Hey Everyone! If you've all been wondering wtf ive been up to, this is it! this is my new story based off of a challenge given out by Hektols. So if you wanna know a better summary of what its about feel free to check out his profile. If any of you are avid Heart of a Ninja fans, don't worry im still in the process of writing the next chapter and it should be up in the next few days ^^ hope you all enjoy!
Broken, bloodied bodies littered the devastated streets as silence reigned supreme throughout the village, pierced only by broken screams of anguish and pain as many discovered loved ones among the ruins of the once proud Hidden Leaf Village. Fires still raged throughout parts of the once prosperous nation, the civilians being the ones left to put it out as their military strength was all but diminished, destroyed by a demon that should belong only in nightmares. The date is October 10th. The death of one hero and the birth of another, although not everyone saw it that way...
"The demon should be executed now that it is helpless!" demanded Fugaku Uchiha, head of the Uchiha clan. His Sharingan was blazing, tomoes swirling in reaction to his anger. Opposite him sat Hiashi Hyuuga who glared at him, his pupil-less eyes would have made liquid nitrogen jealous to how cold it was. Uchiha was unfazed though, and continued to rant until he was interrupted by another ninja named Jiraiya.
"He is a hero! If it wasn't for the child we all would be in our graves by now!" he spat angrily. "Minato sacrificed himself and his son's freedom for the village, his only wish that his son be viewed as a hero, not as the demon he contains! He holds the beast back!"
"It doesn't change the fact that the demon resides in him!" yelled the head of the Haruno clan. "It could take over at any moment and destroy us all! He's a monster and should be executed!" she screeched. Everyone in the room started yelling their opinion on the matter, each trying to be heard above the rest, only two were silent. One looked old and frail, but his eyes were calculating and compassionate. The other stood just behind the old man, but blended in completely with the shadows. The only thing giving away his presence was his wild, bright blonde hair and beard and his deep blue eyes that glared at the entire room in undisguised hatred and disgust. His hands were clenched into fists so tight that his nails had begun to draw blood, anger radiated off him in steady waves. The only one to notice this however was the other silent man in front him, who frowned when he felt the growing killing intent. Sighing slightly, he took up his old role as leader of the village.
"ENOUGH!" the Third Hokage yelled, authority ringing in his voice. All members in the room grew silent as they looked towards the old man. Danzo scoffed at him,
"You no longer run this village Sarutobi, you have no more authority than the rest of us," his voice held contempt for the retired Hokage. The man behind the third could not hold in his anger anymore.
"He has more authority than you EVER had, Danzo! You are a mere council member and he is the Third Hokage!" He growled out. There were some nods and murmurs of agreement, but they didn't drown out what Danzo muttered under his breath.
"Retired..." The blonde man glared at him, his short fuse finally gone.
"Retired or not, he IS the Third Hokage and you WILL show him the respect he deserves!" the man exploded. "Him and my nephew! It is not your decision, or this council's for that matter, to decide if he lives or dies! It was my brother, the fucking Fourth Hokage's wish that his son was seen as a hero, it was his choice to do this and as leader of this village, that was his last decree and you WILL respect it or so help me you will die wishing that you did." The room was silent as he finished his threat, every word ringing with malice. Danzo just glared at the man and was about to speak but the Third held up a hand to stop him.
"Thank you for your input Kabuto. Because you are Minato's older brother however, your input is biased and cannot carry much weight in this discussion. Your points will be viewed however and rest assured, your brother's final wish will be carried out." The Sandaime said in his most placating and diplomatic voice. Kabuto just growled before moving back into the shadows, where he could watch the rest of the meeting.
'Biased or not, no one is going to hurt him. I will tear this village to the ground, Minato's treasure be damned, before they so much as touch him.' He thought darkly as he spied the Haruno woman smirking evilly.
"I say we kill him and live the rest of our lives in peace," voted Haruno.
"I second that," Uchiha stated, glaring at anyone who he thought would oppose.
"I say we honour the Fourth's final wish and allow him to grow up under his mother's care." A voice interrupted. All heads turned towards the door where a busty young blonde stood. Her hunched shoulders and drawn face told of how weary she was, but her eyes held triumph. Jiraiya ran towards the woman and caught her as she sagged down the doorframe, unable to support herself anymore.
"Tsunade! Are you ok? What about Kushina?" he demanded of the blonde. Tsunade smiled weakly at her old team-mate.
"I'm fine, just suffering the effects of chakra depletion. Kushina is stable and will be fit to care for the child soon." At this she turned her gaze towards the council members. "Since the mother of the child is still alive, it is not our decision as to what happens to him, but hers. You have no right to touch the child because of what he possesses, if that were true, every kekkai genkai would be forfeit." She growled resentment clear in her voice. "If there is any action against her, you can expect me to never to return to this village. You should also keep in mind that Kushina is the princess of Whirlpool country, and so her son is a prince. If you wish to take any action against him, I suggest you prepare for war." With that said she shakily stood up, bowed, and hobbled out of the room in search of some much needed sake and a bed.
At her departure; voices broke out from all over the room. Danzo stared coldly at the wall as if it had just taken his morning muffin. Kushina remaining alive was an unseen flaw in his plans. He needed the brat under his control or gone if he wanted to restore the village to its former glory, before the soft hearted teachings of the Third started to destroy it.
Uchiha Fugaku was livid. The woman was alive? She was meant to die from her pregnancy! He made sure there was no one able to respond to any emergency call, that was why the Kyuubi attacked! Tsunade. That woman was not meant to be in the village. He made sure she hated it after sending that Dan boy on that suicide mission years ago. Why was she here? The Namikaze family was meant to be destroyed so his family could take their rightful place as head of this village. Madara would not be impressed when he was informed of this new discovery.
Haruno wasn't swayed by the threat of war at all. "The beast needs to die! As long as he lives the Kyuubi might come back! I would rather certain safety, then uncertain protection from a baby! A baby! How will he be able to hold back the monster when none of our finest shinobi could! The monster could even be in control as we speak! We need to kill it! Now!"
Sarutobi was incredulous. These people were so concerned about their own powerbase; they did not spare a thought to the wellbeing of the village or what it might cost them for their petty wants to be met. He was aware of strong killing intent being leaked into the room, but this time multiple sources. The people from the Aburame, Inuzuka and Hyuuga clans were staring daggers at the elders, Uchiha and Haruno clans. Their killing intent was subtle though, only years of experience gave the Third the skill to detect it, no; the sources that were threatening to suffocate the entire room were both coming from behind him. Kabuto and Jiraiya had been able to hold onto their anger, barely. Kabuto's hand was gripping his body length sword so hard his knuckles had turned white and Jiraiya's hair looked like he had been struck by a lightning jutsu, it bristled so fiercely. Growing tired of the bickering, he made his decision.
"ENOUGH!" he yelled for the second time that night. "Haruno, you need to realise that by having any action taken against the child, you would start a war with one of the most feared shinobi villages, a war we couldn't win with our current resources and military strength, as well as turning many strong shinobi against us!"
Haruno snorted. "Tsunade? She is one ninja, we have plenty others that can replace her and Kabuto hardly ever does missions or anything to support the village, he will be easily replaced."
"You think they can be easily replaced? You think that is all who would abandon us when you murder a baby? Tsunade is the grand-daughter of the First Hokage, one of the legendary Sannin as well as being acknowledged as the best kunoichi and healer in ALL nations. Kabuto doesn't do missions because he gathers intelligence. He has spy networks in EVERY shinobi village and EVERY royal court in EVERY nation! Deeper than Root has ever gone! Yes Danzo I know you haven't dissolved Root, but that is for a later topic. Kabuto destroyed three of the fox's nine tails tonight, which is a third of the fox's power, single-handed! Do you really want a man who can defeat a third of that kind of power against us?" His voice has risen and was now shouting at the woman, who had gone white. "But that's not all! Jiraiya is the boy's godfather! Do you really think he'd sit by and watch his own godson die? And he trained the Fourth! He would turn his back to you as well! Plus all the clans that are loyal to the Namikaze! There are too many to name, but just look across the table, you stupid woman. And tell me if those people wouldn't hesitate to stop you from destroying the only heir to one of the greatest clans in this village? Next time you need to put your opinion in, THINK BEFORE YOU OPEN YOUR MOUTH!"
He was on his feet and his chakra was flaring around his wildly. It was a powerful reminder as to why he was the leader of a shinobi village, a village of trained assassins and warriors. He was able to see all the consequences of his actions as well as the rewards. He thought about other's reactions to his declarations, the ones that would help as well as hinder him. It was why he even had a council, so the civilians felt like they had a say in political matters and he avoided a civil war. But in reality, it was a military hierarchy. The Hokage was at the top; strongest ninja in the village, then the jounin; elite ninja, the chuunin; average ninja, gennin; ninja in training and under all of that were the civilians and academy students. A gennin held more power than a civilian council member, but he didn't let them know that or they would revolt. Breathing deeply, he continued in a calmer tone.
"You all seem to forget that I AM Hokage, retired or not, I am the highest authority here until I choose a new successor or lay dead, and then and only then the council will choose. But until then I will have the final say in ALL matters." He glared at the room until he was sure they all got the message. Those loyal to the Namikaze were quick to submit, whilst the others took a little longer, Uchiha, Haruno and Durzo the main conspirators. "Now, I know what a threat the boy is to the village," Kabuto let out a strangled protest, Sarutobi held up a hand, "but I will not condemn an infant to death. It is not his fault for what he is or the conditions of his birth so he will not be punished for it. Instead he will leave with his mother to the Land Of Whirlpools. There he will grow-up with his mother and her clan, the Uzumakis'. When he comes of age and the demon hasn't taken over or been released in some shape or form, he will return to Leaf where he will take the gennin exam and become a ninja for his father's village. That way there is no risk to the village if the demon posses him, and we will have a powerful ally and bloodline if he returns. That is my decision." Saying no more Sarutobi stood and left the room swiftly, heading to the hospital to tell Kushina the news.
The room was deadly silent as both sides glared at each other. Neither was happy with the decision, but it was a compromise and they would have to be happy with it. Chairs scraped as the civilians stood to leave the room whilst the ninja left in more subtle ways. Kabuto cursed before vanishing completely, Jiraiya not far behind him. As the room slowly emptied, no one seemed to notice three lumps of shadow detach themselves from the corners of the room before disappearing as well.
The night air was cool and calm, but thick with anticipation and the electric feel of tension. Leaves rustled and crushed under the feet of the men shifting restlessly, hidden within the foliage by the side of the road. They were waiting, waiting, waiting, for a group of people to come along. Not waiting for just any people, just as they weren't just any men. No, they were waiting for the remainder of the Namikaze clan, for they were assassins. The elite of elite ninja, sent by their Lord Tsuchikage to eliminate their greatest enemy. They needed to strike now, when he was at his weakest. To be a successful assassin you had to attack the greatest opportunity, so they had waited and they had watched. Every war meeting and strategy planning conversation was recorded. The target was trailed and his strongest allies watched. Every patrol route taken note of as well as every shift change.
The leader of the assassin group heard the restlessness of his men and silenced them with a glare. They instantly stilled. He was not in charge of a highly skilled, deadly group of assassins for nothing. He would not hesitate to kill anything or anyone that threatened their mission objective. This mission was the most important mission to ever come out of Iwa. Upon hearing that the enemy of their beloved village, the merciless murderer, Minato Namikaze, was to have an heir, with the princess of Whirlpool country no less, they immediately took action. Any information about the soon to be family was a closely guarded secret in the Fire country and Iwa was hard pressed to discover any intelligence at all. But they discovered a surprisingly reliable source in the village. Namikaze could not be allowed to spawn any heirs that would eventually become a threat to their home. So the order went out, kill Namikaze and his heir and anyone who gets in the way. But things had changed drastically. The night where they were to carry out their mission, everything changed. The war changed it all.
Konoha was without a doubt the strongest of the five shinobi nations. After that night, that title would be in serious doubt. Namikaze was dead. Life sacrificed to protect son, wife and village against the mythical beast, Kyuubi. Kyuubi, according to legend, was the strongest of all the Biju. The battle had destroyed nearly all of Konoha's military strength, with the fox massacring all who stood before it, whether it be man, woman or child. Ninja or civilian. It did not discriminate, it slaughtered them all. If he wasn't who he was, the assassin leader would have been impressed at the loyalty and dedication Namikaze had shown toward his village and family. But he was, so he wasn't.
As well as all of the power the child inherited from his parents, he was also bestowed the power of the Kyuubi. Finding no way of defeating it, Namikaze had sealed it into his own child, sealing the beast's fate. Kyuubi would never wreck havoc upon any village ever again, as long as his child lived. But this action had major consequences. Konoha had signed their own death warrant. The sealing jutsu which the Fourth used also took his life as payment. The Fourth Hokage, The Yellow Flash of Konoha, was dead. The loss of their leader was a devastating blow, and now, in the middle of all the political turmoil, their one shining hope left was now the target of a team of assassins.
The leader's face was a mask of ice, but on the inside, he was uncomfortable. He was a killer, plain and simple. He had no qualms about his life. He was good at what he did and he enjoyed it, it was why he made such an effective assassin. The feel of his blade slicing into the flesh of the unsuspecting victim gave him a feeling of ecstasy that rivalled that of sex. But his original mission objective had changed. At first he was meant to kill Namikaze and his brat. Now with Namikaze dead, the Tsuchikage had come up with a plan. A plan that would make Iwa the epitome of the shinobi nations. Now the teams orders were to... not... kill the boy. They were to take him. Spirit him away to Iwa where he would be trained to hate his father and village and become one of Iwa's strongest weapons. Already the Tsuchikage had sent out others, searching for more like the boy. They already have two that were born in Iwa and there were rumours about Suna planning on making some sort of human weapon with the Kazekage's own son. Another squad was already heading out to see if the rumours were true and if they were, to relieve Suna of the child and take it back home to Iwa
The plan was a stroke of brilliance, it's just the leader didn't know how to... not kill. Usually he goes, someone dies, and he gets paid. Simple. Now he had to take the kid, as well as things the child might need for the trip back to Iwa. He was no nurse maid. Cursing Namikaze for dying and ruining his mission, he waited for dawn to break, signalling the commencement of his mission. And so he waited
Dawn approached, tinging the sky red as the first rays of the sun started to peak over the trees of the forest. Birds started to sing, welcoming the new day. Looking to the west, along the road they had staked out, he was able to make out the image of a carriage coming down the old road.
The carriage rolled silently along the road, its wheels had been greased and oiled repeatedly to ensure the most silent journey it could, for its cargo was the most precious and priceless thing in the village. There was an escort of guards from the various clans that supported the recently widowed Kushina Namikaze and her son. Many in the village wished for the boy to be executed, for he held a monster, but their efforts were stymied however when Princess Tsunade reminded them that Kushina was a princess of the Whirlpool country and her son a prince, any action against him would result in war between their countries, as well as the alienation of herself and Lord Jiraiya. Whirlpool was small, but its ninja were fierce and highly skilled, with many kekkai genkai that were greatly coveted by others. War would destroy the already weakened Konoha village.
The guards were alert and some even already supported wounds from previous attempts at ending the baby's life. The most opposed were the Uchihas, and their attacks had been the most ferocious. The Uchihas believed themselves to be the best of the best, and Namikaze and his heir were a threat to that title.
The assassin leader happened to know that the Uchiha main branch had just birthed a son around the same time that the Namikaze heir was born, and was being groomed into being the boy's rival. If their previous son, Itaichi, was anything to judge by, this child would be powerful indeed. It was curious however, Kushina and Mikoto, the clan head's wife, were the best of friends. He had happened to come across them meeting in secret and planning their boy's future together, apparently they were in the same gennin squad and had remained in contact with each other ever since. The leader was sure Fugaku, Mikoto's husband, knew nothing of this otherwise he would have demanded she end the contact or found some way to exploit it and use it to his advantage.
The carriage rolled silently passed him. Using a critical eye, he examined the guards posted to protect the small family. He counted twelve, from the way they were stationed, they must be subdivided into groups of three to more effectively cut down any attackers. As he continued to examine them he noticed that each team came from a different clan. He noticed the clan symbols for Inuzuka, Nara, Hyuuga and... Sarutobi? The ex-Hokage's own clan was protecting this child? This was an unforseen complication. The clans that were assembled were also going to be difficult. Hyuuga to see for any danger, Inuzuka to smell. Nara had a giant shadow around the carriage so if anyone got to close they were trapped. And Sarutobi had enormous fighting strength, being one of the very few clans blessed with wind chakra.
Knowing the Hyuuga would be able to spot their chakra systems, it was useless to continue hiding and suppressing their chakra. Raising his hand, his team moved in.
Kushina was exhausted. Mentally, physically and emotionally. The overwhelming joy of having a child with Minato that had turned into crushing despair as she watched her love sacrifice himself for their little boy had drained. Going to opposite extremes of her emotional range had drained her. The sound of happy gurgling turned her attention to the baby boy held close to her chest. Bright blue eyes shone back at her and a tuft of blonde hair poked out of the blanket that covered him. His chubby hands were playing with a strand of her fiery red hair; equally chubby cheeks were stretched into a large smile. Six scars decorated his cheeks, three for each one, in such a way they imitated whiskers. A reminder of what he held within him. Tears came unbidden to her eyes and she clutched her child close to her. Gods, how she missed Minato, He should be here with them! He should of thought of a different way to save the village! Now their son would grow up, only knowing his father through pictures and stories. Reaching into her shirt, she grasped the small golden locket that rested against her breast. Lifting it over her head, she opened it and started longingly at the picture inside; her heart broke a little more.
Reaching through her anguish, she placed the chain which held the locket around her son's neck. Distracted by the shiny new object, the child let go of his mother's hair and began to play with the new toy. Laughing through the tears that had begun to pool in her eyes, Kushina removed the precious object from the infant's mouth. Murmuring a jutsu under her breath, the locket glowed and disappeared. It used to be Minato's, but somehow she felt that it belonged to him now. Annoyed at losing the shiny locket, the boy pouted cutely before contenting himself by suckling on his thumb. Kushina caught herself smiling at the boy's cuteness, for some reason it was impossible to remain in her misery around her child. He had this spark in his eyes that made her smile.
Suddenly the boy stilled. Mouth, no longer sucking his thumb, opened and emitted an ear-piercing shriek. Kushina immediately looked for the source of the problem. It made itself known however, when a body crashed into the side of the carriage, knocking Kushina and the child to the floor. Clutching her baby to her chest she opened the opposite door and rushed outside, just in time to avoid the overturning of their transport. She took in the surroundings with wide eyes. Ninjas dressed completely in black with no hitai-ate to announce their allegiance had surrounded them and were attempting to kill her guards. Kunai and shuriken rained out of the forest whilst jutsus flew through the air in a mad storm of chakra. The Nara's had captured a group of them in their shadows and the Sarutobi's were destroying them ruthlessly. The Inuzuka's had disappeared into the forest and where the shuriken and kunai flew from, a body soon followed and the barrage would stop. Immediately when Kushina got to her feet, she was surrounded by the Hyuugas. Their Byakugan giving her the perfect defence from the onslaught of jutsu.
Frowning at her helplessness, she clutched her child with one hand and made a sign with her other. Yelling out a battle-cry that would frighten even the most fearless warriors, chains made completely out of chakra flew from her body and struck the nearest enemies. Focusing on her chakra control, she didn't notice one of the assassins take out the Hyuuga behind her and creep up upon her. She didn't notice until her baby was torn from her arms and a kunai firmly lodged into her back. Screaming in pain, she fell to her knees as her guards rushed to her aid at the sound of her voice. But it was too late. The assassin had already gone, leaving his comrades to die at the anger filled Leaf nin. Kushina just stared at her arms, where seconds ago held the most precious thing left to her in this world Her child, Minato's child, hope of the Leaf Village... gone. Throwing her head back she screamed into the night, her voice filled endless despair and agony.