A/N: This is my second story, as some of you may already know, English isn't my native language so don't hesitate to point out grammar or spelling mistakes to me, I am always eager to learn and improve my English skills.
Detailed summary : For the first six years of his young life, Naruto lived a very difficult childhood in the village of Konohagakure. Hated and ostracized for reasons unknown to him, the boy still tried his best in order to survive, clinging to the hope of a better future and the very few people who did not seem to hate him.
Sarutobi Hiruzen, the Sandaime Hokage or simply 'Jiji' for Naruto, is one of those people. Forced to leave the village for a visit to Kirigakure on a diplomatic meeting, the old shinobi leader feared for his surrogate grandson's life and decided to bring him along with him.
It was supposedly to protect the boy's life, as well as a good way to distract him, since he had never left the vicinity of the village. However, something happened during their journey on the boat that was leading them to Kiri. Taking advantage of the lack of security, some unknown characters attacked the boy and left him for dead by tossing his body into the sea.
This story takes place fifteen years after these events, as the memory of Uzumaki Naruto had long been forgotten by almost everyone and Konoha is once again on the verge of war, against a coalition of Oto, Iwa and Kumogakure no less. Their only hope now is to find new allies but who would help them ?
Pairing : Naruto x Harem
Members for the harem have already been chosen and will be announced in a later chapter. Therefore, I don't need suggestions, thanks.
Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto, or any other manga I may inspire myself from, for that matter.
Chapter 1 : The Man from the Sea
Forest between Wave Country and Konohagakure
A group of four individuals were currently jumping from tree to tree, at a relatively high speed on the road between Fire and Wave Countries. It had already been three days ever since their mission had started and they were quite close to their destination now.
Anko cursed silently in her head as she looked around and then at her teammates for this mission. The Council in its infinite wisdom, had deemed that a spying mission in Kiri was necessary, in order to make sure of their intentions in the upcoming war between the Leaf and its enemies.
This was undoubtedly an S-Ranked mission, since they were infiltrating the Bloody Mist and had for only orders to see but not be seen. This should have been a jonin and higher level only mission, however, strangely enough Anko was the only jonin in her team. She had been assigned with a team of three freshly promoted chunin, the former Team Nine.
Even so this still could have worked, since they were all trained by Gai, Konoha's taijutsu specialist, there was no doubt about their skills as shinobi. No, there was something else that was bugging Anko. What really made her blood boil was the reason behind this team selection, they were all expendable, her included.
Anko knew the village never really "forgave" her for her former master's betrayal. Orochimaru of the Sannin left them more than twenty years ago but it still affected her, just as his damn cursed seal. The mark was still there, just to remind her that she too was one of those he experimented on.
Next were her team members, Team Nine. Contrary to all the other teams of rookies that recently graduated from genin level, none of them were children of council members or heir and heiress of a noble clan of Konoha. Lee and Tenten were orphans while Neji was a member of the branch side of the Hyuga Clan. With the exception of Anko, the village was not willing to lose any more jonin than needed and sent out a team of expendable chunin with the Snake Mistress.
Anko tried to remember how things turned out this way, the current state of the village or the War. Thinking about it, she knew everything changed after the disappearance of Uzumaki Naruto, fifteen years ago. Everybody knew he was dead but since there was no body he was only declared MIA.
The Sandaime changed after that, seeing the villagers cheer for the death of the little boy was too much for him and after five years, he simply decided to step down from his position again and this time for good, since he left the village the very next day after announcing his retirement.
Hiruzen left three possible candidate's names for his successor, Jiraiya, Tsunade and Kakashi but to everyone's surprised, none of them seemed really enthusiastic to take the job and Shimura Danzo, an older shinobi from the same generation as Hiruzen was chosen as the next Hokage.
It was from that point on, and for the last ten years, that the situation worsened between the Leaf and the external world. If Hiruzen was a peaceful and gentle type of leader, Danzo was quite the opposite. The man only believed in strength and deemed emotions as utterly useless. As such, and with the cooperation of the Council, Konoha was militarized to the extreme. Firstly with the mandatory conscription of every children in the ninja academy program and then every resources or budgets were devoted to the improvement of his army.
This of course could not remain unseen for too long from the other villages and soon the diplomatic relationships with them became tensed. Iwa and Kumo never really had great relations with Konoha and Kiri was still in the middle of a civil war. How Suna still remained an ally is a mystery but they did. One man though, took advantage of the situation, Orochimaru. He used the distrust generated by Konoha to rally a coalition of Oto, his own village, Kumo and Iwa in order to destroy the Leaf.
This is how the Elemental Nations were now on the brink of witnessing the Fourth Great Shinobi War. Even though Oto, Orochimaru's newly built village, was still a mystery and Kiri was off the grid, it was basically four of the Great Five Villages in a two versus two confrontation with a slight advantage for Orochimaru's side.
Anko was pulled out of her thoughts by the sudden change in the scenery, with the appearance of the sea. They were finally in Wave Country and the tough part of their mission was about to start. From there on, their team needed to board a ship and make their way to Water Country in order to investigate how Kiri would position themselves in the war.
There was no doubt in Danzo's mind that Kiri would one way or the other participate in the war, his paranoiac mind needed to know to whom their allegiance went to. If they were on his side they needed to formalize an alliance's treaty as soon as possible, otherwise they needed to be destroyed. For this recon mission, Anko's team couldn't afford to be recognized as ninja hailing from Konoha, so they all disguised themselves as civilians before entering the small town that was near the sea.
Anko and the disguised Team Nine entered the small village near the coast in order to find a boat for Water Country. She couldn't believe the convincing and time it took, in order to have Lee change from his green bodysuit. The young man would not wear anything else and Anko could not really blame him for his obsession, since she too had a thing for provocative clothes but, a mission is a mission, even more so with the fate of their village at stake.
The first thing they noticed upon entering that small town was how beautiful and lively it seemed to be. Shops were flourishing with goods from the highest quality, as Tenten could attest from the way she looked at the weapons displayed in the armory. The design from the sword she was currently holding in her hands was quite impressive and something she never saw. It was a very long sword, most likely to be held using two hands judging by its weight. Seeing no forge in the neighborhood, she was curious as to where this kind of sword came from.
"Excuse me sir, I've never seen this type of sword before. Where did it come from ?" Tenten asked the salesman.
"Hmm this one came from one of the merchant ship that stops here once a month. How about it, I got it for a good price and I would be delighted to sell it to you miss ?" The man replied.
"Thanks but it's far too heavy for me, I was just looking around." Tenten said before leaving the shop. The others also went to look around, they had to meet with Anko at the docks in twenty minutes.
Lee and Neji also experienced the same thing as Tenten, as they went to buy food for their trip they were presented with very diverse and nice products. There were fruits and spice they never encountered before and upon asking where they came from, it was always the same question, from the sea. Another thing that surprised them was the pricing, everything was so cheap in comparison to what they were used to pay for in Konoha. With the war and the deterioration of the relationship with the other countries, the living conditions in the Leaf had been quite hard lately.
When the team went to the docks for their meeting with Anko, they were only half surprised to see the purple haired jonin holding with her some exotic looking bottles of Sake. She most likely had the time to visit as well and spend some money on the products that were displayed in the shops.
"Alright, I found a ship for Water Country, here are your tickets. It leaves in the morning so we'll be sleeping here tonight. Let's go find rooms at a local inn for the night." Anko said as she left in the direction of the town.
They chose an inn that was close enough from the docks but not too close from the town center, in order to remain as discrete as possible. Upon entering the inn, they were greeted by a woman named Tsunami. There were also other tourists than them but not as much as in the other inns. They took two rooms with Lee and Neji sharing one while Anko and Tenten took the other one. It was almost time for dinner so they were invited to join Tsunami in the dinning room downstairs.
"Tsunami-san, I couldn't help but notice the state of your lovely town. I always thought this part of the Elemental Nations to be very poor but from what I've seen since we came here, it's far from the truth so I was wondering if you could tell me more about it." Tenten asked Tsunami.
"Well, this town has not always been like this. Going backward one year ago, we were still like what you originally thought we were, a very poor town with no business nor any touristic activities. There was also this man, Gato, who was employing bandits and had been stealing all of our money and business for years. No one dared to oppose him, I even lost my husband because of him." Tsunami started to say but she had to take a break at this point since it was quite a bad memory for her.
"This all changed on that one day though, out of nowhere, a large ship in very bad shape boarded our docks for repairs and supplies. Judging by their clothes and appearance, they all looked like foreigners and some of them even spoke a weird language between themselves.
Their leader was a man whose name I still don't know to this day since he didn't say it, he also wore a mask so even if he was famous or something, there was no way for us to know. He was the one who spoke to my father, this town's mayor. They apparently came here straight from after a battle on the seas and had no way to pay us for the supplies they were asking for. He promised that in exchange for our help he would come back later and pay us for ten times the amount of what he was asking us for. We have a tradition here to always help those who need our help, so even without the promise we would have helped them to the best of our abilities. They left three days after their arrival, with the little we could afford to spare them from our own limited supplies." Tsunami continued but was interrupted at this point by Anko.
"Didn't they wear anything that could identify them as shinobi from a village, like a headband or some mark on their clothes ?" She asked, wanting to know more about those mysterious travelers.
Tsunami thought about it for a second and then simply shook her head before she moved on with her story.
"By the end of the same week, when Gato came in town in order to take his cut from all of our sales and benefits, he saw that a part of our stock was missing and that no payment had been done for them. When we told him what we did for the foreigners that came earlier, he first laughed at us, saying how stupid we were to have trusted some unknown foreigners. Then, to set an example, he decided to punish us by executing the one who was in charge at the time, my father. Everyone was so scared of him that no one dared to oppose him, I was too scared for my son that I had to look him take away my father." Tsunami took another break, her fear of losing Inari, her son, was still fresh in her mind.
"We were all assembled in front of the town hall to witness the execution with no exception, child, men and women of all age were to see what happens to those who defy Gato. One of his men was about to cut my father's head off when it happened. I couldn't bare to see him kill my father and closed my eyes for only one second. When I reopened my eyes it was all over, however, instead of my father, it was Gato and all of his men that were dead. I don't know when, how or what he did but the man who came by earlier with his ship was back. His companions were back too, they took out all the mercenaries that Gato employed while their leader was dealing with him." Tsunami stopped again, but this time she smiled.
"From that point on, our village slowly but surely became what you see of it today. The man came back and as promised, he brought back with him at least ten times the amount of what he borrowed from us. He introduced us to many people as business partners and a ship like his has been coming here every month with new products and merchants for us to trade with. My father is currently on board of one of those ships with my son in order to visit another town like ours and open new trade relationships for our village." Tsunami said as she finished her tale, still smiling.
The Konoha nins and the tourists that were also listening to Tsunami were deeply surprised by the story of this town. Anko couldn't help but think that it was all too good to be true but according to Tsunami, the mysterious man didn't even ask for a cut of the profits generated by his intervention. The variety and abundance of the goods he brought here showed that those ships traveled quite a bit. Anko was in no way an expert in trades but, from what she could see, the Sake she bought came from at least three distinct parts of the Elemental Nations that were on the opposite side of the continent.
It was getting late and they had to leave the town early in the morning so Anko decided to call it a night and sent her team to their rooms. She doubted that they would come across that unknown masked character but left it in a corner of her mind, for better or for worse, this man was definitely someone her superiors would like to meet.
On the Boat for Water Country
Team Anko left Wave Village early on the next morning as scheduled. They took a boat for Water Country in order to infiltrate and assess Kirigakure's situation and their intentions about the War. They were on a touristic boat, with lots of civilians and only a few ninja to defend the ship. Judging by their clothes and headband, they were from Kiri, chunin level at best but Anko knew better than to underestimate strangers, so she ordered her team to remain as discrete as possible and to not draw attention to themselves.
The trip would take at least three days at their current speed and the Snake Mistress was already bored out of her mind. She decided to enjoy some of the Sake she bought in Wave while the rest of her team was simply resting in their cabins to avoid making unnecessary contact with the ninja that were guarding the ship. The only distraction so far was to see the ever hyperactive Rock Lee being sea sick and even that quickly became boring to watch as well.
On the second day of their trip, the ship suddenly stopped in the middle of nowhere. Curious as to why it stopped, Anko and her team, minus Lee, decided to go check the situation on deck. As they arrived, they saw chaos and people running around. Flanking their ship was another ship with a pirate flag. Their men were already boarding the ship and had neutralized the shinobi that were responsible for the crew's safety.
Anko cursed as she knew they couldn't use their shinobi skills, they were way to close to Kiri to reveal themselves as ninja right now. The Kiri nins that were supposed to watch the ship were now useless but still conscious and there was no way they wouldn't notice Anko and her team taking out the pirates.
She knew they had no choice but to let it play as if they were mere civilians, at the mercy of these pirates. Those scums were usually only interested in stealing the ship's gold and cargo so if they were lucky, they would just lose some money and a bit of their pride but that would be it and they would be able to resume their mission.
True to her prediction, the pirates went to steal the ship's cargo as soon as they assembled all the passengers on the deck and restrained them. However, Anko gritted her teeth when one of the pirate saw a beautiful young woman among the passengers and tried to take her with him. This was also among the things that happened during those pirate's attack, they also kidnapped young women. Anko and her team had used Henge, in order to hide their true face, so both her and Tenten looked average to untrained eyes but this young civilian woman was not that lucky.
The man was about to bring the unfortunate girl with him on the pirate ship when a violent gust of wind shook both ships. Pirates, shinobi and civilians alike had to close or shield their eyes until the wind died down.
When everyone reopened their eyes, they were greeted by the appearance of two new women on the civilian ship. One was sitting on top of the mast while the second one was standing near the edge of the ship's bow. Both women wore matching clothes, a tight black leather top, a black miniskirt with stockings and finally over their shoulders, a gray Haori with a black fox printed on it.
"Oh it seems we didn't get all the passengers, we forgot those two lovely ladies. Go get them ! They will make a fine addition to my collection." The pirate's captain yelled at his men who were more than happy to follow their orders. They were making their way to the two women when the one on top of the mast spoke.
"How rude of you, only one man has the right to touch me." She said as she lifted one hand towards the pirate ship. The wind then immediately picked up again and tore its sail to shreds, effectively immobilizing it.
"You speak too much, Sanban Tai Taicho, you came here on your own again without waiting for our Senchou and the others." The second woman said as she unsheathed her katana, and, with a swing so fast for anyone to follow her movement, she sheathed her blade back. A mere second later, a loud cracking noise was heard over the pirate ship as it was suddenly split into two parts, with a clean cut right in the middle of it.
"Arara, it seems you're in a bad mood today Ichiban Tai Taicho, you want some Sake to calm your nerves ?" The one on the mast replied while gulping down a Sake bottle she took out of nowhere.
The pirate's captain and his men who were still on the civilian ship were furious and about to charge at the two mysterious women when something they couldn't understand happened to them.
"What did you do to me ? I can't move my body." The man said as he was stopped in a running position.
"Hmm, it seems our Senchou and the others have arrived. I guess the fun part is over, well for me anyway." The one on the mast said before she jumped down and went to stand beside her partner.
Just as she went down, from out of nowhere and without making a single sound, came out a giant ship. It was easily four times bigger than the civilian or pirate ship. On its deck, Anko saw two more women who once again wore matching clothes, different from the first two who were already on the civilian ship with them though. There was also the man who seemed to match Tsunami's description of the savior from their village.
The two women on board the bigger ship wore a black two-piece suit with several pieces of plate armor as shin-high, slightly heeled metal boots, large wrist-guards, shoulder pieces and a partial skirt. Finally, they also had a short black cape. One part of their equipment immediately caught Tenten's eyes, the very large swords they both had on their back. Contrary to the more traditional katana the first two were wielding those looked like the sword she saw at the weapons shop in the Village back in Wave Country.
"Well well, what do we have here ?" The man said as he gazed around the ship's deck. The only features that could be seen were his blond hair and deep blue eyes that seemed vaguely similar to someone Anko already met in the past but could not remember who or when.
A/N : That's it for now. Give me first impressions, this is important as I start this new story.
Anyway, some explaining as to the plot itself. I decided to go for the AU route since my first story was really close to canon and I often received criticism about that. I always enjoyed reading stories where Naruto would leave, be exiled or banished only to come back later, stronger than ever. This is my first attempt at something like this.
Now, as to the new location of Naruto in the Elemental Nations, I've read countless stories of him going to another village among the other Great Four or even Uzushiogakure and wanted to do something slightly different, I won't spoil how different this will be but that's the basic behind this new story, besides those who can understand the Japanese title will know ...
Another matter is the pairing, I've been continuously harassed by my readers to do a harem for the other story and I didn't have the confidence at the time. Now though, as I wrote at the beginning this will be a harem setting for Naruto and I won't really bother with side pairings that don't involve him. For now I've locked six to seven women for him but be warned that most of them aren't from the Naruto verse. They aren't real OC per say, once again no spoilers there but I hope you'll like them. You may try to guess who the girls are, those four traveling with him are in the harem.
Finally, I won't update this again until Kaze no Kami is properly concluded, which shouldn't take too long, considering that it is about two chapters from its end. Anyway this is exciting, the beginning of a new adventure and I hope it will be as successful as the first one. Hopefully I've grown a bit as an author since the first chapters of Kaze no Kami.
My usual parting words, please Read and Review, your opinion matters to me :)