Chapter Twenty-Nine: "Legacy"
A/N: I apologize for the delay. A lot happened during the month of January outside of my fanfic writing and this chapter was one of my hardest to write and put together, though I had help which I'm thankful for. I had planned on making this into two chapters but the delay forced my hands into making it one large chapter. Enjoy.
(Earlier That Day)
Sasuke was knocked hard to the ground, again. He struggled to his get to his feet. He was dirty, beaten up, bleeding from the lip and bruised all over.
"Is this it Sasuke? Is this all you have?" Kakashi asked without even sounding or looking tired. Sasuke was on his hands and knees, sucking in air. He looked at Kakashi and growled. Even with his Sharingan, Sasuke couldn't read or predict the Jounin's movements or keep up with his speed. He charged again and threw a punch-kick combination. Kakashi easily defended against it and slammed Sasuke down to the ground.
"You can't hold your grounds against me that easily even with your awakened Sharingan and yet you expect to match and topple a self-trained Elite Jounin-level Genin with your Sharingan in a month," Kakashi stated humorlessly, "You witnessed how Naruto fights more than once and you saw what he's capable of with and without weapons or sight. This is but a demonstration of what will happen to you during the Chuunin Finals."
Sasuke, while lying on the ground on his chest, looked up and snarled at Kakashi's irrefutable logic and truth. But Kakashi's words just now implied Sasuke's defeat was certain. He knew that it was a huge and rather unrealistic feat trying to rival Naruto within a month's time. Regardless, he told himself that he would find a way to bring Naruto down several notches and prove to Hinata who was stronger and fitted to be her righthand man. But then Sasuke recalled Kakashi's threat to suspend him if he tried to approach Hinata in that manner again and his suspension at this point would automatically disqualify him from the Chuunin Finals.
"I will get stronger...one way or another Kakashi," Sasuke declared as he struggled to stand back up, "I'm not an Uzumaki. I'm a proud Uchiha...and I won't allow some that shameless Uzumaki...to overshadow me. I will find a way to topple him."
Standing back up, Sasuke got ready to fight again, despite his injuries and the pain he was in.
"That's enough Sasuke," Kakashi said with his arms crossed over his chest.
"No...not yet," Sasuke replied, "I still can-"
"You took more than what you can handle at your current level," Kakashi stated, "Anymore and you'll spend a day or two in the infirmary. You're best to get healed up and rest for the rest of the day," Kakashi advised. Sasuke wanted to argue but a painful spasm from his shoulders silenced him. He saw that he needed healing from his injuries as Kakashi wasn't holding back against him to a certain extent.
Damn it! I won't make any true progress at this rate! Sasuke thought as he started to seriously think about what Tayuya offered him last night, I need power, real power!
(At Konoha Hospital)
The facility was bustling with healers, surgeons, doctors, nurses, and interns, as well as the many patients and visitors there. Currently Kiba and Akamaru were making their way through the hallway with Hana and Shino. Kiba had a couple of bandages around his head and back and chest but he was said to make a full recovery in a week. Soon though they walked passed Neji's room and what Kiba and Akamaru saw caused them to stop and walk back to the sight they saw:
Neji was in a wheelchair with bandages around head, body and arms and he looked to be in deep thought about something. After a moment of silence...
"What the hell happened to you?!" Kiba asked after getting his ability of speech back. Neji turned to see Hinata's teammate looking straight at him.
"I lost to Hinata-sama yesterday in our match. This is condition she left me in after the doctors healed and treated my injuries. I'm currently unable to walk due to my wounds," Neji explained briefly and to the point.
"This is true Kiba," Shino confirmed, "I along with the Hokage and Kurenai-sensei saw the whole thing yesterday. Neji was no match or a challenge to Hinata at all and his speech which was aimed to demean and break her spirit before the match poetically served to humiliate him further."
Neji flinched slightly on being reminded of his foolish actions. Kiba and Akamaru's mouths dropped open like anvils hitting the ground while trying to grasp what Neji and Shino revealed to them. It was hard to visualize what Neji and Shino were talking about considering the difference of strengths between Hinata and Neji, at least from what they were led to believe. But when they allowed the words of the two Genin to sink in completely, Kiba burst into a fit of loud laughter while Akamaru snickered toothily. Hana frowned at her younger brother's behavior while Neji gave an irritated glare at the younger Genin.
"Are you Serious!? Hinata kicked your ass this bad!? Damn! I wish I could have been there to see her humble your ass!" Kiba laughed while pointing at Neji.
"Kiba!" Hana scolded, "That's no way to talk to your fellow Genin!"
"You wouldn't say such nonsense if you knew how this cruel bastard treats Hinata, his own cousin," Kiba retorted after getting the laughter out of his system, "It's about time he was put in his place even though I can't help but wonder how Hinata could have done it when I myself thought she would lose to him."
"You could ask her yourself. She and her father are approaching us...and they don't look to be in better shape either," Shino pointed out while giving the Hyuuga pair an odd look.
"What are you talking abo-" Kiba stopped when he, Hana and Akamaru turned to see what Shino was talking about. Both Hinata and Hiashi had their right arms in bandaged and in slings with bandages about other parts of their bodies.
"What the hell?" Kiba asked as Hiashi, Hinata and Hanabi approached and entered Neji's room. Upon seeing them, Neji too raised an eyebrow at the sight of Hiashi and Hinata.
"I suppose your match with Hinata-sama earlier today gave you a better assessment of her prowess Hiashi-sama," Neji remarked.
"My eldest daughter indeed surprised me along with the rest of the clan as she exceeded all of our expectations. It was truly a close fight as she pushed me harder than some of my past enemies and rivals managed to," Hiashi said.
"Excuse me but would someone mind explaining to me what's going here?" Kiba asked with a look that showed he wanted answers.
Hinata sighed, "...Come inside Kiba-kun and you too Shino-kun. There's much I have to explain."
"You think?" Kiba remarked as he and the others went into Neji's room.
Temari stepped out of her room, fully dressed and relaxed. Her private late night emotional episode in the showers gave her some needed release from her built up dam of frustration and confusion. She had spent much of the night sorting out her attractions and feelings for Naruto while trying to readjust her thinking in reminding herself that she's a Suna kunoichi first and that Naruto was a Konoha ninja and Jinchuuriki who could pose as the greatest threat to the plan Suna was seeking to enact in about a month.
She then thought about Hinata and how she deceptively played the role of the weakest and most timid kunoichi she ever met and saw. Temari couldn't believe the kind of fire Hinata possessed and how that same fire brutally put Neji in the hospital. The Suna kunoichi couldn't help but admit that the Hyuuga heiress was truly a strong and formidable ninja and fighter. She then thought about her opponent for the Chuunin Finals, Shikamaru. Temari didn't know what to make of him beside being a lazy Genin. But his strategic victory over Kin told the older girl to be wary of the seemingly lazy Genin.
"Temari," a masculine voice called out. The sixteen-year-old kunoichi turned to the source of the voice, which turned out to be Baki.
"Good morning, Baki-sensei," Temari greeted. Baki simply nodded and asked, "Temari, have you given serious thoughts to what we discussed yesterday evening?"
Temari let out a low sigh and answered, "Yes Baki-sensei. I gave much and careful consideration to your words and I'll work to keep myself in line and hold up my dignity as a Suna kunoichi."
Baki replied, "I'm most pleased to hear that."
Just then the door to the apartment opened and Gaara and Kankurō entered through it.
"Is there something that's being discussed here?" Kankurō asked as he closed the door behind both himself and Gaara.
"Nothing for you both to be concerned with," Baki stated.
"Perhaps not, but this Uzumaki Naruto in my opinion is going to be trouble for us in my honest opinion," Kankurō replied, "Already many in Konoha are talking about his latest exploits during the Chuunin Exams."
It was true; by this time word about Naruto's fierce and deadly battle spread like wildfire in all of Konoha. Many would have thought that Uchiha Sasuke would have given the Sannin a decent fight despite them not being equals. But after hearing actual testimonies from those who investigated the ruined landscape in the Forest of Death and from what Inoichi was willing to explain, many of the civilians and ninja of Konoha were made to re-evaluate whether or not they know what kind of ninja Naruto truly was.
"From what I heard some people talking about earlier today, Naruto has done a terrific job in blinding everyone in this village to the truth about his abilities and true character," Kankurō explained.
"That's what makes that Genin a high priority threat to the plan. He's already taking on and coming dangerously close to killing S-class ninja like a Sannin in one-on-one combat. If any of you three were to fight him, you would all be killed without question," Baki stated clearly.
"You're taking me too lightly Baki," Gaara said sharply with a hardened glare, "My brother in burden may be strong but even he wouldn't have the ability to deny my existence."
Temari and Kankurō found it interesting how Gaara referred to Naruto as his "brother," but they figured that it was because Naruto was a fellow Jinchuuriki.
"Gaara," Baki advised, "even after everything we've heard and seen for ourselves we still don't know the full scale of Naruto's skills and strengths. It would be advisable for you not to underestimate him. Even with the power of Shukaku and your sand at your aid, we don't know what Naruto is capable of doing with the powers of Kyuubi and that bijuu is far stronger than yours."
Gaara snarled venomously at Baki and he looked like he wanted to crush and kill Baki himself as bloodlust leaked out of the Suna Jinchuuriki. Kankurō and Temari got nervous after seeing the lethal expression in Gaara's face. But Gaara turned and walked towards the door instead.
"I don't need to listen to your words any further Baki," Gaara said before exiting through the apartment door and closing it behind him. The two remaining Suna Genin inwardly sighed in relief after seeing that Baki's words to Gaara didn't end in bloodshed with Gaara as their murderer.
Naruto, Honoka and Karin stood in front of the fogotten ancient temple that now lied in ruins. Though Karin and Honoka had never seen that temple before, Naruto felt a strong sense of familiarity with the Uzumaki Mask Temple.
"We won't get far simply by looking at this place," Naruto suggested, "Come, let's see what we can find inside."
After sealing their family album book away, Honoka followed after Naruto and Karin. As the Uzumaki trio made their way to the temple, Naruto stopped and summoned thirty clones.
"Stand guard and survey the area," Naruto instructed, "If you find any spies, deal with them accordingly."
The clones nodded as half of them henge'd into animals common to the woods around them while the other half used their transparency jutsu to blend in with the surrounding environment. After seeing that the security detail was taken cared of, Naruto continued on his way with his two female Uzumaki cousins. The three of them walked and stepped around and over the debris that lied in front of the main entrance of the temple. When that part of the obstacle was out of the way, the three of them headed to the entrance.
As they did so, Naruto's eyes came across some writings engraved on a tablet mounted to a pillar posted at the entrance. He went over to read and study the writings which he found to be written in an ancient outdated language. Honoka and Karin went over to him to find out what it was that caught his attention. Naruto read aloud:
"Within this shrine to the gods lies the path
Give them their due for fear of their unrivaled wrath
From within this chamber you shall find
So too the paths of those not so kind
Thus heed this warning to not proceed upon this path
Without purpose to beseech and pay the full aftermath"
"The hell?!" came Karin's reply, "What's that suppose to mean?! Couldn't they have written this in simpler terms that everyone could understand?"
"I couldn't make out what was written on it at all," Honoka replied, "I'm amazed Naruto-kun was even able to read and interpret what was written on that tablet."
"No one outside our clan will be able to read and interpret these texts," Naruto said.
"But we're Uzumaki like you yet we couldn't read or understand what we were seeing," Karin replied.
"Yes but there's more to my words. This tablet was written in the original ancient seal writing system of the olden ones of our clan," Naruto clarified, "Only a veteran Uzumaki seal master can read and understand it."
"That hurts," Honoka sullenly muttered under her breath as her pride in the art of seals took a blow from that statement though Naruto was in no way aiming to insult her while telling the truth. But what happened made it clear that both her and Naruto were not equals in terms of their levels and ingenuity in seals. She realized that she still had a long way to go but she wondered how Naruto's caliber in seals was master level.
Though I subjugated myself to be trained by Naruto-kun in helping me control my chakra influence, I can't help but wonder how he mastered seals on his own, Honoka wondered
"C'mon let's check out what's inside this shrine to the gods that lies the path," Naruto joked.
"Speak normally please," Karin replied as the three of them entered the ancient temple. Upon entering, what the three ninja found notable was that the temple was an unusual room, with twenty-eight masks hanging on one wall. Karin felt quite uncomfortable and a bit creeped out at the designs of the ancient mask relics.
"Why did our ancestors design these masks to have such ugly and hideous facial features?" Karin asked aloud, "Couldn't they have at least make one look remotely human?"
Honoka looked around the room and found that the walls of the shrine were literally covered with Uzumaki spirals and seal writings.
"Whatever purpose this building was once used for," Honoka said, "I'm sure those masks were created for more than appearances."
Naruto was presently studying the seal writings on the walls. A few minutes passed as he was still trying to make them out.
"Can you make out any of the seal writings Naruto-kun," Karin asked.
"Unfortunately the steep level of decay and molding done to the place made most of these writings illegible," Naruto confirmed as he and the others continued examining the rest of the complex.
"There must be something we can find here that can aid us in learning more about this rundown temple," Karin expressed.
Meanwhile, Honoka continued looking at the masks on the wall as she was soon joined by Naruto. A moment later though, he came across a particular mask hanging on the wall with the others. Naruto looked at the mask with a wondering expression before he reached out and grabbed it, lifting it off its resting hook. He looked around the mask in its entirely and found intricate seal writings all inside the mask. His eyes then saw a familiar spiral design with seal drawings about it in the center of the mask.
That was when he recalled stealing the Forbidding Scroll of Sealing and going through the scroll's writings and secrets, memorizing as many of its secrets, jutsu and sealing jutsu as he could. And among the sealing jutsu he memorized was the one his father used, Shiki Fuujin. The seal writings and spiral design sharply resembled that very jutsu with a few alterations that only a trained and experienced seal master could see. In the center of the spiral was the kanji writings that meant "One with Death."
"You're not planning on putting that mask on are you?" Honoka inquired as she and Karin went over to him as his concentration was broken.
"Not unless I fully intend to summon and become the Shinigami incarnate and die after doing so," Naruto stated. Both Honoka and Karin blinked as looked at Naruto oddly.
"Say what?" Honoka replied with a baffled expression.
"This very mask in my hands summons the Shinigami into this world were I to put it on. It's very much like Shiki Fuujin, the kinjutsu ougi my father, Konoha's Yondaime, used against Kurama thirteen years ago. However, the major difference is that your body becomes the host of the deity you summon whereas Shiki Fuujin requires that you surrender your soul and have it and the souls of your targets devoured by the Shinigami after summoning it, dooming both you and your targets to be entwined in hate and forever locked in combat with no rest or escape in the belly of the Shinigami," Naruto explained, "It's clear now that that kinjutsu ougi was created by our clan and I'm guessing that my mother either taught it to my father or he learned it from the Forbidden Scroll."
"Why would your mother teach your father such a horrid jutsu, and why did he even choose to use it against Kyuubi of all things?!" Karin asked incredulously.
"It's a long story. I'll explain it later," Naruto answered before returning to the original subject, "From what I can gather, all twenty-eight of these masks were created to summon deities."
"They were created to do what?!" Karin asked in disbelief.
"So they're forbidden summoning masks, all of them?" Honoka indicted.
"That's right. Our ancestors created these unique summoning masks for the purposes of summoning deities or gods. Each of these masks summons a different deity or god," Naruto explained as he looked and studied each of their ancient masks.
"How do you know this? To be quite honest, I never heard much about this temple and much of its secrets were lost during the chaotic eras of war," Honoka replied.
"Jiisan never told me that this temple existed and I doubt that he wasn't aware of this place. And Konoha's hierarchy was going to make sure that no one else knew of this place our Uzumaki ancestors created here," Naruto realized.
"Perhaps that they believed that this forbidden temple was too dangerous to be used by anybody," Karin figured.
"Anybody who didn't understand the reason why this place was created in the first place," Naruto countered, "Besides Konoha's ninja wearing the insignia of our clan, this place is the lost real connection in Konoha to our ancestors. It will be a huge task but we will try to bring the whole complex back to its original glory. Although this temple is rundown, the structure of this shrine is still mostly intact and the same can be said for the wall surrounding everything as nothing seems to be damaged beyond repair."
"Ambitious aren't we?" Karin remarked.
"Honoka-nee plans to be the new teacher who'll serve to remind the people and ninja of Konoha of the greatness our clan possesses, am I correct Honoka-nee?" Naruto asked. Honoka grinned, "I'll definitely add this shrine as one of my lessons, after we've had time to investigate and study the place further."
"I'm sure that there must have been a home of some kind the caretakers of this old shrine resided in. I doubt they lived in this shrine," Karin interjected. Naruto and Honoka saw her point. Honoka looked around and saw something from one of the broken windows.
"Look out there! There seems to be some cottage of some sort out over there!" Honoka pointed out. The three Uzumaki went out from the shrine and head to where the old cottage was. The one family cottage was about 15 yards from the shrine and like the shrine; it was rundown but not irreparably damaged. The door hinges had broken down long ago and the wooden door was lying on the porch floor. The four windows were also broken. On the right side of the cottage was an old well that still provided unpolluted fresh water.
"Let's check the place out," Naruto suggested before they went inside. The trio slowly entered the small house and inside of the the once humble abode was only chaos, namely destroyed and decayed furnishings. From what they saw it was clear that at some point in time some wild animals had used the forgotten cottage as shelter.
The cottage had what used to be a kitchen, living room, bathroom, a study room and a bedroom.
"From the looks of this bedroom, the caretakers were a married couple that had lived in here a long time ago," Naruto concluded as he looked for any possible pictures of the Uzumaki couple who were the caretakers of the shrine. In his search, he found an old colored picture of the couple, the only picture that was a bit worn but still intact unlike the rest that deteriorated.
The smiling couple in the picture standing in front of the cottage looked to be well in their age as their red hair was showing signs of turning completely white. They were dressed in white and beige robes, pants, vests and sandals with bandages around their legs. Their dressing style resembled the ones temple monks would use. They also had white head protectors tied around their heads with the front of their head protectors having the insignia of the Uzumaki Clan embedded into them.
"Here's a treasure to add and preserve in the clan album Honoka-nee," Naruto stated as he showed and passed the picture to the older Uzumaki. Honoka went over to Naruto and retrieved the picture. She placed it in her pocket and made of mental note to clean the picture before adding it to the album. Finding nothing else in the room, they left and made their way to the study room and like all the other rooms, it laid in ruins.
After a careful search, Naruto soon found a complex seal on the the wall away from the window with the kanji for "Toshokan" or "Library" in the center of it. He analyzed it carefully to understand what it was for.
"Hey look at this!" Naruto said gaining the attention of his two fellow Uzumaki. Honoka and Karin went over to Naruto.
"What did you find?" Karin inquired.
"This seal!" Naruto said as he bit his thumb and smeared some of his blood on it.
"What are you doing?" Karin asked.
"It's a blood seal and from the looks of it only those of our Uzumaki blood can open and unseal what's hidden inside of it," Naruto explained as then from a hand sign, "Kai!"
The seal burst into smoke and from out of the seal came a desk with two small shells, one of each side of the desk. One shelf was filled with various books while the other one had scrolls neatly placed on them. The desk was completely intact and looked to be made of refined polished wood and marble of high quality.
"Would you look at this!" Naruto said in amazement, "More lost treasures of our ancestors!"
"Clearly the caretakers took the needed precautions to prevent the loss of whatever secrets lies inside these shelves and desk," Honoka stated as they looked around the desk and shelves. Karin took one of the books and started reading into it, or so she tried to.
"Argh!" Karin said in frustration, "It's written in that same olden language as with that plaque in front of the temple. I can't understand it! Damn it!"
Naruto took the book from her and started reading into it. He stayed quiet for a couple of minutes as he studied the contents inside the book.
"Fascinating," Naruto commented, "This book is like a journal of the caretakers. They recorded their research and activities in their books which was in connection with the shrine."
Honoka went to the scrolls and started counting the number of scrolls on the shelves. Much to her surprise there was twenty-eight of them.
"There are twenty-eight scrolls here. And twenty eight masks in the temple," Honoka pointed out, "I wonder if these scrolls are linked to the masks in the shrine."
She took one of the scrolls and opened it. She found seal writings and drawings in the scrolls but just like with Karin, she couldn't read it.
"Would you please Naruto-kun?" Honoka requested as she handed Naruto the scroll. Putting the book down, he took the scroll and started reading into it. The two females waited for his interpretation as he carefully analyzed and studied the scroll.
"You're right Honoka-nee. These scrolls are linked with the masks and based on this scroll it's linked to the dragon mask," Naruto said with his eyes still buried in the scroll.
"The dragon mask?" Karin asked quizzically.
"Yes, the dragon mask known as Seiryu. It turns the wearer into a powerful blue and yellow dragon with impenetrable scales, eyes that track through infrared, the ability to breath pure white fire, a roar that creates a devastating shock wave and can command the power of wind at the user's disposal. With the power of this mask, the user is able to send and trap the souls of his targets into dimensional limbo," Naruto explained.
"Sweet!" Karin grinned, "Maybe I ought to look for that mask and-"
"There's a steep price to pay in the use that mask though," Naruto warned, "In return for that mask's power, the user must surrender seven years of his or her life, along with their sight, dooming them to blindness. When used a second time by the same user, the amount of years of your life drained doubles and your chakra network will be completely and irreversibly damaged. Simply put, you'll lose your youth, your chakra network, your abilities to perform any form of jutsu and 14 more years of your life if used twice. Upon the third use, you'll die."
"That's so not cool!" Karin wailed, "It's bad enough that I have to wear glasses but to go blind completely and lose my abilities to execute any jutsu on top of that!?"
"Karin, weren't you paying attention to the fact that you'll also lose 21 years of your life as one of the penalties if you use that mask twice? And death follows if used a third time?" Naruto asked.
Karin grinned and replied, "For what it's worth, in the end of the second use, I would become a hot 34-year-old red haired Uzumaki for you in the process Naruto-kun. By then, my ovulating body and soul would be more than ready and matured to satisfy your manly needs and desires to produce chil-"
"Knock it off!" Honoka retorted as she smacked Karin hard on her left shoulder. Karin's pervy flirtatious actions served to irritate Honoka to no end.
"Hey!" Karin while staring angrily at Honoka, "What's your problem granny!?"
Honoka's right eye twitched and then she replied, "My problem is your bad timing to make such needless perverted jokes when Naruto-kun is being serious!"
Both females stare hard at each other as neither of them was backing down. It was as though small bolts of electricity were clashing between their opposing eyes.
"...They're definitely family regardless of the distant blood relations," Naruto sighed before becoming serious, "Ladies! Let's not get sidetracked please. We still have much work to do before the day's out."
Naruto then rolled up the scroll and set it back in its original place. He randomly picked up another scroll and opened it. He read and studied its context for a couple of minutes and the girls by then calmed themselves down.
"Suzaku, the phoenix mask; with it the wearer becomes a giant flaming bird recognized as a phoenix. The phoenix is immortal in the sense that if it's killed it'll rise from its ashes again at full strength and greater power than before. The phoenix is able to revive the dead but only those whose bodies haven't been reduced to anything beyond a skeleton or worse. The bones of the deceased must all be together otherwise the resurrection will fail. It also possesses unrivaled healing powers and can travel to the heavens above the heavens," Naruto interpreted.
"Meaning?" Karin asked.
"Meaning it can travel beyond the stars in the skies," Naruto answered, "As powerful as this mask is, like the others, it's not without a severe price. The penalty for the use of this mask is that the user will lose his or her physically body upon the removal of this mask and be turned into a spirit that will wander this world alone being unable to be seen or heard for eternity."
"Basically, a lonely existence of invisibility and intangibility follows upon the removal of that mask whereas the dragon mask ages and drinks you alive while taking your sight and destroying your chakra network," Honoka simply put.
"Pretty much," Naruto said as he rolled the scroll up and tied it with its closing cord.
"If none of these masks can be worn without some form of death penalty, then what was the point in creating these masks?" Karin asked.
"These masks were created during an era of many wars and great unrest, Karin," Naruto elaborated, "To prevent and discourage the misuse and abuse of such great powers each of these masks possesses, the user had to pay with their lives. However, I have no doubt that there were some who were diehard loyalists to either their cause, clan or nation and were willingly sacrifice themselves to help ensure the victory of whatever purpose they fought for. And for that and other reasons, these forbidden masks were to be protected and guarded."
"I suppose removing all of those masks from their resting place wouldn't be advised," Honoka figured.
"No it wouldn't," Naruto agreed, "This place was created for a reason and we must honor and respect that. Plus I don't trust what some in Konoha would do if they were to get a hold of any of these masks," Naruto looked around the place and though the cottage was in horrid shape, like the temple, it wasn't completely condemned, "I'll arrange for the repairs and renovations of both this cottage and the temple."
"But that would cost a whole lot of money Naruto-kun. Where would we acquire the funding?" Karin asked.
"My father was the Yondaime and Yellow Flash, remember? He left a good amount of funding and bonds for me that I only recently found out about no thanks to Konoha's hierarchy. Plus we have clan status in Konoha now and Jiisan owes me big for the crap I lived through over the years here in Konoha."
"But we can't just hire anybody for the job," Honoka pointed out.
"No we can't," Naruto agreed, "But I know just the right man and people for the job."
"You're going to hire Tazuna and his crew for the renovations," Honoka deduced.
"How did you know?" Naruto inquired.
"I don't know of any other architect besides that man and his family and people who are so fond of you," Honoka explained.
"Who's Tazuna?" Karin asked completely clueless.
"A bridge builder and architect from Nami no Kuni my team and I saved a couple of weeks ago," Naruto answered before explaining to Honoka and Karin how he would go about having the cottage and temple repaired and restored back to their original glory. As he reached the conclusion of his explanation, some information suddenly entered and infused into Naruto's mind. After taking a few minutes to quietly processed the infused information and experienced sent to him by his spy clones, Naruto turned to Karin and said, "I'm going to need you to do something for me much later this evening."
When Karin heard what the request was...
"You want me to do what?!" Karin replied.
"I know I'm asking a lot from you but it's something I can't carry out myself," Naruto said, "Please Karin, do this as a favor for me."
Karin sighed deeply and a minute later she looked to Naruto and relented, "Fine, I just hope that this doesn't cause trouble for me."
"It won't. I'll see to that personally," Naruto assured.
(Seven Hours Later; That Afternoon)
Temari made her way to the bathhouse she was shown by Naruto last night and decided to give it a try. After hearing all about them she really wanted to try them herself. There were no hot springs in Suna since water was very important in their homeland and they always had to make due with the amounts they'd use which didn't leave much for using it for other things besides bathing and drinking.
Going inside, she found the facility to be nicely decorated and comfortable looking. After paying and setting things up with the receptionist, Temari headed for the female section and got herself ready to use one of the baths. She got out of her clothes and set them on a basket before she walked inside and removed her towel. As she prepared to step into the bath, her eyes caught sight of Hinata sitting on one of the small wooden stools washing and cleaning herself at the other side of the bath. Temari took note of a few slightly noticeable bruises inflicted on the younger female's body.
She didn't receive those or any bruises during the preliminaries yesterday, Temari acknowledged, I wonder what happened.
Allowing curiosity to get the better of her, Temari went over to the Hyuuga heiress and sat next to her on a nearby sitting stool. Hinata turned to Temari and greeted, "Temari-san. I didn't expect to see you here."
"I heard about how popular this place is so I decided to give it a try," Temari said, "Plus we don't have bathhouses back home in Suna so this is a first time experience for me."
"I see," Hinata replied, "Well I'm sure you'll enjoy your experience here. Naruto-kun and I often come here to this particular bathhouse since it's our personal favorite."
Temari nodded before she started washing herself and saying, "I couldn't help but notice your bruises. Were you involved in a conflict with someone after the preliminaries seeing that Neji never hit you once during your match with him?"
"My father challenged me to a match earlier this morning after learning of my cousin's defeat to me. It was a close fight but I lost," Hinata explained, Though I dropped my chakra and gravity seals low enough to match my father's strength and speed I was still careless and let my guard down. I'll learn from that mistake and not repeat it.
"You went toe-to-toe with your father and came that close to beating him?" Temari asked with interest, "I must confess that you're not as fragile and weak hearted as I once thought you were. And you don't stutter either I see. You really put up quite a convincing act Hinata that fooled me and everyone else."
"Deception is one of instruments of the ninja, something Naruto-kun taught me over the years," Hinata said.
"Clearly Naruto-kun has made a real impressionable impact on your life," Temari said, purposefully adding the "kun" honorific to Naruto's name which wasn't missed by Hinata.
"Yes he has," Hinata agreed as she grabbed a bucket of water and poured it on herself. Putting the bucket down, Hinata inquired, "Mind if I ask you a personal question?"
"And that is?" Temari invited.
"Why are you so interested in my boyfriend?" Hinata asked calmly while looking directly at Temari, "You make no efforts to hide the fact that you have your eyes set on him since the time you first stepped foot in this village and you've been trying to learn so much about him. What is it about Naruto-kun that draws you to him?"
Unshaken by her questioning, Temari answered calmly, "Funny you should ask, because I spent most of last night thinking about those questions."
Hinata was taken aback by Temari's straightforward reply as the Suna kunoichi explained, "It's hard to not be interested in Naruto-kun. Since day one I've been trying to figure him out from the time I first met him. I wanted to know who Naruto-kun truly is and throughout the entire Chuunin Exams, I've only seen and heard amazing things about him. He's a very intelligent, strong and powerful fighter, a mature and true ninja, one I've never seen before coming to Konoha. Plus, Naruto-kun acknowledged me for me and not just as another kunoichi and the daughter of the Kazekage. I can't help but be in awe and drawn to him, even now."
Hinata started to get worried about where Temari's intentions and words could lead to, especially seeing the look of fondness in Temari's eyes and expression. Before Hinata could say anything, Temari turned to Hinata and stated, "Regardless of my attraction and affections for Naruto-kun, I know he's your boyfriend and I won't try to fight and steal him from you...though part of me really wants to I'll admit, despite the fact that I live in Suna and Naruto-kun lives here in Konoha."
Hinata paused and held her tongue after hearing the Suna kunoichi's words.
For a long time, Hinata contemplated, I always believed that Naruto-kun's shameless perverted behavior, peeping and jesting would repel girls who could pose as potential rivals against me for Naruto-kun's affections. For a few years it worked successfully against girls of my age group but lately the complete opposite has been happening, and both Hanabi and Temari-san are living proof of that. Both of them want Naruto-kun and without hesitating Temari-san openly admitted that part of her truly wants to fight me for him. Though Hanabi also said she wouldn't challenge me for Naruto-kun, I'm pretty sure that deep down if she could she would, knowing her character.
"You don't have to worry about me posing as a rival for Naruto-kun's affections if that's what you're worried about Hinata," Temari stated after seeing the look on the younger kunoichi's face, "Like I said, I won't try to steal him from you regardless of my feelings for him. After all, I'm not so petty as to fight over a boy. Besides I prefer to keep working on my ninja skills rather than look for a relationship. Although I will admit that seeing you two has certainly opened my mind to the possible joys of being in one."
Hinata looked at the older girl differently than before. After thinking about everything Temari said, Hinata placed her right hand on Temari's left shoulder and said, "I know we didn't get off to a terrific start but if you want, I would really like for us to become really good friends Temari-san."
Temari looked at Hinata, a bit surprised that the Hyuuga heiress was offering her friendship despite the touchy conversation they were having. As Temari was about to reply...
"So this is where you were relaxing at Hinata," an older female voice greeted. Hinata and Temari turned to see Honoka and Karin approaching them. Both Uzumaki girls removed their towels, revealing their nude forms as they set their towels down and took sitting stools for themselves to join Temari and Hinata. Honaka and Karin sat by Hinata at her left before they started washing themselves down.
"Mmmm, that feels so good," Karin moaned suggestively, "That Naruto-kun really knows how to work my body hard for all it's worth."
Hinata and Temari's right eye started twitching after hearing Karin's shameless perverted statement.
"Really Karin?" Honoka retorted, "Must you speak like that in front of Naruto-kun's girlfriend?"
"What?" Karin replied with feign innocence. Honoka turned to Hinata and said, "Pay Karin no mind. She's just another pervert like Naruto-kun."
"So I see," Temari said bluntly, before recalling, "Hey, aren't you that woman related to Naruto-kun?"
"Both of Karin and I are distant cousins of Naruto-kun," Honoka said while not missing how Temari addressed Naruto.
"But that girl isn't from Konoha. I remember seeing her head protector having the symbol of Kusa on it," Temari mentioned.
"It's true that I was brought up in Kusagakure but I wasn't born there," Karin said, "Like Honoka, my parents were Uzumaki and they were from Uzu no Kuni. However I was born in a small town outside of Uzu no Kuni after my father killed a few Kumo ninja who were after my mother."
"Why were Kumo ninja after your parents," Hinata said, remember her own bad experience and memories with Kumo.
"To enslave them no doubt. We moved to Kusagakure hoping to start a new life there but bounty hunters from Kumo came looking for us. I don't know what kind of fighting took place since I was put in hiding but all I know is that my father died protecting me and mother while killing those bounty hunters," Karin explained, "My mother and I lived in Kusa and while living there, my mother working as a medic at the hospital. After she died, I later became a Genin and participated in the Chuunin Exams here in Konoha."
"I can understand your experience with regards to Kumo Karin-san," Hinata related, "Like you, I have bad memories in connections with Kumo as a Kumo diplomat kidnapped me when I was a child years ago. Kumo was using the peace treaty negotiation with Konoha as a ploy to get the Byakugan by kidnapping me. My father rescued me after killing the diplomat."
"Naruto-kun told me once how a group of Kumo ninja kidnapped his mother when she was a Genin years ago. It was his father who managed to rescue and save her before those Kumo ninja were able to cross the border," Honoka mentioned.
"Kumo seriously wanted you Hyuuyga and Uzumaki females for an unwholesome purpose I see," Temari remarked.
"A purpose we want no part of whatever that is," Hinata stated, "But in any case, let's drop that depressing subject for something more uplifting."
Karin was about so say something then decided against it.
"What is it Karin?" Honoka asked.
"Oh it's nothing important," Karin lied as she stood up with a bucket of warm water and poured it on her body as if it was a show for someone to watch. Putting the bucket down, Karin stretched her arms, legs back and bent forward with her hands reaching the ground. She stood up and sighed happily, "Aaaah, is that ever so much better!"
"You don't say," Honoka remarked while pouring water on herself. Karin turned to Hinata and said, "I heard from Naruto-kun how you kicked Neji's ass yesterday but now you have to fight with that Gaara guy."
"It's true that I have to face Gaara during the Chuunin Finals though I don't know what outcome I'm to expect," Hinata admitted, "But I'll face him with the best of my abilities."
"Um, Hinata," Temari interjected, "Just so you know, my brother isn't known for showing any sort mercy. He might-"
"I understand your concern, plus I saw firsthand what he did to those three Ame-nin in the Forest of Death, Temari-san and what he tried to do to Naruto-kun's friend during the Preliminaries. I know I'm in for a deadly battle with Gaara," Hinata replied calmly, "It would be an outright lie to say that I'm not worried about what he will possibly do to me but I won't allow that to cause me to forfeit out of fear after coming this far."
"That's right! You tell'em girlfriend!" Karin stated enthusiastically with her hands at her waist.
"I understand your resolve and I won't hinder you from your match with Gaara," Temari conceded.
"Well then, before we leave, let's enjoy that steaming bath over there 'cause my body is still sore from Naruto-kun's stamina-"
Karin didn't get to finish when Honoka summoned her chains and wrapped around Karin before throwing her into the bath. Karin popped out of the water and spat the warm water out of her mouth. Angrily she turned to Honoka and shouted, "Damn it! What the hell!?"
"You wanted to enjoy the bath so I figured I helped you into it," Honoka remarked.
"While I appreciate the thought, I rather such concern not come from the same gender I as I clearly have interest only in-"
Again Karin didn't get to finish as Honoka jumped into the water and started tackling her after seeing where the implications of Karin's words were leading to. Both Uzumaki females started grappling and water fighting with occasional shouts sent at each other while Hinata and Temari sweat-dropped and looked at both of them.
Reminds me of myself and Hanabi, Hinata thought with a nervous chuckle, And oddly enough, both this and that incident all started with the topic about Naruto-kun.
However unknown to the four girls was that hiding in the shadows, watching them through a telescope, was a figure who was seeing and writing down into his notepad everything he was watching them do. He blushed crimson as he described in details everything he was seeing about the four females in front of him and the water fight between Honoka and Karin almost sent him over the edge, nearly blowing his cover. Despite his shameless arousal and erection, he managed to will himself to keep control and fulfill his purpose in spying on the four females, describing the best parts about each of their bodies and facial features and boy did they have plenty.
"This is better than I thought and who knew they had such beautiful bodies. I've seen my sweet Hinata-chan in a two-piece swimsuit which gave me an idea of her body's proportion but seeing it is a whole other thing. She has a developing hourglass figure, soft white skin and large breasts that make her nipples look like cherries on top of scoops of vanilla ice cream," He said as he looked at her from head to toe before she went and got into the bath and let her body sink till the water covered the upper part of her breasts. However his eyes widened at what he saw next.
"THEY FLOAT!" He yelled in his mind before he stopped looking to calm himself before he resumed and switched his sights to Temari.
"Man she's got it going on just as great. A more tanned shade of skin, long and firm athletic legs that are well toned, a pair of large breasts about Hinata's size but more firm showing they don't bounce as much (pity) and to top it all off her hair is down giving her an exotic and more womanly look," He admired as he kept examining her face and seeing the small smile she had which he found to be quite nice to look at although not as great as Hinata's. He turned his telescope towards Honoka but immediately stopped when a thought occurred to him.
"If she found out I peeped on her she would try to kill me or worse!" he shuddered from the thought of fates worse than death despite his temptation to risk it anyway. He skipped his observation of her to Karin who had seized her wrestling match and went to a corner of the springs away from Honoka.
"Hmm looks like she's a late bloomer but she's definitely on her way to achieving beauty. Nice sexy legs, average sized breasts that are still developing and a hot ass that would get any one's attention if she swayed it. This is pure platinum gold!" The figure thought with a perverted giggle that nearly escaped his mouth. Getting all the information he needed, including a few pictures, the figure decided to take a few last looks at Karin when to his surprise and fear, he saw her looking right at him as if looking through his telescope and onto him.
"OH CRAP, I'M DEAD!" he frantically thought before he saw her smirk.
"You owe me big," Karin mouthed in a vocal-less manner before she winked at him. Seeing that he was discovered, figure took off before Honoka, Temari and Hinata looked to where Karin was looking at.
"Was someone there?" Temari asked with her arm covering her breasts.
"No; I just thought I saw something of interest to me. But it was just my imagination," Karin waved away. Honoka looked at the girl suspiciously but decided not to press the matter further.
(Several Hours Later)
It was late into the evening now. Jiraiya was at bar having a small drink while thinking about everything that took place since his return back to Konoha. For the most part, he kept thinking about Naruto and his uncanny and unexplainable skills, knowledge and abilities, and his knowledge on events he under regular circumstances shouldn't have known about. It troubled Jiraiya to no end how Naruto called him out for being more of a teacher and godfather to the three Ame-nin than to his late pupil's son. Jiraiya gave careful thought to everything that was explained to him by both Naruto and Hiruzen concerning what life for Naruto was like in Konoha and his recent encounter with Orochimaru.
"So this is where you are Jiraiya," Naruto stated, making his presence now known to the older man, "I would have been here sooner, but I had some important information gathering I had to do first before coming here."
"By information gathering, I'm assuming it was at the bathhouse," Jiraiya replied with a neutral tone. Naruto, despite the frown on his face, replied, "That...and some vital information from my clones I was given."
What Naruto didn't tell Jiraiya was that what his sixty clones sent him a few hours ago was their knowledge and experiences from their intense studying, research and practice sessions on lightning manipulation. Naruto slept for three hours as he allowed for the new acquired knowledge and experience to be processed and infused into his mind.
The Sannin looked to Naruto and said seriously, "If I had known you'd have stopped by there before coming here," Jiraiya smiled and giggled, "Then I'd have made the effort to follow as a tag along just like how Sarutobi-sensei did with me all those years ago! It was a true way that we bonded as sensei and disciple."
"I'm sure," Naruto remarked, "But the rare specimens I was researching and gathering intel on are off limits to you. Therefore you'll have to find your own resources for your research elsewhere."
This gaki even talks like me, Jiraiya mentally noted and then said, "Be that as it may, but I happen to be a brilliant spy master and gatherer of the most precious of information. And the things I know which I can teach you will be of great gain to you."
"So you say," Naruto remarked, "But I have yet to be impressed by you up till now. So what is it that you can teach me?"
"Well, let's start with the fact that you have an affinity for wind and you know how to use it to both fly and fight and create wind based jutsu with it. And only recently you managed to awaken your second element, lightning."
Naruto narrowed his eyes at the Sage. Jiraiya smiled seeing that he caught the Genin's attention.
"I told no one, not even Hinata-chan, about that," Naruto revealed cautiously.
"I told you gaki, I'm an excellent and experienced spy master," Jiraiya reminded.
"I'll keep that in mind," Naruto replied as he wondered how his clones dropped their guard in preventing themselves from being discovered with regards to their secret training and studying. Jiraiya then added, "Seeing that you have a second affinity, this being lightning, this opens up an opportunity to see if you're compatible with some exceptional items you might find to be of interest to you as it was to Kirigakure."
"I'm listening," Naruto said. Jiraiya got up and stood up from his seat and then suggested, "Let's continue this conversation at a more secluded area."
Naruto nodded his head in agreement as he followed the Sage to their next destination.
Sasuke finally made it home after his long stay in the hospital. The young Uchiha sighed in frustration as he thought about his time going through Kakashi's training earlier. Kakashi's idea of training had wore him down and depleted him of chakra besides leaving him battered. Sasuke grew even more frustrated by what he recalled being told:
"You can't hold your grounds against me that easily even with your awakened Sharingan and yet you expect to match and topple a self-trained Elite Jounin-level Genin with your Sharingan in a month...This is but a demonstration of what will happen to you during the Chuunin Finals."
"He doesn't believe that I'll find a way to surpass Naruto. Well, he can think whatever he wants. It doesn't really matter so long I get enough power to kill Itachi and beat Naruto," Sasuke said as he removed his sandals off his feet and went to his room. Upon entering his room, he removed his weapon pouch off his leg and set it down on one of his drawers. Slowly he opened it and placed his right finger through the ring of one of his kunai and suddenly turned as he brought the kunai up and clashed it with another kunai that was being held by a familiar kunoichi.
"What the fuck!?" Tayuya retorted after she quickly blocked Sasuke's kunai, "I'm not your enemy you paranoid dick face!"
"Don't sneak up on me like that, ever," Sasuke told her as he placed his kunai back in its original spot in his weapons pouch, "You managed to get into my house and room easily I see."
"So what of it?" Tayuya replied after putting her kunai back, "But then again, given the history of this place, I could see why you're always keeping your guard up. Knowing that your older brother slaughtered everyone here in one night, I wouldn't sleep too heavily either."
"Are you here for my reply to Orochimaru's offer," Sasuke asked patiently despite his annoyance with the older kunoichi.
"Actually I came to see where can I set up and stay," Tayuya replied.
"I never gave you my reply about whether or not I would accept your offer," Sasuke retorted.
Tayuya pointed out, "I already that know you accepted my offer you little dip shit. You had every opportunity to report my presence to your sensei and Hokage regardless of me telling you not to seeing that I'm not a ninja of Konoha. The very fact that you didn't report me made it very clear that you actually took into consideration Orochimaru-sama's offer. And by the way you were training with that one-eyed dick show earlier, I saw that you're serious about getting stronger faster than normal."
"So you basically spent your day watching me from the shadows," Sasuke remarked. To this, Tayuya stated, "I had to make sure that training your punk ass wasn't going to be nothing more than a waste of my goddamn time despite Orochimaru-sama's interest in you. So don't be a dumb ass wipe and become full of yourself."
Deciding not to argue further, Sasuke told her, "There's a guest room down the hall. You can stay and place your things there."
"It's about goddamn time numb nuts," Tayuya remarked as she went back into the hall and down to the spare room Sasuke told her about. As she left the room, Sasuke thought about what just happened and wondered why he allowed her to stay in his house and in in his guest room. He could have just as easily allowed her to stay at one of his late relative's houses nearby by but for some reason he couldn't understand why he let her stay with him nearby and before that she was already in his house searching for a suitable room to reside in.
What the hell am I getting myself into? Sasuke could only wonder.
Meanwhile, Tayuya was happy that she wasn't hiding in the shadows or in some abandoned building or room with her other teammates. She felt relieved that she could have some personal space, and to be quite honest, the others would truly get on her nerves.
Entering the guest room, Tayuya found that it was pretty decent, a little dusty but then again it wasn't as if she expected him the dust the entire house. Given that she had to hide out and use the room Sasuke gave her, it gave her something to do. Taking a small scroll from out of her shirt she hid between her breasts, she opened it and set it down on the bed. She formed a hand sign and...
"Kai!" Tayuya said as she unsealed her equipment and belongings from out of the scroll they were previously sealed into. Turning to look at her right elbow, she sighed as she thought back to when Kabuto administered two syringes into her veins two hours before arriving at the Uchiha District last night. When she asked what the two vials were for, Kabuto told her that they were special enhancers Orochimaru designed. Considering that Orochimaru had helped her become the kunoichi she was now, she didn't bother to question Kabuto further as she had accepted the treatments she received.
But putting that thought aside, Tayuya went about fixing the room to her liking while settling her belongings, equipment and weapons in the cabinets, drawers and closet available in the guess room. She was told to do whatever she had to in order to persuade and get Sasuke on their side, no matter how long it took. Tayuya, despite her vulgar and crude attitude, was willing and ready to do anything she could in order to accomplish this mission. Sasuke had already accepted her offer to be trained by her personally, which was the first step. Now she just had to show him all the things that Orochimaru could offer him and he would in time join them willingly.
(All The While)
Both Jiraiya and Naruto arrived at one of the more secluded areas which turned out to be one of the training grounds by the river. Upon their arrival, Jiraiya turned to Naruto and pulled out a scroll.
"I'm assuming that whatever you have for me is sealed inside that scroll," Naruto figured. Jiraiya nodded and opened the scroll to show seal writings with the kanji for "Yaiba" (Blade) written in the center of the seal. He channeled chakra into the seal and in a burst of smoke he released the items that were locked away within the seal. When the smoke cleared, two weapons of sorts were now being held in Jiriaya's hand.
They were a pair of swords, each with slim and straight double-edged blades. Both blades also had an upward-curved bladed prong near the tip of one side of blade and another one near the base of the blade's other side. The metal looked sleek and well polished as if they were new or stainless.
"What are those?" Naruto asked with fascination in his voice as he had never seen such amazing swords before. They looked like they were crafted by a master blacksmith.
"These are the Kiba Blades," Jiraiya answered.
"Kiba Blades?" Naruto repeated.
"That's right," Jiraiya confirmed and explained, "These two are very powerful lightning-based weapons that also happen to be one of the seven special blades of the Seven Swordsman's of Kirigakure."
Hearing that made Naruto's eyes widen in disbelief at what he heard. He was gazing upon one of the seven blades that made the Seven Swordsman's of Kiri legendary.
"How the hell were you able to acquire such weapons from Kirigakure when Kiri and Konoha aren't on speaking or friendly terms with each other?!" Naruto asked with fascination.
"A year ago I had a run in with a missing-nin named Raiga from Kiri who was the holder and wielder of the Kiba Blades. He gave me quite a fierce fight but long story short he lost. I almost killed him but I spared him on account of a young boy who regards him as a parental father figure," Jiraiya explained.
"Sounds like a Zabuza story; the same thing happened with him," Naruto replied and then smiled, "Only instead of a boy, it was hot lovely looking older girl who looked at Zabuza as her father figure and me as one of her precious people."
"Don't rub it in gaki," Jiraiya snorted, "In any case, I made Raiga swear that he'd cease any attacks on innocent people and just focus on raising the young boy called Ranmaru. It wasn't easy for him to accept but once I threatened to come back and kill him and told him in detail what would happen to Ranmaru he finally accepted the deal. So now I want to give you these Kiba Blades as my gifts and since I don't have an affinity for lightning like you, they are of no use to me besides serving as trophies."
"I have yet to master my lightning affinity as I only discovered it yesterday by an absolute fluke during my fight with Orochimaru after he tried to tamper with my seal holding Kurama inside of me. I managed to remove the conflicting seals Orochimaru placed on my abdomen after much effort. And I will admit that it feels like a contradiction that I have two opposing affinities considering that wind shreds through lightning," Naruto commented as he took the Kiba Blades from Jiraiya and held them. "Still, thanks for the new twin blades."
"No problem gaki," Jiraiya said only to receive a hard look from Naruto.
"However don't think that this means I've forgiven you for leaving me alone for those 13 years. You still have a way to go before reaching forgiveness," Naruto said a little darkly before his face lightened up as he swung the swords around to get a feel for them, "Still I'll admit this gift has certainly given you a nice first step towards redemption," Naruto admitted with a smile on his face from examing his new Kiba Blades and remembering Zabuza's words about how he gave him his blessings to become a swordsman as well as his comment on how after seeing his skills he would've enjoyed making him his successor.
"Your predicament with you lightning affinity sounds like in interesting challenge to me," Jiraiya expressed, "Perhaps I can help you with that issue."
"I already have my squadron of kage bunshin studying and practicing my new affinity as we speak," Naruto stated.
Undeterred, Jiraiya replied, "Those books and scrolls they're studying will only get you so far as they'll only establish for you a basic foundation in raiton jutsu and lightning manipulation. Remember, I trained your father."
"As did my mother," Naruto shot back.
"Though your mother did teach Minato a lot of things I will honestly admit, she didn't teach your father how to become a stronger and faster fighter while he was a Genin. How do you think he was able fight off and beat those Kumo ninja who tried to kidnap your mother and bring her to Kumogakure as their prisoner and slave?" Jiraiya questioned and then stated, "It's because I trained him and through my training and tutelage he rescued and saved Kushina."
After a moment of silence, Naruto said, "Well, you're right that my mother didn't train my father in combat and you did train my father in being a very strong ninja, which I can't refute. Though I've learned a whole lot by myself over the years, there's still a whole lot more I need to learn and there's one thing I've been seeking out that's always been beyond my reach."
"That being?" Jiraiya asked.
"The Toad Summoning Contract," Naruto answered, "As a Sage of the Toads, you're the rightful possessor of it and only through you will I be able to sign a contract with the toads."
"Why is it that signing the Toad Contract has such importance to you?" Jiraiya asked, wanting to see where his motives were.
Sighing, Naruto elaborated, "For reasons I can't understand myself I always felt this feeling of incompleteness within myself. Secretly, I've been dealing with this frustration in being unable to bring closure to why my being feels like it's being deprived of something of utmost importance and no matter what I did, no matter how hard I tried with everything else, no matter how hard I train, I can't satisfy this insatiable need of completeness I have! Deep down I feel that if I were to sign the Toad Contract, I'll find what I'm looking for and finally bring to rest this deprivation that's been taunting me."
Jiraiya thought carefully and seriously about what Naruto explained to him and truthfully, the Sannin was planning on having Naruto sign the Toad Contract later during his time training him. But listening what Naruto revealed triggered Jiraiya's interest to test out what Naruto told him. After he bit his right thumb hard enough to make a little blood come out of it, Jiraiya raced though a set of hand signs and...
"Kuchiyose no Jutsu!" Jiraiya shouted as he slammed his right hand down to the ground before a set of seals appeared on the ground with a burst of smoke erupting from the seal. When the smoke cleared, out came a large dark orange brown toad. The said toad then opened its mouth and regurgitated a large scroll from out of its mouth, allowing Jiraiya to grabbed and open the scroll that was filled with many names.
"Alright then gaki," Jiraiya consented, "I'll let you add your name to the contract."
"Really?! You will!?" Naruto asked with an expression of excitement.
"I wouldn't waste this toad's time summoning him for nothing if I had no intentions of granting your request, now would I?" Jiraiya replied, "Now Naruto, I will need for you to bite down on your thumb and write your name down onto the scroll with your blood. After that you'll need to smear your four fingers with your blood and press them and your thumb onto the scroll under your name. Got it?"
"I understand," Naruto said. Wasting no time, Naruto did exactly as Jiraiya instructed him to do. After signing his name and imprinting his bloody thumb and fingerprints onto the scroll, where Naruto signed momentarily glowed with chakra thus making Naruto an official toad summoner.
Jiraiya closed the scroll and returned it back to the orange brown toad that swallowed it back and burst into a cloud of smoke, returning back to Myōbokuton Mountain. Naruto removed his jacket and tied it around his waist, ready to test out the summoning contract's power along with his newly acquired knowledge and experience of lightning manipulation.
Jiraiya turned to Naruto and said, "Alright Naruto, let's test your summoning-"
The Sannin didn't get to finish when a phenomenon started taking place. He looked to see that Naruto fell into a silent trance. But that silence ended when Naruto suddenly started screaming loudly as he grabbed his head.
"Naruto?! Naruto what happened?! What's the matter!?" Jiraiya cried out with concerned as he hurried over to the Genin. But he was stopped when he saw ancient intricate seal writings long lost to history appearing all around Naruto's body and face, from the top of his head to the bottom of his feet. The head protector around Naruto's head burst off his head and as the seals around his body started glowing, a most familiar seal design and kanji appeared on Naruto's forehead while a powerful and most familiar chakra burst from out of Naruto's body in a mighty flame aura with Naruto still screaming with his hair dancing with the flowing chakra.
"...That chakra...those seals...it can't be!" a shocked and stupefied Jiraiya exclaimed as he saw Naruto gradually turning into a toad. As more toad-like features started manifesting, Naruto clenched his fists tightly and started straining and struggling to control the intense changes and infusions that his body and mind were going through. Wind and lightning then began bursting forth from Naruto's body as his elemental affinities started going haywire from Naruto's instability. Jiraiya was thrown back off his feet from the immense wind force before the lightning came out and nearly blasted him directly but instead struck the ground to his left.
"What the hell is happening to him!?" Jiraiya asked aloud to no one in particular. The Elite Jounin-level Genin was feeling immense pain throughout his body and mind but he continued to endure through the pain while fighting to keep himself together before his body tore itself apart as it tried to refigure itself.
Jiraiya could only watch as he witnessed the phenomenon in front of him. But suddenly an unknown holographic transparent figure appeared around Naruto's body in the same stance Naruto had assumed. The figure looked to be an ancient armored ninja with long back-length white hair and shining silver eyes with some of his white hair draped over his eyes. As Naruto threw his head and screamed loudly again, the figure did likewise simultaneously and screamed also creating a duo voice affect, though the figure's voice was deeper and more mature sounding.
After a few seconds, the wind and lightning stabilized with lightning dancing around Naruto's body and eyes with the wind creating a dust cloud blowing dirt and dust away from Naruto. The mighty chakra flame aura also stabilized as the seals melted completely into Naruto's body. The toad features that were manifesting soon disappeared returning Naruto's appearance and shape back to normal.
As Naruto and the figure stopped screaming, Naruto lowered his head to look at Jiraiya. The Sannin looked at Naruto with amazement as he saw the yellow orange rings around his eyes with his blue eyes trying to completely turn toad-like. The figure then vanished from sight, as did the wind, lightning and chakra that were previous dancing harmoniously as one unit. His eyes also returned back to his normal ocean blue eyes. After everything quieted and calmed down, Naruto fell straight to the ground facedown unconscious.
Jiraiya just sat there on the ground looking at Naruto's motionless form as he processed everything that just took place.
"That was Sage chakra! There's no denying that! It's been sealed and locked away within Naruto all this time! And only by signing the Toad Summoning Contract was he allowed to unseal it unknowingly," Jiraiya deduced, "But those seals...I've seen them before! They were the same seals that nearly killed me those years ago when I tried to experiment and test out what they truly do. I would have never thought I'd see the result of the Izō Sōzō Fūjin (Legacy Creation Seal) through Uzumaki Naruto. But of all the surviving scattered Uzumaki, the seal chose Naruto to fuse with. This is serious."
Biting his thumb again, Jiraiya race through the same hand seal sequence and summoned two Sage toads.
"Jiraiya-chan!" Shima greeted, "It's been a long time!"
"It must be of grave importance for you to have summoned us here Jiraiya-chan," Fukusaku acknowledged.
Jiraiya replied, "Fukusaku, Shima...the thought to be lost Sealed Legacy has been found and has awakened."
In an unsuspecting gamble, Jiraiya completely unlocked and awakened the ancient seals he tampered with that were sealed into Naruto, along with the Sage chakra. But this raises other questions:
Why did it chose Naruto out of all the other surviving Uzumaki? Who was that mysterious unknown ancient armored ninja that appeared briefly around Naruto's body upon the seal's full activation? How deeply affected will Naruto be from what happened to him and how will Jiraiya explain this to Naruto?
And with Tayuya staying and living at the Uchiha District with Sasuke alone after he accepted her offer to be trained in the use of the Cursed Seal, how will Sasuke handle having Tayuya living with him in his house, as housemates no less?
Find out these and other explanations next time.