Naruto: Making of a Hokage
The Gathering Arc
Ch.31 Four Out of Nine
"What the fuck is this?" Hidan, one of the Akatski members in pursuit of Yugito Nii, stopped running when seeing three ninja with different colored chakra standing together against them. One a bright green, another a black and blue, and the last one had a clear blue color.
"It appears we were misinformed," Kakuzu observed in a disgruntled tone.
"Huh? I didn't think you'd get scared so easily?"
"I merely wish to be paid extra for the extra effort."
The three jinchuuriki looked at each other before Fu nodded, silently relaying the message that she would be the first to attack. Running through hand signs at a fast speed, Fu extended her arms out and created a powerful gust of air, howling as it closed in on the two Akatsuki members who did not even try to dodge.
The wind pushed against their bodies but neither budged and while Hidan smirked smugly, Kakuzu spotted something in the wind.
"Ah, I see."
Fu pulled out a kunai and threw it with a flick of her wrist as the tag on it ignited. This was a new combination jutsu she had come up with. By releasing particles of her Powder Technique along with a weak gust of wind, the particles would spread across the enemy. The thing about those particles was that they are highly flammable.
She smirked as the explosive kunai went off and a vortex of fire shot up around the two Akatsuki members.
"Don't let your guard down," Utakata spoke up when seeing the kunoichi relax her stance slightly. Ignoring the glare sent his way he turned to the other jinchuuriki, "Could you tell us your chakra nature?"
"Fire," Yugito responded curtly. "Who are those guys anyway?"
"Akatsuki," Fu answered, "They're a group of powerful ninja trying to capture all of us jinchuuriki."
"Hey! I hope you didn't think that was enough to stop us!" Hidan called out with a smirk as the vortex faded away. His clothes burned in several places and a few scorch marks on his face, the Akatsuki member didn't seem to care as he took his scythe with both hands.
"Our best option is to run," Utakata spoke in a harsh whisper.
"I know. We'll create a big diversion when the time is right," Fu decided before taking air so that she had a clearer view of the enemies as well as their surroundings.
Yugito took her example and stepped forward in a fighting stance.
"Let's not be too hasty. We'll focus on counterattacking and-"
Utakata started but was interrupted by a miffed Yugio, "Is he always such a pain?"
"Yeah. He's always scolding me about the smallest things and he won't stop talking like a spoiled brat with a stick up his ass," Fu grinned.
Utakata sighed and pulled out his pipe. This fight would be tough but he had a feeling that if they pulled it off, this would be no match for the two jinchuuriki already getting on his nerves.
"Let's go already!" Hidan exclaimed as he ran at Yugito and swung his scythe in a wide arc.
Yugito met the blades with her claws, drawing sparks, while Fu dove down on Hidan with her right fist cocked back. At the same time Kakuzu shot a large fireball at the descending jinchuuriki but it was stopped by a large bubble that appeared protectively around her whole body. The bubble took the attack before popping as Fu delivered a punch to Hidan's face, making him grunt in pain before being sent flying back and crashing on a wall.
"Now!" Fu exclaimed as she took in a deep breath.
"Close your eyes and get ready to run," Utakata instructed Yugito before putting the pipe to his mouth.
"Dammit! You're gonna pay for that, bitch!" Hidan roared in rage and prepared to attack but was stopped as the whole area lit up in a blinding flash that made him cry out in pain.
Kakuzu growled as he shielded his eyes from the flash. As the attack died down he retracted his arm from his face and opened his eyes only to be met by hundreds of bubbles floating in the area, leaving no space to walk on.
"Listen Hidan. Do not mo-"
Fu, Utakata, and Yugito ran through the dark sewers as a powerful explosion rocked the area, even making the ground shake as the whole place began to collapse.
"We have to move faster!"
"I know!" Fu shot back at Utakata angrily for stating the obvious. "Hold on to my arm," she advised as her chakra wings formed on her back and she flew out of the tunnel. Yugito ran up ahead at an incredible speed, probably coming from her Bijuu since she still had her claws.
Finally, the three emerged at the outskirts of a village just as the sewers collapsed in a heap.
"We're not safe yet. Let's keep going," Utakata stated as the three ran for the woods.
"Fuck!" Hidan growled as he emerged from the rubble. He glanced up at the gaping hole on the ceiling before turning to glare at Kakuzu, "Why the hell did you go easy on them?! You didn't even use your fucking masks!"
"It doesn't matter. Having them together will make things easier," Kakuzu said before turning to leave. He had spotted a certain person not too far from where he was. Killing him would earn him a big bounty.
"Are we just going to let them go?"
"Pursuing them now would be useless. Not only are they fast but there's no doubt they also know how to conceal themselves, proven by the fact that the two jinchuuriki that showed up managed to surprise us."
Hidan scoffed, "Fine. But you're the one who's gonna deal with that weird-eyed bastard."
After what seemed like hours the three jinchuuriki came to a stop near a cliff overlooking various large mountains with forestry at their base.
Silence settled over the three of them as they caught their breath. Now that they had escaped from such dangerous ninja they all wondered the same thing, 'now what?'
Yugito looked between the two jinchuuriki before asking what had been bugging her for a while, "Why did the two of you know where to find me?"
"We've been in the area looking for suspicious activity," Utakata answered truthfully. If there was one thing he wanted, it was for there to be no lies between any of them. "When he was the Akatsuki members, those that attacked you, we stepped in. Our goal is to gather the rest of our fellow jinchuuriki after all."
"For what purpose?"
"To make sure all of us survive. For us to do that, we need to make a force that can combat the Akatsuki," Fu joined the conversation with a grin. "If we want to survive then we have to work together. Thoe guys might not seem like much but that's only because we got lucky back there. If those guys had fought as seriously as we did then at least one of us would have been captured."
"Is it just the two of you?"
"No," she responded, "The jinchuuriki of the Nine-Tails is helping out too even though he can't be with us all the time."
Yugito took in the information carefully. She had to say that it was impressive for them to find each other. Usually, villages kept them under watch most of the time. It was the same with her, the latest mission she'd been assigned had come with the condition that two ninja would 'accompany' her, but the two of them ended up being killed by the Akatsuki in the end.
'Three of the nine jinchuuriki are on board of this thing. If I were to count myself and Master B then it would be five of the nine...' Yugito looked at the two in deep thought.
Could she leave her village?
They didn't treat her horribly or anything, at least not anymore, but the suspicious stares and the 'hidden' ninja watching over her every move was suffocating. Not just that but the Raikage rarely let her out of the village.
The answer was easy really but she wanted to make absolutely sure of it. Abandoning her village came with consequences so being certain was key.
After a moment of silence she grinned for the first time in the presence of Fu and Utakata.
"Very well. I'll join you. We should go somewhere safe so that you can fill me in on everything."
"No problem," Utakata and Fu answered before leaving.
Naruto stood outside of Tsunade's house with a smile on his face. Today was the day he moved out and into his new apartment together with Ino. He'd be lying if he said that he wasn't nervous about it but at the same time he couldn't wait. Having her with him for the majority of the day sounded great since he was mostly thinking about her when they were apart.
He looked at the house one last time before leaving. A couple of neighbors waved as he walked by and a few people even pulled him to the side for an autograph. What he did to be so famous he didn't know but he complied nonetheless.
Settling for a peaceful pace, Naruto couldn't help but smile. Now that he thought about it he hadn't gotten much time to appreciate the village up until recently. He actually noticed some things that had changed in the three years he'd been gone, from a new building to an old store replaced by a new one selling ninja merchandise. Speaking of which, Tsunade still felt he wasn't ready for missions and he agreed.
Going out of the village for a mission felt too sudden. Even so, he wanted to get back out there as soon as he was ready. His stay in the village had made him appreciate the little things he missed, like the rush of fighting or sneaking around. He'd done his fair chair of traveling but he still enjoyed to travel out of the village be it a neighboring village or somewhere far away.
Just as he began to muse about the places he'd like to visit, a messenger toad appeared at his side with a scroll on hand.
"Seriously. You guys been callin' me back and forth."
"Then get someone else to deliver these," Naruto reasoned as he took the scroll on hand.
"Nonsense! All of the others are idiots! There's no way I can trust anyone with these messages. Specially if they're as important as you said."
"They are. Thanks," he nodded at the Toad which waved a hand before disappearing.
Naruto pocketed the scroll and decided to go to the training grounds. He could probably read the scroll on a tree and look for something to do once finished. Maybe he could find Tayuya there for a spar, she had gotten a whole lot better after all.
Ino smiled contently as she set the several bags of groceries she had bought, in the dining room of her house. Leave it to Naruto not to buy any sort of groceries for their new apartment, seriously, her boyfriend was really forgetful when it came to every day things. Luckily for him she was there to remember for him.
"Ino? Back already?" Asked Miki with a smile upon entering the dining room.
"Yeah. I had to buy some things for the apartment."
"I can't believe you're already old enough to leave the house," Miki said while reminiscing. She snapped out of her musings to give her daughter a bit of advice. "Remember that this is a big step Ino. You'll pick up things on the way and I know this sounds corny, but remember to be yourself. If you try to act a certain way then you'll get exhausted in just a few weeks."
Ino smiled fondly at her mom, "I know. I know. No need to be so worried mom. Everything will go fine... At least until dad finds out..."
"Don't worry about your father," Miki threw a confident fist in the air with her eyes shining in determination.
"T-Thanks," Ino answered a bit sheepishly.
Naruto glanced up at the sky while sorting his thoughts. According to the message, Fu and Utakata, whom he had yet to meet, had added another jinchuuriki to the cause, one Yugito Nii. Not just that but they had encountered and fought two Akatsuki members that they managed to get away from.
Naruto wasn't stupid. He knew just how dangerous it was for the Akatsuki to even remotely suspect their location. If they did, they would send more than one of their powerful ninja.
Fu, Utakata, and Yugito were basically gift-wrapped unless they moved fast.
It was time to meet with Fu. Ready or not, he had to leave the village and meet the others face to face. This posed a problem since Tsunade could not find out about his plans under any circumstances. Not only would she be livid but if the village found out, she'd be forced to exile him.
Well, it wasn't like he would get caught sneaking out of the village. He was confident in his ability to get out of the village without being seen, all he had to do was to reverse summon himself to Mount Myoboku and then tag along with a messenger toad to appear with Fu.
Piece of cake.
He dropped down from the tree he was on with a smile. With his next course of action decided he had time to kill since he didn't plan on sneaking out until much later tonight. So what better to do than to find Tayuya and spar.
There were a few ninja training in the area, some even meditating under the shade of trees. He looked around for Tayuya but found no sign of her. Scratching his head in confusion, he moved to leave but stopped when he picked up a quiet sound coming from the forestry in the vicinity.
Naruto decided to check it out and walked away from the main training grounds. As he walked he heard the sounds again, louder this time, and it didn't even take two seconds for him to figure out what they were. Taunting voices, the sound of fists making contact with flesh, and finally...a voice.
Eyes narrowing in anger, Naruto stormed into the clearing where the sounds were coming from, witnessing as three ninja surrounded a hurt Tayuya with several light bruises on her arms and face.
"Weren't you a Sound ninja whore? I thought you bitches were stronger than this," a ninja taunted with a smug expression.
Tayuya glared at the three. Were she not so weakened by the fucking shackle she could've done something but-
Recognition flashed on her face before she grinned, in relief or amusement over what was about to happen she did not know.
"You guys are fucked."
"Huh?" One of the ninja let out dumbly before a foot collided with his face, sending him crashing against a tree.
The remaining two ninja looked at the one responsible in horror. They did not live under a rock, they knew who the ninja in front of them was. Despite his civilian clothing being a plain white shirt and blue pants, his identity was more than known.
"N-Naruto sir! What can we do for you?!"
"I want to know why you were hurting someone who has her chakra sealed away."
The two ninja whimpered under Naruto's harsh glare.
"Y-Yes!" They cried out in unison before one of them tried to explain, "Um. Well, she's a Sound ninja."
A fist collided on the ninja's face, throwing him back several feet before he crashed on the ground unconscious.
"You guys must have already known that she is no longer part of Sound," Naruto explained as he set his glare on the last of the ninja, "Your turn. Tell me why you were hurting her?"
The ninja trembled before trying to run away, only for Naruto to appear in front of him and deliver a harsh blow to his stomach, making him gasp for breath before falling over unconscious.
"Idiots," Naruto scoffed before looking over Tayuya, seeing that despite looking a bit beat up she was fine. "You okay?"
The kunoichi chuckled, "I'm fucking pathetic aren't I? Couldn't even stand up to three weak fuckers."
"Don't let it get you down. It's only because of the shackle," he replied and crossed his arms, "In any case, I'm pretty sure we can use this incident to make Granny take that stupid thing off."
Naruto fought the urge to laugh at the expression on her face. She looked so hopeful and innocent, almost like a child being promised a gift.
"Really. Now that I think about it she could probably heal your wounds when we go. You know, we could go right now if you wa-"
For the very first time since he had known her, Tayuya was genuinely smiling with a trot in her steps. Seeing a kunoichi that had lived a hard life acting this way was a bit odd but, then again he couldn't imagine what it would be like to lose the ability to use chakra for so long. If he remembered correctly, this was the first time in three years, not counting the time the shackle came off during their mission to the Sound base but he could see why it would be in the back of her mind during that time.
"Hey Naruto," Tayuya snapped him out of his thoughts. Her face was a lot more controlled now but the glint of excitement was still very visible in her eyes. Most noticeable was the fact that she did not call him Shithead. "We should go spar or something. I want to see how much better I can do now that the stupid shackle is not fucking with me."
He was about to respond but noticed that the sun was setting already.
'Whoa! How long was I in there twisting Granny's arm?'
It was truly with a heavy heart that he explained his situation to Tayuya. "Sorry but I can't go right now. I'm moving into my apartment tonight and want everything to be ready before ten o'clock at least," he spoke regretfully.
Tayuya looked at him with a hint of disappointment. Be it any other person she might have snapped at him but, looking at his indecisive face, she decided not to push him into it. As things were he'd probably agree to tag along if she insisted but that wasn't the kind of person she was. He'd gotten rid of the fucking shackle, what more could she ask of him?
"It's alright Naruto," she waved him off with a grin before punching him lightly on the chest, "Just make sure you're there tomorrow so I can kick your ass."
"As if you could," he laughed before waving briefly, "Later."
Tayuya watched his retreating figure and looked down in thought. Now that the shackle was off and she had her chakra back, what was keeping her in the village? They didn't have any use for her anymore, at least she thought so. What was stopping her from leaving then?
She groaned when realizing what had happened. Tayuya, former ninja of the Sound Village, had found a cozy place she could call home. Yeah, people that knew about her past with Sound glared whenever she was nearby, but that was nothing new. Unlike before though she had someone she could call a...friend. It was weird to associate the word with anyone but when it came down to it that's what he was. Even so, she'd rather die than admit it to anyone.
That idiot had infected her with his weird way of thinking to the point where she believed that the amount of people she'd associate with the word...friend, would increase over time.
"I should stop myself before I hurl," she scowled.
Naruto slowly pushed open the door to his new apartment.
It was much bigger than his last one, with two bedrooms, a large living room, and a medium-sized kitchen. The place also had a balcony with a view of the Hokage Monument. But that was the last thing on his mind as he stepped into the furnished place.
"Welcome home...Naruto." Ino smiled when seeing him come in.
"Um... I'm back?"
She stifled a laugh at the blush on his face. The guy had lived alone most of his life so it was not surprising to see him a bit shy over having someone to come home to. It was sorta cute in a way to see him act so bashfully.
"Hey. What are you laughing at?" Naruto asked a bit peeved, making his girlfriend laugh. He wanted to act upset but finally caved and laughed along with her as he kicked off his shoes.
Ino walked up to him and pecked his lips with a playful grin, "There. First kiss in the new apartment."
Naruto chuckled before pulling her into a kiss. As things began to heat up, he broke the kiss and stepped back with a blush, "We should at least eat first."
"Y-Yeah," Ino replied a bit dumbly before pouting lightly, "It's not fair."
"What's not fair?"
"When did you get so good at kissing? Ever since you came back from your trip with Jiraiya you got better."
He looked at her oddly with his head cocked to the side. "Really?" He wondered out loud before grinning mischievously, "Maybe I just have that big of an effect on you."
"Really?" Ino repeated his words feeling a bit irked at his teasing. She looked him dead in the eye with a fire burning in her eyes, almost like an overly confident ninja right before a big battle. "Then I guess I'll have to show you who has the biggest effect on who in this relationship!"
Naruto smiled as she pulled him into a kiss that heated rapidly.
'Oh well, dinner can wait.'
It was the middle of the night as Naruto, dressed in black sweatpants put on a simple white shirt and placed his summoning scroll on his apartment's living room floor.
A messenger toad appeared shortly after, an almost amused expression on its face.
"So? You really doing this?"
Naruto glanced at his and Ino's bedroom briefly before nodding at the toad. "You can go ahead and return to Mount Myoboku. Summon me there as soon as you can, I don't want to be out of the village for too long."
The Toad disappeared from the room leaving Naruto alone with his thoughts. He'd left a message for Ino just in case she woke up so that she wouldn't get worried. Everything was ready for his first meeting with the two new jinchuuriki.
A few moments later, Naruto disappeared from the room in a burst of smoke.