Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto... I think we've established that by now...

Hey ho its xNamikazeKyuubix back (finally) with another brand new (not again) story! I PROMISE that I am working on the chapters for the other fanfics but they are really slow going with all the school work and my freelance business at the moment.

This idea just kind of popped into my head out of nowhere when I was on my way to school one fine day. Well I guess this idea could be counted as 'original' since there are hardly any good fanfics with this theme of Naruto, hardly I never said there weren't any! If there are any, I have yet to find them... or it's a pairing I detest.

Well enough blabbering from me, time to get this show on the freaking road!

Chapter 1: A New Path

What have I been doing with my life...?

Was everything I accomplished up to this point meaningless?

For all my boasting and bravado...I couldn't even save one friend...

These were the thoughts swimming around in a certain young blond-haired shinobi as he lay injured upon the cold, hard ground as rain pelted down around him. The roar of the waterfall in the background thundered through his brain as he reflected upon his actions up to that point in time.

'For all my training... Sasuke still defeated me in the end.' He though bitterly to himself with teeth clenched as he felt the burning youki of the Kyuubi work upon the wound in his chest.

'Brother... brother my ass... no brother would drive a lightning covered fist through your chest just so he could prove himself...' Naruto reached out and grasped the slashed headband resting beside him.

"Ah fuck this hurts..." He hissed in pain as he rolled over and pushed himself back up, the slashed headband of his former teammate grasped tightly in his hand.

He turned his piercing cerulean blue gaze onto the piece of metal and cloth in his hand, the symbol of Konohagakure no Sato (Hidden Leaf Village) clearly gouged through with a kunai. The rain drizzled down around him, serving to only increase the depressing atmosphere at the destroyed landscape of the Valley of the End.

"Well Uchiha Sasuke... this officially means we're no longer brothers." Naruto spat upon the metal before tossing the headband to the side as the fist-sized wound in his chest finally sealed up. "...thanks for the quick repair Kyuubi."

'Think of it as a welcome gift for finally coming to your senses regarding the Uchiha brat...' The Kyuubi's voice drifted through his mind causing his eyes to widen slightly.

"You can talk to me?" Naruto asked dumbfounded.

'Yeah obviously I can speak to you, isn't that what I just fucking did you meatbag.' Kyuubi scoffed at the ridiculous question.

Naruto could feel a slight twitch developing in his eyebrow at the tone, "Then why didn't you say anything up to now?"

'...I find it below something of my status to converse with a lowly meatbag like you.' Kyuubi replied smugly. 'And just think of your response meatbag, otherwise other meatbags will think you were retarded... not saying that you aren't retarded already."

'...I hate you.' Naruto groaned as he painfully trudged back into the forest.

'The feeling is mutual meatbag...'

Despite Kyuubi healing the life-threatening wound, the major blood-loss soon took its toll as his vision started to swim. Naruto stumbled forward a little as darkness encroached on his vision; he instinctively reached out to grasp at something to keep his balance.

'Shit...' His hand brushed against the harsh bark of a nearby tree trunk and automatically braced his shoulder against it.

'Nothing I can do about it... time to say nighty-night meatbag!'

'Fuck you...' Naruto managed to get off before he completely blacked out and collapsed forward onto the forest floor.

The unconscious blonde Genin was unaware of the crunching sound that steadily approached him, the sound of someone or something making its way through the forest towards his prone form. A pause in the sound was followed by a startled gasp and a gruff voice.

"Well... that's not what I was expecting to see on my annual visit to the Fire Daimyo's palace..."

Undetermined number of hours later

A groan echoed throughout a small simple room as cerulean blue eyes flickered open and close, trying to blink the sleep from them albeit unsuccessfully. Uzumaki Naruto awoke to find himself staring at an unfamiliar ceiling; it was neither that of his home or the hospital.

Feeling something damp on his forehead where his headband should be, he reached up a hand to find a damp cloth placed there. For a brief moment confusion stretched across his face before the events of the past day suddenly hit him like a giant toad summoned by his perverted teacher.

'Okay calm down... looks like somebody stumbled across my unconscious body and carried me back to their home... or a rented room at least.' Naruto thought as he tossed the cloth onto a nearby table and sat up, pleasantly noting that most of the pain from his wounds had gone away.

Taking a look down at himself, he noticed that his torn, tattered and bloodied orange jumpsuit had been replaced by a simple yet elegant-looking crimson yukata. His eyes widened slightly at feeling the smooth texture of the cloth used, it was definitely worth more than everything he owned combined.

'Whoever found me must be pretty wealthy to be able to afford clothing of this standard...' He thought before taking in his surroundings.

It was basically what most people expected to find in most rented rooms, a bathroom, a single bed, a wardrobe, two windows and a bedside table with a lamp. The blonde shinobi got to his feet and walked over to the window to take a peak outside, it overlooked a busy market street filled with stores and bustling with people.

'Definitely not Konoha then... I recognised all of the streets and alleyways ever since I started pulling pranks and had to escape detection or outrun the ANBU.' Naruto sighed as he pressed his forehead against the glass.

"Such a tired sigh for someone so young..." A rather rough and elderly voice sounded from behind him causing him to immediately twirl around in a simple taijutsu stance.

Focused blue eyes instantly scanned the individual before him; the initial look of an elderly man did not get him to loosen his stance. He had long grey hair, which almost reaches down to his waist, with bandages wrapped around his head. Black eyes with distinct wrinkles underneath them, he also has a grey goatee and moustache. The man too wore an elegant but simple dark purple yukata with a grey haori over it but what caught his attention was the katana strapped to his waist.

The sword appeared to be fairly long and thin judging from the sheath had a rectangular hand-guard and a long hilt wrapped in bandages. While anyone could have bought a katana and strode around with it attached to their waist, they could not exude the aura of experience and sheer deadliness that the elderly man seemed to emit.

"Who are you?" Naruto finally asked after his analysis was done.

"My name... is Mifune. How about you, Genin hailing from Konohagakure no Sato, what is your name?" Mifune asked after replying.

"Naruto... Uzumaki Naruto."

Mifune's eyes widened by a slight margin upon hearing that name, "Uzumaki... now that is a name I have not heard in a long, long time... they were said to have been completely wiped out during the Second Great Shinobi War."

"I... I had a family?" Naruto stuttered out in surprise, his cerulean eyes wide.

"You didn't know?" Mifune raised a delicate eyebrow as if he did not believe it. "You, an Uzumaki raised in Konohagakure no Sato, has not heard of the great Uzumaki clan that you hailed from? A clan that was just as important and powerful as the Senju?"

"No... They never covered anything about them in the academy." Naruto answered truthfully with a blank expression whilst his mind was working at a furious pace.

'The Uzumaki clan was as famous as the Senju? How come something as important as that was never taught by Iruka-sensei? Why did everyone act as if Uzumaki was just a normal name if it really is as big as this Mifune guy mentioned...?'

'It seems the truth will finally be revealed...' Kyuubi suddenly injected in a strangely neutral tone.

'Kyuubi what do you mean by that...?'

'It matters not as the elderly meatbag is going to explain it to you sooner or later...' The demonic entity went completely silent after that, as if content to just watch and see how everything would unfold.

"That doesn't make sense... the Uzumaki clan were distant relatives of the Senju clan and played just as big a role in Konoha's history as the Senju and Uchiha clans. The shinobi of Konoha integrated Uzushiogakure's symbol onto their uniforms and flak jackets as well as on the shoulders of their uniforms as a sign of friendship and goodwill between the two villages, and continue to do so to this day, in memory of their friendship even years after Uzushiogakure's destruction." Mifune explained as he shook his head.

"I see... then why was I treated as a clan-less orphan left to starve and survive on my own from the age of six?" Naruto kept his voice neutral as he asked.

"You were left on your own at the age of six?" Mifune's voice rose slightly in shock, his mind trying to work around the fact that a child had been abandoned to fend for himself at such a young age.

"Yes, I was kicked out of the orphanage when my sixth birthday came around. Drunken shinobi and civilians then formed a mob and chased me through the streets at night, hurling insults, glares and weapons at my back as I ran..." Naruto took a deep breath to calm himself as well as allow the information to soak in. "Eventually they cornered me at a dead end and proceeded to beat the ever living shit out of me, often using a kunai or two. The ANBU arrived a minute later and spirited the aggressors away..."

"Kami above..." Mifune whispered in disgust.

"I lay there injured and bloodied for another full minute before another ANBU showed up to take me to the hospital, where I was refused treatment by the staff on account of being a 'no-good-demon-brat'. It was only when the Sandaime Hokage arrived would I actually be admitted to a ward, where I was given the bare minimal treatment for my wounds." Naruto looked the older man in the eyes as he prepared to say his next sentence. "And if you hadn't guessed by now... the reason for my treatment is because I am the Jinchuuriki of the Kyuubi no Yoko."

"I guessed as much... Jinchuuriki across the Elemental Nations seemed to get the same kind of treatment." Mifune sighed before asking another question. "So Naruto-san, how did you end up where you were when I found you?"

"Just Naruto is fine Mifune-san... and it was due to someone I used to consider a brother..." Naruto proceeded to relate his entire tale of drama and happenings to the aged man, feeling an odd sense of relief after pouring everything out onto someone else.

"If there is something we samurai hate more than anything else, it is betrayal... betrayal of trust, of loyalty, of friendship. People that perform such deeds do not deserve to continue living in our eyes..." Mifune spat in disgust after hearing the tale.

"You're a samurai?" Naruto asked in surprise.

"Indeed Naruto... I am Mifune, taishō (general) of Tetsu no Kuni (Land of Iron) and leader of the samurais." Mifune introduced himself fully this time.

"Does that mean you're like their Kage or something?"

"From a shinobi point of view, yes I am something akin to a Kage at least in political power if not raw unbridled power." Mifune chuckled slightly.

"Mifune-sama, please forgive me for my ignorance." Naruto bowed his head as he kneeled down on one knee, not wanting to get on the bad side of the leader of a country. 'Especially not one that just bothered to save my life...'

"That's not necessary Naruto. We samurai tend to stay out of shinobi business so it isn't much of a surprise that the younger ninjas don't know who I am. Also you could say that shinobi and samurai have a long standing silent rivalry going on, probably due to our conflicting ideals and thoughts." Mifune said as he helped the young blonde-haired Jinchuuriki back to his feet.

"I remember some things from history class... shinobi go about in any way to accomplish their task, be it lying, stealing, assassination or other deceitful and dishonorable means. Samurai are bound by a code of honor that they are not allowed to break or risk getting severe penalties..." Naruto narrowed his eyes as he recited the text from his memory.

"Hahaha that's rather old material you got there! Where did your teacher pull that out from, the ancient archives? Living among several large armies composing of lying, cheating backstabbers will definitely force us to change our ways..." The elderly man chuckled in amusement as he shook his head.

"So that means you abolished the code of honor?" Naruto asked in curiosity.

"Yes and no. We removed most of it but there are still strict rules and regulations that we adhere to, such as rape, murder, plundering and anything along those lines are not permitted and will be dealt with accordingly." Mifune replied causing Naruto to stare at him in thought for a moment. "Is something on your mind Naruto?"

"Hai Mifune-sama..." Naruto dropped to one knee and bowed his head. "Please train me in the arts of the Samurai..."

Mifune felt his eyes widen at the request, "What prompted such a request? We have only just met and you would entrust your life to me?"

"I see no choice other than to trust you, besides the fact that you could have just left me for dead when you found me... Plus that aura of strength and confidence that you carry around you, it is definitely not just for show." Naruto replied without hesitation.

"What about your shinobi career? Your village, friends and family?" Mifune asked.

"My shinobi career is non-existent with the village holding me back. The majority of the village population hates me for being the Jinchuuriki of the Kyuubi, I hardly am close to any of my friends and what family? I am an orphan..." Naruto answered whilst meeting the older man's gaze with a steely expression.

"Well then..." Mifune stroked his beard as he considered his options before smirking slightly. "I see no reason not to accept your request... besides I always wanted an apprentice of my own. Not to mention that apprentice being the first ever Jinchuuriki samurai..."

"Arigatou Mifune-sama, this means a lot to me!" Naruto sprang to his feet with a genuine smile and bowed respectfully.

"Now that we're master and apprentice, you have to address me as Mifune-sensei." The experienced samurai leader informed the blonde, who nodded in understanding.

"Hai Mifune-sensei, so are we going back to Tetsu no Kuni to begin my training?" Naruto asked, already excited at the prospect of his new training.

"Eventually Naruto but for now we're going to be traversing the Elemental Nations, so as to get you familiarized with the different countries and their people." Mifune replied.

Naruto scrunched up his eyes at the answer, "Ne... what does running around the countries help with my training?"

"Well being a good warrior doesn't necessarily consist of being the best fighter, sometimes words can be just as potent a weapon. Not all battles can be solved using force my apprentice... sometimes a little more 'diplomacy' is required." Mifune turned around and opened the door of the room before looking over his shoulder. "Let's go, time to begin your training."

Naruto shoved all his thoughts to the back of his mind for the moment, choosing to focus on whatever his master wanted of him.

In Konohagakure no Sato

"Kakashi... could you repeat that again?" Tsunade asked with a sickly sweet tone causing the masked Jounin to gulp slightly as cold sweat trickled down the back of his head.

"Um... both Naruto and Sasuke... seemed to have... left the village?" Kakashi answered nervously.

"And what would make you come to that conclusion, about Naruto not the Uchiha brat..." Tsunade inquired as civilly as she could.

"Well I found Sasuke's scratched out headband by the Valley of the End... and Naruto's headband by the edge of the forest..." The silver-haired Jounin replied, his usual Icha-Icha book clutched in his hand but unopened.

"And Naruto's headband... was it scratched out like the Uchihas?"

"No Hokage-sama..."

"Well Kakashi... could it have been possible that the Uchiha decided that Naruto would make a good offering to Orochimaru? Or that an enemy shinobi could have kidnapped him after recognizing the whisker marks as the sign of a Jinchuuriki?" Tsunade growled with an eyebrow twitching violently.

"That... is highly possible..." Kakashi rubbed the back of his head sheepishly.

"And you didn't think of this before because...?" The busty blonde Hokage cracked her knuckles.

"Ah well you see... I was about to check when uh... a black cat walked under a ladder beside me?" He offered with a weak smile.

"Kakashi... YOU LAZY PERVERTED BASTARD CYCLOPS!" Tsunade roared as she cocked her chakra-loaded fist back.

Kakashi gulped and held his little orange book up in front of his face like a shield, "Protect me porn!"

Unfortunately that did little to help him as the super-powered punch knocked him sky-high out of the Hokage tower and sent him sailing across the village, leaving an angered Tsunade to calm herself down.

"Tsunade-sama... what do we do now? About Naruto-kun I mean..." Shizune asked nervously.

"Get together the best tracker team possible, I want them to head to Naruto's last known position and see if they can track him down. By sight, smell, sound or chakra I don't give a damn as long as there are results." Tsunade told her black-haired apprentice who could only nod meekly before scurrying off to fulfill her orders.

The blonde Kage massaged her temples before speaking to a seemingly empty room, "What do you want Jiraiya? And I swear that if it is anything dumb then I will send you flying like I did with Kakashi..."

"Of course Tsunade..." Jiraiya gulped nervously as he dropped his camouflage technique before his voice turned serious as he locked eyes with her. "I heard everything that Kakashi reported... and I will be going on my own search for him using the Toads since they have excellent chakra sensors. However if I do find him, I would like your permission to train him away from the village for three years."

"Three years? Why would you want him out of the village for so long?" Tsunade asked with a raised eyebrow.

"I would be training him in the shinobi arts as well as teaching him how to control and utilize the Kyuubi's chakra... also Akatsuki has started to move." Jiraiya said with a tone devoid of his usual playfulness.

"Are you sure?"

"Positive... my spies have confirmed with me that they have finally emerged from hiding and their objective is to capture all of the Bijū (Tailed Beasts). The purpose of which is something that I do not know... So I plan on keeping Naruto on the move so Akatsuki would have a tougher time targeting him as well as training him to fight S-class enemies. Plus it will allow me to travel and acquire more information on this elusive S-class missing-nin organisation and its members." Jiraiya explained in detail.

"...I consent to your request. However that is on the basis that you manage to find him first..." Tsunade sighed before pulling open her bottom drawer and channelling some of her chakra into a hidden storage seal, revealing a bottle of sake.

"So that's where you hide your alcohol..." Jiraiya muttered with a shake of his head.

"You want any?" She held up the glass bottle only to receive a negative.

"Enjoy yourself... I've got a missing blonde Genin to track down!" The white-haired Sannin smirked before leaping out the window of her office.

Tsunade just sighed again before uncorking the bottle and chugging down the contents, relishing in the burn that the alcohol caused in her throat. Just as she took another gulp of alcohol, the door to her office swung open.

"Tsunade-sama! Are you drinking on the job again!" Shizune shouted at her mentor causing said woman to choke on the drink and spray it out of her mouth whilst hiding the bottle behind her back.

"Umm... no?"

"Regardless... here is the team that I managed to assemble Tsunade-sama!" The black-haired petite assistant stepped out of the way, allowing three shinobi to enter the room.

The first person was a male with long, black hair and featureless white eyes that signified his belonging to the famed Hyuuga clan. He wore a very traditional, loose fitting white robe with the standard Konoha Jounin vest situated over it and a Konoha Hitai-ate (Forehead Protector) around his forehead.

The second person was a female with animalistic looks about her. She has long spiky brown hair, vertical slit-like pupils, elongated canine teeth and nails. She also has the clan fang markings of the Inuzuka on her cheeks as well as markings over her eyes and a dark shade of purple lipstick. She wears the standard outfit of a Konoha Jounin shinobi.

The third person was a male like all members of the Aburame clan, had his eyes obscured by dark glasses which feature a single tassel hanging down from one-side. He has very spiky short black hair and a moustache. He typically wears a high collared outfit, while carrying a gourd on his back similar to that of Sabaku no Gaara.

"Hyuuga Hiashi, Inuzuka Tsume and Aburame Shibi... I didn't expect three clan heads to step up to this task." Tsunade said with disbelief in her voice.

"It's good to get off our behinds and make sure our skills haven't rusted after all this time Hokage-sama." Tsume let out a bark of laughter after her sentence.

"It would be very unbecoming of myself as a clan head when my own nephew very nearly gave his own life to retrieve a member of our shinobi forces yet I sit behind a desk all day no?" Hiashi replied with a small smirk.

"..." Shibi stared on impassively from behind his shades.

"Glad to have you three aboard then! Now I take it that Shizune has informed you of your mission?" Tsunade asked, getting three nods in response. "Good, now head out while the trail is still relatively fresh!"

"Hai Hokage-sama!" The three experienced Jounin saluted before vanishing in their respective Shunshin no Jutsu (Body Flicker technique).

With Mifune and Naruto

The master and apprentice had left the small town and were walking alongside a merchant caravan on its way to Takigakure no Sato (Hidden Waterfall Village), which was the first stop on the samurai's list.

"Tell me Naruto, what do you know about Takigakure no Sato?" Mifune asked as they chatted.

"Well there was this one time that my former team was assigned a mission to protect the current leader of Takigakure, Shibuki. My Jounin leader at that time had to leave due to an emergency Jounin meeting, leaving us to fulfil a side mission of cleaning up the area. However Shibuki's former teacher betrayed the village by allying up with Amegakure (Hidden Rain) shinobi to steal the famed Hero Water of the village." Naruto paused for a moment as his eyes dulled slightly. "It was a tough fight but I managed to defeat him with the help of Kyuubi and Sasuke..."

"I see..." Mifune whispered as he stroked his beard. 'He still misses his ex-teammate despite what has happened and his own resolve... I guess that is to be expected after all.'

"That is about my only experience with Takigakure Mifune-sensei." Naruto's voice cut him out from his thoughts.

"Hmm... did you know that Takigakure has its own Jinchuuriki?" Mifune glanced sideways to observe his apprentice's reaction.

Naruto stumbled slightly when he heard that before recovering and looking up at the elderly samurai with wide eyes, "Taki has a Jinchuuriki like me?"

"Yes... well not exactly like you. When your Shodaime Hokage, Senju Hashimara, gave away the Bijū in a gesture of goodwill to the other villages. Takigakure received the Nanabi no Kabutomushi (Seven-tailed Rhinoceros Beetle) and thus gained its very own Jinchuuriki by sealing it into infants to train to wield the powerful chakra entity." Mifune explained as he chuckled at the blonde's rapt attention. "Last I heard it was sealed into an infant girl..."

"A girl is the Jinchuuriki of the Nanabi... I wonder if she has gone through the same lifestyle as me." Naruto whispered the last part to himself but his master still managed to pick it up.

"Don't worry about that first, we'll have the chance to meet her once we get there... For now I want you to do something for me..." The elderly man held out his hand. "Could you pass me one of your kunai?"

"Sure..." Naruto replied in confusion as he pulled out a kunai from its slot and handed it over grip first.

"Now Naruto-totei (apprentice), this is one of the most basic things regarding chakra that samurai learn. It's how to channel your chakra into your weapon, thus increasing its cutting power and resilience." Mifune explained as he held up the kunai and channelled his chakra into it.

Naruto watched in interest as the kunai soon had a dull blue glow around it which steadily grew brighter, the glow eventually stabilised into a blue shroud around the entire weapon. He followed his sensei as he walked over to a random tree and slashed at it with a chakra-less kunai first, then followed by a chakra-enhanced kunai.

"As you can see by the demonstration, the chakra-enhanced kunai left a much deeper gash on the tree trunk in comparison to a normal kunai. This is one of the most basic techniques of the samurai, now I want you to try it for yourself..." Mifune told the blonde as he returned the kunai and they resumed walking.

"I will do my best Mifune-sensei!" Naruto grinned as he stared at the plain kunai in his grip.

The original him would have just blasted chakra into it straight and hope for the best but he had changed already, so he tried applying the tree walking principle to this.

'Okay... not too much and not too little. Have to find the correct balance...' Naruto chanted in his mind as he channelled his chakra into the weapon but even after a minute nothing happened.

The blonde blinked as he switched hands and tried again but yet again there were no changes, he took a deep breath and tried again and again and kept switching hands. After the twentieth time he could feel his eyebrow twitching already, all he had managed to do was stick the kunai to his hand like how he stuck to surfaces using the tree-walking exercise.

Naruto finally gave up with a sigh of defeat before looking up at his mentor to see a knowing smirk on his face, "Mifune-sensei... any tips to help me along?"

"Well Naruto-totei... what you're doing is actually just channelling chakra into your hand thus resulting in the sticking effect. However what you're supposed to be doing is to channel your chakra into your weapon and not your hand... enough of a hint for you?" Mifune asked with an amused tone.

"Channel into the weapon huh..." Naruto looked down at the kunai in his hand and tried pushing his chakra into the weapon, still no result other than attaching it to his palm again.

"Still no luck huh... pay attention to what I said carefully. Channel your chakra into your weapon... channel it into your weapon."

"That's what I'm trying to do!" Naruto shouted in frustration as he attempted and failed once again.

'Stupid meatbag, do you still not realise what the old meatbag is talking about?' Kyuubi's voice drifted through his mind suddenly.

'No fuzzy, I do not understand...'

'... You really are a dumb bag of meat aren't you?'

'Shut up fuzzy...'

'Well then I guess I'll keep the answer to myself then...' Kyuubi could practically feel his container's eyes widening after that statement.

'Hey wait a minute you know the answer? Quick hurry up and tell me!'

'...say the magic word~'

'...please tell me the answer?'

'Address me as Kyuubi-sama and not fuzzy.'

'Please tell me the answer Kyuubi-sama...' Naruto growled slightly as he said it.

'...wonderful, amazing and beautiful Kyuubi-sama.'

'Don't push it fox...'

'Well I guess you don't want to know the answer then...' Kyuubi's voice was taunting causing his eyebrow to twitch slightly as he sighed.

'Please tell me the answer oh wonderful, amazing and beautiful Kyuubi-sama!' Naruto repeated with a mocking reverent tone before his eye widened. 'Wait a freaking second... you're female?'

'Oh so now you're a sexist meatbag? Are you telling me that females can't be strong huh? Why so surprised that the strongest Bijū in existence at the moment is female?' Kyuubi went off into a rant inside his mind, resulting in a rather uncomfortable migraine for him.

'No I didn't mean it like that! I was surprised because we were told that all of you were just chakra constructs and had no gender...' Naruto thought back in reply as he rubbed his head gently.

Mifune cocked an eyebrow at his apprentice's weird behaviour, the boy seemed to be making strange facial expressions ranging from annoyance to shock and now he was massaging his brow. The most the elderly samurai could come up with was that his apprentice was currently communicating with his nine-tailed tenant.

'Shows what you useless meatbags know... yes we Bijū all have genders, just like how we all have names and not just our titles.' Kyuubi scoffed.

'Wait you have names as well... then what's your name?' Naruto asked in curiosity.

'As if I would grace a pathetic meatbag like you with my name... I'm just glad that it's not something retarded like Naruto (Fishcake).'

'For the last time, my name is Naruto (Maelstrom)!'

'That's what I said...' Kyuubi snickered to herself before clearing her throat. 'So do you want to know the answer or not?'

'Of course I do...'

'Well meatbag listen closely! Why do you think he said YOUR weapon and not THE weapon?'

'...because it is my weapon?' Naruto hazarded a guess and swore he could hear the sound of Kyuubi ramming her head against the metal bars of her cage.

'...no you blonde idiotic meatbag! He means that you have to view the weapon as an extension of yourself and not just another ninja tool! You have to treat the kunai like it's a part of your body so your chakra can flow into it easier!' Kyuubi explained with an exasperated tone.

'Oh... can I ask you another question?'

'...I'm almost afraid to ask what it is but go ahead.'

'Why does your voice not sound feminine at all?'

'I am a towering nine-tailed demonic fox with the power to crush mountains and summon tidal waves... having a soft and pleasant feminine voice does not fit the profile meatbag...'

'Oh... thanks for the advice anyway...'

Kyuubi shook her snout as she felt her container sever the mental link, 'I can't believe I got sealed into this dumb meatbag... though he looks much better than that girly-boy of a father he had.'

Mifune watched out of the corner of his eye as his apprentice took a deep breath and sighed before focusing on his kunai, there seemed to be a calmer and focused air about him. He felt his eyebrow rise slightly when he noticed a shimmering blue aura form around the kunai, though it did not last for long and disappeared a minute later.

"Had an enlightening conversation with your 'partner' I assume?" Mifune asked with a knowing smile.

"You could say that sensei... but I finally understand what you meant." Naruto replied with a grin as he formed an unstable blue glow around his kunai again.

"Very good Naruto... now practice and learn how to stabilize your chakra within your kunai. It should be instinctual and able to pull it off without putting so much effort and thought into it like you are currently doing, so keep practicing until we reach Takigakure no Sato." Mifune instructed with a strict tone.

Naruto saluted playfully before turning his attention back to his kunai and resuming their trek towards the village, both of them unknowing of the presence spying upon them.

"Leader-sama must know of this immediately! Well then stop fucking wasting time here and let's go!" A distorted dual-toned voice argued with itself, revealing that the owner of said voice was a strange plant-like man with a huge venus flytrap sprouting from his shoulders and encompassing his head.

"We haven't gotten anything to eat yet! I'm hungry too you idiot, the faster we report this in then the faster we can feast..." The plant-like man nodded absentmindedly before sinking back into the tree trunk it had emerged from, leaving no trace of his presence.

With the Konoha tracker team

"There's a blood trail leading back here from the Valley of the End... it looks like the kid fought it out with the Uchiha brat and lost but managed to survive. His scent stops here which means that he collapsed against this tree... yet there is no body." Tsume reported as she sniffed the air once again.

"My kikaichu inform me that there was another chakra presence here other than Naruto's... and it wasn't the Uchiha's..." Shibi told them in his usual monotone voice.

"Nothing within range of my Byakugan either... hold on I think I've got something..." Hiashi squinted before grinning. "Well looks like we have a trail... I managed to pick up a faint trail of Kyuubi's chakra that was probably at work healing the damage done to the Uzumaki kid's body."

"Fantastic! Lead the way!" Tsume shouted as the three shinobi took off again with Hiashi in the lead.

The trio eventually arrive at a simple town situated in the outskirts of Hi no Kuni (Land of Fire), Hiashi leads them towards an Inn in the middle of the town. The three shinobi getting strange looks from the citizens as they were a rather rare sight, especially in a small rural town like theirs.

Hiashi walked into the Inn only to blink in surprise when he spotted a man with a familiar mane of spiky white hair standing at the receptionist desk and flirting with the female stationed there.

"Jiraiya-sama?" The Hyuuga clan head called out, prompting the Sannin to turn around.

"Hyuuga Hiashi, Inuzuka Tsume and Aburame Shibi... certainly didn't expect to see three prominent clan heads out this far from Konoha. What are you all doing here anyway?" Jiraiya asked.

"Tsunade-sama sent us three out as a tracking squad to search for Uzumaki Naruto... though it seems like you're doing the same thing ya pervert." Tsume laughed when she saw the insulted look on the Toad Sennin.

"You hurt my feelings Tsume; I am not a pervert... but a super pervert!" Jiraiya shouted out as he held up a finger in the air causing the three clan head's to palm their face in embarrassment.

"Friendly banter aside Jiraiya-sama, it looks like you arrived at the same location that we have..." Shibi said as he pushed his shades up his nose.

"Yeah, apparently Naruto was here up until a few hours ago. The receptionist said that he had left with the same person that had brought him in, an elderly man with a bandaged head wearing expensive-looking clothing and a katana sheathed at his waist." Jiraiya told them before sighing. "Which hardly narrows down our list of suspects as anyone could have just used a Henge no Jutsu (Transformation technique) to fool a civilian... looks like we have to split up and ask around the town then."

"Alright, how about we meet back up outside this Inn around an hour later?" Hiashi asked and received three nods of understanding before they split up.

An hour later and the four Konohagakure shinobi met back up outside the Inn with various looks of disappointment evident on their faces, one look at each other and they could tell.

"So I take it that none of you managed to find any leads as to where the blonde brat had wandered off to or the identity of the person he was with?" Jiraiya asked with a small hint of hope.

However that hope was crushed when all three clan heads' shook their heads in response as Tsume ran a clawed hand through her rough spiky hair, "The closest thing to a lead I got was that a villager had seen them leave together with a merchant caravan earlier, but they have no idea as to where that caravan was headed..."

"Damn, that caravan could have crossed the boundaries of Hi no Kuni already... if that is the case then I am the only one able to pursue it due to my abilities as a spy-master. You three should head back and report to Tsunade, also as a precaution in case of the situation where the merchant caravan had decided to travel inland towards Konoha instead!" Jiraiya barked out orders getting three curt nods before they spun around and dashed off.

The Toad Sannin bit his thumb before running through several handseals and slammed his open palm onto the ground, causing a sealing matrix to spread out across the sandy floor.

"Kuchiyose no Jutsu (Summoning technique)!"

The smoke cleared to reveal a medium sized dark blue toad with a pair of daggers sheathed at its waist, "Yo Jiraiya, I presume you're ready to resume tracking down Naruto?"

"Hai Gamatate, what of the boy's connection to the summoning scroll?" Jiraiya asked as he hopped up on the toad's head and stuck there using his chakra.

"His connection is still there, meaning that he is still alive." Gamatate croaked in response.

"Then how come you guys haven't just reversed summoned him back to Mount Myōboku?"

"Definitely not from lack of trying I'll tell you that..." The toad blinked his large amphibious eyes as he hopped out of the small town. "However it seems like something or someone is blocking our attempts to reverse summon him, it's like there is some sort of foreign chakra interference..."

"It must be the work of the Kyuubi... for whatever reason it seems that the beast does not want Naruto back in our custody." Jiraiya rubbed his chin. "That's a scary thought... it means that the Kyuubi must have something planned for him. Which just makes it all the more urgent that we track him down faster!"

In an unknown location

"So you're telling me that the Kyuubi Jinchuuriki has chosen to abandon his village and train under Mifune, the samurai general of Tetsu no Kuni?" A distorted male voice echoed throughout the cave, the speaker was a holographic representation of the shadowy form of a man with spiky hair and pale purple eyes with a ripple like pattern.

"Hai leader-sama, the blonde brat has indeed done so." The plant-like man reported, his yellow dot-like eyes staring straight ahead unblinking.

"Well looks like things have just gotten a whole lot more interesting wouldn't you say Itachi?" A holograph of a large man holding an equally huge sword laughed.

"... Mifune is an experience and powerful samurai that stood up to Salamander Hanzo and earned his respect. Something that only the three Sannin had done before; it is not wise to underestimate his skills." The Uchiha prodigy replied with his eyes closed.

"Oh I'm just psyched up to have a sword fight with a real samurai! See how they fare against Hoshigaki Kisame, one of the Kiri no Shinobigatana Shichinin Shū (Seven Ninja Swordsmen of the Mist)!" The revealed Kisame declared with a gleeful tone.

"Just remember that we need the Kyuubi Jinchuuriki back in one piece Kisame, or it will be your head." The ripple-patterned eyes gazed in the shark man's direction, slightly creeping him out.

"Got it leader-sama, I'll make sure the brat survives... not saying that he wouldn't be missing a few parts though gahaha!" Kisame laughed again.

"Very well... Deidara and Sasori, you two are to get ready to head to Takigakure no Sato so you can capture the Jinchuuriki of the Nanabi no Kabutomushi. Don't expect much in way of shinobi resistance as the village seems to despise her existence and would appear to be rather glad to be rid of her presence..." The shadowy form of the leader turned his gaze towards two holograms standing beside each other, one noticeably hunched over making it seem shorter.

"Don't worry leader-sama; my art will make sure that it will be a blast!" The taller shadow exclaimed.

"My spy network has already informed me of her current location; we will set out immediately..." The hunched over figure spoke in a raspy deep male accent.

"Excellent, then this meeting is dismissed!" The leader swiped his hand, cutting off the holographic communication.

Well everyone, that has practically set the stage for my new story. Naruto is travelling and training under Mifune, Jiraiya is busy trying to track him down and Akatsuki has begun to make their move! Stay tuned to find out more and of course please make sure to drop me a review to let me know what you think!

Also review to let me know the harem members that you want~ once again my usual standard of having no Konoha females other than Yuugao as I have a pretty good plot for her if she is in the harem! Female Kyuubi should be in as well, though that would be no surprise to my usual readers hah~

Ja ne~