Gaki, lets go!" Jiraiya's voice echoed, as Naruto was jolted from his thoughts. Quickly scanning the room for any missing pieces, Naruto grabbed his discarded shirt, tossing it in the waste basket. Rushing down the hallway, Naruto quickly encountered the three of them, packed and ready to go.
Catching the slight recoil from Jiraiya, Naruto laughed. "Should really warn someone, when you come bursting through with that cloak on!" Jiraiya contemplated the gall of the Genin before him. Instead of being frightened by the prospect of facing some of the strongest ninja on the continent, he seeked to openly mock them by dressing akin to them, regardless if it was a nice style or not.
"Sorry." Naruto responded, still holding in his laughter. Naruto had anticipated such a reaction from Jiraiya, especially after him just getting out of battle with two of Akatsuki's nin just a day ago.
"Alright! Let's get going! Once we get to the caravan, Naruto will take lead while I take the back. However, me and the gaki here need to have a bit of a discussion, so he'll be at the back for the first bit." Jiraiya said, receiving various noises of confirmation from the group.
Leaving through the false doorway, they fast tracked to the main gates, Jiraiya and Naruto flanking the two important members of society. Rushing through the slowly populating streets, they quickly reached the cacophony of sounds that indicated the merchant caravan. The women received various greetings, as they quickly moved to the head of it. The head merchant stood up and quickly greeted the four of them.
"Lets get a move on!" He yelled down, as everyone began shifting into their carriages and specific ways of transport. "We aren't stopping until we are in Konoha! So prepare for a good few hours!"
"We'll get these two inside of the Daimyou's carriage, and then Naruto and I will take guard. If anything comes up, alert one of us as soon as possible." Jiraiya informed, as they made their way back to the center, where the regal carriage stood, two horses prepared to pull. The two females thanked them, before seating themselves, as Naruto and Jiraiya hurried to the back. The sounds grew louder, allowing their conversation to be completely secret.
"Have you thought about the Daimyou's offer?" Jiraiya questioned, as the front began moving, leading the entire train of horses and people. This conversation would need to be secret, and because of the battle between Jiraiya and Akatsuki, he had been too exhausted to continue it with Naruto inside the safety of the home.
"I was waiting on your opinion, sensei. I do know that you seeked to train me for a few years, outside of the village, but I think this is a great opportunity. It will get me respected by the known throughout the political leaders of the countries, and as well as have a work relationship with the Daimyou. Giving good pay, I think it would be pretty good decision." Naruto thought aloud, receiving a contemplative expression from Jiraiya.
"It's quite odd that he chose us, you being targeted by Akatsuki, that would lead you to be very dangerous to be around..." said Jiraiya, as he moved to continue. "I agree that it would be good, but that would mean we would be at work twenty-four/seven. We'll certainly make a lot of money out of the endeavor, that's for sure." They both walked silently for a few moments, before Naruto spoke up again.
"What about the war?" His question immediately caused Jiraiya to chuckle, before beginning to speak.
"That's the beauty of the Daimyou's decision. The defeat of Iwa and Suna was a pretty big deal for them, they realized that they need better shinobi, even if their strongest weren't sent in the invasion. While they build up their forces, they'll simply send suicide attempts at the Daimyou, hoping to either capture or kill. This will grant you a lot of combat experience, and we can be doing a service to Konoha in eliminating their shinobi." Jiraiya informed.
"How long would this whole thing take, and how long did you want to take me out of the village?" Naruto questioned, their pace finally beginning to go past a simple amble, actually forcing them to take longer strides.
"Originally, I wanted to take you out of Konoha for about three years. If we go with the Daimyou, I wouldn't know, probably closer to four. It doesn't really matter, it will take five at the least for the villages to actually be willing to risk open combat. Sarutobi-sensei and Tsunade-hime have already begun selection for his protection squad should we decline, and those will be the ones to take over after we are done. The Daimyou would never think of letting a Jinchuuriki and a Sannin stay out of the war, it would inhibit Konoha massively." Jiraiya informed, leaving Naruto to ponder. Jiraiya knew a lot more about war-time situations than Naruto, evidently by disclosing that information.
"I'm sure he would provide excellent training areas, as well as being lax should we need to do something." Naruto said, obtaining a nod from Jiraiya.
"Ofcourse, he wouldn't let you sit there untrained for several years. He is offering this for both parties, we both get training and money, while he gets astute protection and knowledge of our powers. He also gets us as personal ninja after wards, any missions he requests will go directly to us. It comes with a lot of benefits, but it is a lot of work..." Jiraiya said, his lazy demeanor permeating the air.
"What would be the negatives of taking the position?" Naruto said, attempting to weigh the benefits and negatives.
"My spy network would take a hit, unless the Daimyou agrees with me to go traveling, so I can keep in contact with them. We would have to constantly be alert and aware, which would be rather easy for you. It would be a lot easier for Akatsuki to track your movements, as the Daimyou's aren't often secretive. We don't know why Akatsuki killed the Daimyou's previous guards, so we will have to be very alert." Jiraiya said, leaving them both in thought.
"I say you go up to the front, and just give it some thought. We have several hours till we get to Konoha, so mull over it, and let me know. It doesn't really matter to me either way." Jiraiya informed, testing his student. It didn't matter either way, but this way he would figure out Naruto's dedication to his ninja career. Would he rather come back to the village earlier, or do more for the village by protecting the Daimyou?
"Hai, sensei." Naruto said, before hopping atop the various boxes to reach the front. The cloak swayed softly through the air, not causing any extra turbulence or drag, allowing him to move at his full potential. Flourishing with a flip, Naruto arrived at the front, his pace much faster, as to not get crushed by the horses behind him.
The tripped continue as such, with Naruto's thoughts continuously moving. He looked over the situation at every angle he could possibly think of, and had decided that going with the Daimyou would be the best course of action. He had the big three going with him, money, reputation, and the ability to train, while training with Jiraiya only offered training and tranquility. There were cons, but Naruto decided that it would still be much better to stick with the leader of Hi no Kuni.
A few hours passed on the trip, before something finally happened, for Naruto at least. Amongst the large amount of sound Naruto heard the repeated steps of someone running, obviously a ninja, before a sound of rustling clothing struck his ears as someone landed beside him.
"Amaya-hime." Naruto simply said, keeping his gaze forward. She simply gave him a look, before jumping ahead of him, turning to walk backwards.
"Mother said I was getting restless. Why don't we have an actual spar, one with actual jutsu and our complete abilities?" She asked. Naruto didn't think she wanted to spar with the Kyuubi, so decided to leave that part out of his 'complete abilities'.
"Sure. Jiraiya-sensei would warn us if something was going to happen anyways." Naruto responded, jumping forward to clear some room between them and the caravan. It would be the perfect opportunity to test his new type of clothing in combat.
Flexing his muscles, Naruto prepared for her as she retrieved her sword from its sheath. The constant moving of the caravan forced them to constantly move as well, lest they run into it.
"Come." She said, beckoning him. She layed her sword flat immediately, warding off his Shunshin, as he began running at her. Bringing up a single hand, Naruto watched as she jumped backwards, preparing for a palm blade. She was mistaken.
"Teshi Sendan." Naruto intoned, as his fingers shot out several bullets, forcing her to allow her legs to collapse or risk getting caught if she jumped. Using the other hand, Naruto shunshined, landing a kick that sent her rolling end over end, nearly impaling herself upon her own sword.
"Nice mov-" She got cut off, as Naruto rushed again. Unwilling to fall for the same tactic, she rushed directly at him, poising her sword for a deadly jab. Dodging underneath it, Naruto used both of his hands to turn him, bringing both of his shins crashing down onto her shoulders, leaving her to let out a yelp of pain as she skid backwards.
Flipping over, Naruto smiled as he faced her again. She immediately ran through handseals, prepared for her own strategy.
"Katon: Housenka no Jutsu! (Phoenix Sage Fire)" Her voice rang out, as she spit out several close range fireballs, all meant to either strike Naruto, or herd him into one direction. Immediately jumping to dodge, Naruto watched as he launched directly into her path of leap as well. Dodging the initial swipe, Naruto lashed out with a spinning horizontal kick, which she raised her left fore-arm to take the blow.
She was moved in the air because of his blow, causing her to be out of range to use her sword. Using her now stinging left arm, she used it to grasp several shuriken, before launching the undodgeable projectiles straight at Naruto. Grinning as they met their path, she scowled in annoyance as they barely even penetrated past his skin, stopped by his bone armor.
"Curse you and that bloodline!" She echoed, flourishing her landing to the ground. The fire was already put out from her flames, having had little no chakra in them. Flames caused by chakra were very rarely everlasting, only going on for a bit before the chakra ended. Amaterasu was the rare case as it required a lot of chakra, as well as a special Dojutsu.
Naruto plucked them out of skin, barely showing any expression of pain as he did so. They were now much further from the caravan than before, allowing him to use his own techniques. Tossing them back at her, she lazily dodged, allowing Naruto to smirk.
"Kage Bunshin!" Naruto echoed, as several doppelgangers appeared before their eyes, already rushing at his opponent. "Better get used to my bloodline, because its going to be handing your ass back to you!" Her brain immediately raced, trying to figure out a counter for this new occurrence. Preparing for combat, she felt a foot implant upon her back, sending her flying forward.
Naruto watched from behind her, his Shunshin completely effective, as she was sent flying into his clones. He could have killed her several times over, instead of kicking he could have used the Rasengan, easily killing her. Naruto now guessed, that because she wanted to be akin to Tsunade, she probably wanted to go farther into a combat-medic, rather than a pure combat ninja.
"If I may give a suggestion." Naruto began, dispelling his clones, her sword raised defensively and straining after defending several blows. "That you discard the use of a sword. If my guess is right, then I assume you wish to be apprenticed under Tsunade-hime, than sparring like this is useless. Tsunade-hime is already training several kunoichi in my year to be combat-medics, you could easily join their class. Wielding a sword as a medic brings benefits, but Tsunade will probably teach her strength secret to you, making it nearly useless." Her eyes narrowed at him, unbelieving of him having guessed that and disregarding all that she had put into sword fighting.
"Yes, I want to be Tsunade-sama's apprentice. If that is the truth, than why wasn't I notified along with father? Why would it be useless wielding a sword?" She questioned, stopping to breathe. Naruto had effortlessly shown that he could defeat her, with him only using one technique.
"The program was only started recently, and there have been a whole slew of problems in Konoha, as you know. Obviously your father could have forgotten, or not have been told at all. It obviously wouldn't be that hard for you to join, you are older and much more trained then the others. Using a sword would be useless when compared to Tsunade-hime's special technique, unless you use it to wield a much larger sword, perhaps one akin to Kiri's Zanbatous." Naruto responded, earning only silence from the older girl.
"Thank you, Naruto-san." Her response came after a few minutes. Simply nodding was his answer to her, as they walked side by side. She watched him from the corner of her eyes, trying to gauge more out of him. He walked with a sense of power and calmness, showing that he wouldn't rush into a situation unless severely pushed. During her battles, he had nitpicked apart her form and abilities, abusing what she couldn't do to win. Overall, she knew why Jiraiya had apprenticed him, he was basically a diamond that was waiting for itself to be polished past what it could do to itself.
Traveling for a few more hours, cheers met their ears from behind them as Konoha's large gate finally came into sight.
"Phew. That's the last of them?" Kisame questioned, hoping to finally leave the area. They had stood for several days straight, sealing Jinchuuriki after Jinchuuriki.
"Indeed, Kisame-san." Pein's voice responded, as Hidan's and White Zetsu's cheers met their ears. There lay five prone forms on the floor, evidence of the sealed Bijuu, as there were also five white eyes opened on the giant monument.
"We have done good so far. I suggest you take your time doing your missions, every village is on high alert, set to counter us. Zetsu, will of course get rid of the bodies of the various Jinchuuriki." Pein suggested.
"Disperse." Pein said, as all the Shinobi vacated their specific finger, moving towards the exit. It was extremely uncommon to see several S-Rank ninja in such a close perimeter, but also not having fights spring up truly was a godsend.
Walking outside, Itachi sighed. He couldn't do anything for the Jinchuuriki Akatsuki captured, he would be struck down. If they captured Naruto, then he would indeed risk his life to save him. After all, the boy and his Bijuu were the only chance they had at stopping Madara.
"Kukuku, hello, Itachi-san." Orochimaru said, approaching the rogue Uchiha. He had made a full recovery in Konan's care, and had taken back his ring from the ever hyperactive Tobi.
"Orochimaru-san." Itachi nodded, giving him the opening for whatever he wished to discuss.
"Itachi, would you mind if I happened to take your brother as my apprentice?" Orochimaru questioned, his gaze fixed on the young man before him.
Itachi thought about it. If he disagreed, then it would show weakness, and it would allow Orochimaru to personally confront him with Sasuke as a hostage. If he outright began fighting Orochimaru right outside the base, then he would feel both Pein and Madara's wrath. Agreeing would send Sasuke away from Konoha's hands, allowing the evil that was born that day to fester, and eventually be the person that Itachi would never wanted wished upon his younger brother. Inwardly sighing, Itachi spoke.
"Do as you wish, Orochimaru." The look of glee in Orochimaru's eyes annoyed Itachi, it made sure that there were bad things to come. He knew of Orochimaru's immortality ploy, and he knew that Sasuke's body would be next.
A/N – Still have a few arcs to go over before the timeskip. I will begin rewriting the beginning chapters now, once I have done I will upload chapter 11, signifying that you should go back and reread them.
OC's – I personally don't like this, however I had to do so because of a few things. I hate the comical factor of Naruto, the fact that the Daimyou's wife is overweight annoys me. She should be the prime example of what all women should strive to be. She is able to cook because of the fact that she wasn't always the daimyou's wife.
Amaya – This will not be a harem for Naruto. I merely added her in as another apprentice for Tsunade, as well as for something way down the line, and I mean wayyyy wayy down.
The Twelve Guards being slain will also be described better next chapter, there is more to unveil.
Thanks for reading. Please Review, PM your suggestions, should you have any.