Side Story 5: Hinata's Ascension, Part 1

Snafu's Notes: Why did I divert from the storyline and write the series of side stories for Naruto and Hinata? Easy. I got a real bad habit of throwing in twists that no one doesn't see coming. The side stories serves as a backstory which records the years prior to the Akatsuki Invasion. It also shows the character development of Naruto and Hinata. Also, the side stories make my version of the fanfic unique. Unlike Naruto's four-part side stories, Hinata's will come to the grand total of two. After that, the main story will continue.

Also, in fox form, Kitami/Kyuubi sounds like she does in the anime, while in human form, she sounds female. I also modeled her likeness and voice after Nariko from Heavenly Sword, in case anyone is wondering.

[Hinata's Diary]

Entry 1:

My first day in the Western Empire. I'm still thinking that this is a dream. That I'll wake back up in Konoha, and that I still have that damned seal on my forehead. Thankfully, it's not a dream. I'm here with Naruto. I'm finally free from my family.

I heard from Temari that the Konoha ninja were looking for me at the conclusion of the Chuunin Exams back in Suna. They didn't know that I was hiding out at the Imperial Consulate. I know that this act will make me a missing ninja and will earn a place in the Bingo Book, but I really don't care. Now that I'm here with Naruto, I can do almost anything.

While hiding out at the Imperial Consulate, Naruto had introduced me to his bodyguards. The Elite Guards, as he called them. A group of ninja and samurai assigned to protect him. Two of them really stood out, as Naruto told me that they were once part of the Akatsuki: Konan and Yahiko. Naruto had rescued them from death at the hands of their former organization, and now they serve him as his guards.

Once the tournament was over, Naruto said his farewells to Gaara and returned back west. Konohamaru - no, make that Maru, Moegi and Udon followed him, Gaara having assigned them to the Suna Consulate back in the West. Naruto had their Chuunin vests with them, and would present them to the three once we returned home.

Naruto had used a special type of Jutsu to return home, called the Demon's Gate, allowing himself access to any location he has been. Only thing was that it used a lot of chakra. But it was a very effective jutsu. The first thing that Naruto did when we returned was to tell those inside the Imperial Complex that I was his honored guest. Any attempts on my life will be met with instant death.

He gave me the tour of the Imperial Complex, introducing me to several members of his staff along the way. Including the former Raikage, A. Naruto also confirmed that he rescued A and his brother from being assassinated when he was overthrown, and that A served as his chief adviser. Naruto also said that aside from Yagura and Gaara, he saved the Jinchuuriki and offered them a home.

But one encounter really stood out in my mind. That encounter was with the Nine-Tails herself.


[Flashback]

Imperial Complex - House of Sovereigns, Council Chambers.

Maru Sarutobi, Moegi and Udon stood before the Emperor of the West, Hinata standing beside him, looking on. Also present was Sonshi, Takuma Chiba, Hayate Okajima, Kokoro Yamada and Rena Shiratori. Temari and several high-ranking Suna jounin were also present for this ceremony.

Naruto produced a scroll, unrolled it and activated it. Three Chuunin vests appeared before the three Suna ninja.

"Money cannot buy the honor which you three have earned," Naruto said as Team Misfit claimed their prize. "You make us all proud."

The gathered audience applauded.

"By order of the Godaime Kazekage, you are now Chuunin of the Sand," Temari decreed. "You three are assigned to the garrison at the Suna Consulate. As your training with Emperor Namikaze was a success, Gaara will allow you to continue your training under the Emperor. If this continues, you may become Special Jounin."

The older people congratulated the newly-minted Chuunin. In the meantime, Naruto had exited the room, Hinata following him. He had stopped a valet and asked them to order some barbecue from the village, for the graduation party that would soon follow.

On their way back to the Imperial Palace, they were greeted by a voluptuous redheaded woman in an elegant kimono.

"Ah, I see you found her, kit," the woman began.

"That I did," Naruto replied. "She was in Suna acting as a chaperone for the Chuunin Exams."

The redhead turned to Hinata. "Hinata Hyuuga, of House Hyuuga. The kit has spoken highly of you. It is good to see you again."

Hinata was puzzled. "You know me?"

"In a way. I was sealed inside his gut up until he was able to reverse the seal." The woman inclined her head as she introduced herself watching with amusement as Hinata's eyes bulged out of her head as her tails emerged. "Kitami Akashiya, Chief Prime Minister of the Unified West. But I am also known as Kyuubi no Yoko."

[End Flashback]


Naruto gave me the backstory shortly afterward, about the circumstances regarding both himself and Kitami. And I always thought that the Nine-Tails was a bloodthirsty demon. Kitami proved me wrong. She's actually pretty nice.

Following the dinner celebrating the Misfits' promotion to Chuunin, Naruto and I talked for most of the night. Actually, he did most of the talking while I just listened to his tales about fighting in the Unification War. I can honestly say that I am impressed. We also talked about our relationship. I still love him, and Naruto had reciprocated those feelings back in Suna. We both agreed to let things run their course.

Entry 2:

The following morning, I woke up to an empty bed. Naruto was already awake and about. He was nice enough to leave me a clean uniform that I can wear until he can get me some more clothes. I cleaned myself up, and changed clothes. Naruto and his Elite Guards were hanging around outside the training hall with Maru, Moegi and Udon. Naruto was sparring with Maru while the others chatted and joked with each other.

I watched this scene from a distance, with a smile on my face. Naruto always had that air about him. Even back in Konoha, when he was screaming to the rooftops that he was going to be Hokage, he could make you believe in him. This wasn't the Emperor of the West I was seeing. This was just a man who cares about his people. He can laugh with them, joke with them. Just because his father was Konoha's hero and his mother was the former ruler of Whirlpool didn't mean that he could mingle with the common people.

While watching them, Kitami came to me with an offer. An offer that would change my life.


[Flashback]

Imperial Complex, Kimon City.

"He never stopped thinking about you, you know."

Hinata 'eeped' at the deep voice and turned around. There, in a shaded area of the complex near the training hall, in all her nine-tailed glory, was Kitami. The Kyuubi no Kitsune was resting in the shade, chuckling inwardly at scaring the crap of her former container's chosen mate. Hinata eyed the giant fox warily. It was just as big as Akamaru, if not bigger. Even more so, the ninja and samurai that served as the ground's guards did not bat an eyelash over the presence of the Nine-Tails.

"I'm not going to bite you, Hinata," Kitami said, her voice showing amusement. "Naruto would be very upset if I tried to eat his chosen mate."

Hinata blushed at that. Both her and Naruto had a long chat about how their relationship should go. From Kitami's perspective, Naruto choosing the former heiress as his wife was a foregone conclusion. But the next thing that Kitami had said had her curiosity piqued.

"Since you are here, I have a proposal for you," the massive fox began. "Konoha was known for producing the three Legendary Sages, but Whirlpool was known for its own sage: the Fox Sage. Naruto's grandmother and mother served as the first two sages. Naruto sees great potential in you, as do I. I watched your performance in the Chuunin Exams through his eyes, when you fought against your cousin. If you agree to my proposal, Hinata, you will undergo training to become the Third Fox Sage."

"Why me?" Hinata replied. "Why not Naruto?"

"The Fox Sage can only be a female and a member of the Uzumaki Clan," Kitami replied. "While Naruto is Uzumaki, he can't be the sage for obvious reasons."

"But I'm not of the Uzumaki clan," Hinata pointed out.

"At least, not by marriage, anyway," Kitami replied. "But I am willing to overlook that part. So what do you say, Hinata? Are you willing to show Naruto that you are strong? Are you willing to show your former clan that you are not worthless when the time comes to face them? Since you have defected from both Konoha and from the Hyuuga, a confrontation between them is inevitable. Naruto knows your true worth. Prove him right."

Hinata had to admit that Kitami had a point. If anything, she would have to face Hiashi, Hanabi and Neji in the future. Kitami was offering her a way to prepare herself for the upcoming storm. And a chance to prove to Naruto that she was no pushover, that she was truly worthy of his heart...

Hinata slowly nodded. "I...I accept your offer, Kitami."

The Nine-Tails smiled, showing off her rows of sharp teeth. "Good, Hinata. The training will take at least six months. I will teach you ninjitsu and taijitsu, as well as how to heal. What is your elemental release?"

"The Hyuugas are mostly attuned to water, but mine is Fire Release." Hinata sounded ashamed.

Kitami caught on immediately. "You have nothing to be ashamed for, Hinata. Fire is the strongest of the Elemental Releases. Naruto is a master of Wind and Fire. You have the potential to become even better than Mito and Kushinna. Oh, yes, Hinata. You will become great."

In the back of her mind, Hinata wondered just what she had gotten herself into.

[End Flashback]


Entry 3:

My training to become the third Fox Sage began the following day. The Fox Sage is three parts: part healer, part warrior and part assassin. Mito was the better assassin, while Kushinna was the better warrior. My interest was in healing, and before I left Konoha, I was studying shiatsu and herbal medicine from Tsunade, as well as getting some pointers in regards to diplomatic relations. Monday through Thursday, I have to undergo Taijutsu training. Fridays I spend time with Sonshi, who took me on as a pupil in diplomatic relations. The weekends I spend with Naruto, as he showed me around town.

Kitami also told me not to shy away from my Jyuuken style. I knew the style from front to back, since Hiashi basically drilled it into my head. But when I wasn't performing up to his standards, he abandoned me and focused on Hanabi instead. So during one of our spars, Kitami had defeated me while I used the original style. Naruto was watching the entire thing. Afterward, he pulled me to the side and gave me some advice.

"You know what's wrong with the style, Hinata. The solution is simple: remove all the flaws and weaknesses of the style. Then the Gentle Fist will be unstoppable. Think of it this way: a sculptor doesn't keep adding more clay to a statue. He instead removes the inessentials until the truth is revealed."

Come to think of it, Naruto was right. I tried to voice my opinion on the style to Hiashi, but he refused to listen. Now, I have free reign. Naruto taught me how to make a shadow clone, which helped in my sage training, as well as revamping the Jyuuken style. From what I know about the Hyuuga Clan, it was the first clan to settle in Konoha following the battle between Tsunade's grandfather and Madara Uchiha over who would be Hokage. The Jyuuken was designed to be an elite style, given our abilities to see a person's chakra system.

But I dug in a bit deeper. The original name of the style before it switched to Jyuuken was called Kin Shiki Kobujutsu. The original scrolls were either lost to history or were destroyed as the style 'evolved.' I always thought that since Naruto had beaten both Hiashi and Neji (twice), they would at least improve on the weaknesses of the style. I was wrong.

So after training with Kitami, I spent two hours a day with a shadow clone and several notebooks as I put in all of the basic, mid-level and advanced techniques of the Jyuuken. Then I stripped them all down and worked my way from the bottom, using my mistakes during the fights with Neji and Hanabi as references. Improvisation and creativity was not allowed back in Konoha, as the clan thought that it would weaken and taint the so-called 'putity' of the honorable style.

Honor. Konoha was supposed to honor the wishes of Naruto's father in regards to his son, and he was ignored. I later found out that Asana Haruno had spearheaded the whole thing. Turns out that she was madly in love with the Yellow Flash, and when Minato chose Kushinna over her, Asana was furious. So with Minato and Kushinna dead and Naruto left as an orphan, she unleashed hell on Naruto because Minato had loved Kushinna over her. Naruto told me what he thought about honor.

"Honor is nothing but bullshit. Honor was only designed by weak people to keep the strong in line. I learned that when I was banished. I never put that much stock in honor. From my experiences, those who call themselves honorable were hiding their true agenda. There is only the right action and what a good person truly desires is here (points to his head) and here (points to his heart). By what you decide and how you live, you will live a good life...or not."

Leave it to Naruto to inspire me to do what I know is right. It's one of the reasons why I love him so much.


Imperial Palace, nighttime - three weeks after the Suna Chuunin Exams.

"Ow...ow!"

"Hold still, Hinata. I'm almost done."

"OW!"

Inside the master bedroom of the Imperial Palace, Naruto was tending to Hinata's injuries. Kitami had created a wooden training dummy (similar to the wooden Wing Chun training dummy with stand) and had Hinata train on it for most of the day. The end result was skinned knuckles, several cuts and bruises, and a couple of splinters.

Naruto was busy tending to Hinata's wounded hands. A first-aid kit was on the table, and it was open. Naruto was plucking the remaining splinters out of Hinata's right hand with a pair of tweezers. Her other hand was already treated and bandaged. Fortunately, it was Friday night, meaning that the Emperor and Hinata had the weekend off.

"If it's any consolation, I had my share of injuries when I was training under Kitami as well," Naruto said. "Combined that with Sonshi, Zabuza and her, Kitami was the toughest. Between you and me, her training methods could give Gai a run for her money."

"She was that bad? Ow," Hinata winced.

"You're getting off light in becoming a sage," Naruto said as he cleaned the injuries and was currently bandaging them. "I was busy learning how to fight so I can unify the lands. She's training you for six months. I had to train for nine. Sonshi was strict in ways that would make old man Sarutobi blush, Zabuza was a certified psycho, Yugito is a sadist, and Kitami's an insane dominatrix."

Hinata cocked an eyebrow. "And those four helped you win the war?"

"I wouldn't be Emperor without those four and their insane training methods."

"True."

"Okay...all done," Naruto said as he finished tending to Hinata's injuries. "You should be fine come Monday."

The Emperor of the West packed up the first-aid kit and rose from the seat. Unknown to him, Hinata followed him. Naruto walked over to the nightstand and stowed the kit away. When he turned around, he was caught completely unaware by Hinata standing behind him.

They had kissed before, but this time around, it was Hinata, not Naruto, who had initiated it. This was another thing that Naruto had liked. Hinata was becoming more assertive and less meek. She was becoming his equal, but out of respect, she was his second-in-command. Oh, were the Hyuuga and Konoha are going to be in for a shock when Hinata resurfaces as not as the Fox Sage, but as the Empress Consort of the Emperor himself.

'Empress Consort Hinata Namikaze,' Naruto thought as he carried her to the bed. 'I like that.'

The couple would make out for most of the night. They both agreed that they would take their relationship further when they were both ready. Right now, this was all they needed for the moment.


Entry 4:

Naruto has received a copy of the Bingo Book from Temari. Sure enough, it has my profile in it. A-ranked missing ninja with a retrieve-on-sight order. Even more worse was the bounty contract that came with the Bingo Book. Twenty million ryo. That's more than half of what Asuma is worth. Good thing that Naruto does not plan on heading back East for a while. But I'm not worried. Naruto will protect me. I've seen him in action and he will not hesitate to kill anyone who threatens his Empire or those he care about.

This also verified my desire to become even stronger.

I also was introduced to A, the former Raikage of Kumo. Given the fact that I was nearly kidnapped by Kumo ninja when I was a child, I was wary. A reassured me that the incident in which Hizashi had lost his life was his predecessor's doing, as he wanted the Bykaugan. I knew that Yugito was a jinchuuriki, as was A's brother.

Naruto verified it for me. Two of his Elite Guards were formerly of the Akatsuki, the organization of S-class criminals back east. Naruto had intercepted the surviving jinchuuriki and offered them asylum within the Empire. As for Konan and Yahiko, he had them place inside his Elite Guard not only to protect him, but also to keep an eye on both of them. So far, Kitami has not seen any reason not to trust them.

While I was training with Kitami, she told me the whole story. The Six Paths Sage...the Ten-Tailed Beast...Madara's Eye of the Moon Plan...and Naruto's plans in trying to stop it from destroying everything.

I hope that Naruto succeeds in destroying the Akatsuki and Madara.

Entry 5:

My research into overhauling the Gentle Fist is progressing smoothly. Back when I was in Konoha, I asked that bastard I once called Father about it. His reply: "The Kin Shiki Kobujutsu is forbidden for a reason, Hinata. Not that it would matter since you are a weakling."

What he didn't know was that one night I snuck inside the main house and after searching through his study, I found the Kin Shiki scroll. They did not give me any fighting techniques, but it did give me a bit of history on the predecessor to the Gentle Fist. The Forbidden Style of Kobujutsu was in the eyes of the Main Branch, a primitive style, designed to take on multiple targets. In layman terms, it was a style based on instinct.

One thing that they did incorporate into the Gentle Fist was the Eight Trigrams, and made it a more lethal move. Whereas the Gentle Fist relied solely on disrupting the chakra systems of the enemy, the Kin Shiki Kobujutsu targets not only the chakra points, but also has the ability to tear muscle and bone, as well as targeting the shiatsu points. The only reason I did not research this further was that I was pushed into the Cadet Branch.

Naruto was my test subject. Or rather, a shadow clone of his while he and Kitami watched. I first started with the basics of the Kin Shiki. The Kin Shiki is above all things, a fighting style that can be used to deceive the opponent, and to exploit their weaknesses.

I took down the clone in less than ten minutes. My theories on the Kin Shiki proved to be correct. No fixed positions, no set movements. It's a lot like Naruto's fighting styles: professional and direct, no wasted movements whatsoever. If the basics can drop a clone in less than ten minutes, then I would like to see how the advanced styles will do.

Entry 6:

At the meeting of the Imperial Council, Naruto introduced me to the other council members. Sonshi I already met. I sat in on the council meeting. The others had heard only an inkling about me, that the Emperor has finally found someone worthy of his heart. I think Lady Aihara was disappointed that she was unable to arrange a marriage with one of her daughters to the Emperor, but she was still happy for Naruto.

I told them the truth about my past. How Naruto and I came up together in the Konoha Ninja Academy, all the way to the events during the Chuunin Exams in Suna. I also told them that Kitami was training me to become the next sage and that Naruto and I decided to marry once my sage training is complete. The council members were shocked to hear such a thing, but they all gave me their support, formally recognizing me as the fiancee of the Emperor of the West.

Once that meeting was over, Naruto introduced me to the Spring Damiyou, Yukie Fujikaze. She was in town shooting a new Princess Gale movie and had decided to stop by the Imperial Palace. I was curious as to how she and Naruto knew each other, and Naruto told me. They met shortly before the Sasuke Retrieval Mission when she was hiding from her uncle, who was the ruler of Spring, then called Snow.

It also explained the funny autograph I saw of Naruto and her in his office.

Yukie was surprised, then overjoyed at the news of our engagement. Naruto promised her that she will be the first to personally receive a wedding invitation. Aside from that fact, Yukie was there to talk of a trading agreement with the Empire and Spring Country. Naruto's terms were more than generous: allow a Pekara Branch to be established in Spring, and Yukie can get much needed items to Spring Country at a reduced price. She agreed.

Entry 7:

It's been nearly five months to the day that I agreed to come here. Five months and my sage training is nearly complete. The Kin Shiki Kobujutsu has been perfected. Of course, I needed a training dummy, so Takuma Chiba volunteered. Naruto and the Elite Guards were in attendance inside the training hall, as were the Imperial Council and Kitami.

Naruto acted as proctor. He laid down the ground rules. No crippling moves, no killing the opponent. Hand-to-hand combat only. He then gave the signal to begin.

I saw why Takuma Chiba served as a member of the Elite Guards. His taijutsu is extraordinary. But I kept pace with him. Aside from my training with Kitami and Sonshi, Naruto has been helping me as well. He taught me how to make shadow clones, and of their one major advantage. Whenever a clone is dismissed, the person gains their experience. The most I can make were five.

But they served their purpose.

Takuma was not holding back. Neither was I. We fought long and hard for fifteen minutes, trading blows, until I decided to end it by using the 64 Palms. Takuma went down after I sealed his tenketsu. Seeing that he had lost, he conceded defeat. It was that moment, I knew that I had earned the respect of not only the Elite Guards, but of the council as well. Naruto and Kitami looked on in pride as the Imperial Council formally recognized me as the chosen consort to their Emperor.

Kitami gave me two gifts. A pair of ninjato that once belonged to Naruto's mother, and she enhanced my eyes. Now, I can use the Bykaugan to target muscle and bone more effectively, aside from the tenketsu points. Even though she did not say it outright, she knew that my training was complete.

Entry 8:

My father knows I'm back in the East. Naruto and I had gotten roped into an inspection tour of the Pekara Merchant Houses. Naruto's spy network back East has reported that since they knew that Naruto was the Emperor (but not his true identity,), the Konoha ninja has been ordered to give him a wife berth.

Unfortunately, given my Bingo Book status, I'm still fair game. Only when most of the ninja hunting me find out that I am with the Emperor, do they back down, as they don't want their respective villages razed to the ground by a pissed-off Emperor.

Too bad the ten-man-team from the Hyuuga main branch did not get the memo. That and when the lead ninja, a main branch member by the name of Haizou, tried to activate the Cagrd Bird Seal, he was shocked to see that I was no longer branded. Out of all of the main branch members who gave me grief when I was shoved into the Cadet Branch, Haizou topped the list. Which made my revenge ever so sweet. He once said to me that I should kill myself after I was branded, as being alive brought even more dishonor upon the Hyuuga.

So after incapacitating the nine Hyuuga, I summoned two clones that held him down while I performed the handseals of the Caged Bird Seal. I think Kitami has been rubbing off on me. Naruto was right about her training methods. She is an insane dominatrix. After I branded Haizou, I let him go. He was no longer a threat, as the psychological damage has been done. He had insulted and berated the Cadet Branch members for most of his life.

Consider this karma.


Hyuuga Complex, Konohagakure no Sato.

Hiashi Hyuuga knew that something was wrong when he began to read the mission report. Hanabi and Neji sat in front of the Hyuuga patriarch as his expression grew from neutral to angry.

The ten main branch ninja were the pick of the litter. They should have no problem in retrieving Hinata from the Empire. What he didn't expect was that his daughter – the same one who everyone in the clan had written off as weak – not only defeated all ten Hyuuga ninja, but had also branded Haizou with the Caged Bird Seal.

Hiashi slammed the mission scroll onto the table. Hanabi didn't even bother to read it, as she and Neji was already briefed on the chain of events which led up to this point. Neji, on the other hand, hid his emotions well. Despite disliking Hinata, he hated Haizou even more. In his mind, Haizou got what he deserved.

What made Hiashi so angry was that Haizou had committed suicide rather than to go through life with that accursed seal. It was another black eye to the illustrious Hyuuga Clan.

"It appears that Hinata has learned some new tricks while she was away," Hanabi noted. "Then again, I'm not surprised. You spread your legs to the most powerful man in the West and he will teach you how to defend yourself."

"Hotaru will be most displeased when he finds out that his son has committed suicide," Hiashi said. Turning to his remaining daughter and nephew, he gave them their orders. "Hanabi...Neji, find Hinata, and bring her back. I don't care how it's to be done."

"If we do that, then we risk the wrath of the Emperor," Neji pointed out.

"This is a clan matter," Hiashi snapped. "He can always find another whore to keep him warm at night. If word gets out that Hinata has been freed from her seal, but also drove a main branch member to suicide, then we will lose our standing in Konoha. See to your orders."

Hanabi and Neji nodded and left the room.


Entry 9:

I was with Naruto and the others in the Fire Capital, where Naruto was inspecting the consulate and the Pekara Branch. It was there that we were invited to the Fire Damiyo's estate. Not one to turn down such an offer, Naruto and I accepted. The old damiyo was courteous and cordial. Like most of the leaders in the Elemental Countries, he had been following the Emperor's story with great interest.

The Damiyo was most surprised when Naruto revealed to him his true identity. His exact words were "To think that Minato's son would have become the Emperor of the West. Your father was my friend, Your Grace. And I am yours."

He also said that he was the one who had personally intervened when Konoha had tried to have him placed inside the Bingo Book following his banishment. Sadly, as I had willingly deserted Konoha, there was nothing that he could do for me. But since I am going to be his wife, I will automatically be protected by diplomatic immunity. When Naruto asked who was responsible for getting him out of the Bingo Book, the Fire Lord remained silent on the matter.

It was after we had left the Fire Lord's estate, that I saw that Neji and Hanabi were waiting for me near the Imperial Consulate. Naruto and the others stepped to the side, as they understood that this was my fight. Hanabi was complacent in her superiority, thinking that she would be the one who could do what the others couldn't. As for Neji, I had some unfinished business with him, stemming back from when he tried to kill me during the Chuunin Exams.

It was a two-on-one match. Jyuuken versus the Kin Shiki. Hanabi was no problem, as she was so full of herself, thinking that I would be an easy victory. As Sonshi once told me, "Pride comes before destruction and haughtiness before the fall." So imagine Neji's surprise when I calmly put down Hanabi without breaking a sweat before turning to him.

"We still have a score to settle, cousin," I snarled.

"Hanabi was reckless," was Neji's reply. "The Emperor can't help you this time."

Neji underestimated me. He wasn't expecting either the Kitsune-ryuu Taijitsu or the Kin Shiki Kobujutsu. The prodigy of the Hyuuga Branch Clan has fallen off his glorified pedestal.


[Flashback]

Fire Capital, Fire Country.

Neji sank to his knees. The battle between himself and Hinata had gone in a direction that he did not expect. Even Hanabi was shocked as she held her limp arm with her good hand, Hinata having closed off the tenketsu points, as well as dislocating it for good measure.

Hinata stood tall, barely winded from the two-on-one battle between Neji and Hanabi. Inside, she was bursting with pride. The Kin Shiki Kobujutsu has exceeded her expectations in its first major test.

Hinata tapped one finger on her chin. "Now...what does this remind me of...? Oh, yes...the Chuunin Exams, when you tried to kill me out of spite. Now the roles have been reversed."

"You're...still weak," Neji hissed. "You were never cut out to be a ninja."

"You're wrong about that," Hinata replied as she activated her Bykaugan. "You tried to kill me...now let me return the favor."

Neji's eyes went wide. This wasn't the meek Hinata he remembered. This new Hinata was more driven, more focused...and more ruthless."You...wouldn't!"

Her hands were laced with purple-tinted chakra as she unleashed her final attack on Neji. One that Naruto recognized all too well. "Oh, I would, cousin," she replied, her voice laced with venom when she called Neji by his title. "Eight Trigrams...Sixty-Four Palms!"

With that, Hinata charged.

"One becomes two! Two becomes four! Eight! Sixteen! Thirty-Two! SIXTY-FOUR!"

Hinata finished with a double-palm strike to the sternum that lifted Neji off his feet and sent him crashing into Hanabi. The current heiress looked on with fear as the former heiress calmly drew her ninjato and approached the both of them.

"I can just as easily kill the both of you and send your heads back to Konoha as a warning," Hinata hissed as she deactivated her Bykaugan, the lavender orbs taking on a purplish hue as she radiated killer intent. "However, you two are more useful to me alive instead of dead. Give Hiashi a message for me, and I'll consider the both of you loose ends." She brought one of the ninjato to Hanabi's eye level. "Can you do that for me?"

Fearfully, Hanabi nodded.

"Tell Hiashi that if he wants me, then he will have to do his own dirty work. If he is man enough to brand me with the Caged Bird Seal, then he is more than man enough to come after me. I will be in Wave Country in two weeks. We will settle this once and for all." She sheathed her ninjato. "Take him and leave."

Hanabi did just as that.

[Flashback End]


Entry 10:

Sigh. When will these ninja ever learn?

You think the Ninja from Konoha would understand that trying to cash in on the bounty is a very bad idea. First it was the ANBU who attacked me in Water Country while we were visiting the Hidden Mist Village. They learned the hard way that attacking a woman who can unleash a volley of arrows rapid-fire from a chakra yumi is a bad idea.

Then, Sakura Haruno attacked me while we were in Wave. Apparently, she was sent by Hiashi to soften me up before the match. So I sent her back to Konoha after performing the 64 Palms on her. Naruto had watched the fight from the Pekara Merchant House in Wave City and shook his head.

"It was not even a fair contest, Hime," he had told me after she was knocked out cold and sent packing. "I would have just knocked her out."

"She called you a demon, when it's pretty clear that you're not," I shot back. "And since you already beaten both Hatake and Uchiha, I wanted to beat her ass for a while, since both her and her mother are still calling for your head."

"She was a liability when we were under Hatake," Naruto had replied. "She's still one now. The banshee will not let this go. Just like her mother."

"True," I replied. "I must prepare. He will arrive in three days. In three days, I will shatter his sense of superiority once and for all."


Snafu's Notes: For the Hinata vs Hiashi fight...I looked to Ip Man (the Donnie Yen flick) for inspiration. This is going to be very painful...for Hiashi.

Wave Town, Wave Country.

Watching from the sidelines, Naruto Namikaze had a slightly worried expression on his face. Fortunately, his hat had concealed the worry he had on his face as Hinata faced down Hiashi. Naruto knew that this was a long time coming. Even he knew about the emotional abuse Hiashi had put Hinata through, which had ultimately led to this final encounter between father and daughter.

He wasn't worried for Hinata. He was worried about the state Hinata was going to leave Hiashi. But that was just a fleeting moment, as he looked on in anticipation of the inevitable match between the former heiress and her father.

He had given some advice to Hinata before they made their appearance. Advice that was brief and straight to the point. Advice that even Hinata liked very much. "Crush him."

The people of Wave Town had given the two combatants a wide berth, as the battle was going to take place inside the town square, Naruto promising that he would personally pay for the damages that would soon follow from this battle. Hiashi was escorted by Hanabi Hyuuga and three members of the Main Branch, while The Emperor and his Elite Guards backed Hinata.

The Hyuuga patriarch looked regal, yet intimating in his traditional robes, while Hinata was clad in her usual ninja jumpsuit. Having discarded her hoodie when she first arrived in the West, she had on something more practical – a black jounin-style flak vest, similar to what Naruto would sometimes wear. Her hair was tied into a single braid. Simply put, Hinata was ready to kick some major ass.

"So you finally come," Hinata drawled. "Only when your so-called honor is compromised, do you actually take action instead of sending your underlings to do your dirty work."

"This has gone on lone enough, Hinata," Hiashi snapped. "You have tarnished the family name for the last time. Be warned...if you continue down this road, then you will not live to see the end of this day. But if you forsake the Emperor and return to the clan willingly, then I will spare your life."

"I think I will take the other option and beat you down," Hinata replied. "You have called me weak because I was not the perfect little heiress that you wanted. Mother would be ashamed as to what you have become."

Now Hiashi was incensed. "Don't you dare dishonor her memory! You, who have betrayed your clan! Just to be a whore to that upstart of an Emperor. We'll see if you can still warm his bed when I am through with you."

The Elite Guards – Konan especially – were ready to take the arrogant Hyuuga apart for that insult to the Emperor's fiancee. But Naruto ordered them to keep their cool. "This is Hinata's fight," he whispered. "She must face her own demons and conquer them."

Meanwhile, Hinata looked unfazed. "I only wanted your recognition. You forsook your own daughter for your own political standing. When you branded me with the Caged Bird Seal...that was the last straw. I have beaten Neji and Hanabi." She pointed to her father. "You are the last link to my past, Hiashi Hyuuga. It ends here."

(Cue Resident Evil/Biohazard 5's 'Sad But True' for the duration of the fight)

Hiashi activated his Bykaugan and went into his Jyuuken stance, while Hinata's eyes changed from lavender to violet as she activated her Enhanced Bykaugan (sans the bulging veins). She shifted into her Kin Shiki stance (think Lili's stance) and waited for Hiashi to make the first move.

Hiashi pulled out several kunai and flung them at Hinata, who calmly weaved and spun through the deadly bladed instruments, while at the same time, closing the distance between his firstborn. Chakra seeping into his hands, Hiashi let loose with several rapid Jyuuken strikes aimed at Hinata's chest.

However, Hinata wasn't going to let him nail her with those lethal strikes. She has proven to Hanabi and Neji that the Kin Shiki was a lethal style when it needs be. Now, it was time for Hiashi to feel its wrath. Hinata calmly dodged the first several Jyuuken strikes before parrying the rest with her forearms.

She then scored the first hit; a open palm strike to his jaw, having breached through his defenses.

As Hiashi staggered backwards, Hinata went back into her stance. While Hiashi was busy sitting on his ass for the past couple of years, Hinata had been training long and hard, with Kitami and Naruto helping her reach her full potential. The former heiress then moved in, kicking low, then high, forcing Hiashi to block both blows, wincing from the impact.

Then she closed in the distance before Hiashi could recover. A straight punch to the face, followed by a blow to the chest. She moved around Hiashi's Jyuuken strikes and grabbed a handful of his hair, violently yanking his head back and driving her elbow into his jaw, followed by a chop to the throat. She completed the combo with a Jyuuken strike to his left arm.

"You're outmatched Hiashi," Hinata drawled as she went back into her stance. "Give up and I won't leave you a cripple."

Hiashi took the moment to reopen his tenketsu. "You dare make demands of me? You are still weak."

"Yet, you were unable to get a hit off of me," Hinata pointed out. "Don't feel bad. Neji and Hanabi were the same."

Another aspect of becoming the Fox Sage was that Kitami had drilled Hinata in the art of psychological warfare. Hinata knew how to press Hiashi's buttons, causing him to make several mistakes. But there was one mistake that even Hiashi could have avoided: never underestimate your opponent...especially your own flesh and blood.

Hinata stood her ground as Hiashi charged. One of Naruto's training methods was weight training, something he had picked up from Rock Lee. He had done the same, and used the same methods to make Hinata faster. Combined that with occasional sparring with the Chiba clan head and Takuma, Hinata's skill level was up to par with her soon-to-be husband.

A fact that Hiashi will soon find out the hard way.

Kin Shiki was basically the Gentle Fist in its purest form, Hinata having stripped the flaws and weaknesses out of the style. What made Kin Shiki even more dangerous was that it did not use the Bykaugan as a crutch. The same flaws and weaknesses that Hiashi was showing in the Gentle Fist as he and Hinata had gotten in close, blocking and parrying the other's strikes and blows.

This time around, Hiashi had caught Hinata with several strikes of his own, disabling her right arm. Hinata knocked him back with a kick to the jaw. Hiashi smirked when he saw that Hinata's arm was useless. Then his eyes widened when he saw the tenketsu open itself up again, showing that Hinata could once again use her arm. Hinata flexed her hand as the feeling rushed back into her hand.

"Surprised?" Hinata taunted. "You have nothing else to teach me, old man. I have far surpassed you. Just give up."


As the match continued, Naruto noticed two more people that had arrived to watch the match. Both were Konoha Jounin, the first was male, with a beard, but no mustache, complete with a unlit cigarette, the female with undisciplined long hair and red eyes.

Asuma and Kurenai Sarutobi.

Naruto remembered that Kurenai was Hinata's sensei, and that she was married to Asuma shortly after Maru had made genin. Asuma was watching him, while Kurenai was watching her former student with what appears to be pride on her face. Nudging Sana on his left and Yahiko on his right, he said, "Watch those two. Just in case they try anything."

The two guards nodded as the fight continued.


Kurenai cared deeply for her team. So when Hinata had defected from Konoha, she was no fool. She knew the reasons why. The Emperor has given her an opportunity to become strong without her clan holding her back. She always told Hinata, Kiba and Shino to do what was right, and this fell under that category, clan be damned.

The genjutsu mistress watched with a sense of pride as Hinata not only stood up to her father, but was also winning. She wasn't using the Jyuuken style either. Well, it looked like the family style of the Hyuuga, only that it was more...purified.

Kurenai nudged Asuma. "Looks like the rumors were true about him being here," she said flicking her head towards the Emperor, dressed in all black, complete with the Kage-style hat, flanked by his Elite Guards.

Asuma nodded. "Still can't believe he was just a kid when he united the West. Looks like he was smitten with your student, probably the main reason why he took her."

Oh, if they only knew.

"Looks like your former student is holding her own against Hiashi," Asuma noted.

Kurenai nodded. It made her sad to see that her former student was branded a missing ninja, but from what she had heard of the enigmatic Emperor of the West, she knew that he would protect her from all threats.

Hinata ducked, then leaned backwards to avoid Hiashi's attacks. Hiashi attempted a Palm Heel Strike, only to have Hinata counter by calmly flipping him to the ground. Hinata raised one leg up in a vertical split before bringing the heel down on Hiashi, who rolled out of the way.

Hiashi had been training hard for this day, this Hinata had realized. After Naruto had defeated both Neji and himself, Hiashi had gotten back into training. But Hinata too had been training, refining the Kin Shiki into a formidable, yet deadly style.

Hiashi got a quick uppercut to his jaw, which stunned him long enough for Hinata to perform the Heavenly Spin, knocking Hiashi into the air. Hinata quickly summoned a shadow clone, which sent the Hyuuga clan head crashing back into the ground following a hard kick to his torso. As Hiashi bounced from the impact of landing hard on the pavement, the shadow clone vanished.

Hiashi got up, albeit a bit shakily as Hinata calmly stood there in her stance, determination in her eyes. The Emperor was calmly watching from the sidelines, pleased at how the battle was playing out. Kurenai and Asuma could make out that he was smiling, as Hinata had taken a page out of his playbook.

Hinata had interlaced her hand with Hiashi's, and had twisted it to the point where the pain forced Hiashi down on one knee. That left Hiashi open, allowing Hinata to strike him in the face repeatedly with a closed fist, the same way that Naruto had done to both Kakashi and Kiba, before flipping him to the ground.

Hinata calmly advanced on her father, whose eye was swollen shut from the barrage of punches, meaning that because of that, he could not use his Bykaugan in that eye. Hiashi coughed up blood, as he got back to his feet. Hinata parried his Jyuuken strike and smashed her palms against his ears, causing them to ring. His left arm was dislocated, the elbow broken following another attempt to attack. A punch to the stomach made the Hyuuga clan head vomit his breakfast.

As Hinata continued to ruthlessly dismantle the clan head, Asuma and Kurenai continued to watch from the sidelines. "This is wrong," Asuma said. "Why won't she just knock him out and get it over with?"

"Because Hiashi had made Hinata's life a living hell," Kurenai replied. "So Hinata is due for some payback. Not that I blame her. Hiashi is a prick, and the Main Branch members need to get knocked down a peg or three."

"So true, love," Asuma conceded.

As Hiashi staggered to his feet, Hinata decided to end this battle once and for all. And she knew just how to do it. Now only it will serve as a message to the Hyuuga, but it will leave quite an impression on her ex-father. Ducking under her father's attack, she nailed him with a Palm Heel Strike. Unlike the Jyuuken's version, Hinata struck Hiashi three times: the first was with her right palm, the second was with her left, and a rising open palm strike that knocked him back.

Hinata was not finished. One punch to the face, followed by a hard kick to the ribs, cracking the bone, which was then followed by a kick to the shins and a chop to the throat that stunned the Hyuuga clan head, allowing Hinata to nail the clan head with a power jump kick, flipping off Hiashi's body and landing gracefully, while Hiashi landed on a heap.

Hiashi quickly got back up...

...and fell to one knee soon after, coughing up more blood.

"You..." Hiashi gasped. "You can't be this strong! You...you're a weakling!"

"It's over, Hiashi. I've won," Hinata countered. "Your Jyuuken was no match for my Kin Shiki."

Hiashi's eyes went wide at that declaration. "You...you learned the Forbidden Style! How...there are no scrolls for it! They were destroyed!"

"Not really," Hinata replied. "The Gentle Fist was flawed. I merely perfected it."

"It doesn't matter," Hiashi spat out. "You're still a weakling. You are nothing!"

Hinata smiled evilly as she activated her Bykaugan. "And you're within my range." Her hands coated with Chakra she savored the look of disbelief on Hiashi's face as she uttered the following: "Eight Trigrams: One-Twenty-Eight Palms!"

Before Hiashi could react, Hinata unleashed hell. Summoning another clone, they both attacked at the same time. Watching from the sidelines, Asuma and Kurenai had seen the 128 Palms in action, but Hinata had taken it to a whole new level with the use of a shadow clone. Hinata and the clone had struck Hiashi sixty-four times each. And boy, did it look painful.

"One becomes two!" Hinata.

"Two becomes four!" Hinata's clone.

"Eight!" Hinata.

"Sixteen!" Hinata's clone.

"Thirty-two!" Hinata.

"Sixty-four!" Hinata's clone.

"ONE-TWENTY-EIGHT PALMS!" both Hinatas chorused as they struck the final blow together.

CRUNCH.

The last blow was aimed at Hiashi's leg. The Hyuuga clan head screamed as he felt his leg break. Collapsing to the ground, he was immediately surrounded by Hanabi and the other Hyuuga ninja. Hiashi coughed up blood as he tried to keep consciousness, his eyes showing nothing but hatred at his former daughter.

"How do you like your daughter now that she has no leash?" Hinata taunted as she dismissed her clone. "Any Hyuuga that comes after me, I will do worse to them than what I did to you. I wash my hands clean of you, Hiashi Hyuuga. You are no father of mine."

"You...you..."

That was all Hiashi managed to say before he passed out from his injuries.

"Father..." Hanabi whispered softly. Then she turned to Hinata, her own Bykaugan active, as were the other Main Branch ninja present. "Get her!"

Before the Main Branch ninja could move in, Naruto intervened.

The Hyuuga Ninja backed up as they saw Naruto at Hinata's side, katana drawn. He was backed up by his Elite Guards, who were ready for action. The Emperor drew a line in the street with his blade before turning his eyes on Hanabi.

"Hinata is under my protection...as if she needs it, from what I have seen," Naruto deadpanned. "Take your father and go."

"You can have that..." Hanabi was cut off when Naruto was at her side, the katana at her throat.

"Finish that sentence, and you will be a head shorter," Naruto threatened, the blade digging in just deep enough to draw a trickle of blood.

Hanabi knew that she was outnumbered. Given the Emperor's track record against Konoha ninja, Hanabi was not interested in becoming another number to his tally. Wisely, she backed down, while staring daggers at Hinata.

"This isn't over, Hinata," Hanabi seethed.

"Oh, but it is," Hinata replied as Naruto sheathed his katana. She took to his side. "Take him and go."

Wisely, the Hyuuga envoy made their retreat. Naruto and Hinata returned to the Inn of the Waves via shunshin. Meanwhile, Asuma and Kurenai both had shocked looks on their faces.

"Um, honey, did we just see what I think we just saw?" Asuma asked, flabbergasted. "Did Hinata just...cripple Hiashi?"

The red-eyed genjutsu mistress slowly nodded. "It looks that way." Despite Hinata being a missing-ninja, she could not have been more proud of her former student.


Konoha – the following day...

The news spread like wildfire throughout the village. Hinata Hyuuga, the former heiress of the Hyuuga Clan, and a A-ranked missing ninja, had not only beaten Hanabi and Neji Hyuuga, but had also crippled the Hyuuga Clan head himself, Hiashi Hyuuga.

Ino had found out when both Asuma and his wife had returned from Wave. Upon overhearing Hanabi and one of the Hyuuga branch members who was working as a medic in the hospital, that had all but confirmed it. Hiashi Hyuuga had been beaten by his wayward daughter.

Even more worse, Hiashi would never become an active ninja again, as there were too much damage in his leg when Hinata had shattered it. He would walk, but with a cane. His arm would heal, thankfully.

What surprised everyone was that it was Hinata that had done it. The same Hinata Hyuuga that was now, a Class-S criminal with a kill-on-sight order on her head, had crippled the arrogant and pompous clan head. The Main Branch members were in a complete uproar and called for a blood feud with both the Emperor of the West and the 'Emperor's Whore.'

The Cadet Branch, on the other hand, were silently overjoyed at the fact that the arrogant Hiashi had been knocked down several pegs, first by the Emperor himself, then by Hinata. Even Tenten had seen Neji smile briefly when he was told the news about Hiashi's utter defeat.

Several Main Branch members even went as far as attacking Makie Asahina and her fellow Pekara merchants while she was at her merchant's stand, solely because of her loyalty to her Emperor. After Makie had sliced down three Main Branch members with her katana and left them to bleed out in the streets, did the Hyuuga backed off.

Makie would have been charged with murder, had it not been for Kurenai Sarutobi, Shikaku Nara, Inochi Yamanaka and Chouza Akamichi, who were present during the fight. Thanks to their testimony, Makie wasn't charged with the three killings, as they were self-defense.

Hanabi simply responded by ordering an increase on Hinata's bounty, the price doubling from 20 to 40 million ryo, with the orders 'Dead or Alive.'


Hyuuga Compound, three weeks later...

The compound was on edge. What will become known as the Second Hyuuga Incident had just transpired in Konoha. A squad of S-class missing ninja had infiltrated the Hyuuga Compound in the dead of night. Their target: the heir apparent of the Hyuuga, Hanabi Hyuuga.

However, a Branch Clan member had sounded the alarm. The squad of S-class missing-nin were all routed and eliminated. They had no hitai-ates which identified them which village they came from, but one of them had a vital item which explained why they were there in the first place.

A bounty contract. The bounty in question was on Hanabi's head. The bounty was worth 120 million ryo, three times the bounty that was on Hinata's head.

The next day, a courier ninja had arrived with a scroll for Hiashi. The scroll contained a note from the Emperor himself, as well as a copy of Hanabi's bounty contract.

By now, all of the ninja villages in the East will have copies of this bounty contract. Call off Hinata's bounty and I will do the same with Hanabi. Speak with Captain Asahina of the Pekara Merchant House. Otherwise, I would watch the ninja in your village very carefully, Hyuuga. Oh, and if you break your word, I will destroy the Hyuuga Main Branch Clan.


Konoha, Office of the Hokage.

Tsunade wasn't surprised when she saw Hiashi enter her office, leaning on a walking cane. She had heard about the attack inside his compound, as well as the bounty contract on Hanabi's head.

Hiashi slammed the documents on her desk. "My family was attacked last night! They tried to kidnap my daughter! I demand justice!"

The Slug Sage leaned back in her seat. "Funny. I seem to recall having this same conversation with you when you decided to brand Hinata with the Caged Bird Seal. You said that since it was a clan matter, that I have no influence in Hyuuga business. This business you have with the Emperor taking Hinata is a clan matter, as is this bounty. I have no influence in this mess, which is of your own making. If I were you, I would seek peace with the Emperor."

Hiashi growled. He knew that Tsunade was right. He enjoyed rubbing it in her face when she tried to stop Hinata from being branded with the Caged Bird Seal, and now, she did it to him. Now, all of Konoha had found out about the bounty on Hanabi's head. Remembering what the Pekara merchant had said about the Emperor being the most wealthiest of the clans in the West, he had a sinking realization that the bounty on Hanabi's head was just a hint of what he could muster.

More money than the noble clans of Konoha combined.

He excused himself and headed for the Konoha market.


[Hinata's Diary]

Entry 11:

Empress Consort Hinata Namikaze. That has a nice ring to it.

Right now, Naruto and I are at the Summer Palace in South Ichiyama. Kitami and A are running the Empire as proxies while Naruto and I are away for our three-week honeymoon.

As a girl, I always dreamed of being married to Naruto. Now, it's a reality. After Naruto had lifted the bounty contract off of Hanabi, things began to go even more hectic as the wedding date inched closer. Naruto and I agreed that we should not go for such a huge wedding ceremony, as it would draw unwanted attention. So we decided on a private, quiet ceremony at the Dragon Temple in the Imperial Capital, inviting only the powerful and influential clan heads for the ceremony. The Sand Siblings, Team Misfits, Yukie Fujikaze, Mei Terumi and the Jinchuuriki were also in attendance. Tazuma, Tsunami and Inari were also in attendance.

The marriage ceremony was just...perfect. Even A and Bee were in tears.

We said our vows, exchanged rings and sipped a small cup of ceremonial sake and the priest declared us husband and wife. The temple erupted in cheers as not only was I declared Naruto's wife, but I was also declared the Empress Consort – the most powerful woman in the Empire.

The people in the Western Empire celebrated in the streets. The Uzumaki-Namikaze dynasty was secured.

After the wedding reception inside the Imperial Complex, Naruto and I took a ship to South Ichiyama to spend our honeymoon at the Summer Palace. Three weeks...a lot can happen in three weeks.


Summer Palace, South Ichiyama.

Nighttime has fallen over the largest city in the Southern Region. Naruto Namikaze sat on the edge of the bed, absently running his thumb over his wedding band. They had picked up their wedding rings while visiting Yukie in Spring Country. Hinata had chosen a wedding ring with a row of six diamonds embedded in the wedding band.

Outside, the celebrations had died down, as it was almost midnight.

A lot has happened in the past six months which had led to this night. He had led men through battle and built an Empire from the ground up. But this night had pretty much petrified him. In the back of his mind, he almost wished that he was back in a war.

'Get a hold of yourself, Namikaze,' Naruto steeled himself. 'You've seen Hinata naked before. She's seen you naked before. I'm not scared of intimacy. It's only your wedding night. Aw, crap...I'm petrified.'

"Ahem."

Naruto's mental rant was cut off when Hinata made her presence known. Naruto looked up...and his jaw had literally dropped to the ground.

There was his wife, standing in the doorway. Wearing a white slinky negligee that did little to conceal her voluptuous frame. And from Naruto's reaction, Hinata knew that she had struck gold.

"Ug...ahh...umm..."

Hinata grinned. Seeing her husband, the indomitable Emperor of the West a quivering wreck was priceless. Then again, so was she, and she was the one half-naked. She just did a much better job of hiding her emotions.

'Damn it! GET A HOLD OF YOURSELF, SOLDIER! FIGHT!' Naruto's mind screamed.

Naruto finally shook himself out of his stupor and rose from the bed, just as Hinata walked over to him, that same grin still plastered on her face.

"I see you like my little outfit," Hinata purred, thankful that Konan had decided to tag along when she decided to go shopping. It was the bluenette's idea to pick up the negligee. Her hands began to unbutton Naruto's shirt. "Don't worry. I'm nervous too," she whispered.

"That makes me feel a lot better," Naruto replied. One hand scratched the back of his head nervously. "Um...this is my first time, Hinata."

"Mine too," Hinata replied softly.

Nothing else was said as the Emperor and the Empress Consort showed their love for each other that left little to the imagination.


At the same time, in Hot Water Country...

A super-pervert of a Toad Sage was in the middle of a pleasant diversion: peeping in on the women bathing in a hot spring. He had heard reports of the Akatsuki in the area, and decided to investigate. When he found nothing, he decided on the aforementioned detour.

As the girls splashed each other, Jiraiya watched as he let out a perverted little giggle as he scribbled down ideas for his next novel. Then his head snapped westward as he felt something. Something...familiar.

'What's this...? My super-perv senses are tingling,' he thought. 'Someone is getting some hot nookie.'

If he only knew that said person in question was his estranged godson. Sadly, that one distraction had cost him, as one of the bathing women had caught sight of the old man. Jiraiya found himself buried under a pile of wooden buckets.


Later, at the Summer Palace...

Clothes were strewn across the room – mostly Naruto's – while Hinata's lingerie laid in a heap at the foot of the bed. The Emperor and Empress Consort were in bed together, a single bedsheet covering their bodies for some sort of modesty. The Emperor was on his back, while his wife was snuggled up against his body. One arm was wrapped protectively around her waist, holding her close.

Naruto looked at the angry red mark on her right shoulder. A bite mark. He knew that Hinata was gently rubbing her fingers over the same mark, only it was on his left shoulder.

"Let me guess...Kitami?" he asked.

Hinata nodded. "Yeah. She said to do this, to mark your mate as you reach climax. I never expected you to do this to me as well."

"Any reason why she wanted us to do this?" he asked.

"To show the world that you are mine, and I am yours," Hinata replied. "So...no regrets?"

"None. You?"

"None," she replied, smiling brilliantly. "I'm glad to be here with you, Naruto."

"I'm glad you're here with me, Hinata," he replied, kissing her on the forehead.

After a moment, the kissing and petting increased until Hinata was on top of Naruto. "Another round?" she breathed.

Naruto grinned. "This is going to be a very interesting three weeks."

Snafu's Notes: 'Sad But True' is Evil Jill's Boss Theme, in case you're wondering. I was reading over the Hinata-Hiashi fight scene while my cousin was playing Resident Evil 5. So I kinda threw that in there for dramatic purposes.