Chapter Thirty: The Patriarch
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.
Naruto found himself walking down a corridor of what looked to be a brick tunnel with spiral drawings all around it. The spirals started glowing brighter and brighter the closer he got to his destination. When finally arrived, he stood in front of two golden steel sliding doors.
In between and at the center of the doors were engravings that captured Naruto's attention. What he saw were the engraving of a toad sitting on a platform with the kanji for Sennin (Sage) written on its belly. Hovering above the toad like the sun were the engravings of intricate and ancient seal writings creating the pattern that represented the Uzumaki clan insignia. In the center of that design was the kanji for Izō (Legacy).
"What is this place?" Naruto asked out loud as he approached the locked sliding golden doors. "And how did I end up here? I was with Jiraiya after signing that Toad Summoning Contract and just before I could do anything else, I'm here all of the sudden."
As he approached the locked golden doors, he felt chakra surging through his right hand. Naruto looked at the palm of his right hand and found a glowing spiral seal drawing and seal writings around it looking like a mechanism designed to open something.
"I wonder if this seal in my hand has something to do with these doors," Naruto contemplated as he looked at the doors and then back at the seal in his right hand, "I wonder..."
Naruto placed his left thumb and fingers into his right palm and like a knob he turned his left hand and to his surprise the seal on his right hand moved with his left hand. Upon the motion of that seal, sounds of locks opening within the doors were heard by Naruto. Then white light appeared through the once tightly closed crevice between the doors and a second later, the sliding doors began opening as the light intensified.
When the doors fully opened, a powerful burst of chakra came forth from the other side, bathing the entire vicinity in white light.
(Back In The Real World)
Naruto silent trance ended when Naruto suddenly started screaming loudly as he grabbed his head.
"Naruto?! Naruto what happened?! What's the matter!?" Jiraiya cried out with concern as he hurried over to the Genin. But he was stopped when he saw intricate seal writings appearing all around Naruto's body and face, from the top of his head to the bottom of his feet. The forehead protector around Naruto's head burst off his head and as the seals around his body started glowing, a familiar seal design and kanji appeared on Naruto's forehead while a powerful and familiar chakra burst from out of Naruto's body in a mighty flaming 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 chakra 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.
(In Naruto's Mindscape)
Naruto, after shielding his eyes, slowly lowered his right arm from his face to see an armored ninja dressed in black pants and a shirt with red and silver armor with long, back-length white hair and bandages around his ankles and black sandals walked out of the light. The ninja looked advanced in age but his facial expression showed years of battle-hardened experience. Despite his age, the figure looked strong, confident and most formidable. The Uzumaki clan insignia was engraved in the collar of his armor.
The towering figure looked down at Naruto and gave a warm smile at him.
"Uzumaki Naruto," the figure greeted, "My descendant and chosen heir. We meet at last."
"Your what?" Naruto replied quizzically, "Who are you and how do you know my name? And where are we exactly?"
The figure chuckled and answered, "We're in your mind, my boy. We're in your subconscious. As for my name, it's Uzumaki Susanoo."
"Uzumaki Susanoo?" Naruto repeated.
"That's right. I was also known as Kachō no Susanoo, the founding father and first patriarch of the Uzumaki clan and the creator of this seal, Izō Sōzō Fūjin (Legacy Creation Seal)," Susanoo said. (A/N: Kachō means "Patriarch"; Kachō no Susanoo means Susanoo the Patriarch)
Naruto took a moment to take in everything was being told. There was an awkward moment of silence as Naruto processed the information.
"You're the first of the Uzumaki?" Naruto asked in amazement after getting his voice back. "My ancestor?! So you're where my roots began!"
"More or less," Susanoo replied as he took a seat on the floor meditation style. He suggested for Naruto to sit with him and without question, Naruto did as advised.
Susanoo began explaining, "Our roots goes further back than with me. You see, I'm the fifth generation descendant of Ōtsutsuki Hagoromo, who was best known as Rikudō Sennin (Sage of the Six Paths). Hagoromo was a legendary god-like figure who founded the arts of ninjutsu and created the ninja world. He was the son of Ōtsutsuki Kaguya -hime. She was a princess who ate the forbidden fruit of the Shinju that appeared once a millennium in an effort to gain god-like abilities to put an end to the constant wars during that era. As a result, Hagoromo and his brother were born with the ability to manipulate the same type of powerful chakra like their mother. Kaguya-hime was referred to as the Rabbit Goddess as she was both worshiped and feared."
"And I call my girlfriend the Moon's Eye Spring Rabbit," Naruto joked, "Talk about coincidence. Maybe I ought to shorten it down to Moon Rabbit."
"We're getting off topic here," Susanoo reminded as he got Naruto's attention again before he continued where he left off, "The Shinju, furious with Kaguya's actions, was determined to get its chakra back, which caused the tree to assume a monstrous form that many called the "Juubi"."
"Juubi?" Naruto asked, "I never knew there was a tenth bijuu. History only spoke of only nine of them."
"There's more to the bijuu than many are aware of," Susanoo clarified, "But I'll get to that soon. Juubi rampaged throughout the lands until Hagoromo and his brother battled and defeated the Juubi, and Hagoromo sealed the beast within his own body, thus becoming the very first Jinchuuriki in history. Hagoromo, as a result, became revered as a god for the virtue of his victory. With his knowledge of the concept of chakra, Hagoromo the Sage traveled across the land, spreading his ideals and religion, Ninshū (Shinobi Sect) which was intended to make peace. Later though the ability known as ninjutsu was created as its opposite."
"Wait a minute!?" Naruto said while trying to process what he just heard, "You're telling me that my ancestor before you was the Rikudō Sennin and that he invented ninshu which somehow got changed into ninjutsu?"
"There's more to this story than that Naruto," Susanoo stated, "Hagoromo's great deeds and ultimate desire to bring peace to the war-torn world made him widely known as Kono Yo no Kyūseishu (The Savior of this World). However, knowing that his death would release Juubi back into the world to continue its rampage, Hagoromo separated the monster's chakra from its body before using Chibaku Tensei to seal the husk in what would become the moon."
"Are you serious?" Naruto asked while trying to process everything he was being told.
"Very serious," Susanoo emphasized and continued, "From there, he used his Creation of All Things ability to divide the chakra into nine fragments that were each given a physical form and name. You know them as the nine bijuu, one of which, the strongest of them you know as Kurama, is sealed inside your body. You know all nine of their names because I know their names. Some time after their creation, the young bijuu were told that they were all still linked to one another despite being separate entities. Hagoromo also told them that they would eventually become one again, yet not as they originally were, and that one shall appear at that time to show them what true power is."
"Hagoromo's ultimate desire was to establish peace across the world, but it was a goal that would never be achieved in a single lifetime. Being aware of this, on his deathbed after living a long life, he chose to entrust his strength, dream, and legacy to one of his two sons, Indra the older son or Ashura the younger. Indra, who was regarded as a genius and prodigy of his time, inherited his father's "eyes," this being his powerful chakra and spiritual energy. He believed that power was the true key to peace.
"Disappointed by his older son's beliefs, Hagoromo turned to Ashura. Ashura was at first considered what people from your time would call the dead last as he didn't have his father's strong genes and powers, though he inherited his "body," this being his powerful life force and physical energy. Ashura believed that love, hard work and dedication to improving one's self through the cooperation of your friends and comrades was the true key to peace. Hagoromo chose Ashura to be his successor and heir before his death.
"Overcome by bitterness and envy, Indra attacked and fought against his brother, beginning an unending war between them. Their feud has continued on through their descendants: the Senju clan and the Uchiha clan, with us Uzumaki being the cousin clan of the Senju clan, aiding the Senju in whichever battle or war they faced with the powerful seals and jutsu we Uzumaki create."
"You mean to tell me that the Uchiha clan share the same distant ancestor alongside the Senju and Uzumaki clan?" Naruto asked as he didn't want to believe that he and Sasuke had distant familial relations in any shape or form, regardless how slight.
"The Uchiha clan descended from Indra," Susanoo clarified.
"How do you know all about this?" Naruto inquired.
"To put it simply," Susanoo admitted and added, "my father who was the great grandson of Ashura told me the story of what happened, along with the explanation of our family's ancestral line and the names of the nine bijuu. The Senju and Uzumaki descended from Ashura."
"The explains a lot. Tell me something though, did the Uchiha back then rival against you and the other Uzumaki?" Naruto asked.
Susanoo answered, "Very few Uchiha battled me and my brethren Uzumaki upfront. But they never lived to talk about it after their first battle with us. Despite having the Sharingan, they were inferior to both the Uzumaki and the Senju clan, and our clan's unrivaled mastery in seals gave us a powerful edge against many of our enemies. Especially since I was the first Uzumaki that started studying and practicing the deep and majestic arts of seals."
"When did you start?" Naruto asked.
Susanoo explained, "To begin with, I learned to pick up the sword as soon as I could walk. My father started training me at a very young and tender age. He was a warrior ninja, one of the very best of our town. My mother, a kunoichi herself, died after I turned five as a result of fifteen enemy ninja trying to raid our home and supplies. She protected me at the cost of her life but not without killing all fifteen of those rouge ninja in the process. My father didn't shed a single tear though he allowed me to cry at her grave."
"Such a loving husband," Naruto remarked cynically.
"I know it sounds heartless of him but let me explain," Susanoo reasoned, which caused Naruto to stay silent.
Susanoo continued, "He never said it, but I could tell through his actions that my mother's death forever haunted and shamed him. He felt responsible for not being strong enough to protect her with me nearly getting killed that same night. He felt he didn't deserve the right to mourn at her grave. Not wanting me to make his mistakes and live with the same guilt, he buried himself in his work in trying to get me to become more than what he believe I could aspire to. He researched and looked for every possible means for me to become stronger and smarter. It was hard for me to keep up at the first and he saw my hesitations in trying to live up to his expectations because of fear of failure. So he decided to implement this one particular test."
"What kind of test?" Naruto asked.
"The rabbit test," Susanoo answered. The looked on Naruto's face told Susanoo all he needed to know.
"Seeing that look on your face is enough to indicate that you used that test before," Susanoo realized.
"On my girlfriend a few years ago. In all honesty, it was cruel of me, but it got the job done," Naruto replied, "I see now where I got the idea for the rabbit test from."
"My father gave me that test while I was still five. I was given a young rabbit to watch over and care for. I didn't know why but he told me to keep the rabbit safe for two days. I didn't think much of it until the third day, when he instructed me to kill the rabbit in front of him. I found it difficult to carry out his instructions until he broke it down for me to understand the hard life of the ninja. I hesitated at first but he gave my two options: complete the test or give up on ever becoming a true ninja. Much to my surprise he stood there patiently with no expression of anger or disappointment. A full ten minutes went by before I finally did the deed.
"After dropping the rabbit to the ground, I looked back at my hands found it covered with the blood of the rabbit I killed. As I cried from the guilt I felt, my father approached me and said that my true training would begin from that day. And train me he did and after I turned six, we were visited by a traveling caravan of warrior monks who sought to employ my father seeing how skilled a fighter he was. He accepted and we joined the traveling caravan.
"As we traveled with them, I started taking an interest in seals when I saw one of the monks studying up on designing and creating seals. As I trained with my father in kenjutsu, ninjutsu and elemental manipulation, I learned to combine both my training and developing expertise in fuinjutsu with what I learned from my father.
"After I turned nine, one of the monks wanted to train me in taijutsu and herbal medicines, and just as with training in the art of fuinjutsu, I took to them like fish in water. My father never once objected to me being educated and trained by the monks as he wished for me to surpass him in every sense of the word. I never considered myself an exceptionally born genius. I had to train and break my mind and body through the dirt to live up not to my father's and the monks' expectations of me, but my own. So I spent the next seven years studying and training with both them and my father as we battled enemies ninja and even enemy monks from opposing caravans. I grew stronger and faster with every battle, until one day, an event happened that changed me."
"What happened?" Naruto asked.
Susanoo elaborated, "We were attacked by a large clan of ninja who accused us of trespassing on their land, land that they stole from another clan whom they murdered and robbed. My father, the monks and I battled against them, but we were unprepared against their leader who himself was a Sage. In that battle against him, he slaughtered every monk in his path. The leader came at me with the aim to kill me but my father suddenly appeared and used himself as a human shield to protect me from being killed by the leader's senjutsu (Sage Techniques) attacks. As he was dying, my father told me that him being killed protecting me was his greatest demonstration of strength and that through that selfless act he was truly at peace in his final atonement for failing to protect both me and my mother years ago.
"Seeing how my father died brought back memories of my mother's death and seeing that I lost both my parents and many of my friends and teachers among the monks, something inside me ruptured. I felt a rage unlike any I felt in my entire life as chakra burst forth from out of my body and solidified into chains with kunai at the ends. In a blind rage with my chains acting on my emotions, I attacked the clan and slaughtered every last one of them. My chains wouldn't allow them to escape as they couldn't break through them. Enraged by my display of power and how I used to it kill his clan, the leader attacked me. The battle was fierce and brutal but I felt I had nothing else to lose. So I fought to my last breath but that Sage was stronger and faster than me and I managed to kill him because of that."
"What do you mean?" Naruto asked.
Susanoo answered, "Wounded and exhausted, I fell to the ground on my back, with the Sage standing over me. Confident that he had the match won, he powered down from his Sage Mode and prepared to kill me through decapitation with his sword. He was unaware of my chains going through the ground underneath me and making their way behind him. Before he could deliver the finishing blow, my chains burst through the ground and plunged through his back into his heart. Not taking any chances with him, I moved and wrapped one of my chains around his neck and snapped it instantly to make sure he died."
"You killed a Sage and wiped out his entire clan by yourself in one battle!?" Naruto asked while being reminded of what Itachi did to his own clan.
"I did," Susanoo confirmed, "but at the cost of the lives of those monks and my father. The next day, I buried my father and all of those monks, given each of them an honorable burial. As for the Sage and his clan, I had all of their bodies burned and scattered their ashes to the wind. Despite what that Sage did, I couldn't help but be amazed by his skills, power and strength. I knew he'd have killed me had I not outsmarted him in getting him to drop his guard against me."
Naruto was about to say something when he felt a painful shock to his being. He collapsed to the ground while holding onto himself.
"What's is this pain!? What's happening to me?!" Naruto cried out.
Susanoo hurried over to him and knelt down on his left leg and requested, "Allow me to help you please. Your body is going through severe trauma and changes that will soon end your life if not stopped and stabilized!"
Susanoo reached out to him and turned Naruto over on his back. He then pressed his right hand onto Naruto's head and channeled chakra into Naruto.
Suddenly an unknown holographic transparent figure of Susanoo appeared around Naruto's body in the same stance Naruto had assumed. As Naruto threw his head and screamed loudly again, Susanoo did likewise.
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 Susanoo 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. Susanoo then vanished from sight, as did the wind, lightning and chakra that were previous dancing around Naruto. His eyes also returned back to his normal ocean blue color. After everything quieted and calmed down, Naruto fell straight to the ground face down and unconscious.
Jiraiya just sat there on the ground looking at Naruto's motionless form as he processed everything that just took place.
(In Naruto's Subconscious)
Naruto groaned sorely before opening his eyes again. He sat up to see Susanoo kneeling down on one leg looking over him.
"That was a close call just now," Susanoo stated, "Thankfully I managed to stabilize your body and mind by infusing into you my knowledge and experience with Toad Sage Mode."
"What?" Naruto asked, "You know Sage Mode? But how is that possible?"
Susanoo stood back up and pulled Naruto up off the floor, helping him stand back up on his feet. Looking at the youth in front of him, Susanoo explained, "After my victory against that Sage I fought, I decided to seek out becoming a Sage myself in the event I ever went up against another Sage of his caliber or stronger.
"The night after I buried my father and monks, I prepared to travel alone. Not wanting the possessions of the monks to be lost and withered away, I sealed away all of their possessions in a carrying scroll, along with all of the money they had. And before I left, I went into the large house of the Sage I killed and looked around for anything I found to be useful, be it food, weapons, supplies and money.
"I took it all and as I was preparing for my lone travel, I found several scrolls sitting on top of that Sage's desk. Upon examining them, they turned out to be scrolls pertaining to senjutsu, specifically he was studying on writings concerning Toad Sages and the Toad Contract, which he didn't have. Taking the scrolls and everything else I needed, I sealed them all away in storage scrolls and burned the house and everything in that land to the ground. I wanted no remaining memory of that clan existing.
Naruto felt the coldness in Susanoo's tone but made no comment on it.
Susanoo went on, "I spent four months traveling alone and during my travels, I learned to practice and master the use of my newly acquired chakra chains and the Uzumaki Kenjutsu that you use as well; not to mention that you have the same two natural affinities as I do."
"Wait a minute...you mean to say that you're a double element ninja, having both wind and lightning also?" Naruto asked.
"That's right," Susanoo said, "That was why I was also able to help stabilize both of your elemental affinities at the same time."
"Thanks for the help and stopping my body from self-destructing," Naruto thanked. Susanoo nodded his head and said, "You're welcome, Naruto. I will add that at that time, I had no surname nor a title to call myself by. "Uzumaki" wasn't my surname either."
"What? It wasn't?" Naruto asked in surprise.
Susanoo went on, "My name at the time was simply "Susanoo" and nothing more. After another month of traveling, I finally arrived at my intended destination, Myōboku Mountain. That was where I meant the Elder Toad and his other Sage toad subordinates. They were impressed that I managed to find their mountain and upon my arrival and after giving my greetings, I requested their permission to sign the Toad Contract and be trained in senjutsu."
"Talk about being up front. What tests did they have you go through before granting your request to be their summoner and Toad Sage?" Naruto asked.
Susanoo replied, "I see that you're aware that tests of sorts are often given before becoming an official summoner. In my case, I had pass a test of endurance and strength...I had to hold onto the Elder Toad's back as he jumped and hopped at various speeds and heights. I passed much to their surprise, but having and using chakra chains as my anchor did help a lot. When the test was over, I signed their contract and vowed to never abuse the contract."
"I spent the next two years studying and training with the toads and it wasn't until I proved myself that I was finally allowed to be trained in Sage Mode. It was a dangerous training that led to the deaths of many others before me because nature chakra of that sort can turn the user into a stone toad statue if not mastered, which nearly happened to you a while ago.
"Not cool," Naruto remarked.
"After completing and mastering my Sage training, I left Myōboku Mountain and journeyed hundreds of miles alone, taking on missions as a bounty hunter. My abilities and skills won me fame, and both allies and enemies. One day though I came across a family in a town called Izumo, a family that once had seven daughters."
"What happened exactly?" Naruto inquired.
"A vicious snake summoner and warlord had their first six daughters devoured by a gigantic eight headed snake monster as retribution for refusing to swear their loyalty and oath of allegiance to his power like others had. The parents offered their youngest and last surviving daughter's hand in marriage to me if I succeeded in defeating the warlord that had their older daughters murdered and planned on coming back for their last daughter."
"What was the daughter's name?" Naruto asked.
"Kushinada," Susanoo said.
"Sounds a whole lot like my mother's name, 'Kushina.' I wonder if my mother was named after the woman I'm assuming became my ancestress," Naruto remarked.
"I wouldn't be surprised, to be honest," Susanoo commented, "Anyway, I journeyed to the land where the warlord Yamata was residing. The battle between me and Yamata was indeed fierce, especially after he turned into the very eight-headed snake beast that had eaten those six women. It turned out that the warlord was a dark Sage for the snakes. I resorted to using Sage Mode and my toad summons to aid me.
This kind of reminds me of my fight with that gigantic black Viper I had in the Forest of Death before I managed to destroy it from the inside with a legion of clone bombs I summoned. I wonder how Susanoo did it, Naruto wondered before returning his attention back to his ancestor.
"After fighting each other for nearly 24 hours, we found ourselves no longer in the region we were originally in, but on an entirely different and uninhabited land by the ocean. There, I decapitated all eight heads of that beast before before using my wind element to push the heads and carcass into the ocean. That's when I witnessed a unexpected phenomenon."
"This being?" Naruto asked curiously.
"The riptides inside those whirlpools effortlessly dragged the heads and body of that snake beast into the waters. I watched as those deadly whirlpools and current of the waters pulled apart and destroyed the remains of that beast and pulled it to the bottom of the ocean floor. Not a trace of that monster was left. After witnessing the power and strength behind those ocean waters, that was when I decided to take up the surname "Uzumaki" and call the land where I defeated Yamata, Uzu no Kuni."
"So that's why we became known as Uzumaki! Cool, man!" Naruto praised, "But what evidence did you have to prove that you defeated Yamata seeing that the whirlpools dragged his body deep down into the ocean floor bed?"
"I journeyed back to the land Yamata originally resided in and retrieved his sword. I brought it back to Kushinada's parents as proof that Yamata was dead and their daughters were avenged. With my deed fulfilled, I was given the parents' blessing to take Kushinada as my new wife and with her, I went back to Uzu no Kuni where we began to establish the Uzumaki clan.
"During that time, I also designed and created newer and more powerful seals to both defend and strengthen my body and chakra coils, one of which was my prized gravity and chakra restraint seals."
"How many children did you have with Kushinada? Three? Four?" Naruto questioned.
"I had over twenty-four sons with Kushinada," Susanoo answered.
"Twenty-four?!" Naruto repeated in disbelief, "You both had quite some stamina!"
"I wanted a strong and powerful clan and I needed strong progenies to help me established the Uzumaki to its greatness. I was truly gratefully and proud that all of my offspring with Kushinada were sons for obvious reasons I'm sure I don't need to explain to you," Susanoo stated.
"No explanations on that note will be needed. I know where it goes from there," Naruto replied, Though I wonder if Hinata-chan would be willing to start with even eight sons or maybe even ten?
Just then a thought came to Naruto's mind...
"Wait a minute; how long ago did you die? And by what means were you sealed into my body in the first place?" Naruto asked.
Susanoo replied, "To be frank, I died four hundred years before either Senju Hashirama or Uchiha Madara were born and I was 140 years old when I died."
"You lived for that long?!" Naruto asked in disbelief.
"I've seen many wars and deaths of ninja, samurai and warrior monks whose names have been lost and forgotten in time and history. My beloved wife died after turning 138 years old. She lived that long after I shared some of my longevity with her through an S-class kinjutsu I created, otherwise she'd have died at around 98 years old. But during all those years my lovely wife and I shared together, we saw our twenty-four sons marry strong kunoichi and have children of their own who later married and had children of their own. And then they married and had children of their own. We lived to see the rise of the first five generations of our clan before our end.
"In my days, I was one of the first grand seal masters of my time and I taught my skills of creating and mastering seals to my wife and Uzumaki descendants, along with my ninjutsu, taijutsu and kenjutsu skills. I taught all I knew about elemental manipulations as well and in time my descendants started creating and demonstrating skills and abilities of their own. Many of them also inherited my chakra chains, which we believed was our official bloodline limit.
"When I started reaching the end of my life, I began working on the Izō Sōzō Fūjin, the forbidden master sealing technique that only a seal master Toad Sage could properly execute. In this seal, I transferred my skills and all that I knew and experienced as a ninja and seal master. The Izō Sōzō Fūjin was passed down from clan leader to clan leader and it was only for their eyes to see; two of whom modified the seal with add-ons of their own, these two being Uzumaki Takuya and Uzumaki Yattaro. They came many years after my death."
"How could you possibly know of Hashirama and Madara if you died so many years before they were born? And how could you know about Takuya and Yattaro for that matter?" Naruto asked with a confused expression.
"When they modified this seal with add-ons of their own, they in effect modified and brought up to date from their timeline my memories as they imprinted and sealed their experiences, abilities and knowledge into the Izō Sōzō Fūjin. In doing so, it gave you Takuya's ability to sense and track down any Uzumaki, even from far distances. For Takuya, it helped him find Uzumaki kin who either went missing or were kidnapped. And it gave you Yattaro's ability to create a mental link with any of your brethren Uzumaki called Soul Union. And with that type of link being made through hand-to-hand contact, you and your Uzumaki kin are able to communicate and share each other's deepest feelings, thoughts, and experiences in harmonious union. However they themselves never executed the Izō Sōzō Fūjin," Susanoo clarified.
"What made Izō Sōzō Fūjin so dangerous to use?" Naruto asked.
"To execute that seal, it required massive quantities of both the user's chakra and Sage chakra along with extracting the physical strengths and skills of the user. By the time the seal completed its formation, the executor of that seal had a 100% chance of death and anyone who was beneath the required caliber of a seal master Toad Sage would instantly die in their failed attempt to execute that seal; regardless if that person was an Uzumaki. The activated seal would then seek out and fuse with the next rightful Uzumaki clan heir and as an added failsafe, the scroll that once possessed the Izō Sōzō Fūjin would self-destruct after the seal was executed."
"You see, after the Izō Sōzō Fūjin was infused into you, a majority of what I know have been sealed away within your subconscious. But over the years, knowledge of what I know, all that I learned and experienced gradually infused into your conscious mind and in stages you've been learning how to adapt your body to the changes your mind was going through by means of all the training and practicing you've so thoroughly put yourself through," Susanoo explained.
"If the real you died centuries ago, then how did you even get sealed into my body in the first place?" Naruto asked bringing the same question back again.
"You can thank Jiraiya for that. He found and tampered with my seal and used it some years ago without being aware of the seal's penalties. I'm amazed that he's alive seeing that the seal was designed to take the life of the user after the seal did its job. Someone must have went through great lengths to keep him alive long enough to give him some kind of healing or medical attention," Susanoo stated, "As a result of this, you also gained knowledge, memories and skills belonging to him, but in order to fully activate Izō Sōzō Fūjin and awaken its full potential, you had to sign the Toad Summoning Contract. That was why all of that Sage chakra that was sealed and locked away inside you was finally released. However without the knowledge and experience I infused into your mind and body along with Jiraiya's experience with Sage Mode, you'd have surely died by being turned into a toad statue."
"Not a good way to go," Naruto remarked.
"But as an unforeseen and unwanted side effect of Jiraiya's execution of my seal, you also inherited his unrivaled perverted nature," Susanoo snorted in disapproval, "Perhaps a method of sealing that off can somehow be devised in time."
"Hey, there's nothing wrong with appreciating the sight and splendor of strong, confident and competent kunoichi, and my beloved girlfriend ranks first place with all of them!" Naruto replied.
"And having Jiraiya's perverted nature so deeply embedded into your personality will evidently take time for you to control and bring down to a minimum if not completely purge out of your system," Susanoo added.
"Well unlike other perverts, I use being a pervert and flirt to my advantage in getting unsuspecting ninja and kunoichi to drop their guards against me while leaving themselves open to an ambush. So far it hasn't failed me," Naruto stated proudly.
"Not yet it hasn't," Susanoo warned, "You'd do best to be careful because your perverted nature could severely backfire on you and you'll live the rest of your life regretting it and hating yourself for it."
Naruto was about to argue when...
"I know this won't be easy for you to do seeing that you've been doing this for quite a few years now, but it can be done with determined effort and willingness," Susanoo encouraged and then remarked, "Besides, I'm sure your girlfriend whom you intend to marry and make the new matriarch of our clan someday wouldn't mind having a non-pervert husband."
"Alright I get it. I'll try to work on keeping my inherited perverted character in check," Naruto replied, "Can't say I'll do it perfectly."
"So long you make the effort, Naruto," Susanoo stressed. Naruto was about to say something further when Susanoo placed his right hand into Naruto's chest. Naruto winced as he felt chakra being absorbed into him.
"What are you doing?" Naruto asked.
"Exhausting the last of my chakra by leaving with you a special gift befitting one who's to become the next Uzumaki clan leader," Susanoo explained as glowing seals in the form of chains started appearing around Naruto's whole body. The seals vanished into Naruto's body as Susanoo started to fade away.
"My time here is over, Naruto," Susanoo said with a smile, "You have great potential and I'm certain that you'll make the new Uzumaki clan stronger than it was when I started it. You're the new patriarch and the one who'll surpass me and all of the other Uzumaki clan leaders before you. You have our legacy and strengths."
As Susanoo and the surrounding environment started fading into pure whiteness, Susanoo's voice was still able to be heard, "Use them to protect your loved ones and those precious to you. I believe in you, Uzumaki Naruto."
A moment later, there was nothing but blinding whiteness that consumed the environment.
(Back The Real World)
Naruto stirred and slowly opened his eyes. After his sight adjusted to the light, he saw that he was lying in a futon inside a cottage of some sort. The cottage itself looked homey and comfortable with its nicely selected furniture, plants and rugs.
"Where am I?" Naruto asked to no one in particular as he moved to get out of the futon. As Naruto did so...
"I see that you're finally awake boy," said a grown and mature masculine voice. Naruto turned to see Fukusuku and Shima approaching him.
"You both must be Fukusaku and Shima, the Sages," Naruto acknowledged. The two toads were surprised that Naruto somehow knew of them.
"You're a most interesting Genin, my boy," Fukusaku remarked, "Jiraiya-chan told us what happened after you signed the Toad Summoning Contract."
"I almost turned into a toad statue after releasing all of that pent up Sage chakra. I know," Naruto replied. Again Shima and Fukusaku were surprised by what Naruto told them. After the shock passed through their systems, Fukusauku said, "The fact that you weren't turned into a statue and somehow managed to gain control of that nature chakra along with both of your wind and lightning elements simultaneously is nothing short of a miracle. And since lightning breaks through earth, you'd have exploded into irretrievable pieces as your own lightning element would have led you to self-destruct after being turned into a stone statue."
"It nice to know that my unintentional suicide was averted," Naruto remarked, "Anyway, where's my bum of a godfather?"
"Could you at least dignify me in any way, even in the smallest way?" Jiraiya asked indignantly as he appeared through the door, "Considering that I had to bring you here after you fell into a coma for three days."
"What?! Three days!?" Naruto shouted.
"You fell completely unconscious after the shock and experience your body went through after signing the Toad Summoning Contract," Jiraiya explained, "I watched over you after explaining to Sarutobi-sensei that you'll be away for a couple of days."
"And where are we now?" Naruto inquired.
"Myōboku Mountain," Jiraiya answered, "After seeing you activate Sage Mode and seeing that figure that appeared around your body, I immediately summoned Fukusaku and Shima and told them what happened before we brought you here."
"That figure you saw was Uzumaki Susanoo," Naruto clarified. Jiraiya, Fukasaku and Shima did a double take.
"Uzumaki Susanoo," Jiraiya repeated, "Who was he?"
"The the founding father and patriarch of the Uzumaki clan," Fukusaku pointed out, much to the surprise of Jiraiya, "And the first Toad Sage of his clan, centuries before Hashirama's time, Jiraiya-chan."
"Let me explain what happened," Naruto said, getting the attention of the three Sages in the room. For the next hour Naruto explained everything he learned and discovered when he entered into his subconscious mind. Jiraiya, Fukusaku and Shima listened carefully to every detail explained to them. It went without say that they were left utterly speechless by all of Naruto's revelations.
"That's quite an amazing story you told us Naruto," Fukusaku commented, "But it helps us to understand and make sense out of everything that happened and how Jiraiya-chan almost died the night he used your ancestor's seal who ironically was the Toad Sage before Jiraiya-chan."
"What I told you about my Izō Sōzō Fūjin dies with all three of you," Naruto stated seriously, "That seal was only for the Uzumaki clan leaders and patriarchs alone to see. So between the four of us, it's a high S-class secret."
"Sarutobi-sensei will want an explanation," Jiraiya pointed out, "With the exception of the three of us, he's been trying to find out about more about your prowess and skills-"
"He and the rest of Konoha's hierarchy need to know nothing regarding my secrets, the secrets of my clan or about the Izō Sōzō Fūjin. I meant what I said when I stated that I want that secret to die with you three. What I do want him and others to know is that my clan's ancestry descended from the Rikudō Sennin," Naruto interjected, "And since Honoka-nee will be teaching our clan's history to Konoha, this will be something she'll have to know in details."
It was very clear that Naruto didn't trust Hiruzen like he used to anymore. But considering the life Naruto was forced to live and the amount of secrets of his ancestry and clan's legacy kept from him, it was understandable.
"Still Jiraiya, I want to thank you for finding and using the Izō Sōzō Fūjin," Naruto added, "That seal helped shape me into the man and ninja I am today. And to be completely honest, I'm certain that I would have been the stupidest dead last of my class had you chosen not to do what you did; not to mention that I would been completely unaware of Hinata-chan's feelings for me while trying to pursue Sakura," Naruto shuddered at thought of it and continued, "So for that, you have my sincere thanks."
"Uh...You're welcome gaki," Jiraiya replied, "But seeing that you know what you know now, what do you plan to do with it?"
"I have complete knowledge of Sage Mode and my elemental chakra now that the Izō Sōzō Fūjin has been completely activated. What I need to do now is practice and train my body vigorously in order to properly use and handle my newfound abilities, not to mention the last gift my ancestor gave me. However I also need to train Hinata-chan for the Chuunin Finals also. I have to return back to Konoha pronto seeing that I already lost three days I could have used to train Hinata-chan," Naruto said.
"Kurenai has been doing some training of her own with Hinata," Jiraiya cut, "She'll handle Hinata's training."
"Not to undermine Kurenai-sensei, but she doesn't know how to handle and battle a full-fedged Jinchuuriki who won't hesitate to kill. Genjutsu will only work so far against Gaara, as his sand fights to protect him, not to mention that there's no telling what Shukaku is capable of," Naruto stated, "I can train with you guys in private back in Konoha but I want to properly train and prepare my girlfriend to battle one of my Jinchuuriki brethren. And who better to train her than a stronger Jinchuuriki and junior Sage?"
"When you put that way it's hard to argue against your point," Jiraiya remarked, "Very well then. We'll return back to Konoha where you can train with us and train your girlfriend. However, you can't do so on Kurenai's time when she's training Hinata."
"Accepted; I had no intentions of doing that anyway," Naruto agreed, "So when can we leave?"
"Tomorrow," Jiraiya declared.
"What?" Naruto retorted.
"After what happened three days ago, I'm curious to see what you can do at your current level. And if what you say is true about you having full knowledge of Sage Mode and your elemental affinities, the three of us would like to see some demonstrations so we can better assess your level of prowess," Jiraiya stated.
Naruto wanted to argue, feeling that getting to Hinata was of higher priority than demonstrating what strengths and abilities he had. But then a thought came to him:
"...My mother's death forever haunted and shamed him. He felt responsible for not being strong enough to protect her...He felt he didn't deserve the right to mourn at her grave."
Susanoo's words about his father's mistakes came back to remind Naruto of his own responsibilities.
"Very well then," Naruto relented, wanting to be strong enough to protect Hinata and not allow anything to happen to her, "But I have one important request."
"And what's that?" Jiraiya inquired.
"Is there any food around here? I haven't eaten in days," Naruto requested scratching the back of his head. Jiraiya grinned, "Well, I can't say we have ramen here but I'm sure Fukusaku and Shima can accommodate you with something to eat."
"I can roast you some locusts and crickets along with a side of wild honey," Shima offered.
"How about some fruits? I'm up for that," Naruto requested with a nervous smile, "Or maybe a large bowl of salad with a side of Cesar dressing."
"Naruto, I had to learn to eat what they eat also during my time residing and training in their mountain. It would be rude to not accept their hospitality," Jiraiya chastised. Naruto saw what the Sannin was up to and he didn't like it one bit.
You'll pay for this Jiraiya, Naruto thought to himself as he was already plotting his revenge against the Sannin.
Hinata was practicing a new genjutsu Kurenai decided to teach her, and from what the genjutsu mistress was seeing, her prized pupil was becoming more adept in the art of genjutsu. The female Jounin learned from Hinata about the match between her and Hiashi two days ago and as impressed as she was, she couldn't believe that Hinata was able to go toe to toe with the Hyuuga clan leader to the point that Hiashi just barely won without coming out of the match unscathed. Kurenai couldn't help but wonder how much about the Hyuuga clan's Juuken Naruto was aware of that he used to train Hinata.
Kurenai's thoughts were interrupted by Hinata calling out to her.
"Kurenai-sensei?" Hinata called out. The genjutsu mistress turned to Hinata and apologized, "Sorry about that. I was deep in thought about something."
"It's alright. I completed my practice session with my new genjutsu," Hinata said. Kurenai nodded, "Good. Now let's see how you can-"
"Kurenai-san," a voice called out to her. Kurenai and Hinata turned to see a Chuunin hurrying over to them.
"Yes? What is it?" Kurenai inquired.
"You're being summoned to the Hokage's office. He wishes to speak with you," the Chuunin explain.
"I understand," Kurenai accepted. The Chuunin nodded and shuushin'd away in a burst of smoke.
"We'll postpone your training session for another time Hinata. But continue to practice what I taught until our next meeting," Kurenai instructed. Hinata replied, "I will Kurenai-sensei."
Kurenai turned and performed a smoke shunshin and left the area, leaving Hinata alone to do as she pleases.
I wonder where Naruto-kun is, Hinata wondered with worry and concern, He hasn't been seen by anyone in days and even his clones haven't shown up to give me a reassurance that-
Hinata jumped at the sudden shout to her name before turning to see Naruto running over to her.
"Naruto-kun!" Hinata called out happily as she ran over to him. Just as she was about to hug and kiss him.
"Boss sent me here to give you news about his disappearance," the kage bunshin said, only to see the disappointed look in Hinata's face.
"I see," Hinata said, "So why hasn't he been around?"
"Boss started undergoing a new kind of training three days ago that placed a severe strain on his body and mind. It also killed him, and by extension, me too."
"Oh no!" Hinata cried, now being on the verge of tears, "How could this have happened!? Why wasn't I told this earlier!? Where's is he!? Is he alright and at the hospital now!? I have to see him!"
"Calm down Hinata-chan. Boss is doing just fine now. I wouldn't be here if he was still in the same life-threatening condition he was in before. Plus, he made a full recovery with no injuries of any sort to worry about," the Naruto clone assured.
"Oh, thank God," Hinata said while breathing more calmly now while wiping away the tears that nearly ran down her face, "Still I would like to see him."
"He won't be available to see until early tomorrow morning," the kage bunshin explained, "Currently he's not in Konoha and is with Jiraiya. Besides wanting to see and be at your side again, he wanted to inform you that your new training starts tomorrow and that you'll be in for the long haul to be prepared to battle one of his fellow Jinchuuriki, Gaara."
"What?" Hinata said in shock, "Gaara is a Jinchuuriki like Naruto-kun?"
"That's right," the Naruto clone confirmed, "That's why boss wants to return as soon as possible and start your new training right away. You were trained by a Jinchuuriki but you never actually battled against one like Gaara. Boss knows that Gaara intends to kill you during the finals, and if you die, there's no telling what hell boss will unleash to vent his rage, consequences be damned."
Hinata took a moment to soak in everything she was just informed of and acknowledged how grave her situation was and the length Naruto is taking to prevent anything from happening to her. The Hyuuga heiress knew she was far stronger than she used to be, but she wasn't foolish to overestimate herself and question Naruto's judgment of her abilities.
"I understand," Hinata replied, "I'll take the rest of the day to recuperate and prepare myself for Naruto-kun's training."
"I'm happy to hear that. But don't tell anyone about Gaara being a Jinchuuriki. Keep that news to yourself for the time being. Well my time is just about up. Boss will see you first thing tomorrow morning by the waterfall. Also Hinata-chan, bring lots of cinnamon rolls, herbal tea, fruits and some of your cooking. Boss says he's going to need you to feed him your delicious cooking after seeing what he's been fed," the Naruto clone informed just before he was summoned back to Myōboku Mountain so Naruto could dispel him from there and absorb his experience. And once again, Hinata was left alone, but this time, with much to think and meditate on.
"Naruto-kun wants me to prepare for an intense training regiment while requesting that I prepare him meals with which to feed him," Hinata said happily with a smile and bright blush on her face as she started on her way home, "Another training picnic by the waterfall. I better pack my two-piece bath suit along with my skin lotion-"
Hinata stopped dead in her track and shook her head to get those thoughts out of her head.
"What am I thinking?! Naruto is talking about serious training and here I am thinking about doing other activities with Naruto-kun; though pleasurable and-Ugh...!" Hinata sighed as she placed her hand over face, "I can't believe that Naruto-kun's perverted character is now rubbing off on me."
"I can't say I'm surprised at all, Neesan," a young and all too familiar feminine voice stated. Hinata blinked and froze when she heard that voice as she slowly turned to see Hanabi grinning at her.
"Ho-How much d-did you hear?" Hinata stuttered nervously through her question.
"I just want to understand what new training with Naruto-kun tomorrow involves skin lotion and your two-piece bathing suit," Hanabi asked with feign innocence. Hinata knew that Hanabi was going to want something in return for her silence.
(Later That Day)
Sasuke was returning home after another, hard training session with Kakashi. Luckily for Sasuke, he didn't get as beat up by Kakashi as before, though he did sustain a couple of bruises, but nothing serious. He started to get faster with his Sharingan and anticipate a couple of Kakashi's moves, though still not enough to pose as a possible threat to the veteran Jounin. Regardless, Sasuke was determined to increase his output in speed and strength by whatever means necessary.
Entering into the house and closing the door behind him, Sasuke took off his sandals at the front door, and walked deeper into the house. As he did so, the door to the bathroom opened and out came Tayuya with nothing but her towel wrapped around her wet and naked body. Her towel though did only so much to cover half of her breasts and only her crotch while revealing the rest of her toned and well shaped and built figure. Her red hair was completely wet and sticking to her body and face and much steam was coming out of the shower.
"Mmmm...Now that hit the spot in all the right places," Tayuya moaned happily as she stretched her arms and back, which caused her towel to rise up from the bottom a bit as it almost revealed her untouched womanhood. After stretching, she turned to see Sasuke standing there with an annoyed expression on his face.
"Enjoying the view, you limp dick shit hole?" Tayuya remarked.
"Why are you parading around my house like that?" Sasuke asked.
"Besides wanting to feel right at home you little Hinata-obsessed pussy," Tayuya replied rudely, "I kept myself busy all day to prevent death by boredom while you were out playing ninja with the scarecrow. I wanted to take a goddamn shower in case you haven't noticed that even I appreciate good hygiene, dumbass. Besides it felt nicer using this place to relax and shower than one of Orochimaru-sama's hideouts."
"Whatever," Sasuke retorted with his eyes still on Tayuya, "Just put something on."
"What's the matter?" Tayuya taunted, "Never seen a kunoichi with little to no clothes on before?"
Tayuya walked up and stood in front of him with her arms crossed over her breasts and mocked, "I bet you never once came close to seeing so much skin on Hinata as you're seeing it on me you impotent little ass wipe."
Sasuke was now reeking with bloodlust, but he kept his anger in check. As much as he hated to admit it, at his current level, Tayuya could still beat him up and hurt him. Tayuya felt his bloodlust but she wasn't at all affected by it.
She really pisses me off! Sasuke mentally growled, when his nose now picked up and smelled the feminine scent coming off the older kunoichi. It wasn't perfume of any sort since Tayuya wasn't the type that bothered with such accessaries. Sasuke involuntarily inhaled more of her scent again, having never really smelled a female's scent before. For that one moment, he completely forgot about Tayuya's vulgar and rude character as his mind tried to process and register Tayuya's scent as he quietly took in another inhalation of her scent.
"Anyway you spineless dick," Tayuya said rudely, returning Sasuke's mind back to reality, "I have your new training session planned for you seeing that your cyclops sensei plans to let you have tomorrow off. So get your damn ass ready for tomorrow, numb nuts."
With that, Tayuya walked passed Sasuke and made her way back to her room. Sasuke watched her leave and enter her room before she closed the door behind her. All the while, Sasuke was trying to process and understand what just happened. Sure, he's been around girls before, lots of them who always pined and fought each other for his attention and affections. Tayuya, though shameless and crude, was not one of those kind of fangirl females, nor was she anything like Sakura or Ino.
As Sasuke stood there for another minute, he recalled Tayuya's scent and the sight of her with her skimpy towel around her wet and nicely developed and trained body with her long wet red hair that stuck to her body. It was only then that Sasuke, surprisingly after three days, came to realize the full ramifications of his allowing and having a full fledged kunoichi live with him alone in secret in his house. It was like Naruto's situation with Honoka and Karin, except Tayuya wasn't an Uchiha and it wasn't a secret that both Honoka and Karin live alone with Naruto.
"Perhaps a shower might do me some justice also," Sasuke decided as he went to his bedroom and undressed down till every article of clothing was removed off of him. He took his towel and wrapped it around his waist before making his way to the bathroom. As he was about to enter the bathroom, Tayuya came out of her room, barefooted and wearing a plain gray T-shirt over her that reached down to her crotch and nothing more. Her hair was still partly wet and whether or not she noticed Sasuke's presence by the bathroom door wasn't seen. As she made her way to the kitchen, her purple panties and lower rear would give teasing glimpses for Sasuke to see here and there as the bottom hem of the shirt flapped up with every step Tayuya took.
"Maybe a cold shower will do me better justice," Sasuke muttered as he went into the bathroom and closed the door behind him. As much as he didn't want to admit the truth to himself and as much as he wanted to argue against it, Sasuke was still a teenager capable of hormonal arousals and that was made clear to him after he saw his full erection after removing his towel. Having a stronger kunoichi living with him and parading around his house like she owns the place wasn't going to be a walk in the park for Sasuke. He could only wonder how Naruto handled living with two females under the same roof.
(Meanwhile At Konoha Hospital)
Sakura was walking through the hallway on the third floor with some flowers in her hands. She decided to pay Lee an encouraging visit considering the intense care condition he was in and the fact that he refused to stay in his recovery bed to recuperate concerned her. For two days, nurses had repeatedly berated Lee for his stubbornness in wanting to train and get stronger when his body had already sustained severe injuries from both releasing his gates and Gaara's brutal attack on his left arm and leg, which only served to damage Lee's body further.
Sakura didn't know Lee as much as Naruto did and though Lee's huge crush on her creeped her out, he was still a fellow Konoha Genin. She remembered how Gai reacted when he was told by the medics that Lee, due to his injuries, might never be able to continue his career as a ninja again. She saw how Gai wept and completely blamed himself for Lee's situation. And she saw how Lee, through sweat and tears, refused to allow his broken body to end his dreams to be the best taijutsu ninja he could become.
Though it wasn't her place to chastise him for his stubbornness, she didn't want to see him injure himself further for not giving his body time to heal as best as it could within the range his damaged body could handle.
"I'm hope Lee isn't doing any ridiculous training again," Sakura said to herself as she reached the door to Lee's room, "Here I go."
Sakura quietly opened the door and walked right in and then just as quietly closed the door. Expecting to see a heavily bandaged Lee lying on his recovery bed, she walked further into the room and greeted cheerfully, "Lee are you awake? I came by to-"
Sakura stopped dead in her tracks before the bouquet of flowers fell out of her hands and onto the floor moments later. Standing in front of her was Lee, but the shocking fact of the matter was that not only was he standing completely naked in his recuperating room, but his whole body was entirely healed with absolutely no sign of injury of any sort to show for. Earlier before Sakura's arrival, Lee was examining and checking every part of his body after he woke up feeling terrific and at 100% for reasons he couldn't explain. Plus, he felt much stronger than before.
He was about to shout about his restored flaming youth when Sakura walked into his room unannounced, resulting in the awkward positions they both found themselves in.
"S-Sa-Sakura-san...I-" the embarrassed and blushing Lee stuttered while trying to make coherent speech.
"I'm sorry," was all Sakura could say with a deep blush and blank expression on her face before she turned and ran out of Lee's room and closed the door behind her. She was too shocked and embarrassed from walking in on Lee in the manner in which she did. She quickly exited and ran out from the hospital building. After getting far away from the hospital, she stopped to catch her breath as her heart was beating fast. While catching her breath, she tried to clear her head, but the image of a naked yet nicely built and toned Lee was imprinted in her memories.
"I can't get that image out of my head!" Sakura lamented while holding her head, "It won't go away!"
During her frantic shaking of her head while wishing what she saw could be totally erased out of her mind, she momentarily overlooked one crucial fact. But that changed when...
"Lee was completely healed!" Sakura shouted after realizing what she saw.
Karin, who was on the roof of one of the buildings with a Naruto kage bunshin, saw Sakura's sudden out burst.
"Something tells me that Sakura saw more than what she wanted to at the hospital," the Naruto clone figured with a mischievous smile.
"Who cares," Karin scoffed, "That isn't my problem. All that matters to me is that my favor to Naruto-kun has been carried out and as promised I completely healed and restored Lee. But many will look into this and try to find out how Lee's condition suddenly did a complete 180."
"Gai will probably assume that Lee's burning youth revitalized him," the Naruto clone joked before becoming serious, "But like I promised, we were in and out of Lee's room before anyone saw we were there. Thankfully, the nurses gave Lee enough sedatives to keep him knocked out long enough for you to restore him."
"At least the job is done and all traces of us being there were removed," Karin remarked and then changed the subject, "So when are you returning from where you actually are?"
"Later tomorrow," the Naruto clone said.
"I'm happy to hear that, because you still owe me big for allowing you to enjoy and be entertained by the sight of me and the rest of the girls at the bathhouse the other day," Karin reminded with a grin.
The kage bunshin sighed and said, "...I haven't forgotten Karin."
"Good to know," Karin said before getting ready to leave, "Since my work here is done, I'll take my leave now. I look forward to that promise you gave me."
Karin winked at him and then took off leaping from the roof and onto another as she started on her way to meet back with Honoka. The kage bunshin was summoned back to Myōboku Mountain moments later where Naruto dispelled and absorbed his experience.
(Back At Myōboku Mountain; Hours Later)
Jiraiya, Shima and Fukusaku were observing Naruto as he continued training to activate and maintain Sage Mode. So far, to the surprise of three monitoring his training, he was doing rather well.
"Not bad, gaki," Jiraiya complimented, "Though you're still not at the full transformation of Sage Mode, you're getting closer than most ever did in years."
"Having the mental experience of Sage Mode is quite different from having the physical experience, as my body is still not quite used to this chakra yet," Naruto remarked while radiating nature chakra.
"In that case," Jiraiya suggested, "Let's have a hands-on demonstration."
"I already demonstrated to you three what I can do so far," Naruto replied.
"There's another demonstration we want to experience for ourselves," Jiraiya said as Fukusaku and Shima nodded and jumped onto his shoulders. Moments later, Naruto saw that Jiraiya had merged with Fukusaku and Shima, allowing Jiraiya to go Sage Mode. When Naruto got a good look at Jiraiya's changed appearance, he did the one thing he could do, he burst out laughing.
"That's how you look like in Sage Mode?!" Naruto laughed hysterically, "How many women did you woo with that look?!"
"Shut up, gaki!" Jiraiya retorted, "I may not look all that attractive, but-"
The next thing Naruto saw was that he was sucker punched by Jiraiya and sent flying far through several large boulders before impacting and skidding off the ground hard enough to make craters with every skid off the ground made. Naruto then came crashing full throttle into the bottom of a nearby hill, cratering it on impact with a huge dirt and dust cloud blanking the surrounding area Naruto crashed into. Dazed, disheveled and dirtied up with half of his shirt torn and parts of his pants ripped, Naruto, while a world of pain, slowly stood back up from within the crater and coughed up some blood from his mouth as Jiraiya suddenly appeared in front of him. Imperfect Sage Mode or not, that punch hurt, a lot.
"I'm far stronger than my looks reveal," Jiraiya stated with his arms crossed over his chest. Angered by Jiraiya's surprise attack, Naruto growled as he focused Sage chakra into his body. Jiraiya gestured for Naruto to come at him.
"Gladly!" Naruto yelled with anticipation before wiping the blood off his mouth. The last time he was this pissed was during his battle with Orochimaru. Though Naruto knew not to underestimate Jiraiya, he wasn't going to allow the fact that he was attacked, caught completely off guard and injured to go unanswered. Jiraiya then raised his hands and charged up two Rasengan that were twice the size of a standard one.
"Let's do this!" Jiraiya challenged. Naruto summoned two kage bunshin and raised his hands as he and his clones charged up two Fuuton Rasengan in his hands. After dispelling the clones, Naruto turned to Jiraiya and screamed, "BRING IT ON!"
With that, both godfather and godson charged forward at each other with their Rasengan of choice, thus commencing their battle...
Veteran Sage vs. Junior Sage-trainee; how will this fierce battle between godfather and godson end? Though Naruto fought against a Sannin before, but will that be enough to take on a Sannin in Sage Mode? What gift did Susanoo give to Naruto when he infused and embedded the last of his chakra into Naruto?
How will Hinata handle her situation with Hanabi blackmailing her and what does Hanabi want in return for her silence? Will Sasuke find a way to adjust to living with Tayuya while enduring the brute training both Tayuya and Kakashi are having him go through separately? And how will everyone react to Lee's "mysterious" restoration of health and vitality? Find out next time.