The Last Twenty Four Hour…
"Did you really have to push yourself this hard once again?" Shizune asked as her glowing green palms healed what remained of the shoulder injury… Naruto's healing ability always had her astounded.
"I didn't have to, but I wanted to," commented Naruto and seeing the questioning look of Shizune on him he added, "It was my battle, something that I alone needed to resolve. It wouldn't have felt right if I were to ask for help."
Shizune for her part just shook her head and muttered something which vaguely sounded like 'Hokage's pride', but he could not catch on to her mutterings as she continued the administration of Shōsen Jutsu (Mystical Palm Technique) to heal what remained of his wounds.
"Well, your injuries are all healed, but it is not the injuries that is worrying, it is your chakra level," said Shizune as she gave him her patented medic glare… that thing had to be given a name.
"C-Come on Shizune-nee-chan, you know I heal fast both physically and chakra-wise… my chakra levels will be back to full state with some ramen tugged in my stomach…"
His words were cut-short as the force and ferocity of Shizune's medic glare intensified and she spoke, "I better not hear or see you do anything chakra daunting tasks for the next twenty four hours, because if I do I will strap you to the hospital bed with not only straps, but restraining seals too. Am I clear?"
"Bu-But…" he tried to make her see the situation…
"No buts Naruto-kun," she spoke… her eyes, facial expressions and tone softened as she added, "you were still recovering from your fight with Pein where your body and chakra was pushed beyond its limit and then suddenly you are forced in a fight with Danzō where your chakra was once again tested to its limits… and after what happened to Tsunade-sama… You above all need rest, Naruto kun."
"Fine, I will not do anything chakra daunting, that I promise. But you of all people should know the situation Konoha is in, and that means no rest for me," said Naruto… even he could understand where she was coming from.
"I know," Shizune muttered.
"How's Tsunade-baa-chan?" he asked… he had yet to get time to visit her.
"Tsunade-sama's condition has stabilized… but it still is unsure when she would wake up from the coma," Shizune answered, her voice holding a tone of both relief and sadness.
Neither spoke a word from then as Shizune continued healing any possible injuries that remained on the blonde's body.
"Yo!" Kakashi waved at his student and now the Hokage as he along with few others were finally allowed entrance into the tent n which Naruto was hospitalized.
"Hey there Kakashi-sensei, Shikaku-san, Inu-san… and you brought along Yamato-taichō and Sai too. Hey guys," Naruto replied while waving at the five people to enter the tent.
"How are things out there?" he questioned the ANBU Commander and Shikaku.
"Things have stabilized. The civilians and shinobis are back to working on the construction of Konoha. The Root members were quickly apprehended before they could do any damage and now are in the holding cells under the ANBU command," answered the ANBU Commander.
"But the death of Danzō is going to bring out a lot of skeletons hidden in the closet of Konoha, and the other two elders aren't going to make it easy for you," added Shikaku, his voice grave.
"We will get to them when time comes," Naruto commented, "but I have more grave matters to discuss with you guys. Something that I learned when I almost lost myself and was about to unleash the Kyūbi…"
This had all their attention…
"It is a good thing that your seal held up, especially after the seal I and Kakashi-senpai had place failed, for we don't want to know what would have happened if you the Kyūbi had be unleashed… You went up to eight tails," commented Yamato.
No one wanted to know…
"No, my seal did not hold up… on the contrary I was about to completely unseal the seal…" Naruto answered.
"What?" a shocked looking Yamato asked… he wasn't the only one that was shocked.
"What happened then?" asked Shikaku.
"I met the Yondaime."
This had the five not only shocked, but surprised as well as forcing thousands of questions floating through their mind…
Discarding their reactions Naruto continued, "He's the one who stopped me from unsealing the Kyūbi no Yōko."
A flabbergasted Yamato when finally able to speak asked, "Wh-What do you mean? The Yondaime is…"
Kakashi decided to take it up from there as he interrupted Yamato and spoke, "not much is known about the Shiki Fūjin (Dead Demon Consuming Seal) jutsu. The Yondaime must have put some of his chakra inside Naruto at end."
That was plausible theory…
"He did," answered Naruto, "the Yondaime than not only re-did the seal, but also told me that the guy with the mask from Akatsuki was behind the fox attack sixteen years ago. And he was so strong that even the Yondaime barely stood against him! The Yondaime said that the guy was behind everything. He was the one possibly using Pein."
"It's as Jiraiya feared," commented Kakashi as his mind reeled back to the man they had encountered during their search for Sasuke, "that was who was behind the attack sixteen years ago… he had the Sharingan. Madara is the only Uchiha missing-nin who hated Konoha that much and had the power to control the Kyūbi."
"When it comes to Madara I could believe just about anything… even that he was still alive," commented the ANBU Commander, his voice sounding grave.
"Madara…" Naruto said remembering the words of Kyūbi when Sasuke was able to enter his consciousness at Orochimaru's layer…
"With that vision of yours and chakra more ominous than my own… You're the spitting image of Madara Uchiha from the elder days…"
And he continued, "Uchiha Madara, the former leader of Uchiha clan during the era of the Shodai Hokage and was said to have been defeated by the Shodai."
"That very one," answered Shikaku, "but the idea of it being Uchiha Madara itself complicates things. The elders need to be notified."
No one could argue that the existence of Madara amongst the living and the mastermind behind Akatsuki truly complicated things.
"Speaking of the Sharingan…" Naruto worded his words, the people in the room he knew could be completely trusted and so he focused on channeling chakra to his left eye, and within a second of his channeling his chakra to his left eye the Sharingan flared to life.
"So I wasn't imagining things," said Kakashi.
"Now that we know that we weren't imagining things, the question begets as to 'How' and 'Whose' in accordance to the Sharingan," added Shikaku.
All seemed interested…
"The 'How' apparently happens to do with Uchiha Itachi in our recent search of Sasuke," Answered Naruto once again shocking all.
"Why?" Kakashi asked.
"It was as if Itachi was certain that Sasuke wouldn't so easily return to Konoha and the Sharingan was a gift from him to me as a means to help me against Sasuke. And as to the 'Whose', the eye belongs to Uchiha Shisui," answered Naruto.
"Shunshin no Shisui (Shisui of the Body Flicker)," muttered the ANBU Commander…
"The Sharingan eye of Danzō-sama was also that of Uchiha Shisui," commented Sai out of the blue.
This caught the attention of everyone…
"I figured it to be so too," Naruto commented.
"Then wouldn't it mean…" Kakashi spoke… he had seen the Sharingan of Danzō evolve to the Mangekyō Sharingan.
As if understanding Kakashi's unasked question, Naruto channeled more chakra to his left eye and within the next seconds the Sharingan eye morphed into the Mangekyō Sharingan with a four-sided black-pinwheel design.
"Troublesome! This has gotten more complex," Shikaku muttered and with an authority of the Jōnin Commander of Konohagakure he commanded, "This does not leave this room."
"Well, at least this gives me a chance to teach you more," commented Kakashi… it would be good for Naruto to get used to the use of the Sharingan, especially if the opponent was Uchiha Madara.
That a brought a smile on Naruto's face, it had been a long since he trained under the man, "I'd love that," he said.
"Naruto," Kakashi called out garnering his attention once more and when he received the attention asked, "What did the Yondaime tell you?"
"Huh?" A confused Naruto looked at him.
The memory of his talk with his father resurfaced the mind of Kakashi as he said, "Fathers usually have things to say to their sons."
"!" A slightly confused Naruto wondered what Kakashi meant, but when it caught onto it a bright smile made way to his face…
"He said he has faith in me," he answered with the brightest of smiles.
"Great!" Kakashi said giving him thumbs up, and the others too smiled at it.
"Man that fight was intense and I thought we would barely get to see Naruto that intense after his fight with Pein," Kiba whistled.
"I wasn't aware that you had a front view seat at the time Naruto-sama fought against Pein," Shino said, his eyes lingering on his teammate.
"Quite the kill-buzz you are Shino, and you clearly understood what I mean by that," said Kiba. "And what's with calling Naruto 'Naruto-sama'?"
It was Neji who replied instead of Shino, "Naruto-sama may have graduated the academy alongside you guys, and is also a friend of ours, but he is now the Hokage and thus deserves respect."
"Rightly worded," added the ever-stoic Aburame causing Kiba to flinch at being mouthed off.
"But seriously, he went and did it, didn't he? The Number One Hyperactive, Knucklehead Ninja, the one who shouted to all that he would one day be the Hokage; he has accomplished his dreams," said Shikamaru with a light chuckle leaving his lips… Naruto just had the way to do the impossible possible.
"He has earned it though," said Ino in a challenging tone as her eyes lingered on Shikamaru.
"I never said he didn't earn it," Shikamaru quickly added and then muttered under his breath, "troublesome blondes."
"Naruto-sama's Youth of Flames truly burn bright!" exclaimed Lee.
"But is Na-Naruto-kun okay? Just a day ago he went against Pein and now against Danzō," asked Hinata.
"He didn't have many injuries, though his chakra reserves though were very low and currently Shizune-senpai is looking after him," Sakura commented.
"By the way, does anyone have any idea as to why the Kumo-nins are here in Konoha?" asked Tenten.
"Akatsuki," was the simple reply of Shikamaru.
"What?" All eyes were now focused on Shikamaru.
"Troublesome…" Shikamaru muttered, he did not want to do his, but now that he had opened his mouth he decided to continue, "… it was Akatsuki that infiltrated Kumogakure and capture the Jinchūriki of Hachibi no Kyogyū, or rather it was Uchiha Sasuke and his group called Taka (Hawk) that has joined Akatsuki."
There was a stunned silence at the admission of Shikamaru…
"No, Sasuke-kun wouldn't…" Sakura voiced her opinion.
"He did, and that is the truth," Shikamaru said.
His eyes silently looked onto the peacefully resting wrinkled and old figure of Senju Tsunade, the woman whose greatness was foretold all around the world and as one of the shinobi that all men and women one day wanted to be like. But here now she was, sleeping close to the death's door and yet seemed so peaceful. She had done her deed for Konoha; she had pushed her chakra to the extreme to see that she could save as many as she could from the wrath of Pein, and this was her reward.
Even with all their work no medic was able to bring the great woman of her coma, nor could help her gain her vitality, not even Shizune. She hadn't woken up since when he had finally arrived at the scene as she had used all of her chakra through Katsuyu to protect and heal the villagers and no one knew when she would come out of the coma.
He didn't know what to make of things anymore. Jiraiya had already left him before he could achieve his dreams, and now when he did achieve his dream, one of the people he wanted to see him do it was now sleeping in a possibly eternal sleep.
But that didn't mean that he had given his hope her, no, it was on the contrary. He was here for he had a way to at least return back her vitality, and in turn increasing her chances of coming out of the coma at the earliest.
Clapping the palms of his hands together he concentrated, concentrated on his chakra and the yang of it. Slowly and steady his concentration did wonders as his body was shrouded by a layer of chakra, as if engulfed by white flames. Concentrating further he willed all white flame-like chakra to the palm of his right hand.
By his side Shizune watched transfixed at the sight of Naruto completely forgetting the warning she had previously given the blonde…
"Tenjō Hakuen (Heavenly White Flames)!" he whispered as he placed his right hand above the heart of the sleeping form of Tsunade.
Tenjō Hakuen was a jutsu born through the application of Yang-based chakra and his extraordinary stamina and vitality. It was a jutsu created by C.B.-Naruto while he had learned that not only did the members of Uzumaki clan excel at Fūinjutsu and Suiton ninjutsu, but also were good at Yōton (Yang Release) and some even excelled at Onmyōton (Yin–Yang Release) due to the incredible life force of the members of the clan, and was an alternative for his lack of skills in Iryō Ninjutsu (Medical Ninjutsu).
The moment his hand touched the chest of Tsunade, the white flames intensified and within seconds engulfed the Godaime in its burning embrace. But unlike normal flames which withered away the life from what they engulfed in their burning embrace, the white flames instead granted life to Tsunade. The frail and wrinkled old form of Tsunade started to glow bluish-white and within a minute her form had returned to that of the woman she normally held herself to be…
"Tsunade-sama…" a surprised Shizune yelped and quickly rushed to the side of her mentor once the white flames had died down.
As Shizune began her diagnostics on the health of Tsunade, Naruto did not heed her rambling much thought as his eyes frequently moved from his right hand to the now vitalized form of Tsunade and back to the hand. Tenjō Hakuen had been more powerful than he had anticipated it to be, and not only was it powerful but also his control over it seemed to have been ten-folds better. None of it made sense.
But for some reason he felt like he had an answer, an answer that circulated around his left eye. The only thing he needed to do now was confirm his theory and for that he needed had to get to an empty training ground, and if possible have Kakashi and Yamato with him.
"That went better than you expected," commented Black Zetsu as the white-self of him had gone off with Sasuke to Tetsu no Kuni (Land of Iron) to be the unexpected guests at the Gokage Kaidan.
"Yes and no… I can't believe Nagato used his Rinne Tensei no Jutsu (Samsara of Heavenly Life Technique) like that. It's supposed to be for me… what a betrayal. Even if Sasuke becomes more powerful than Nagato, if we can't control him, it's no use to us. I don't intend to sync him with Gedō Mazō (Demonic Statue of the Outer Path) for a while. I'll just wait and see how it goes," said Tobi.
"I'm surprised you accounted for the possibility of Nagato's death," commented Black Zetsu.
"Just in case… it's not what I would have wanted though. Uzumaki Naruto… that brat's thrown a wrench into my plans. Not only did he defeat Nagato, but was also able to convince both Nagato and Konan to betray Akatsuki, where Nagato went and used Rinne Tensei no Jutsu for the sake of Konoha. And now because of him I also lost a chance at collecting the Sharingan of Uchiha Shisui which was under Danzō's possession," Tobi commented.
"What are you going to do then? Will you make a move?" asked Black Zetsu.
Looking at the heavens Tobi said, "I've had enough of being cautious. I think it's time to hurry up and implement the 'Tsuki no Me Keikaku (Eye of the Moon Plan)'."
The members of Konoha 11 as they were called were in a state of shock, from disbelief to surprise and to anger. None could believe what Shikamaru had just said; especially considering it was an order from Naruto.
"Come-on man don't shit us, there is no way Naruto would order something like that," said a befuddled Kiba.
"He has, and it's true that Sasuke is a missing-nin. The usual punishment for that is death," Shikamaru said.
"B-But this is Sasuke-kun… an-and Naruto p-promised…"
It was that very moment Sai arrived interrupting Sakura's words as her eyes now focused on Sai as she asked, "Sai, is it true? Did Naruto really declare Sasuke-kun as a missing-nin?"
"Yes, Hokage-sama did," Sai informed, but was also slightly taken back by the sudden question and the anger dwelling behind it.
Silence regained the clearing for an entire minute, for neither knew how to take in this news, or rather all eyes had shifted on to the trembling figure of Haruno Sakura…
"H-How co-could he? H-He pr-promised me, pr-promised me t-that he would bring back Sa-Sasuke-kun," Sakura muttered as her whole trembled in anger.
And then her trembling stopped as she started walked away…
"Wait Sakura, where are you going?" Ino called out… she was certainly not liking where this all was going.
"I'm going to see Naruto!" Sakura answered…
Yep, this was not going to go well.
"Wait, Sakura! Storming in there and yelling at Naruto isn't going to solve anything," Ino spoke as she rushed to her best friend's side.
"But this is Sasuke-kun we are talking about… I can't stand by and let this happen! Especially after the promise he made…" Sakura said as he continued to walk on, but her path was blocked by half a dozen of ink-lions.
"Sai?!" Sakura looked at the boy with utter surprise… she wasn't the only that seemed surprised.
Sai just stood his place with an impassive look on his face as he held onto his scroll, his mind reeling back on his talk with Naruto after they had returned from a mission. He had promised back then to Naruto that he would not breathe a word of the conversation they had to Sakura, and even today he had agreed to be quite on the whole ordeal about Sasuke… Naruto was willing to confront Sakura alone. But hearing Sakura talk now he couldn't stop himself…
"No, I can't just sit here and do nothing Naruto," Sai whispered to himself, but it was loud enough for the others too here.
Silently making her way through the Konoha Cemetery her mind pondered on the recent events; so much had changed so fast in and around Konoha within a span of a few days it was unbelievable, but still things had changed that she couldn't deny.
The change started with the attack of Akatsuki on Konoha… no, it actually began with the death of Jiraiya-sama. And amidst the change had been the very boy she had admired from far-afar for as long as she could remember, and not only was he amidst the change he himself had become the centerfold of it.
Not only was Uzumaki Naruto the centerfold of the change, he too had changed. A change that did not erode his older self or beliefs, but yet was now the person many had come to idolize. His strength had also increased greatly. But above all he had achieved his lifelong dream of becoming the Hokage.
And here she was, still the unsure and shy girl that she was. He was someone she held precious to her, someone she wanted to protect and someone she wanted to stand side by side, but try she might she always failed. Her failure itself was exemplified when she had dived into save him from Pein, but she could barely save him before she was taken down by Pein and it was her stupidity that made him almost lose to his hatred and the Kyūbi sealed within him.
So engrossed in her thoughts that she was about to miss her destination, but pure instincts stopped her as she now stood in front of the grave of her mother.
It had been a while since she had been here, a while since she had let her heart out to her deceased mother, and so placing some flowers on the grave she spoke her heart out to her mother…
"So much has changed around in Konoha kaa-sama that it is hardly believable…"
It was true, especially the latest event. Each and every word Sai spoke had cut through them, even if all that was said to Sakura… the girl had been emotionally shattered. But every word that left the mouth of Sai had been a harsh reality, a harsh reality that all knew but none were willing to see… they in one way or another truly relied on Naruto too much, or rather no one seemed to be there standing alongside him as he carried on those burdens, even Shikamaru, Neji and Shino agreed to that.
Somehow it had been decided that it that they would be the one who would take care of Sasuke, to help lessen the burden on Naruto and to stop a war to break out between Kumogakure and Konohagakure because of Sasuke. It was a wonder that Sakura was still able to hold herself steady and take the responsibility of talking of it with Naruto.
It had surprised them greatly when Sai had mentioned that Naruto had made a decision regarding Sasuke, and by his voice it was clear that there was nothing that was going to deter Naruto from his decision. They had tried to pry information from Sai as to what had Naruto decided, but the ex-Root-nin had been surprisingly tight lipped.
At that moment even she didn't know what to do, and the only she could do was make a resolve…
"Please lend me your strength Kaa-sama, so that the one I've always been chasing after… and am doing so even now… lend me the strength so that I can stop chasing him… Because next time, I want to be by his side, holding his hand… walking with him! Please, lend me the strength!" she whispered.
She knew that talking to the grave of her mother did her no good, but she always felt calm whenever she was here and could feel her worries being whisked away… it was as if Hitomi Hyūga herself took away her daughter's pain, suffering and worries by holding her in her warm embrace.
She stayed at her mother's grave for another few minutes before she left onto visit the graves of other family and friends.
"Naruto-kun!" she blurted out, as she saw the very boy she was thinking of a few minutes prior standing in front of a couple of graves.
Apparently even Naruto was surprised seeing her here.
"What brings you here?" he asked as she silently walked closer to him.
"I-I was visiting the g-graves of ka-kaa-sama and other family and acquaintances…" she answered.
"Oh!" the blonde replied, slightly surprised and apologetic.
Neither said a word as she walked closer to him, and when she was close enough she was surprised to find the graves he was looking on to, for they belonged to the Yondaime Hokage and Uzumaki Kushina.
She didn't know why, but she knew she was missing something. Her eyes drifted from the graves to him and were shocked at the look of sadness and longing and somehow also of happiness; it was so confusing.
Has her eye drifted from Naruto to the grave and to Naruto again, and so on, it was then it clicked her. It was a question to an answer that had plagued her for as long as she had been admiring the blonde ninja, and a question she also knew to also plague the blonde.
The family name on the grave next to the Yondaime…
The name Uzumaki was well known throughout history, even though now days it was scarcely spoken off she was aware of the significance of the name Uzumaki. Being the heiress to the Hyūga clan not only was she supposed to be strong as a shinobi and a leader, but also to be well versed in politics and history of the past to be an efficient clan leader. It was during her studies to be the next clan leader had she heard about the Uzumaki clan of Uzushiogakure, a distant relative of the Senju clan.
She had always wondered why an orphan like Naruto was given the name of the Uzumaki clan, a clan which Konoha held in high regards and a clan that was no more. But now the answer was glaring back at her, for Uzumaki Naruto is the son of the last living Uzumaki known to Konoha, Uzumaki Kushina or better known as Akai Chishio no Habanero (Red Hot-Blooded Habanero), a kunoichi renowned for her beauty, strong-willed spirit and unique ninjutsu style, including the Fūinjutsu of her clan and considered one of the strongest kunoichi of her era.
And then there were the looks of Naruto-kun…
Spiky blonde hair, bright blue eyes; a feature she had been long since aware the boy she looked up to and loved shared with the very man he idolized, and now here in front of her was the reason behind it. With both the graves of the Yondaime and Uzumaki Kushina so close by, she didn't Shikamaru level intelligence to see and process it.
The truth was glaringly obvious.
As if reading her thoughts he asked, "Say Hinata, do yo visit the grave of your mother often?"
"Y-Yes, yes I do!" she answered.
For some reason she didn't like where this could possibly be heading, for she saw a look of apprehension cross the face of the blonde as he kneeled down in front of the graves and started dusting off the dust off the graves.
For the next few minutes neither spoke a word as she silently stood by and watched as Naruto gently dusted of the dusts of the grave before placing some cypress flowers on their graves.
"Say Hinata…" she was a bit startled when he suddenly spoke up, for she thought that he had completely forgotten of her presence.
But Naruto didn't seem to notice her startled look as he continued speaking, "Will they hate me?"
If she thought that she was surprised knowing that he was still aware of her presence, then this question completely knocked her off her feet.
"W-Why do you say so, Na-Naruto-kun?" she stuttered out her question.
"It's been sixteen years since the two sacrificed themselves for the sake of Konoha and me as they faced off against the Kyūbi no Yōko… 16 long years Hinata… and this happens to be the first time I am visiting them. Won't they hate me?"
The sincerity and apprehension behind the tone of Naruto made her heart clench as she blurted, "NO, THEY WOULDN'T!"
Apparently she wasn't the only one that was surprised by her sudden increase in her voice, Naruto was too.
"Hinata!" he whispered in a surprised tone.
She knew her face was flaming red and she was very close to fainting, but she knew that fainting here wasn't an option for Naruto needed her…
"Th-they wouldn't! No pa-parent would ever ha-hate their ch-child! I think neither Yo-Yondaime-sama nor Kushina-sama would e-ever hate you, for even when you d-did not kn-know of them y-you still lo-loved them," she stuttered as she fiddled with her fingers and her face grew redder (if possible).
From the corner of her eye she watched as Naruto silently stand up, his face shadowed by his hair, but when he looked at her she was once again startled, for albeit the tear-filled eyes his face adorned the brightest of smiles she had ever seen.
She thought that there was no possible way her face could grow any red… how wrong she was? She was now like a human torch.
"Thanks for that, Hinata-chan!"
And that was the boiling point.
Just recently she had confessed to him, although she had a feeling he would probably not remember it seeing the situation and the rods pierced through him… she had felt it, even if it had been for a second when she was struck down by the rod, a foreign chakra entering her system and making her mind go all fuzzy… and also knowing that Naruto liked Sakura, she had braced herself for not the kind of response she would love to hear.
But now hearing the words of Naruto… him adding the suffix 'chan' to her name… that was progress…
And so she did the only thing she could while talking to Naruto, she fainted.
"How's the settling in Konoha going around?" Naruto asked, as he watched Hotaru and her companions walk in his temporary office.
"I hope the brats haven't been any trouble to you?" he asked as his eyes settled onto the three companions of Hotaru.
"Oyabun (Boss)!" the three called out in disbelief… how the boss could even think that they would be troubling their client on a mission?
"On the contrary, they were a great help," answered Hotaru as her hand brushed the Konoha-hitai-te now gracing her forehead. It had been a tough call, but with assurance from Naruto and the pact between the Tsuchigumo clan with both the Sandaime and the Godaime allowed her the rank of chūnin within Konoha… though she was told that Naruto was not ever of the entity of the pact between Tsunade and the Tsuchigumo clan. She could wait, for even she wasn't ready to take such a big step… even if she had come to like the blonde while he was with her on the mission.
"Oi, Hotaru! Hotaru! You with us…?" Naruto questioned as he looked into the dark-green glazed eyes of Hotaru.
She blinked her eyes a couple of times as she heard the worried voice of Naruto call out to her; it made her realize that she had spaced out on him. Her eyes blinked another couple of times as the glazed look washed off her eyes and she quickly regretted it, though it was a pleasant regret as her dark-green eyes stared directly into bright-blue ones.
"I-I am," she stuttered as a pink hue graced her lips as she averted the blonde's gaze.
"Good!" Naruto said, "I hope you like it here in Konoha, even though Konoha isn't in full glory now."
"I-I do. The people around were very nice and the Konohamaru corps were a great help," Hotaru answered.
"That's good," Naruto said and then turning to the Konohamaru corps, "and a job well done guys."
"It is our duty, Hokage-Oyabun!" the three genin called out as they saluted Naruto making his eyebrows to twitch and Hotaru to giggle.
"This really brings backs memories," commented Naruto as he along with Kakashi and Yamato were in the Training Ground in which the old Team 7 trained together and the one which he had further advanced the Rasengan.
"It does. I was under the impression that after teaching you wind-chakra manipulation and after helping you on the Rasenshuriken I wouldn't be needed to train you more. But I guess I was proven wrong, and I don't regret it at all. You truly are the most unpredictable ninja ever," Kakashi said with an eye-smile.
"Hehehe… that I am, -ttebayo!" the blonde answered.
"That you are. Who would have imagined you to be in a possession of the Sharingan eye of Uchiha Shisui? And for the eye to be handed to you by Uchiha Itachi… all of it is just completely unpredictable," Yamato answered… his head was still spinning because of it.
"Well, we can think of it later for we have very little time to get Naruto to get used to the eye," Kakashi commented.
"Yeah, we don't," Naruto commented as he forced chakra to his left eye forcing the Sharingan to blaze into action. A couple of seconds later after activating the Sharingan eye he was forced to shut close his right eye, "Now I understand why you always have your right eye closed whenever you unmask the Sharingan eye… the perception of both the eyes is so different."
"And you thought that I loved to be the cool single-eye shinobi," Kakashi replied back.
"Hehehe…" Naruto sheepishly scratched the back of his head.
"Well, we could talk about the difference in perception of a normal eye compared to that of the Sharingan, but we don't have that much time, so we will directly begin with the training," commented Kakashi and before Naruto could reply he was forced to dodge a dozen of kunai thrown at him by Yamato.
Sunagakure no Sato…
Hordes of shinobi were gathered to see off the Kazekage to the Gokage Kaidan.
Gaara looked up, the desert wind caressing his face, as he looked back to his people who were there to see him off. Young and old, men and women. His people.
"Please take care of yourself, Gaara-sama…" a shinobi called out.
"Temari-san, Kankurō-san, please take good care of Kazekage-sama," another called out.
Temari waved her hand to the townspeople flapping her cloak as she said, "We will."
Even though she seemed perfect on the task, her mind reeled with worry, especially considering the latest news that had reached their ears and the reason behind the Gokage Kaidan being called for. 'I hope he is okay,' she thought out loud… with recent activities he would be the centerfold of the incoming danger.
Kankurō however, rolled his eyes. "Not like he needs bodyguards anyway." He chuckled, knowing few people could actually strike Gaara without being killed.
"All right…" Gaara looked back to the open desert. "…Let's go."
Iwagakure no Sato…
Crowds of Iwa-shinobi were gathered to see their Tsuchikage depart for the Gokage Kaidan.
"Akatsuchi! Kurotsuchi! Please take good care of Tsuchikage-sama!" a random shinobi called.
"Tsuchikage, show them what you got!" another followed.
"It's a pain going to a meeting at my age," The Tsuchikage complained, rubbing his hip.
The Tsuchikage was an old man with a size of one and half times his head piece. His facial features included a triangular beard and a moustache with angular corners. He had a big red nose and thick rectangular-shaped eyebrows. The top of his head was completely bald, although, he had some white hair at the back and sides of his head, the back of which was tied with a yellow ribbon into a topknot. Ōnoki wore a unique green and yellow coat with a red collar. Underneath he wore an Iwagakure flak jacket.
"You youngsters don't understand how your hip becomes a virtual time bomb!" he complained once again.
The female of the group, wearing the standard uniform of Iwa Jōnin with short, black hair and pupil-less, pink eyes (depicted as black in the anime) and are accentuated by her eyelashes running upwards at the corners grinned at the Tsuchikage. "Why don't retire you then gramps? You can't really rely on your former glory forever." She suggested with a teasing smile.
The biggest of the three, a plump man towering over the two, gave a laugh and leaned down while laughing. "I'll carry your luggage of your shoulders, Tsuchikage-sama."
The old man lashed out at the man, stubborn to carry his own luggage. "Don't touch, Akatsuchi! I don't need your help!" he shouted as he then placed the saddles to his shoulders and lifted… but a loud sickening crack was heard that both escorts flinched at and then…
"OOOOOOOOHHHH! MY HIPS!" The Tsuchikage shouted in agony shaking from the sudden gush of unpleasant nerves signaling he sit this one out. But what remained him standing on his feet and preventing him to fall down was his pride as the Tsuchikage.
Kurotsuchi, while trying hard to contain her laughter, placed her hands on her hips almost mockingly. "What do you say? Should you send someone else in your place?" She asked, grinning.
The old man glanced up at her, trying not to fall over as sweat ran down his face. "D-Don't be ridiculous! Who do you think I am? I'm the Tsuchikage! Fearsome leader of Iwagakure! I'll carry my own luggage!"
Kurotsuchi sighed and pinched the bridge of her nose, the Tsuchikage could be stubborn at the most unwarranted of times. "Good grief, what stubborn old goat," she whispered.
Meanwhile Akatsuchi did what he could do the best as he lifted the old man onto his back with the luggage on the Tsuchikage's back.
"Alright, carry your own luggage then, let's go!" He exclaimed with a large smile.
The old man couldn't really deny that request, besides a free ride is all that this old man needs to ease the pain on his back!
Beside them, Kurotsuchi shook her head at her Kage's behavior… though her mind was reeling back to one of encounters on a mission more than a year back, an annoying yet pleasant one, and try she might even after more than a year she could barely forget him. So, she couldn't help but wonder whether she would be meeting him in near future at all, especially if the Gokage Kaidan were to be a success… the village he hailed from and her village weren't exactly on good terms.
Kirigakure no Sato…
Groups of Kiri-shinobi too were gathered to see off their Kage to the Gokage Kaidan.
"Now please take good care of yourself," said an old man as handed the hat of the Mizukage to the rightful wearer, the man's hand wavering and shaking due to his old age. The others were simply amazed of this man's dedication to the village.
"Don't let anything go wrong," the old man continued holding the snake ornamented staff that he held.
The Mizukage, a slender woman in her thirties with green eyes, and ankle-length, auburn hair styled into a herringbone pattern at the back, a top-knot tied with a dark blue band and with four bangs at the front, of which two bangs are short, with one covering her right eye and two are long, crossing each other on her bust and just below her chin. She is wearing a long-sleeved, dark blue dress that falls just below the knees and seems to be closed at the front with a zip, and is kept open on the front-right side from the waist down. The dress only covers up to the upper part of her arms and the underside of her breasts. Underneath, she wears mesh armor that covers more of her upper body than her dress, but stops short of covering her shoulders and still leaves a sizeable amount of her cleavage exposed. She is also wearing skirt of the same color as her dress and underneath those she is wearing mesh leggings that reach down over her knees. Around her waist she is wearing a belt with a pouch attached to the back on the left along with high-heeled sandals and shin-guards reaching up over her knees, dark blue polish on her fingers and toes, and is usually shown with fuchsia lipstick.
Holding onto the hat in her hand she smiled and said, "I swear in my honor as Mizukage, I will fulfill my duty in the best of my ability."
"Hohoho…" the old man seemed pleased with her response.
"Chōjūrō, as one of the Shinobigatana Shichinin Shū (Seven Ninja Swordsmen) you must protect the Mizukage," one of the Shinobi told a younger looking boy that was clearly the Mizukage's body guard.
"I-I think… I'll be fine… probably," Chōjūrō said, with nervousness in his voice.
"Have faith in yourself, Chōjūrō, you're strong." the Mizukage praised her bodyguard with a smile.
"That is the reason you were chosen to be one of my guards, ok Chōjūrō?" she continued as she crouched on the boy's eye level and smiled making the young boy blush and nod with a smile.
"Bah, you kids today… Why can't you just say 'Yes, ma'am!'? We don't need you spouting on about, 'I'll do my best!' Be a man, Chōjūrō! Grow a damn spine!" the other bodyguard Ao exclaimed with a shake of his head.
The Mizukage fell silent at that as the older man ranted about his generation and then Chōjūrō's generation. The Mizukage suddenly had that urge to behead the spouting old goat for reminding her that she needed a man in her life since she was almost half past the prime age of marriage.
"Shut up Ao or I'll kill you!" She said that with venom laced in her voice making Ao look at her with a puzzled and frightened look.
He was instantaneously silent; the Mizukage sometimes was a very scary woman, even when he barely said anything. Then again it is usually when he mentions something about a man, but hell it wasn't like he mentioned marriage, which even he knew she was sensitive to. How she never found a man he would never know, especially when it's someone as beautiful as her, and then she had her personality which was a very kind and caring woman… with another side that can scare the shit out of any male.
The Mizukage could feel the cold air all around her as she thought about her male troubles, for some reason she could just never find the right man for her, they were either afraid of her or a complete pervert, something even she despised. With a dejected sigh, the Mizukage walked with her escorts slouching down in depression. She had hoped at least, that she might find someone in Iron Country that will likely sweep her off her feet!
If only she knew…
Kumogakure no Sato…
A, the Raikage, is a tall dark-skinned man with a large muscular build, with his white hair combed back, a small moustache and beard. His top lip also had a darker hue than the bottom one and he had a mole over his right eyebrow; traits he inherited from his father. Unlike other Kage, A seemed to wear his Kage cloak and hat on a regular basis without a shirt underneath, further displaying his hulking physique. He has black fūma shuriken tattoos on both shoulders and had gold bangle bracelets on each wrist which had protrusions. He also wore a gold belt around his waist with a boar's face engraved in the centre. All of these aspects combined gave him the appearance of a professional wrestler.
"Still no news from Samui's team?" The Raikage asked his secretary.
"No, but I think we'll hear from them soon," his secretary – a dark-skinned young woman with green eyes wearing very formal attire consisting of a long-sleeved, high-collared dress shirt and skirt, along with a pair of long earrings and sandals and had her light grey hair pulled back into a bun with two bangs that fall on either side of her face – answered. "Besides, Samui knows the route to the meeting place. You'll probably meet up with her or at least intercept her on the road."
"Alright, everything's set… Let's do this!" He looked at his two personal body guards beside him.
"Shī! Darui!" The Raikage shouted, slapping himself with both his hands and jumping through the glass stained window, sending glass and wood everywhere.
Shī sighed at the actions of the Raikage.
"Come on!" Shī said to Darui.
Darui shook his head, "Nah, I think I'll use the door instead, It's safer for me and my wallet. I'll catch up with you soon enough." He said moving towards the door as Shi jumped through the large hole.
When they were gone, the Raikage's assistant sighed as she viewed the destruction.
Konohagakure no Sato…
"Well, shall we…" Naruto said to his two companions as he crossed the gates of the village.
News had spread fast around Konoha that he was going to leave for the Gokage Kaidan and hordes of people, shinobi and civilian alike had come to see him off and wish him luck.
He was currently dressed in an outfit similar to the standard Konoha outfit, but in black instead of blue and without the flak jacket… even as a Kage he was still genin by rank. Above the standard outfit he wore a short-sleeved, long red coat with high collar and black flame pattern along the hemline and with by the usage of dark blue kanji the words Rokudaime Hokage (Sixth Hokage) written vertically down the back (the cloak resembles that of Namikaze Minato). The customary Hokage Hat rested over his head.
"Indeed," replied back Kakashi with his usual bored tone, but still you could see the calm sharpness in his single eye.
"Ready when you are, Hokage-sama (heart)," the third member of the group responded, as she called him Hokage-sama in a sweet, seductive tone.
He felt his eyebrows twitch at that wondering what he was thinking while bringing along Mitarashi Anko as the second guard… oh yeah, it had to do with her suicidal mission attempt to go against Kabuto, alone. It had actually taken a verbal fight with her to convince her that she would be allowed to continue the mission when she would have a team along with her, and being the hyperactive woman she was she opted to be his personal guard for the Gokage Kaidan since he would not let her go hunt Kabuto. He agreed. And now he was regretting it. Apparently she had ulterior motive behind being his guard.
This was their final stop before they would reach Tetsu no Kuni and its cold climate. It was for the first time that Naruto was actually happy that he decided against Yamato coming along, for if the man were here they would be staying in his Mokuton house and would have to savage from their own food stock. But currently it wasn't so, and so he along with Kakashi and Anko had the pleasure of staying at an inn with a hot-spring and delicious food.
Now resting in a room he shared with Kakashi, Naruto's mind wandered onto the upcoming meeting and the trouble and change it was bound to bring…
"Where is Anko?" he suddenly asked… he hadn't seen her after the delicious dinner. Even though he should be grateful that she wasn't around for now seeing that she had been flirting with him all the way till here, but still knowing the situation he rather have in his proximity then let her loose on the world.
"Anko! She said she wanted to go take a dip in the hot-spring bath…" commented Kakashi with his eye buried in the book he was reading.
"Oh!" he had completely forgotten about the hot-spring bath.
"Well, I am off too sensei, nothing like a refreshing bath…" he muttered and walked out of the room…
But before he could leave the room he heard perverted giggles leave the lips of Hatake Kakashi, and knowing his sensei…
"Stop your perverted thoughts, you Katame no Hentai (One-eyed Pervert)! I am not going to go peep on Anko," he said looking at the man in question.
"I did not say anything about you peeping on Anko?" Kakashi replied back his eye still fixed on the book. "Should I be start worrying about the kunoichi of Konoha, or is it just that you find my kōhai Anko irresistible? No wonder you agreed of her being one of your guards. So many hearts are going to be broken back in Konoha and all around."
"It isn't like that, -ttebayo. I don't see Anko like that," he replied with his voice growing a few octaves.
"Is that so. Well, Anko will be disappointed," muttered Kakashi.
Twitch, Twitch, Twitch…
"That's it, you are banned from getting your hands on Icha-Icha Boundaries," he shouted.
For the first time Kakashi single eye was lifted above from the book and was squared on Naruto as he squeaked out, "I-Icha-Icha B-Boundaries?"
"Yeah. Well, Ero-Sennin had all ready put down the draft for it, and it was just to be penned down. So I decided to do the honors in his place," answered Naruto and walked out leaving behind a gaping Kakashi… no one won against Naruto in pranks, be it large scale or verbal.
This was refreshing and soothing, far more than he had originally thought. Apparently the hot-water springs of this place was not only a refreshing spot, but the hot water seemed to have great healing properties too.
The idea of staying here was truly great, for he had been pushing himself beyond his bounds for quite some time now… he did so during the Senjutsu training under Fukasaku-jii-chan, during his fight with Pein, during his fight with Danzō and later while he trained to get a hand of using the Sharingan… and his body needed a well deserved rest, and this outdoor hot-spring bath was doing a fantastic job at that.
The training to get used to the Sharingan had gone better than either he or Kakashi had expected it to be; somehow his training in Sage Mode came in handy while training to adapt to the Sharingan… his sensing abilities in Sage Mode and training in Kawazu Kumite (Frog Kata) enabled him to predict the movements of his enemies for easy retaliation, which was similar to the 'Eye of Insight' of the Sharingan and for the 'Eye of Hypnotism', the eye of Uchiha Shisui gave him the edge. Somehow he was even capable of using all the Sharingan related jutsus that Shisui was capable of using… though not on a level the famed genjutsu user could.
So lost in his thoughts he was that he failed to notice another person join him in the open air bath house, and it was only the splashing of water on the body of the person made him realize that he wasn't alone.
His eyes shifted to the source of the splashing, and as they locked onto the source not only did they widen to an epic proportion but were also glued to the spot.
The long flowing auburn hair held in a bun to not get it soaked, her fair skin glistening under the moonlight with the water droplets further enhancing the suture of her skin, her angelic face with green eyes and fuchsia-colored lipstick radiated under the lights of the moon and her luscious naked body had his breath hitched away.
There in front of his eyes was one of the most beautiful women he had ever seen in his young life of sixteen years, and that was saying something seeing that he knew people like Tsunade, Shizune, Anko, Kurenai, Konan, Kazahana Koyuki and many more, but somehow the woman simply trumped them with her beauty. He also knew of girls like Hinata, Ino and others who would also grow to be as beautiful as the woman in his eyesight, but that was a future and he was a person who lived for the present…
And at the present moment his eyes were focused on the water droplets that rolled down the angelic face, while on the way caressing the luscious lips, rolling down the neck that screamed to be bitten, to her collar bone area and then down onto those big, firm and captivating bosoms… he really wished those were his hands that would gently caress those heavenly mounds instead of the water droplets… and further down onwards to her shapely belly that seemed to be ready to be eaten and then further down the nether region…
As blood dribbled down his nose only one word left his mouth, a word that summarized the beauty in front of him…
Either the bath house carried the voices all around or he hadn't spoken in a low voice as he had wanted to, for green met blue…
There was first shock, then curiosity…
"My, aren't you a good looking one, and a healthy one too…" the woman commented in a sweet tone, the last words spoken because of his reaction to her heavenly beauty… How couldn't he? He was a healthy teenager… but for some reason send chill down his spine.
But then the curiosity in those green orbs turned into anger, anger that turned those alluring orbs into eldritch flames…
"I don't think the world would miss a pervert, even though he is both cute and handsome at the same time," she commented offhandedly… and before Naruto could try to clarify the situation her hands quickly flew through a set of hand-seals and thrusting her hands at him she shot at him a high-speed blast of water.
He was lucky that he was at some distance from her that he had time to react to the incoming high-speed blast of water, for the water easily crushed a boulder behind him.
"That's dangerous…" he whispered…
"My, aren't you an agile one," he heard her say and looking at her he found multiple orbs of water floating around her…
"Mizu no Ya (Water Arrow)!" she called out as the orbs shot at him with blinding speed, as if hordes of arrows.
"Fūka Fūjinheki (Flowering Wind Ward Barrier)!" he whispered as a defensive pyramid-shaped bounded field created by air currents surrounded him in time as the Mizu no Ya were close enough to strike him.
The Fūka Fūjinheki was a jutsu born through his skills in barrier ninjutsu and fūton ninjutsu, a defensive jutsu capable of holding its own against rampaging summons like Gamabunta. But even as powerful as the jutsu was, it had a glaring weakness, for the effect only lasts an instant even after he tried to increase the amount of chakra behind the jutsu.
But for him that very instant was enough as Fūka Fūjinheki was able to easily block the likes of Mizu no Ya, and in some cases bounced off to different directions.
"And you are skilled too," she commented… he could hear the surprise in her voice.
"It's a shame really to kill such a fine young man, but you left me no choice… though I will give you a kiss to remember me by," she commented.
'What the-' "This isn't what it look likes," he shouted out desperately…
Years with Ero-Sennin had thought him that being caught when you are perverting on a woman (even if it isn't so and only looks so by the point of the said woman) and you are caught by the woman, you would lucky to escape unscathed… but Ero-Sennin didn't mention anything about a woman capable of spitting out globs of lava as he watched all the entrance to open air bath house being sealed by the hardened lava. The sky above was an option, but for some reason he felt that the woman in front of him had it covered, just like the towel that now covered her body… though it left little to imagination after he had seen her in her entire glory.
"Then do tell me how it is?" she questioned in a sickly sweet tone as her hands flipped through hand-seals.
But before he could respond a voice from inside the inn called out…
"Mizukage-sama, is everything all right inside there? Is our assistant needed?"
He identified it to be a male voice, a male who was possibly as old as or older than Kakashi, but that was not was on the forefront of his mind, it was the fact that the man had called out to the Mizukage…
"You dare get in here Ao and you will have your balls melted," the woman replied back.
He had heard the min right, and to the call of the man the goddesses of beauty in front of him had replied.
"Mizukage?" he spoke in a questioning tone as he looked at her.
"That I am," she replied back and was about to unleash her jutsu when he felt a present behind him and by the looks the she did too.
"My, and here I thought this was going to be our private time to rekindle the skin-ship between us… but I was just a few seconds late and you already moved on. So naughty of you, Hokage-sama! (Heart)"
He didn't need to turn around to know the identity of the person, the flirtatious voice along with her flirty words simply gave her away… Mitarashi Anko was one of the very few women who knew how to rile him to such situations.
"Hokage?!" the Mizukage spoke as she looked at him in disbelief.
"That I am… Rokudaime Hokage Uzumaki Naruto at your humble service," he said with a dramatic bow looking directly at the Mizukage.
The awkwardness of the situation was very much alive, with him stark naked and the Mizukage only draped in a towel that barely hid the body of the goddess…
Last night had been awkward was an understatement…
It was rare for shinobi from one of the five great shinobi villages to come across each other on missions, and even if they did it was mostly on the opposing ends, and so for shinobi of two nations to somehow not only end in the same inn but also heading to the same destination was a rare occurrence, especially considering that it were the Kage and their guards. It also didn't help that the Kage were involved in a very awkward situation caused due to a misunderstanding.
Even after the situation had been resolved by an overly zealous Anko, the two groups had stayed by themselves for the night… somehow a no-contract treaty for the night was agreed upon without such a treaty even being presented. But now with a new day the two groups had to come across, for both their destinations were the same.
Again it seemed as if an unknown pact had been sealed with the two parties that even though they journeyed the same destination together there would be no words exchanged. But even that silent agreement didn't seem to stop Terumī Mei from eyeing the young Hokage as they hoped from tree to tree to reach their destination.
She had heard of Uzumaki Naruto before, for the boy was known to being the apprentice of Jiraiya of the Densetsu no Sannin and also being known to be the only to have won against the Godaime Kazekage in a fair fight. He was also amongst the team that had put down Zabuza and his associate Haku and a hero to many small nations, and it was on one such mission did he kill Kurosuki Raiga. There was information that he was one of the very few that crossed paths with all the Akatsuki members and Orochimaru and lived, and if the recent information was to be believed than he had faced against the leader of Akatsuki – the man that had destroyed Konoha singlehandedly – and had defeated him. There were rumor that he had been responsible to the change of the heart of the Akatsuki leader, which had resulted to the all dead during the invasion to be amongst the living again because of a jutsu of the Rinnegan that the Akatsuki leader wielded.
As they continued their journey towards Tetsu no Kuni, she silently surveyed her counterpart from Konoha. Currently the said boy was dressed in a black outfit similar to the standard Konoha shinobi outfit, but he did not wear the flak jacket and above the standard outfit he wore a short-sleeved, long red coat with high collar and black flame pattern along the hemline and with by the usage of dark blue kanji the words Rokudaime Hokage (Sixth Hokage) written vertically down the back (the cloak resembles that of Namikaze Minato). The customary Hokage Hat rested over his head. Try she might, she couldn't help herself from comparing the blonde Hokage with another blonde and a Hokage to boot… the resemblance was too uncanny to be just a coincidence.
But still to see a Kage so young… there was already the Kazekage who was as young as the Hokage, but the situation with the Kazekage was completely different. Not only was the Godaime Kazekage the son of the Yondaime Kazekage, and was one of the strongest of Suna and the only liable option as the Kazekage. That didn't mean she took away the hard work the Kazekage must have put into achieving the title, especially considering that he was once one of the most hated individual in Suna…
The situation with the Hokage was quite different and yet similar. Uzumaki Naruto was also one of the most disliked individuals of Konoha because of him being the Jinchūriki of the Kyūbi no Yōko. Not only that, Konoha also had renowned shinobi to replace the comatose Tsunade (as per information), one of them being Hatake Kakashi who was currently the guard of the Rokudaime Hokage along with Mitarashi Anko, the other being the infamous Shinobi no Yami – Shimura Danzō.
There was also the fact that the blonde was given the name Uzumaki, the name of the long annihilated clan of Uzushiogakure. It was well known theory that the survivors of the feared clan had went into hiding and scattered all around the world. In fact one of the many survivors of the Uzumaki clan had once been a shinobi of Konohagakure and died during the night of the Kyūbi attack on Konoha, the infamous Akai Chishio no Habanero – Uzumaki Kushina.
"Such a mysterious one," she whispered.
Suddenly she sensed presence of many shinobi surrounding their group; it was evident from the fact that albeit not being a sensor she could feel their presence.
"Mizukage-sama…" Ao silently whispered to her.
"I know," she replied.
Glancing to her side she saw that Chōjūrō was ready too, albeit the young swordsman seemed a bit nervous. And then glancing a further sideways she found the Hokage and his guards on the alert too…
Green met Blue…
It just took eye contact for her to know that he intended to deal with the situation on his own and had apparently had his decision already conveyed to his guards, and those eyes asked for her to stand down along with her guards.
Normally she wouldn't comply with such a request, especially considering the size of the group that had surrounded them… there seemed to be around twenty shinobi around them. But the person with the request was a Kage, and she was curious about his skills after all and so she silently nodded back while motioning her guards to stay down much to their surprise.
And just as she expected a few minutes later the hidden group attacked them from all sides; if she remembered correctly the ones that were attacking them were the Prajñā Group of the Hayashi no Kuni (Land of Woods).
Her eyes shifted towards the Hokage and found his right palm shimmering with wind…
"Fūton: Tenran (Wind Release: Orchid Sky)!" she heard him whisper as he slashed the empty air around him in a horizontal semi-circle.
The winds stirred around her and she felt herself trapped in a gale, and looking back so did her and the Hokage's guards… it was as if the winds were protecting them. The gust around them picked pace and in seconds formed into a gale which caught the incoming assassins in them and they were assaulted by countless invisible blades, carving up their body. Looking closely she found that all the assault on those assassins was enough to Incapacitate them, rather them being killed.
But this small demonstration was enough for her to say that the Hokage was not someone to be trifled with, despite him being young. And the other being that the Hokage was quite skilled with Fūton ninjutsu.
"Speak… Why target us?" Naruto asked the one of the assassins that hadn't been incapacitated by his jutsu, his eyes burning with anger and tone releasing venom… Kakashi had said the assassins to be of the Prajñā Group, a regiment of the ANBU of the Land of Woods which were thought to have been annihilated.
"You… you are not Shimura Danzō," the one Naruto held onto choked out… a man possibly in his late thirties.
"That I am not…" Naruto replied back and with his grip on the man tightening he continued, "but you still haven't answered my question? Or would you want Anko on your case?"
"Come on Hokage-sama, why are you wasting our time… let me at him," the overzealous Anko muttered… currently she was being restrained by Kakashi, who certainly didn't seem much caring about restraining Anko.
Anko had already scared Chōjūrō, one of the guards of the Mizukage and apparently her fame as a sadistic and torture-expert was well known throughout the Elemental Nations, and that very fame and her current overzealousness seemed to have scared the assassin too…
"It was Danzō… Danzō and his Root are the one responsible for the annihilation of our division and attack on Hayashi no Kuni. We are the last of the group and our goal is to kill Shimura Danzō, and there were rumors circulating around that Danzō might be the Rokudaime Hokage and was on his way to Gokage Kaidan," the man parroted.
"I see…" Kakashi commented.
"And for that reason you setup an ambush on the way towards Tetsu no Kuni, the most possible route that the Hokage would take," commented Ao… the man had been quite surprised at the ease with which the Hokage took down seventeen ANBU level shinobi.
"We did," commented the ANBU.
"Well, I guess I have to burst your bubble… I am Uzumaki Naruto, the Rokudaime Hokage of Konohagakure…" Naruto said his eyes hardened as steel making the eyes of the ANBU go wide "… and as for Danzō and his Root, the organization had been banned and Danzō is dead."
"Dead?" the ANBU looked completely surprised and so did the shinobi from Kirigakure.
"That he is…" commented Naruto.
Kakashi decided to clarify it further as he spoke, "Danzō killed himself after being defeated at the hands of the Hokage…" his single eye pointing at Naruto "… and with his death the Root was disbanded."
By the end of Kakashi's words you could already see varied reactions cross across the face of those that were not a shinobi of Konoha, from shock, to amusement and to awe.
Later That Day…
Tetsu no Kuni…
The Hokage and Mizukage along with their entourage had finally made it to the large building where the meeting was being held. It wasn't long before they were ushered into the meeting room that held all of the Kage's. Around a curved table sat three of the Kages and on the top level were their bodyguards, all looking over their own Kage to make sure no one made a move on them.
"Place your hats on the table…" the mediator of the Gokage Kaidan, the man named Mifune, the general of Tetsu no Kuni spoke.
Placing his hat down Naruto could feel the gazes of all the Kage on him, curious and surprising in case of Gaara, calculating and curious in case of the Raikage and Tsuchikage and apparently admiration in case of the Mizukage.
"You are all here because the Raikage has called this meeting, but before that I would like for everyone to introduce themselves," Mifune said.
The first to do the honors was…
"Gaara, Godaime Kazekage," spoke Gaara… his one eye with curiosity still continued to look at the blonde.
"Terumī Mei, Godaime Mizukage," the auburn-haired, green-eyed goddess spoke. Currently she was dressed in a long-sleeved, dark blue dress that falls just below the knees and seems to be closed at the front with a zip, and is kept open on the front-right side from the waist down. The dress only covered up to the upper part of her arms and the underside of her breasts. Underneath, she wore a mesh armor that covered more of her upper body than her dress, but stopped short of covering her shoulders and still leaved a sizeable amount of her cleavage exposed. She also was wearing a skirt in the same color as her dress and underneath that she wore mesh leggings reaching down over her knees. Around her waist she was wearing a belt with a pouch attached to the back on the left along with high-heeled sandals and shin-guards reaching up over her knees, fuchsia-colored polish on her fingers and toes, and fuchsia-colored lipstick.
She truly was a goddess in all sense… at least in the eyes of Naruto, and apparently she also seemed slightly interested in him as her eye shifted to him from time to time and you could see the curiosity and a slight awe in them.
"Ē (A), Yondaime Raikage," spoke the Raikage; a tall dark-skinned man with a large muscular build, with his blonde hair combed back, a small moustache and beard. Currently he is wearing the Kage haori and hat without a shirt underneath, further displaying his hulking physique.
"Ōnoki, Sandaime Tsuchikage," spoke the Tsuchikage; a very short, old man with a triangular beard and a moustache that has angular corners, a big red nose and thick eyebrows. The top of his head is completely bald, although, he has long white hair on the lower-half of his head which is styled in a traditional chonmage hair cut, the back of which is tied with a yellow ribbon into a topknot. Ōnoki is wearing a green and yellow coat with a red collar and underneath which he is wearing the traditional Iwagakure outfit consistent of flak jacket and mesh armor. He however has both his sleeves of his shirt, but has kept the single lapel on his right side.
"Uzumaki-Namikaze Naruto, Rokudaime Hokage," spoke Naruto… it was decided amongst the elders, the jōnin commander and him that from now he would be using his full name, or at least for the Gokage Kaidan.
"Namikaze?" Ōnoki questioned with a sneer, the name giving him a bad taste on his tongue.
"I wasn't aware the Yondaime Hokage had a relative," the Mizukage spoke, her eyes brimming with more curiosity then before.
Looking around you could also see the curiosity in Gaara's eyes and could already see the gears turning in the eyes of the Raikage… the man seemed to have put the dots together.
"Only a handful were," Naruto answered the Mizukage's question. "And I am not just any ordinary relative, Mizukage-dono, for I am the son of the Yondaime Hokage Namikaze Minato and Uzumaki Kushina."
You could literally see the eyes of the other head of hidden villages and Tetsu no Kuni, and so was the case with guards that were up in the balcony seat… Konoha had just dropped a major bomb at the Gokage Kaidan, and Uzumaki Naruto was going to have fun exploiting the situation.
The fourth chapter was finally finished.
Surprisingly the chapter didn't feature the Gokage Kaidan, apart at the very end… I just had some stuff that I had to add and before I knew I reached over ten-thousand words. But I had nothing against it, for I already wanted to see the Sakura situation brought up, have a Naruto-Hinata scene (not the type where he will suddenly realize her love for him and fall head over heels to the white-eyed beauty) and a scenario with the Water Goddess (the Mizukage)…
To be precise the chapter was a gradual build up towards the relationships/harem I intend to put forth.
Naruto-Hinata-Samui-Kurotsuchi-Ino-Temari-Terumī Mei (?)-Sakura (?)-Tenten (?)-anime filler girls (?)… The one with question mark are the ones that are undecided.