Hiya! No I did not forget about this story, and no, I have no intentions of discontinuing it! Moving on...
Minor side note- this story was supposed to follow the same model as A Jinchuriki's Husk and only be a 10 chapter story. Well, as you'll be able to tell after reading this chapter, the story aint finished! It looks like I'm going to go two over. One chapter to wrap up the major fights in this giant zombie vs. shinobi battle, and then one chapter to set the third and final part of this series up.
Echo Uchiha: =)
kidloco: In the first story it was explained that Minato outsmarted the Shinigami and escaped with all of the Kage's souls into heaven. Not the most feasible explanation, but Minato and Kushina were both needed for these first two stories, so it had to do.
saveme57: Thanks =) And Minato vs. Naruto round two should be fun!
Classified: Thanks for the kind words and glad you enjoy my stories =) Naruto has fought Minato before (and he got his ass kicked), but he's come a long way since the last time he fought Minato. So we shall see!
wingedmercury: Glad you liked the chapter! And character death makes me sad, I tend to shy away from it when I can so don't expect any in this story. For the third and final part of my Jinchuriki series there will be character death. And I was really happy you enjoyed the Mizukage. I wanted to do her thing in the manga where she totally mishears something and threatens to kill Ao, but it turned out to be a lot more difficult than I thought! Mad props to Kishi for being able to pull that out of his hat whenever he wants to in the manga!
panda-kun: Epic father son fight? Oh yeah, there will be an epic father son fight =P Admittingly, there will be more of the epic father son fight in the next chapter than there is in this one!
Toasty Warrior: Kabuto is indeed a dirty bastard. But one of the things we all love about Naruto, who generally tends to respond well to difficult situations and rise straight to the occasion =)
happy everday life: I don't have Sakura call Naruto "Naruto-kun" very often? Glad you enjoyed the Team 8/Team Gai vs. NaruSaku fight scene. But as you may have discovered with further reading, there are no more. There's no time, there's a war to fight and zombies to smack =)
Jozern: Hidan did kill Asuma, I've reread that twenty times trying to figure out what I was going for with that sentence, but still don't know. I should probably get around to editing it sooner than later. As for the Yondaime, in the first story, it was explained that Minato outsmarted the Shinigami and escaped with the rest of the kages into heaven. As I said above, it's not the most feasible thing ever, but Minato and Kushina both have important roles to play in these first two stories so it did the trick.
Nutt Man 117: I was annoyed by Chouji faltering in the manga too, but I could see why Kishi did it. But I obviously didn't choose to follow his lead =) But I'm glad to hear you liked the fights. More chaotic fighting in this chapter! (And yeah, Ino is my second favorite kunoichi too, she's just fun =P)
Princess of the White Wolves: Glad you like the story and hope you enjoy this chapter!
kyuubifan: Wow,that's some high praise. Wilkins75 puts together some very high quality stories. It's an honor to be compared to him! Thanks and glad you're enjoying the story!
Shandrial: Glad you enjoyed the chapter! Yeah, it was explained in the first story. You might have forgotten it because it was a bit...unlikely we'll say. Minato outsmarted the Shinigami and escaped to heaven with all of the kage's souls. So that's how he can be summoned back. And the Mei convo was actually the most difficult part of that chapter to write of all things. I have new respect for Kishi each time he pulls one of those out, it was a lot more difficult than I thought it would be! And Naruto has a tendency to say random lines that make things awesome!
Gogo 2011: Glad you're enjoying the story thus far. I didn't update soon, but I updated! Better late than never...right?
Raptor2001: Well... I took my time on this one =P
Lilarcor: /e salutes
Mathew: Thanks for the praise, and here is more of the story! Enjoy!
SuperNeos2: You're close =)
NPCrusader: Does this count as soon?
Standard Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto or else I would be filthy stinking rich and Sasuke wouldn't be such a crazy effin' psychopath right now! I mean yeesh! Did anyone else read the latest chapter? I could just see Sasuke rubbing his hands together, cackling evilly and stroking the head of some fluffy white cat with unnaturally pointy ears!
Anywho... Onwards we go. Please do enjoy A Jinchuriki's Strength: Chapter 10 - Psychological Warfare
I can't believe I used to dream about this… Konohamaru thought to himself as he dodged a blast of lighting that the strange thread monster he was fighting shot out of its mouth at him. He leaped backwards to get out of the way of a follow up attack as his mind continued taking in the horrific sights around him.
He and his friends had never openly wished for a war, but they always dreamed of fighting in one. To him and his friends, wars were where legends were made. They fantasized about being the big hero of some war, which would cement their names in history.
But now being in this horrific battle, Konohamaru understood why all of the adults were so grim about war. This was horrible. From the corner of his eye, Konohamaru had seen fellow Konoha nin get their throats slashed, burned to a crisp by a fire jutsu, crushed beneath an earth jutsu…
In this battle, Konohamaru had seen more blood than he had his entire short life thus far… He was fortunate that he hadn't seen anyone he knew get killed yet, but that didn't make the deaths he was witnessing any easier. He knew that each Konoha nin he saw get killed had people who cared about him or her.
Konohamaru had been devastated when his grandfather and uncle died, and each time he saw another Konoha nin die, he couldn't help but think of all the people who were going to be feeling that same empty sadness he had.
His musing was interrupted as a wood dome suddenly surrounded him. Shortly after, he heard a "thunk" as some sort of jutsu slammed into the dome. The dome retracted and Konohamaru was greeted to the sight of an angry Yamato.
"Stay focused Konohamaru!" The older nin barked. "Naruto won't be happy with me if I let you die. If you can't focus on this fight, then go back into the village."
Naruto… Konohamaru peered in the direction where the man who inspired him to be great was likely barreling towards Kabuto to end this entire battle.
"I don't need to go back." Konohamaru stated in a strong voice. "Naruto nii-chan wouldn't run, I won't either. Thanks for the save Yamato-taicho."
Yamato peered at the young boy. His eyes bore a look Yamato had seen in Naruto's eyes many times. Yamato personally didn't know the boy well, but he knew of his importance to Naruto. He was determined to keep this young boy safe for the sake of his former underling.
"Feel free to step in any time you two want to help!" An annoyed female voice called out. Yamato instantly snapped into action as he looked over to see two of the thread-monsters ganging up on Tenten, a girl close to Naruto's age.
"Mokuton: Daijurin no Jutsu!" Yamato's arm transformed into giant trees which he quickly sent at one of Kakuzu's thread monsters. The creature jumped backwards to dodge the attack, but Yamato gave chase with his technique, and corralled it back towards Tenten who had a scimitar in her hand.
As the creature neared her, Tenten took a swipe, but it leaped over her just in the nick of the time to dodge her deadly blow.
"RASENGAN!" It's jump however left it defenseless to dodge Konohamaru who had summoned a kage bunshin while Yamato was corralling the creature so he could strike with one of Naruto's favorite attacks.
"ALRIGHT! ONE DOWN!" Konohamaru cheered. He looked around to see how the rest of his fellow shinobi were doing in their battles and instantly wished he hadn't. He looked at a man who couldn't have been older than 20 just as one Kabuto's undead shinobi's decapitated him with a katana.
It was a gruesome sight that Konohamaru wished he never had to see… Because it was something he would never be able to unsee.
Before he could react, he felt an arm roughly grab onto him and leap away with him in tow. Just as he prepared to launch a counterattack against whoever grabbed him, a wind explosion went off where he had been standing, courtesy of another one of Kakuzu's thread creatures.
"Pay attention kid!" Tenten snapped.
"Right… thanks." Konohamaru muttered. That was twice his two allies had saved him in a little under five minutes. War was gruesome, he never wanted to experience this again. But he couldn't let himself think about that right now.
Naruto was always deadly focused in a battle, and Konohamaru needed to emulate that. His opponent was far too powerful for him to be able to afford to think about anything other than his…
Konohamaru leaped high in the air at Tenten's yell just as a blast of fire went beneath his feet. He quickly summoned a kage bunshin and had it throw him away from the fiery blast.
Konohamaru landed and eyed his two remaining opponents. He knew with the help of Naruto's captain, and one of Naruto's friends they would be able to handle these creatures. He was tempted to take one last glance at the surrounding battlefield, but he refrained.
Now was the time to fight, not reflect on the horrors of war. He would beat these monsters, and help finish this horrible battle. He would chide his younger self for ever fantasizing about being some big hero in a war later.
"CHOUJI NOW!" Shikamaru yelled. His teammate launched an enlarged fist at their deceased sensei, and just as Shikamaru expected, Asuma dodged. But that was perfect, Shikamaru knew his sensei's fighting style quite well, and he knew each of Asuma's tendencies.
Like his natural reaction to dodge to the right, which was the exact spot Shikamaru had Ino throw one of Asuma's old chakra knifes that had channeled his shadow into. As he predicted Asuma landed right near the knife.
"Kage Nui no Jutsu!" Shadowy tendrils sprang forth from the chakra blade and wrapped around Asuma to restrain him.
"Nice work Shikamaru!" Asuma grinned. "I didn't even see you throw that!"
"That's because I threw it when I threw all those kunai at you Asuma-sensei!" Ino grinned.
"So those were just a distraction, I was wondering what you were hoping to accomplish with those." Asuma smiled. "You three performed admirably. But you aren't done yet."
"What do you mean? Shikamaru has you restrained Asuma-sensei!" Chouji pointed out.
"What did you miss Shikamaru?" Asuma asked his prized pupil.
"Damnit!" Shikamaru ducked and felt a foot pass through his ponytail. He leaped to his right and twisted around in mid-air to examine his new opponent. "We're not just fighting you." Shikamaru finally pointed out his mistake.
"That's correct, now what are you going to do Shikamaru?" Asuma yelled as he started running towards Chouji. The newcomer to the battle wasn't anyone important, Kabuto obviously just sent it to prolong Team 10's fight… But the undead ninja currently charging after him still needed to be dealt with.
He dug his feet into the ground, and formed his favorite hand seal.
"Kagemane no Jutsu!" Shikamaru's shadow quickly shot out and restrained the new entrant to the fight. Shikamaru shifted his body and jumped so that the undead shinobi jumped directly in front of Asuma.
Shikamaru dropped his Kage Mane no Jutsu just as Asuma knocked the undead shinobi out of his way with a powerful haymaker.
"CHOUJI!" Shikamaru yelled. Chouji stared at Asuma with a look of uncertainty in his eyes before yelling,
"Bubun Baika no Jutsu!" He swung an enlarged fist at Asuma, but the slight hesitation gave Asuma the time needed to dodge the attack.
"You're not going to beat me if you hesitate Chouji!" Asuma yelled as he landed a distance behind Chouji. He again sprinted towards Chouji, but was forced to leap back when he heard his only female student's voice yell,
"Shintenshin no Jutsu!"
"You snuck up on me there Ino." Asuma complimented as Ino stood up off the ground, her attack having missed.
Shikamaru leapt to Chouji's side. "Are you ok Chouji?"
"I'm fine." Chouji muttered.
"I know this is weird fighting Asuma like this Chouji, but we can't afford to hesitate. He's a powerful opponent, and he's even more difficult to fight thanks to the edo tensei. Our reinforcements are arriving soon and they will be able to seal Asuma away, but we need to have him restrained by the time we get there. You, Ino and I know Asuma's battle tendencies, so we can instinctively dodge his attacks to a degree. That added along with our flawless teamwork is what allows us to fight Asuma relatively safely. If he is unrestrained when our reinforcements arrive, he might be able to catch one of them off guard with his speed, or his wind chakra attacks. Do you understand?"
"You're saying we need to finish this fight now." Chouji noted.
"Exactly. So are you ready?"
Chouji nodded his head. "Let's do this."
Shikamaru smiled, he could see determination in his friend's eyes.
"Good. We're going to show Asuma-sensei our new Ino-Shika-Chou formation." Shikamuru announced. He glanced around and noticed two new edo-tensei soldiers charging into their battle and smirked.
Perfect. "Ino! Let's finish this!"
Ino grinned at her teammate and leaped over to him so they were back to back. "Ending the fight already eh? Are you ready Chouji?"
Chouji stared at Asuma with a look of complete confidence in his eyes. "Of course. Let's put Asuma-sensei to rest."
"Right!" Ino yelled.
"Get ready Ino…" Shikamaru muttered as the two undead shinobi neared the trio. "NOW!"
Just as the two shinobi approached them, Ino yelled,
"Shintenshin no Jutsu!" Her jutsu connected with both of the zombie ninja simultaneously as her body slumped backwards and leaned against Shikamaru's back. Now in control of the two undead shinobi, Ino directed them to attack Asuma from either side.
I'm up! Shikamaru thought as he watched his sensei prepare to fight off the Ino-controlled attackers.
"Kage Nui no Jutsu!" Shikamaru shot his shadow tendrils towards Asuma, which forced Asuma to leap backwards to dodge. Shikamaru gave chase with his tendrils, and Ino positioned the undead shinobi so they blocked off all but one avenue of escape to Asuma.
Shikamaru corralled Asuma to that escape and smirked as Chouji's giant fist connected with Asuma's face. Asuma slammed straight through a tree and Shikamaru quickly restrained him with his shadow threads.
"Impressive." Asuma congratulated. "Your Ino-Shika-Chou formation was perfect, your timing was flawless, and your finishing strike was filled with confidence Chouji. I'm proud of you three. I assume since you went to all that trouble your reinforcements are going to be here soon Shikamaru?"
"Shikamaru!" A feminine voice that Shikamaru recognized quite well called. He smiled at his sensei.
"You could say that." Shikamaru turned to the voice. "Yo, Temari. Would you mind having one of your cloth style users bind Asuma-sensei here?"
"Too troublesome to do yourself?" Temari teased. She was relieved to find Shikamaru relatively unhurt. She recognized that his plan was the best possible plan, but she still worried about her new boyfriend charging straight into the heart of Kabuto's army. She was especially worried when she saw his signal. He told her he would use it only in an emergency, and feared the worst when she saw it.
"You know me too well." Shikamaru chuckled.
Temari nodded to one of the Suna nin who accompanied her who went approached Asuma.
"You three have grown impressively, I can't tell you how proud I am of all of you. You have officially surpassed me, there is nothing left that I could teach you. I hope all three of you find happiness. Goodbye Ino, Chouji, Shikamaru."
Asuma nodded to the Suna nin who went to work binding him to take him out of the fight.
Thank you Asuma-Sensei… All three members of Team Asuma thought at the same time.
"So what's the plan now lazy bones?" Temari asked. "You three can't possibly hope to fight your way through Kabuto's army to catch back up to Naruto."
"You're right, we can't. Asuma delayed us for too long. The path that Naruto blazed towards Kabuto has long since closed off with new enemies." Shikamaru confirmed.
"So what are we going to do?" Ino asked.
"We're going to join the rest of our forces in battle and have faith in Naruto, Sakura, Kakashi, Tsunade and Sai. They'll win."
"You're right." Chouji grinned. "Naruto and Sakura are amazing now, they won't let themselves be defeated."
"Oh great." Ino groaned, causing Temari and her teammates to look at her with a questioning look on their faces. "Well Sakura is the best with genjutsus out of that group now. She's probably going to be the one who gets Kabuto to drop the edo-tensei. I'm never going to hear the end of this…"
Her gathered allies chuckled at Ino's complaint. But they didn't have time to enjoy the light-hearted comment; a battle was being fought around them.
Shikamaru looked around and examined the battlefield, searching for the position that needed the most support. He caught sight of a group of Konoha ANBU badly outnumbered by zombie ninjas.
"There! Let's hurry!" Shikamaru yelled out. Temari's squad and Shikamaru's squad followed after them as they hurried to prevent more Konoha blood from being spilled.
To say Kabuto was unhappy would be an understatement. This battle should have been an easy victory. Instead, his forces were being beaten back, and some were even being bound and sealed. He didn't have any sacrifices on hand to kill to bring back the ones sealed by Konoha's sealing scrolls…
The surprise addition of Suna and Kiri to the battle had been a setback, but ultimately Kabuto would have been able to turn the tide of battle again in his favor. But having Kumo and Oto attack his army's flank forced him to shift a sizeable number of his forces to the back of the battlefield to battle the two villages' armies. Ninja forces from the five great ninja villages were now surrounding his army on every side.
And to make matters worse, Naruto's group was making alarming progress.
"You were a fool to think you could defeat Konoha Kabuto." One of the revived shinobi he kept near him stated.
"I haven't lost yet Jiraiya-sama." Kabuto spat.
"My son is going to stop you. You realize this by now, don't you?" Another undead shinobi pointed out with a smirk on her face.
"Your son isn't going to stop anyone Kushina-san." Kabuto sneered. "I was hoping to hold you three back for longer than this, but I suppose it can't be helped. It's time for you to enter this battle, and I have the perfect opponent for you."
"If you think you can make us kill Naruto you're sadly mistaken." The third revived shinobi Kabuto had kept back said.
"As if you'll have a choice Yondaime-sama." Kabuto chuckled. "But he's getting close now, too close for comfort. I think it's time for a touching family reunion, don't you?"
"It won't make a difference. I trained Naruto, that kid will find a way to beat us and stop you." Jiraiya said.
"Oh I'm sure Naruto-kun will have a tough time fighting his family and his beloved teacher. He's strong, but his weakness is his emotions. I doubt the rest of his companions will have an easy time fighting any of you either. They all care about you too much." Kabuto sneered. "Now get going."
Against their wills, Jiraiya, Kushina and Minato sprinted towards the direction where Naruto was charging.
"Duck Naruto!" Sakura yelled. Naruto didn't even bother trying to figure out what Sakura wanted him to duck for, he just ducked his head. The second he did he felt a chakra chain whoosh over his head. He looked over to see the chain wrap around an undead shinobi who had been in the process of preparing a powerful fire jutsu before the chain wrapped around him. He looked completely shocked as the pink chain secured him. But he didn't have long to be shocked. Sakura used the chain to fling him high up in the air and then sent him flying away from the battlefield.
"Jeez Sakura-chan, that one is probably going to land in Suna." Naruto joked as he batted away what used to be an Oto kunoichi with his frog kumite.
"Well he was trying to catch us off guard with some kind of powerful jutsu!" Sakura huffed indignantly. Naruto found it amusing that even now, Sakura was still embarrassed about her inhumane strength at times. Kami save Naruto if he made the mistake of referring to her strength as "monsterous."
"We've got to be getting close to Kabuto now. What's our progress looking like Naruto?" Kakashi asked as he ducked under the swipe of a deceased Konoha nin, and repaid the man with swift knee to the gut, and then followed his knee up with a quick uppercut before finally launching a powerful punch into the zombie's chest sending it sprawling backwards.
"We're definitely close. Let me check on…" Naruto paused mid sentence and skidded to a complete halt as three figures suddenly appeared in front of them.
"Hey what's the deal? Why are we stopping?" Tsunade asked, but Naruto offered no reply. He just stared at the three figures in shock. Tsunade followed his eyes and felt her heart drop through her chest.
How the hell did Kabuto revive them? Tsunade swore.
"I see Kabuto brought you three back as well." Kakashi noted.
"He did. But I wish he hadn't." Minato replied in a grave sounding voice.
"Naruto, are you ok?" Sakura asked softly as she placed a hand on her fiance's shoulder. He hadn't made a sound since laying eyes on their newest opponents. But he offered no reply.
"Naruto?" Sakura asked again.
"Naruto sweetie, you need to be strong now…" Kushina started, but she was interrupted by her son, who suddenly sported a giant grin.
"Pervy Sage! Mom! Dad! I'm so glad to see you guys again!"
"Naruto… we're happy to see you too, but Kabuto sent us here to kill you. Now isn't a time to be smiling." Minato warned.
"I know I know." Naruto replied, but the giant foxy grin didn't leave his face. "But I'm still glad to see you. Especially you Dad!"
"Naruto, I don't think you understand…" Minato sighed.
"Last time we fought… you kicked my ass!" Naruto went on, ignoring his father's words. "But that was so long ago. I've come so far since then, and now I can finally show you. Mom, Dad, Pervy Sage… I can finally show you how strong I've become! I can prove to you all that I'm finally strong enough to accept the destiny you gave me!"
Everyone couldn't help but smile. Naruto could always be counted on for his sunny optimism, even in a grave situation as the one they were currently in.
"Is that so?" Minato retorted. "So you're going to kick my ass now, is that what I'm hearing?"
"Damn straight!" Naruto boasted. "I've mastered the hirashin, and I've almost completely mastered sage mode! You don't stand a chance!"
"I see you're already in it this time, which should make our fight more interesting than the last, that's for sure." Minato noted. The last time they fought, Minato refused to give his son the time he needed to enter sage mode and easily defeated Naruto with his superior knowledge of the hirashin.
"All right, you guys all go ahead and kick Kabuto's ass. I'll handle these three." Naruto stated.
"WHAT?" Sakura yelled. "No way! I'm not leaving you to fight your parents and Jiraiya by yourself! You and I are a team!"
"You'll have your hands full with your parents, let me take Jiraiya." Tsunade added.
"These are difficult opponents Naruto. You're strong, but we'll all help." Kakashi interrupted Naruto before he could protest with a one-eyed smile.
"No Kakashi. Shikamaru said it's important we put pressure on Kabuto. Naruto and Sakura can handle Minato and Kushina, and I can handle Jiraiya. You and Sai need to continue on." Tsunade ordered.
"She's right Kakashi-sensei." Naruto added. "I think I would be fine by myself, but you know how stubborn Baa-chan and Sakura can be. It looks like it's going to be on you and Sai to take care of Kabuto. From what I'm sensing, it looks like my parents and Pervy Sage are Kabuto's last line of defense. You two should be able to make it to Kabuto without any difficulties.
"Go Kakashi, that's an order." Tsunade interrupted Kakashi's protest.
"Hai Hokage-sama... Good luck you three. Let's go Sai." Sai nodded and followed after Kakashi as they ran around Kabuto's final guard.
"Hey Hime, why don't we take our fight away from here? Let these two couples have their space." Jiraiya suggested.
"Fine by me, follow me you pervert." Tsunade smirked before turning to Naruto and Sakura. "I believe in you two, don't let me down."
"We won't!" Sakura replied. "Good luck Shishou." Tsunade merely nodded and started to the west. Jiraiya promptly followed after her.
"Sakura-chan… I know we're a team, but leave my father to me." Naruto whispered quietly enough so his parents wouldn't be able to hear.
"Why the hell would I do that?" Sakura hissed angrily. "We're most effective as a team!"
"Against normal opponents. But my father knows the hirashin. If he figures out that I put a seal on you then we would be severely disadvantaged. His speed matches my own. He's too fast for you to track, and he's too fast for me to safely protect you." Naruto explained.
Sakura wanted to protest, but she knew Naruto was right. Sure she could argue that Naruto put a custom seal on her chest… which was true. But the Yondaime was known for being a genius. She had no doubt Minato would quickly figure out how it worked.
"Just be careful ok?" Sakura finally relented. Naruto smiled at her.
"You too Sakura." He turned his attention to his dad. "Alright Dad! YOU AND ME, ONE ON ONE! TIME TO GET REVENGE FOR WHEN YOU KICKED MY ASS WHEN I WAS DEAD!"
Minato simply chuckled at his son's enthusiasm. "Don't get too confident Naruto."
"So I guess that means you're my opponent, eh Sakura?" Kushina noted.
"That's right Kushina. I still owe you for helping me beat Sasuke, but that's not going to stop me from kicking your ass, SHANAROO!" Sakura crowed causing the older woman to chuckle.
"I like that spirit. I'm so glad Naruto found you."
"I'm starting to lose control over my body Kushina… How about you?" Minato asked.
"Alright then. Naruto, Sakura, get ready because here we come!"
"Your taijutsu is impressive for a kid, but you'll need more than that to beat me. Is that all you can do?" Kakuzu sneered as he blocked one of Lee's kicks with a blackened arm. "You can never beat me with taijutsu when I have this earth technique."
Lee put a safe distance between him and his opponent. He had been attacking Kakuzu with everything he had for about ten minutes and nothing seemed to be working. His earth technique practically made him impervious to physical attacks.
"You should run." Kakuzu taunted. "Some foolish ninja who only focuses on taijutsu will never stand a chance against me."
Lee clenched his fist in anger. Kakuzu reminded him of a more arrogant version of Neji when they were younger.
"DON'T UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF HARD WORK!" Lee roared as he sprinted forward. I will defeat this opponent and then go on to defeat many more!
"You just don't get it." Kakuzu smirked. He made no effort to defend himself as Lee launched a powerful roundhouse kick towards his head. The kick connected, but Kakuzu was able to stop the momentum of Lee's foot with his blackened head.
"My technique makes my skin harder than iron. It's hopeless. You could train for 100 years in taijutsu and you still wouldn't be able to beat me. You're not a worthy opponent for me. After I kill you, I will not be adding your heart to my collection."
Lee caught Kakuzu in the jaw with a powerful haymaker, but again, his head didn't even move. He leaped backwards to put more distance between himself and Kakuzu. I didn't want to open any gates this early in the battle, but it looks like I have no choice.
Lee glanced over to see how Tenten's fight was going. She had been joined by Yamato and Konohamaru, and the three had defeated two of the strange thread-like creatures that jumped out of Kakuzu's body at the beginning of his fight. He could hold back and wait for them to finish their fight. Yamato used to be Naruto's captain, he had a lot of powerful jutsus which might be able to break through Kakuzu's defense…
"What's wrong boy? Scared? Understandable. You're not even a real shinobi and yet you're fighting an immortal."
Lee glowered at Kakuzu. "Just because I don't use any jutsus doesn't mean I'm not a shinobi." He proclaimed. "I will show you the power that I've worked hard to acquire!" He yelled.
He opened his first gate and charged forward.
"Come on Tsunade! You can do better than that!" Jiraiya yelled as he easily dodged Tsunade's strike. They had only been fighting for a short while, but Tsunade was holding back with a troubled look on her face.
"Shut up pervert…" Tsunade muttered as she lunged forward with a clumsy kick. Jiraiya easily dodged and on his body's own accord and caught Tsunade upside the jaw with a quick kick which sent her sprawling to the ground.
"Stop holding back Tsunade! I can't control myself!" Jiraiya yelled. "FIGHT ME!"
Tsunade stared up at her old teammate, and regret filled her entire being. She always pushed him away when he was alive, and by the time she finally figured out how she felt about him, by the time she finally realized what a mistake she was making in pushing him away… It was too late.
Now here he was again. How was she supposed to fight him? She thought she could handle it… But it was proving far more difficult to fight the man who had always been there for her than she imagined.
Jiraiya tried to stop his body as it charged forward to deliver another punishing blow to Tsunade, but it was useless. He punched her square in the face just as she returned to her feet which sent her hurtling backwards from the force of the punch. She slowly picked herself up, and looked at him with a face full of regret.
Jiraiya had watched Tsunade cry after he died from his place above, but he still found it hard to believe that Tsunade couldn't fight him. But whatever the reason, this was a problem. He was going to kill her if Tsunade didn't snap out of it soon… An idea suddenly popped into his mind. One that was sure to work, and one that made him thankful the edo tensei prevented him from feeling pain.
"By the way Hime, I gotta say, you look good!" Jiraiya said with a lecherous grin.
"Oh shut up." Tsunade snorted, although a small smile found its way on her face. Leave it to Jiraiya to compliment her even in the middle of a deadly battle. She missed his compliments…
"I mean really good." Jiraiya continued.
"I get it Jiraiya, you think I'm beautiful." Tsunade sighed, her small smile had no transformed into a large smile.
"Think? I know! I always knew you were hot, but now that I've seen you naked, holy crap! Your breasts look even better than I ever imagined! And your butt, it's way nicer than any I ever peeked on in the hot springs! It was totally worth dying to finally see you naked!"
The smile that was on Tsunade's face was instantly replaced by a furious scowl.
"Jiraiya…" Tsunade growled dangerously as a tick mark appeared on her head. Here she thought he was just complimenting her… But he was just being a damn pervert! He would never change!
"HOW DARE YOU PEEK ME ON ME YOU PERVERTED BASTARD!" Tsunade roared as she lunged forward. She caught Jiraiya in the chest with a powerful punch that shattered his ribs.
Yep, I'm definitely glad I don't feel pain anymore. Jiraiya grinned as his body was sent rocketing backwards until it skidded across the ground and eventually came to a stop. He didn't have time to react as a shadow was descending upon him.
Tsunade's foot came crashing down on his face breaking his nose. Maybe I overdid it a little… Jiraiya thought. But it worked, she's now actually in this fight. I don't have to worry about killing her now. Tsunade lifted her foot up to deliver another angry stomp to Jiraiya's head, but his body rolled out of the way and launched a counter punch.
Tsunade caught his punch, crushed his knuckles in her grip and then delivered another punishing punch to his face, which sent his body skipping across the ground in the direction it just came from.
"Man, a woman with your breasts and you can move that quickly. Impressive Hime." Jiraiya grinned as his body regenerated itself.
"You… You… PERVERT!" Tsunade yelled. She charged again, but Jiraiya quickly flew through some hand signs.
"It's not going to be that easy this time Tsunade, Doton: Yomi Numa!"
As the words were leaving his mouth, Tsunade leaped into the air to avoid being trapped by Jiraiya's jutsu. She landed safely as the spot she had been running turned into a muddy swamp.
Tsunade paused as she considered her next plan of attack. Jiraiya had always been stronger than she was, and now that he was using jutsus that meant he was serious. She didn't think the toad sages would help him enter partial sage mode in his current state, but she couldn't count it out. If he started stalling for time she would definitely have to interrupt him.
Jiraiya noticed that Tsunade had paused. She's probably trying to develop some sort of strategy to take me down… She knows I've always been stronger than her… But if she takes much longer I might use a more powerful jutsu… She needs to keep me on the defensive!
"You know Hime, I don't think I've said enough about just how beautiful your butt is. I mean, I'm sure you get ogled for those wonderful breasts of yours all the time… But that butt of yours deserves attention too!"
All thoughts of a plan instantly left Tsunade's mind. She only felt a blind rage.
"YOU'RE LUCKY YOU'RE DEAD JIRAIYA OR I WOULD KILL YOU!" Tsunade yelled as she ran towards Jiraiya, her fist glowing with chakra.
"GATSUGA!" Kiba yelled as he launched his attack at Neji's father. He had quickly found Hinata after he finished his first battle to find her and Neji fighting a Hyuga that looked a lot like Hinata's dad, which he later found out was Neji's father.
The three of them had been able to keep the undead Hyuga on the defensive, but they were facing an enemy with infinite stamina. They were starting to tire out, while Neji's dad was still perfectly fine. His body regenerated itself after every attack they threw at him.
"The way you hold yourself, you've angled your body in a direction towards my niece. You care about her don't you?" The undead Hyuga asked Kiba.
"Of course I do!" Kiba yelled. "I care about Hinata a lot!"
"That's good. Now I apologize, but I'm losing control over my body again. I was hoping to give you three a bit more time to regain your breath, but this was the best I could do."
"It's fine Father." Neji replied. "We're ready."
"But for how long…" Hizashi countered with a sad smile.
"As long as it takes. Hinata, Kiba, back me up." Neji charged at his father, his face still set in an impassive mask. He was grateful for Hinata and Kiba's assistance. Neji was a stoic man, but he wasn't sure how long he would've been able to mentally handle fighting his father for long.
But with Hinata and Kiba's help, he knew they could win. They could hold off his father until his Uncle Hiashi arrived with someone who could bind him.
We just need to buy some more time… Neji reminded himself as he launched a strike towards his father's face.
"Not bad Sakura!" Kushina complimented as she lost her balance thanks to Sakura creating a rift in the earth where she had been standing with a powerful stomp. Her body twisted in an attempt to regain its balance, but pink chains wrapped around her before she could properly react.
Sakura quickly tightened the chains around the woman who had taught them to her. She knew she didn't have to beat Kushina, she just had to hold her off until Kakashi got Kabuto to drop the edo tensei.
"You've improved since I helped you defeat Sasuke!" Kushina beamed in pride. "That timing with the chakra chains was impressive!"
"Thanks." Sakura blushed at her future mother-in-law's praise. "Naruto and I spent the past year doing nothing but training."
"I can tell. You two are a lot stronger. So is this your plan Sakura? To restrain me with your chakra chains?"
"I don't have to beat you; I only have to hold you off until Kakashi-sensei gets Kabuto to drop the edo tensei. This way we can both watch Naruto's fight, I think you'd like to see how far he's come."
"I would." Kushina sighed wistfully. "But unfortunately I don't have control of my body, so I'm going to have to hear about how far Naruto has come from Minato later. But I'm excited to see your improvement!"
"You won't have to get second hand information from Minato, you can't escape from these chains." Sakura pointed out.
"I wish that were true Sakura." Kushina frowned. "Ready yourself, because I'm coming after you again!"
"But how…" Sakura started to question when Kushina disappeared in a puff of smoke. "Damnit!"
Kushina reappeared and instantly flashed in front of Sakura with her fist cocked back. Sakura dodged and launched an elbow at the older woman's gut, but Kushina's body twisted in an odd way that Sakura had never seen in a taijutsu style before. She didn't have much time to consider the strange movement as Kushina's fist slammed into left cheek and sent her flying.
Sakura managed to regain her balance before she could fly too far. What was that taijutsu style? Sakura wondered. Before she could ponder the mystery further, Kushina appeared in front of her in that weird style once again.
Sakura dodged the first strike, but Kushina twisted her leg as if she was balet dancing and caught Sakura in the side of the gut. Before the elder woman could do any more damage, Sakura stomped her foot down hard, sending a wave of earth crashing outward which forced Kushina to leap away from Sakura to get clear of the earth wave.
Ok… So she has a unique taijutsu style… But she still is Naruto's mom, and from what the academy taught us, Minato was skilled in genjutsus. Maybe she is where Naruto gets his weakness to genjutsus from…
Sakura's hands flew through a quick succession of hand signs as she prepared a genjutsu against her mother law. For some reason, she just knew this battle wasn't going to be that easy…
"That girl of yours sure is strong." Minata grinned as the earth trembled from one of Sakura's attacks.
"Yeah she is." Naruto returned his father's grin. "Mom's lucky she can't feel Sakura's attacks, her punches hurt!"
Minato chuckled. He and Naruto had been fighting for a little over five minutes now, but they were still able to hold a conversation. If a blind person were listening, they would have no idea father and son were currently locked in a battle to the death (well for Naruto anyways) from their conversation.
Minato tossed one of his three-pronged kunais at Naruto and flashed to it, but Naruto flashed to the kunai the second he did and caught Minato with his frog kumite which sent the deceased Hokage's body sprawling backwards.
"So have you, mom and Pervy Sage been watching me?" Naruto asked as he flashed in front the downed Hokage with a rasengan in his hand, which he promptly shoved into Minato's gut.
"We haven't been able to yet. The jutsus we used to help you guys last year prevented us from being able to watch the living world for a year. And when we were just allowed to view the living world again, Kabuto summoned us with the edo-tensei." Minato answered as he caught his son in the gut with a mule kick that sent Naruto high into the air.
Minato stood up with perfect ease, even though his body was still repairing itself from Naruto's rasengan. He took out a three-pronged kunai to throw at his son's body, but was surprised when it disappeared in a puff of smoke.
"A shadow clone?"
"It's over dad." Naruto's voice proclaimed confidently in his ear. Minato looked to his side to see his son's hand on his shoulder.
"You think it's going to be that easy eh?" Minato grinned. He tried to jab his elbow into Naruto's gut, but Naruto leaped backwards to dodge the strike.
"I invented this technique Naruto, don't think it will work on me." Minato said as he removed the seal Naruto placed on his shoulder.
Naruto's eyes widened. "How did you do that?"
"So you don't know how to remove a seal…" Minato noted.
"I can remove ones I place!"
Minato sighed. "I wish you hadn't told me that Naruto." His body now knew how to win the fight. It was the same strategy as he used to beat Naruto the first time they fought. Place the hirashin level two seal on him.
Shit… now I can't let Dad touch me… Naruto mentally swore as his father charged him.
A huge explosion went off in the air above the battlefield as Kakashi and Sai sprinted towards Kabuto. As Naruto predicted, they had run into zero resistance thus far. It looked like the attack on Kabuto's army's flank forced him to send many of the troops he had protecting him to engage the Kumo and Oto forces.
"There he is Kakashi." Sai noted as Kabuto's figure became visible in the distance.
"Well, ready to end this battle Sai?" Kakashi asked as he flashed the pale artist a one-eyed smile.
Whew! Sorry, only the starts of the big fights this chapter. But don't worry, the next will provide plenty =)
I hope you enjoyed the chapter, please do review and see you next time!
Mokuton: Daijurin no Jutsu – Wood Release: Great Forest Technique
Kage Nui no Jutsu – Shadow Sewing Technique
Kagemane no Jutsu – Shadow Imitation Technique
Bubun Baika no Jutsu – Partial Expansion Jutsu
Shintenshin no Jutsu – Mind Body Switch Technique
Doton: Yomi Numa – Earth Release: Swamp of the Underworld