The Uzumaki Descendant
Expect updates to be more frequent from now on. Also, going over the time line, I realised Hattori can't be a 157 years old. In fact, going by a fan made timeline I find credible, he should actually be actually 117 years old. I'll link the time line on my page.
Props go to Narutoenthusiast for editing this chapter. All chapters should be edited now.
He was a blur of black, travelling at an incredible speed enough to blow leafs of trees. His eyes were vacant and unaffected by the speed-induced tunnel vision for his mind was elsewhere, but his body knew the woods and the land by memory acquired over the years of his childhood.
He was at war with himself.
And the more he fought with himself the greater his speed increased, as though he were attempting to flee from his turmoil.
He was fast like the wind.
It was not very surprising given his parentage, especially his father, Namikaze Minato, widely know and accepted as the fastest man alive.
Even Uzumaki Naruto needed reprieve once in a while, (he relieved his concerns by running. There weren't many things that got him worked up or frustrated, but when he was, he ran. And he was so terribly fast.
It was as if he was born to run, always on the move, always doing something; never meant to stay still.
But such was unbecoming of the heir to the great and noble Uzumaki clan.
Hattori would not accept his antics, not even when he was a playful child filled with joy and curious wonder. From a young age, he was taught forcefully how to conduct himself as expected of an Uzumaki in the face of troubling news: calm and collected. Regal. That was his duty as the soon to be leader of the Uzumaki clan.
But how could he - how could anyone remain calm and collected after learning what he had learned only moments ago? The truth weighed heavy on his mind.
"This, my boy, is the true reason behind the Silent Massacre of Uzushiogakure."
His eyes widened, scanning the contents located in the wall of the room. He slowly approached the wall as he examined the contents of the containers. He had no idea what the fleshly samples were of or who the vials of blood belonged to, but the eyeballs suspended in preservatives were easy enough to recognise. He felt an eerie sensation run down his spine.
Sharingan and Byakugan eyes stared at him as though the ghosts of their former owners were gazing into his very soul.
"Beautiful, isn't it?" Hattori's voice cut through the silence like cold steel, startling the youth.
Naruto turned his eyes away from the wall with no small amount of shock still evident in his eyes. "I don't-" he tried, confused.
"I do not expect you to understand," Hattori silenced him before he could even form a single coherent sentence. "I shall explain everything to you, my heir. I shall explain to you that which only few in this world have ever known. You should be honoured."
"I am, Ojisama."
Hattori struggled to find his seat on the table thus Naruto stepped forward and grabbed the ancient man under the arms and sat him down, pretending not to notice the relic's indignant glare. "What are our words, boy?"
"Knowledge. Power. Truth." Naruto answered the question on mechanical, rehearsed reflex. He had said them many times before. His clan's motto was ingrained in his very being. "Through knowledge we will gain power, through power we will learn truth."
"Yes…And what is this truth we search?"
Hattori had never posed this question before.
And yet somehow he felt he knew the answer. He did not doubt how or why as his grandfather had taught him well.
"The truth is everything and nothing. It is both the answer and the question. The truth is all encompassing. It has neither a beginning nor an end. It simply is."
"Spoken like a true Uzumaki." Hattori nodded with approval; there was a hint of pride in his eyes and voice. "The wall you see behind me is my life's work. It is the sum of generations upon generations of research done by Uzumaki in order to uncover the truth of this world."
Naruto remained silent as Hattori continued, knowing that he was expected only to listen and not to speak.
"My father brought me down here when I was your age as his father had done with him and so on. This place is known as the Room of Truth. In this place, and others like it, the Uzumaki have dedicated hundreds of years to decode the Rikudō Sennin's influence upon the world." Hattori looked over his shoulders and gestured to the wall in a theatrical gesture.
Naruto counted at least a hundred containers of samples. He did not wish to know the details as to how his clan had come in possession of them. He was at unease and he knew, to his shame, that it showed though his ancestor made no comment, or even sneered as he usually would have and instead continued with his story.
"The Rikudō Sennin saved the world from a terrible threat at the cost of his life. This I have told you this many times. Before his death, he fathered two sons, the elder brother inherited his eyes and the younger his body – the same body the Uzumaki and Senju inherited. This, too, I have told you many times. What I have not told you, however, is that the Uzumaki clan dedicated generations of research on unlocking the Rikudō Sennin's powers, more specifically, his ability to create matter out of nothing. Ah yes, I speak of the power you now possess a fraction of through the fox."
Naruto's eyes widened as it dawned on him exactly why the Uzumaki were feared, what they were feared for. His ability, the power of Yin-Yang Release, was possible to him only because of Kurama. He shuddered to think of an army of Uzumaki wielding the power the Sage of the Six Paths possessed, the power he now possessed. Wars could be won with only a handful of people with such power, perhaps even by just one.
"Yes, yes! You can see it now! The world feared us for our minds, child! They feared us because they knew we had the potential to herald a second coming of the Rikudō Sennin. As the years went by we gathered more information and our libraries grew larger and amassed such vast knowledge we came closer to finding a way to develop the same powers the Rikudō Sennin possessed - the power of a god! But it was not easy, boy... With great difficulty, chance and luck, we managed to track down the lineage of both of the Rikudō Sennin's sons and for years – for centuries, we observed the mutations, documenting what we found. We attempted to replicate what we could, though with little success. For the longest of times, we failed to make progress. It was simply too difficult, too consuming of our time and resources and for all our efforts they yielded far too little results. It wasn't until the shinobi system changed that we had any luck. As wars continued to pull the world apart, a matter we had no interest in and purposefully hid ourselves from, Kings became Daimyō and they began to establish shinobi villages sworn to protect their lands."
"I see." Naruto immediately caught on with an understanding nod. "The descendants of the Rikudō Sennin flocked together in these villages."
"Indeed!" Hattori affirmed with another look of approval. "It became much easier, now, to infiltrate, to observe and to document! It all became so easy!" Hattori cackled like a mad man for but a moment before his laughter died and hatred struck his eyes. "It became too easy. We became complacent… arrogant and foolish!" Hattori spat the word as though they were venom. "We were found out and the world took to arms in an outrage that would echo through the ages. Do you understand what I am saying, Uzumaki Naruto? The First Great Shinobi War was caused by the Uzumaki clan!"
Unclear on how he was supposed to process or even begin to accept this shocking and disturbing news, Naruto mulled over the information. He was raised to believe the Uzumaki were a people of knowledge, yes, but to think the knowledge they pursued was one known only to a man likened to a god, and the methods they used to pursue this knowledge...
"I never once taught you to believe the Uzumaki were saints," Hattori said quietly. "In truth, Uzushiogakure was hidden not only for our safety but also because of our need to preserve secrecy. We hid ourselves from the world as we garnered more knowledge, developed more weapons and jutsu... In the end, we were so involved in our own affairs that we were not ready for the onslaught brought down upon us by the rest of the world. They came for us. They eradicated us. And then they destroyed all the evidence." The relic clenched his veiny fists in unbridled hatred. "Our name has no meaning anymore, child. Once it would have made entire armies crumble in fear. "And now…? No one will know whom you speak of! Our enemies and even our former allies destroyed all evidence that we ever existed. It was one of the terms in the treaty that ended the war we caused. The Uzumaki have been forgotten." (1)
Suffice to say, Naruto would never be the same after learning the true cause for the Silent Massacre of Uzushiogakure. He once believed his people were a proud people that sought knowledge and wisdom first and foremost. And now… he didn't know what to think. All he knew was that the Uzumaki, for all their greatness were not necessarily great people.
Still, he decided after a long moment of silent deliberation.
Perhaps the Uzumaki were no saints, if Hattori was any indicator that was not surprising, and perhaps their ambitions were obscure and their methods deceitful, but that was in the past.
He had to look towards the future. One day soon he would be the head of the revived Uzumaki clan in the revived Uzushiogakure. That was his purpose. That is what he believed to be the only thing that truly mattered now.
"Our enemies made the same mistake we did," Naruto said in a whisper to the relic. "Uzushio's enemies were as foolish as we were. They did not exterminate the entirety of Uzu no Kuni. You said it yourself, Ojiisama, there are other Uzumaki out there, scattered across the world."
"And it shall be your task to bring them back and enlist their help in the revival of Uzushiogakure." Hattori stroked his beard as he eyed Naruto. "The few that stayed with me left many years ago. Your mother was one of the last to leave. The time has come for you to recall them. And together, you will restore our clan, our way of life and our purpose."
Naruto bowed his head deeply. "Yes, Ojiisama."
It was just then, when he raised his head, that he saw it.
Across the room, suspended in preservative liquid amongst dozens of others containers.
A Byakugan with a pattern unlike any other stared at him.
Naruto came to (a) stop as he jumped into a clearing, kicking up a sizeable mound of dirt as he came to a grinding halt. 'Kurama.' He clenched his fists as he tried to relax his breathing. 'I pretended to be at peace with the true nature of my clan for Ojiisama's sake, but how can I truly accept this?'
'That is a question I cannot answer for you, Naruto,' was the bijū's response. 'But perhaps… you do not need to.'
'How?' the jinchūriki asked. 'I am starting to believe Ojiisama will not pass anytime soon. His condition hasn't gotten worse at all over the years.'
'That is strange, indeed,' Kurama agreed with a thoughtful tone. 'Be mindful of the relic, Naruto. He does not have your best interest in mind, only that of his own ambitions.'
'I sense the malice in him, but how can you be certain it is directed at me?'
The fox replied to his question with another. 'Tell me, Naruto, do you think he would hesitate to take your body for his own if he still had such power in him?'
'I…' He paused for a moment as he gave the question some serious thought. 'No, I do not think he would hesitate if he could.'
The fox let out a low growl. 'You who have the power of the Uzumaki Kusari and through I the power of the Sage… Indeed, he would sacrifice you within a heartbeat… just like he did with that woman.'
Naruto stiffened. 'Her name is Taji, Kurama.' He hid his resentment poorly. 'Please try to remember it.'
'The woman who raised you is gone, Naruto. You know this.'
'I… I know,' he forced himself to acknowledge. 'But I will save her, Kurama.'
'Perhaps, perhaps not.'
Naruto held his hands in front of him. 'With these hands and the power you gave me, I will do it.' Black flame-like chakra swirled around his left hand whilst white chakra came to life in his right. "Onmyōton!" (2)
'Careful, and be mindful of balance and purpose.'
Those were the two prerequisites of Yin-Yang Release: balance and purpose. Yin and Yang needed to coincide in harmonious conditions and the use of each had to have a purpose. Without either, untold calamities could occur within an instant.
'Good… Now picture what you want in your mind, carefully.'
Naruto pressed his palms together as he pictured his desired object down to the tiniest of details and then held out his right hand and said in a commanding tone. "Banbutsu Sōzōn: Bō!"
(Creation of All Things: Staff)
Black chakra gave shape to the staff and white chakra gave it substance.
Naruto's fingers grabbed curled on the frame of a tall and intricately designed bō staff complete with complex engravings and Uzumaki clan tassels. He twirled the staff in his hand, deftly manoeuvring it with his fingers as he went through several katas.
'You will have to improve on your Onmyōton if are to ever construct a body for me.'
'I know, Kurama,' Naruto replied, breathing heavy. Using his Yin-Yang Release left him winded as he settled down on the grass. 'If I possessed the Rinnegan it would be considerably easier.'
Naruto took a deep breath and wiped the sweat off his forehead.
"Takes it out of you, huh?" said a smug voice.
Naruto didn't bother turning. He sensed the resurrected Tenjin long before he arrived and tossed the staff over his shoulder. "This should do as a replacement for your old one."
Tenjin caught the bō and twirled it in a similar fashion. "It never ceases to amaze me how much you have progressed with your Yin-Yang Release."
Naruto rather disliked Tenjin. "It shouldn't." He stood up and patted the grass off his high-collar jacket. It was marine blue and had the Uzumaki emblem on the back on the tassels hanging from his shoulders and sleeves. "Do you need something?"
Tenjin glared at the heir's back. "The woman calls for you."
"Her name is Taji," Naruto asserted coldly.
"Eh?" Tenjin replied testily. "I couldn't care less what the infantile wench is called-!"
Massive chains of chakra shot out of Naruto's back and crashed into the resurrected Uzumaki, driving him through the landscape, ripping up earth and uprooting several trees before coming to a stop against an exceptionally thick one, around which the chains wrapped Tenjin tightly with enough force to break his spine.
Naruto held an outstretched arm, clenching fist as he tightened his chains. "You should know your place, cousin."
Though Tenjin felt no pain, he felt humiliation. "What do you think you're doing, huh?" Tenjin's own chains exploded outwards as his body healed automatically. "Are you looking for a fight, boy?"
Naruto's chains circled around him in a hypnotic, serpentine fashion. It was a simple illusion useful against multiple opponents.
Tenjin's eyes drooped for a second before his chains unleashed a douse of chakra. "You really think my own genjutsu would work on me?" he demanded loudly. "Such arrogance!"
For his part, Naruto merely smiled. Only with Tenjin did he let this side of himself out. It was a pleasant way of venting his frustrations. "That is just a word made up by weaklings."
Angered, Tenjin swung the staff. "Fūton: Gyakufū Shintō!"
(Wind Release: Adverse Wind Impact)
A powerful blast of concentrated wind barrelled towards the blond.
Naruto didn't even need to move as a singular, massive chakra chain levelled in front of him and effortlessly shielded him against the attack.
"Tche!" Tenjin began to twirl the bō in a rapid moment as a blade of wind coated around the weapon. "Fūton: Hishō Kaze no Yaiba!"
(Wind Release: Soaring Wind Blade)
A blur of red appeared between them.
By means of his Shadowless Flight, Hiei intercepted the Soaring Wind Blade with a graceful arc with his o-katana and redirected it skywards with little difficulty. "That's enough, Tenjin." The tall Uzumaki's eyes narrowed on the Seals Master.
"I was done anyway!" Tenji sneered as he turned around and disappeared into the forestry. "Arrogant little brat!"
Naruto looked to Hiei expectantly. "Yes?"
"Your mother…" He didn't have to say more.
Naruto's eyes narrowed. "I see." He gave a nod to Hiei, who he easily liked more than Tenjin. "I'll take care of it."
Closing his eyes, Naruto pictured the location where Taji would be, in her room in the recently renovated Uzumaki clan head house (thanks to Gozu's efforts).
This was his kind of space-time ninjutsu.
While quite useful, the technique required not only his Onmyōton but also previously marking the desired location. It was far from perfection but it would soon be thanks to the data the Uzumaki had covertly collected on the Nidaime's space-time ninjutsu.
The key to the Onmyō Tensō was to disassemble his body through his Yin-Yang Release and reassemble at the location of his mark at the speed of light. As of yet, he could only use it on himself. Though he had some theories on how to expand its use.
As the clan heir disappeared, Hiei stared in fascination. Once the blond Uzumaki disappeared, so did the swordsman.
As he appeared in the room, Taji smiled weakly at her son. "Naruto-chan…"
"I'm here, mother," Naruto reassured as he approached her with a hand covered in green chakra. "Just rest. Don't say a word. Conserve your strength." He cursed Tenjin for distracting him.
Taji nodded weakly… and then her eyes went wide and she began to laugh. It was a childish laugh, as though she were a young girl. "Mou, Minato-kun! Thanks to you Kushina won't make time for me. She's always running after you."
Naruto's eyes widened and the chakra coating his hand faltered. 'She thinks I'm my father…'
'What continues to ail her?' Kurama asked in a rare show of interest.
'I don't know. These… episodes are becoming more frequent as of late.' It was frustrating, truly frustrating, and it made him feel helpless, but what could he do when she got like this? "Mother?" he asked in a concerned voice as Taji fell quiet.
She was asleep once more.
Naruto let out a sigh of relief. "Kage Bunshin no Jutsu." The heir was grateful the Uzumaki had gotten their hands on this technique, even if it served as a reminder of how deceitful they were even with their greatest allies - the Senju clan - who had invented it.
"Watch her." There was no need to instruct his clone verbally, but he did it anyway to be certain.
'You did not find anything the last time you visited the vault.'
'I'll keep looking until I find the answer,' he replied determinately. 'For as long as it takes.'
The clone sat on its knees next to Taji and charged green chakra to his hands to soothe her migraine.
He stared at the grimacing face of his surrogate mother as she breathed heavily.
Naruto sensed Hattori's malice long before the relic hobbled into the medical jutsu section of the vault.
"Again?" the relic asked.
"Yes, Ojiisama," he answered as his eyes continued to scan over the scrolls. "Perhaps this time I'll find something."
After giving the search a good few minutes, Naruto turned to the relic. There was a question on his mind he had to ask. "Ojiisama…"
"What is it?"
Naruto looked from the shelf to the dying Uzumaki. "Earlier, when we were in the Room of Truth, there was something that caught my eye."
Naruto nodded. "It had a different pattern. It was like…" he hesitated for a moment. "It reminds me of the Mangekyō Sharingan." He had only read descriptions of the Uchiha's evolved dōjutsu, but he had quite a good idea what they looked like, or at least what Uchiha Izuna's looked like.
"Not quite," Hattori shook his head as he hobbled towards the exit of the vault. "But you are thinking along the correct lines."
Naruto eyed the shelf of medical jutsu for a moment and then turned to follow Hattori into the labyrinth. "Was that Byakugan an evolved version?"
"You could say it is to the Byakugan what the Mangekyō Sharingan is to the Sharingan," Hattori answered vaguely as they continued to move further away from the vault. "The eye belonged to Hyūga Irihi. We believe he is the only one to have possessed this eye. We believe it was called the Amatsu Byakugan in some corners… Yes I believe that is what it was called."
The Heavenly White Eye.
It was rather fitting, Naruto thought, seeing as there was a certain angelic quality to the design.
"Hyūga Irihi…" The name was familiar; he recalled having read it when researching the Hyūga clan. Upon remembering where he knew the name from, his eyes widened. "Hyūga Irihi was the clan head of the Hyūga. He alone knew all of the Jūken's secrets."
"What else do you remember?" Hattori looked at him expectantly. After a moment his face contorted with impatience. "Speak, child!"
"Hyūga Irihi was said to be the strongest warrior the Hyūga have ever produced. He was killed by Uchiha Madara…" Naruto said in a low voice as his tried to remember his reading. "His death was the cause of the Hyūga-Uchiha feud."
"There were other reasons, but Hyūga Irihi's death certainly fuelled the fire. I'm sure you remember the strife and civil war that was narrowly avoided once Senju Hashirama stepped in?"
Naruto nodded. "Why did Madara kill Irihi?"
"Hmm," Hattori stroked his beard. "I have no particular theories on that matter. Perhaps Madara killed him for no other reason to test the limits of his power."
"He risked war for such a reason?" Naruto found it hard to believe at first, but then remember this was the same Madara who had sparked many international disputes and had caused the hatred between Iwa and Konoha, who had once been allies. 'He also killed the Shodai Tsuchikage… Madara lived only to prove his strength, didn't he?'
'He was a coward at heart,' Kurama growled angrily.
"Ojiisama, did Madara know about the Irihi's Byakugan?"
Hattori continued to stroke his beard and nodded. "I suppose he did," he hazarded a guess. "It is likely that was exactly why he challenged Hyūga Irihi. Madara had killed many great shinobi before and many after Irihi. I would not be surprised if he wanted to measure up his Mangekyō Sharingan to the Amatsu Byakugan."
"What happened to the other eye?" Naruto queried.
They were now back in the Room of Truth.
Hattori stared at the eye. "Madara destroyed it," he answered gruffly. "He killed Irihi and left his body to be burnt by the flames of his Amaterasu. He was foolish to do so."
"There were Uzumaki present?" The notion of it didn't sound so strange now that he knew the true nature of the Uzumaki clan. "They used Zetsu to observe, didn't they?" (3)
Zetsu was an application of Uzumaki Kusari to completely and utterly hide one's presence. The chains essentially suppressed chakra to the point not even seasoned sensory ninja could detect the user's presence. The Uzumaki most likely developed it purely for their espionage he now realised.
"They did." Hattori did not elaborate further. "Fetch it for me, boy. My Chains of Enlightenment have long since disappeared…" There was a tone in his voice his heir couldn't quite comprehend but he did as he was told.
Raising his arm, thin chains came into existence, leaping out of his sleeve to the handle of the container. As he was an Uzumaki, there was no resistance from the seals, and with little effort, he carefully pulled it out of its sockets.
Redirecting the chains, he gently put down the container on the cleanest of the tables.
Naruto joined his ancestor and examined the eye closely. It appeared to be like a normal Byakugan, retaining its regular white colour, only there was (a) pattern ingrained in the eye that stood out: a svastika-pattern.
(AN: an svastika is the Hindu mark that looks like a right-facing swastika. It is used for the Hyūga clan's Cursed Seal in the manga. Look on my author profile page for an image of the Amatsu Byakugan.)
"The eye pattern looks like the Hyūga clan's juinjutsu," Naruto noticed with surprise. "These four arms, what do you suppose they mean?"
"Hyūga Irihi was known for his unique Jūken. It was saidhe could destroy even diamonds with a single move. There is a possibility that his Jūken was so powerful due to his Amatsu Byakugan."
Then Naruto remembered something else. "Ojiisama… I remember reading Hyūga Irihi's Byakugan was so powerful it could look into the future. You don't suppose it's possible-"
"It is possible," Hattori agreed before he could finish his thought. "If there are such things as the Edo Tensei and fūinjutsu that summon the Shinigami himself… clairvoyance is not out of the scope of possibility."
The current clan head of the Uzumaki levelled his finger to the eye. "There is a possibility these four arms signify the number of abilities that become possible with the Amatsu Byakugan…"
Naruto emulated his ancestor and stared at the Amatsu Byakugan. "Have you ever tried to implant it in an Uzumaki, Ojiisama?"
Hattori briskly shook his head. "No, we deemed that far too risky. There was nothing to suggest even an Uzumaki could survive the implantation procedure. Uchiha and Hyūga alike have had their eyes stolen by others before, but to our knowledge there was never a case where a Mangekyō Sharingan had been stolen and successfully implanted, unsurprisingly given the power it bestowed upon the user. On that basis alone we decided to keep the eye here for safekeeping."
Naruto's eyes narrowed as he turned to his ancestor. "I have an idea, Ojiisama, but you may not like it. However, if you agree to it, then I believe your plans for me will be sped up significantly."
"I am listening, child."
(Konohagakure no Sato)
Sarutobi Hiruzen looked up from the report in one hand whilst he rubbed his chin with the other. "I see." He eyed the chūnin staffer in front of him for a moment and then nodded. "Thank you for the good work."
As the chūnin turned around and reached for the door, none other than Jiraiya stepped out of his shadow with a smirk, which soon faltered as Hiruzen's apathetic expression informed him he had been unsuccessfully hid his presence.
The Sandaime folded his hands and rested his chin on them. "How did it go?"
"What, you're not going to offer me a drink first?" the Sannin said only half-jokingly with an eye on the expensive liquor bottle on the stand by the Shodai's portrait. Judging from his sensei's expression that was not the case. "It went well," he answered as he sauntered over to the liquor cabinet and helped himself anyway. "Taji wasn't too sure but we reached an understanding. They will arrive here shortly before this year's batch of genin graduate."
"Did you notice anything unusual?" Hiruzen questioned as he brows furrowed. "Anything at all?"
"Well," Jiraiya said turning to the Hokage, "Taji was a little out of it. When I spoke to her, something felt off. She seemed to have some difficulty talking to me."
"Thirteen years in isolation from the rest of the world may have been tougher for her to deal with than we anticipated."
The Gama Sennin nodded and proceeded to take a sip of his beverage. "Damn, that's smooth," he appreciated as he helped himself so more. "When I was there, I tested the kid myself."
"And?" Hiruzen maintained his apathetic expression as he waited for an answer.
"He is well above anything you could expect from a genin. He's no Tsunade, but he packs a hell of a punch and he's fast, very fast. For a moment there I thought I was fighting Minato… He'll pass the exam in his sleep."
The Sandaime noticed Jiraiya's slight confusion. "What is it?"
"When I was there, I taught him how to summon toads."
Hiruzen's look turned apprehensive.
"I figured it would make up for me being such a lousy godfather. I thought it would be something we could bond over."
"Please do cut to the chase, Jiraiya. I don't have all day."
The Sage shot his sensei a dark look but pressed on nonetheless. "It took me months to figure out how to summon, it took Minato only a few days. It took Naruto three hours." The Sage wasn't so sure whether he should've told his sensei that he had spent a lot of time talking and helping Naruto step by step and that he had the suspicion the young Uzumaki had simply humoured him.
"That is quite unusual," Hiruzen agreed, now deep in thought. "Do you suppose he's summoned before?"
Jiraiya could only shrug. "Maybe. But what I want to know is how the kid got so powerful. Taji was no slouch in her day but she couldn't have done it by herself. There's only one explanation I can come up with and it worries me, old man."
"Uzumaki Hattori." The Sandaime frowned, nodding as the information settled in. "This is a problem."
"How the hell is he still alive?"
"That's what I want to know," Hiruzen mused in a grave voice as he stroked his beard and reached for his pipe. "He should have died by now…"
"I'll see what I can dig up as to why he isn't, but I doubt I'll find anything," Jiraiya offered after downing the rest of his drink. "When Naruto comes back, you'll want to place him under guard, sensei. He's closer to the old fart than I'm comfortable with. It doesn't feel right."
"I'll take your suggestion into consideration, Jiraiya." After a moment of silence broken only by the pipe being lit, the Sandaime nodded to his former disciple. "Thank you for the good work."
"Don't mention it," Jiraiya replied as he phased into the ground and hid in the shadow of Hiruzen's desk, masking his exit.
At that moment the door opened and Shimura Danzō walked in. "Hiruzen."
"Danzō," the God of Shinobi greeted with an even tone. "Care for a pot of tea and a game of shōgi?"
(Uzushiogakure no Sato)
"I see," Hattori nodded as eyed his heir with a scrutinising look. "Very well. This gamble of yours could make or break our plans for the Hyūga, but as the future head of this most ancient and noble clan, I will permit you to do as you see fit. Irihi's eye will be your responsibility."
Naruto bowed his head respectfully and nodded. "Thank you, Ojiisama."
"Do not fail me."
"I will try my hardest not to."
Hattori gestured to the container. The heir retrieved a white and blue scroll with the Uzumaki emblem and sealed the container. He then held up a single-handed hand seal and called forth his chains. The spectral chains coiled around the scroll tightly and turned invisible. Only he could undo the seal on the scroll now.
"You embark in three days."
Naruto stiffened. "So soon? Jiraiya-kyōfu said my age-mates do no graduate for another two months."
"You will need time to rally support to our cause," the relic explained as he poked the youngster in the chest. "We shall work this summons to our advantage. You will leave in three days."
"What of my mother?"
"Tenjin will look after her health, she will be fit to travel when the time comes." Hattori reached for his wrist this time and held it tightly. "She is not your mother. Do you understand?"
"I…Yes, Ojiisama," Naruto agreed after only a moment of hesitation.
'If it were not for that woman he would be dead right now,' Kurama glowered. Though he wasn't particularly fond of Taji personally, she meant a great deal to his host, and so he empathised. 'Once you find a way to cure her, you must sever your ties to this relic. He is poison.'
'It's not that easy, Kurama.' Naruto kept his eyes on Hattori as he replied. "Then I will go around the islands one last time and secure the seals. I already marked your house so I can return to your side when you need me."
"Good," Hattori said simply.
(That Night: Fourth Uzu Island)
The sun had long since gone down by the time Naruto arrived at the fourth surrounding island. In total, there were four smaller islands surrounding the main island. The two largest were used for housing and training facilities. The other two were used for stockpiling resources and agricultural usage. The seals had deteriorated around the time he turned seven years old. Ever since, it was part of his chores to periodically go around and charge the seals that kept them hidden. It was actually tiring, even with his massive reserves.
He stood in the centre plaza of the fourth island and initiated the procedure of infusing his chakra in the seals network. Looking around, he remembered his history lessons.
The Uzumaki Clan founded and created Uzushiogakure many generations ago. However, before that, the islands were known simply as the Whirlpool Lands. The Uzumaki ruled the Whirlpool Lands unchallenged. They were for essentially the royal house of Uzu no Kuni. As the world changed, the need for shinobi to protect their interests sparked the birth of Uzushiogakure on the main island. And while the Uzumaki were powerful, they still needed help in securing the safety of their nation and its secrets, and thus the Alliance of Three came about.
This alliance consisted out of three clans: the scholars of the Uzumaki clan, those one with nature of the Yuragu clan and those that ruled the oceans of the Hōzuki clan. (4)
Under the laws of this alliance the Uzumaki resigned their claim to royalty and became equals to their partners. They were given jurisdiction over the main island upon which Uzushiogakure was built. The second largest island was given to the Hōzuki to rule over and the third largest, the island most bountiful in forestry and wildlife, was given to the Yuragu clan to reside in.
And though there were other clans within the whirlpool lands, these three were the greatest. The wisdom of the Uzumaki was unrivalled, the Yuragu's strength on land unchallenged and the power of the Hōzuki in the water unmatched.
For generations Uzushiogakure prospered, developing new technology and jutsu, finding riches in their trade and fame in their literature. They were hidden from the world, and even if their precise location could be found, one would have to be a fool to challenge the Hōzuki to get to the island and the Yaguru in the forests to reach the residential areas.
Unfortunately the harmony within the Alliance of Three would not last forever. Though no longer royals, the Uzumaki were still revered as such and they were influential, far more so than the Hōzuki who resented them because of it. This resentment led to hatred and before long a short lived civil war erupted. The Yaguru sided with the Uzumaki whilst the Hōzuki rallied some of the minor clans, amongst which the budding Kaguya clan, the traitorous cousins of the Uzumaki.
By the end of the war, the Alliance of Three was broken. The Hōzuki escaped with their allies and settled in the land of water where they would one day establish the Hidden Mist village. Soon after they betrayed the Kaguya clan and had them annihilated. Those who surrendered were allowed to live in captivity, let out only when the Mizukage had enemies to kill. They lived pitiful lives, but they had betrayed their cousins, and thus there was neither pity nor salvation for them. Not even when the purges began and those with kekkei genkai were rounded up and eliminated.
Even to this day Hattori hated the Hōzuki with a passion.
"Should you ever come across members of that traitorous clan, it will be your duty to take their wretched lives!" the relic had snarled.
The Yaguru clan split up after the civil war. While the majority stayed part of the meld, small numbers defected in the dead of the night, never to be seen again.
The Uzumaki clan were left to pick up the pieces. And though they recovered, without the Hōzuki protecting their surrounding waters and shores, they were never truly as safe no matter how much they improved their defensive seals.
It was possible that if the Alliance of Three had never failed, the Silent Massacre of Uzushiogakure may not have occurred. Or so Hattori had suggested.
But perhaps that was simply wishful thinking Naruto had always thought. Their enemies were numerous. The combined forces of Iwa and Kumo alone would have been too much to withhold. And they were not alone. There had been others, minor villages such as Kusa, who were once on friendly terms with Uzushio before their fall from grace, and the Hidden Waterfall, who had aimed to hurt Konoha through removing their allies of the Whirlpool Lands. Though never quite substantiated, there was a chance several Hōzuki clan cells had been involved in the attack as well.
"So many enemies…" Naruto mused under his breath.
He felt a familiar chakra signature approach and turned to face the lumbering form of Uzumaki Gozu. The taijutsu master was carrying massive stone pillars on his shoulders.
He quite liked Gozu. The man had been rather helpful in rebuilding parts of the islands. Uzushiogakure was fully cleared from debris and even restored significantly months after he was resurrected. Ever since he had been going around the islands, making repairs here and there and clearing areas for remodelling.
The heir nodded to the giant. "Gozu," he greeted in kind. "Helpful as always, aren't you?"
Gozu stamped over to the centre of the plaza and laid down the pillars. "Your training with me is over, there isn't much else I can do to be useful."
"Is death so boring you would rather labour for eternity than return to it?" It wasn't a mocking question. Naruto was rather interested in finding out more about his ancestor, who had been almost as quiet as Hiei about his life.
Gozu gestured to his muscular frame. "I've never been one to fit in with the clan, Naruto-sama. Aside from my red hair, I've never been like the others, never much of a thinker. I enjoyed the heat of battle more than anything, to crush skulls with my hands and to rip people apart."
Naruto eyed the brutish Uzumaki silently, curiously.
"I had my uses, sure, but I was never that useful. The only thing I ever did right was killing. And the clan never saw me as good for nothing else."
"And you want to prove them wrong by rebuilding Uzushio by hand?"
Gozu rubbed the back of his head and smiled sheepishly. It was rather grotesque. "I guess it's foolish, but I feel like I should to do something to contribute. I don't want to go down in history as an animal on a leash."
"And you never will…" Naruto then decided to change the subject. "I leave in three days."
"So I heard."
The heir smiled wryly. "Will you miss me?"
Gozu chuckled and went about his business without answering the question.
Naruto eyed his muscular back for a moment and then dissolved into black and white, disappearing by the means of his Ying-Yang Transmission.
(Three Days Later)
They were packed and ready to go. Taji had bounced back from her episode and appeared to be her usual self once more, happy to finally leave the island and looking forward to reuniting with her friends in Konoha.
'Whatever Tenjin did to her, it seems to have worked,' Naruto thought as she hummed to herself while they headed to the shores were Hattori would await them by their boat to see him off.
If he had to be honest, he was anxious. Uzushiogakure was his home; it was all he knew, all he had ever known since he was an infant. To this day he had never interacted with others his own age. No, he did not have the privilege of normalcy. That was something Hattori had begrudged him.
Taji eyed him with a curious, knowing smile. "It'll be alright, Naruto-kun. You're going to love Konoha. Oh, it's been so long, I can't wait!"
He smiled thinly for her sake. At the same time, he carefully hid his clenched fist. How long would his surrogate – no, his mother last like this? She looked healthy and energetic now but how long before her next fit? And what would he do then?
'The mind is a fragile thing,' Kurama said in response to his worries. 'The woman… Taji,' he said the name knowing his host would comment otherwise. 'These episodes of her give the impression her mind is shifting to various times in her life. I believe it's a coping mechanism against the relic's manipulations.'
'That explains why she mistook me for my father the other day,' the heir nodded to himself. 'Then, do you suppose whatever it is Tenjin is doing is… resetting her mind?'
'I do not possess any significant knowledge on the mind but I suppose that is likely what is happening.'
Picking up on his silence, Taji nudging him. "Are you talking to your friend?" she asked him in an attempt at conversation.
She had been surprisingly accepting of Kurama once she came to learn of her son's involvement with the bijū. Most likely it was because she was happy he made a friend, regardless of who or what it was.
"Yes," Naruto answered. "I was just asking for advice."
"Well, whatever it is, it can't beat a mother's intuition, so spill it," she ordered as she hugged him while they walked.
He had noticed she was more affectionate as of late, as though he was still a toddler. "I haven't met anyone my age."
"So you decided to ask the entity that has killed untold numbers of people before your own mother?"
Naruto maintained a straight face but felt a little defensive of his partner. "It's not his fault people keep trying to control him," he said quietly when Taji released him.
She hadn't heard as they approached the shores.
Gozu was just finishing preparations for the boat whilst Hattori conversed with the other reanimated Uzumaki clansmen.
"Tche, I guess we're going back to sleep then," Tenjin scowled as they approached them.
"At least we had more time than Hiro," Gozu offered diplomatically.
Tenjin snarled at the brutish looking Uzumaki. "Quiet you misfit!"
Hiei merely sighed at Tenjin and told the Gozu to ignore him. "It is time we return to the plain of the dead. Our only request is that you call upon us once more when you need us."
"We shall call upon you once more when the time comes," Hattori assured as he turned to them. "Your cooperation and contributions will not be forgotten."
The relic turned to his heir and nodded.
Naruto waited for Gozu to finish up loading the boat and join the others before going through a long string of hand seals. "Edo Tensei!"
Four coffins materialised and three fell open while the fourth remained shut.
"I'd like a minute with him," Naruto asked the relic. "There is something I must do."
Hattori curled his nose in disgust. "One minute," he growled.
The fourth coffin fell open and out stepped Uzumaki Hiro, eyes opening slowly and blinking many times.
"This is… unexpected."
The others said nothing, deciding to stare intently at the heir instead. "I wish to thank you for training me. Without you, I doubt I would be as formidable as I am today."
Hiro said nothing for a long moment, staring at him long and hard. "You have the greatest potential I have ever seen. All I did was point you in the right direction."
"You will not be forgotten." Their eyes locked meaningfully. "The story of Uzumaki Hiro will be told truthfully and in its entirety."
Hattori grumbled and stroke his beard. "That is right, traitor. You will go done in history as a betrayer."
Hiro smiled thinly. "Do as you please."
"Goodbye and thank you." Naruto then went through another string of hand seals and held the boar hand seal. "Edo Tensei: Kai!"
They said nothing as they disappeared. There was no need for words; only actions could truly repay them for their contribution. And he would see to it that he did.
"Now summon the guardians," Hattori instructed as the decomposed corpses used for the Edo Tensei dropped into the coffins and vanished along with them.
'Bah! Why must you summon those damnable creatures?' Kurama snarled with disgust. 'Even I am affected by their unnatural presence when you summon those abominations.'
'It is just a precaution,' Naruto answered mildly as he moved a small distance away from the shore. "This may be a tight fit," he mused as he finished on the final seal, the tiger hand seal.
He then slammed his hand on the ground and pushed a tremendous amount of chakra into his summoning jutsu.
"Kuchiyose no Jutsu: Kaigen Shugonin no Rokushi!"
(Summoning Jutsu: Enlightened Six Guardians)
With great, building-sized bursts of smoke the guardians appeared. The first to appear was the largest in size and the leader of the great lion-dog hybrids of legends, the shisha. Its legs and paws were a shade of pearly white and its fure was the colour of crimson fire; it had a white cloud for a mane and tail that flowed like fire and its eyes were amber and slit. "You called and we have come, Uzumaki Naruto-sama." The lion-dog's voice was deep and wise. "It pleases me to see you."
"And me as well, Bodai," Naruto returned. He then regarded the others behind the lion-dog. "How have you all been?"
Bodai spoke for his pack; such was his right as the alpha male. "We are in good health and eager to serve, Naruto-sama."
The other shisha bowed their gigantic heads in respect of the heir.
Naruto remembered Hattori's words and allowed them the show of formality. They were shisha, the guardian lions of the Uzumaki clan.
Long ago, the Uzumaki, for a time, dabbled in the obscene and obscure art of alchemy and fūinjutsu transmutation to enhance their fūinjutsu-styled ways of combat. Initially they had aimed to find ways to create chimeras, humans with the DNA of certain animals that could potentially allow them to actually turn into them. There was a lot of merit to their research, and not simply out of military interest. Of course, Naruto now realisedhow it would have aided their espionage. From that attempt, they tried to create new species through genetic manipulation, using mythical animals for their design. They based most of their work on lizard DNA, certain types of fish, mammals and bird.
Then one day, long before the Alliance of Three was formed, the island was suddenly overrun with the shisha, the noble lions of enlightenment that expressed their disgust at the actions of the Uzumaki clan. The shisha were a noble species left by the Rikudō Sennin to be the guardians of nature. The aggressions against the sanctity of natural life committed by the Uzumaki had been grave enough to warrant the entire shisha clan to appear before them.
Of course, the Uzumaki clan head tried to reason with them, not wanting to go to war a mythical race that easily bypassed their seals.
In the end a deal was struck that left both sides standing.
The Uzumaki ceased their meddling with life, and in return, the shisha swore fealty in the form of a summoning contract. The six strongest were to be forever bound to the island, never to refuse protecting it when the time came, regardless of how their relationship with the Uzumaki could change.
Bodai was the alpha of the pride. He and his mate and their four children were chosen to be bound to the island permanently. The rest of their kin remained in their land under the lead of the new alpha, Bodai's brother. Their relationship with the Uzumaki had changed very little, but they still answered to their calls. Though, that was before The Silent Massacre of Uzushiogakure, during which many of the enlightened lions fell whilst protecting Uzushio and the surrounding islands. Naruto would have words with Bodai's brother soon to rekindle the bond of the Uzumaki and enlightened lions.
"Bodai, today I embark on my journey to Konoha. There may be a time where I need to call upon your kind."
"You have no yet affirmed the pact with my brother Guzei," Bodai said in thought. "Until you do, you can temporarily relinquish one of us from our station to come to your aid. I suggest you choose my eldest, Midō, as your familiar."
Naruto eyed Midō carefully. He was second to his father in combat ability and fourth in wisdom. He shook his head as he came to a decision. "I will call upon you, Bodai, to assist me when it is necessary."
"My lord, I urge you to reconsider."
Naruto didn't have to. "I shall call upon you, Bodai. Such is my right, is it not?"
The great lion bowed its head and his kin followed. "That it is, Uzumaki-sama."
Naruto could feel Hattori's proud eyes on him. "Then it is decided. For now, the six of you will remain on this island. If your sons wish to mate, their partners may live with them, provided they contribute in your duties."
"We thank you for your generosity."
Hattori hobbled alongside Naruto as they neared the boat. "Lay your mark here, boy. I shall await your return. Take care you are alone when you use your Onmyō Tensō."
"I will, Ojiisama."
They set sail not long after that. The boat Gozu had built them was modest but sturdy, modelled after the ships made by Uzumaki shipwrights in cooperation with the Hozuki clan.
Clones manned the deck whilst Naruto and Taji were in the kitchen, quietly enjoying their meal and deep in thought of what was to come when they embarked on the coast in Nami no Kuni. From there they would cross the border into Hi no Kuni and make their journey to Konohagakure no Sato.
Naruto maintained a calm outward appearance but on the inside he wasn't sure what to think. He was nervous and uncertain. Never before had he left Uzu no Kuni. Never before had he stepped foot on soil that did not belong to his ancestors.
"You'll be fine," Taji assured him in a motherly fashion, resting a hand on his arm.
Naruto merely nodded. Taji was ignorant of Hattori's plans for him once they arrived in Konoha. How would he do? He had never interacted with people outside of Hattori, Taji and Jiraiya on occasion. He had read up on the subject of human interaction in books he found in the vault dedicated to psychology. But would it be enough? He doubted it.
Thirteen years of isolation would undoubtedly leave its mark in everything he did.
He could only hope he would succeed.
That's right, this is a Yin-Yang Release!Naruto story. I have yet to read a single story that features Naruto with this ability, though there probably are quite a few out there. Granted, Naruto has yet to master this kekkai genkai though as it is very difficult and taxing even on his immense reserves – tis the power of a god after all. Essentially he has/will have the ability of materialization, an space-time jutsu similar to Goku's Instant Transmission and other abilities that are unique to him, the Sage and the Bijū.
Now, you might be wondering why I created this Hyūga Irihi fellow who had the Mangekyō version of the Byakugan. Without spoiling what's to come, I can only offer you my assurance that this is not done gratuitously. All will be explained in due time.
(1) Consider that my attempt at explaining why no one ever mentioned the Uzumaki in canon. All records of them were destroyed and hidden from the public eye. I intend to address this to greater detail in the story. But all in due time.
(2) Onmyōton and In'yūton can be used interchangeably for Yin-Yang Release. I'll stick to Onmyōton though since it just reads better and resembles the word omnipotent which is basically what Naruto's kekkei genkai entails.
(3) Zetsu is a reference to a Nen technique from Hunter x Hunter, I hope my HxH nerds liked that.
(4) Yep, the Hozuki clan and Uzumaki clan were allies. The Yaguru clan is supposed to be a certain someone's clan. I came up with the name myself; it means "unstable" – that's actually a hint at the character I'm referring to. See if you can guess who it is.