Hello again, it's me with another chapter! But before that, I would like say something serious. Looking at this story, especially the first chapter and my other stories, I realized something: I'm not really good with writing stories. This doesn't mean I'll stop; this story will be completed no matter what, even if it takes forever, but with my other stories, I've realized that those stories are really not that great. Rise of a Demonic Vizard was written on a whim, Return of a Smiling Fox was meh, and so on. The point is that except for this chapter, the rest of my other chapters will be 5k and over (that includes my other stories, as well). If they can't be over 5k, then I'll try to actually get it up to 5k. That is my promise to you, my fans. With that out of the way, here's chapter two.

Chapter Two

"I'm sorry to say this, but our mission has failed, Hokage-sama."

At those words, Tsunade could only stare. How could this team failed? She didn't expect Orochimaru to put up a fight. After all, from what she read, the Snake Sannin was weak. All they had to do was slit his throat and be done with it. However, they can back with nothing. They had no valuables that Orochimaru had supposedly gathered, no prisoners they could induct into the village, and most importantly, no Kusanagi they could acquire. In short, they had nothing.

"Explain." She ordered.

Shikamaru began his tale. He told her of how they found Otogakure already being besieged by ninjas wearing black. Of how they hid and watched as Orochimaru was beaten by a man wearing samurai armor. How Kabuto had stabbed Orochimaru in the back. How Shikamaru's team was caught and how they had been beaten. Shikamaru chose to leave the part where the warrior had turned his Kagemane no Jutsu against. He would tell his father, but not the Hokage.

Tsunade was in deep thought. She had heard of someone named the Shredder, but where? She shook her head. Right now they had to worry about the new player that had shown himself after killing Orochimaru. Who was this Shredder person? And why did he choose now to appear if he was able to beat Orochimaru?

Just as she was about to say something else, Shizune came in looking serious. "Tsunade-sama, the council wishes to speak to you. They say it's urgent."

Tsunade sighed to herself. What did they want now? It probably had to do with the fact that Naruto still hadn't been seen and why she wasn't using a firmer hand to find him.

"All of you are dismissed. Write what happened in your mission reports and put them in my office."

After they left, Tsunade got ready to go to her meeting. She couldn't help but think that the next few months would spell the end for the village.

(Wave Country, one day after attack)

Naruto smirked to himself as he lied down in his bed. After beating Orochimaru and crushing the Konoha Nin, his army had gathered up those who betrayed Orochimaru and took everything that wasn't nailed down, from scrolls to weapons of importance, to items of interest. The items that were too dangerous to use were destroyed. Afterwards, Naruto sent a couple of his soldiers to go to Orochimaru's prisons and free the prisoners there. Unlike the other villages, who would force the prisoners to work for them, he would give them a choice in working for him. If not, then he would help them hide themselves from other villages. It would be a better deal than having the other villages do everything in their power to have those prisoners work for them.

Just then, he heard a knock on his door. "My lord, the Mystics would like to speak to you."

Naruto sighed. He knew what they wanted. They would probably talk to him about the attack on Otogakure a day ago. Mostly it would be about the part where he revealed the Foot Clan and the Shredder himself. As he walked down the hall, he thought about the first time he met the Mystics.

(Flashback, six years ago)

"Saki-sensei, where are we going?" A seventeen year old Naruto asked.

Oroku Saki smiled at his apprentice. "It's a surprise." For a while, no one said anything as they walked down the hall, until they reached a flight of stairs that went downwards into the basement. As they walked downstairs, Naruto saw that the walls had become old and worn with age, with torches illuminating the hallway. They continued to walk until they came to a door with the Foot Clan symbol emblazoned on the front. Naruto's teacher grabbed the huge door knocker and hit it against the wooden door three times. After a while, the door opened, allowing the two inside. The room they went in was huge. It looked more like an arena then anything else. On the floor was the symbol for the foot clan. Oroku Saki motioned for Naruto to follow him and together they went towards the center of the floor. Naruto watched his teacher assume the seiza position and did the same as well. After a while, Naruto saw five figures appear on a platform above them. Naruto looked at them. They didn't look like much at first. They looked small, but Naruto could sense their power. Each of them wore the same thing, what looked like a straw hat, plates of armor that covered their bodies, and a staff that had the Foot Clan symbol on both sides. However, each of them looked different. The one on the far left's armor and straw hat were silver. The one on the left's armor was colored brown, and what looked like dirt was falling down to the ground (Naruto would later learn that their chakra was tremendous, and would actually radiate off of them).

The one in the center's armor and hat was colored red, and had what looked like flames radiating off of him. The one on the right's armor was light blue and had water dripping off of him. The one on the far right, his armor was snow white.

"Why have you called us here, Saki-san?" The center one asked, his words sounding like a hiss.

Saki bowed to them, his head barely touching the ground. "Mystic of Fire, I present to you Uzumaki Naruto, my apprentice to the Shredder legacy."

The center Mystic, who was the Fire Mystic snorted. "This child is your apprentice? He seems to be an idiot."

"The one on the far left, who was later revealed to be the Metal Mystic, turned towards his brother. "I'm afraid that I have to disagree with you, he seems to have potential."

The one wearing the brown colored armor shook his head. "I afraid I have to agree brother Fire on this one. The boy seems too young and naïve to be the next Shredder."

"Brother of Earth," the one the right of the Fire Mystic said. "Maybe you are judging too early. I can sense that he has good potential. However, I sense something else inside of him. I sense some malicious intent within him."

Saki bowed again. "The boy was a jinchuuriki of his village, until he was banished by them. I had to rescue him from them."

For a while, the Mystics said nothing. Finally, they came to a decision.

(End flashback)

They had given him a chance, more than anyone in Konoha would have done. And ever since then, he had proven himself to them time and again, up until Saki passed away and obtained the position of The Shredder.

Eventually he arrived at the door of the Mystics. Knocking on it once, he waited until the door opened and went inside. Just as he had assumed the seiza position, the Mystics arrived.

"Welcome Uzumaki Naruto," the Earth Mystic said. "Do you know why you are here?"

Naruto bowed his head to the ground. "I do not know, my Mystics. Does it have to do with the fact that I have invaded Otogakure and killed Orochimaru?"

The Fire Mystic nodded. "That is correct. But because you attacked them and revealed yourself and the Foot to those who you have let free, they now know that we exist. It is still too soon. We still needed time in order to prepare for battle."

Naruto snorted. "And as I had told you, we have waited long enough. Now is the time for action."

"It has been a long time since we have been young, hasn't it, brothers?" Water Mystic asked.

"Back on topic, my brother is right, Uzumaki-san. You should not have revealed us too soon."

"Mystic of Metal," Naruto said to him. "It wasn't too soon. I saw an opportunity and I took it. Besides, we have more men; we've got information, and many valuable items t hat Orochimaru has been keeping for a while. Is there anything else?"

No one said anything. Naruto smiled and said, "Then I guess we're done, aren't we?" At their nodding Naruto left the chamber.

(Konohagakure)

"You mean to tell me that you still haven't found him?"

Tsunade couldn't believe it. Seven years and they haven't found Naruto. They had gone to every village and checked everywhere. The problem was that all they knew of the brat was that he liked ramen and loved orange. Other than those two things, there was nothing else they knew of him.

Tsunade sighed. The boy was becoming even more difficult. If he had done as he was told, then none of this would be happening. Naruto would still be in the village, doing as he was supposed to be doing. Instead she was starting to lose face in the other villages. When they found out what was happening, they were furious. She pointed out that they would have done the same thing if they were in her position. To say that it didn't end well would be the understatement of the year. The Raikage pointed out that this was the reason that a council of the village was never put in charge. Tsunade had to laugh at that. That sort of thinking would start a war. There had to be a balance, no matter what.

Back at home, most of Naruto's friends had different reactions. Some, like Shikamaru couldn't believe that the Hokage and their family had treated Naruto like that, especially after a mission. Shikamaru had suggested that since Naruto was banished for the mission being successful, then shouldn't they? Tsunade didn't take it too well. Shikamaru had the nerve to actually tell her how to run a village? Others, like Kiba believed Naruto to be a monster and thought that the Hokage was in the right.

Tsunade turned her mind to Hinata. Hinata had been one of those who had been against the Hokage's decision, an act that had torn the team apart. Kurenai had supported the Hokage's decision and tried to tell her student that. Hinata refused to believe so. Later on, Sakura had been badmouthing Naruto in Hinata's earshot. Needless to say, Hinata had cleaned her clock real bad. It was so bad, that Sakura had to go to the ER for surgery. Tsunade had been considering adding the young Hyuuga to the list of those who would marry Naruto, but after that display, she was removed. Hinata's ninja license had nearly been revoked, if it hadn't been for her father. However, Kurenai had decided to remove Hinata from her team. She claimed it was temporary, but Hinata knew the real reason. She had been very disappointed in what Hinata did. Tsunade wanted to protest, but she shook her head. Kurenai wasn't going to take no for an answer. So with her approval, Hinata was no longer in Team Eight.

Of course, that meant that Hinata fell under the jurisdiction of the Hyuuga clan, who decided to oversee her training. Over the years, Hinata fought tooth and nail until she was able to gain the Hyuuga headship, after her father decided to retire, to the Hyuuga elder's anger. Using her newfound power, she was able to find a better way to protect her family's bloodline without using the Hyuuga Curse Seal. At first, the elders complained, but eventually, they realized that Hinata wouldn't budge. Of course, that didn't mean that everything was peachy. In fact, Hinata used her newfound power to give Tsunade a hard time during council meetings, something that Hinata took great pleasure in. Speaking of meetings, yesterday's meeting was about how they going to be able to find Naruto. Hinata had argued about giving up the search, but the Fifth had shot it down.

But back to the briefing, Tsunade had finally had enough. They were supposed to be ninjas, weren't they? "Here's what I want you to do: start acting like ninjas and check each and every area again. Got to areas you haven't been to. I don't care what you do, just find him! I want him back in my office by the end of the year or I'm going to start looking for competent ninja! Do any of you understand?"

After they left, Tsunade sighed. First problem was the Shredder showing up, and now they can't find one person. What else could go wrong?

(Foot clan base, morning after)

Naruto woke up to a commotion. Sighing, he got dress and walked outside to see a strange sight.

Outside he was treated to a strange sight. Four of his Foot ninja were trying to restrain a huge orange haired man but were unsuccessful. For a while, Naruto stood there trying not to look surprised. Then, he walked up the man.

"What is your name?" Naruto asked him.

The man snarled at him, so Naruto asked him again. "What is your name?" Hearing no reply once again, Naruto sighed. "So are you going to answer me, or am I going to have to make you?" Hearing no replies, Naruto shook his head. "Let him go." At first his men looked at him like he was insane, but then the group backed off. The orange haired man let out a feral scream and charged at him. Naruto braced himself for a fight, only to be knocked away by a fist. Naruto groaned and got up. "So you want to do this the hard way? Fine by me, let's have a good old fistfight."

At first, Naruto was knocked back and forth by the man, who started to transform into a demonic form that seemed a bit familiar. When he was completed, the man threw a demonic fist at him, which Naruto barely dodged. The more punches the man threw, the closer he got to hitting Naruto. It was one of these time that Naruto wished that he still had the Kyuubi inside of him. However, Naruto shook his head. He turned towards his men and motioned for them to knock him out.

After that ordeal, Naruto sighed once again. "Who was that guy?"

"I see that you've met Juugo, Naruto-kun."

Naruto shot a glare at Kabuto, who had just walked up to him. "Who is this Juugo character?"

Kabuto shrugged his shoulders. "I really don't know. All that I know about him is that Orochimaru used him to create his Curse Seal. But now that he's dead, I hope that we don't have to worry about it anymore."

"I don't like the sound of what you're saying, Kabuto-san."

Kabuto let out a nervous laugh. "Well, there might be something, but I don't really think you should worry about that."

At Naruto's glare, the former second in command of Orochimaru shivered. "With that look, I think I'll tell you. I think it had something to do with his immortality jutsu. You know that when his body became useless, he would jump to a new body."

Naruto nodded. "You also told me that because he used it too many times, his 'soul', if you could call it that, was starting to be rejected by the bodies he possessed, mainly because his jutsu was incomplete, and that it wasn't his natural body. Just get to the point before I get real unhappy about this conversation."

Kabuto nodded. "Well, he was talking about cloning a body, using parts of his original body and transferring his soul there."

Naruto nodded. "So what's the point of this conversation? We killed him, didn't we?"

Kabuto scratched his head sheepishly. "Well, yes and no. It's true that we killed the original body, but we didn't find the cloned body."

"So in other words, we have Orochimaru's clone out there, is that right?" Kabuto nodded. "Kabuto, I'll give you a three minute head start."

"What's the three minute head start for?"

"Unless you don't want to be breathing for a tube, I suggest you start running now."

At Naruto's glare, Kabuto took off as fast as he could. Naruto waited for a while, and then started to chase Kabuto around the base.

TBC

Well, looks like this is the end of the second chapter. Also, this will be probably the last time you'll be seeing Konoha until about a few chapters in. And one more thing: Read and review!