I don't own Naruto and I never have, probably never will. Can never tell for sure though.
Chapter 30: Mei Terumi, Godaime Mizukage
The Land of Water and the village hidden in the mist were on edge. Ever since news spread of the death of the Mizukage, Yagura at the hands of the leader of the resistance Mei Terumi much of the population were waiting with baited breath for the resistance to claim Kirigakure and end the conflict that had scarred the landscape of the Water nation for years.
It had been a war that had left the country isolated and weakened. And the majority of people were just glad that it was about to come to an end, they even welcomed the outcome. Yagura's hold on the peoples beliefs towards those with Kekkei Genkai had been faltering. The depiction's of them as heartless killers that were not to be considered human demolished by the countless acts of kindness and forgiveness that several members of the Resistance with bloodlines had shown to liberated villages and captured prisoners alike.
Kiri was having a very uncharacteristically sunny day. The mist that so often enveloped the village had been pressed back and the sun shone down on the village for the first time in what felt like years to it's inhabitants adding to the feeling of optimism that spread through the village when word of a large group of ninja containing both Mei Terumi and the unknown Hero of the Mist that they had heard so much about.
Outside the village the mist still circulated but it seemed to thin out as Naruto and the rest of the group walked down a large stone road. The group comprised of about fifty ninja and at the front Mei walked with Ao and Jiraiya just behind. Naruto and the rest of the Yoinokuchi were placed at the front of the main pack as a symbol of strength.
After a few hours of walking the mist cleared and the group from the resistance stood before the gates of Kiri, several ninja stood there weapons drawn as if ready for a battle.
"You intend to fight?" Mei asked with her trademark smile which seemed to be even more threatening than a scowl. "I recommend you think carefully before drawing your weapons and challenging us" she added.
The guards all began to sweat and one by one they began to lay their weapons on the ground at their feet and bow in submission. "Forgive us Mei-sama, we had no intention of blocking your path" they said.
"Good then open the gates and allow entry to my men and I" Mei ordered.
"Y-yes at once" one of the guards stammered and ran off to open the gates of Kiri.
Just behind Mei and the two she had picked as her personal guard Naruto was standing next to Itachi. Both had satisfied smiles on their faces. "It feels good to be able to enter a village without having to sneak in or trick the guards" Naruto said.
"I was just thinking the exact same thing Naruto-kun. It seems that this war is truly over now" Itachi replied.
Naruto smiled as they walked past the gate and into the village. Although he felt kind of awkward as civilians all came running out to see the group of ninja who brought down Yagura and the woman who would almost certainly become the next Mizukage.
It was comforting to the group that a vast majority of the villagers that had come to watch the precession were smiling. Some were even openly clapping and cheering about the result of the war.
They continued to walk at a slow pace through the village until they came to a large three level building with large banners that had the Kanji for 'Water' on them. At the base of the tower they were greeted by two older people who appeared to be the village elders and several ninja that Naruto guessed were their bodyguards.
"Ah Mei Terumi, a pleasure to see you again, you have not been in Kiri since the start of the bloodline purges" an elderly bald man said.
"Well as I am a user of two separate Kekkei Genkai and was an elite jounin despite my young age when they started, I felt it was wise to make myself scares. I'm sure you can understand chief elders" Mei replied.
"Yes it is certainly understandable. Yagura's rein was certainly a dark time for our village. And called into question our status as one of the great ninja villages. I guess that is what we get for picking one of those things to be the Yondaime Mizukage" the old man said.
Naruto,Gaara and Fuu all physically stiffened at the statement they knew quite well that, 'those things', meant jinchuuriki.
"There is nothing at all wrong with jinchuuriki. Yagura was made to hate those around him by how he was treated" Jiraiya said with a scowl.
"Oh my, Jiraiya of the Sannin. So this is the so called 'Hero of the Mist'... A retired ninja from Konoha" the old man said.
Jiraiya walked forward before turning and pointing at the blond jinchuuriki "I'm not the Hero of the Mist, he is!" Jiraiya said.
"What but he is a child. There is no way he is responsible for the deaths of any of the five generals and Yagura" the old man said.
"Age has nothing to do with it old man" Naruto said walking forward. "I helped kill off the five generals with Itachi sensei... And if you don't believe me then I guess you will just be someone else who has underestimated my abilities" he added.
The old man was shocked. A young boy was standing in front of him with no regard for who he was, as if titles and respect didn't matter to this boy. "You have some nerve boy" he said ready to berate the child for his rudeness when he finally got a good look at Naruto and saw the ripple pattern of the eyes and immediately knew what he was seeing. "You... You have the Rinn-Rinnegan, Impossible!" he stammered.
"Impossible or not, he has the eyes of the sage. And he is indeed the person being praised throughout my followers as the Hero of the Mist" Mei said with a smile.
"This could be the second coming of the 'Sage of Six Paths' either way the child must be destined for great things" the elder said.
"Well he has already achieved great things on this country" Mei said.
"It doesn't really matter. I take it you are here to discover our choice for the next Mizukage and to end this war?" the bald elder said.
"Yes, this war ends today no matter the consequences" Mei said.
"Yes, well we feel that for the prosperity of both the Land of Water and continued strength of Kiri that you become the Godaime Mizukage. Your fist duty will be to call the remaining ninja forces back to Kiri and address the people of Kirigakure" the elder said.
"Then I should get to work immediately. But my comrades will need a place to stay" Mei said.
"We will take care of the Mizukage-dono" the elder said with a respectful bow.
Several guards showed the resistance force to a large empty compound and told them that all the buildings were empty and to make themselves at home until Mei is ready to declare the war over.
(Two Day's Later)
Naruto was in a small training ground practicing several ninjutsu and taijutsu moves when he felt someone approach him at a high speed. Acting instinctively he rolled out of the way of a punch shich shattered the earth where he was previously standing.
"Not bad, but you will need to be faster than that to get me in a sneak attack" Naruto said with a large chuckle.
"Damn it, I thought I had you for sure that time" Akimi pouted. But the second she thought Naruto had dropped his guard she attacked again. Throwing a intensely fast kick towards Naruto's ribs.
Naruto caught it at the last second and flipped over her leg before attempting to sweep her supporting leg from under her.
Using impressive agility Akimi was able to push off with her one leg into a back flip narrowly avoiding Naruto's sweep. Not wanting to stop, Akimi shot forward aiming a straight jab at the blonds face. But he caught it with ease this time and threw her to the far end of the small field.
"Had enough yet?" Naruto asked happily.
"I'm not even warmed up yet!" Akimi said with a large smile.
"You can't beat me... I don't know why you even try" Naruto said with a smirk clearly indicating that he was joking.
"Maybe you are just scared because you think I might actually have you this time" Akimi replied and she blurred away appearing behind Naruto throwing a punch at the back of his head. But Naruto had been expecting the attack and ducked under the punch before turning and tripping the speedy kunoichi before pinning her down with several kunai with ninja wire.
"Not bad, you get faster every day" Naruto said taking a seat next to the struggling Akimi.
"No fair, let me up!" she yelled.
"It's fair, you attacked me and I subdued you" Naruto chuckled.
"Damn it Naruto let me out of this thing, I cant even move my hands for a substitution!" she yelled.
"You know, you're kinda cute when angry" Naruto laughed.
Akimi blushed, although Naruto just thought she was becoming more infuriated with the blond. 'He thinks I'm cute! Maybe I should just tell him that I like him? He is too much of an idiot to see it. But admitting that to him I don't think I could live it down if I get rejected' she thought as the wires released themselves.
Meanwhile Naruto was laughing at how flushed Akimi looked. "You look like a tomato, you must be really pissed huh? Kami I am going to miss our little duels" Naruto chuckled.
"Shut up, if you weren't such an idiot I wouldn't be all flustered... Wait what do you mean 'Miss!" She said.
"Oh yeah, I haven't told you yet. Jiraiya sensei wants to take me on a training trip and I will be gone for three years" Naruto said sitting down.
"Th-Three Y-y-years?" she stammered.
"Yeah we are leaving sometime soon, although I am not sure when" Naruto admitted.
"But you can't! What about the Yoinokuchi. What am I supposed to do without you around!" Akimi said disbelievingly.
"I have to go, I need to become strong enough to protect everyone also the Akatsuki are looking for jinchuuriki. Believe me if there were any other way, I would consider it. I'll be back in three years time, you will be fine without me around. You have Gaara Haku and Fuu that are all around our age" Naruto said.
"But they're not the same as you" she said sadly.
"That might be, but I still have to go, just promise me that while I'm gone you will continue to become stronger and that we can have another fight when I return" Naruto said.
"I promise, but you won't win, I'm going to kick your ass" Akimi said with a forced smile.
"Well I guess we are just going to have to wait and see won't we" Naruto said with a smile of his own.
They sat in silence for a moment until they felt someone new approach. Turning there heads in the direction of the chakra signature they saw Fuu land in the center of the training field.
"Hey, It's time, they are about to officially make Mei-sama the new Mizukage" Fuu said.
"Oh okay cool where are they holding the ceremony?" Akimi asked, glad for something to take her mind off the fact that Naruto would be leaving for three years soon.
"In the main square. It's packed, but they are asking for Naruto to be up on the stage. I think Mei wants to give him an award or something" Fuu said.
"Just me? I mean Itachi did half the work and he did most of the planning" Naruto said.
"No Itachi, and Jiraiya-sama are joining the Mizukage along with several of Mei-sama's top ninja" Fuu said.
"Alright. As long as they don't try to make it all about me I guess I can agree to that" Naruto said and the three ninja all made there way to the main square of Kiri.
Upon arrival they found themselves in a massive courtyard with building that were packed with people looking out over a large stage that had been put up. In the center of the courtyard was a large fountain that shot water straight up into the air before descending in an arch at the base. Every so often the water would be lit with different color lights.
"You need to go up to the stage Naruto, they're all waiting for you" Fuu said.
"Ah alright, see you both in a bit" Naruto said and after waving goodbye took off up one of the nearby buildings before jumping onto the stage in one swift movement shocking the bodyguards that Mei had picked to guard the stage. "Uh sorry I'm late, I was training" Naruto said sheepishly upon his arrival.
"That's fine, lets get this started" the bald Elder said before walking up to a podium.
The crowd saw the old man who obviously was highly respected in the village and everything fell silent.
"Today is a day of both celebration, sadness and reconciliation. Several days ago we lost the Yondaime Mizukage, Yagura. Which is a sad loss for our village. However, Yagura had caused almost irreparable damage to both Kiri and the Land of Water, he caused a genocide of some of the clans that helped make us one of the five strongest villages. And because of this, a war started. But with Yagura gone, a new Mizukage has been chosen, and I am proud to introduce the Godaime Mizukage... Mei Terumi" the bald elder said loudly.
There was a large eruption of cheering from the majority of the gathered observers as Mei walked up to the podium and knelt down as the elder placed a blue hat with the Kanji for Water on the brim.
Everyone fell silent again as Mei stepped up to address the people. "People of Kiri, and to everyone else that has journeyed to be here today... my first declaration as Mizukage is to call an end to the persecution of Kekkei Genkai clans in the Land of Water". Again a large cheer came from the majority of the crowd. "Now that's taken care of, I hereby disband the underground resistance and call for an end to hostility between the clans and people of Kiri. This country has been divided for too long. While we have been fighting, the other villages have been expanding. While they have been reaching out, we have been isolated. While the others have moved towards peace, we couldn't even bring peace to our own village... As Godaime Mizukage, I will make sure that we correct the mistakes of the past, and to start this I offer all those in Yagura's army a full pardon on the grounds that they accept me as the rightful Mizukage and end hostilities upon the Bloodline clans. We offer forgiveness for past crimes and a chance at retribution in this new Kiri" she said proudly.
The crowd seemed happy by what they were hearing and clapped approvingly. Even some of those that still didn't like the fact that the Kekkei Genkai clans had won were pleased to have the chance to still be apart of Kiri.
Mei paused for a moment to let everything she had said sink in before continuing. "While I am thrilled and Honored to be named Mizukage, this day may not have happened if it wasn't for the work of a group of ninja that offered there aid to our cause... They were the Yoinokuchi led by Jiraiya the Toad Sage" she said indicating Jiraiya who didn't hesitate in standing up and posing for the people in attendance. "Because of this I am giving all members of the Yoinokuchi Honorary positions as Kiri ninja and citizenship in the Land of Water. You are all Hero's to the people who fought against the oppression placed upon this country. Because of this you are always welcome here in Kiri as long as I am Mizukage" Mei added.
'Seems like most of the people are liking what they are hearing so far' Naruto thought as he waited for Mei to continue.
"There are two more people who need to be honored for making today possible. They are both members of the Yoinokuchi and it was directly because of their actions that Yagura was brought down. Because of the work they have done with the resistance I am proud to award Kiri's Medal of Honor to Itachi Uchiha, and the person known as the Hero of the Mist, Naruto Uzumaki" Mei said.
Murmurs and whispers spread through the crowd as for many of them this was the fist look at the people who were responsible for the deaths of the five strongest ninja in Kiri during the civil war. And when they saw two teenagers the oldest being no more than eighteen. And the younger only thirteen.
Itachi was the first to receive his award with Mei adding a kiss on both cheeks. Causing a small blush to appear on the usually stoic Uchiha's face. The award was a gold pendant in the shape of the symbol for Water Country.
Next up was Naruto who stood uneasy at all the public attention being directed towards him, but figured that he had best learn how to deal with it sooner or later.
"Ladies and Gentlemen... I present to you, The Hero of the Mist, Naruto Uzumaki" Mei said loudly as she placed the award over his neck before kissing the blond on the lips.
"Thank you for saving my country Naruto. I can tell you will be a very handsome man in a few years" Mei said with a smile trying not to giggle at how red Naruto had become. A problem not shared by Jiraiya who was openly laughing his ass off in between frantically taking notes on his book.
In fact the only people who were not either laughing or cheering were two kunoichi who both seemed to be devastated that Mei had stolen Naruto's first kiss and were out for blood. The crowd seemed to give them a wide birth. Ironically they both seemed unaware of the others killer intent and still didn't know that they had a rival for the affection of the blushing blond.
Eventually Naruto came back to his senses and with a smile gave a small bow to Mei and returned to his seat only to receive a big pat on the back from Jiraiya.
"Way to go kid, you bagged probably the hottest Kage there has ever been" the Super Pervert said.
"Shut it, you old perv there was nothing in that, it was just as a thank you and for show" Naruto said.
"Sure what ever you say" Jiraiya said.
The rest of Mei's speech was about rebuilding the nation and branching out in an attempt to build connections with the other nations. Once the speech ended people gave Mei and the the occupants of the stage a guard of honor out of the square as they cheered.
It took awhile for the crowd to disperse and go there separate ways, small parties began to start up around the village and the main topic of conversation at any of the jounin bars were that of the young Hero. Many of them couldn't believe that one so young could have taken out any of the five generals and those few with the minor details or those that had seen the end of Naruto's fight with Yagura were eagerly telling what they knew of the blonds strength.
During this time, Naruto was staying well away from large population areas knowing that there would be unwanted attention there. He had only just sat down when he felt a familiar presence approach.
"Hey Fuu, I'm up here" Naruto called from the tree he was relaxing in once the Nanabi jinchuuriki was close enough.
"Wow you are scary good at finding me" Fuu said jumping up into the tree.
"Whats up?" Naruto asked.
"Oh nothing really, I just wanted to see what you were up to, everyone in the village is talking about you at the moment" Fuu said.
"Yeah I figured that might be the case, all of the former Yagura Loyalists and most of the resistance had only heard about what I had done and never seen me so I guessed the fact that I am so young would have thrown them" Naruto said.
"Yeah. Still it's kinda cool that we have all been given citizenship here. Now we can come and go as we please" Fuu said happily.
"It is a nice honor isn't it. I just wonder how the rest of the elemental nations will react" Naruto said.
"What do you mean?" Fuu asked.
"Well a small group of ninja not affiliated with any nation stepping in and ending a war isn't going to go unnoticed. And once they find out that you and Gaara are members of the group we could be considered a criminal organization in Suna and Taki" Naruto said.
"I see, I didn't know that could happen. Maybe I shouldn't have come, if I am putting you all in extra danger" Fuu said.
"Don't be ridiculous Fuu, You have been a great help. We can deal with not being liked by Suna and Taki. As far as I am concerned they don't deserve to have either of you. And if that means that we are there enemies then so be it" Naruto said.
"Thanks Naruto, I feel a lot better now. So what were you doing here all alone before I showed up?" the Mint haired kunoichi said.
"Thinking really. First about the end of the war, and also about what that means for me" Naruto said.
"You mean that fact that a whole nation sees you as a hero now?" Fuu asked.
"Not really, more about that once we leave here it wont be long before I will have to leave with Jiraiya" Naruto said.
"What do you mean?" Fuu questioned.
Naruto proceeded to explain that he would be leaving to which Fuu was visibly upset but also understood why he had to go.
"Well, I guess I'll need to up my training if I want to be even close to your league when you return" Fuu said.
"Yeah, I want everyone to get much stronger, the Akatsuki are no joke, ever one of them is a S ranked criminal. So we will all need to be stronger if we want to stand a chance in dealing with them" Naruto said.
"I'm going to miss you, if you get a chance you better write letters" Fuu said.
"I think I will be able to do that. I'll send them with summons if I have to" Naruto replied.
Naruto and the others spent the next few weeks in Kiri helping to rebuild but eventually Jiraiya told Mei and the others that they would be leaving the next day. The group all packed there things and readied themselves to head out. They didn't make it far from the gates however when they were called back.
Turning around they saw a huge crowd of both ninja and civilians all come to see them off. At the front of the group Mei stood, proudly wearing here Mizukage robes and hat, Ao and the bald elder at her sides as she waved goodbye to the nine ninja who had been of such great help to her.
"So do you think we will see them again?" Ao asked as they slowly disappeared from view.
"I'm sure we will, but even if we don't this is not the last we will hear of them. Especially Naruto, he has the potential to shape this world" Mei said with a smile.
Sorry for the late update, I was away for a few days visiting family. Anyway hope you liked the chapter.
Now I was asked by several people about any fan art, for Akimi and several other points of interest. Eg: the Bloodline Platform Niang and Taniyama (Last two generals that Itachi Killed) used. While I would love to supply them myself I am absolutely useless at visual arts. So I would like to ask if anyone would be interested in supplying some fan art.
Anyway that's the end of the Civil War arc, hope you enjoyed it, I'm beginning to focus on the Time Skip, now which will take the next few chapters and it will in some way have elements of the Sasuke Retrieval Arc in it, even if it is just the reaction to his desertion. I still haven't decided as to how much detail I want to give it so next chapter might take a few days while I decide what I want to do.