Do I Have A Purpose Anymore?
The Village Hidden in the Leaves went into an uproar upon Naruto's return to it. The majority of villagers rejoiced in celebration and cheered loudly, as the lone living legacy of their beloved Yondaime had returned to them. One would of have thought that this recognition that Naruto had fought his entire life to achieve from them would have brought a smile to his face. However, all Naruto could do was scowl, as many of people now cheering for him he recognized as the same people who also tormented and abused him growing up. It disgusted Naruto that the very same people in the village, who used to shun him or do worse, now praised him out simply because of his heritage.
'Damn hypocrites!' Naruto thought bitterly to himself, as he made his way to the Hokage's office.
When they arrived at the office, Tsunade of course wanted a full report of what had happened. However, everyone thought it best to first inform the blonde Hokage of their…...casualties.
Upon learning of Sakura's death, Tsunade openly broke down and wept. Sakura was more than just an apprentice to Tsunade; she was like a surrogate daughter to the blonde Sannin. Seeing as Tsunade was in no emotional state to continue, Naruto promised he would answer any and all of her questions when the woman was ready. Tsunade mourned the loss of Sakura for several days and barely mustered the strength to not breakdown during her funeral service. However, the blonde Hokage was not the only one who was in pain and mourning over the loss of a loved one.
Tsume and Hana Inuzuka, along with the entire clan were also grieving the passing of their son, brother, and future leader of the clan. Tsume was nearly inconsolable upon learning of her only son's death at the hands of Madara Uchiha. Many in the clan feared she would never overcome her agony and grief over Kiba's passing. It was only when Kiba's comrades, who had spent their final days with him came to pay their respects to the woman that she learned he had died a noble death.
Kakashi as the highest ranking Leaf shinobi present during Kiba's death conveyed to the grieving mother that Kiba, as befitting an Inuzuka warrior had a proud shinobi's death in battle,. He explained that they were engaged in battle against Madara Uchiha and his Akatsuki forces in an attempt to free the Land of Spring from their tyranny. During the fight, Madara created a new Shinju tree and was going to use it to destroy the world as revenge for his loss in the Fourth Great Shinobi war.
Tsume's eyes widened in shock upon hearing this, as she did not realize until now how high the stakes of the battle Kiba fought in had been. Kakashi went on to explain that all of them including her son, fought against the elder Uchiha with everything they had to defeat him. In the end, they were able to kill him, but at the heavy cost of both Kiba and Sakura losing their lives in the final battle. Tsume looked around to see the sad and grieving faces of Kiba's friends and comrades, who seemed to silently verify what Kakashi had just told her. However, there was one person who was missing from the group…...Hinata.
When asked why Hinata wasn't present, Kurenai explained that the young Hyuga felt Tsume would not wish to see her and that she understood why. Hinata did not wish to cause any anger or pain with her presence and was waiting outside the Inuzuka compound. Tsume immediately got up and marched out of the room, quickly followed by Kakashi and the others. The Inuzuka clan leader made her way out of the main gate of the compound and spied Hinata sitting on bench. Walking up to the young Hyuga girl, she called out to her.
Hinata was startled when she heard Tsume call out her name and immediately dropped to her knees and bowed in guilt and shame, while also begging tearfully for the woman's forgiveness. Tsume saw this rushed over to Hinata to lift the young girl off the ground and embraced her. The Inuzuka clan leader through her own tears comforted Hinata and told her she had nothing to be forgiven for. That if anyone should be begging for forgiveness it was herself to Hinata.
Tsume with tears streaming down her face apologized profusely to Hinata for her part in forcing the young girl into a marriage with her son. It was no excuse, but she allowed the love she felt for Kiba and in wanting to see him happy blind her to what she was doing Hinata. Tsume let go of Hinata and dropped to her own knees and begged for Hinata's forgiveness not only for forcing upon her a marriage to her son who she knew did not love Kiba the way he loved her. But by doing so had kept Hinata from the one she truly did love in Naruto. Tsume turned on her knees, lowering her body towards Naruto and bowed to him in a show of deference and submission, as she apologized repentantly.
"Naruto I'm truly sorry for what I did to you. I know the part I played in taking Hinata away hurt you terribly and I hate myself for that. You were a caring and loyal friend to my son growing up and I spit upon that friendship and betrayed you most heinously. I let the love I held for my son blind me to the pain I was helping to cause to other people, simply because I wanted to see Kiba-kun happy. I've no right to ask for your forgiveness, because truthfully I don't deserve it. But if you could find it in your heart one day not to hate this stupid foolish old woman for what I did, I would thank Kami for the benevolence you would be granting me on that day, should it ever come."
For his part, Naruto still felt some anger and part of him did not want to forgive Tsume for what she had helped do to both himself and Hinata in the past. However, seeing the broken woman and hearing her anguish -filled voice speak with remorse and regret as to why she did it and apologizing for it. Naruto realized he would never gain any satisfaction by holding onto his anger and resentment against her. The pain and the grief Tsume was now living with and knowing that her actions in the past played a part in the death of her son would haunt the Inuzuka matriarch until her dying day. Taking pity on Tsume, Naruto nodded his head to the grief-stricken woman in a show of kindness and understanding. Hinata felt the same as Naruto and lifted Tsume from the ground and both women hugged one another tightly in comfort and love.
When they broke apart and both Hinata and Tsume wiped their tears from their eyes, the Inuzuka matriarch called out for Akamaru to come to them. A minute later, the large white canine came bounding out of the gate to towards them. The Inuzuka woman patted Akamaru's head, before she turned her attention back to Hinata. She explained that with Kiba's passing, the animal familiar had lost his partner and friend and Tsume knew how much the dog cared for Hinata. So she could think of no one better now for Akamaru to be a friend and protector to than Hinata.
Hinata was taken aback by this and at first refused the offering Tsume was bestowing to her, as she felt she was undeserving of it considering what had happened between herself and Kiba. This caused Akamaru to whimper and whine sadly causing Hinata to kneel down and ask Akamaru if this was what he wanted. A playful happy lick to her face and a bark from the canine answered the Hyuga woman's question. Rising up to her feet, Hinata bowed respectfully to Tsume and accepted the woman's gift, although she still believed she wasn't worthy of it.
The Inuzuka woman merely declared that while Hinata never loved Kiba the way she had hoped one day that she would. She knew that Hinata did love her son as a close friend and comrade and he was very lucky to have been blessed with her in his life. Hinata thanked Tsume for her kind words, before she and Akamaru along with everyone else bid their condolences and farewells to the Inuzuka clan head.
The next day, Tsume sought out the three civilian women Kiba had impregnated the past three years and offered them and their children to be indoctrinated and become official members of the Inuzuka clan. Tsume had decided from her conversation with Tsunade months ago, that indeed the Hokage was correct. The Inuzuka clan tradition mandating that any heir to the clan leadership must come from a union of two shinobi clans was an archaic law and served no purpose anymore. And Tsume had decided it was wrong for such a tradition to cause these three civilian girls to be forced to raise their children, her grandchildren alone and without any help or recognition from the Inuzuka clan. All three women readily agreed and Tsume was soon blessed with two granddaughters and one grandson, who very much reminded her of Kiba at the same age and their presence in her life helped the Inuzuka leader to overcome her grief and mourning at the death of her only son in the coming years.
A couple of weeks after the memorials of Sakura and Kiba, Tsunade was still grieving for the loss of her apprentice, but the blonde Hokage knew she had several important issues to resolve no matter how dreadful she currently felt. The most pressing and important issue was to convince Naruto to stay and become the Rokudaime Hokage of the Leaf village. So far Naruto had been quick to brush off any such conversations with Tsunade. The blonde Hokage decided to set aside any further discussions for the time being, as she had more a pressing matter to resolve, brought forth by the village council.
Technically, Naruto, Hinata, and Ino were all facing charges of deserting the Leaf village. And the Konoha Council was pressuring Tsunade as to the reason why she had yet to order a mind-sweep from a Yamanaka in the Anbu Interrogation and Torture division to learn the truth about everything. It was a standard operating procedure that any AWOL ninja was required to undergo upon their capture and return to Konoha to make sure they hadn't divulged any village secrets. The Council also wanted those who were ordered to capture and return the three wayward shinobi to also undergo a mind-sweep to confirm everything. Ultimately, Tsunade was forced to capitulate to the Councils wishes and explained that she had no legitimate reason, nor could she show any favoritism by denying their request.
Everyone was expecting this upon their return and hoped that the false memories Ino had implanted in them of what really happened surrounding Kiba and Sakura's deaths would hold against the Yamanaka mind sweeps. Fortunately, Ino had proven herself to be the most skilled and powerful member of the Yamanaka clan next to her father Inoichi, as the false memories she had implanted held up to her fellow clan members scrutiny.
However, Ino and everyone else knew that would prove to be meaningless, if Inoichi didn't react the way they hoped he would when he scanned his daughter. So it was with baited breath and some nervousness that everybody waited for the outcome of Ino's mind sweep. When Inoichi entered the Hokage's office with Ino in tow, he glanced at her fellow conspirators and his brow furrowed into a slight scowl. The Yamanaka clan leader then turned to Tsunade and reported his findings from Ino's scan.
"Lady Tsunade, my mind-sweep of Ino's memories is complete and I can officially verify and confirm that it matches with all the information learned from the other mind-sweeps given to her comrades."
Inoichi wasn't pleased with the position his daughter and the others had placed him in, but he understood their reasons. Kakashi's assessment of the situation if the truth were revealed Inoichi agreed with. A potential Leaf clan civil war could erupt costing many innocent lives, if it was revealed that Sasuke and to a lesser extent Ino were shown to have killed Kiba. Then there was reason that if the truth about Kiba was known, it would cause additional pain to Tsume and the rest of Kiba's family and clan who were already in mourning over his death. The Yamanaka leader felt that an entire clan should not be judged on just the actions of one individual clan member and Inoichi did not see the point of bringing dishonor and disgrace upon the otherwise noble Inuzuka clan by revealing the truth.
Turning to leave, Inoichi eyed Naruto warily and scowled a bit at the young man, before his sight fell upon his daughter standing next to Hinata. The Yamanaka clan leader's face turned red, as Inoichi had made the mistake of scanning Ino's mind a bit further once he had learned of his daughters plot to hide the truth about Kiba to find out if she was attempting to conceal anything else. And much to his mortification, he learned of his princess new relationship with the Hyuga girl. Both Ino and Hinata saw Inoichi turn red, while he gazed at them and they too began to blush, as they suspected what the Yamanaka patriarch had learned about the two of them.
Tsunade was satisfied with the results, as was the Konoha Council when the findings were disclosed to them. It gave Tsume a small sense of comfort and helped to lessen her grief to know that Kiba's honorable death on the battlefield had officially been confirmed. With the matter of the loyalty of their shinobi now concluded, the Council now turned its attention to convincing the living legacy of their beloved Yondaime Hokage to stay and assume the mantle of becoming their next Hokage. Tsunade persuaded the Council to allow her to handle that situation, as any pressure from them might cause Naruto to rebel against it.
However, before theblonde Hokage could come up with some type of plan or reason for Naruto to stay and become the Rokudaime Hokage. A new crisis arose as the Ei, the Yondaime Raikage of Hidden Cloud Village Kumogakure suddenly arrived with 500 of his strongest shinobi camped a mile outside of the Leaf village. Tsunade immediately marshalled her own ninja and they took up defensive positions to protect the village, while she went out to learn of why the Raikage was there?
When Tsunade and her escorts arrived at the Kumo encampment, she was a bit concerned at this show of force by the Raikage. Kumogakure and Konohagakure had lived in peace with one another since the end of the Fourth Great Shinobi war. The two shinobi villages had even signed a non-aggression treaty with one another and had opened up profitable trade routes between them over the years. The blonde Hokage sincerely hoped that today would not be the day the peace between them would end and that the two villages and their countries would not be plunged back into war.
When Tsunade entered the command tent flanked by her bodyguards Kakashi, Might Gai, and Naruto. They were met by the imposing hulking figure of the Raikage along with three of his most powerful and skilled shinobi. Ei had brought with him his brother and Kumo's own Jinchuuriki Killer Bee, along with the elite Jounin Darui and Samui.
Killer Bee smiled happily at Naruto and in his unique fashion rapped out a greeting to his fellow Jinchuuriki. Naruto returned the warm welcome, before Ei snapped at his brother to shut up, as they were not there to exchange pleasantries. It was then that Tsunade inquired as to why they were there and for the reason why they had brought such sizable force with them?
The Raikage curtly informed Tsunade that they were here to see their long lost friend and comrade Yugito, and as to the reason why he had brought such a force with him. Ei explained it was to dissuade Konoha from harboring any thoughts or desires of preventing Yugito from returning home and keeping her for themselves. This infuriated Tsunade and the blonde Hokage admonished the Raikage severely for thinking they would do such a thing. Especially when it was her who sent the message to inform Ei that Yugito was alive in the first place.
The Raikage felt a twinge of shame upon hearing Tsunade's scolding of him, as since the end of the Fourth Great Shinobi war he had come to respect the Slug Sannin a great deal. Ei swallowed his pride and apologized for his overreaction, but explained when it came to Yugito, both he and his brother considered her like a surrogate sister and someone they had believed to be long dead. To unexpectedly learn that she was indeed alive, but in a rival village, he let his emotions rule his decision to bring a shinobi force with him, rather than making a rational decision.
Tsunade hearing the contrite and sincere tone of Ei's voice, accepted his apology and offered to escort the Raikage and Killer Bee to see Yugito, which Ei quickly agreed to. A short time later, the Raikage and Killer Bee were reunited Yugito, who leapt up and tearfully hugged both men in happiness. Tsunade offered guest accommodations to Ei and Bee and left the three Kumo shinobi alone to catch up with one another.
The next day, the Raikage and Tsunade held a private meeting between them in her office. Ei thanked the blonde Hokage for taking care of Yugito, but also expressed that there was a serious problem the two Kage's needed to deal with. That problem being that Yugito did not wish to return to Kumogakure. And when Ei pressed as to why she did not wish to return to her home, Yugito had hesitantly indicated that she had fallen in love with someone from the Leaf village and didn't want leave him. Tsunade suspected who the man was that Yugito was referring to, but went ahead and asked the Raikage whom he was speaking of. However, Ei stated that Yugito had refused to divulge his identity.
Tsunade still kept her suspicions of that identity to herself for the time being, but inwardly groused at how many problems she had to deal with now upon Naruto's return. The blonde Hokage politely informed Ei that Yugito was welcome to stay in Konoha if she so chooses. However, the Raikage indicated that would not be possible. The Kumogakure Council would not allow one of their Jinchuuriki to reside in another village, especially Konoha, as it would give the Leaf village access to having two Jinchuuriki available to them. Ei also grimly conveyed to Tsunade that the Kumo Council was resolute in their decision that Yugito be returned and would call for the breaking of their treaty and going to war against Konoha for the return of their Jinchuuriki, if you tried to prevent it.
The blonde Hokage could not believe that the Kumogakure Council would go to such lengths, as to actually go to war over this, but the more she thought about it, she began to understand their thinking, foolish at it was. The Fire and Lightning Countries had only been allies for a few years since the end of the Fourth Great Shinobi war. Before that there had existed over a century's worth of hostility between the two nations and their shinobi villages, so there was a lot of caution and mistrust that many people of the older generations of both sides still held onto. The blonde Hokage surmised that Kumo Council was probably fearful that if Yugito wasn't returned to them. Then Konoha could unleash the power of two Jinchuuriki's upon their country if they wanted to in the future. At that moment, Tsunade realized she somehow needed to strengthen the ties and trust between the two nations and villages, but was currently at a loss of how to do that?
Tsunade asked what exactly was it that Ei wanted for her to do, to which he simply replied.
"Do nothing Hokage-Tsunade."
The Raikage went on to explain that he would soon be returning to Kumogakure with Yugito whether she wanted to go or not. And so long as Konoha made no moves to prevent this, then their countries and villages could continue to live in the peace and prosperity they had enjoyed the past few years. Tsunade angrily fired back that what the Raikge was doing to Yugito was tantamount to imprisoning her. Did he not know of her imprisonment the past seven years at the hands of the Akatsuki and what they did to her? Now she has a chance at happiness and he was going to deny her that by forcibly taking her back to Kumogakure. Tsunade then asked Ei what makes what he's doing any different than the Akatsuki?
The Raikage furiously shouted in defense that indeed he did know of what happened to Yugito. He also stated that he also knew that what he was doing was taking her from one prison to another albeit a more pleasant one. Ei declared that if it was up to him, he would allow Yugito to stay and live a happy life with the man she loves, but it wasn't up to him. And he did not want to risk the possibility of another shinobi war erupting if she wasn't returned to Kumogakure. The Raikage then bluntly asked if Tsunade was willing to risk another war starting by not allowing him to take Yugito back.
Taking a moment to calm down, Tsunade deeply contemplated what Ei had just said. After a minute, she leaned back into her chair and exhaled a defeated sigh. The blonde Hokage realized that Ei was right, she could not or more precisely would not allow Konoha to be plunged into another shinobi war. If that were to happen, the other elemental nations would be forced into it as well and thousands upon thousands of lives would be needlessly lost. As much as Tsunade hated to do it, she was forced to agree with Ei and would take no action against him returning back to Kumogakure with Yugito. In the end it simply came down to the greater good for both nations and village's, but the blonde Hokage knew of a certain nine-tailed Jinchuuriki who would have a hard time understanding and accepting it.
To say Naruto was furious was an understatement, as he marched angrily towards the Hokage's office. Both Ino and Hinata followed close behind trying to get him to calm down before he saw Tsunade. This however was proving difficult to do, as the tearful face of Yugito was firmly entrenched within his mind. Naruto, Hinata, and Ino had arrived to ask Yugito out to breakfast with them, when they learned of Ei's and Tsunade's meeting the day before and the results of it. To her credit even though it broke her heart, Yugito understood why she had to return to Kumogakure, but that still didn't make it any less painful to know she was being forced to give up the man she loved and the friends she had made. Unfortunately, Naruto was not as understanding, hence his march to see Tsunade and let her know of his displeasure of what was being done to one of his precious people.
So it was of little surprise to Tsunade when Naruto came barging into her office and demanding that Yugito be allowed to stay in the Leaf village if she wanted to. Both Kakashi and Kurenai who had been having a meeting with the Hokage looked at one another in confusion, as they wondered what Naruto was talking about. For her part, Tsunade merely pinched the bridge of her nose in frustration, as she knew this was going to be a difficult conversation with Naruto. Looking up at the angered visage Naruto bore upon his face, Tsunade exhaled a sigh, before she began to explain the situation and the ramifications of what would happen if they tried to stop the Raikage returning to Kumo with Yugito.
After a few minutes, Naruto remained unconvinced and argued that Yugito should be allowed to make her own decisions. Tsunade agreed that Yugito should be allowed to make her own decisions, but her village is not giving her any options other than to return and she knows this. The blonde Hokage also went on to explain that as much as she sympathizes with Yugito's plight, as Hokage she would not risk sending Konoha into another shinobi war over it.
"Then make me Hokage!" Naruto angrily declared.
Tsunade actually chuckled after hearing this, as for the past few weeks Naruto had refused to even discuss any possibility of him taking the mantle of the Rokudaime Hokage. All he would agree to was staying in Konoha until Hinata gave birth to their baby, as Naruto wanted the best medical treatment and facilities in all the elemental nations available for Hinata during her pregnancy. Now that Naruto was suddenly ready to assume the position of Hokage, Tsunade knew she couldn't relinquish her title to him, not with the way he was acting and asked with a hint of derision.
"And what would your first act be as the Rokudaime Hokage?"
When Naruto answered he would stop Yugito from leaving, Tsunade threw her hands up in the air and shouted that's why she couldn't name Naruto as the next Hokage right now, because he wasn't thinking with his head, but with his heart. And that a Hokage needed to base any and every decision they make for the protection and safety of the village and its citizens. And right now if Naruto were Hokage he would be making a decision for purely selfish reasons and in doing so would plunge the Leaf village into a pointless war.
As Naruto and Tsunade continued to argue back and forth, the tension in the room began to rise, as Hinata, Ino, Kurenai, and Kakashi looked on with concern. As they watched the verbal exchange between to Tsunade and Naruto become more and more heated, Ino began to feel lightheaded. Suddenly, she began to waver on her feet, as the stress of the situation was starting to overwhelm her. Before Ino collapsed, she was caught by Hinata who lowered her friend gently to the floor, as she cried out in distress.
"Ino-chan, what's wrong, are you alright?"
Hinata's shout alerted Naruto and Tsunade and they ceased their bickering, before they both rushed over to where Ino lay. As her hands glowed with green chakra, Tsunade began to scan Ino's vitals, as everyone looked on with concern. A couple of minutes later, Tsunade deactivated her chakra and with Naruto helped the Yamanaka girl to her feet, while everyone anxiously waited for her diagnosis.
"You're fine Ino, your blood pressure was elevated, which is probably what caused you to feel dizzy, but it's coming back down now. However, as a doctor I must recommend that you try to avoid any stressful situations due to your condition."
"Con-condition, what condition Lady Tsunade?" Ino stammered in confusion.
"You're pregnant." The blonde Hokage announced loudly to everyone present.
Ino's eyes grew wide in astonishment and her hands instinctively rose up to touch her stomach. Everyone was momentarily stunned at the news and a smile spread across Ino's face, before it quickly disappeared, as she wondered with trepidation what Naruto's reaction would be. The Yamanaka girl hesitantly lifted her head to gaze at Naruto's now impassive face. As they stared into the eyes of one another, Ino began to worry, as Naruto remained silent and unmoving. However, her fears were put to rest, when she felt Naruto lovingly cup her cheek with his hand and smile at her.
As Naruto cupped Ino's cheek, he jokingly wondered to himself why he wasn't upset or filled with apprehension upon learning he was fathering a second child, but for some reason he wasn't. In fact, Naruto never felt more calm and relaxed than he did at that moment. It suddenly came to him in an epiphany what his life was going to be like in the future and what he saw he liked. And that life didn't include raising a family, while living a vagabond existence.
Turning around, Naruto proudly announced to everyone that he was going to be a father again. It took a moment, but seeing and hearing how calm and happy Naruto appeared to be put everybody in the room at ease and congratulations began to flow towards the blonde couple. After the compliments began to die down, Naruto turned to Tsunade and asked her to set-up a meeting with the Raikage and Yugito, as he had thought of a way to let her stay in Konoha without it causing a war. Naruto then wrapped his arms around both Ino and Hinata and said they needed to go see Ino's parents and deliver the news.
The next day, Naruto headed towards the Hokage's office for his meeting with the Raikage and Yugito. He heaved a weary sigh while he walked, as the last 24 hours had been tiring to the blonde Jounin. Needless to say when Naruto and Ino let her parents know of their daughter's condition, it had been a bit of a stressful meeting. Fortunately, both Naruto and Ino were able to convince the two concerned parents of their love for one another. Of course it didn't hurt in convincing them when Naruto informed them that he was going to accept the position of Rokudaime Hokage making Ino along with Hinata the First Ladies of Leaf village, when they were married. After that both Inoichi and his wife gave their blessings to the three and were excited at the prospect of becoming grandparents. So Naruto silently prayed to Kami that his meeting with the Raikage would go as well as it did with his future Yamanaka in-laws.
When Naruto arrived at Tsunade's office, he found the Raikage had already arrived along with both Yugito and Killer Bee. Closing and locking the door behind him, as Tsunade activated the silencing seals of the room, he cordially greeted everyone. Pulling up a chair to sit next to the Raikage and Yugito, Naruto leaned back in a relaxed state, before Ei asked him the reason behind this meeting. Naruto smiled warmly at the Raikage and announced he had a way to allow Yugito to stay in Konoha that would be satisfactory with the Kumogakure Council and not cause the two villages to go to war.
Yugito's sad face suddenly lit up with hope and both the Raikage and Killer Bee interests were piqued at this declaration from Naruto. Even Tsunade was curious as to how Naruto was going to pull this off and leaned back in her chair and waited for him to explain.
Naruto asked the Raikage to confirm what the Hokage had told him that that if it was up to him, he would allow Yugito to stay and live a happy life with the man she loves. Ei did confirm this and it was then Naruto informed him that the man Yugito loved was in fact him and that he in turn loved her. The Raikage leapt up from his chair angrily, before he felt Yugito's hand on his arm and he looked down to her face pleading with him to stay his hand. Reluctantly, Ei began to calm down and sat back down, before he growled out for Naruto to continue.
In a calm and confident voice, Naruto stated that in an effort to strengthen the ties and trust between the two nations and villages, he proposed a political marriage commence between himself and Yugito to achieve this. Yugito's eyes grew wide in surprise, while the Raikage deeply contemplated what Naruto had just said. Even Killer Bee who not known as a deep thinker, pondered with interest at what his fellow Jinchuuriki had just suggested.
Tsunade was both shocked and suitably impressed that Naruto had discerned the main problem between the two villages. That the long standing animosity between the two nations and their shinobi villages, before they became allies hadn't just disappeared with the signing of their mutual treaty. And that many people of the older generations on both sides still held mistrust of the other. The blonde Hokage was amazed that Naruto had been able to come up with an idea, which was more than she was able to do to help build more trust between their villages and countries. However, Tsunade shook her head sadly; as she didn't believe what Naruto proposed would achieve what he thought it would.
The Raikage seemed to confirm the Hokage's silent assessment of Naruto's plan and after a minute stated in a pessimistic tone of voice.
"It's a bold proposal, but I'm afraid it wouldn't work. The marriage between two Jounin from our respective villages would be beneficial and help to strengthen the ties and trust between us. However, such a relationship would not be enough to appease the Kumogakure Council from their position that Yugito must return to the Lightning village. Unless of course you're suggesting that you would be coming with her, but I highly doubt your own Council would allow that to take place, just as our own won't allow Yugito to stay here. Perhaps if you were from a prominent clan or held a higher position within the Konoha government, it could persuade the Kumogakure Council in allowing Yugito to stay, but as the things are I'm afraid your plan won't work."
"Then it's good that I meet both of the criteria you just mentioned." Naruto declared with certainty.
Ei, Yugito, and Killer Bee all looked at Naruto with confusion, before the blonde Leaf shinobi continued on. Naruto went on to explain that he is the last living legacy of the Namikaze clan and the only son of the Yondaime Hokage of the Leaf village. So he meets the first condition the Raikage had mentioned of being from a prominent clan. As for the second condition of holding a higher position within the Konoha government, it will soon be announced by Hokage-Tsunade that she is retiring and is naming him as the Rokudaime Hokage of the Village Hidden I the Leaves."
The Raikage turned his head to stare at Tsunade, who nodded her head confirming what Naruto had just stated to be the truth, before he then asked.
"So answer me this Raikage-sama, when informed of what I have just told you. Would you be able to convince the Kumogakure Council to be comfortable and secure enough to allow Yugito-chan to stay if she married to the Rokudaime Hokage of the Leaf village and be recognized in all of the elemental nations as one of the First Ladies of Konohagakure?"
It took a moment for the Raikage to process everything and he leaned back into his chair and stroked his beard with his hand in deep thought. The Kumo Council's fear that if Yugito wasn't returned to them then Konoha could unleash the power of two Jinchuuriki's upon them in the future now appeared foolish, as the wife of the Leaf village Hokage isn't going to allow her husband to attack her homeland. Which Ei already knew was never a possibility, not after fighting side-by-side with Naruto against Madara during the Fourth Great Shinobi war. He knew the young man to be one of the most honest and honorable men he had ever met in his entire life. So after running all the positive aspects and the few if any negative ones of Naruto's proposition through his mind. Ei turned to Naruto and said given what he had just learned, he believed he could convince the Kumogakure Council to allow the marriage and Yugito to stay and live in Konoha by his side. However the Raikage wanted to know what Naruto meant by referring to Yugito as one of the First Ladies of Konohagakure?
The blonde Jounin explained that though the Konoha Council hadn't made an official proposal yet. He suspected that due to him being the last living Namikaze they were going to enact the Clan Restoration Act or C.R.A. upon him to rebuild his noble clan. Naruto stated that he would accept the C.R.A. plan from the Konoha Council and be taking two additional wives along with Yugito-chan. The Raikage bristled at this and wondered aloud if Naruto had bothered to discuss these additional wives with Yugito? Naruto replied that he had not, but he didn't think it would be a problem for Yugito-chan, as Hinata-chan and Ino-chan were close friends with her and all of them would all share equal status amongst themselves.
Ei turned to look at Yugito and silently ask if what Naruto said was accurate. A nod of the Kumo kunoichi's head indicated that indeed it was accurate and the smile she sported seemed to indicate she had no problem sharing Naruto, at least not with the two women he had mentioned. Turning towards his brother to get his opinion on everything, Ei slapped his forehead in embarrassment, as Killer Bee enthusiastically began to rap about Naruto being a brother from another mother and that he and Yugito had his blessing for their marriage.
After Bee finally finished his badly rhymed ballad about Naruto and Yugito, the Raikage turned his attention to Tsunade and announced that he would spend a couple of more days in the Leaf village visiting with Yugito, before he and his men returned to Kumogakure. He stated he would return, as soon as the wedding date was announced, which he hoped would be soon. Naruto asked if he could spend some time right now with Yugito, as they had much to discuss. Ei agreed that indeed they did have much to talk about and bid goodbye to Tsunade, before he hugged Yugito followed by his brother who did the same, as they exited the office. Naruto and Yugito also bid good day to the blonde Hokage, before the two of them left hand in hand to meet up with Hinata and Ino and have a much needed conversation about many things between the four of them.
A few weeks later, the Leaf village was in a celebratory and festive mood, as the only son of their revered Yondaime Hokage was about to get married. Even more exciting it was announced by the Konoha Council that the C.R.A. had been enacted for Naruto and he was marrying not one, but three beautiful women to help restore the noble Namikaze clan. It was also announced that Tsunade Senju the Godaime Hokage of the Leaf village was retiring and that Naruto Uzumaki Namikaze was named as her successor to become the Rokudaime Hokage. The villagers rejoiced at this news, as many of them believed an era of the second coming of the Golden Flash was now upon them.
The wedding itself was a lavish affair, as all the Kage's from other four elemental nations attended the marriage ceremony. There were also leaders from smaller nations such as Princess Kazahana Koyuki of the Land of spring and Tazuna and his family from the Land of Waves who also came to the wedding and were special guests of Naruto.
The extravagant wedding ceremony had proceeded flawlessly and those who knew Naruto personally were suitably impressed by Naruto's newfound calm and mature attitude during it. And everyone was awestruck at how beautiful Hinata, Ino, and Yugito looked in some of the finest silk wedding kimono's that had ever been created. The reception was no less spectacular than the wedding, as many of the family, friends, and colleagues of the married quartet began making speeches honoring the brides and groom. Many of the speeches from the foreign and older guests that had been invited to the wedding, consisted of a moralistic tale or singing the praises of the significance of marriage to Naruto, Hinata, Ino, and Yugito. While those people who truly had a personal relationship with one or all of them gave more heartfelt blessings, funny, or slightly embarrassing stories about them.
The wedding reception was joyous event, which lasted for several hours before it finally came to a close, as Naruto, Hinata, Ino, and Yugito finished their speech thanking all of the guests who had attended. The four them gave their warm and sincere goodbyes to everyone, before they left to spend their first night as married couples. Naruto knowing and having the high chakra capacity to maintain for long periods of time the Kage Bunshin no Jutsu (Shadow Clone Technique) certainly came in handy for the new Hokage, as he was able to give equal…. attention at the same time to all three of his wives.
A week later, Naruto gave his first official speech to the villagers. It was a rousing and inspirational oration, which focused on and stressed the importance of him learning leadership skills while at the Academy, and how his experiences as a shinobi and in life had prepared him to assume the mantle of being the Leaf village's Rokudaime Hokage. And while Naruto conveyed that he had learned much, he also admitted he had much more to learn to be the exceptional leader the Leaf village needed for the future. It was at this point that Naruto shrewdly took his revenge against Tsunade. The new Hokage announced to the village that he would lean heavily upon the experiences and counsel of the former Godaime Hokage Tsunade Senju to act as his Chief advisor to the Hokage within the Konoha Council.
The villagers erupted in joyous approval of this, while the former Hokage who sat at a table next to the podium where Naruto spoke from began to grind her teeth in fury. Any lingering doubts she might have harbored about whether or not Naruto could handle the position of Rokudaime Hokage quickly vanished, seeing how cunningly he had maneuvered her out of retirement in just a matter of minutes, as she forced a smile to her face and waved to the cheering crowd before her. Tsunade had been looking forward to living a retired life of nothing but drinking and gambling in her old age. However, in one fell and devious swoop from Naruto, she had been dragged back into public service once again. As Naruto finished his speech to the approval and applause of the village, he shot a quick smirk at Tsunade, who glared fiercely at him as he left the stage.
The next day, Naruto sat in the Hokage's office with Tsunade, who after 24 hours had finally calmed down enough to at least act civil towards him. The first official task Naruto needed to do as Hokage was to figure out what to do with the 100 Crimson Army soldiers who accompanied him back to Konoha and had pledged their loyalty to serve him. Sasuke had been kind enough house the men temporarily at the Uchiha compound, but that didn't solve the problem of providing them with a function. And since Naruto knew they were only loyal to him and not the village, he came upon a unique idea.
Naruto decided he would make the Crimson Army soldiers his Royal Guard tasked solely with the purpose of protecting him and following his orders as Hokage alone. It took a bit of convincing, but ultimately the Konoha Council did approve of Naruto's proposal for the men. That proved to be very beneficial for the village in the coming years, as Naruto's guard became quite infamous throughout all of the elemental nations.
Their prowess and ferociousness in battle was unmatched and they soon garnered the nickname Naruto's Berserkers. The men led by General Daisuke were so single-minded and fiercely loyal to Naruto that it was said you could hack the arm off of one of men in battle, but he would continue to fight with such savagery until his opponent was dead or he was. Over the years their reputation had become so legendary throughout the world of their bloodthirsty ferocity on the battlefield. That when Naruto arrived with them to aid Gaara, whose village was being attacked by a marauding army from the west. The opposing soldiers even though they stilled outnumbered Gaara and Naruto's forces by a 4-1 margin, actually turned tail and retreated back to their homeland rather than face Naruto and his berserker's. In Konoha, the position as one of Naruto's honored guardsmen soon became a much desired and exalted title that many children growing up in the village during Naruto's reign dreamed of becoming.
The next major task Naruto had to deal with was to find a replacement for the Strategic Commander of Konoha's shinobi forces Shikaku Nara who was retiring. Naruto listened to Tsunade's and Shikaku's recommendations and carefully deliberated over each potential candidate. However, after several hours of consideration, Naruto rejected all of the suggested replacements. He agreed with Tsunade and Shikaku that all of them had exemplary military records and experience, but felt none of them could match the intelligence and strategic thinking Shikaku possessed to protect the Leaf village in the future. Naruto concluded there was only one person qualified to replace Shikaku and when they asked who Naruto had in mind, they both nearly fell out of their chairs when they heard the name.
An hour later, Shikamaru Nara hesitantly knocked on the door of the Hokage's office and was told to enter. Gulping nervously, the Nara heir slowly opened the door and walked inside. He saw Naruto sitting behind the Hokage's desk looking over some documents, while wearing the traditional straw hat that all previous Kage's had worn. Tsunade was sitting at a table next to his father to the side of the desk and both were quietly drinking a cup of tea. Shikamaru gulped again with apprehension at seeing Naruto, as he had done his very best to avoid the blonde shinobi since his return.
It's true they had been close friends growing up, but Shikamaru knew he had destroyed that friendship, when he betrayed not only Naruto but Ino as well, by his manipulations in taking her away from him over two years ago for himself. At the time he honestly thought he was in love with Ino and hoped that she would come to love him the same way, but she never did. Eventually, Shikamaru came to terms and accepted that Ino's heart belonged to another….Naruto.
Shikamaru hoped that the day he broke up with Ino and told her to follow her heart that the guilt he felt over what he had done would go away. Unfortunately, it never did and it ate away at him like a disease knowing he had hurt his friend so callously. Shikamaru was genuinely happy that both Naruto and Ino had found one another again, but that did nothing assuage the shame he felt over what he had done to both of them. Dropping his head slightly, he called out to his Hokage in a remorseful tone of voice.
"You wished to see me Hokage-sama."
"Ahh Shikamaru, yes I did."
Naruto then got up from behind his desk and walked around until he stood in front of Shikamaru. The Nara heir looked up to gaze at Naruto's face, when he was suddenly propelled backwards with tremendous force by Naruto's punch, before crashing into the wall behind him and sliding down to the floor. Shaking his head and rubbing his jaw, Shikamaru slowly rose to his feet and openly declared.
"I deserved that."
"You deserve a lot more, but I'm going to settle for that!" Naruto fired back gruffly, before he walked back to his chair and sat down again, as Shikamaru shuffled forward until he was standing in front of the Hokage's desk.
Naruto went on to explain that Shikaku was retiring as Strategic Commander of Konoha's shinobi forces and that he had chosen him to replace his father. Needless to say Shikamaru was stunned by this and attempted to plead that there were many veteran shinobi with exemplary military records and experience, more worthy than him to hold such a lofty and crucial rank within Konoha's shinobi forces. Naruto countered that might be true, but that none of them had the intelligence and strategic thinking both him and his father possess to protect the Leaf village in the future. Shikamaru was about to protest further, before Naruto held up his hand and stated that both Lady Tsunade and Shikaku had approved of his decision. Naruto's next words sealed the deal for Shikamaru to accept the position.
"Your Hokage has need of your talents, skills, and intelligence to serve me and the Leaf village and considering your past…..transgressions, I would think you would appreciate and want the opportunity to atone for yourself."
Naruto's words hit hard, but Shikamaru realized he was right and actually did begin to appreciate the opportunity he was being given. He sincerely hoped that by loyally serving his Hokage, perhaps one day it could lead to Naruto forgiving him and maybe allow him to forgive himself as well. Rising up to stand at attention, Shikamaru declared in a strong and unwavering voice.
"I accept the position and will serve you faithfully in whatever you require of me Hokage-sama."
Naruto rose up from his chair and smiled, before he extended his arm and he and Shikamaru shook hands.
Two years later, Naruto stood off to the side and gazed out into the great banquet hall, which was currently occupied by several people celebrating the wedding of Shikamaru Nara to Temari no Sabaku of the Sand village. Naruto chuckled to himself, as Shikamaru had always remarked that he prayed to Kami that the women he would marry would not be troublesome. Well with Temari not only being the sister of Gaara the Kazekage of Sunagakure, but also with her fiery temperament and stubbornness, Naruto couldn't think of a more troublesome woman for the Nara heir.
Naruto looked around the room and spied Kurenai scolding Kakashi for bringing out and reading Icha Icha Paradise book at the reception. The blonde Hokage chuckled at the horrified look on Kakashi's face, as he watched his wife tear the book in half and throw it into a trashcan. Naruto figured Kakashi would have put up more of a fight to save his precious book, but Kurenai being six months pregnant with raging hormones. The silver-haired Jounin knew any protest would be a losing battle in more ways than just the loss of his book, so he took the prudent course of action and remained silent.
Naruto then turned to see Sasuke doting over his own pregnant wife in the former shingami Momo. It was actually funny to see the normally stoic and reserved Uchiha waiting beck and call on his wife, but when he had learned that he was to become a father, it changed Sasuke for the better. The Uchiha was now more outgoing and friendly with everyone. This proved to be very useful when Naruto reinstituted the Konoha Police force and named Sasuke as its Chief. Sasuke's new amiable personality helped immensely whenever he had to deal with any problems or conflicts which arose within the general populace of the villagers.
A roar of uproarious laughter caught Naruto's attention, as he turned to see sitting at a table smiling and laughing Chouji Akimichi and Ayame Ichiraku along with Hana Inuzuka and her surprising boyfriend Rock Lee. Chouji and Ayame had just recently announced their own engagement a few weeks earlier and everyone thought it was a perfect match, given each of their loves of food and cooking. Meanwhile, the entire village was shocked when Hana and Rock Lee began a relationship six months ago and few people gave little hope of it surviving considering the vast difference of personalities between the two. However, both Hana and Lee had proved everyone wrong and were a very happy and contented couple, as Hana's more reserved personality helped to curb Lee's more boisterous one at times, while his personality got the Inuzuka heiress to become more open and sociable around people outside of her clan.
Naruto then looked around to see his wife Yugito standing with Ei and Killer Bee, as the Raikage held his one year old daughter in his arms. Ei was never known to smile that much, but he was grinning from ear to ear, as he bounced his niece up and down in his powerful arms. Killer Bee was singing a nursery rhyme rap to the infant causing the girl squeal and giggle in delight at all the attention she was receiving.
The blonde Hokage then spied another of his wives Ino visiting with her parents holding Naruto's son in her arms. Both grandparents were lavishing affections on their grandson by tickling the young boy, who laughed and squirmed in delight at this action. The young child looked like a miniature version of his father with the blonde hair and blue eyes he inherited from both of his parents.
Naruto then turned to see a smiling Hinata sitting at a table with Tsunade, Neji and Tenten. The former Godaime Hokage was currently playing a game of peek-a-boo with Naruto's daughter who was the spitting image of her mother with indigo-colored hair and the famous Hyuga eyes. Meanwhile Neji was bouncing the young girl's twin brother on his knee, while Tenten had Nelliel on her lap and was tickling the young green-haired girl who was giggling hysterically. Neji and Tenten had finally gotten a married a few months ago and were quite happy together. However, as Naruto observed the two of them together with his own children, he had no doubt they would be starting their own family very soon.
Out of the corner of his eye, Naruto spotted Hiashi Hyuga sitting alone at a table in a far corner of the banquet hall staring at the table Hinata sat at. His gaze momentarily turned to look out onto the dance floor and following the Hyuga's line of sight Naruto saw Hanabi and Konohamaru in a loving embrace and dancing slowly to a song being played by the musicians present. The Hyuga clan leader turned his head back and seemed to stare into space, as the expressionless face he bore gave no indication of what if any emotions the man was feeling. Naruto almost felt sorry for the man….almost. As Hiashi's quest for money, status, and political power and influence for his clan had come at a heavy cost. And the price Hiashi had paid was total estrangement from his daughters and their families.
And while Hiashi had been successful in gaining money and status for his clan, as soon as Naruto took office as the Rokudaime Hokage, any political influence the Hyuga leader once wielded had officially ended, as far as Naruto was concerned. Naruto remembered the day Hiashi strolled into his office unannounced and sat down, while handing a Naruto a series of proposals he wanted enacted by the new Hokage. Apparently, the Hyuga clan head assumed that when Naruto married Hinata, it would give him carte-blanche to push through and get approval on anything he wanted. As Naruto quickly looked at the proposals he had just been handed, one could easily see that what Hiashi wanted would greatly benefit the Hyuga clan, but no one else. Naruto shook his head in disgust, as he remembered the shocked look that appeared on Hiashi's face when he threw the proposals back at Hiashi and shouted.
"You scheming loathsome piece of shit of an old man! You think you can just stroll into my office and demand that I do anything for you or your clan. I know the truth of what you did to my Hinata-hime. Selling her off to Kiba and the Inuzuka clan like a piece of meat, all in an effort to gain money and influence within the Konoha Council for yourself and your clan. And then when that didn't work out, you cast your daughter out onto the street like a piece of trash, officially disowning her!"
Naruto inhaled and exhaled a deep breath, before he continued with fury.
"Now you have the gall and audacity to come marching in here believing I'm just going to bend over and gratefully accept and approve anything you want. All because your daughter who you considered weak and worthless her entire life now finds herself married to the reigning Hokage. So you think that will allow you get anything you want from me. Well let me tell you Hiashi Hyuga, after everything you've done, that's never going to happen…ever! Because if it were up to me, you would not be walking out of this room alive. And the only reason that you will is because I know Hinata-chan still loves and cares about you and your death, especially by my hand would cause her great pain. So while I can't or more precisely won't kill you for her sake, I can tell you what I will do."
A wicked smile spread across Naruto's face, which sent a shiver up Hiashi's spine.
"What I will do is never enact or pass any proposal or amendment brought forth by the Hyuga clan now or in the future, while you are its leader. The days of the Hyuga clan wielding any power within the Konoha government has ended. I have not only the support of the Shinobi side of the Council, but also the Civilian side of it. So the only proposals and amendments that will get passed are those that I approve and no others. So if you want the Hyuga clan to ever have any say within the Konoha Council again in the future, I suggest you step down as its leader and name Neji as the new clan head. Because that is the only way I will ever consider anything brought forth by the Hyuga clan to me!"
Hiashi's face turned ashen in color after hearing Naruto and he sputtered to try and find the words he wanted to say to turn this situation he was now facing around. However, before he could say anything, his new Hokage shouted out.
"Anbu, escort this…...person out of my office and never let him into it again!"
Two Anbu suddenly appeared around Hiashi and bade the man to get up and leave lest they be forced to remove him themselves. The Hyuga clan leader exhaled a defeated sigh, before he rose from his chair and gathering up as much pride as he could walked out of the Hokage's office for the last time.
Naruto was broken from his memory, when he felt a tugging on his pant leg and looked to see Nelliel standing there with her arms outstretched indicating she wanted her father to lift her up. The blonde Jinchuuriki smiled at the little girl and gathered her up in his arms. Nel closed her eyes and rested her head on Narutos' shoulder, while he continued to gaze out into the room.
Naruto reminisced about the state of his life nearly three years ago and what he envisioned it was going to be. Thinking about that Naruto chuckled, as where his life was, he never would imagined the state it was in now. Back then all he wanted was to get away from Konoha and live in solitude, relying on no one but himself, and have no one relying on him, forever living alone. Now a few years later, Naruto found himself living his childhood dream of being Hokage and was far from being alone, not with three wives and five children to take care of.
And truth be told he couldn't be happier about the way things had turned out.
Naruto had found his purpose and while many would guess that purpose was becoming the Rokudaime Hokage, they would be wrong. Nearly three years ago, Naruto had once posed the question to himself of Do I Have a Purpose Anymore?
Three years later, Naruto had found the answer to that question. Yes, he did have a purpose and what Naruto decided was his purpose, as he gazed at all the people he considered precious in his life was to love and protect all of them with all the strength, skills, and power that he could wield to do so. And the blonde Jinchuuriki thought as far as having a purpose in life.
That one wasn't a bad one to have.
Author Note: Well here is the official end of this story, but I do discuss the possibility of a sequel further down in this note. I hope this finale and glimpse into what happened after Naruto's return to the village met with everyone's approval. I'm very pleased I was able to end this story and not leave it as one of the many thousands of others that are incomplete on this site never to be finished. That being said there are some special thanks I need to give to the following writers who were kind and gracious enough to help me out to complete this tale.
I owe a huge debt of gratitude to Serious Sam, Kyuubi123, Narutoenthusiast, and brown phantom for their amazing contributions in writing some of the battles scenes during the War vs. The Akatsuki arc of the story. I can honestly say if they hadn't been cool enough to help me out, it might have taken me another year if ever to finish this story. My heartfelt thanks goes out to all of them, as they are talented writers in their own right with their own writing projects. Which if you haven't checked out their incredible stories yet, I urge you to do so.
Now, many of my readers have expressed a desire to see a sequel written to this story. I'll be upfront and honest with all of you about that. While yes I do agree a sequel to this story could prove to be very entertaining and successful. Right now, I just don't have the fire and desire to write one and I'm not sure when if ever I might? A little over a year ago I was trying to stay on top of and write three ongoing stories and it damn near killed me from the stress. What I mean is one of the most difficult things I've ever done when it comes to writing is trying to maintain three ongoing stories at the same time. I never got any time to just relax a bit and enjoy a chapter update I posted, as I knew I had to write and get another one out for one of the other stories asap. So right now, I just want to concentrate for a while with my first story Aftermath. I have to tell you, it's a relief to just have to work on only one story now, as trying to write multiple ones at the same time was exhausting.
Now that's the bad news about a potential sequel, but I do have some good news. I am not opposed to another author wishing to write a sequel based off my story. I think the most logical course for a sequel would be a story based on Naruto and the gang becoming Shingami of the Gotei 13 squads in the Bleach world. In fact I would even be willing to write the initial prologue chapter starting things off for the sequel. Now if an author is interested in taking up the task of writing the sequel, I only have a few criteria that I prefer he or she has, before I sign off on it.
1. I prefer an experienced writer. One who has already written successful stories of their own with the readers, as that will give me examples of how good a writer they are. Of note, if Serious Sam, Kyuubi123, Narutoenthusiast, or brown phantom (hint, hint) would like to apply their skills to writing a sequel, my approval to any of you will be swift in coming, lol.
2. I'd also prefer a writer who has a good working knowledge and understanding of the Naruto and Bleach worlds and characters.
3. Lastly, I'd like the pairing relationships I've already established in this story to remain intact and maintained in the sequel. Now that's not to say you can't make new pairings with other characters or additions to the parings I've made, like if you wanted to add say Rangiku Matsumoto into Naruto's harem just as a hypothetical example, I fine with that. I just don't wish to see say Ino running off to be with Omaeda or anything like that.
So if any author has the inclination and desire to write the sequel to this story. Just PM at your convenience and we can discuss it.
Anyway, that aside I hope everyone enjoyed this final chapter. It proved to be a challenging one for me to write, in trying to wrap up the few remaining loose ends of the tale. This is the second epilogue I've written for a story and in doing some research on how to write a proper epilogue. I learned the epilogue besides being an extension of the story; it also has a different style from the rest of the book that makes it different. So I'm sure many of you noticed the change in writing style from what I normally do. I tried to keep the chapter from being dialogue driven piece and the few snippets of dialogue you did see were always of something poignant or of significance to the tale.
I do wish to thank everyone both old and new readers who took the time to review this story. You all had a lot to say about it and I'm pleased that this tale has such a strong fan base with readers who actually write out well thought-out reviews. Because of that, I enjoy reading many of your reviews, so please leave lots of them, as they do help a writer get a sense of the thoughts and opinions of the fans of a story. They also can help lift the spirits of an author as well. Also, to any readers who are staff members to any C2 communities, please feel free to add my story to your community if you feel it is worthy of it. I won't mind, I swear. I'll even pinkie swear if I need to?
Take it easy and be good!