I don't own Naruto, or any of the characters from the Manga or Anime.
A Price for Peace
Chapter 27 Lockdown
"So that was kind of fun, when I consider who it was and what they wanted to do at least." Naruto said. He and Karin had casually left the store, and found their way to a isolated alleyway to safely end their Henge.
"Not only that, we were able to get all the clothes for free, as well as all their money." Karin said admiring some of the objects she grabbed for herself after Naruto had killed the store clerk and his guards.
"So uh I really didn't see myself becoming a glorified burglar." Naruto said rubbing the back of his neck in embarrassment.
"Well it wasn't exactly glorified... we made a mess of the place." Karin chuckled.
"You know what I mean, when I pictured our life here I didn't think that we would be stealing from people, even if they deserved it." Naruto replied.
"Well not to sound negative, but what did you really expect, we have no talent that has any value here, we're ninja, trained killers Naruto-kun. A quiet life was never on the cards for us, it's not what shinobi deserve, at least it's not what I deserve." The red head said solemnly.
"Ah everyone deserves a chance to change, I have already told you that. Anyway we should head back to the gates and wait for the others. Besides I would rather not be around when the next person enters that shop." The blonde replied.
"Well I would have liked to look around a little longer, but I do see your point, we wouldn't want to run into to anymore trouble." Karin admitted, slightly disappointed she couldn't see anything else, they had some interesting stores, even if there wasn't anything expensive for sale.
With little more discussion the two shinobi walked back towards the gate, not even speaking so as to avoid drawing any unwanted attention to themselves. When they made it back to the gates they found them to be closed, the guards from before were all inside and all had very serious expressions on their face. Naruto began to walk over to them. "It's no use, they're not letting anyone in or our of the city." Naruto turned his head to see Isho and Tenji leaning against a large brick wall. "Yo" Tenji added with a friendly wave.
"What's going on, why won't they let anyone out?" Karin asked.
"Not sure, all I know is the thugs on the door said the higher ups ordered it closed until further notice." The middle aged man said with a shrug.
"It's rare that there are any higher ups in this foul city. Those guards are members of the imperial army, although they're nothing more than peons that failed the training. If there are higher up's then that must mean somebody else is here." Isho said darkly.
"Didn't that guy at the building supplies store say something about people from the higher sectors being here?" Naruto mused frantically trying to remember exactly what the salesman had told them.
"Yes, a group of the latest graduates from the military academy." Karin replied. The response was not what the two shinobi had expected, colour instantly faded from the faces of the two older men.
"This isn't good, we should wait here for Rea and Haji, then find somewhere to lay low until the gates open back up." Tenji suggested.
"Where do you suppose that would be? If we just stay out of their way and give them anything they want, then there is nothing to be afraid of. Just don't tell them which village we come from." Isho said flatly.
"Why is this so bad, wouldn't having some actual authority to watch over the city be a good thing?" Naruto asked.
"Not at all, every year the graduates of the imperial academy are sent out to the so called lawless outer sectors to gain some experience. But that's only the half of it. The generals and elite soldiers are all members of the royal family and they use these little field trips to pick and choose who will join their units. Because of this those new officers come here and look to make a big name for themselves." Isho explained.
Naruto and Karin shared a worried sideways glance at each other. "Whatever has them so worked up must be big, really big." Tenji sighed his body sliding down the wall till he was sitting on the ground.
"If it's so big then they would have made an announcement by now. But on the other hand, if it is not, then why are the gates shut tight. I have never seen anything like this before." Isho said, his voice betraying how worried he really was.
"So how did you go selling your pelts?" Karin asked trying to change the subject.
"Not bad, we got a decent price for them, but a fat load of good that will do us if we can't leave this place." Isho replied.
The small group sat and waited for their final two members, seconds turned into minutes, which in the end turned into hours. "They should have been back by now, hell Rea is usually the first one back." Tenji said a little worried, his eyes gazing from side to side half expecting the siblings to appear at a moments notice.
"Well it's not quite time for our normal cut off point for departure, so she still has time, but you're right, Rea is never this late. But she knows the rules, if you're not back at the gate in time then you are on your own." Isho said darkly, his eyes still focused on the shut gate and the large guards that stood watch.
A rather large crowd had gathered around the gate, people from other villages that had come to the capital for the day, now wanting to leave. Every time someone showed up they were told the same thing. "The city is on lockdown until further notice, nobody can leave."
"How long do you think this is going to take." Naruto heard one man ask loudly.
"Until we are ordered otherwise, now shut up and leave us alone!" The guards ordered.
Slowly the time passed and still no sign of the siblings, by now even Naruto was getting worried. "That's time, if we wanted to be back in the village before midnight we would have had to leave now." Isho groaned in annoyance. The sun was now setting, the sky appeared as a burnt orange that reflected against the tall buildings.
"Well maybe we should move on, this place is getting quite crowded." Tenji mused.
"What about Rea?" Naruto asked.
"She knows the rules better than anyone. Tenji is right, a large group could either be a blessing or a curse at this point. It really depends on what the so called higher ups are looking for." Isho answered.
If they were waiting for an answer to that question, they didn't have to wait very long. The large crowd of people separated, clearing the road to reveal a group of four, three of which were no older than thirteen, while the last member was in his mid twenties with a look of distain on his face. Each was wearing a bright red uniform, with a different symbol on the left side of their chests.
'Looks just like a Genin team.' Naruto and Karin thought in tandem.
"What is going on here!?" One of the younger members of the group ordered.
The gate guards all bowed to the new arrivals. "These are civilians from the other villages in this sector. They appear to be waiting for the gates to be reopened."
"We should go." Naruto whispered, he was getting a bad vibe from these new arrivals.
"Go where?" Tenji asked his voice stiff and somewhat awed by the small well dressed group.
"I agree, we should go." Isho said, very slowly moving away from the rest of the gathered group towards a small alleyway.
"Everyone here is to be detained!" The young graduate spoke loudly just as Naruto and their small group slipped out of sight. Nobody even thought of resisting as the guards arrested them and dragged them away.
"How did you know that would happen?" Tenji asked from where they were hiding.
"I'm not sure, I just had this feeling that something bad would happen if we stayed there." Naruto said with a shrug of the shoulders.
"Regardless I think we might have just found out what happened to Rea-chan." Isho sighed.
"You think they have taken her and her brother?" Karin asked, personally she didn't care all that much, Rea had been nothing but negative since they had met.
"Seems like a fair guess, the military seem to be rounding up anyone who is from another village at the very least. Until we know why, we should stay out of sight." Tenji suggested a little afraid at the prospect of being arrested.
Naruto rubbed his chin while taking a seat on the ground. 'What do you think Kurama?'
'I think you should take the gir... Karin, and just walk up and over the walls. You owe these people nothing, and getting involved here could have some unwanted side effects.' The large kitsune answered lazily.
'But this might all be my fault to begin with, what if this is all because of those three... men that I killed?' The blonde questioned feeling extra guilty.
'If that's the case all then it would be best if you left, nobody else has done anything wrong and it's highly doubtful that they will keep everyone locked up.'
'This isn't right, I should at least find out what's going on. What if they are rounding people up for a different reason? They could kill them!'
'Don't be foolish Naruto, you felt their chakra when they approached those men at the gate. They have been trained to use chakra, if they have a sensor in their group then we are as good as discovered, even with your improved control they will notice your chakra levels if they see you.'
'I can handle myself, the only one that looked like he might be a problem was the older one, I bet he's the sensei.'
'Do you really think that is the only issue here? Actions have consequences! Sure you could rescue these people today, you are probably even strong enough now to defeat that entire group without the need to use your sage mode or my chakra. But there will be a retaliation, all the humans in this area will suffer because of your actions. It will end with them hunting you down, one man can't hope to win a war alone, even if it is you Naruto.' The fox lectured.
'Alright, I won't do anything.' Naruto sighed, his head lowering in defeat.
'Good, you don't want to pour anymore gasoline on this fire, if it really is because of what you have done, then it's possible that they are already looking for someone that can use chakra, the Rasengan leaves a rather unique wound when it kills. It's best to get out of this city and hope this whole thing goes away in time.'
'I still would like to know what's going on, I promise I won't get involved but at least let me find out what they are looking for.'
Kurama let out a sigh knowing that there was nothing that he could do to stop his container from doing some investigation. 'Fine, but do yourself a favour and stay out of sight.'
'Yeah nobody will ever know I was there.' Naruto replied.
'I'll believe it when I see it.'
"So Karin and I can get us out of the city easily enough, but we should wait for the sun to set so we can use the darkness." Naruto said informing the group. "We should use the remaining daylight to discover why they are rounding people up, and if we can find Rea and her brother."
"Get out of the city? Have you seen the walls, it's impossible." Isho scoffed.
"Actually it's quite possible." Karin said realising what Naruto's plan was. To emphasise her point the kunoichi slowly walked a short way up one of the walls of the alleyway they were hiding in.
"Woah!" Tenji breathed in awe.
"I have seen others able to do that in the past, all of which were graduates of the imperial academy. Who are you people!?" Isho said with glare directed at the two shinobi.
"We're ninja." Naruto said honestly.
Seeing that Naruto had not given much of an explanation, Karin decided to fill in the blanks. "We came from over the Insurmountable peaks, I believe you call them something different here. Anyway where we come from, abilities like these are common place, many people know how to use chakra, even civilians to a certain degree."
"So everyone there can fight like the royal family and the army does?" Tenji asked in awe. 'Maybe they can help us, just like Cho said?'
"Well not everyone, but many more than I have seen from here." Naruto answered.
"This world shouldn't be like this at all. I think that a little over one hundred years ago someone from our side of the mountains was able to cross it. They must have been strong, because until now we thought we were the first ones. If he was able to use chakra when nobody else could, then he would have been nearly unstoppable. It's no surprise that whoever it was, was able to defeat the other countries." Karin elaborated.
"You're right, nobody was ever able to so much as lay a finger upon the first emperor, in five short years he had completely obliterated all that opposed him." Isho said bitterly. "But what makes you two any better, if you crossed the mountains as you claim, then your strength must rival that of the Shodai, chances are you would have done the same thing as he did." He added.
"No I wouldn't, I came here to ensure peace in our homeland. I did not come seeking to control anything, if I did why would I have asked to stay in your village?" Naruto replied pleadingly hoping that the elderly man would believe him.
"I know it's not right to judge you by the actions of others. This world is far from perfect, but for someone like you to just show up and be able to take over everything, you can see why we might find it a little hard to trust you." Isho said deciding to give the two teens a chance.
"Yeah but they can also help us. These two passed over those cursed mountains as well, so they must be really strong themselves, maybe even strong enough to stand up to members of the royal family." Tenji spoke with optimism.
"We didn't come here to fight a war, I know things are bad, but Naruto-kun is by himself, they have an army." Karin reasoned.
"What about you, you clearly have the same special skills." Tenji questioned.
"I was never much of a fighter, more along the lines of a sensor, and I guess a medic if needed." Karin answered honestly.
"Sensor?" Tenji asked, not having any experience with the term.
"Karin-chan has this amazing ability to find people through their chakra signatures. I can do it as well, but nowhere near her level." Naruto explained.
"So could you find Rea-chan? It's possible that she has not been taken and is simply lying low somewhere." Isho asked.
"Well yes I probably could. It may take awhile as I am not familiar with her chakra and the fact that there are just so many people here in this city. I can give it a try if you want." Karin said already closing her eyes. As always her attention was immediately drawn towards the glowing beacon that was Naruto. His chakra was so strongly in tuned with her now that she could probably sense him from the next village over.
Once she finally tore her attention away from her blonde companion, she began her search. Never before had she been this immersed in the sheer magnitude of chakra signatures. The closest thing she could compare it to was Konoha, when she was there for the Chunin exams around four years ago. This was an entirely different level, she could only guess that there were potentially hundreds of thousands of people living in this city.
Naruto and the others waited patiently, not even making a noise that would distract Karin while she searched. It wasn't until about ten minutes later that she eventually opened her eyes. "Any luck?" Naruto asked hopefully, she had never failed before, although he had very few chances to test that since leaving the Elemental Nations.
"I uh, I think so." Karin said a little hesitantly. "It's hard to be certain, I believe I felt her and her brother a few miles to the east, but the people that were arrested by the gates have been taken towards the centre of the village, in the market." She elaborated.
"Well that's a good thing isn't it? Doesn't that mean she hasn't been captured?" Naruto said his hopes rising of getting out of the city without further incident. He still wanted to learn what it was that the army were looking for, already having a small suspicion that he may be the culprit.
"Just because she hasn't been detained by the military, doesn't mean she isn't being held captive." Isho said darkly.
'Those thugs I killed had tried to take Karin-chan, I wonder if they're responsible for this.' The blonde jinchuuriki thought. "We wont find out what the situation is if we just stay here, let's go find out for ourselves.
"It's risky, but so is staying here. If we move, we stick to the side streets and be wary of anyone you see walking around. If the city is on a lockdown, then you would expect them to have a curfew in place." Isho suggested.
"So the basic aim is to stay out of sight and move half way across one of the largest cities in the empire, well that's not difficult at all." Tenji said sarcastically.
"It will be even harder as a large group, but only Karin knows the exact location." Isho said humourlessly, he was not in the mood for sarcasm.
"I can help guide us, if I use my Minds Eye of Kaguya I will be able to sense anyone near us without any problems." Karin said confidently.
Tenji seemed a little more at ease with the kunoichi's declaration. "Then let's get started." He said, quickly jumping to his feet.
Naruto still felt the urge to investigate the members of the military, but decided to play it safe and ignore them. If he really was the cause of this lockdown, then it would not be smart to go looking for more trouble. The group slowly moved across the village, keeping to dark abandoned roads. On several occasions the group needed to take lengthy detours in order to avoid groups that were patrolling the streets.
Because of this the sun had long since set by the time they came upon their destination. "This is it, they're both in there." Karin said pointing at a tall tower, guards stood in front of all the entrances armed with blunt objects.
"This isn't much better than being captured by the military." Tenji sighed as he quickly chanced a glance towards their apparent target.
"What floor are they on? This tower is so huge and we don't want to make a scene if we can help it." Naruto asked, his neck tilted up to look as the buildings towered around him, obscuring their view of the night sky.
"Near the top... three floors down." Karin answered double checking just to be sure.
"Well problem solved. Karin, you take Isho and Tenji, get out of the city. I am going to sneak in from the top and rescue Rea and Haji." Naruto explained. Karin didn't like the sound of this plan, she didn't want to let him run off on his own, but a look from the blonde told her that it was not up for debate.
Naruto created a clone and left it with Karin and the others before taking off up the side of the closest building. "What does he think he's doing?" Isho asked somewhat curiously.
"That's not important. What is, is that we do as Naruto-kun said and get out of the city, he will catch up to us." Karin replied.
"Well walking up walls might be well and good for you, but we can't do that." Tenji queried.
"That's why Boss left me behind, we're going to carry you." Naruto's clone declared. The look on the civilians faces were not ones of confidence in the plan, but as they had no reasonable alternative they had to do as they were told.
While the group below began heading towards the giant walls that surrounded the district capital, Naruto had reached the top of the tower. In every direction all that the blonde could see was the tops of other towers leading all of the way to the distant walls, Naruto hadn't notices before but it appeared that every tower was the same height, perfectly symmetrical.
Because of this odd yet ordered design, it made the task of crossing the gap and landing on the roof of the other buildings considerably easier. In no time at all he had arrived atop the well guarded tower where Rea and Haji were being detained. 'So three levels down. I don't suppose there is a door up here.' Naruto thought casting a hopeful glance around the rooftop that like all others was bare.
'You're going to have to use a window, if you break in with force they will know that someone was up here.' Kurama warned.
Naruto nodded and slowly approached the edge of the building, calmly as you like he slipped down three levels to arrive at the right level. Unfortunately the windows were all locked. Naruto was not a ninja for nothing however, he withdrew the single kunai he had saved for himself before leaving the Elemental Nations, and with trained ease, slipped the lock and opened the window, making sure to ease it shut behind him.
'Now we have the hard part.' Naruto sighed hiding behind a corner as two guards crossed the hall in front of him.
"Any word from the military?" He heard one of the guards ask. This immediately peeked the blondes interest.
"No, I doubt they are going to tell us anything even if they do find something. If the person responsible was really able to use powers like them, then it only makes sense that it would be one of them in the first place." The other guard replied.
The first one hummed in agreement. "If you ask me they are just targeting us because we have most of the power in the city three dead in one of our stores is no big deal, the main issue is a whole squad of our men were wiped out in the south, just before the military arrived. Seems a little too convenient if you ask me."
Naruto had heard enough, his initial suspicion was right, the military were looking for him. The rasengan leaves a very unique wound on it's victims that cannot be caused by a weapon, the only other explanation would have to be a jutsu. 'No sense crying over something that can't be changed. All you can do now is hope this all blows over without them digging any further into searching for you.' Kurama suggested.
Naruto sighed knowing that the fox was right. Once the guards were gone he slipped into the corridor and began his search, always scanning for more guards. 'Ah this is taking too long, I'm going to find somewhere quiet and enter Sage Mode.'
'You rely to heavily on your power ups, you don't need Sage Mode for this, just relax and search for chakra signatures. Your sensei did not rely on his Sage Mode, he only used it when he had no other option. If you improve your weakest state then the others will improve along with it. So stop looking for the easy option and improve yourself.' The fox lectured.
'Fine, but I can't tell the difference between one chakra signature and another like this.' Naruto huffed as he began searching for chakra signatures.
'Then that means that you need more practice at it.'
Predictably his first attempt failed miserably, almost walking into a room full of armed thugs, unlike the guards outside the tower, they all had Katanas and large knives. His next attempt didn't go that much better, almost walking into the same two guards that he had hid from when he first entered the building.
The third time was the charm, Naruto felt the slight differences in chakra, and while it was by no means perfect, he was at least able to somewhat tell the difference between the guards and those that were being held captive. Typically there was a man standing guard out the front, who did not look like he planned on moving any time soon. But a small setback like that was not enough to put the blonde off.
Naruto used a henge to change into one of the guards he had seen walking the halls. "Hey, the boss want's to see you, something about the citywide lockdown." He said in a voice that imitated the guard perfectly. It was a gamble he knew that, but he remembered Tsunade once saying that if you don't buy a ticket you cant win the lottery.
"Really what does he want me for?" The other guard asked.
"Not sure. He's really angry, I didn't want to find out just how angry he is. All I was told was to tell you he wanted to see you and take your place on guard until you get back." Naruto lied convincingly.
"Shit! Well I better get a move on then. Be careful if you go inside, those new recruits we captured are not too happy with their situation." The guard warned before taking off.
"I bet they're not." Naruto said waiting for the guard to disappear around a corner before dropping his Henge. Without further delay he pulled the door open and found a room full of younger teen's, ten in total. His eyes immediately found Rea who stared back bug eyed at the blondes appearance. "Yo! What do you say we get you all out of here."
"Who are you, your not dressed like the gang members." A younger boy asked terrified that he might have crossed a line.
"That's not important right now. If you want to get out of here then come with me." Naruto said urgently.
"We are kind of tied up you foo- I mean, Naruto." Rea said with a little bit of distaste at the blondes name, but she was also just thankful to see a somewhat friendly face. She rose her arms to show that they were all chained together.
"Oh right, I'l have you out of that in no time at all." Naruto replied and true to his word, The blonde easily broke the chains that bound the prisoners. "Alright keep quiet and follow me, there are guards everywhere." He informed the group.
"How did you do this?" Rea whispered as they slowly moved through the hallways, Haji at her side.
"Came in through a window on this floor, same place we're heading to now. We're getting out of this city before things get any worse." Naruto explained.
It was far more difficult returning to the open window. The small group of around ten consisted of mostly younger teens with only the odd one or two being older than Naruto. They all seemed to think that talking quietly was the same thing as remaining silent. Because of this Naruto had to give the guards a wider birth, but eventually they found themselves back in the room with the open window.
"Are you insane, look how high up we are! How are we supposed to get out this way." A boy around Naruto's age asked in hushed anger.
"Don't worry about that, I can get everyone out safely, but before I do, you need to all promise that you will never speak a word about what you are about to see. If you don't then I can't help you." Naruto replied, he didn't like having to give them an ultimatum but, he didn't want too many people discovering that he could use Chakra. "Come on we don't have all day, they are going to find out you're missing soon enough."
One by one the small group agreed and Soon there was another nine copies of Naruto standing in front of them, each with a finger to his lips reminding them to stay quiet. One by one Naruto's clones carried the captives out, jumping over to the next building and heading for the rooftops.
Soon it was just Naruto and one clone left to carry Haji and Rea. She seemed rather apprehensive to trust the blonde, especially after what she had just seen. "Just who are you!?" she demanded not letting her brother take a step towards the two identical blondes.
"I am a friend." Naruto replied. It didn't take a genius to figure out that Rea didn't believe him. "Please you have to trust me, I know that the only people that can use chakra in this world have taken advantage of that fact, but I am not like them. Please give me your hand, I'll take you to Isho and Tenji, they should be outside the city walls by now." He pleaded.
Rea was still hesitant, but the sound of loud shouting soon made up her mind for her. "Looks like they found out we escaped." She said accepting Naruto's hand. He pulled her onto his back while his clone did the same with her brother. "You drop me, and you're dead, special powers or not!" she warned.
Naruto just smiled and jumped out of the window, the power easily taking him across the large gap to the other building. Rea instantly clung on with all her might, afraid to look down. "It's more fun with your eyes open. Don't tell me you're afraid of heights" Naruto chuckled.
"S-hut up! I'm not afraid of heights, but I am afraid of falling to my death because some idiot drops me." Rea replied a little embarrassed.
"I promise I won't drop you, and I never break a promise, believe it!" Naruto said as he casually hopped from building to building, heading towards where he knew Karin and the others to be waiting.
Another chapter down. Things should move forward from here, but I would rather not give anything away at this point in time.
So uh... No chapter this week, but am I the only one that is confused as to where that giant statue and that brand new Zetsu showed up from. It's not the Juubi because Madara was just riding that. On that note, didn't they just get finished destroying an army of that fucker Zetsu? How hard can one additional Zetsu be really?
Hashirama said that nobody can remove the chakra rods because they are in his tenketsu... I call BS! We have seen Edo Tensei completely destroyed and end up perfectly fine, yet being stabbed makes them somehow useless? And don't give me the can't pull them out unless you can overpower the chakra, because that would only be relevant if you are the one that has been stabbed. Case in point when Naruto stabbed himself with Nagato's chakra rod to find where he was hiding. When he was just holding the chakra rod, nothing happened.
Sasuke dying... If only we were so lucky. Now I do not really hate him, but to be honest I think it's what he has coming to him. (Yes I know a good portion of you will rage and say he was being Manipulated like Obito. Still stupidity is not a defence.) But the whole having both Naruto and Sasuke die like the old toads vision was somewhat expected as he didn't say that it would be Sasuke that Naruto was fighting... They won't stay dead though. Minato will do something for Naruto and what ever new BS jutsu Hashirama gave Sasuke will save him. God forbid Kishimoto allow all his precious Uchiha to die... what would he use for a plot device?