Chapter Seven: The Final Victory (alternative title: Konoha's Destruction)
Snafu's Notes: So here we are. This is the final chapter of the story. After this, is the Epilogue. Once again, special thanks to ChrisM2011 for giving me the opportunity to write this. I know I said this when I did Two on Two, but Rise of the Emperor will be my last Naruto story, hands down. I was hoping that the Ranma fanfic Pride Comes Before The Fall would make over 300 reviews, but this one just blew my other fanfics out of the water. There will be a minor time skip for this fanfic as Danzou prepares to unleash hell upon the East and upon the Unified West. So let's finish this one out strong. One more thing. I tried to write out the battle scenes, but they always did not come out right, so I had to resort with using the journal entries.
Oh, and special thanks goes to Darkmaster of the arts for giving me an idea as to how to start this off.
Imperial Complex, Kimon City – three weeks after Konoha's liquidation...
It was early in the morning and the Empress Consort of the Unified West was awake. Hinata Namikaze was lying on her side, her head propped up in her hand as she watched her husband sleep. The former Hyuuga heiress was dressed in one of her husband's old white shirts which she used as a nightgown, the shirt buttoned halfway revealing a generous amount of cleavage, and ending several inches above her knees. Her husband was naked from the waist up, on his back, still asleep.
In the two years they had been married, they had gone through some serious trials and tribulations, both in their personal and private lives. They had their arguments, and even in some cases, had to put the United West's best interests over their own. But unlike Konoha, Naruto and Hinata held the reins of power. The most recent argument they had was over the Konoha refugees, mainly the Branch Hyuuga.
Hinata had remained silent during the meeting with the deposed clans, but seeing Neji after two years...she almost lost her head. Then her husband had told him that he would remove the seal should the Hyuuga prove their worth.
Hinata wanted nothing to do with her former clan, especially, the Branch Clan, given how they had treated her when she was subjected to the Caged Bird Seal. Her original intention was to leave it on their heads as to show them who the boss was, but Naruto said something to her that made her reconsider.
"You do that, Hinata, you're no better than him."
Hinata relented, knowing full well that he was talking about her father. That was the one thing she feared the most – becoming like him, cold and emotionless. That was something that Naruto had remedied almost immediately.
"You're nothing like him, Hinata," he had told her. "You are better than him. That has already been proven in your deeds and your actions here as Empress and as my wife."
Hinata knew that he was right. She felt ashamed as to how she had thought in regards to her former clan members. Given the choice of fleeing an oppressive clan and regime, she would have left with them as well. But she sensed an ulterior motive in Neji leading the Cadet Branch to the Imperial Capital. But even she had to admit that Naruto made the right choice in keeping the clans here for their probationary period, both to keep a close watch on them and to see if they were really worthy of redemption.
"Something on you mind, Hinata?" Naruto asked, eyes closed.
"How long were you awake?" was the question.
"A while," came the reply. The Emperor opened his eyes and was soon mimicking Hinata's position on the bed. "So what's bothering you?"
"Just thinking about several things," she replied. "You have any regrets? About not making Hokage?"
"Some," he admitted. "I wanted to prove to Konoha that even the dead last can be Hokage. But after I was banished, I had to face some hard truths. Konoha would never accept me as Hokage, even if they knew who my father was. So I guess the whole banishment was a blessing in disguise. It pretty much forced me to grow up. But now, I have no regrets."
"And what about me?"
"I'm still pissed that I chased after the banshee instead of courting you. I would have done it in secret as well. I can almost imagine Hiashi's expression if he found out that I was Minato's kid. Almost made me wish I was there when Shikamaru and the others told the council who I was."
Hinata smiled. She could almost see the look on the council's face when they found out that the so-called 'Kyuubi brat' was the most powerful man in the Unified West.
"But despite how things had went down, I have no regrets," Naruto continued. "Sure we have our arguments and fights like any other couple...in some cases, you are right and in others, I'm the one who's right...but in the end, we're still together. What about you?"
Hinata scooted over closer. "If I wasn't as shy and as confident as I was now, I would have done more than just stalked you during our days as genin. But now...despite everything...I'm happy."
While they kissed, Hinata's mind raced back to the previous day, where she had gone for a routine physical down at the hospital in the Imperial Capital. Even the most powerful woman in the Unified West needed to make sure that she was in prime fighting form.
Ino had done Hinata's blood work, since Tsunade still gets squeamish at the sight of blood. She had been ill for the past several mornings and her period was late, but this had all but verified her suspicions.
She was pregnant. Pregnant with Naruto's child. Naruto has an heir to the throne.
Well, now would be as a perfect time as any to tell him.
"You look better," Naruto whispered as one hand rubbed the small of her back. "So what did Granny have to say?"
Hinata bit her bottom lip. "You're going to be a daddy, Naruto."
Naruto blinked. Then his eyes went wide. "Excuse me...what?"
Town of Konoha, Fire Country – One year after its liquidation...
One year had passed since Konoha's termination as a ninja village. Since then, the disgraced Leaf was a shadow of its former glory. Home to over one hundred clans, it now only had three, one of which was the Hyuuga.
Following the liquidation of the Konoha Mercantile Guild, Asana had fallen into madness upon losing her fortune. Upon her suicide by cyanide pill, Danzou had initiated Sakura Haruno into the ROOT ANBU and seized what remained of her fortune. For the past three years Danzou had plotted and prepared.
His ROOT ANBU now consisted of all remaining ninja who were stripped of their titles. Over four hundred ninja who remained behind when Tsunade led the Konoha Exodus, which Danzou had initiated into his ROOT ANBU. Add two hundred remnants from what used to be the Sound and numerous missing ninja, and his numbers swelled to over five hundred
Speaking of Danzou, the aforementioned warhawk was in his underground ROOT headquarters. Flanked by Sai and a second ROOT ninja, the old man strode down the hall with a purpose. After over a year of planning, he was preparing to destroy Tochigakure with his forces. The last member that he was planing to release from his private prison cell. This man has been here for the past nine years, having been captured when he became a missing-ninja, having originally defected to Orochimaru but was captured shortly thereafter when his ex-lover betrayed him.
Two more ROOT ANBU guarded the cell door. Danzou nodded and one of them unlocked the door and opened it. Inside, seated on the cot, with a special variant of the Cursed Seal on his forearm, and having gained several pounds of muscle on his frame, was a white-haired man.
"So, the big man himself decided to come and visit little old me?" the imprisoned man began. "To what I owe the honor of your visit, Shimura? Last time I checked, you were no longer the Hokage and this pathetic village was no longer a shinobi village."
"Be careful who you insult, Mizuki. Otherwise, you will not see the light of day," Danzou warned. "I could have you executed if I did not have a use for you."
This caught the disgraced ninja's attention. "Color me intrigued. Go on."
"It will take some time, but soon, I will have over a thousand ninja ready to destroy the Flame, and to kill the Fire Lord. Once the Flame Village is destroyed and its remaining ninja join my ranks, I will declare war on the Unified West. I will wipe out Spring Country and assimilate their Shinobi forces. Then I will do the same to Mist. Once I finish off Suna and their demon of a Kazekage, I will invade the United West and destroy their Demon Emperor and anyone who gets in my way."
"So you plan on making war with that runt? What's in it for me?" Mizuki asked.
"The head of Naruto Uzumaki, the Emperor himself once we invade the Unified West," Danzou replied. "Once he is dead and any offspring he had with that whore of a Hyuuga, the world will be under the banner of the Leaf. I will usher in a new golden age. I will succeed in making Konoha the strongest of the villages."
Now that caught Mizuki's attention. He had a bone to pick with him ever since the failed attempt to steal the Forbidden Scroll. Those words were music to his ears. "Okay. I'm listening."
Two long years. Two years had passed since Konoha was stripped of their hidden village status. Since then, life has moved on here in the West. Naruto and I had celebrated our fourth wedding anniversary, as well as the birthday of our child.
Wait a sec...I should start from the beginning.
After the destruction of the Oto-Kumo-Iwa alliance, the surviving members of the Lightning Damiyo's family returned with a small army and purged the remaining traitorous ninja from their ranks, and reestablished their rule in Lightning Country. It was once we received word of Konoha's liquidation from the Fire Damiyo, that I dropped the bomb on Naruto. I had gone for my routine physical and Tsunade, having been appointed as our private physician, had sent Ino to give me the news.
I was pregnant.
Naruto was ecstatic. It was almost as if he was a Konoha genin once again. He even leapt to the roof of the Imperial Palace and screamed the news to the capital. The guards, A and Kitami looked on, amused at my husband's antics. Then we broke the news of my pregnancy at the meeting of the Imperial Council. The council was shocked, to say the least. The Namikaze dynasty finally had an heir to the throne.
Then a literal fist fight had broken out following the declaration, over who would be the godparents of our child...until Naruto called for it to stop and announced that the godmother was Yukie, the Spring Damiyo having long since called dibs on being the godmother. Then a second fight broke out over who was to be the godparents of our second child.
"Honestly, Hime, they aren't usually like this," Naruto whispered to me.
I just stood there, shaking my head.
As it turns out, I was not alone in my pregnancy. While we were going through the files of the Konoha ninja and working out their assignments, Naruto found a marriage certificate with Neji and Tenten's names on it, as well as a blood test, confirming Tenten's pregnancy. Now I see why Neji decided to come here along with the rest of the Branch Clan. He wanted a better life for his child, a bird free from its cage.
Tenten was about five weeks along, meaning that she would have her child before mine. It was also because of this, I also reconciled with Neji. As expected, her son was born a month before mine. Neji named him after his father, Hizashi. Then our child was born. I think I shattered my poor husband's hand when I squeezed it too tight.
Our firstborn was a son. We named him after Naruto's father. Minato Uzumaki Namikaze. The Unified West, from the Lahja Mountains to the Tears' Point rejoiced in celebration. Yukie was giddy with delight, as she now had a godson to spoil.
Following our son's birth, Naruto stayed in the capital for the first three months. The Jinchuuriki had received word of Minato's birth and had come to pay their respects. Even Roshi and Utakata, who made his home in the Southern Region, came to visit.
"I can see it now," Naruto said to me as Yugito cradled Minato while Roshi and Han looked on in delight. "Six Jinchuuriki...five uncles and one aunt. That's not counting Yukie, Kitami and the council. He is going to be spoiled rotten."
"Guess it's up to us to make sure he's raised right," I replied. "After all, he is the heir."
When Minato was four and a half months old, the probation period was over for the Konoha Refugees. Once the probation period was over, Naruto and I had looked over their files and checked on their exploits. After talking it over, we decided to grant the Konoha families clan status and the chuunin and jounin citizenship. For Neji and the Cadet Branch of the Hyuuga, Naruto was true to his word. Not only did he granted the Hyuuga clan status with Neji as the clan head, but he also stripped them both of the Cadet Branch label and of the Caged Bird Seal.
With the downfall of the Hyuuga Clan back in Konoha, Neji is now head of the new Hyuuga Clan here in Kimon. Aside from that, Naruto had also made peace with his former sensei, Kakashi. I always thought that both him and Anko would hook up. Instead, she is seeing Zabuza. Not that Hatake is alone. His girlfriend – a civilian member of the Pekara Merchant House – just so happens to be a fan of Jiraiya's Icha Icha series. Who knew?
Kimon City, during the Unification Festival.
It was a known fact that if you were in the United West during the week-long Unification Festival, then you were in for one hell of a party.
Such as the one in the Imperial Capital. At the end of the Unification Week, a party in the market square would take place. Everyone was invited. Even the clans and the Emperor himself would attend along with his wife.
Temari was nice enough to give the Suna garrison time off to attend. Even Gaara, who was visiting the Imperial Capital on an inspection of the Suna Consulate attended. He was not alone, as he came with a companion. A Suna jounin named Matsuri. Of course, aside from the incident in which Gaara tried to use the Sand Waterfall Funeral on Shikamaru when he caught him in Temari's bed (Temari had stopped him from crushing Shikamaru, thankfully), things were pretty much routine in the Unified West.
Several of the elder Western Hyuuga members were babysitting baby Minato, baby Hizashi and several other Hyuuga newborns as their parents enjoyed themselves. Maru Sarutobi was chatting with a local girl, a ninja who worked as one of the guards at the Imperial Complex. Zabuza and Ibiki were in the middle of an arm-wrestling competition. Yukie Fujikaze – now pregnant with her first child – and her husband/bodyguard, a Special Jounin from Spring Village who she had met on the set of her last film, made an appearance.
All in all, everyone was having a blast.
Naruto and Hinata Namikaze had finally gotten to several chairs and sat down, having danced most of the night away, laughing, acting like a normal couple rather than the leaders of the Unified West.
"Have I ever told you the story about the first anniversary festival when Zabuza got drunk and tried to hit on Sana?" Naruto asked.
"The one where Sonshi chased after him with his family swords screaming bloody murder? About a dozen times," Hinata replied. "Have I ever told you that I'm pregnant?"
Naruto shrugged his shoulders. "Once," he replied.
Hinata grinned and held up two fingers. "Better make that twice, love."
It then dawned on what Naruto was saying. Hinata was pregnant. Again.
I'm a father. Again.
This time, it's a girl. Hinata and I named her Moka Kushina Namikaze. Come to think about it, Yukie's son was born several days after our son, the Spring Damiyo having married a ninja from Spring Village while he was working as her bodyguard. We joked that her son and our daughter could marry once they get older. While Minato becomes the Emperor, Moka would be the next Spring Damiyo. Wishful thinking.
As expected, when we announced Hinata's second pregnancy following the Unification Festival, another fight had broken out between the Imperial Council over the rights of being the kid's godparents.
You think that you could at least show some sort of maturity over something like this. Sigh.
Once Hinata was released from the hospital, we decided that two children would be more than enough. Good thing that Ino had started Hinata on some birth control. Minato will be the heir to my throne and Yukie's been talking about a marriage agreement between her son and Moka. Hinata and I talked about it and we came to a conclusion. When the kids grow older, we'll let them decide.
Minato's three years old today. I swear, that kid grows like a weed. Right now, Moka is with her godparents. Hinata had convinced me to let Asuma and Kurenai Sarutobi act as her godmother, while I chose Maru Sarutobi, Moegi and Udon as her uncles and aunt, respectively.
But that's not the most important thing that I'm writing about, surprisingly.
I've been getting more and more reports from Damiyo Todo about a well-organized group of bandits originating from the Lahja Region. Han has his hands tied with a second squad of highwaymen, so I sent Jiraiya and Tsunade to bust some heads and take down the bandits.
When they returned from their mission several days later, I was in for a shock. I know for a fact that both Granny and Pervy Sage are in their sixties, but now, they look thirty years younger. It wasn't a henge either, as Hinata had verified it. It was at that moment, they both gave me the story.
They had tracked down the highwaymen to their mountain stronghold and proceeded to wreck shop on the muscle. Once the bandits were all dead, they found a bottle of what they thought was sake, along with his journals. Deciding to celebrate on a job well done, they both split the fake sake. It was when they were halfway back with the scrolls containing the stolen goods and money, that they finally read the journal.
Aside the fact that the bandits were a sleeper cell of Oda remnants, the sake they thought they had drunk was in fact something that they had been working on in collaboration with the Jashin cult that I had eradicated in my Unification War. An de-aging elixir for Rokubungi Oda. Come to think about it, he was about Danzou's age when Yugito and I killed him. The elixir was the only one, as the ingredients and how to make the elixir was left to his memory, meaning that the know-how to make the elixir died with him when Tsunade knocked his head off.
De-aged thirty years, back in their prime when they were once teammates with the Snake. God help us all as to what kind of mayhem those two can cause.
I was right about there being other Uzumaki other than myself and Yahiko. It was shortly after Minato's birthday that they started to come into the city. Bu the end of the week, over two hundred members of the Uzumaki clan were in Kimon City. Refugees that had scattered following the war which had all but leveled Whirlpool Village. With Yahiko as clan head (but answering to me, of course) I allowed them to establish a new village in the Unified West, with Yahiko himself as the head of the village.
Of course, that meant that both him and Yahiko would have to step down as members of the Elite Guard. They would still be on as reserve members, but anyone who is an active member has to reside in Kimon City. Where Yahiko was planning to resurrect Whirlpool was in the southernmost part of the Northern Region. Konan loved the southern part of the country and Yahiko decided that moving south would be good for the clan.
I gave them my blessings and allowed them to leave the Guards. Of course, that meant that I had to fill in two spaces, now that Yahiko and Konan are gone. At Hinata's suggestion, she nominated Neji Hyuuga and Sasuke Uchiha for the job. I had my concerns, but in the end, I decided to allow them to join up. If Sasuke is sincere about him seeking redemption, then serving as part of my guard will give him the chance he deserves.
If he tries to stab me in the back...then the Uchiha line will be extinct.
Jiraiya's spy network in the East has sent in a communique in regards to the former Leaf Village. It's clear that Danzou is planning something big. Remnants of Orochimaru's Sound forces that had narrowly avoided being killed when the Oto-Kumo-Iwa alliance had self-destructed ave resurfaced and missing ninja originally in the Konoha Bingo Book have been seen in and around Konoha.
You think that the warhawk would get the hint and just lie down and die. But after my spies in Konoha (acting as monks on a journey to the reconstructed Fire Temple), managed to get some more information from several documents and 'interrogating' a suspicious ROOT ANBU that was trailing them, were my concerns verified. After all, no one would suspect a holy man from a backwoods country on a pilgrimage of being a spy.
Danzou is planning on initiating a Fourth Shinobi War. First, by invading neighboring countries and forcibly adding conquered ninja to their ranks, until they are large enough to launch an invasion of the Unified West. If that happens, there will be a major loss of life, mostly from my end. This, I cannot allow. I thought that once Konoha was stripped of its hidden village status, that the village would more than likely self-destruct.
Guess I was wrong this time. Danzou will not stop until I am gone. So now, I must prepare for Konoha's destruction...and my ultimate victory.
Kumo and Iwa have some beef with Danzou back when he was an active ninja. So I will use that to my advantage. I will be heading back east for an inspection tour of the Pekara Houses, so I will have a meeting with the leaders of Kumo, Iwa, and their respective damiyos. If I want to go to war against Danzou, then it will benefit me to have some insurance.
Trading Outpost, near the Lightning Border...
To call it a trading outpost would be an understatement. It was, in fact, a thriving town in neutral territory. The Unified West, and the damiyos of the countries which housed the most powerful of the shinobi villages had signed a non-aggression pact, which allowed the outpost to conduct its business unmolested. It was also one of the few places in which ninja from rival villages could visit and a bloodbath would not ensue.
The trading organizations which served the East and the United West's Pekara Merchant House were the chief members of the trading consortium. At the moment, Emperor Namikaze of the United West, along with the Tsuchikage of Iwa, Kurotsuchi and the new Raikage, a veteran by the name of Rokurou Kinoshita. Kinoshita was by far the oldest of the rulers, and Naruto remembered him as the one who had been sent to Suna when Kumo demanded his wife.
The designated rulers were inside a meeting room, while their bodyguards waited outside. Naruto sat at the head of the table, while the Lightning and Kumo envoy sat on the right side of the table, the Earth and Iwa envoy sat on his left.
"Here we are," Naruto began, the Unified West...Earth and Iwa..,Lightning and Kumo...I wouldn't have asked you four to come here if it wasn't important."
"So let's get to the brass tacks and dispense with the bull," Kinoshita barked. He did not forget the disrespect that this young upstart had given to him when he and his envoy had came to him back in Suna, but he did respect the son of Minato Namikaze for being the one who destroyed the Akatsuki, a feat that not even he himself could have done in his prime. But the Lightning Damiyo had made it clear that Naruto's wife was off limits. If Naruto could destroy the Akatsuki, then he could just as easily do the same with them.
"As you wish," Naruto replied. "I am here because we each have a problem: Konoha."
Kinoshita scoffed. "Your former village? The Fire Lord stripped it of its hidden village status. Why should we be worried about them? Maybe to you, but not to the Stone. Every time their ROOT shows up, Kumo fights them back to their borders."
"Konoha's power may have been stripped, but that does not make them any less dangerous," Naruto replied as he steepled his hands. "Even a cornered animal is most dangerous because it has nothing else to lose."
"That very much is true," Kurotsuchi said. "We've also had skirmishes with Shimura's ROOT ANBU on our border for the past year and a half. You are lucky that you have not been affected."
"Oh, but I have," Naruto replied. "In the past three months, I had to provide armed escorts to the Pekara caravans traveling through Fire Country. I had to order the merchants to give them a wide berth in the area surrounding Konoha. Jiraiya's spy network has been reporting that Oto remnants, as well as a sizable number of missing ninja from several villages – including those from Kumo and Iwa – are gathering in Konoha."
"So Shimura is gathering an army under the Fire Lord's nose," the Lightning Damiyo said, concerned. It was her Fire counterpart which had offered her and her family asylum when her husband was murdered by the Oto-backed regime. For that act of kindness from the Fire Lord, she and her family would be eternally greatful. "Does this mean that Konoha is planning for war?"
Naruto nodded. "Yes. I fear that with Konoha losing its status as a Shinobi village, Danzou has completely lost it. But he wasn't all there to begin with." He retrieved several documents from a scroll and passed them to the two sides. "My allies in Suna were chasing down a missing-nin when they came across a hidden base in what used to be Sound Country. I just received those documents shortly before leaving my home for here. Turns out that Orochimaru and Danzou were working together. The plan was for Danzou to use his ROOT ANBU to assassinate both the Godaime Hokage and the Shinobi council, then sue for peace with Orochimaru. Once the alliance between Orochimaru and Danzou was cemented, they would then assassinate the kages of Stone and Lightning and combine their forces into one massive army."
"They were both planning on starting another Shinobi War," Kinoshita said as he read the incriminating documents. Unknown to the two ninjas and the damiyos, the documents were doctored fakes. Kitami herself had designed them using her own genjutsu to make them look like correspondence between the snake and the warhawk, making it look like the real thing. "The blood and the motive, here in writing. If this was signed in snake venom, I would not be surprised."
Naruto nodded. "First by invading Wave...then Water Country and subjugating its ninja forces. The same thing would follow in Suna...Waterfall...until they would turn their sights to the Unified West. My home."
Kurotsuchi set the documents on the table. "What are you proposing?" she asked.
"Danzou is planning to finish what Orochimaru has started," Naruto continued. "If he wages war here, he will destabilize the region. Not only will you respective countries and shinobi villages will be threatened, but once his forces are big enough, he will invade the Unified West, and destabilize the region that I've worked so hard to bring peace to. What I'm proposing is simple. We invade and crush Konoha once and for all. We destroy Shimura and his army and burn the village to the ground."
"An enticing offer," Kinoshita said. "But what do we benefit in teaming up with you?"
"Last time I checked, the Hyuuga are still in Konoha," Naruto replied. "All of them Main Branch. Including Hanabi Hyuuga."
Kinoshita immediately caught on as to what Naruto was suggesting. After whispering an exchange with the Lightning Damiyo, Kinoshita came to a decision. "Kumogakure no Sato will commit but only if we can obtain the Bykaugan."
"So long as it's not my wife or the Western Hyuuga, I don't care what you do. Are we in agreement?"
Kinoshita nodded. "The Damiyo of Lightning Country agrees to your terms. You have Kumogakure no Sato in your corner."
"And what does Iwa get in return in exchange for this triple alliance?" Kurotsuchi asked.
"The heads of all of the missing ninja will bring in a nice bounty for Iwa," Naruto said. "All of the missing ninja are A-rank and higher, and will earn Iwa some serious coin."
This time around, a two-person conference was between the Tsuchikage and the Earth Damiyo. After a moment, they came to an agreement. "Okay, Lord Namikaze. You got yourself a deal."
"But...what do you get out of this?" Kinoshita asked. "You're handing over the Hyuuga to us and the missing-nin to Iwa on silver platters. How do we know that you won't try the same thing that Danzou is planning on doing? You have a military alliance with Suna, and we have seen a fraction of the United West's strength when you along with Gaara crushed the Akatsuki. You can just as easily roll over the Elemental Countries and absorb them into your Empire."
"If I was a bloodthirsty tyrant, I would have done it already," Naruto replied. "But I have no intention of invading the East. Gaara and Suna have a military and trading alliance with the Unified West, not to mention that Gaara is a close friend of mine from when I was a genin. The people of Wave showed kindness to me, Damiyo Fujikaze is the godmother to my eldest son, and Zabuza still has connections in Mist. I am very content with what I have back west. To answer your question about what do I get out of it...the satisfaction of seeing Konoha burn to the ground. Payback for twelve years' worth of hell."
The Damiyos of Earth and Lightning, as well as the two kages knew of Naruto's background as the jinchuuriki of the Nine-Tails. It was a miracle in itself that Naruto had not unleashed hell upon the Leaf for all of the trauma they had put him through. If anything, they respected Naruto a lot more. Not because that he was a wise ruler, but the fact that they were still alive because he showed no interest of invading.
With the forces of Stone and Lightning in my corner, I had to sell my idea to the Fire Damiyo. He was easy to convince, once I laid out all of my evidence of Danzou's motives. He agreed that Konoha was a threat and gave me the authorization to invade and destroy Konoha, as well as the authorization for Danzou's termination.
Returning to Kimon City by way of the Demon's Gate, I called for a meeting of the council, and told them of my intentions. They all agreed that Danzou was a threat, and that he had to be eliminated. So I activated the Demon Brigade and the Hellcats, as well as a sizable number of ninja and samurai to even the playing field. I even brought in Konan and Yahiko for the fun. Even Kakashi, Rock Lee, Maito Gai, Jiraiya and Tsunade volunteered. Kitami also decided to come, since I promised her that she could burn the village to the ground.
Hinata wanted to come, but I refused. She may be the Empress, but she was also a mother. I could not let our children grow up as orphans. Grudgingly, Hinata had agreed to remain behind. I used the Demon's Gate to transport myself, the Elite Guards, Kitami, the Demon Unit and the Hellcats to the trading post, and waited for Kumo and Iwa to show up.
Kumo, since they were the closest, arrived shortly after I did, while Iwa arrived two days later. Our combined forces were about six hundred to Danzou's fifteen hundred ninja.
But as always, I have a plan. Gotta close out now. It's time.
The battle is over. Konohagakure is in our hands. The majority of the ROOT ANBU have been decimated. Only a small pocket of resistance remains as Zabuza and Yugito invade the underground headquarters where Danzou his holed up.
One advantage I have over Danzou is despite being decades younger, I have experience in fighting wars. Despite our triple alliance, we were still outnumbered 3-to-1. But I quickly negated those numbers with the use of exploding clones, which decimated the majority of Danzou's forces.
Then I used another batch of exploding clones to destroy the gates and we came charging in. I made my intentions clear as I saw Danzou with his lapdog Sai.
"Danzou! The Kyuubi brat has returned! I bring the destruction of Konoha!"
With those words, the Invasion of Konoha has begun.
The ROOT ANBU were the major threat, as was Mizuki. Danzou sent him after me, along with Sakura. I had activated the Fox Eye and used it to cut down the ANBU with Rasenshurikens and Exploding Kage Bushins. With Kakashi and Sasuke backing me up, we unleashed hell until we caught up with Mizuki and Sakura. I guess one can say that it was a reunion of sorts – Cell Seven back together again. Only this time, I was leading the assault with Hatake and the Uchiha backing me up, and Sakura – now a member of ROOT – and Mizuki leading the defense of Konoha.
I sent Sasuke and Hatake to 'catch up' with the banshee, while I dealt with Mizuki. This white-haired freak was responsible for several murders of Pekara Merchants and Imperial civilians who were on their way to Wave and Spring. Regrettably, one of those murders was that of Makie Asahina. It was time for Mizuki to answer for his crimes.
The battle had taken place in Training Ground No.44 – the Forest of Death. As expected, the hungry critters roamed the area, watching as our battle had taken place. Mizuki was a master of jutsu that kept me on my toes, as well as having a modified Cursed Seal which transformed him into a bipedal, tigerlike form, giving him a boost in strength and agility. The battle between myself and Mizuki raged from the Forest of Death, the animals not daring to interfere, as they wanted to see which one of us will fall before moving in.
I knew that Mizuki would not fall for the same trick twice when I kicked his ass the first time. As I've said before, I still live up to the title of being unpredictable, and that I still have some tricks of my own that I have not revealed. Mizuki was complacent in his superiority, thinking that he had the upper hand.
But after I used the Hirashin to get behind him, I flung two Rasenshuriken at him. Mizuki turned around, assuming that the attacks did nothing to harm him, until I told him those four magic words.
"You are already dead."
At that, Mizuki fell to the ground in several bloody pieces. I turned from the sight and left the area, just as the oversized critters moved in for the feast.
Turns out that there was a witness in that battle. Sakura had given Kakashi and Sasuke the slip and was preparing to attack me from behind with her katana. That was when I heard the familiar sound of birds chirping, followed by Sakura's scream. I spun around, and saw Sasuke pulling his hand back, having executed the Chidori on Sakura. The assassination jutsu had obliterated her lung and damaged her heart.
"I'm sorry it had to be this way, Sakura," Sasuke had said with genuine regret as Sakura turned to face him. I could pretty much bet that she was looking at her one-time crush with a combination of betrayal and disbelief before falling over. I learned that Sakura had injured Kakashi, and that he was out of the fight. Sasuke had barely managed to stop Sakura from getting the jump on me. Looks like the Uchiha was sincere about his redemption after all. But I'm getting ahead of myself.
Aside from Kakashi, Asuma Sarutobi and Maito Gai was also out of action, due to injury. But they would both survive. Asuma, however, would not be an active ninja again, due to the severity of his own injuries. Tragically, the Raikage, Rokurou Kinoshita was killed in action, as were ninja from my forces, Iwa and Kumo.
With the majority of the ROOT dead and the Oto Remanats crushed, the surviving missing ninja decided that It would be best that they surrender. Iwa got what they wanted, the remaining missing-ninja were restrained and taken out of Konoha. With their objective complete, Iwa withdrew from the field.
As for Kumo, something unexpected. Hiashi Hyuuga and the Hyuuga Council were found slaughtered inside the Hyuuga Compound. As it turned out, Hanabi was against her father's wishes to continue the fight when it became evident that Konoha was finished. Which led to Hanabi seizing control of the Hyuuga from her crippled father and the council.
Once she had killed Hiashi and the elders, the other Main Branch Hyuuga had no problem in seeing that Hanabi was in charge. When the Kumo ninja invaded the Hyuuga Compound they were surprised to see that Hanabi was now clan head. Seeing that fighting off Kumo would be futile, Hanabi had decided to surrender the Hyuuga to Kumo. For the duration of the invasion, the Hyuuga would be under heavy guard. Once the battle was over, the majority of them were executed, and Hanabi and ten Hyuuga – most of them female – were taken back to Kumo. With the remaining Hyuuga in their possession, Kumo returned home.
As for myself, I received word from Haku. Danzou has been captured, the last of his ROOT now dead. With Danzou in custody, the invasion is officially over. Since this town is doomed anyway, I ordered it to be stripped of any useful items from cash to jutsu, of which plenty was left behind. The Konoha hospital was transformed into a triage center as Tsunade, Ino, Shizune and the Yamada clan treated the injured. Once the injured were safely back home, I sent the Imperial forces back to Kimon, leaving only myself, Zabuza, Yugito, Kitami, Jiraiya and Tsunade.
Once the village was cleared of people, I moved out to a hillside area about ten miles out, where I had a excellent view of Konoha. I want Danzou to see the destruction of his beloved village before I execute him for crimes against the Unified West.
Outskirts of Konoha, Fire Country – night.
Kitami, Zabuza and Yugito emerged from the village, bloodied and bruised, but alive. The ROOT ANBU had made their final stand inside the underground headquarters, but they were no match for the battle-hardened Imperial Forces, Sai being the last to fall.
With them, his Sharingan ripped from his skull and his arm containing the ten Sharingan ripped from his body, the wound cauterized so that he would not bleed to death, was Danzou Shimura.
Naruto had set up a forward operations base ten miles out from Konoha. The temporary base was set upon a hill with an excellent view of the village. Minutes later, the last surviving member of Konoha was at Naruto's feet. The victorious Emperor looked down on his defeated foe, his expression grim.
"You couldn't just leave me in peace, Shimura," Naruto snapped. "You tried to initiate a shinobi war out of pure spite. Now look at you. Your army is destroyed. Kumo has the Hyuuga and Iwa has your missing ninja. My forces have wiped out what remained of your ROOT. You are the last one."
In the face of his demise, Danzou was defiant. "You little brat. You don't deserve to be the Emperor of the West! That title should have been mine! Your armies should have been mine! I would have conquered the East and brought it under the control of the Leaf!"
That earned him a kick to the head from Naruto, causing the crippled warhawk to fall over. "I was hoping that you would be begging for your miserable life," the Emperor replied as Zabuza hauled him upright. "You are the last one alive, Shimura. Don't think I've forgotten that you were the mastermind behind my banishment. All of this, from what had happened when I was kicked out to this very moment...it is your mess. Your responsibility. In trying to make Konoha stronger, you sealed its fate."
"I should have killed you myself when I had the chance!" Danzou snarled. "Saturobi should not have let you live!"
"Shame," Naruto replied. "Sarutobi respected you once upon a time. But you got arrogant. You tried to make me into a weapon. When Sarutobi blocked you, you had me banished. But, life goes on. I will return home to Kimon City, where my wife and my children are waiting for me. You will not live to see the end of this day. In war, there are winners...and losers. I'm cashing you out, Danzou. But the last thing you will see will be the Nine-Tails destroying Konoha once and for all."
Turning to Kitami, he simply said, "Do it."
Giving Naruto a feral grin, Kitami vanished in a geyser of flame. Zabuza turned Danzou around to face Konoha, while Yugito tapped a pressure point on the back of his neck. The pressure point worked on his eye, keeping it open despite Danzou's feeble attempts to close it.
Kitami then reappeared. Now in her fox form, which was bigger than the destroyed Hokage Monument, Kitami began to finish what she had started over two decades ago, decimating all in her path. As the former shinobi village was awash in a sea of flames, Naruto, his Elite Guards, Tsunade, Jiraiya, Yugito and Zabuza watched as the Kyuubi no Kitsune let out a roar and with one massive swing of her tails, decimated what was the Hokage Mountain.
Danzou watched, unable to turn away. The defeated warhawk could not help but to feel sadness as he watched the Kyuubi no Kitsune raze what was once the strongest of the shinobi villages.
Then he heard Naruto whisper into his ear. "By the way...I lied to Kumo and Iwa to get them on my side by saying you worked with Orochimaru. Take that to your grave."
Before Danzou could say "What?" Naruto had moved out of the way and Zabuza stepped forward, oversized sword in one hand. With one swing, the last of Konoha's ninja was dead, his head liberated from his body.
"Leave Danzou's body here," Naruto ordered as Danzou's corpse fell over. "Let the critters of the forest have him for dinner."
Once Kitami returned to them in her human form, Konoha was in flames, its gates and village walls having been torn down by her tails, the mountain leveled and collapsed into a giant heap. The fires of Konoha were seen for miles, and would burn all night. Come morning, what used to be Konohagakure no Sato, once the strongest of the Shinobi villages until its own arrogance proved to be its downfall, was a smoking crater.
People would come to avoid the ruins, saying that they were cursed. Even the animals who used to live there had moved on to other parts of Fire Country.
His job finished, Naruto summoned the Demon's Gate and in a flash, were back in Kimon City. He dismissed the guards, Kitami, Zabuza, Yugito and the two sages and returned to the Imperial Palace, where Hinata and their two children were waiting for him.
With Konoha destroyed and Danzou finally dead, he could breathe a lot easier, and look to the future.