I don't own Naruto or anything else from any anime/manga/movie/show/book or game.
I would like to thank everyone for the amazing response for the first chapter of my story. Really thank you! I couldn't believe how many people liked it in so short a time. Especially considering I only started writing this story because I was having a writer's block with my first story. Now I would like to make one thing clear that I apparently missed in my first chapter. This will NOT be a harem. This is a Naruto/Hinata only paring.
I got several pm's and reviews with great ideas and would like to thank everyone for the help. Some of the theories that I got were… interesting to say the least. I will keep them in mind since I haven't thought the whole story through. Anyway let's get on with the story.
A drowsy Hinata blinked her eyes as she sat up in the large, comfortable bed. She rubbed her eyes with her tiny hands trying to fully wake herself. As she did this she quickly noticed the subtle swaying of the room, the distinct sound of wood creaking, and the smell of the salty air. It was a reminder that she was not in her room back home, but in the cabin she and her mother shared on the ship they had boarded. Hinata and her mother, along with their two guards, had traveled east until they had reached a port town at the edge of the Land of Fire. They have been traveling by ship for three days now. Her mother said today was the day they would reach their destination, The Land of Whirlpools. Hinata heard a knock on the door before someone came in. It was Koh, one of their guards.
"Hinata-sama, I see you're awake. Hana-sama is waiting on the top deck. You should get dressed; I will wait for you outside and escort you to her". Hinata thanked him before he stepped outside. Once she was dressed, Koh led Hinata topside. Hinata took a deep breath of the cold morning air; she could taste the saltiness of the sea in her mouth, and hear the waves crashing against the side of the ship. Hinata found her mother in the front-most part of the ship; she was looking into the horizon pensively. Hinata walked up to her mother and grabbed her hand letting Hana know she was there. Hana looked down at her daughter and gave her a warm smile.
"Good morning honey, did you sleep well?"
"Yes, I did". Hinata looked out on to the ocean for a moment as her mother had been doing. She then turned back to her mother and asked "mommy we're going to Whirlpool country right?" Hana nodded to her.
"Yes we are. It won't be long now, we're almost there". Hinata was happy to hear that. Being in a ship for so long with nothing to do was boring for a five year old; they wouldn't let her do anything!
"Mommy you have been to Whirlpool country before, haven't you?"
"Yes honey, my best friend since I was a child was Kushina Uzumaki. Kushina was the oldest child of the Daimyo of the Land of Whirlpool. Because of this she returned to Whirlpool country every summer that we were in the academy. I was always invited to come with her, and because the Uzumaki clan is such an important family I was always allowed to come". Hinata thought that was very nice. She wondered if she would make a close friend like that when she started the academy in a few years.
"If your friend was the princess of Whirlpool, why was she in our village"?
Hana hesitated for a moment before she answered. "As a member of the Uzumaki clan, there was a task that only she could perform for the village. For this task and to fulfill the alliance between our village and her country, she was chosen to come to our village. Her father only allowed it if she was allowed to return home to Whirlpool country for part of the year to continue her training as an Uzumaki. After we became friends I came with her, so I have been to Whirlpool many times.
"Can you tell me about it?"
"Sure honey". Hana paused to think of what to tell her and noticed that her guards had subtly moved closer. She knew it was because they were curious too. Neither Koh nor Hideki had been to Whirlpool. "The Land of Whirlpool is an island nation located between the Land of Fire and the Land of Water. It is smaller than any of the five great nations, smaller then Water country even". Hana began to remember the many things she had learned of the country her dear friend war born in. "However, what Whirlpool lacks in size, it more than makes up in wealth". Hana noticed the confusion on Hinata's face, so she explained what she meant. "You see, Whirlpool is rich in natural resources. It has an abundance of precious ores and metals. It has vast quarries of rare stones and jewels; its forest contains valuable medicinal plants that can only be found there. Those are the reasons that they are a country rich in resources. The other reason is the location of the country itself. Its location is of great strategic value. The location and how well the nation is managed is why Whirlpool is the premier trade and transport country in the continent". This statement brought nods of understatement from her guards. Everyone knew of Whirlpool's immense wealth and importance in the world's economy and trading industry.
"Hana-sama is correct; nearly every country large and small depends heavily on trading for the stability of their economy. Whirlpool commands the most influence in trade; that gives their country political power, and wealth few lands can hope to match". Spoke Hideki. Hana nodded in agreement before she continued.
"Because of this Whirlpool is one of the richest nations in the world". Hinata looked like she was about to interrupt her mother. Hana raised her hand letting her know to wait. When Hana was sure Hinata understood she continued. "The power and wealth has also made Whirlpool country a target, to those who would take the wealth and resources of Whirlpool and make it their own. Long before the ninja villages were even founded, Daimyos and warlords raised mighty armies for the sole purpose of conquering Whirlpool. All that tried have failed miserably". Hinata couldn't hold her curiosity any longer and asked her question.
"Does Whirlpool have their own ninja village?" Hana smiled at her daughter's impatience.
"Well…No Whirlpool does not have a formal ninja village like we have at home, but they do have ninja". This answer might have confused most 5 year olds but Hinata was Hyuuga, as one she learned many things other children did not. Like the fact that not all ninja came from a ninja village. "Whirlpool may not have many ninja but it has one of the strongest militaries in the world. If it didn't the country would have been conquered long ago". Hinata looked a little confused about that, so her mother elaborated. "Most of Whirlpool's military is made up of samurai; they specialize in the art of the sword". The statement got little reaction from Hinata, she knew little about samurai. Hana noticed the disinterested looks from her guards. "In many countries, especially in countries like our own where we have many ninja, samurai are uncommon. This unfortunately has led many, ninja in particular, to seriously underestimate the strength that a trained samurai can possess". Once again Hana saw a look pass between her guards. They have never met a samurai before, like many they believed that ninja are far superior to samurai.
"But mommy, ninja are stronger because we can use chakra right?" asked Hinata.
"Actually Hinata, that is a very common belief among ninja. They believe that because ninja have the use of Genjutsu and Ninjutsu, that a samurai is of little threat to an elite ninja from a formal ninja village". Hideki got a smug look on his face; Koh however was beginning to think that his lady was going to say that would make them think otherwise. "I don't want you to share this foolish belief Hinata, so I will tell you about the samurai of Whirlpool". This got the focused attention of the three other Hyuuga clan members. "In Whirlpool like in nations like the Land of Iron, the art of the sword has become a way of life. For many it has reached a nearly religious type of reverence". Hana could tell her guards, Hideki in particular, wanted to comment on that but knew better than to actually do it. She knew why too; for a Hyuuga who prides himself in his Taijutsu, the use of any weapon is seen as weakness. "Whirlpool samurai serve not only as bodyguards to the royal family but as guardians to their entire country. For this reason the samurai of Whirlpool have been named The Guardian Core". Hinata thought they had a cool name and wanted to know more about them.
"Are they strong? As strong as ninja?" she asked.
"Like ninja samurai in Whirlpool go through an academy. They train since childhood to learn the ways of the samurai. A master samurai can be as strong, if not stronger, than ANY ninja, regardless of rank". This got mixed reactions from the Hyuuga listening. Hinata was amazed that someone that couldn't use any jutsu can be that strong. Her guards looked almost insulted by the comment.
"Wow, is it because the samurai are so strong that they don't have a ninja village?" asked Hinata.
"Yes, that is part of the reason. Whirlpool samurai are the strongest in the world. This gives Whirlpool enough military strength to not need a ninja village. There are other reasons why a ninja village is not needed but I would rather show them to you. You just can't understand them until you see them with your own eyes. Now do you remember that I said that while Whirlpool may not have a ninja village they DO have ninja, correct?"
"Yes, I do" said Hinata with a nod.
"In fact the royal family, the family that my friend Kushina was born into, is a ninja clan".
"Can you tell me about them, please?" asked an exited Hinata.
"Yes I will. "The Uzumaki clan is an ancient, noble, and powerful ninja clan, one of the first clans to learn the ninja arts from the Sage of Six Paths himself". Ignoring the astounded looks her listeners had, Hana continued. "Like other clans, our own included, the Uzumaki have areas of the ninja arts that they specialize in. they specialize in 2 arts in particular, and they have mastered these arts to a degree that is legendary".
Hana wasn't exaggerating. The Uzumaki of Whirlpool are infamous throughout the elemental nations. One thought in particular was shared anywhere that they are well known. NEVER piss off an Uzumaki!
"The first of the Uzumaki style of fighting is not surprising. They specialize in Kenjutsu, the ninja art of fighting with a sword." Hinata thought that made sense. After learning how respected the sword was in Whirlpool, it made sense that the ruling family would specialize in fighting with a sword. "The Uzumaki clan practices the Hiten Mitsurugi-Ryu (Flying Heaven Honorable Sword Style), also known as the Sonic Blade Sword Style. The secrets of the Hiten Mitsurugi are well guarded. Even after seeing it up close for several years, I can only tell you a few things about it". Once again Hana had their unabated attention. "Mastery of the style allow the Uzumaki to fight with super-human reflexes, this allows them to be able to react instantly to almost any attack; not only that, but they obtain a movement and action speed that renders most Doujutsu like the Sharingan and our Byakugan useless". This statement had both her guards with scandalized looks in their faces. Like most Hyuuga they believed that their all seeing eyes were just that, all seeing. The thought that there was a fighting style that rendered their precious bloodline useless was a horrifying thought. Finally, a master of the Hiten Mitsurugi can decipher and predict their opponent's movements and attacks in battle, much like the Uchiha with their Sharingan. Except that the Uzumaki can't copy their opponent's moves, not that they have any need to".
Hana remembered Kushina wiping the floor with several Uchiha and Hyuuga when she and Hana took their Chunin and Jonin exams. Kushina may not have been a Hiten Mitsurugi prodigy like her younger brother, but her mastery of the style earned her the title of Konoha's Red Death. She was known and feared by the enemies of the Leaf almost as much as her husband the Fourth Hokage.
"The second and perhaps most frightening skill of the Uzumaki clan is that they specialize in what is arguably the most difficult ninja art; they specialize in Fuuinjutsu, the art of sealing. They have mastered it to a level of skill that none ever thought possible. Their skill in sealing is why the Uzumaki are feared by their enemies throughout the world".
"But mommy can't everyone learn sealing?"
"Well yes they can. The basics are like any other ninja art; easy enough to learn. But unlike the other ninja arts, one can study Fuuinjutsu their whole life and never truly become a master. You see Hinata; the art of Fuuinjutsu is like painting or sculpting or playing an instrument. You practically have to be born with the gift for it to ever become a true seal master. That is what so scary about the Uzumaki, for generations they have been born natural seal masters, nearly all of them. The Uzumaki are able to master even the most complex types of sealing techniques. They can decipher, compose, alter, or even remove any type of seal".
For the two Hyuuga with a seal on their foreheads, thoughts of its possible removal couldn't help but pass by them. For one who grew up branded for a life of servitude, any thought of the possibility of freedom only occurred in their dreams. Hinata thought about what her mother said because it was her dream to one day unite her family. She hated that her family was torn in two, and that most of them were branded to be little more than slaves. The thought of freeing them from that fate was something that appealed to her, and appealed to her greatly. All three were brought back from their thoughts when Hana continued.
"The use of sealing in battle is one of the many reasons the Uzumaki are so feared in battle. The Guardian Core samurai have special seals on their armor that protect them from chakra based attacks. (Like the Snow ninja in the first Naruto movie but with seals instead of machines). The seals make all type of Ninjutsu and Genjutsu utterly useless against them".
Koh and Hideki understood that without the use of chakra, the advantage of ninja over samurai would be greatly reduced. They now realized that even their own fighting style would be useless against Whirlpool samurai.
"It's lucky that even with their famous temper, the Uzumaki rarely go to war. Only when foolish daimyos or Kages try to take Whirlpool's riches does the Guardian Core go to battle. To try and take Whirlpool is suicide, its defenses are impenetrable". Hana saw the confused /curious looks they all had and smiled. "Don't worry, you'll see soon enough. You have to see for yourself to truly grasp how futile it would be for anyone to try and invade Whirlpool".
Hana turned to look at the horizon. She knew they would soon be there; it has been years since she has been to Whirlpool, she knew her mission would be difficult. The Uzumaki lost all love for the Leaf Village wen Kushina died. If not for Kushina's father's decision to simply abolish the treaty with them as well as banning all Leaf ninja from his land, instead of going to war, the village would have been destroyed. Kushina had been loved by all of the people of Whirlpool. When word reached them of her death, they blamed the Leaf Village, and they demanded blood! Kushina's younger brother had amassed Whirlpool's armies, and was preparing a fleet to have them march on the Leaf. The Leaf Village was only spared that fate because Kushina's father let go of his grief long enough to settle his son and his people down. From then on, not only were Leaf ninja banned from the country and the treaty abolished, Whirlpool ceased all trading with Fire country! The Fire Daimyo had been furious with the village for that. It had been a devastating economical blow to the nation since they now had to go through other lesser and more expensive ways to trade for just about everything they imported to the country. For the last 5 years the Fire Daimyo had been trying desperately to gain the Whirlpool's Daimyo's favor. He went as far as to offer one of his daughters for an arranged marriage with Kushina's brother. That offer was refused; Kushina's brother vowed never to marry again after his young wife and son were killed.
Hana knew that coming to Whirlpool was dangerous. She hoped they could blend in to the crowds and make to The People's Palace before they were discovered. If she could get an audience with Kushina's father she knew she could get him to listen and understand. It would not be easy, but Hana would do what she had to for her daughter's future. She would do it not only for Hinata but for her godson too. She had been denied his adoption by the civilian council, and the Hokage had ordered her to stay out of the boy's life. 'It's too dangerous for him' the Hokage said. 'You were too close to his mother. His parents' enemies would find him if they found out your connection to him' he said. Well Hana would not let the village treat her godson like trash anymore! In Whirlpool he will be with family, and people that will love him. Hopefully Hinata and he will be able to find happiness with each other. For that to happen she had to succeed in Whirlpool first. As Hana saw land appear in the horizon, she couldn't help but worry about what was soon to come.
That's it for chapter two. Let me know what you think. Next chapter the group reach Whirlpool and meet the Uzumaki, I will have it out as soon as I can. For those waiting for the next chapter on my Kami's Gift story, I will try to have that out sometime this week.
Lord Rahl Master of D'hara