Hippolyta continued to look down on her son-in-law as his team gathered themselves after their skirmish with the bandits. Having observed enough for now, the queen turned Hera and asked, "Can I speak to Donna now?"
Hera smiled and nodded her head. The goddess then snapped her fingers bringing the two queens appeared in the Uzumaki house. They appeared in the study room just as Donna was walking in the room. Donna froze in shock at the sight of her mother. She stared at the queens for a few seconds and the quickly brought her hands together in a ram seal and yelled out, "Release!" Donna and Hippolyta blinked their eyes in confusion while Hera looked on the scene with mirth in her eyes. Donna performed the seal again and started to shake when her mother didn't vanish. "How am I still under a genjutsu?" Donna started muttering to herself.
Deciding that the drama had gone on long enough, Hera spoke. "This is no illusion Princess Donna of Themiscyra. I heard your prayers for advice and brought your mother's spirit here to guide you."
Hippolyta took a step closer to Donna and whispered, "It's really me, my little pearl." Hippolyta took another step and gently wrapped her arms around Donna. Feeling her mother's soft and loving arms around her caused Donna to break down and start crying. Hippolyta pulled Donna closer to her and started running her fingers through her daughter's hair in a soothing manner. "Go ahead Donna, let it all out. I'm here now and everything's going to be alright."
For the next minute, Donna just cried in Hippolyta's shoulder unburdening herself of all the fears and uncertainties that had built up over the months she had been in Konoha. Once Donna regained some self-control, she pulled back and sheepishly said, "Sorry about that mother. It's just that a lot has happened since I came here."
With a slightly mischievous smile Hippolyta replied, "I can imagine that quite a lot has happened Donna. Like a certain blond haired shinobi for instance?"
Donna blinked her eyes and then stuttered, "What the? How did you? How could know about Naruto?"
"I was brought her to help you my dear daughter. I can't do that very well if I'm not aware of the circumstances that you're in. As our people's queen and especially as your mother, I'm rather incensed at what these barbarians have done to you. Still, I am happy that the husband they forced on you is at least a decent man."
Donna softly smiled and whispered, "Naruto's more than decent."
Hippolyta momentarily frowned when she saw Donna's body posture and heard the affection for Naruto in her voice. While the queen could intellectually accept that Naruto was a decent man, it was another matter for her to be able to emotionally accept Naruto and Donna in a relationship. Not knowing how long Hera would let her stay here, Hyppolyta quickly focused on getting to work helping Donna. She schooled her features to a friendly and slightly detached manner before speaking. "What do you need advice on Donna? Don't beat around the bush with me on this as I don't know how long we've been given."
The young amazonian's face turned bright red as she thought about was bothering her. How was she supposed to talk to her mother about that? Still, Donna could admit that her mother was right. At least she could take solstice in the possibility of not seeing her mother again for mothers. Donna steeled her courage and forced out a quite question. "Is, is it alright for an Amazon to want to have, have sex with a man?" Donna immediately ducked her eyes unable to look at her mother from embarrassment.
As happy as Hippolyta was to see Donna again, she mentally wished to be anywhere else rather than fielding that question. Now wasn't the time to wallow in her own discomfort when her daughter's welfare was resting on her answer. "As you know, Amazonians did use to have husbands before Hercules came to our old lands. Such things obviously don't occur on Themiscyra as it's just us Amazons on the island. However, that doesn't prohibit an Amazon form having a husband like you do. Since you do have a husband, there is nothing wrong with you wanting to experience all the aspects of marriage. Doing so doesn't change what and more importantly who you are Donna."
"But as your mother, I must urge you to use caution in pursuing a more intimate relationship Donna. The closeness of a loving relationship opens you to a pleasure beyond your imagining, but it also leaves you vulnerable to agonizing pain. Both you and Naruto are young and inexperienced in many aspects of having a relationship. There is a good possibility that either of you could hurt the other accidentally if you move too fast. I know that you and Naruto are experiencing outside pressure to move faster in your relationship, but I want you to remember to move at your own pace. Finally, I want you to remember that I will always love and support you even if I'm not physically present to help you."
A small tear rolled down Donna's cheek and she whispered, "Thank you mother." Knowing that her mother knew what was happening to her and still loved her that had happened lifted a great weight off of Donna's chest. While Donna had been sure that her mother would still love her, the radical changes to her life since coming to Konoha had created nagging worries in the back of her mind. Now that she didn't have to worry about that weight, Donna wanted to get rid of the other situation bugging her. "Mom, how are our people doing? Were we able to drive off Faust?"
Hippolyta nodded her head and said, "Yes Faust was defeated. Diana was able to bring allies to help her defeat Faust. However, due to her position and the nature of her allies I had to exile her. It's not something I'm proud of, but the law is the law. I was able to lighten her sentence a bit in that if Diana can find you and get you back home she'll be able to return home. Whether or not you stay home after that is up to you."
Hera then spoke up and said, "As much as I wish you two could have more time, we're approaching the limit that Hippolyta and I can stay here." The goddess took a step closer to Donna and said, "The Fates have told me that you will return to Themiscyra one day. However, you destiny is now split between our world and this world. If Naruto chooses to follow you back to Earth, his destiny will be split as well." With that, Hera grabbed Hippolyta and the two queens disappeared.
For a second after their disappearance, Donna considered the possibility that she had imagined everything. However, that line of thinking died a fiery death when Donna saw the gift Hera had left her as proof of the queens' visit. Resting on the floor was a brand new Amazon style sword made from celestial bronze. Donna reverently knelt down and picked up the blade. She then gave it a few test swings and found it to be perfect in her hands.
Ten days later, Team 7 returned to Konoha with grins on their faces. Except for the attack on that one group of bandits, their mission had been smooth sailing. Once Team 7 finished their debriefing, Naruto bolted from the Hokage's Tower and ran straight home. As soon as Naruto got through the front door he yelled out, "I'm home Donna!"
He heard a slightly muffled reply, "I'm in the back yard." Naruto immediately walked through the house to the back yard. When Naruto opened the back door he let out a small gasp of surprise. Donna was standing in the middle of the training field wearing tight hugging jeans, a cream colored sweat soaked blouse that was stuck to her body, and a sheath on her back. There was a thin layer of dust caked onto Donna's skin and her hair was a wild tangled and matted mess. Hera's sword was in Donna's hands and there was a nearby puddle hinting at the remains of a water clone. All and all, she looked even more beautiful to Naruto at that moment than she had in the torturously pleasurable dreams he'd been having every night on his mission.
Donna turned to look Naruto in the face and gave him a brilliant smile. She sheathed her sword and then ran towards Naruto. The princess grabbed her husband in a massive hug and firmly kissed him on the lips. Naturally, Naruto's eyes widen in shock at the forcefulness and passion, but he quickly responded to the kiss. After a few seconds Donna pulled away and said, "Welcome home Naruto."
"Wow," Naruto said with a slight daze and he blinked his eyes. "If I get a greeting like that every time I return from a mission Tennyo, I'm going to feel far more at ease with long term missions." Donna gave him a playful smack in reply. Naruto chuckled and said, "I guess I deserved that didn't I? By the way Donna, what happened while I was gone? I mean, you seem to be more comfortable with yourself if that makes any sense."
Donna smiled and replied, "While you were away I received a brief visit from my mother thanks to the patron goddess of the Amazons. We were only able to talk for a few minutes, but she was able to put a lot of fears and uncertainties I had to rest. When they disappeared this sword was left behind to prove that I didn't imagine anything."
Naruto was surprised to hear that Donna's mother had briefly been in the village thanks to one of her people's kami. Any private doubts he might have had, not that he'd ever voice them, were quickly brushed away by the sword on Donna's back. It was made out of an alloy and in a style that was completely foreign to the Elemental Nations. Lack of proof otherwise, Naruto was going to take Donna's word on this matter. Naruto considered what Donna told him and then an uncertainty of his emerged. "What was your mother's opinion of me?"
"My mother said that she wasn't happy that I had been married off, but she was happy that I am married to you out of the possible choices in Konoha. She said you were a decent man which is extremely high praise for her."
That news led to Naruto letting out a sigh of relief. He then jokingly said, "That's good to know. I was almost afraid that your mother would lead an army into Konoha for the so purpose of castrating me."
Donna muttered under her breath, "She'd have to fight me first." The princess quickly covered up her slip by saying. "Hey Naruto, would you like to have a spar?"
Naruto grinned and replied, "Sounds great Donna. What are the rules and stakes if you want them?" Having the loser do a chore that needed to be done or run an errand was a great motivator to win a spar. Besides most of the time it was things that neither of them wanted to do but the chore had to get done.
There brief look of hesitation and nervousness on Donna's face before she firmly said. "Alright Naruto: no weapons and not jutsu for our match and it's until the first one of us surrenders or is held to the ground for five seconds. Stakes are as follows: I win and you have to clean out the Koi pond. If you win, I have to let you watch me take a bath."
As can be expected, Naruto's mind needed to be reset after hearing was Donna was laying on the line. Part of Naruto was eager to take Donna up on the offer the chance to see her bathe. Even though he was a good man, Naruto was still a teenager with an extremely hot wife. The other part of Naruto was concerned because this didn't exactly seem like something Donna would do. "Why did you set those terms?"
Donna could easily see the concern, love, and hint of eagerness in her husband's eye. A hint of a blush appeared on the princess's cheeks as she replied, "I love you Naruto. It's hard for me to say the words but it's true that I love you. It's easier for me to admit that now that I've talked to my mother and confirmed that what I feel for you doesn't betray who I am. However, my pride as an Amazon still makes me skittish about pursuing certain aspects of our relationship. I may be happy to be your wife now Naruto, but I was still forced into it after being captured and my pride won't accept that."
"Then how does betting sexual or near sexual favors help you deal with your pride Donna?"
"Because Naruto," Donna paused for a second so that she could walk closer to her husband. "These favors are favors that I've chosen to lay on the line. Because they are my choice, my pride won't be hurt if something happens. In fact, I'm sure my pride would spur me on to completing my bets because I won't accept the idea of breaking my word." Donna paused again to lean closer to Naruto and pressed her body against his. She then whispered in his ear, "Please accept husband. I want this to happen."
Hiruzen looked at the sixty Jonins in charge of the current genin teams and said, "As you know it is time once again to submit candidates for the Chunin Exams which will be held next month. Once again I would like to remind you all that just because we are hosting the Chunin Exams you are not permitted to nominate your team on a whim. After the debacle last time Konoha hosted the exams, I have decided that we will be holding these exams to foreign participation standards."
Shocked mutterings erupted from the assembled jonin. Foreign participation standards limited the number of allowed teams to ten. If more than ten teams wanted to compete then they'd have to be cut down in a pre-exam tournament against a mix of chunins and jonins. Once the chunins and the jonins got through grinding up the genins, ad hoc teams would be created out of the survivors. Considering how hard it was for less experienced genins to work together as a team right away, this created a serious weakness for the teams in terms of trust. Thus, Jonin were very careful to not trigger a pre-exam tournament.
"Enough!" Hiruzen's firm command brought the debating Jonin to a complete stop. "The last time we hosted a tournament here without this rule there an eighty percent failure rate among the Chunin hopefuls. That is completely unacceptable. Since we've never had more than a thirty percent failure rate with these regulations I have decided to continue using them while the exams are being held here. If you think your team is ready you will write you team on a form and turn it in by tomorrow evening. That is all."
With that said, the Hokage left the room so that the Jonin could consider what he had told them. Hiruzen left the room, walked down the hall, and entered another room where the Elders were waiting for him. Homura chuckled and said, "I take it that the youngsters don't like the new rules you put in place."
Hiruzen quickly replied, "They were too shocked when I left to say anything. However, I suspect that they'll all be chatting up a storm any second now." The Hokage's eyes hardened a bit and he turned to look at Danzo as he continued, "Have you properly fixed the selection machine in case more than ten teams are nominated?"
Danzo nodded his head and replied, "I have the remote in my office. If we need it I'll turn it over to you."
The Hokage nodded at this answer. "That's good; such things shouldn't be left to chance if possible." Sure, it might not be 'honest' or 'fair' for him to rig the tournaments to knock out perceived weaklings. However, who said that life, being a ninja, or especially a shinobi's life was fair? The purpose was to make sure that none of Jonin were overestimating their students. If the genin could win even when the odds were stacked against them, and it did happen every once and a while, then they deserved their spot.
With that mattered settled, Hiruzen moved on to the next point of the mission. "Has there been any progress from the sensor division into devising a way of detecting the Amazonian kami if they choose to make another appearance?" It was a sore point to Hiruzen and the other elders that anything had gotten by the village's sensor net as that represented a potential weak point in the village's defenses. Not that Hiruzen wanted to challenge the foreign kami; that would be stupidity of the first rank and the last mistake he'd likely ever make. One did not piss off the kami and live. Rather, Hiruzen wanted to know if the Amazonian kami ever appeared so that he could either offer homage or stay as far away from them as possible.
Homura sighed and replied, "None whatsoever. As you know, kami mute their aura when they choose to come to this plane. Good thing too as the last time a kami released more than a touch of their aura created the crater of Crater City. However, unlike the kami we're familiar with, the aura frequency that the Amazonian kami possess is unknown to us. The sensors don't have any holy relic fragments to have examined by the fire monks for a frequency. Our only lead is the sword left to Donna Uzumaki, but no one wants to risk offending her kami by taking something left for her use."
The Hokage nodded his head and replied, "It took us over a century to develop a system to detect the kami so don't be discouraged. Move cautiously, the last thing we want to do with earn the wrath of a kami. Even the weaker Kami can wipe out cities."
Shiho looked at her teammates as Kakashi dropped the news on them about the possibility of going in the Chunin Exams. Sai's eyes almost sparkled with interest even if he kept his face calm. Naruto actually jumped off the ground and pumped his fist in the air. He then shouted out, "Alright, this is what we've been waiting for!"
As for herself, Shiho was not nearly as eager as her teammates. She didn't say anything to dampen the mood, but Kakashi caught on to her nervousness very quickly. Team 7's Jonin instructor gave one of his traditional eye smiles and said, "If you want to enter the Chunin Exams, report to the Hokage Tower by 9 am three days from now. The Team is going into standby mode until then so that you three can think about whether or not you want to enter the exam. Regardless of your choice, I expect you to use some of this time for training. Come and get me if you wish for some personal training." With that said, Kakashi vanished in a flurry of leaves.
Sai got up and then looked at Naruto. "Hey dick-less, how about we have a practice spar if you're even man enough for one?" This comment earned Sai a kunai thrown into the ground two inches from his crotch. Danzo's slightly disturbed son picked up the kunai and replied, "Just because you don't have any balls does not mean you can castrate me." A small, easily deniable, smirk appeared on Sai's face as he saw his words getting to Naruto.
"Oh that is it Sai, I'm going to beat you black and blue!" Naruto was seriously getting annoyed at Sai for his constant eunuch remarks. What he and Donna did or didn't do was no body's business but their own! Quickly pulling out his kyoketsu-shoge, Naruto started whipping the ball end of his weapon in a challenge to Sai. Naturally, Sai rolled onto the field and pulled out his ninjato in a defensive stance. The kyoketsu-shoge flew where Sai had been seconds ago and then whipped around back into Naruto's hand.
Shiho quickly decided that now would be a good time to leave the training field. The boys' weekly, if she could be so lucky, full contact spar was not something she wanted to get into the middle of. Seriously, if it wasn't for Sai baiting Naruto so much she'd think that they were doing it all just for the fun of it. Shiho wasn't about to try and join in their spar because she knew that they were in another league. As the young kunoichi left the training field, she thought about whether or not to enter the exams. It was a difficult choice for her since she was not the most skilled member of the team or the most well rounded.
Kunoichi were generally weaker than Shinobi. This wasn't a sexist belief or a situation due to preference in training. It was a simple biological fact: the average male was physically slightly stronger than the average female. Chakra only further skewed the averages since the chakra network for men was on average 20 percent larger than a woman's chakra network. This was why men had larger chakra reserves, but women typically had better control on average. Of course, the actual statistics were worse than biology suggested since many kunoichi wasted years in the Academy and initial training by moaning over the hot guy while the guys typically trained to impress the girls.
Now, Shiho was actually in the top 10 percent of her graduating class's kunoichi since she didn't skip on her training. At the same time, Team 7's female teammate had never pushed her basic training like Naruto and Sai had done. Codes and puzzles had fascinated Shiho for years and she was determined to become a cryptographer ninja. Being a cryptographer ninja was a respected support role and would allow her to exercise her love of codes and puzzles. It wasn't a particularly glorious position, but Shiho was not planning on becoming a great ninja like Naruto was set to become.
There was only one little hitch to Shiho's plans to become a cryptographer ninja: you needed to be at least a chunin in order to apply. Konoha wasn't about to risk having people who had vital security information who might not be able to defend themselves. Shiho had been putting in extra training to get ready for the Exams so she could pass. However, she wasn't sure that she had improved enough to pass or even survive if the rumors surrounding the exam were true. Naruto and Sai could no doubt handle the exam. Hell, Shiho wouldn't be too surprised if they actually passed them.
As Team 7's kunoichi walked down the streets, she spotted Donna walking towards the armory section of town. Shiho quickly called out, "Hey Donna!"
Donna turned around, spotted Shiho, and smiled. The princess then called out, "Hello Shiho. It's great to see you, but aren't you supposed to be having team training right now?"
Shiho's face became slightly worried and she replied, "Kakashi is letting us decide whether or not to enter the Chunin Exams. As such, he's given us some time off for individual training and reflection. Naruto and Sai got into another one of their spar/fights while I've been thinking about the offer. What are you doing today Donna?"
For some reason that confused Shiho, Donna had a faint blush and nervously said, "Getting an offering made for Artemis."
"Uh Donna, I thought you offered your kami offerings of food and incense like we all do here. What kind of offering are you having made?" This confused Shiho because from what she had observed Donna's worship was just like it was here in Konoha. Some people in other lands occasionally made different types of offerings. However, that was typically done by craftsmen who wanted to present a masterpiece to the kami. This new mystery immediately intrigued Shiho and she wanted to get to the bottom of it.
Donna got a little nervous when she saw the gleam in Shiho's eye that said I've found something interesting. Figuring that her closest friend wouldn't stop investigating until she found out what was going on, Donna signaled for Shiho to follow her into a nearby alley. Once the two girls were in the alley by themselves, Donna began to explain what she was doing. "I'm getting a bow made to offer Artemis as a replacement for the normal offering I should be making. You see," her voice got quieter forcing Shiho to lean in, "It's expected among my people to offer our childhood toys to Artemis when we are planning on entering a sexual relationship for the first time."
A blush appeared on Donna's face as Shiho's eyes widened in shock. "You mean to tell me that you're planning on pillowing Naruto soon?" Shiho almost couldn't believe her ears. It was well known, almost infamously, in Konoha that the Uzumakis weren't intimate due to the princess's upbringing. Sure, Donna had been warming up to Naruto and had been spotted being affectionate to him more and more often. However, most of the busy bodies were expecting it to take months or even a year or two more before the couple fully acted as man and wife.
"I'm seriously considering it Shiho. That's all I'll say on that subject for now understood?"
Naruto walked towards his house a little ruffed up from his spar, but with a grin on his face. It had been a brutal spar with him and Sai pulling out all the stops, but he had won in the end. That was quite an accomplishment since Danzo had taught Sai every dirty trick in the book a genin could pull and several reserved for chunins. With the spar out of the way, Naruto figured he could enjoy a nice relaxing time at home with Donna. He was especially happy since tonight was Donna's night to cook which meant that he got to try a dish from her homeland. Now some Amazonian dishes were not that good to his tastes, but others were absolutely great. Baklava was a prime example in Naruto's mind even if it was a desert. Perhaps he could suggest a mixed dinner one night with Ramen and Baklava?
Thoughts of food immediately vanished from Naruto's head when he heard a particular perverted giggle that hadn't been heard in Konoha for months. Naruto stopped in his tracks and tried to convince himself that what he had heard wasn't that giggle. His hopes were dashed seconds later when he heard the giggled again coming from the hot springs. The young ninja suppressed a groan as his shoulders slumped. Great just great, his godfather was back in town. Now Naruto like and respected Jiraiya as both his godfather and as a ninja. But, there was one thing about Jiraiya that made Naruto wish his godfather was somewhere in the far side of Iwa.
Jiraiya was the biggest and most shameless pervert to ever be born and even took pride in that fact. His meeting Donna would not be good for Naruto. Sure, Naruto had repeatedly told Donna that his godfather was a world-class pervert. However, he was sure that meeting the old perv in real life would set off his wife's temper. Naruto sent a silent prayer to all the kami and then walked over to the hot spring. He walked over to where Jiraiya was hiding, unsealed a massive megaphone, brought the megaphone to Jiraiya's ear, and yelled out, "Pervert! Attention women of Konoha, Jiraiya is back in town and currently peeping at the Cherry Blossom Hot Spring I repeat, Jiraiya is perving at the Cherry Blossom Hot Spring and the first ten women to appear to punish him will be given free kunais!"
With that said Naruto dropped ten kunais on the ground and high tailed it out of ground zero. He quickly walked up a nearby tree and watched as the ladies his godfather had been using a muses came out and pounded the shit out of him. Several nearby men winced in sympathy before moving along with their business. No one was dumb enough to mess with a bunch of pissed of kunoichi.
After about ten minutes, the beatings ended and the women left in a huff. Naruto hopped out of the tree and started walking towards his godfather. There was an innocent grin on his face as he said, "It's great to see you again Jiraiya. Are you feeling okay?"
Like lighting, Jiraiya's hand shot up and grabbed Naruto's shirt collar. Jiraiya yanked Naruto down to his knees and growled, "Am I feeling okay? Do I look like I'm okay you little punk?"
"No, you look like shit."
"I only look like shit thanks to you Naruto! What ever happened to respecting your elders?"
"It left on the same boat as your sense of decency."
"Why you little punk, I'll have you know I was a mega pervert decades before you were born." Jiraiya's tone suddenly changed to a much friendlier one and a smile appeared on his swollen face. "How are you doing Naruto?"