20. Prisoner Trade And Sound Proofing

Story Start: Hidden Sound Base Three Days after Orichimaru's Death

Iroh Taichi was a base commander who ran a tight ship, being strict but not unfair, a rare thing when working for the Sound Village, he was the reason why most people preferred being stationed at his base if they ever were rotated there in the past. So it's no surprise that as he walked down the corridors of his base he would get nods of greeting and respect as he passed those under his command, the commander returning them as he headed to the section holding Orochimaru's supposed body guards.

Entering the room, he looked around at the Sound Four and said "Gentlemen, and lady." He nodded to Tayuya who scowled at being called a lady but didn't say anything as Iroh continued "Lord Orochimaru and Kabuto have failed to report in as Lord Orochimaru has said he would. Also worrisome was the fact that Naruto Uzumaki-Namikaze was spotted in the general area our lord was headed to. Therefore, we must now work under the assumption that something has happened to them. Due to this, I am acting as Base Commander and sending you four to the Hidden Leaf Village to gather the information about what happened. Any questions?"

"I have one." Sakon said and when Iroh nodded to him continued "Sasuke Uchiha was marked with a Curse Seal. If we get the chance, do we bring him here?"

Iroh considered it for a moment before he shook his head and said "If word has spread in the village of Lord Orochimaru's possible demise then he will not come quietly. He will have to be extracted at another time if and when our Lord returns."

Sakon and the others nodded at that before the group quickly left the base to begin making their way to the Leaf Village.

Scene Change: Hokage's Office, Same Time

For the first time in five years a bottle of rice wine was sitting on the Hokage's desk with a broken seal. Learned that Sound and Sand planned on invading the home you love? Meh, they're shinobi, deception and back stabbing were par for the course for shinobi like him. Your former student had planned on making you fight the undead forms of your teachers and the man who was supposed to be currently doing this job instead of you while forcing one of your best jounin to fight his undead mother at the same time and said Jounin instead having to take on all four instead? Nothing a good batch of stronger than usual tobacco couldn't help deal with. Finding out that said favorite Jounin went on a search and find mission for your other missing student and wound up facing not just one, but FIVE enemy S-rank ninjas and had killed the aforementioned former student by basically sticking him in an all-encompassing cheese grater made out of wind chakra and shaking him like he was a drink to be mixed at the bar?

Sarutobi rubbed at the migraine he was getting even as his other hand reached for the bottle that he had opened five minutes ago after Naruto had finished his report and the team sent to find Tsunade had left his office. He hadn't felt like he needed a drink this badly since that ridiculous mission into Demon Country Naruto had taken five years ago that had ended with a volcano erupting and an attempted betrothal contract with a Priestess' daughter. Thank every deity out there besides Jashin and Shimigami that Naruto had given him the scroll containing the new trade agreement with Demon Country before signing it otherwise they'd be currently hosting a junior priestess right now.

Seemingly talking to no one but himself, the old Kage sighed as he said "When word about this mission gets out, the council is going to have a field day, never mind the rest of the civilian population. It's bad enough Naruto can move fast enough to leave burns on an enemy just by brushing a finger over them, now he can completely atomize a target leaving no trace whatsoever?"

A wry chuckle filled the air as a dragon masked ANBU slipped out of the wall under the pictures of the Hokages. Taking a seat in front of the desk, the Village's ANBU commander said "So the rumors are true? Orochimaru was killed and the little speedster is getting the bounties for three other S-class missing nin as well?"

"It would have been five bounties total if he hadn't taken Itachi out of the picture for the next few years like he did." Sarutobi said tossing the mission report to the ANBU commander who quickly found the relevant part and read the information. Nodding, he said "Good, I always felt it was a bad idea having Itachi walking around as a Missing Nin. The kid may still be loyal to this village but we both know he's been very busy waving the Akatsuki banner."

"Indeed." Sarutobi said before he finally gave in and went for a second shot at the bottle on his desk. Taking a long pull, he said "Unfortunately, it's not all good news. Even with him gone, Orochimaru's Curse Marks are still in play. If hers had somehow managed to disappear you know Anko would have been crowing about it from the Hokage monument. And considering what Jiraiya said about the seal holding a part of my former student's soul."

"Damn, there's a chance he could still come back isn't there?" His ANBU commander asked and Sarutobi could feel his frown as he continued "And without a body for positive ID it's just Jiraiya and Tsunade's word that Naruto actually killed him muddying the waters even further. Sometimes our jobs are more trouble than they're worth."

"Amen to that." Sarutobi said as he toasted the man in front of him with the bottle and took another swig.

Scene Change: Konoha I&T Department

Anko could only shake her head as she looked at Kisame through the one way glass, looking down at the blonde beside her, she said "Kisame Hoshigaki, the Tailless Tailed Beast himself. Kid, you bring us the nicest presents."

Naruto chuckled at that before he grew serious and said "Just don't let your guard down around him. We found no less than five trap scrolls on his person when we disarmed him and the guy's known for being just about as good with water creation jutsu as the Nidaime."

"Got it, ten chakra restriction seals rather than the usual two." Anko said with a nod before she grinned and said "So did my former teacher have an appropriate Oh Shit look just before you started to atomize him?"

Time Skip: Two Nights Later

The night was currently peaceful, the only people moving about the shinobi on night patrol. That all changed though when an explosion tore through the air, the primary power station for the main merchant district going up in a massive fireball. In the Namikaze household Naruto shot up from his bed, kunai held in his hand ready to gut whatever caused him to wake so suddenly. Seeing no enemies, he glanced out his window and he growled when he saw the glow of a fire outside. Jumping out of bed, he quickly changed and geared up before he rushed to the front door, Haku not two steps behind him. Once they were clear of the entrance they disappeared in the Slipstream and reappeared on site.

Rapid response teams were already arriving, and Naruto heard the head of the team shout out "Get those fires out pronto people!"

Naruto and Haku were just unleashing the first of their water jutsu when a second explosion ripped through the air, this time taking out the academy. Face hardening, Naruto traded a look with Haku and said "This wasn't an accident."

"We're under attack." Haku finished solemnly. The two finished their jutsu and Naruto took the both of them up to the Hokage Monument to get a bird's eye view. They reappeared just as another power station went up and Naruto's head snapped towards it before he frowned and said "I really hope that this is someone actively attacking and not someone who managed to plant explosive tags all over the village." The next instant, he let loose with a massive chakra pulse that rocketed out covering the entire village and creating a mile-tall dome. What he got from the pulse had his head snapping upwards even as he called into the radio he had grabbed on the way out of the house "Attention all personnel, we have a bogey in the sky, I repeat, we are being attacked from the air. Target is flying half a mile over the Kage Tower heading north east."

Immediately after his communique, spot lights all over the village snapped on and swung upwards. As they cut through the sky looking for the enemy Naruto growled and said "If this is the Sky village again I'm going to be pissed." There was another explosion, this time at the main hospital which glowed under the shimmering shell of a barrier that became visible after the fireball cleared, clearly the element of surprise was now gone. As shown when the Kage Tower also lit up in a barrier along with several other barriers sprouting up around key locations as the explosions started coming at a much faster pace even as the spot lights finally found their target. Naruto pulled out a set of binoculars and looked at the flying figure before he began cursing and sent over the radio "Heads up people, target is Deidara the Mad Bomber, if you see any animals made out of clay get out of the immediate area."

"Naruto, I'm assuming you have eyes on target, end his flight." Sarutobi's voice said and Naruto gained a feral grin as he said "Understood." Turning to Haku, he said "How good are you with the Gale Palm Jutsu, can you do it seallessly yet?"

Haku grimaced and waved his hand in a so-so motion and said "I've got it to seventy percent success." He then frowned and asked "Why?"

Naruto's grin did not inspire confidence before he crouched and shot up into the air, wind chakra flaring out of his hands at the apex of his jump sending him rocketing off towards Deidara and leaving a miniature dust cloud and ruffling Haku's shinobi uniform in its wake. Haku sighed before he followed suit, popping three soldier pills into his mouth for what was sure to be needed extra chakra and doing the hand signs as he jumped just to be safe before he used the jutsu to shoot after his partner.

Scene Change: With Deidara

Deidara pouted as he saw the barriers begin to appear. There went his easy fun. His pout turned into a frown as a rather large chakra pulse hit him and spotlights almost immediately turned on and began searching for him. He wasn't too worried since he doubted the Ninja below him had any long range attacks that could reach him with any accuracy and the village didn't have ballistae emplacements like the Sand and Cloud village did. So imagine his surprise when a wind jutsu was launched from ABOVE him that nearly took his head off.

A roar from ten feet away was his only warning and the Mad Bomber barely swung his owl mount out of the way of the Minor Wind Dragon Jutsu that tried to pulverize him. A panicked glance upward had Deidara paling at the sight of no less than forty-eight grinning blondes standing on floating mirrors a hundred feet above his position. Floating mirrors that each held a figure inside that was already holding senbon needles in its hands. The same Shinobi that had taken out four of the Akatsuki's heavy hitters was up in the air with him and he apparently brought back up. And then said shinobi did something that literally made Deidara need a change of underwear.

All of the blonde's hands flickered before as one they called out "Wind Style: Grand Flight Of Dragons!" The air HOWLED as forty-eight flights of fifteen dragons, each one two hundred feet long began forming, the absolutely giant wind wyrms surrounding the group in a writhing sphere of roaring wind, the seven hundred and twenty pairs of dragons' eyes all focused on Deidara. Even the blonde's teammate looked shocked s the images looked around and he (or she, it was kind of hard to tell with their clothes) had a mask on. There was only one escape path Deidara could see, straight down through a ten-foot wide cylinder of 'calm' air, a clear path that the blonde had clearly left on PURPOSE which meant these monstrosities posing as jutsu were made in order to simply TIRE him out! The amount of chakra this shinobi had at his disposal must be absolutely INSANE!

Any further thoughts went straight out the window as one of the dragons suddenly snarled and launched itself at him and Deidara had no problem admitting he squealed like a little girl as his owl dropped straight down to avoid being eaten by animated wind. As soon as the owl was out of the sphere the wind jutsu was right on his ass beginning a high speed chase, the other dragons unwinding themselves from the sphere before pursuing as well.

Scene Change: With the Original Naruto

On a mirror that was growing to be twice as big as the others, the original Naruto watched as his flights of massive dragons began chasing Deidara all over the village's airspace. He glanced to the side as Haku left the mirror and said from beside him "Isn't that a little extreme for the wear and grind portion of a fight?"

Naruto smirked and said "Haku, there is something you need to learn about this world. Being efficient is all well and good, but there is no kill like overkill."

"Even so, you know he's most likely only a distraction while his partner completes their mission, right?" Haku asked.

"There's a good chance of that yes." Naruto said as Deidara did an impressive Split S/Barrel Roll combination that nonetheless left the dragon that was currently on his rear with the owl in its mouth and the Mad Bomber now riding a Peregrine Falcon.

"And you're still calm and not rushing off to check on our Akatsuki prisoner or at least sending a squadron of clones because?" Haku asked and the blonde could tell the other boy had a raised eyebrow behind the mask he wore.

"Maybe because I've had a four-man clone team stationed in front of Kisame's cell ever since he was put in there?" Naruto asked with a raised eyebrow of his own.

"That's a pretty good reason." Haku admitted to himself before he glanced back to where the Grand Wind Dragons were when there was an explosion and a wind dragon's head appeared to be blown to smithereens only for the entire body to catch fire even as it dissipated, those closest and brushing with it also igniting which started a chain lighting up a good two dozen of the jutsu.

"Oh, so unwise." Naruto said with a grin even as they heard the faint sounds of Deidara's cursing. His grin slipped into a confused frown and he glanced down to where the high security cells were as he said "Now how the hell did they do that?!"

"What, what is it?" Haku asked in worry.

"One of the clones guarding Kisame just created and dispelled another clone. They saw Kisame get sucked into some vortex, and no one was anywhere near the place." Keying his radio's talk button, he said "This is Naruto to Hokage, Sir, we've got a problem."

"So, I've just been informed. Naruto, your mission has gone from possible termination to capture at all costs. We need to know who could get Kisame out of his cell without ever entering the building. And we need to know ASAP."

"Roger Wilco." Naruto said and immediately after the jutsu began herding Deidara back towards them. As they got closer, reaching the one mile mark, Naruto began running hand signs at a measured pace and said "Haku, Cross Encirclement Pattern, Level Two Rotary Style."

"Right." Haku said as the blondes all sprung off their platforms to hover above with seal less Gale Palm jutsu pouring from their hands, the original still making hand signs as his thrust came from his feet instead. The next moment, all of the mirrors shattered as Haku put yet another chakra pill in his mouth and his inner energy surged as he formed two wheels of mirrors, each one half mile wide crossed at ninety-degrees that began turning as soon as Deidara was forced between the two.

Naruto meanwhile finished his hand signs and called out "Wind Style: Wolf Pack Jutsu." The air shimmered around the blond before settling again, five nigh invisible figures loping away towards their target. As the wolf pack ran off, Naruto said "That'll get him to one of the mirrors, as soon as you've got a shot, put him in a death trance."

"Understood." Haku said sinking into the last mirror platform which shattered as soon as he was in it and away to the outer perimeter. Naruto watched the mirror shatter before a Dragon's roar turned his attention back to where Deidara was, the man's shouted curses as the flaming part of the dragon flights kept trying to detonate his clay creations music to his ears forcing the man to constantly make new constructs to fly on even as the explosions took out the flaming dragon that triggered the explosions. But considering that there were still the twenty four non burning flights forming an outer shell completing what Haku's mirrors started, he wasn't too worried about the mad bomber getting away from them if the wolf pack managed to lose him.

It was when the flaming dragons' numbers had dropped to five that the wind wolf pack struck. Just as Deidara was leaping onto a four winged bird, he let out a startled yell as he was dragged away through the air by his left wrist, his other limbs almost immediately after also caught. Deidara tried to disperse the wolf on his left hand only to burn himself and for the fifth wolf to take over for its fallen comrade. The blond was quickly dragged through the air cursing the air blue to one of the mirrors before slumping over once he was close enough showing that Haku had put him into a death like state.

Sighing to himself, Naruto said out loud "This would have been a lot simpler if the inconsiderate bastard had been at ground or treetop level." His clones all voiced their agreement even as they dismissed the remaining air dragons and began making their way over to where Deidara was still being held in the air by the wolf pack jutsu while Haku dismissed all but the closest mirror. The original meanwhile put a hand to his radio and said "This is Uzumaki, package is secured."

Time Skip: One Hour Later T&I Headquarters

Naruto was scowling as he stalked down the hallways away from the room holding Deidara and even the normally serene looking Haku had a severe frown on his face as he matched pace with his partner. Deidara had plenty of information on everything that he did as a member of Akatsuki, but the one thing they needed right at this moment, how someone could make a person disappear in a vortex without actually being in the room, he didn't have the slightest clue. The closest thing Deidara's mind could come up with was Zetsu but the event didn't fit with the plant-human hybrid's abilities at all. So in layman's terms they had jack, and Naruto didn't like Jacks on the best of days when running a mission, this was during an attack on his HOME. Naturally, the blonde was pissed.

Pissed didn't even come close to explaining the condition of the third person in the hallway with them though. Sarutobi's face appeared stoic, but a ninja would have to have just started his first day of the academy to not notice how the aged Kage's chakra strained against the old monkey's control to destroy something, how his Killing Intent yearned to lash out at something and make the poor target's heart fail without the man ever once touching them. Naruto was quite certain that once he got somewhere private and filled to the brim with furniture his leader was going to absolutely destroy a room.

Taking a deep breath, Naruto ventured out into shark infested waters as he said "Sir, with your permission, I'd like to start investigating the hideouts Inoichi found in Kisame and Deidara's minds with shadow clones. With any luck, Kisame and his helper are still in one of the closer ones."

There was a twitch on Sarutobi's right eyebrow before he said coldly "Go."

"Gone." The blonde said and he and Haku were as he said.

Time Skip: The Next Morning

Naruto stood on the head of his father, feet precariously balanced on the point of the outermost strand of hair. Reports from his clones had been coming in all night. So far, no less than sixty bases had been struck, thirteen of them in the Land of Fire. Each base had been scanned for traps (Of which there had been plenty), searched for their target (No luck so far), resources swiped (Again, many), and then flattened with explosive seals. It was beginning to look like whoever had helped Kisame had made a clean getaway.

He was brought out of his thoughts as the radio he still had on cackled and he heard "Barrier team to Uzumaki, do you copy?"

Sighing with a thought of 'When it rains,' the blond activated his radio and said "Uzumaki here, go ahead Barrier."

"After last night's incident, we expanded the barrier to three times its range. Still don't know how they knew to attack us when the barrier was down for recharge." The last part was muttered angrily and Naruto was sure the barrier chief would love to strangle whoever planned for the mission to take place when it had. Sarutobi was on a war path tracking down everyone who knew the barrier was going to be down for an hour or two and may Kami and the Shinigami have mercy on the soul of whoever turned out to be a traitor because the Professor sure wasn't going to. Naruto was drawn from his thoughts as the Barrier Chief continued "We're picking up four chakra signatures inbound at the very edge of the barrier. They're signatures match with those that were present at the Leaf Arena during the invasion, and since only five enemy contacts escaped from that area during the battle and rumor has it you already killed one of said five contacts…"

"We have a pretty good idea about who these contacts are. I'm assuming by the fact you're telling me this that you've already informed the Hokage and he wants me to intercept." Naruto said with a frown.

"Indeed, and Uzumaki, he said to take no chances on this one, go for full amputation before you bring them in."

"Oh goodie, Kage approved stress relief." Naruto said and he heard the Barrier Chief snort in agreement before the radio went silent and he took off, pausing only long enough to create a clone to track down Haku and explain where he went before joining the slipstream.

He came out directly underneath the two headed guard as he was leaping and his flaming wind sword left him a double amputee before he rejoined it causing his form to flicker into visible existence for a split second as he turned went after the six armed one and sliced all of said arms off. The two screaming bloody murder as the pain registered five seconds after the cuts were made were the only warning the other two got as the fatso of the group got his arms ripped off when Naruto wrapped him against a thin tree and took off again, pulling the limbs with him at a high enough speed to rip them off like tissue paper. The only female immediately pulled out her flute only to stare at it in horrified disbelief as it fell apart into over forty pieces, even the parts in her hands. She let out a yell as a blond figure appeared directly in front of her with a sword of howling flames in his hands and her hands fell to the ground below, smoke coming from the cauterized ends of the wounds. If she had the presence of mind to check her large teammate she would have seen that like her and the other two's wounds they had been cauterized by the jutsu in the blonde's hand but the only thing she saw next was darkness as Naruto knocked her out. A glance to his first victim's side showed the second head turning into a fifth figure but a quick burst of speed had him screaming as all four limbs were separated.

Naruto finished knocking everyone around him out before securing them, and their separated limbs, into prison seals before he began making his way back to the T&I department. It looked like Ibiki and Anko now had more stress relief available.

FIN

Author's Notes: Been a while since I worked on this one, just shy of four years, and for that I apologize. First I had written myself into a corner, then when I had finally figured out how to get at least one more chapter out on this all that crap with my computer happened. It was like being in a boxing match with a guy with six arms, one problem after another after another climaxing into losing EVERYTHING that I had written except for my two-extreme length one shots, and thank god those two are still around because they are both thirty plus pages long. (As of the moment I am typing this Fish Tales is 36 pages at 23,139 words long.) Anyway, You guys waited long enough for this so I'm posting it one week ahead of schedule this once and I will be spending a week working on said really long story and then the week after that I will be posting the first chapter of Flesh To Metal Part 2 (Yeah, I didn't realize how far down the proverbial alphabetic ladder most of my original stories were, sorry) Tac Out