Naruto walked into Konoha, slightly behind the two Sannin in front of him, and it was because of this that he could hear the voices.
"Look! It's Lord Jiraiya and Lady Tsunade!"
"The Sannin! Oh my god!"
Those were just the beginning of the admiring tones, the fan girl squeals, and the hushed mutters of the two's fans. He observed the two in front of him, noticing just how much it irritated the both of them.
Jiraiya was acting like a fool, happily smiling and waving, winking at the women as well. However, each and every movement was forced, the smile was fake, and his eyes were on alert, almost like he was expecting to be attacked. Naruto found it somewhat odd that someone who had always seemed to thrive upon attention hated large amounts of it.
Tsunade on the other hand was not even attempting to enjoy it, her fists clenched and a twitch above her eye, jaw shut and a grimace clear on her features. Tsunade hated attention from the civilians, and while she didn't mind it from shinobi, she believed that the ninja in question should spend their time training rather than gawking at her.
Naruto reflected on the journey back, how Tsunade had done her very best to get to know him on the way. According to her he had, despite their bad start, kicked her rear into gear, and it was most likely because of him that she had been uninjured in the fight against Kabuto. Either of the Sannin by themselves would have been more than a match for the medic, but with a severely weakened Jiraiya, despite Shizune's antidote, along with an enemy who happily took every opening, they had had a small amount of trouble.
Anyways, she had doggedly attempted to batter down his guard until Jiraiya had taken her to the side and explained a few things about him. According to Jiraiya, Naruto was "emotionally dead, eternal battle-mode, and incredibly deadly." Naruto took a little offense to that. He experienced every emotion perfectly, he just ignored them.
After that she had changed her approach, attempting to learn about him instead of just talking to him. She no longer approached him, instead talking to Jiraiya to learn about him. After that she had done her very best to worm her way into his defenses out of some perceived duty to help make up for others mistakes. He supposed that it was because she was a medic. Under other circumstances Naruto would have allowed her in, but seeing as he was waiting for a moment to disappear, well, gaining additional bonds would make it harder for him to do what needed to be done.
Naruto returned to the present, seeing Tsunade and Jiraiya stop. They were in front of the Kage tower, and Naruto nodded a good bye to Jiraiya before leaving, both Sannin frowning at his lack of relation with Tsunade. Naruto roof-hopped away, he had a jutsu to prepare and a legend to meet, and he knew just who to sacrifice.
There are many reasons that Konoha is considered the best shinobi village in the Elemental nations, and one of which is the people. Humans in Konoha have a reputation of being fine, upstanding people who will lend a helping hand to those in need. Of course, there are exceptions to every rule.
This man was one of them.
Harunobo Takehito was a miserly man, unwilling to spend any money to pay his assistant at the loaning shop he owned. He was old, bitter, and hateful of pretty much everyone, charging outrageous rates of interest for the lowest of loans. This was a man with no family, having never done a good deed in his life if he could help it. No one would miss him, and a few would even quietly celebrate this mans death.
Naruto smiled to himself as he waited for the mans assistant to leave the shop. He was not usually one for vengeance, but his man had been responsible for the very first attack upon him. The man had taken a moment to celebrate an incredibly successful loan, drinking and treating himself for the first time in years upon Dango and Sake. He had seen the little blond boy shivering just inside an ally, and had decided to have himself a bit of fun.
The word Demon had been carved into his stomach that day.
Naruto spotted the assistant leaving, and took the opportunity to strike, appearing behind him and striking his neck, knocking him out while leaving him alive, grabbing his falling body and shunshinning away to his prepared area, leaving no trace of his presence. He placed the man in the coffin, finishing the last few seals. He backed up, going through the hand signs.
"Kuchyoise: Edo Tensei!" He watched with interest as the coffin sealed itself, steaming at the edges as a large portion of his chakra was drained from him. It was the reserves of the average jonin, not much of a problem for most Kage-level ninja or for Naruto. The coffin opened, the door falling to the side, as out walked the Shodaime.
In the full prime of his life, his body would easily be considered handsome by many people, both male and female. Long black hair framed his tanned face, his lean and strongly muscled frame only enhanced by his outfit. The Peaceful Demon of the Forest looked upon Naruto, and immediately knew that this was the Jinchurriki. Naruto bowed slightly in greeting, respecting the man for his strength. Hashirama bowed back, showing respect for Naruto's strength in being able to handle the Kyuubi, before doing something completely unexpected.
Hashirama continued the bow, falling to his knees and pressing his head to the ground in front of Naruto. "I am truly sorry, Jinchurriki. It is because of my failure that you are forced to bear this burden." Naruto was left at a loss of what to do. Honestly, how often do you have one of the legends of the shinobi world apologizing whole-heartedly to you?
"I do not know what you are apologizing for, but I accept it and forgive you." The blond decided to go with a formal approach, always a good choice when you do not know someone. The Senju rose from the boy, remaining on his knees on the ground.
"You will not so easily forgive me when you find out just why I am apologizing." Naruto sat in front of him, both ninja ignoring the fact that they were on the ground.
"Then tell me."
Hashirama blinked, deep brown eyes remaining steely and apologetic. "Very well."
"It began with the creation of Konoha. My best friend at the time, Madara, and my brother, Tobirama, joined together with our mighty clans to found our great village, the first of its kind. It was a good plan, and soon we gathered many other minor clans to our side. Life was good for some time, but soon we remembered just why no other clan of Shinobi had settled down for long.
The Bijuu attacked. Eight mighty beasts came, destroying thousands of shinobi, eradicating entire clans. It marked the first time in history that more than two Bijuu were seen in the same place, and marked the massive devastation that they could create. Madara, Tobirama, Madara's blind brother Izuna, my wife Mito, and several skilled sealers met the beasts at the newly built gate to Konoha. We fought for a full week, the group of us slowly sealing every Bijuu that had come into specific trees I had created for the purpose. Izuna fell in that battle, and we all collapsed and were in a month long coma afterwards.
Izuna's death changed Madara, who had lived solely for his brother. Madara had taken Izuna's eyes for the Eternal Mangyeko Sharingan at the request of Izuna, who could not stand to see his brother blind. Madara had obtained the Mangyeko in the first place through sheer mastery of the Sharingan, and Izuna by accidently killing his best friend in battle.
Madara used his for the good of his clan, giving his all and fighting till his eyes bled to keep his clan alive and strong, and Izuna was his only true support. I was his friend, but I could not be there for him the way Izuna was. Izuna eventually gave Madar his eyes, learning to fight blind.
After the creation of the other Shinobi villages they were worried about Konoha's power, and the fact that we had the war-hungry Uchiha as a part of it. In order to keep the peace I gave varying Bijuu to the villages, spreading out the power. The Kyuubi had never attacked a village before, in fact the only reason we knew of it was because of the Senju library, of which my family was the guardian.
Originally, Madara had been supportive of my becoming Hokage. In fact I had even offered the position to him and he refused, stating that I was the better man, and a better leader. All that he had asked was that the Uchiha be allowed to grow, and be the front line fighters of Konoha. Naturally I agreed.
However, once Izuna died in that fight the man changed. I'm not quite sure when, but he became bitter and angry at me, the village, and even the world in a surprisingly short time.
Every man has a snapping point, a place where once they have entered they cannot leave. Madara survived the death of his parents, the death of his relatives, and the trauma of hundreds of battles for his younger brother, the same with me. If our positions had been reversed it is entirely likely I would have been the one to have gone insane if it was not for Mito-chan.
Regardless, Madara became insane, eventually becoming as bloodthirsty as his father, the former clan head, used to be. A man Madara had always despised, and had killed because the man wanted Izuna to be sent to the field of combat before he was ready.
I was forced to step in, but Madara would no longer listen to reason, eventually approaching his clan to help him take over Konoha, saying that I was too soft a leader. The Uchiha refused. They were as battle-weary as the Senju, my clan, was. Despite their loyalty and love for their chief, they would not cross someone who had done right by them.
Madara grew enraged, exiling himself from Konoha and going on a rampage across the Elemental Nations. I was preoccupied with Konoha, so I heard little of it at first. By the time I had heard the truth of his deeds he was approaching us, hoping to annihilate Konoha with the aid of some mighty demon. I could not allow this.
I confronted him at a small plains area, large enough for a fight, but small enough that it would hopefully be contained. I should have known better. Our fight shook the earth and rocked the world, irreversibly changing the landscape.
Would you like to hear of it?" Hashirama waited for Naruto to nod, the boy knowing that this was perhaps his only chance to know the true capabilities of the two legends.
~Flashback-Valley of the End Battle~
"Madara my friend, why are you doing this? Is it because you have truly grown to hate Konoha?"
A tall, fair-skinned man with black, waist length hair that was spiked at the top with an Uchiha clan outfit and obsidian Samurai-like armor sneered at the man across from him. His hair covered his right eye entirely, and an orange war fan was upon his back, a chain connecting it to a Kama, a sickle like weapon.
"Hate Konoha? Oh you poor, deluded Senju. I am loyal to Konoha, and I will show it by destroying you before you have the chance to do the same to my precious village!" He whipped his Gunbai (War Fan) from his back, its orange and white pattern catching Hashirama's attention as a burst of wind swung from it, lighting on fire insantly.
"So be it." Was all that the current Kage of Konoha said, vanishing from view, his katana soon becoming caught on Madara's Kama.
"You will die here Hashirama!" Madara knocked Hashirama back, swiftly taking the advantage with his dual wielded Gunbai and Kama, easily slashing and striking at the brown-haired man.
Hashirama blocked the Kama, ducking around the fire wave from the Gunbai, the chain attaching it to the Kama stretching as the fan was used as a flail, keeping him on the defensive. He dodged several strikes from it despite the skill with which Madara used it.
His katana soon broke the chain connecting the two weapons, and Madara leapt back, tossing the Kama to the side, the Gunbai left embedded in a tree some distance away. Hashirama sheathed his katana, knowing that they were far to evenly matched for any victory to come from a close range melee fight.
"I should have known it wouldn't be that easy, it never is." Madara's legendary Sharingan, in its final form the Eternal Mangyeko Sharingan, appeared in the onyx-haired mans eyes.
"Let's kick this up a notch. Katon: Gouka Dokatsu no Jutsu! (Hell Fire Serpent Skill)" A massive snake of fire slithered out of the Uchiha's mouth, its tongue snaking out as it glared at Hashirama. It moved, every bit as quickly as the two shinobi had been earlier as an identical serpent of water appeared, curled around Hashirama. Madara smiled as his fire tied Hashirama's serpent.
"So you to have gained in skill. Quite impressive to use such a powerful attack as the Leviathan without hand seals. You must have finally mastered the fourth level of water. Now we are evenly matched, lightning and fire versus earth and water. Let's see which of us is truly better!"
'No Madara,' Hashirama thought. 'I have just never truly gone all out against you.'
The two gods amongst Shinobi gathered their chakra, preparing for the true battle of their lives.
An ominous black wave rolled across the sky as lightning flashed, thunder boomed, fire burned, water flooded, and earth shook, and the forests themselves joined in on the fight.
Madara sent massive electric dragons at his former friend, and a large wall of wood blocked them.
Hashirama appeared on the wall as a tsunami raged towards the Uchiha, already preparing his next attack.
A massive wall of fire met the tsunami, steam obscuring the battlefield as Madara used the moisture in the air to channel lightning, the electricity sparking through the air and electrocuting everything inside the mist.
The earth itself rose to defend Hashirama, massive hills of the earth absorbing all the water in the air and stopping the electricity as the water was drained from the earth, forming behind Hashirama in the shape of a giant.
An identical giant of fire formed behind Madara, both behemoths easily the size of mountains. The two shinobi rushed each other, the giants following just as quickly.
The two ninja engaged in a taijutsu battle, far too fierce to possibly describe as loud booms rang throughout the clearing. The water giant won the fight when massive trees grew around the fire giant, stopping it cold just long enough for the water giant to pierce its fiery heart.
The water giant moved to attack Madara, the puny human at its feet, when all the water that made up its existence vanished into a hole between dimensions upon Madara's glare. The elemental fight resumed, massive spikes of wood attempting to skewer Madara even as fangs of water attempted the same from above.
"Chain Lightning!" The Uchiha screamed, the black thunderclouds playing host to an incredibly powerful technique.
Everything was struck by dozens of bolts of lightning in a few brief seconds, with the sole exception of Hashirama, standing beneath a large globe of electrified water.
"Combination: Electric Hydro!" Hashirama used one of his many combination techniques, using the pure power behind Madara's electric jutsu along with the channeling properties of water to form an incredibly powerful cannon.
A massive blast of water raged towards Madara, and he smiled.
"Kamui!" The entire hydro cannon vanished, leaving a somewhat dumbfounded Hashirama looking towards a smug Madara.
"Do you see it yet? Regardless of what you do I can win! With the power of the Sharingan I have surpassed you!"
"Izuna would be very disappointed to see you now Madara! Your brother believed in peace, in our clans, and you are betraying him."
The light of madness shown in Madara's eyes as he raged, hands flashing through seals as black fire leaked from his eyes.
"You have no knowledge of what Izuna would have wanted me to do Hashirama! He would have looked to me to bring peace to the elemental nations, and I shall do so! Kyuubi!" Hashirama's eyes widened in horror as the last of the tailed beasts coalesced into being, its blood red and malicious chakra coming together behind Madara in the form of the great nine-tailed fox.
"Kyuubi! Fire." Crimson flames left the beasts maw, merging with the greatest flames in existence. "Amaratsu!"
Black and crimson formed a mighty match as the two flames merged, forming a wave of pitch black flames with crimson highlights.
"Burn in hell Hashirama!" It looked like it was over, an unstoppable and unavoidable wave of flames that was melting the earth around it as it sped towards the Shodaime.
The earth itself seemed to reject the event as it rose into a range of mountains, wooden walls locking together with it even as a river changed its course to better aid Hashirama, the three elements forming into an incredible force to match the flames from hell. A bead of sweat dripped down both shinobi's brows as the two waves grew closer, and they collided with a sonic boom that sent even the Kyuubi flying.
Hashirama rose from the shattered ground, seeing the changed to the landscape.
A massive gouge raced across the land, forming a rough valley, and the river that he had forcibly redirected flowed into it, already settling into a slightly deeper gouge that would form its new bed. A massive cliff was there as well, forming a beautiful waterfall.
"Hashirama-kun!" He heard a voice, soft and melodious, which filled him with fear as he whirled to face his beautiful wife.
"Mito-Chan! You have to leave, now! Madara will have no problem using you against me!"
His regal wife raised up to glare at him, her light brown eyes, so usually filling him with light and happiness now inspiring no small amount of fear in him.
"I came to help you and this is the thanks I get? I should just leave you to face both the Kyuubi and Madara alone!" Hashirama sighed, unable to bear upsetting his wife, but knowing that if he conceded to her he would regret it when Madara killed her.
"I am sorry Mito-Chan, but I do not wish you to die." The simple and honest statement proved to have been the right thing to say as Mito calmed down considerably, her eyes softening back to the lovely caramel he knew and loved.
"You won't Hashirama-kun. I am here to help, not get myself killed. As you know I have no small amount of skill in fuinjutsu. I am going to seal the Kyuubi into myself, allowing you to fight Madara on an even basis." Hashirama looked horrified at the idea of it.
"But nothing dear. It's the only way to rid us of the Kyuubi. I don't know why it sided with Madara when it has always been the most peaceful of the Biju, but it is still the most powerful of them. Your Mokuton will only be able to calm it down long enough for an Uzumaki to seal it, as we are the only ones who have proven resistant to its poisonous chakra."
"The last test was over a hundred years ago Mito!"
"Does it matter? Now, you will stall Madara with a jutsu, and calm down the Kyuubi for thirty seconds. That's all I need."
Hashirama looked torn, worried about Mito. As the Kyuubi and Madara recovered, he accepted, knowing that there was no alternative. He bit his lip, nearly hard enough to draw blood, before turning back to his wife.
"One minute. That is the longest that I can keep a shinobi of Madara's caliber imprisoned in my strongest containment jutsu. It is quite likely that he will break out sooner than that. I will be of no help to you if the Kyuubi breaks free from my Mokuton." Mito nodded, accepting the risks, her magnificent strawberry hair framing her beautiful face. He kissed her, praying that this would not be the last that they shared.
"Hashirama!" came the roar of the insane Uchiha. "Go, hide." Hashirama told Mito. "Get ready to seal it away. Be careful." Mito nodded, and Hashirama ran through hand seals.
"Doton: Prison." Two mud rivers began to flow next to Hashirama, soon surrounding Madara and forming into a large orb with Madara in the middle. The mud continued into it, easily keeping the Uchiha imprisoned.
"Mokuton: Biju Suppression!" The green necklace he always wore glowed emerald as wooden dragons rose from the ground surrounding the Kyuubi. While his other techniques were sufficient for the lower ranked Biju, this technique, made of wood designed with the Kyuubi in mind, was the only one that could possibly relax the Kyuubi.
The Kyuubi, deep within a blood thirsty haze, recognized an odd scent, a homely scent, one of pine and its fellow Biju. The reminder of the times before its siblings lost their sanity soon brought it out of its bloodlust, and the entire demeanor of the Kyuubi changed. The chakra, while still ominous, was no longer oppressing, and the mighty Biju's eyes became unclouded. It turned to the ball of mud restraining Madara, one eye on Hashirama. It nodded its head towards the massive ball, a warning clear in its eye.
Two things happened in one moment. First the mud exploded away from Madara, revealing the man's ultimate technique in all its glory.
Susanoo-God of Storms
Hashirama had never understood just why the Uchiha had called the technique Susanoo, but then again he rarely understood any of what went through the man's mind.
Madara's Susanoo was a fearsome sight, an enormous construct with its mouth obscured by a high collar, solid black armor with a large sword.
Hashirama was one of the few blessed, or cursed, to know that Madara had grown skilled enough to change his Susanoo from its original form, seeing it as inefficient and to bulky to be of use in a proper fight.
At the same time, the Kyuubi gave a massive roar of rage as it felt its chakra and body being sealed. It looked at Hashirama, the man's now revealed wife, and Madara, and internally vowed to kill these three humans if it could. That was the last sight of day that the Kyuubi would see for over a century.
Mito swayed in pain, Hashirama catching her before she fell. She made a request to him as she coughed up blood, her first and last heartfelt request.
"Please, now that there is one of us the other villages will see the Biju as nothing more than controllable weapons, and treat those of us with Biju like vermin. Please Hashirama; don't let that happen to us…the Jinchurikki."
'Power of human sacrifice? A powerful name and a fitting.'
"I will make sure of it Mito-Chan." The Uzumaki passed out soon afterwards, and Hashirama's appearance changed. A clone made of wood formed from the ground, taking Mito into its arms and rushing off from her.
The ground cracked, Hashirama's rage resulting in him losing control over his potent chakra. He turned to Madara, glaring for the first time in the fight.
"Time to get serious." Madara smirked, enjoying himself to the fullest now, his temporary insanity retreating.
"I thought you'd never get to it." The Susanoo slashed at Hashirama with an overhead slash, Hashirama turning sideways as a chasm opened up next to him. His eyes never left Madara's, and it was making the Uchiha nervous. Madara brought forth the full might of his Susanoo, dozens of slashes going towards Hashirama in mere seconds. The man was able to avoid every one, massive gashes opening in the earth around him.
"You will never beat me Madara." He stated. "Mokuton: Execution." Thousands of thin, sharp branches penetrated Madara's Susanoo, but the man would not go down so easily.
"Katon: Pillar!" A massive pillar of fire engulfed Madara and his chakra construct, turning the branches to ashes. The fire vanished, the only trace of it was the black flames on the constructs sword. It swung again, this time leaving a massive chasm in the ground, flames trailing along it. Hashirama would not be able to dodge this one.
"Mokuton: Locking shield of the forest god!' A large shield of crystallized wood, formed of many branches and trunks locked into place in front of the Fire Shadow, the attack and defense meeting and sending shockwaves throughout the newly created valley.
When the dust cleared Hashirama stood strong, shield slightly dented and now shifted to a smaller form, floating around him. Madara cursed the man mentally. Hashirama was to strong for his own good.
"Katon: Six Dragons of Hell!" Six red dragons materialized around the Uchiha, charging at the wood using man with great speed. Hashirama continued to stay one step ahead of his opponent.
"Mokuton: Fire Suppression." Six wooden dragons rose around him, devouring their fiery adversaries, and white flames soon lit in their mouths, the dragons weaving around Hashirama continuously.
"So you can stop regular fire, let us see how you do against the ultimate flames! Amaratsu: Wave." A massive wave of black flames, similar to the one from earlier blasted from both of Madara's eyes, a little bit of blood dripping from them.
"Mokuton: Collaborating Fire! Mokuton: Flames of Kagu-Tsuchi! (Flames of the Fire Kami)" The dragons roared, white flames blasting from their mouths as a wave of the purest white fire raged towards Madara's attack.
"Mokuton Hijutsu: Jukai Kotan! (Wood Release Secret Technique: Nativity of a world of Trees)" As the waves collided a massive forest grew around them, taking purchase in the walls of the worlds newest valley and growing on the sides, the entire forest becoming massive.
'This battle is mine.' Hashirama thought.
The two fire walls collided, struggling for several moments, both forces looking on in trepidation, before the white flames broke the wall.
"No." Madara pleaded tonelessly as he watched his best attack be defeated. "How is this possible? Kamui!" Madara started coughing, the stress of multiple techniques of this magnitude in a short time taking a toll even on his eyes, superior to every other pair though they were.
He looked around in horror at the battlefield that was now in Hashirama's favor, the entire area was now forested. He glared at his opponent as his Susanoo became wrapped in the flames of Amaratsu, blood dripping from his left eye.
"Why? Why can I not defeat you? We should be evenly matched, hell we were evenly matched before Izuna died!"
Hashirama looked on sadly as his once greatest friend drove himself nearly to death.
"You cannot win now Madara! Give up, please. Don't make me destroy you." The insane gleam returned to Madara's eyes as obsidian flames exploded from his chakra construct.
"Die a painful death Senju!" He spat, leaping into the air with his ultimate technique charged and ready.
"Sharingan Hijutsu: Susanoo: Fiery Thunder God!" Lightning struck from the heavens upon Madara's sword, adding a massive amount of electrical power to an already supreme technique. The heavens themselves opened up as bolt after bolt added their might to Madara's technique, a technique so powerful it could kill a Biju.
"So it has come to this. For what it is worth my old friend, I am sorry.
"Mokuton Hijutsu: Demon of the Forest." Water from the river rose into the air as a massive Shinigami rose from the ground behind Hashirama, the water coating the wood creation completely. Holding a massive Katana and wearing a demonic mask, this attack had become legendary for destroying an entire army in a single second.
Hashirama placed his hand on his katana, the wooden demon leaping with him as he rose up to meet Madara like an avenging angel.
"Good-bye old friend."
When the smoke cleared, Madara lay dead on the ground, body mangled beyond repair, and Hashirama had a large gash upon his arm.
The legendary man walked away, katana lying broken on the ground.
Hashirama was silent for several minutes after he finished, letting Naruto absorb the story. The abilities they showed seemed impossible, but if this was his actual skill-set then how the heck did he die before the first shinobi war?
"Madara had always been impatient, and it showed in his fight. His Susanoo telegraphed his moves ahead of time." The Shodaime said, eyes on the ground, before continuing his story.
"The death of Madara changed the condition of the world, one of its strongest shinobi lay slain, and by the hands of the other. My wife, Mito, survived sealing the Kyuubi into herself, but had passed out because of the irreversible changes that the Kyuubi's chakra had woven into her. She had gained a powerful fire affinity, able to call the full might of the Kyuubi's flames at will once she mastered her affinity.
The request she made to me in that battle was the first and last one she has ever made, because anything else she wanted she was strong and intelligent enough to get. I honored that request, and I died because of it.
Anyways, she was right about her observation. Just a few days after that fight we received word that the Ichibi had been sealed into a human. We approached Suna in anger, seeing that the person they sealed it in was a priest, and Suna failed to seal the beast properly, resulting in the priest becoming insane, and I engaged him.
The priest was legendary for his poisons, and when that was combined with the Ichibi's ability to manipulate sand I wound up being poisoned just a few seconds before I could reseal the beast in a kettle. I survived the poison easily enough, but it left my immune system weak, and a hereditary disease hit me not to long afterwards.
A version of Tuberculosis, this one is both unnamed and far more deadly. It spread in a remarkably short time, and it was only a…connection I had with nature that allowed me to fight it off for a few years. Eventually the idea of Jinchurriki caught on, and eight of them, with full control over their respective Biju, and Seven other S-Rank ninja approached Konoha, That was several years after I first contracted my disease, and I had secretly been hospitalized for four months before that, my illness nearly taking my life at several points. When I heard of the soon-to-be attack I was enraged, and refused to listen to reason for the first time in my life.
I met them on the field of battle, coughing up blood the entire time, and engaged them. Regardless of what anyone said afterwards, not one of them walked away alive, and the Biju reigned free for a time. Of course, it took my life to do so."
Hashirama gained a slightly bitter smile, his voice taking on an ironic and bitter tone.
"I died at peace with myself and the world, happy that I had finished my task. I lived a long, full life, and I was even able to see my granddaughter born, so I was happy.
Then I was summoned by the snake-like man, Orochimaru, and I learned that my village, the village in which I tried to instill a sense of morals despite it being a Shinobi Village, the Village which I helped to build and which I fought for, had turned a Jinchurriki into a weapon, I was furious, still am actually. I am still tempted to destroy this place." The man paused, noticing Naruto's confused expression.
"Weapon? I was not turned into a weapon." This time it was Hashirama who looked confused, speaking out against Naruto.
"What do you mean? You show all of the symptoms of a weapon trained from birth that has only recently begun to gain a humanity."
Naruto cocked his head to the side, confused at just how Hashirama had gotten that impression.
"I had a terrible childhood; shunned, hated, beaten, and hunted, but the Third never attempted to turn me into a weapon." Hashirama sighed; face returning to a sad expression.
"That's just as bad. I gave the Biju to the other villages to avoid warfare. To this day I still don't know how they learned to seal away the Biju, as the only ones who were capable of doing so other than me were the Uzumaki Clan, your clan, and they would refuse to share that information, claiming that it was too dangerous."
"That still does not make this your fault." Hashirama took on a look of guilt.
"I gave the villages the Biju, and I allowed Mito to seal the Kyuubi. Of course if she heard me say that I wouldn't live to long, and whether or not I allowed it she would have done it. I could have stopped her though. There was another way for me to rid myself of the Kyuubi, and once I looked back at the battle I realized that Madara had somehow managed to control the Kyuubi, as its eyes showed sanity before Mito sealed it." Naruto shook his head, sighing as he did so. Apparently the Shodaime was the kind of man who would blame himself for things that were obviously not their faults. He himself admitted that Mito would have done it anyways.
"Well, if it truly is your fault, and an error you made, how do you intend to make up for it? I highly doubt you would have told Orochimaru to give me the Edo Tensei just to talk with you."
Hashirama nodded in conformation.
"There is but two things that I can give you, and one is the secret to becoming an SS-Rank Ninja from skill alone. The second is how to learn of your clan Heritage."
AN: Sorry for the delay, but the Valley of the End Fight didn't want to work out for me, and I still don't think I did it justice.
ChronoMitsurugi I disagree with your ranking of Akatsuki. By my reckoning of what their powers and abilities should be if the creators of Naruto had followed their own rules should be this.
Hidan-his only skill is with the three bladed scythe, and he would be many times better if he was actually skilled in wielding it. He will be in my story. Also, he relied too much on the immortality and sacrifice jutsu.
Zetsu: He is more of a scout than a fighter, and became a S-rank through stealth and being a ninja rather than a shinobi.
Deidara: He has a very versatile bloodline, and in the manga is a long range fighter that should have killed Sasuke. He will still focus on long range fighting, but I will expand a bit on his bloodline if Naruto fights him.
Konan: Overspecialized, she focused only on her paper Ninjutsu, which renders her vulnerable to any adaptable foe. My Naruto would have perhaps the easiest time with her.
Kisame: Based on chakra reserves, Ninjutsu skill, and swordsmanship Kisame would be in the High S-Rank, but take Sameheda away and he's screwed. His style of Ninjutsu burns through chakra at rates that would kill most Kage. Without Sameheda he doesn't have that extra bonus to place himself in the truly strong area, and swordsmanship is useless without a blade. He still remains one of the best of Akatsuki, but only so long as he holds Sameheda.
Sasori-The revolutionizer of puppetry techniques and with years of experience in them, Sasori should have beaten Chiyo and Sakura in the Anime. Between his puppets, ability to use legendary or extinct bloodlines through said puppets, along with the years of experience and seeing firsthand what can be done with those bloodlines, Sasori could easily become a God amongst Shinobi. After all, puppetry is the field of ingenuity, and Sasori has to be incredibly creative.
Itachi-Extreme badass, MS, incredibly high shinobi skills to go with that, genjutsu master, Ninjutsu master, talented in kenjutsu, incredibly knowledgeable, need I say more?
Kakuzu-Five elemental master (First two exercises apiece, not my non-canon four), great with Taijutsu, four extra bodies to fight autonomously by his side, massive jutsu library, over a century of experience, Kakuzu is in my opinion the third strongest of the original Akatsuki Nine (before Tobi, after Orochimaru), and could most likely defeat Itachi were it not for Susanoo and Tskuyomi.
Pein- Six bodies, each holding a different power in addition to the physical abilities that they have and the Dojutsu of the founder of Shinobi. There isn't much that Pein can't beat, and those that can beat him are the very top of the pyramid of S-Rank Shinobi. I believe that the only one in Akatsuki who can approach Pein's level is Sasori, and that is only because of the sheer numbers of and skill with which he wields his puppets.