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The Toad Sages Apprentice

Chapter 97: The Jinchuuriki Enter the War

Naruto jumped back as Mangetsu and Kushimaru diverged on the blonde from each side, not breaking their stride the two swordsmen chinaged direction and shot forward at Naruto once more. Working in coordination with one another Mangetsu would strike at the Kyuubi jinchuuriki first while the thin long sword wielding Kushimaru would strike a split second later attempting to pierce Naruto's chest.

'Dammit their coordination is absolutely amazing, I need to do something to mess up their rhythm or they will land a hit.' Naruto thought as he quickly parried two more well coordinated strikes. To aid his defence Naruto withdrew a tri-pronged kunai from his pouch this made blocking their strikes far easier.

"Kid's fast, really fast in fact, but his technique could really use some work." Kushimaru said as he slipped in behind Naruto and thrust at his back. Naruto quickly spun to parry the strike while tossing his Kunai. Mangetsu thinking that was the opening he needed went for the killing blow only for Naruto to disappear at the final moment sending Mangetsu's blade through the chest of Kushimaru.

"Ouch, that's gotta hurt." Naruto chuckled from where he reappeared before forming a rasengan and slamming it into Mangetsu's side. "Well that was easy, are you sure you guys are really members of the Seven Swordsmen of the Mist?" He asked lightheartedly.

His joking ceased seconds later though as Kushimaru despite being badly injured swung his blade and nearly took off the blonds head, only by the finest margins was the blond able to duck to safety. "Accursed child, you think you can talk down to us while swinging that blade around like an amateur don't underestimate us!" Kushimaru said, his long blond hair obscuring his mask. While his Edo Tensei body reformed itself.

"So uh how do you kill these guys?" Naruto asked scratching the back of his head as he watched both of the former seven swordsmen have their bodies reform.

"They need to be sealed, that's the only way to stop an Edo Tensei." Kakashi yelled out while slipping away from Zabuza's blade.

"Well that's gonna be a pain in the ass, just how many of you guys are there?" Naruto sighed.

"I don't know, I really didn't sit around counting." Mangetsu answered as his body finished healing.

"So in other words that means there is a lot, oh well, if there is one thing I know how to do it's sealing." Naruto replied calmly. 'Still it looks like I'll have to immobilise these two again before I'll be able to seal them away.' He added as an afterthought.

(Meanwhile)

Yugito was using the hair ninjutsu to keep her attackers at bay. 'I can't keep this up forever, but if I take a direct hit, even if it isn't fatal it will surely dispel the clone I left behind to trick Jiraiya-sama into thinking that I stayed behind. We'll probably get in trouble once A-sama discovers that all three jinchuuriki arrived on the battlefield at the very first chance we were given.' She thought while swatting a blade away from her with her hair.

A quick glance in either direction gave the Nibi jinchuuriki a brief glimpse of her teammates. Predictably both seemed to be more concerned about having some fun rather than winning the fight, Naruto could have swarmed them with clones, even if the majority were able to be defeated several well placed gravity seals would make his opponent easy pickings. While Bee was showing off his rather unique style of Kenjutsu, while devastating against living opponents the Edo Tensei ninja were barely phased by the shallow swift cuts.

"Don't bother looking for your friends, they have their hands full already." Ameyuri said, his shark like teeth exposed in a vicious grin. He was relatively short in comparison to the other members of the Seven Swordsmen and she had long dark red hair and black eyes. "I defeated one hundred chunin single handed, do you think you can defeat us little kitty?" She purred teasingly. To seem more threatening she began channeling her twin swords with lightning.

"One hundred chunin is nothing for a skilled jinchuuriki, and if you think you can scare me with your Raiton jutsu, the you have another thing coming!" Yugito replied. Kicking herself up into the air to gain a height advantage the Nibi jinchuuriki began racing through hand seals. "Katon: Mouse Hairball!"

Yugito spat out several small flaming rodents that scampered towards Ameyuri and Jinpachi. The pair of swordsmen split hoping to avoid the fire mice however the rodents simply divided and gave chase. "A homing jutsu, looks like the kitty's got some claws after all." The female swordsmen laughed. Rather than being frightened or even concerned Ameyuri was having a blast, she loved toying with her opponents and knowing that she could not die in this form made the thrill all that more enjoyable.

'I really wish that bitch would shut up.' Yugito thought slightly annoyed at how things were going, sure she was on top at the moment but unlike Naruto she had no real skill in sealing, she would have to rely on the support from the forward lines of the army for aid. Unfortunately at the moment they were falling back to a more easily defendable area. Only a few key members had remained, and they were dealing with the other Edo Tensei shinobi.

Ameyuri eventually was able to shake off the pursuing jutsu by using her agility to force the rodent to hit a tree, which exploded in flames at the moment of contact. She let out a low whistle as a sign of respect. "That's quite some jutsu, I wouldn't want to get hit by that."

Jinpachi on the other hand was not as freely mobile as the red haired kunoichi, he found it far more difficult to escape the small nimble mice. "Get this fucking thing away from me!" He roared in frustration, using his large sword to fell trees in an attempt to slow the rodent down.

No suck luck as Yugito's jutsu briskly darted through the obstacles. "It's getting closer Jinpachi, you better run." Ameyuri laughed, she had taken to sitting and watching the events unfold with the other swordsman.

This was a bad idea as Yugito did not need to focus on her jutsu to make it work, only to boost the speed and agility. Taking the opportunity she silently moved around behind the kunoichi and her hair grew out wrapping around the Kunoichi effectively immobilising her. "Whoever is in charge of sealing these thing's I could really use some help." She called out loud enough for several of the frontal assault team to hear them.

"Fuck you bitch, let me go, I am going to skin you alive and fry your skin with my Raiton!" Ameyuri yelled as she struggled in Yugito's grasp.

Jinpachi saw the predicament that his partner was in and knew that he had to do something to help. Making his mind up quickly he turned and began heading for Yugito, he tossed out explosive tags behind him in a vain attempt at stopping the flaming rodent that was still hot on his heels.

This did the trick, the rodent jutsu exploded with great force, far more than even Jinpachi expected, the shockwave tossed him a few feet to his the side but he didn't break his stride. Both Jinpachi and Sai were heading for Yugito, Sai's sealing scroll already out ready to capture and defeat Ameyuri while Jinpachi was more concerned with defeating the Nibi jinchuuriki.

"Shit it looks like Sai isn't going to make it on time, but I can't let her go." Yugito said with a hint of apprehension. She had to make up her mind quickly. In the end she decided to intercept the charging swordsman. Lengthening her hair to keep Ameyuri restrained and withdrew a kunai in each hand to parry the Jinpachi's attacks. 'I just need to keep him busy while Sai seals her away.'

Unsurprisingly Ameyuri was still struggling profusely, but even with her channeling her lightning chakra through her blades she was unable to escape Yugito's confinements. She was no match for one of the seven swordsmen in an open Kenjutsu match, but all she had to do was hold him off.

Jinpachi was ready for her tactic, it was the most logical choice, it was imperative that they seal away as many of the Edo Tensei shinobi as possible before the main forces arrived. Only at the last moment did Yugito notice the explosive tags on the edge of his blade. "Block this, I may not be allowed to kill you, but that doesn't mean I can't cripple you." He said gruffly.

Yugito jumped back just before the tags exploded, but she was still caught by the edge of the blast. She channeled a small amount of the Nibi's chakra to protect herself and when the smoke cleared only her clothes were damaged, with her pant legs now torn and singed while her top was missing it's right arm exposing a fair amount of her chest, only the tight fitting fabric preventing it from falling off and exposing her breasts to the world.

To her credit she did not let this affect her at all, rather she was more concerned about the fact that the previous attack had caused her clone to dispel. 'That's not good, they will surely know we have gone to the front lines alone now.' She thought while throwing both kunai accurately at the still mobile former Kiri ninja. "Hurry it up back there, I can't hold this guy back like this forever!"

"Five seconds for me to place immobility seals." Sai informed the kunoichi in his blank expressionless way.

"In a fight to the death five seconds can be an eternity." Yugito replied with some discontent while narrowly avoiding a new chain of explosions from her opponent. "Kami don't you have any other tricks?"

"None that you need to concern yourself with little girly. Looks like it's time to free Ameyuri, that boy is almost finished with his sealing scroll." The explosives expert mused. Once more he charged in, though this time his target was not Yugito, he was looking to slice her hair in order to release his partner.

'I can't afford to dodge this, all the strength is going to holding that kunoichi in place.' "No way am I letting you free her." She said channeling her Bijuu cloak to one tail. Yugito and the swordsman clashed, with a thunderous explosion wracking the area, even Naruto and Bee paused their fighting for a moment to take notice.

From the smoke Jinpachi flew out having been propelled backwards just as Sai finished placing the necessary seals on Ameyuri. "It's done you can release her now." The former root shinobi called out.

Yugito complied as Ameyuri began to disintegrate leaving behind a dead corpse that had once been used as her sacrifice. Happy to be done away with one of her opponents Yugito couldn't help but celebrate. "I'm done with one of mine, you guys are too slow, you both should have been done before me!" She called out happily to Bee and Naruto who still seemed to be more concerned with having some fun rather than sealing away their opponents. Bee she could understand, but Naruto was a seal master, he should be able to stop a couple of walking corpses no trouble.

(Meanwhile)

Naruto let out a small laugh as he parried a strike from Mangetsu. "It's not about who defeats someone first!" Naruto yelled out in a jovial reply. "It's about who defeats both opponents first." with that Naruto jumped back and quickly slammed his hands to the ground. Suddenly a large seal matrix formed in a large area surrounding Mangetsu and Kushimaru. Before the two swordsmen could move they found their arms and legs bound and an incredible weight forcing them to the ground.

"What the fuck is this?!" Mangetsu yelled while struggling to stand.

"It's a highly advanced trapping seal, it took quite awhile to draw it with my feet while fighting, you guys are really good at preventing me from staying in one place too long." Naruto said while casually approaching the pair.

Mangetsu looked shocked while Kushimaru's mask prevented his thoughts from being easily read. "It is rare to see anyone with such talent for seals as to be able to draw them in mid fight with your feet and over such a large area no less. It seems as though we have been bested. Such a shame, I would have really enjoyed spilling your blood." The masked shinobi said with a hint of newfound respect for his opponent.

"It's been fun guy's this is the first chance I have really had to test my sword, so I am glad it was against people of your quality." Naruto replied before placing a seal on the heads of both former Kiri swordsmen. He watched quietly while their bodies collapsed. "Told you Yugi-chan, looks like I win after all!" He laughed.

Yugito allowed herself a playful smirk while casting a lightning jutsu at Jinpachi. Bee on the other hand was more vocal. "Way to go number nine, you ran that show to keep them in line." He shouted while swinging Samehada down at it's former owner that it had once betrayed. There seemed to be no remorse from the great sword however as it bristles its many blades out to ensure maximum damage. All the while a large tentacle was holding Jinin Akebino back, his hammer and Axe being prevented from coming within range of the Hachibi jinchuuriki.

Fuguki knew Samehada too well to be caught by the expanding blades and quickly jumped back to avoid Bee's swing. "So it seems as though Kisame has been betrayed by that traitorous sword as well, I do hope he got what he deserved for turning on me." The largest member of the seven swordsmen spoke with a hint of annoyance at seeing his former blade. That kunoichi has some interesting techniques but perhaps I should show her how they are really done." Fuguki continued as his hair began to stretch out around him.

Suddenly the fish like shinobi's hair stuck up defying gravity before thousands of tiny threads of hair shot at Bee like senbon needles. "Flying strands of hair, no way that's fair!" Bee rapped. He used Samehada to swat the constant barrage of senbon away from him while running to escape others. "This guy knows how to fight, I guess it's time for the Killer Bee to take flight, ya dig!" Bee added, as always in rap form.

Bee's body became shrouded in chakra and the senbon hair needles began dissolving before they would make contact with his skin. "You jinchuuriki are such a bother to deal with." Fuguki sighed.

Bee laughed while turning his attention away from the fish like Fuguki. "That's my line, but while you're focusing on me you forget one thing."

Fuguki didn't like being ignored especially not by a man making a fool out of himself while fighting. Still he decided to play along. "And what would that be?" He asked bitterly.

"Mr Nine!"

As if to emphasise the point Naruto chose that point to toss four Hirashin kunai surrounding the large former Kiri ninja. An instant later Naruto was crouched at his side with a rasengan in hand. "We gotta hurry this up guy's Jiraiya-sensei just threw one of my kunai, I think they know we ran off without them." Naruto said as he was slamming the spiralling ball of chakra into Fuguki's side.

Bee nodded and turned to Jinin and sighed. "Looks like we can't have any fun, the boss man's calling so I gotta run." without an explanation Bee changed to his second jinchuuriki state, completely shrouded in a dark blood soaked chakra, his tails or in Bee's case tentacles shot out impaling the swordsman before brutally ripping him apart.

Naruto was on hand to quickly seal him away leaving only "We're done here Yugi-chan, are you still having trouble with that guy?" Naruto asked playfully.

To her credit Yugito was not having all that much trouble with Jinpachi. She had the swordsman on the ropes, pushing him back while in a single tailed bijuu cloak to help protect her from the constant explosives that the Kiri swordsman was using. Fatal injuries to most would barely scratch the surface of a jinchuuriki's cloak, it had to be a much stronger and precise attack to break through a jinchuuriki's chakra shroud.

"Well you didn't have to help Kirabi you know." The feline kunoichi yelled back in faux annoyance.

"Well with your bragging earlier I just figured that you would have this wrapped up by now." Naruto replied casually. It was clear that there was no real animosity between the young couple, just some friendly banter bordering on flirting.

"Fine if that is the case then lets put it to the test, but I would suggest not blinking." Yugito teased back. Immediately her cat like reflexes kicked into overdrive, she slipped inbetween two explosive tags and ducker under Jinpachi's blade. Two feline claws of chakra then shot out from her cloak, one grabbing the Edo Tensei swordsman and slamming him to the ground, while the other propelled Yugito high in the air. "Katon: Firestorm!" she yelled after liberal usage of hand seals.

The air around Jinpachi itself seemed to catch fire, and before long even Naruto and Bee were flinching away from the heat. "Remind me never to piss Yugi-chan off." The blonde said with a sweat drop at the gross overkill that his fiancee had decided to inflict upon her opponent. "Do these guys feel pain? If so that has got to hurt. They regenerate too so that would be like going through hell all over again." He mused as he waited for the fires to die down low enough so he could seal away their final target.

"I don't know but Ms two can sure put on a show." Bee replied.

"That true but I don't think it would be wise to ask her to do pyro for your next gig though. She would be more likely to burn the place down." Naruto chuckled.

"But the show would go off with a bang ya dig?" Bee answered happily.

Naruto was hit with another burst of information signalling that Jiraiya had just thrown another Hirashin kunai. "He's getting impatient we gotta go."

The moment the flames died down Naruto was there to place a seal on Jinpachi's slowly reforming body. "I wasn't finished with him yet." Yugito complained.

"Sorry Yugi-chan, we have to go, Jiraiya-sensei found out we all ran off to the front lines against orders." Naruto said slightly fearful of what his sensei and the others on the island will do for punishment. "We have to go Kakashi, do you think you can cope?" He called out to the copy ninja who was locking blades with Zabuza.

"Yes, I can deal with Zabuza, you better go before you get in any more trouble." Kakashi called back not taking his eyes off his opponent.

Naruto nodded then grabbed Yugito and Bee while he searched for the marked kunai that Jiraiya had thrown. A few seconds later they were gone disappearing from sight. "That kid's gotten strong." Zabuza commented once they had left.

"Yeah he has, but he's not the only one that has improved." Kakashi said with a confident gleam in his eye.

(Meanwhile)

Naruto and the others arrived in the clearing in front of the falls of truth, for a brief moment the place looked as though it was empty. The second Naruto released his breath however, "So the very first time you are called you break the rules. Not very smart Naruto." Came the call from Tenzo directly behind them.

"When the Raikage finds out he's going to be furious, you know that right?" Jiraiya added slightly disappointed in Naruto's blatant rule breaking.

"I'm sorry sensei, but you weren't around at the time and it could have been an emergency." Naruto explained trying to justify his actions.

"So you tried to fool us by having Yugito leave a clone behind so we thought only you and Bee went? You would have been better just having her tell us what was happening. Regardless that cannot happen again, you were given orders and you have to obey them." Tenzo declared angrily.

"Ah come on, none of us got hurt and we came back safe once our job was done we were never in any danger." Naruto said almost pleadingly.

"That's not the point, we have rules in place for a reason Naruto, they are there for the safety of yourself and the rest of us, if the Akatsuki capture you, Bee and Yugito then it's over for us, they are fighting this war to keep you all safe so the least you can do is take that into consideration and not put all three of their targets on the front line together." Jiraiya said for once sounding stern, he hadn't even commented on the rather revealing state of Yugito's clothes so Naruto knew he was serious.

"I'm sorry, it won't happen again I promise." Naruto admitted, he had never felt like he had let Jiraiya down before or seen the Toad Sage angry at him, but he already knew he never wanted to let it happen again.

"There will have to be some sort of punishment because of this. But for now get back to training to use your Bijuu cloak I doubt you have perfected it yet." Jiraiya said slightly less harshly.

"Please Jiraiya-sama it wasn't Naruto-kun's fault, he wanted to leave me behind and go with Kirabi, but I wouldn't let him go without me, if anyone should be punished it's me." Yugito argued.

"That doesn't change anything in fact you all will be punished together." Tenzo declared.

"Alright, let's go guys I still don't have my chakra claws working well enough to be able to use them in a proper battle." Naruto said accepting the fact that they would have to be punished.

"Okay let's go for us it's on with the show." Bee rapped still cheery as ever, the Hachibi jinchuuriki had been punished by his brother so many times it had lost all meaning.

End Chapter!

Okay wow it's really hard to go back to writing a story that hasn't been updated for such a long time. It's probably the shortest chapter I have done in months and it took three times longer than all the others. Still it's about time I brought this back the main reason it has been on hiatus is the lack of actual development in the cannon, and the latest developments are so messed up I am convinced that Kishimoto is just trolling for the sake of pissing everyone that doesn't like Sasuke off.

So I am going to begin writing for this story again, although do not expect the chapters to come as frequently as Nightfall or even A Price for Peace. Fact is even with two years of chapters to cover there is really only about 10 chapters of content. I'm sorry for the long Hiatus but that is the main reason behind it.