Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto or Inuyasha
Chapter XV: On the run
Continuation from the last chapter
Naruto continued through the seemingly quiet tower. He had already managed to pick up two ninja tool pouches off the dead ninja he passed by, but he noticed that a few of them didn't have any pouches at all. He was still looking for the supply room and anything else that might be of use to him but it was difficult because he had only been inside the tower once before and that was three years ago when he was led through it to get to the prison.
Despite the fact that he was running out of time, he needed to find what he was after so he pressed on.
Mizuki stared at the pillows that had been placed under the bed sheet to make someone think that the Kyuubi brat was still in his bed. It was such a simple trick but apparently the previous shift had fallen for it. However this meant that he wouldn't be able to fulfill his goal, which was to kill the brat in front of the entire prison.
He merely came down to the solitary confinement area to see the Kyuubi and perhaps taunt it a little. He never expected to find the Kyuubi brat gone and now he didn't know what to do. His plan was ruined.
'No! Not again, I won't let him get away with it again!' he kept thinking over and over again. He grabbed his head and hair in frustration and a grit his teeth as his head began hurting.
Mizuki barely noticed when another guard came to the doorway of the room to find out what was going on and found him standing in an empty cell. Nor did he really notice that guard ran down the corridor, back up the steps, and hit the alarm.
The alarm sounded throughout the prison and Kenji only cursed as he was sure what it meant. All his planning had been for nothing and Hisao had not done his part but instead betrayed them to free himself.
'Damn it!' he cursed under his breath. He knew something was likely wrong several days ago when he spoke with Naruto and found out that Hisao had not kept to the plan. It looked even worse when he found out from Naruto that Hisao could use chakra, which the man had never mentioned to him or to anyone else. 'Bastard must have found out how to nullify the manacles they have us wear.' he surmised and tried not to let his anger get the better of him.
Given that Hisao was in the infirmary, he had no method of communicating with him and though he could have ratted the man out to the guards, there was still a chance that the plan would still happen.
However, his well thought out plan was supposed to commence hours ago. Hisao had betrayed him and now he would have to deal with a bunch of irate prisoners that had expected him to come through and a signal that never came. Probably even worse was the fact that the prisoners would also be angry at Naruto as well because, though the boy didn't know it, Naruto was deeply involved in the whole plan. He hadn't wanted to use the boy the way he had but it was necessary to obtain freedom.
He stood just outside the doors to his cells as the prison was now on lock-down and the guards would likely do a roll call and check to see if all the prisoners were still there after Hisao had managed to escape. The guards needed to make sure that the man wasn't still somewhere inside the prison and to see if no one else had escaped.
"Damn it Hisao! You greedy old bastard!' he once again silently cursed. If he managed to survive the backlash of this failure then he would still have to start planning all over again, however he knew that was impossible. 'You can't promise prisoners freedom and then fail to come through on that promise. They tend not be very forgiving.' though Kenji with dread as he moved to back of his cell and sat on his cot.
Naruto finally found the kitchen which was one of the rooms he was after. He had already filled several containers with water and gathered a good amount of food to take with him. Sealing them up, he put the scroll with the other ones that he had.
Exiting the kitchen, he began looking for any other supplies that he might need. It might be a long journey and anything he could get his hands on would be worth it. He only had a few pairs of prisoner clothes and they would likely make him stand out among anyone else.
Every ninja he had come across so far was dead, so he decided it was safe to go to the dormitory area where the guards slept. He might find more useful items there and hurried up a nearby staircase to where he thought that area would be.
Standing outside his cell while prisoner numbers were being called out and identities verified to determine the extent of the escape, Kenji could feel the multitude of eyes that were on him. He knew he would not survive the rest of the day. Most likely he would be attacked during the work shift after the lock-down was over.
He could feel dozens if not hundreds of angry gazes falling upon him. 'Shit!' he thought as he had nothing to persuade them or convince them not to kill him.
Several stories beneath Kenji at the bottom of the cell block, the shift warden of the prison was conversing with several of his guards. The remaining guards were all still searching the prison a second time and taking roll of all the inmates to determine how bad the situation was. One escaped prisoner was bad enough but apparently he had two.
An old man that was supposed to be slowly dying in the infirmary and the most infamous prisoner at the complex, the Kyuubi container. They weren't concerned with the old man, it was the Kyuubi they were worried about. In the three years time that the container had been at the prison, he went from the bottom to the top of the 'food chain'. Rumors ran wild among the different shifts and prisoners. Though they didn't want to admit it, all of them were afraid of the Kyuubi and knowing that he was loose was putting them in a panic. They had already tried to have the boy killed on their previous guard shift but it had failed miserably. The boy was barely injured and someone said the injuries were gone the next day.
To make things worse, they hadn't been able to reach the tower on the other side of the lava lake. No one from the tower was responding but they had other things to think about at the moment.
"Have you found anything yet?" the warden inquired of his second in command.
"No nothing. We're still checking the prisoners to figure out if anymore are missing and we still haven't found any trace of the Kyuubi or the old man. And the tower still isn't responding." responded the guard in a panic.
'Shit.' the warden thought as they had only been to the tower less than an hour ago when they changed shifts and now his head was filling with terrible scenarios. Though he didn't want to jeopardize his career, he would have to inform the Hokage that the container went missing on his shift.
"Send word to Konoha with one of the hawks. Tell them everything we know so far and ask for assistance." he commanded to one of the guards standing by him.
"We need to get as much information as we can. Who was the one that found the container missing?" he inquired of the remaining two guards.
"It was Mizuki." said one man and he pointed to the white haired man that just exited from the stairwell of the Dungeon.
'Has he been down in solitary the whole time?' wondered the warden as he had given orders that every ninja was to search the prison or take role. Insubordination was not something that he tolerated.
"Chunin Mizuki, where the hell have you been! This isn't a drill and you're supposed to be searching the prison. Why aren't you where you're supposed to be!" he yelled at the man.
"Not here." was Mizuki's slightly muffled response and he didn't make any eye contact with the warden.
"What did you say!" responded the warden and by this time most people, guards and prisoners, were watching what was unfolding down on the bottom floor.
"He's not here. I have to kill him." was Mizuki's response.
"The hell are you..." but the warden's voice was cut off and replaced by a gurgling sound as Mizuki's kunai buried into the man's throat.
"HE'S NOT HERE!" yelled Mizuki as he removed the kunai from his fellow ninja's throat.
Mizuki looked up at the other two guards and they could see the madness in his dark eyes. The remaining guards were also stunned and there was a pause as they looked down at what was happening. The prisoners however took this as the 'sign' that they had been waiting for and were promised, so they acted. Several guards were attacked from behind by the prisoners and a riot ensued among the prison population.
'This wasn't how it was supposed to happen but it's happening regardless. At least I won't be killed for not coming through.' thought Kenji as he ran with his most trusted group of fellow inmates to the higher floors of the prison. They needed to prevent any communications from being sent to Konoha or the tower.
After that he would try and organize the riot into an actual prison escape and not the frenzy it currently was. There was only one problem that he had though and that was the fact that he was missing one key part of his original plan and that could be their undoing.
Naruto found the dormitory and acquired some medical supplies and other items. He picked the pockets of the dead ninja to get as much money as he could and took fresh clothing from several lockers in the facility. Despite the clothes being too big for him, he could likely cut them down a little and use a belt or something so they would fit better. Coming out of the dormitories and heading down the stairs, he stopped as something caught his attention.
Though the facility was dead quiet before now, he finally heard a noise.
He could hear yelling and shouts but they seemed faint. The voice did sound rather frantic and he had trouble making out what they were saying but it sounded like 'Help'.
Hurrying as fast as he could, the chunin desperately wrote down on the paper what was happening. The noise coming from below was getting louder and he could hear a few of his fellow guards screaming into the radio in the communications room. It unfortunately didn't have anywhere near the range needed to reach Konoha and could only reach the tower, which apparently still wasn't responding to their messages or signals.
Rolling up the little tube, he ran up the stairs to the topmost floor of the prison. This was where the birds were kept which were the most direct method of communicating with Konoha.
He could hear noise of a riot happening downstairs and though he was supposed to send a message concerning the escape of two prisoners, including the Kyuubi container, he had instead written down a plea for help to the Hokage. Even if the rioting was taken care of by the guards in the prison, the tower was still silent.
Running up the stairs, he entered the aviary and cursed the fact that it didn't have a door, just an open stair case. Not having any jutsu to block the stairs with, he worked as fast as he could to get the message into the tube. As he worked and got the bird, the noise was getting louder and he heard shouts from the floor below him.
He pulled the bird out of the cage and it struggled with him as he attempted to secure the message tube to its leg. His hands were shaking horribly that it made things increasingly difficult as he fumbled with the tube. He glanced to his right and saw shadows coming up the stairs. The message was only partially attached but he needed to get the bird out.
The chunin went for the window as prisoners came up the stairs and got the bird out before he was knocked out from behind.
Kenji cursed as he watched the bird fly over the lake of lava. He had been too late to stop it and now in a matter of hours the Hokage would know about what was happening and send a contingent of ninja after them. He ran a hand through his brown hair as he tried to think what he should do next. The prison break was progressing, but it was nothing like he had originally planned.
He had come up with his plan right when he first saw Naruto sneaking out of his cell at night and heading to the confiscation room. He talked it over in the mine pit with the people he could trust and they were all for it.
The strength of the prison was probably the cell block. Prisoners were more likely to rat out a prisoner should they try to do something then the guards were to actually catch that prisoner up to something. Everyone looked out for themselves and would do whatever it took to gain an advantage over someone else. When he first met Uzumaki Naruto, he instantly realized that the boy was nothing like what the rest of the prison believed he was. Everyone in the cell block thought Naruto was a cold blooded killer which was why he was the only prisoner ever placed exclusively in solitary. Too crazy to be put in normal population.
This was however quite the opposite. Naruto was really a boy put in jail, possibly framed for murder, that was given special treatment on the orders of the Hokage. The prison population didn't know this though. Wild rumors spread about how the boy was given special privileges because the guards were afraid of him, because he had special connections on the outside, and because no one was willing to contradict him.
This became especially evident after the disappearance of an inmate named Arata. There was a group of people out to kill the Kyuubi container, but no one was more outspoken about it than Arata. The man had even double crossed two other inmates so he alone could finish the brat. With enough people bribed, Arata was going to kill Naruto and he had warned the boy about it.
But then the night Arata was supposed to kill the boy, he just vanished. The guards said it was suicide but not a single prisoner in the cell block bought that story. Even Kenji wasn't really sure what had happened. After that, people got scared. They thought that Naruto had 'ears' in the cell block and that people were working for him. This became evident when they actually saw Naruto and the Stupid Brothers started acting like the boy's personal bodyguards.
There was a long break between attempts to kill Naruto as several inmates rethought their plans and tried to determine whether or not it was worth the risk of disappearing. While the disappearance frightened many, he saw it as an opportunity. Using his trusted friends, he started spreading rumors about Naruto. In less than a month, Naruto was viewed as being the most powerful person in the prison and Kenji became just one of the many people 'working' for Naruto.
With Naruto as their cover, Kenji began recruiting more people to him that would eventually help with his plan to escape. Kenji slowly gained Naruto's trust and Naruto had no idea how much power or influence he really had in the prison. Through Naruto they were able to control the trade of nearly every contraband that was in the prison. Only a select few knew the truth about Naruto and none of them were going to talk about it as they had much more to gain by keeping quiet and going on with the little charade.
Naruto rarely ever spoke when he was outside of his cell and always had a neutral expression. These only served to keep the rumors going as Naruto never once contradicted anything or spoke out. No one ever blocked Naruto's path and he never made eye contact with anyone or gave any indication that he was just a normal kid that was put in prison.
This however came with a price as eventually someone would try to kill Naruto and takeover as the most powerful person of the prison. He had tried to stop the attack but he didn't know when it would happen, however, Naruto survived and not only survived but killed his attacker without getting a single scratch. It took a little while but several more attacks followed. Every time Naruto was the victor. Even he was amazed by this and it only lent to the rumors and mystery that was Uzumaki Naruto, the Kyuubi container. It greatly helped that the boy started getting more feral looking and Kenji was very supportive of Naruto's changes, even if the boy had no control over them. Few people in the entire prison wanted to mess with Naruto and the boy had developed many nicknames among the prison population.
His plan began building after that and while his friends really went down to solitary confinement to get stuff from the confiscation room, the rest of the prison was led to believe that they were actually having meetings down in the Dungeon. Naruto was conversing with his advisers and top members of his 'organization' in the prison. Overtime, he was able to convince Naruto to give him and some of his compatriots a few weapons from the room. He was also able to recruit Hisao, who was a very talented ninja in his day and suffered from a, ailment that could easily be aggravated and used to their advantage. Hisao had been doing that for quite some time to land himself in the infirmary and stay out of work in the mine.
Knowing the schedule of the guard shift change, he had Hisao's 'condition' take a turn for the worst which put the man in the infirmary for quite some time. With Hisao in position, he could further his plans for getting out of the prison.
Being in the upper areas, there was no one to rat Hisao out and all they needed was to get the man a weapon and then he could get downstairs during the night after 'securing' some keys and start releasing the prisoners. Then they would takeover the prison before the new shift came and pose as the old shift. The bridge would be let down to allow the new shift to enter. There would be an ambush waiting and the 'old shift' would head to the tower where they would proceed to take over the tower.
With both elements taken over, they could keep the drawbridge down and escape the prison.
However, this was not what happened. After meeting with Naruto, Hisao had not kept with the plan. The man was supposed to convince Naruto that he was dying, in pain, and wanted to end his life. He had been worried that Naruto might not make it up to the infirmary but if anyone had a chance to get to the upper levels undetected, it was definitely the boy. Even if Naruto was caught, he wouldn't be severely punished unlike the rest of the prisoners.
Naruto would meet with Hisao and the man would convince the boy to come back with a weapon so he could end his pain and suffering. This did not happen however and Hisao did not ask Naruto for a weapon. Instead he did nothing.
Now he knew why that was. Hisao had likely found the means to escape the prison on his own, so he did.
Luck was on his side though and now they were free but still inside the prison. Looking through the windows at the tower across the lava gap, he couldn't see much but it was obvious that the bridge was still up. Without someone lowering the bridge, they would not be going anywhere and Konoha would get there in a matter of hours to find them still stuck in the prison.
He was hopeful that perhaps Hisao had managed to get across or that perhaps the drawbridge would be let down if they could alert the tower that they needed help, otherwise he would be stuck inside a prison of escapees that hadn't actually escaped or left the prison. The situation would only get worse as Konoha would eventually come and they would probably all be killed unless they had hostages. Even then it would be a negotiation and it was obvious that the ANBU would kill them in the night or they would be starved into submission.
Picking up a nearby pair of binoculars, Kenji peek out of the window and began looking out at the tower. He tried to keep himself from being spotted by anyone that might be looking at him from the tower.
Kenji expected to see Konoha shinobi manning the tower and trying to figure out what was happening in the prison but instead he didn't see anybody. It was if the tower was empty. He continued to pan over the building with the binoculars until he saw movement coming from the control room of the tower. Kenji starred at the figure through the openings of the control room and his mouth dropped open as his eyes widened.
'No it can't be...' he thought and blinked his eyes to try and make sure he wasn't seeing things, ' That isn't possible...how the hell did he get over there?!'
Naruto pushed gently on the door and it slowly creaked open. He looked around the room but the noise had stopped just before he got to the door. Now the room was completely silent. Even the body on the floor was silent and he knew from the blood that the man had not been dead very long. 'Probably as long as the others.' he guessed and continued looking around the room.
'Where did the noises come from?' he wondered and proceeded to enter the room and further examine everything.
He looked over most of the room until he found a pair of headphones. He walked over to them and put them on. There was nothing but static though so he pulled them off and put them back. Glancing at the windows in the room he noted for the first time that he could see the prison and realized that people in the prison might be able to see him as well.
Trying his best to move quickly and back to the door he came from, he neglected to pay attention to the blood pool on the floor from the dead ninja.
His foot slipped on the pool and he lost his balance. His arm instinctively shot out to grab hold of something and keep him from falling. He managed to grab something and stop his fall enough that he didn't end up with his back flat on the rock floor.
However he realized a second later that perhaps falling would have been a much better option. His ears instantly heard a motor coming to life and the grinding of gears. He recognized the sound as he had only heard it a short while ago. They were the noises associated with the lowering and raising of the drawbridge.
Looking to the object he grabbed, he paled slightly as he noted that it was a lever. The drawbridge connected to the tower continued to lower and he was frozen in place as he realized his situation.
'Even if I put the lever back to its original position, someone in the prison must have noticed the drawbridge on this side coming down.' he thought and tried to think of what he should do.
'Run away.' was the only thought that came to mind and he dashed out of the control room and found his way to the nearest window to leave the tower. He needed to put as much distance between himself and the prison. In his mind, the ninja of the prison would know that something was up, or already knew as they had discovered him missing, and would soon come after him.
He had no idea where he would go but would just run as fast as he could for as long as he could.
"Why is the tower drawbridge coming down?" asked one of the prisoners standing near Kenji as they looked at the lowering structure on the others side of the gap.
"Are the ninja in the tower coming here?" inquired another with some urgency in his voice.
"No..." replied Kenji and he watched as the blonde haired boy ran out of the control room after giving him exactly what he had needed, "While you idiots were running a muck in the cell block, the Boss managed to get to the tower and lower the gate." he said and tried to keep the disbelief out of his voice as he spoke to other prisoners that were not in his trusted circle.
The men stood still and silent in some disbelief as well. They had no idea that the Kyuubi container had managed to escape and was helping them to escape as well.
"DON'T JUST STAND THERE!" Kenji yelled to the other prisoners, "GET THAT DAMN BRIDGE LOWERED!" he ordered and the others started pushing to get through the door and to the bridge controls so they could leave.
While Kenji continued to look through the binoculars as he watched Naruto sneak out of the tower and run away as fast as he could, one of comrades came up to him and asked, "Do you think he knew?"
Kenji watched as Naruto ran over a hill and out of sight before he responded, "I have no idea." He hadn't seen Naruto stumble on the blood, only the boy forcing the lever and running away. Truthfully he couldn't explain how Naruto had managed to get to the tower or where Hisao had got to.
"What do we do now?" asked another of his group and Kenji responded, "We get the hell out of here as fast as we can! That hawk will make it to Konoha in an hour or two and we need to be as far away from the prison as possible. We need to make sure the others don't follow us and I know the best direction to head in." he ordered and the other men with him went back down the stairs to get to across the lower bridge.
So many things went through Kenji's mind at that moment. He wanted to wring Hisao's neck and he wanted to thank Naruto for helping him once again. One day he hoped he could return the favors. He had hoped to take Naruto with him, but it appeared that the boy had plains of his own.
'Good luck, my friend.' he said before putting down the binoculars and going to the lower levels of the prison.
Naruto lept from the roof and landed on the hard dark ground. He quickly recovered and ran as fast as he could. Someone was bound to know something was wrong in the tower and that he had escaped.
Jumping from rock to rock, he quickly put as much distance between him and the prison. It was at this point that he realized he should have put the tower drawbridge back up. If he had then no one from the prison could come after him. Unfortunately there was no turning back now. He had to get out of Fire Country and so he headed north or what he thought was north. With no sun and no compass it was difficult to tell what direction he was headed in.
Escaping and keeping from being captured was his only priority. If he could get across the border into another country then he may have a chance. It was possible that Konoha did have agreements with some countries to allow Konoha ninja to enter their borders but not every country would allow this. He had no idea which countries those were but he still might be able to evade capture regardless of where he went. The best thing to do then was to keep running until he couldn't run anymore. Then he would rest and continue running.
A head of white hair peeked over the top of the jagged rocks. Hisao's brown eyes watched the running boy head away from the prison.
He had managed to escape and then killed everyone in the tower. He didn't have to kill them all but he needed weapons and it was best to not leave any witnesses. Instead of helping his fellow prisoners like he was supposed to, he left them in the prison. With no one in the tower to let the drawbridge down then no one would be coming after him until a message made it to Konoha and by that time he would be long gone and the priority would be to make sure the prison was secure before coming after him.
However, as he was running away from the prison he realized something. The boy he had passed on the underside of the bridge was a jinchuuriki and the container of the Kyuubi no less. He had no money to his name and that container was worth a small fortune to any of the larger ninja villages. Konoha would pay for the boys return but another country would be willing to pay even more to add a jinchuuriki to their ranks.
He therefore turned around and ran back to the tower. He couldn't let an opportunity like that pass and he could make more than enough selling the brat to retire on.
Now he just needed to follow and capture the boy, then make his way to whatever village might pay the highest price. He smiled as he jumped down from his hiding place and ran after the jinchuuriki.
The ninja monitoring the aviary looked up from his magazine as he heard an incoming messenger bird. The hawk landed on one of the tables and he got up to check its leg for the message.
As he set his magazine down and made his way to the hawk, he wondered what the message might be. It was his job to care for the birds, decode any message that came in, and send out any message that came to him in the aviary.
All in all it was rather boring. Konoha didn't send that many messages during peaceful times. There were updates and reports from a few ninjas that were stationed throughout the country but they only received a scant few messages from other countries. This however was completely different when the chunin exams were being held in Konoha but that wasn't for many months.
Bending down he examined the birds leg but was surprised to find nothing. There was no message and it looked like the fasteners for the message tube had not been properly attached for delivery. He sighed as he pulled out his clipboard. Forgetting to secure the message was not something that could be tolerated as messages could be intercepted if they were dropped or information could be lost and never received. Information was important and whoever had made this mistake would be getting one of the crappy assignments for the next six months.
Looking at the numbered tag on the birds leg, he then found the correct number on the sheet that was on the clipboard to determine where the bird had come from.
'Konoha Strict Correctional Facility.' he read and his eyes widened slightly. Glancing at the bird he noticed for the first time that many of its feathers seemed a little loose and it looked like it hadn't been handled properly.
The fact that the message had been lost and was not properly attached as well as the bird looking rather disheveled made him question if something was wrong at the prison. Picking up the bird, he went to the nearby Hokage tower to make a report to the Sandaime.
One of worst parts of his job as Hokage was waiting. It didn't involve any work but it was one of the most stressful things he sometimes did. Waiting for updates on a situation, waiting to hear back about life or death situations, or waiting to receive a report listing casualties and survivors. Keeping busy wasn't easy in these kinds of situation and trying to get his mind off such situations was never that simple. It took years for him to figure out that the best thing he could do was to try and remain as calm as possible and sooth his nerves while smoking his pipe.
Currently he was waiting to hear back from the ANBU squad that had been routed to the prison. A bird had been sent to their patrol area to have them check in at the prison, as they were the closest group. Glancing at the clock on the wall, he knew based up their distance from the prison that they should be arriving soon. The news he received once they arrived could be anything. It could have been a simple mistake by one of his chunin or it could be so much worse.
This was just another situation where he would just have to wait for news.
Kakashi moved through the forest with the three members of his ANBU squad behind him as well as the members of the Konoha prison guard shift that had been replaced just a couple of hours beforehand. His ANBU group had run into the guards on their way to the prison and questioned them. The guards reported nothing was amiss when they left the prison and the shift change had gone by smoothly. The ANBU asked that they follow them back to the prison just in case something did happen.
Kakashi set a fast past and the large group raced to get to the prison as fast as possible. He had trouble believing that it had been three years since he had last seen Naruto. It had been quite a shock when Naruto had been arrested for murder and he had just kept to his work with ANBU and visits to the memorial stone. He hadn't forgotten about Naruto but had put off visiting the boy, despite promising to do so.
Itachi was a missing-nin and had left the village after killing nearly the entire Uchiha Clan while Gai had taken to encouraging a young student at the academy that couldn't use jutsu. He also heard that the Hokage had yet to ever visit the boy in the prison. So it was evident that he certainly wasn't the only one that had let the boy down.
The terrain had already changed from trees and grass to rock and open areas, so he could tell that they were getting near the prison. He just hoped nothing had happened and that Naruto was still safe.
The prison came into view almost an hour later and the sight confirmed that the worst had probably happen. The drawbridge was always kept up and yet it was now down. No one also appeared to be using it.
The group ran to the tower and entered through the opened doors that were left ajar. The tower was empty of any living person and only filled with the dead bodies of the guards that were supposed to be protecting it. The tower was quickly searched and no one was found alive. Most of the group was sent to the prison to find out what happened while a few of the prison guards stayed behind to man the tower. Kakashi briefly stayed behind as there was something he needed to do first.
Putting his hand to the ground, Kakashi summoned all of his ninken to assist him and to help track down missing prisoners. The smoke cleared from the summoning and the littlest dog was the first to speak.
"What is it, Kakashi?" asked the dog with a even expression and Kakashi eye-smiled at the little pug.
"I need all of you except Pakkun and Bisuke to tell me about the scents in the area and which directions they went in." Kakashi stated and watched all but two of his dogs start sniffing the area.
"I need you two to come with me." Kakashi said and made his way to the drawbridge. It was obvious from first glance that there had been a prison break but he now needed to figure out the extent of the damage.
For the first time in over three years he went over the drawbridge to the prison. His sensitive nose was greeted by the smell of sweat and blood. As soon as he entered the prison, he found one member of his ANBU waiting to report.
"We didn't find any prisoners left except the few that were killed in the fighting. Most of the guards are dead but a few survived and Cat is dealing with them now." reported the tiger masked ANBU and Kakashi nodded before replying, "Send a message to Konoha and the Hokage about the prison break using Bisuke."
The ANBU nodded before removing the proper materials and began writing a message he would then attach to the dog. The dog could travel to the Hokage far faster than any other means they had. While the ANBU worked Kakashi focused back on his task at a hand. He walked down the stairs in the cell block and straight for the staircase that would take him to where his real mission was. Pakkun knew to follow him and actively sniffed the area.
Reaching the end of the cell-block he descended the stairs to the lowest level. He quickly reached the bottom of the solitary confinement stairs and looked down the long hallway to the cell at the end. The door was open and he feared the worst. As he walked the long hallway he thought he might find a body or blood and wondered what had happened to Uzumaki Naruto during the prison break.
He finally came to the door and pulled it completely open.
The room was similar to how he remembered it but the bookcases were all empty. The bed had a pillow under the covers as if a person was trying to fake being under them and the only thing standing out in the room was that one of the pillows had fallen to the floor. There was no damage to any part of the room and no signs of any struggle. He walked over to the desk and found it empty. No paper, no pencils, and no items of any kind were in the drawers.
This was definitely not how he expected to find the room.
No scenario that he came up with could properly explain the room he found without implicating Naruto as having prior knowledge of the prison break. 'Who else would take the time to back everything up and get ready to leave, than someone who had the time to properly plan and packup?' were his thoughts on the oddities he found.
Given the chance, a prisoner would just leave and only take what was most important, if they even had any items of importance. Everything had been cleared out of the room. Even while rushing, it would have taken a long time to clear out the room and there was no way the boy could have carried everything with him unless he had help.
Examining the lock on the door, he found numerous scratches indicating that it had been picked many times. Most of the picking looked very amateurish and it seemed that Naruto had been able to pick the lock on his door in order to escape or had been actively picking the lock on his door in preparation for escaping or leaving during the night.
The entire time Kakashi was looking through the room, Pakkun was picking up the scent of the person that lived in the room. They smelled of metal, sweat, and fox. He had never encountered anyone that smelled of fox and that wasn't an actual fox, which he found strange. Pakkun quickly followed the scent and found that it was in the hallway and concentrated in one of the solitary confinement cells.
Pakkun told Kakashi of this and the dog masked ninja could only surmise that Naruto had spent time in solitary confinement though he wasn't sure why. Naruto's room was solitary confinement, was there any reason to go one step further and put him in a room down the hall?
Pakkun followed the scent to a door on the opposite side of the hallway that had the words 'CONFISCATION' written on it. Kakashi moved to the door and opened it to find a room with lots of empty shelves. In fact the entire room was empty.
'So Naruto left his room and then went to the confiscation room.' Kakashi thought as events played in his mind. 'But what did he need from the room and where did he go from there?' he questioned and Pakkun was already following the boy's scent back up the stairs.
Pakkun sniffed through the entryway into the yard and then stopped as he looked up to the building.
"He went this way." Pakkun said and jumped onto the roof of the prison. Kakashi followed and he picked up Pakkun as they went under the overhang and Kakashi stuck to the surface of the wall nearly twenty feet above the lava. They moved to the front of the building and found a kunai and with blanket attached to it. Pakkun confirmed that the person in the room had been there and then they both went across the top of the bridge to find the scent on the other side.
"What are you thinking Kakashi?" Pakkun asked as they hurried across the drawbridge.
"If he was taken then he wouldn't have been able to pack up his books and scrolls. With everything else we've found, it points to him escaping on his own but I don't know how he managed to pull it off. Everyone else seems to have escaped in a much different manner. He's only eight and his chakra was sealed." noted Kakashi but Pakkun corrected him, "Not completely."
Kakashi stopped in his tracks and looked at his ninken while he thought about what the pug had just said. 'His chakra wasn't completely sealed?!' he realized and wondered how it had happened. The Sandaime was supposed to have sealed the boy himself and with a second seal for contingency.
"Where did he go from here?" questioned Kakashi and Pakkun took him on a winding path that went throughout the entire tower.
The entire time Kakashi was thinking that it didn't make sense as he couldn't fathom how Naruto could have managed to move through the entire facility while the guards were there. The kunai setup at the prison implied that Naruto had waited for the drawbridge to come down but the movement through the tower suggested that the people inside were already dead. There was no way a eight year old with mostly sealed chakra could have killed a tower full of trained ninja.
Naruto escaping after the prisoners had escaped also didn't make sense as he would have just used the bridge and not gone through the yard and around the whole prison. Pakkun said that the scent traveled underneath the bridge and the kunai setup was made to wait for the bridge to come down. He could only conclude that Naruto had escaped during the guard shift change and before the other prisoners escaped but that didn't explain the dead bodies in the tower.
"Did anyone else come through this way?" asked Kakashi as he wanted to know how many people had been inside the tower.
"Too many to count." responded Pakkun.
'Damn it! Just what the hell happened here?' he wondered as things just weren't adding up. It was hard to fathom that the boy could have escaped in the first place but the the tower just confused him. 'Was Naruto's escape a separate event or was there more to it? Who killed the ninja in the tower and why did Naruto travel through the entire tower instead of just escaping?'
While Kakashi was going over the many questions he had, they eventually came to the control room for the tower. They walked in and Kakashi waited for Pakkun to turn around and walk out but the small dog went over to the lever for the drawbridge and Kakashi noticed the smear in the blood pool on the floor.
"This lever," Pakkun said and continued to sniff before he continued, "The boy was the last one to touch it." Kakashi's eye widened as heard the information.
'Naruto let down the drawbridge?!' he thought and although he didn't want to believe it, he knew Pakkun's nose did not lie. Naruto must have touched the lever and let down the tower drawbridge. He would have to report this to the Hokage and he looked to Pakkun who knew the look and continued searching.
The new trail led straight out of the tower and on a path across the landscape. Kakashi stood and looked out over the jagged surface. He saw no trail or indication of anyone in the distance.
"Did he leave alone?" He asked Pakkun and he wasn't sure he wanted to know the answer.
"No, two scents go with him. One of them was present throughout the tower." Pakkun answered and Kakashi didn't know what to make of the information.
He turned around to find his other ninken waiting and wanted to know what they found, "Tell me about the scents in the area."
One of his larger ninken, Bull, answered in a deep voice, "Many scents all head away from the tower in different directions. Many of the prisoners fled in small sized groups and one group is much larger then the others, but quite a few fled separately. I don't detect any scents going to the tower save for the new Konoha ninja to man the prison."
Kakashi thought about the situation as his remaining ANBU squad members arrived. He thought perhaps the tower had been attacked from the outside but this was no longer the case. He could not use up anymore time trying to find out what happened so he began giving out orders.
"Split up into groups with the ninja that were heading back to the village. We need to either recapture or deal with every prisoner we can. Did you send a message to the Hokage?" he asked his one of ANBU and the man nodded. "Good then your priority is the prisoners. I'll be going after the primary objective by myself." he stated and the ANBU and ninken quickly split up, going to gather the remaining ninja into groups in order to track down prisoners.
Kakashi looked back at the path that Naruto had apparently taken and wondered just what had really happened. There were so many unanswered questions and he had no idea if Naruto was alone, traveling with two people that followed him, being tracked, or perhaps being taken somewhere.
Regardless of the lack of information, he had to capture the Jinchuuriki before he left Fire Country.
AN: If you have any suggestions for Naruto's nicknames that he received while in prison, I'd like to hear them as I haven't really been able to come up with anything unique. Please try to make them more interesting than just 'Kyuubi'. I might end up using them later on.