StealthMaster: Hey there everyone this is the second chapter that many people have been wanting. Also the fourth chapter for my other story 'Consequences of Exiling Naruto Uzumaki' is close to being finished so just hold out a little while longer. In terms of the harem this is the definite list, so I apologise if everyone didn't get what they wanted:
Along with three others from chapter 1 (guess which ones).
Chapter 2: Invasion and a new Hokage
"Will Sasuke Uchiha and Gaara no Sabaku please come down to begin the second the match ..."
At the end of the announcement cheers erupted around the stadium at the mention of Sasuke's name, many eager to see the strength of their 'Golden' boy. A swirl of sand announced the arrival of Gaara as he stood at one end of the arena with a blank look, but if one were to look into his eyes one would see a glint of madness in them.
A few moments passed before, to the most of everyone's surprise, Sasuke did not turn up. It confused them greatly. Didn't the Uchiha want to show everybody the might of Konoha? A couple of minutes passed until people started to get irritated and started demanding he show.
"WE WANT THE UCHIHA!"
"WE WANT THE UCHIHA!"
Sarutobi sighed as he looked over the the people who were not very happy that the legacy of one of Konoha's founding clans was not on time for his match. It wouldn't reflect well on Konoha if it showed that one of Konoha's most respectful clans showed no shame in being late. After all clients wanted professional ninjas to do the missions they pay for. Why is it that Kakashi allowed him to be late despite the problems and possible disqualification it could cause? Just as he was about to stand up and disqualify the Uchiha he was stopped by the Kazekage.
"Hold on there Hokage-dono, surely we can postpone the match until the Uchiha arrives. After all most of the audience here came to specifically watch this match. The Kazekage's son versus Konoha's last loyal Uchiha. Disqualifying him will bring embarrassment to Konoha.", he said with a slight hiss.
Sarutobi looked sternly at the Kazekage before replying in a stone voice, "Yes it would be embarrassing to Konoha but by allowing him extra time also reflects badly on us. It shows everyone that we favour people because of their name, had it been say Naruto-kun who had been late he would have been disqualified as well, but that is not the case so if you would excuse me Kazekage-dono I have a gennin to remove from the exam and their high chances of chunnin along with it.". He then stood up and walked to the railings before using the same jutsu Genma used to amplify his voice.
"Due to not arriving on time for his match Sasuke Uchiha is hereby disqualified and the possibility for promotion is has been greatly reduced. Depending on his reason for being late will determine if he will face Gaara no Subaku at the end of the first round. If he still hasn't turned up by then or doesn't give a valid reason for being late then Gaara no Subaku will be the winner and will Naruto Uzumaki in the second round. Now will the proctor please continue onto the next match.".
The crowd muttered in displeasure at the decision but couldn't fault the Hokage for it. If a gennin was late to his exam without a valid reason then he didn't deserve to be chunnin. Unless he had a good reason, like being attacked before his match, although some were not so quiet with their thoughts...
"WHAT?! Why is Sasuke-kun being disqualified, he needs this promotion so that he can get one step closer to killing his brother!", Sakura bellowed.
"Well he is late, what do you expect? No matter who he is, these exams are supposed to determine who is best to be promoted to chunin and who isn't. Sasuke Uchiha, no matter how skilled he is, is no exception to this rule. He was late and it showed the exam boarders he doesn't care about being on time for a mission. This can be disastrous if he was say leading a team to support another on a mission and decided to be late for no apparent reason. The only way to be considered for a promotion now is to give a legitimate reason when he arrives, which I doubt considering his attitude.", Jiraiya explained with a confused look directed at Sakura.
Sakura frowned before muttering, "He still shouldn't have been disqualified.".
Jiraiya shook his head at the girl's childish attitude. If Tsunade becomes the Godaime Hokage then he'll talk to her about Team 7 and what should be done about them. As far as he knew Team 7 was the worst kind of team to this day:
Sasuke Uchiha. Known to have severe superiority and inferiority complexes, but was still allowed to be a ninja despite being a flight risk. Also quick to anger with the mention of his brother Itachi Uchiha and would be willing abandon or kill his team mates if it meant more power or if he felt them too much of a nuisance. Also a narcissistic.
Sakura Haruno. No practical skills as a kunoichi, good chakra control that brought a superiority complex with it, severe case of obsession with Sasuke Uchiha and has a habit of being violent to anyone she considers below her, including people who outrank her. She has also showed symptoms of having MPD (Multiple Personality Disorder) when she was younger.
Naruto Uzumaki. Uses a mask to hide his true abilities for fear of reprisals from both villagers and his team. Has a mixture of personalities of both of his parents. Calm when needed to be but not afraid to be very determined to succeed in the high possibility of defeat.
Finally there is Kakashi Hatake the supposed sensei of the team. Late to everything causing displeasure and wasting potential training or mission time. When he does train them, he trains Sasuke in ninjutsu, taijutsu and genjutsu, Sakura in genjutsu (though she doesn't bother to train in it) and doesn't train Naruto in anything on the basis of poor chakra control. In doing so he creates bad team dynamics by stroking the egos of the two most undeserving students and leaving one to fend for himself. The result of that made Sasuke and Sakura think that they could bully Naruto whenever they want and for the sake of keeping his mask up he had to endure it. Heck it was thanks to Kyuubi's rapid healing that Naruto didn't suffer any permanent head damage from Sakura's punches...
...Yep, definitely one of the worst gennin teams to date. Even in his team Orochimaru was at least willing to work with him when on a mission.
Down in the arena Genma nodded to the Hokage before addressing the audience again.
"Will Shino Aburame and Kankuro no Subaku please come down to start the next match..."
And so the other matches continued on as usual.
Kankuro forfeited his match. This led to many insults being thrown his way and for Shino and the other leaf genin to be suspicious of the Suna siblings.
Shikamaru and Temari's match was one of brains and not brawn. Leading to everyone being on the edge of their seats when the tables were constantly changing. In the end Temari won (AN: She is her shippuden age here. No way am I going to let her win by her opponent forfeiting who is three years younger than her) by using her fuuton jutsu to cause a tree to nearly crash down on Shikamaru, who was attempting his Kage Mane no jutsu (Shadow Imitation Technique) to restrain her. Upon her return to the competitors box she was congratulated on her victory by Naruto, causing her to blush at the praise and she secretly hoped that she could keep him as a spoil of war if the invasion was successful.
Once her match was done it was time to begin the second round. After everyone had had a 30 minute break to eat, drink or use the bathroom and for the competitors to recuperate slightly, everyone was back in their seats and waited for the first match to start.
"Now that the 30 minute break is over may I ask for Gaara no Sabaku and Naruto Uzumaki to come down to the arena.", Genma announced as said competitors came down in their own unique way. Gaara by a sand version of Shunshin (Body Flicker) and Naruto by a Shunpo. Seeing that they had both arrived Genma continued his announcement.
"Now Sasuke Uchiha has 5 minutes to show up and give a reason for being late. If he doesn't make it by even 1 second after the 5 minute mark he will be disqualified. He will also be disqualified if he doesn't give a good enough reason."
4 minutes and 59 seconds later...
"As he has failed to turn up Sasuke Uchiha is hereby-", Genma was interrupted by a swirl of leaves. The obvious sign of a leaf version of Shunshin.
When the leaves had dissipated it showed Kakashi Hatake and Sasuke Uchiha standing back-to-back. The silver haired shinobi hadn't changed at all, his attire still consisting of the typical jonin uniform. Sasuke though was the one who was different. His hair had grown slightly out, making it look more like a duck's ass, and his clothes were black (AN: His new outfit is the Chunin Exam outfit he wore when he faced Gaara so I am not going into detail about it).
"Yo.", Kakashi said nonchalantly, as if nothing was wrong. Genma got rid of the shock and stared annoyingly at the pair. Why the dramatics? It was not needed and it made Konoha ninja look like drama queens to all of the potential clients.
"Kakashi your tardiness has passed onto your student. Now please state your reason for being late. If it is not good enough we will have to disqualify you and instead start this match between Gaara no Sabaku and Naruto Uzumaki.", Genma stated calmly.
Both shinobis' eyes widened at the mention of Naruto. Looking around they saw blonde standing behind them with a scowl in place.
'This isn't supposed to be happening. Naruto was meant to lose against Neji. That way he would be safe from Gaara, Sasuke would then face Gaara and be promoted and Naruto would use the experience for the next Chunin Exams. Then he would be promoted along with Sakura.', Kakashi thought, annoyed that his plan hadn't gone along.
"Dobe what are you doing here?", Sasuke sneered towards the samurai clad shinobi. He didn't like how the atmosphere was. It seemed like everyone was boring holes with their eyes into his skull, quite unnerving since he was used to praise and not criticism.
"I'm here to start my match against Gaara, unless of course you have reasonable excuse to being late then you will be fighting Gaara.", Naruto replied with a knowing smirk now showing.
"Well?", Genma said impatiently, wanting to start the match.
"Well you see...", Kakashi sheepishly said, trying to come up with a reasonable excuse. However before he could continue he was interrupted by his student.
"I needed to get clean clothes on.", Sasuke cut in rudely.
A good minute passed before everyone registered what the Uchiha had said and the reactions varied. The ninja, exam boarders, potential clients, Daimyos, the Hokage and the 'Kazekage' were disgusted with him. This just showed that on a mission that could mean the difference between life and death for a team, he would be late just for new clothes and thus put the team already in danger into more of a difficult situation where maybe one person would be killed. Sakura and Ino though were inwardly cheering at the fact that that their 'Sasuke-kun' looked cool.
Genma looked at the Hokage for the answer. His response was a shaking of the head, looking back to Kakashi he said in a stern tone.
"Due to not providing a valid reason for being late Sasuke Uchiha is hereby disqualified completely from the exam and will not be promoted to chunin at the end. Kakashi please take your student and go up to the stands please so that we may begin the next match.", Genma stated.
Nodding his head absently he motioned for Sasuke to follow him. The boy did but not before he did his trademark 'Hn', stuck his nose in the air in arrogance and attempted shoved pass Naruto in an effort to antagonise him.
Keyword being 'attempted'.
In reality when he tried to shove pass Naruto he ended looking like he had bumped his shoulder into a wall as Naruto did not even budge from the force. People openly laughed at this and made them think a little more about the two. Either their precious Uchiha was weak and his grades were exaggerated or Naruto was strong enough to repel the force. This caused the self-proclaimed avenger to go red in both embarrassment and anger before once again storming off to the stands, Kakashi right behind but casting worrying glances back to Naruto on the way.
"Right...now that that is out of the way the first match of the second round between Naruto Uzumaki and Gaara no Sabaku. Hajime!", Genma shouted before jumping out of the way as Gaara's sand rushed towards the blonde.
Said blonde used a Shunpo to avoid it and reappeared standing on top the wall opposite them looking down at Gaara with a pitying expression that made Gaara absolutely mental. How dare he show pity on him.
"Die Uzumaki!", he shouted as two tendrils tried to crush the blonde from either side.
Seeing the movement Naruto quickly used Shunpo to escape from being trapped and for next couple of minutes it seemed that the battle was at a stalemate. Gaara couldn't catch the blonde as he would use Shunpo as soon as his sand got too close for comfort. On the other hand though neither was Naruto winning as the sand tendrils were always upon him as soon as he reappeared from using a Shunpo and would have to use it again to avoid them again before he could even make an attack. Despite this Naruto was more calm than Gaara as he was getting frustrated at not being able capture him.
"Come on Uzumaki, fight me! Prove my existence!", Gaara cackled as more and more tendrils came racing towards the blonde, intent on crushing him to dust.
That small statement caused everyone to freeze as they heard the voice from behind the redhead. Gaara turned his head to the right to see behind him another Naruto standing with an impassive look edged on his whiskered face. Looking down the redhead saw Naruto's right index finger touching his clothed right shoulder-blade. Naruto then uttered four words that would haunt the Ichibi's container for a long time.
"Hadō No. 4: Byakurai! (Way of Destruction No. 4: Pale Lightening!)", a white glow appeared on the finger of the Naruto behind Gaara before the sound of lightening startled the audience, especially one Kakashi Hatake.
'How does he know Raiton, I never taught him that.', Kakashi thought as Gai observed him wondering if Kakashi taught Naruto something similar to Chidori (One Thousand Birds), but brushed that off when he remembered that Kakashi didn't teach Naruto anything other than tree-climbing.
The glow then had sparks gathering around it before shooting a large white lightening bolt that pierced Gaara's shoulder-blade and carried on until it hit the arena wall, leaving a small crater in its place.
For a moment nothing happened until Gaara felt a warm liquid slide down his arm. Glancing at it he saw the liquid to be red, indicating that it was blood. He touched it with his left hand and pulled it in front of him to get a closer look at it.
"This...is...my...blood.", Gaara whispered with small pauses as it finally dawned on him that he had been wounded for the first time in his life. It was then that the pain shot through him for the first time in his life and clutched his shoulder with his left hand in a futile attempt to stop the bleeding.
"THIS IS MY BLOOD!", he shouted to the heavens as a sphere of sand formed around him, blocking him everything else and destroying the Kage Bunshin that had fired the Kidō through his shoulder.
"Oh no, he's already turning.", Temari gasped as she and her brother jumped down into the arena to stop anyone else from interfering.
It was then that two things happened. One a genjutsu was placed on everyone in the stadium to make them sleep and two a smoke bomb was set off in the kage box, obscuring everyone's vision of the kages.
"Genjutsu.", Kurenai whispered as she immediately dispelled the illusion on herself. Looking around she saw that all those of chunin rank, above that and some of the genin had also dispelled the genjutsu. The chunin and those above were already fighting both Oto and Suna shinobi in the stadium, whilst the genin that had been able to dispel the genjutsu were waking up the others who didn't dispel it. Once they were all awake she signalled them over to her for orders.
"Okay your orders are to evacuate the civilians and other non-ninja personnel. Also for the moment we are at war with both Oto and Suna so you will need to fight them if they get in your way. Be careful of any enemies and also do not forget your mission, which is to evacuate all non-ninja personnel. Any genin who doesn't obey this will be reported when this invasion is over. Understood?", she commanded, receiving numerous nods in response, though Sasuke's was reluctantly.
Up with the kages the Kazekage had the Hokage hostage with a kunai poised at the elderly man's neck.
"So you finally decided to settle our quarrel Orochimaru.", Sarutobi muttered, looking forward and in a relax posture, as if he wasn't even being held hostage.
"Ku, ku, ku, ku. So you figured it out old man. How did you know that I was the Kazekage?", Orochimaru hissed as he pulled off the skin mask of the Kazekage to reveal his smirking pale face, long tongue and golden snake eyes.
"I noticed you because the Kazekage doesn't normally wear a mask to hide his face, nor does he call Gaara his son. When you made those two flaws I knew that it was you. Plus the fact that you wanted Sasuke to participate so much finalised my conclusion.", Sarutobi replied as he heard a chuckle come from his former student.
"Ku, ku, ku, ku. Yes well it doesn't matter since you are going to die now anyway. Ku, ku, ku, ku, goodbye Sarutobi-sensei.", Orochimaru said as he slit the Hokage's throat and dropped the corpse wanting to see it fall to the ground.
Only for it to pop into a cloud of smoke.
"WHAT!", the snake summoner yelled as he saw the smoke only to be hit in the face and forced away to the other side of the building.
'What was that?', he thought as he got a good look at his assailant.
In his place was Hiruzen in his old battlefield garb. It consisted of an all black outfit a black top, with black trousers and a black shinobi-adapted samurai helmet. On his right forearm was a light-brown bracer that covered up to his elbow, he had fish stockings on his left wrist and both of his shins. His footwear was a pair of more flexible black shinobi sandals, his helmet had a black bandanna on with two pieces of cloth running down the back to his feet and had a Konoha hitai-ate on his forehead. On his back was a grey piece of fabric with the kanji for 'fire' showing. Finally in his hands was a transformed King Enma in his Kongonyoi (Adamantine Staff) form. His expression was one of pity that infuriated Orochimaru.
"How did you escape you old man? I had you hostage there and I prevented you from doing any jutsu.", Orochimaru exclaimed, shock showing on his face.
"Kage Bunshin no Jutsu (Shadow Clone Technique) and Kawarimi no Jutsu (Body Replacement Technique). I made a clone of myself and switched with it whilst you were paying attention to the exams. Now lets finish this once and for all.", Sarutobi said as he and Orochimaru commenced a battle that would be written in the history books with only one coming out as the victor.
Naruto was paying more attention to Gaara than anywhere else as the dome started to crack and sand started to fall, revealing a changed Gaara. Upon seeing this both Kankuro and Temari ran off, leaving a confused Naruto.
'What the hell?', Naruto thought as he saw the sand now covering Gaara's body.
The sand completely morphed his head to look like a tanuki, the rest was over his body so that he had a tail that could wrap around him completely and two claws longer than his body, leaving only his legs uncovered. The sand also had blue like veins spread all over and the eyes were yellow with a plus symbol for the pupil with four dots in each corner. He grinned when his gazed lingered on Naruto, showing a set of large pointed teeth.
"Ah, Uzumaki you will prove to me my existence!", he cackled as he sent one of his claws at the blonde in an effort to trap him again and just as before he was avoided as Naruto used Shunpo to appear behind him.
Naruto pulled back Zangetsu over his head as he prepared to use Getsuga Tenshō on his unguarded back.
'Hopefully this will work.'
"Suna Shuriken! (Sand Shuriken!)", Gaara announced as he swung his whole body in a semicircle to the right, swinging his sand encased left arm in front of him as sand shuriken erupted from him and at the blonde now in front of him at velocities.
'Shit!', Naruto inwardly yelled as he used Shunpo again to avoid the shuriken that missed him by a whisker before returning to the Shukaku-enhanced Gaara.
"That trick won't work on me this time Uzumaki!", Gaara shouted, laughing maniacally as he saw the difficulty the blonde was in.
Putting some ground between himself and the insane jinchuriki Naruto raised his left empty palm to face towards Gaara.
"Bakudō No. 9: Geki! (Way of Binding No 9: Strike!)", a red aura outlined Gaara's transformed state, paralysing him and preventing him from making any more jutsu.
"Arg, arg, U-Uzuma-maki.", Gaara grounded out with venom as he tried to move, but couldn't even with his full strength. Upon seeing Gaara restrained Naruto let out a sigh of relief, thankful that he didn't need to use any more Kidōon the boy.
'Phew, that was close.', he thought as he placed Zangetsu on his back with his right hand, the cloth around the hilt of the cleaver extending as it wrapped itself up and attached to Naruto's back automatically.
"Gaara there's no need to continue this. Just stop fighting and I can fix your seal so that you can sleep. There's no need to keep fighting any more.", Naruto almost pleaded with the enraged redhead, who laughed at him as Naruto made his way towards him.
"I will not stop fighting, it's the only way I can prove I exist! I love for no-one but myself and I will only fight for myself! You hear me Uzumaki!", Gaara spat at the blonde, who sighed as he got ever more closer to the host of the Ichibi.
He was only a meter away before Gaara sent a blast of KI at Naruto, who froze and jumped back in surprise when a column of sand shot up from the ground, obscuring Gaara from view. A moment or two passed by until the dust and sand started to settle, though Naruto still couldn't see Gaara.
"I'm free baby!", a different more humour-filled and wily voice shouted out as the sand and dust revealed a the Ichibi in his biju form. The sight of the large biju caused many of the ninja on both sides to stop fighting to stare in fright, most of those affected were Konoha ninja as it reminded them of the Kyuubi's attack thirteen years ago.
"Crap.", Naruto muttered, though Shukaku was still able to hear him.
"Oh is this the little insect who set me free. Well I am thankful, so to repay you I'll kill you as fast and painlessly as possible. After that I kill all these other insects, oh the joy of spilling their blood.", Shukaku squealed as he attempted to slam his right hand on top of Naruto, but failed due to Naruto using Shunpo to escape and reappear on the roof of the stadium. When everyone saw him reappear they stared at him wondering what he was going to do next. Some were thinking he would run and save his own skin, whilst others' thought he would die from trying to fight a biju since it cost the Yondaime his life just to seal the Kyuubi, how would a child defeat something that was only 1/9 as strong.
"This is going to be more difficult than I anticipated.", Naruto said to himself as he bit his right thumb, allowing a small amount of blood to leak from it. He then proceeded to form the following handseals, those who recognised the jutsu were stunned that someone would share their summoning contract with the boy and wondered which one it was.
"Kuchiyose no Jutsu! (Summoning Technique!)", Naruto then slammed his right hand, open palm faced down, as he shouted the name of the jutsu. An array of symbols stretched from his hand to form a circle with a cross running through it and a large cloud of smoke covered the entire stadium, causing everyone to be temporarily blinded from the smoke so they couldn't see what had been summoned.
"Gaki why did you summon me here?!", an annoyed voice boomed as many of ninja who recognised the voice widened their eyes in shock.
'It couldn't be.', many thought as the smoke dissipated, showing a giant red toad wearing a large blue happi vest with the kanji for 'boss' on the back, a white sash, he had a kiseru pipe in his mouth and a huge tanto blade was strapped on his right hip. Apart from this he had yellow eyes with a horizontal bar for a pupil and had a scar over his left eye, but could still see through it. To many who knew of the toad summons they knew they were staring at the toad boss, Gamabunta, the toad that aided in helping the Yondaime seal away the Kyuubi.
'Why is he helping the Kyuubi-gaki?', many of the Naruto-haters thought, as it seemed absurd for toads to ally themselves with someone who they believed was their enemy, especially after the scar the Kyuubi left during their fight. To many of the others though they were seeing déjà vu, in fact all they had to do was imagine an older Naruto, with no whiskers and wearing a white coat with red flames on the bottom and you had yourself a clone of the Yondaime standing there on top of his head.
Naruto looked sheepish and rubbed the back of his head with his left arm as he replied.
"Well you see I need a little help with the tanuki over there and I was wondering if you could help me out here. If not then could you at least force him to outside of Konoha?", Naruto informed the toad as he pointed at Shukaku with his right index finger.
Gamabunta looked at what Naruto was indicating at and knew immediately that it was Shukaku and despite being way weaker than the Kyuubi he was still a powerful bijū when not compared to the other bijū. Sighing he took a puff of smoke from his pipe before replying.
"Very well I'll give you a hand, but after this mess is over with you and I are having a drink. Only after that will I acknowledge you as one of my summoners. Got it gaki?", he grumbled as he prepared himself for the coming fight.
"S-Sure toad boss.", Naruto stuttered slightly surprised since given Gamabunta's attitude didn't portray him as the type to help out a lot when it didn't seem worth his time.
Gamabunta gave a grunt in response before launching himself at the bijū, preparing to give a toad version of Gai's Dynamic Entry.
"I'll skin you when I'm done with you. Fūton: Renkūdan! (Wind Release: Drilling Air Bullet!)", Shukaku said as he took a deep breath before raising his right arm and hitting his stomach, causing a ball of highly compressed wind to shoot from his mouth at the incoming toad and blonde.
Seeing the Renkūdan heading straight for them Naruto gripped Zangetsu with his right hand as he quickly pulled it from his back and into an immediate downward swing, the cloth unwrapping itself instantly.
"Getsuga Tenshō!", an arc of chakra formed and sped towards the oncoming Renkūdan. When the two clashed it caused an explosion that was large enough to take out a whole building and pushing dust up between the two combatants, robbing them of their view from each other.
"Is he dead?", Shukaku asked to himself as he moved closer towards the smoke, determined to see a dead toad...
...Only to be kicked in the face from a still flying Gamabunta, who had been able to continue his kick when the two jutsu had clashed.
"Ah!", Shukaku yelled as he was propelled off of his feet and out of Konoha into the surrounding forest, uprooting many of the trees in the process.
As soon as Gamabunta landed he crouched down and made a huge leap to stay with the tanuki to stop from coming back to the village.
Shukaku got his bearings back as he saw Gamabunta leap up into the air towards. Standing up he saw his chance and raised his right arm again.
"Fūton: Renkūdan!", this time he fired three Renkūdan towards the toad, who cursed for being in the air.
"Suiton: Teppōdama! (Water Release: Gunshot!)", the toad boss's mouth expanded slightly before he spat out two large spheres that cancelled out two of the Renkudan. The result of the clashes caused showers of rain and gale force winds to the surrounding forest, giving the impression of a small storm.
"You missed one!", Naruto warned Gamabunta with a slightly worried as the third Renkūdan was still heading towards them in the air.
"I know gaki!", Gamabunta shouted, panicking slightly.
Naruto wondered what the best course of action was. He could use Getsuga Tenshō again, but they couldn't afford to have the smoke blocking their view of Shukaku. What they needed was something that defended them against the Renkūdan, but also allowed them to still see him.
A thought then struck him, raising his right open palm to face the oncoming Renkūdan he gathered chakra to perform his next kido.
"Bakudō No. 39: Enkōsen! (Way of Binding No. 39: Round Lock Fan!)", a round yellow shield formed in front of both summon and summoner as the Renkūdan collided with the kidō. The shield was able to stop the wind jutsu but not without receiving damage as well, given by the large amount of cracks that had been made to the kidō. When the Renkūdan was negated Naruto deactivated the shield and panted slightly from having used up so much chakra for a low-medium kidō but had to spread to out to defend him and Gamabunta.
"Thanks gaki.", Gamabunta said as he unsheathed his tanto with his right webbed hand and placing his left hand on the handle making a stabbing motion below him on the bijū.
"Don't mention it.", Naruto replied as the toad boss finished descending down on the tanuki and stabbed Shukaku through the chest.
"Ack!", Shukaku grunted out as he felt a sharp pain in his chest from the toad boss's tanto. He recovered quickly though as he then grabbed hold of the huge toad with both of his claws, putting the two beings in a grapple stalemate with neither one moving.
"Okay gaki you know what you need to do. Wake up the container while I'll keep Shukaku here from moving.", Gamabunta informed the blonde, who nodded and used Shunpo to reach Shukaku's left claw and started running along it to reach the sleeping Gaara on Shukaku's forehead.
"Don't think I can't stop you, you insect!", Shukaku said as tendrils of sand started to form along Naruto's path, trying to either impale him of crush him.
"Man this again.", Naruto muttered as he used a series of Shunpos to reach Gaara. When he finally reached him Naruto pulled Zangetsu up above his head and proceeded to bring it down on the redhead, however whilst in mid-swing he flipped the blade over so that the blunt edge hit Gaara squarely on the head, forcing the boy to wake up.
"Wake up!", Naruto yelled. Gaara's eyes opened in shock and pain as he felt Shukaku's influence being pulled back into his seal.
"No! Come on I just got here!...(Growls)...Just you wait insect, when I get out here again you're the first insect I'll crush before I kill all of those close to you!", were Shukaku's final words as his form started to break apart. First his claws fell away and then the rest of his body followed until both Naruto and a barely conscious Gaara were left to fall and land in a huge pile of sand in the place of what was once a forest.
"Well I'm done here. Remember our drink later on gaki.", Gamabunta then sheathed his tanto and dispersed into smoke as he went back to Mount Myōboku.
Gaara groaned slightly when the smoke faded. Opening his groggily eyes he saw the blue sky and shining sun. He easily deduced that he was sprawled out on his back and had blood running down his forehead from Naruto's blow to his head and his wound from the lightening attack back in the arena.
Looking to his right he saw Naruto standing and leaning against Zangetsu, that was stabbed in the ground, with his right arm. The blonde was sweating and panting, obviously from having to use all those jutsu constantly throughout the fight, but there were no wounds on him physically apart from a few scratches. He noticed also that the blonde was looking at him intently and was slowly making his way to him, using Zangetsu as a make-shift crutch.
"S-Stay away from me!", Gaara yelled in panic and started struggling to try and stand, scared for the first time since his uncle tried to kill him when he was younger.
"It hurts doesn't it? Being all alone, nobody to care for you.", Naruto said as he stopped next to Gaara's prone form. When he did Gaara stopped struggling slightly and looked into Naruto's eyes to see something akin to sympathy. Those blue orbs that seemed to be able to bore into anyone's soul and see their true selves was looking into Gaara's panicked emerald ones. The redhead could have sworn that he was reading his mind when he spoke again.
"You and I are a lot like in some ways. The differences being quite obvious such as your status being known by everyone and having assassination attempts on you by your own father. Where as I was beaten on the Kyuubi festival and don't have the ability to demand for things and expect to get away with it.", Naruto continued as Gaara stopped struggling completely, wanting to hear the rest of the explanation.
"Just like you I was angry to the villagers. I hated them with all of my being but hid it under the mask of an idiot that dreamed of being Hokage. Then one day our team was assigned a C-rank mission to protect a bridge builder from bandits as he finished constructing his bridge. On the way we ran into ninja and we decided to continue, despite the fact that the mission was now upgraded to an A-rank. Fast-forwarding to the client's house we were criticised and told that we knew nothing of suffering. That didn't sit well with me, so after I verbally brought the person who criticised us down a peg I stormed out to vent my frustrations on a tree or something with training. I kept training until I passed out and when I awoke I met someone who gave me some interesting advice. Do you know what it was?", Naruto asked with Gaara shaking his head in response. He then gave a small smile as he remembered the words Haku told him during the mission to Nami no Kuni (The Land of Waves).
"He said people who fight to protect those close to them gain true strength. After that he was killed by Kakashi-san, trying to protect his master when they were trying to kill our client. Now after looking back on those words and my past I have to agree with him as it was only my drive to keep the people close to me safe that I became strong. You can do same.", Naruto said as a small flashback of him saving Iruka from Mizuki sprung to mind.
"I have no precious people. I will always be alone.", Gaara replied flatly and diverted his eyes from Naruto's blue ones as he began to think that this was all for nothing. That he had worked his hopes up just to have them trampled on.
To his surprise though he heard a chuckle and became confused at how this was funny.
"Gaara my friend we all have people who we cherish. You just have to look in the right places.", Naruto said. Gaara turned his head and opened his mouth to reply but to his astonishment there was no trace of Naruto, not even his chakra signature was detectable.
'What did he mean by that?', wondered as he rested against the suns rays.
"Gaara!", he heard...Temari shout. Blinking for a second he saw his sister and brother arrive. Both injured but nothing more than cuts, scratches and bruises that didn't need any attention. Also their attire was very roughed up from the battles they had been a part of, most notably Temari's Kyodai Sensu (Giant Folding Fan) had a few dents in it and Kankuro's Karasu (Crow) was both damaged with losing two of it's arms and an eye.
When Temari and Kankuro arrived they saw Gaara's state and quickly went to his side. Temari applied bandages to the wound on his shoulder.
"Gaara, thank goodness you're all right. We thought you were dead.", Temari exclaimed as she finished bandaging his wound. It would still need treatment but it was not leaking any more blood, that Temari was grateful for.
Gaara meanwhile was stunned at the affection his siblings were giving to him. It was such an alien concept that he wanted to push them away on reflex, but suppressed it when the attention felt good to him.
'Maybe he's right. Maybe if I want to I can have people to protect as well.', he thought as Kankuro lifted his left over his shoulders so that he could travel through the treetops.
"Come on little brother lets go home.", Kankuro grunted as he and Temari did one more survey of the area to make sure they would not be followed before leaping through the trees to meet up with their sensei, Baki.
"T-Temari, K-Kankuro, I'm sorry for all that I've done.", The redhead whispered, though his siblings still heard him as they turned to look at him in shock. This was the first time they had heard him apologise for anything, the only other times he talked usually involving the sentence 'I'll kill you'.
Glancing at each other they came a unspoken agreement.
"No worries little brother.", Kankuro said, focusing on the route ahead and making sure that they would meet up with their sensei at the right place.
"Yeah Gaara we're just glad your safe.", Temari added with a smile, though on the inside she was thinking on what happened during Naruto and Gaara's fight.
'I hope we can meet again Naruto Uzumaki, you sure are interesting.', she thought with a slight blush.
Kankuro saw the blush and smirked a little at seeing his older sister blush like an Academy student.
'Must be about that Uzumaki kid.', he summarised as the trio kept continued on with their journey.
When Naruto sensed Temari and Kankuro arriving he hid himself in a tree opposite. Then he suppressed his chakra signature so that not even Shukaku could sense him. He saw Temari shouted out Gaara's name and smiled when he saw the worried looks on their faces as Temari bandaged Gaara and Kankuro helped with moving him.
'Like I said Gaara, we all have people we cherish.', he inwardly repeated.
'You sure that was a good idea?', a voice spoke within his mind.
'Maybe, maybe not. I may have made an enemy or an ally. All I can do is trust that they become my ally and not my enemy again.', he replied as his vision started to blur from the exhaustion. A moment later he sensed Jiraiya appear next to him, though he looked sad about saomething.
"Hey gaki, I saw the fight between you and the redhead. Gotta it sure brought back some memories.", he said as he remembered the similar situation between his first student and the Kyuubi.
"Yeah well at least this time the bijū was sealed already and nobody was killed from him either.", Naruto scoffed as the sannin scratched his chin in thought.
"Yeah you're right about that. Anyway the good news is that Suna and Oto have been defeated and they withdrawing. It seems Orochimaru killed their Yondaime Kazekage and took on his identity so that he could have Suna join in on the invasion. They'll likely try to arrange an alliance again with us, considering they believed they were following their leader's orders and not those of an S-class nuke-nin. The bad news is that...", Jiraiya stalled, unable to gather enough courage to speak any more.
"What bad news?", Naruto asked, eyes narrowing in suspicion. When Jiraiya spoke again it was shown to be clearly strained.
"...Sarutobi-sensei died whilst sealing away Orochimaru's ability to use nin and genjutsu.", Jiraiya finished explaining as Naruto's blue eyes widened. The old man was dead?
'H-How could that have happened? The Hokage is supposed to be the strongest ninja in the village.', Naruto thought inwardly as his form started to shake, from tiredness or sadness no one could tell.
'It would have happened sooner or later. He may have been the strongest ninja in the village, but he was still an old man. His health was only getting worse as time went by so it was no surprise that the Sandaime died at the hands of some one younger. Tragic? Yes but surprised? No.', the voice from before said, sadness in their voice but still stoic all the same.
'Still he was one of the only people who saw me as me and not the Kyuubi.', Naruto inwardly replied as he cut off his connection with the other voice in his head.
Jiraiya looked at the boy in worry as he saw the shocked then sadness emotions in his eyes at the news. He saw the boy shaking and knew that the boy was both mentally and physically exhausted from the events of today.
"Come on gaki lets get you back home. You need the rest, especially after fighting Neji and a Shukaku possessed Gaara even I would have been slightly winded from fighting Gaara alone.", Jiraiya said as Naruto nodded numbly.
"Sure...", Naruto drawled out before passing out from exhaustion. He was about to fall forwards to the ground but didn't because of an arm catching him. Using whatever strength he had left he looked to his right to see Jiraiya now standing next to him, facing in his opposite direction and spreading his right arm across his chest so that he didn't fall over.
"Thanks, Ero-sennin.", he whispered before he finally closed his eyes as his consciousness faded away.
"Ungrateful gaki.", Jiraiya said in a quiet tone but still shook his head with a small smile. He picked Naruto up piggy-back style and made his way back to the village where he would drop Naruto off to his apartment.
The next day: Top of the Hokage Tower...
"Heh, heh, heh. Oh look at that blonde with the huge rack and that brunette with the nice ass.", Jiraiya giggled perversely, looking through his telescope from the edge of the Hokage Tower. He was crouched behind the railing and had his scroll that he carried with him propped up on the railing as he was doing his 'research'.
"Ahem...Jiraiya.", an old man's voice coughed behind, making Jiraiya's expression annoyed as he turned to face the village Elders, Mitokado Homura and Koharu Utatane.
Homura had grey slightly spiked hair, beard, wore glasses and would usually have a frown on his. His clothes mainly consisted on something similar to the Sandaime's Hokage robes. His partner, Koharu, is similar in appearance-wise with most crucial differences being that she didn't wear glasses and had her hair done up into two small buns with a long needle with oriental pieces being used to keep her hair up. Them along with the Civilian and Shinobi councils made up the Village council. Initially they were made to advise the Hokage on matters on which the Hokage found difficulty in completely understanding, but ever since the Kyuubi's attack they started to gain more power than before and had made many problems for the Hokage, namely the civilians and the elders. A big problem being the lower standards the Academy obtained from changing the curriculum to focus more on Academic theories and history, claiming that it would help civilian-born students be more able to pass...
...Oh they did pass, but because of their lack of practical skills they were quickly returning home from their first C-rank mission in body-bags.
"So what do the prestigious Elders want with little old me?", Jiraiya asked, his annoyed expression turning into a cheerful one, although all the Elders knew that he was anything but cheerful.
Using his right hand to push his glasses up the bridge of his nose Homura cleared his throat before speaking.
"Jiraiya as you know after the attack from Suna and Oto, Sarutobi was killed-"
"That's Hokage-sama to you.", Jiraiya interrupted, his tone showing no room for argument.
"Well, the attack from Suna and Oto that killed Hokage-sama, the council was called to elect a new Hokage since Sandaime-sama did not choose a successor. In the end it was decided that you should be the Godaime Hokage.", Homura finished after making his correction.
For a moment nothing happened. Jiraiya was staring intensively at the two, making a shiver run down their spines though they didn't show it.
"Not interested.", Jiraiya finally said causing the Homura and Utatane flinch at his declaration. Upon realising what he said Koharu exploded.
"What do you mean 'Not interested'?", she demanded as the man stared at the sky and counted down with his left fingers.
"One: I have no desire to be stuck in an office doing paperwork. Two: I have a spy network to run and that requires me to leave the village from time-to-time, especially since some of my contacts will only speak to me and no one else. Third: If I were to become the Hokage the first thing I would do is make a law stating that all kunoichi must pose for my Icha Icha books. Fourth: Me and Sarutobi-sensei agreed that should he die then someone else would become the Godaime. Then fifth: I do not want to deal with the council whining in my ears every other day about one thing or another.", Jiraiya explained as he saw their reactions.
Both Koharu and Mitokado had a light pink tint on their cheeks at Jiraiya's third reason and were openly glaring when they heard his final reason.
"If you will not take up the position then who will?", Mitokado asked.
"Tsunade of course. I mean she's related to the Shodaime and Nidaime, so she has the right background. She is a sannin as am I, so she meets the strength requirement. Then finally unlike me she has actually had experience of dealing with politics because of her blood-relatives.", Jiraiys suggested.
"But she hasn't been in the village for over 13 years, plus her...hobbies are not what you call appealing.", Koharu countered, remembering the Senju's habit of drinking and gambling.
"Don't you worry about that. I will find Tsunade, that you can be assured of, and I already have a plan to convince her to come back to Konoha. I will also be bringing along my apprentice with me and no I will not let you have a say in this matter. Tsunade will become the Godaime Hokage and I will not let you have any say in who I choose as my apprentice.", Jiraiya said decisively, cutting off the Elders response to his choice of apprentice. They had been angry that the man had not chosen someone who they believed to be more deserving of the title and even though they didn't approve of Naruto they knew they didn't have any legal control over a sannin and who they chose to teach.
"Very well then Tsunade will become the Godaime Hokage and you are officially Naruto Uzumaki's sensei, replacing Kakashi Hatake. Now when will the two of you be heading out to search for her?", Mitokado asked, sighing in defeat.
Picking up the large scroll Jiraiya strapped it to his back, stood up and stretched to wake up his muscles from the crouching.
"Tomorrow after Sarutobi-sensei's funeral.", Jiraiya said as he walked between the two Elders and then disappeared using the Shunshin no Jutsu.
Next day: Naruto's apartment...
Naruto's eyes opened slowly as he woke up from passing out. Propping himself up on his right arm, he used his left arm to rub the sleep from his eyes before yawning and looking at his surroundings. He saw the familiar scenery of his bedroom in his apartment and that Zangetsu was leaning against the wall next to him.
'Ero-sennin must've brought me here.', he thought as he yawned again, still a bit tired after his fight in the invasion. Standing up from his bed he noticed that he was still in his clothes from before and decided to change into a fresher a pair. Once he was changed he went and made himself some breakfast. Due to still being tired Naruto decided to have some toast and cereal with a glass of water to wake him up some more.
"Up already huh?"
"Hey Ero-sennin.", Naruto said nonchalantly as the white-haired Toad Sage jumped through his window and then landed on the floor.
"Stop calling me that!", Jiraiya said loudly with a scowl at the nickname.
"Stop peeking on women then.", Naruto rebuked passively as he stood up and deposited his crockery in the sink to be washed at a later date.
"I can't do that I need to peep in order to write my pieces of art. Besides I'm a super-pervert.", exclaimed a goofy looking Jiraiya.
"Hence the name Ero-sennin.", Naruto said, still impassive, though he was now leaning against the wall with his arms crossed.
Jiraiya mumbled something about 'no respect these days' before going onto more serious things.
"So kid, after Sarutobi-sensei's funeral you and I are going on a mission to bring back my other team-mate, Tsunade Senju, to become the Godaime. Pack for a long-term S-rank mission and meet me at the gates two hours after the funeral.", Jiraiya explained before using Shunshin no Jutsu and disappearing in a cloud of smoke.
When he was gone Naruto sighed before changing again, but this time into funeral clothes. When he was dressed his hitai-ate was tied loosely around his neck, he had a black T-shirt, black trousers and black shinobi sandals.
'Time to say goodbye old man.'
Top of the Hokage's Tower...
"Men and women and Konohagakure no Sato! Today is a day of mourning as we say goodbye to our dearest loved ones who died in the invasion and protected what was precious to them...", Mitokado started as he gave a speech in respect to the dead. Behind him was a white covered table that held the pictures of the dead. Some of the pictures even had pieces of personal belongings such as a necklace or most commonly a hitai-ate. The one that really stood out was the Sandaime's picture that was larger than all of the others in the centre of the row of pictures, his Hokage hate being in front of it as his personal affection.
The ninja stood in rows. The genin were in the front with their jonin sensei behind them. Standing along with the genin were Konohamaru and his friends, Udon and Meogi. Iruka was also with them, comforting the late Sandaime's grandson.
Behind the jonin sensei were the other jonin, various council members and the department heads. The rest of the ninja were down outside the tower along with the civilians. Only the ANBU were not present and that was because they were providing the security to ensure no other ninja tried to sneak their way into the village.
Naruto gazed at the pictures in front of them and waited for the genin to be called upon to place a flower down on the table to show their respect. When it was his turn he sensed the glares being sent at him from numerous ninja and civilians and mentally shook his head.
'They can't even stop hating me at a funeral, though they've probably come up with some kind of theory that it was my fault somehow.', Naruto placed his flower down and glanced one more time at the Sandaime's kind and gentle face.
'Old man as much as I believed you were foolish when it came to me, I know that you saw me for me and not the Kyuubi and for that I thank you.', Naruto thought as he went back to his original thought. When he was back with the crowd he saw that it started to rain.
"Even the heavens weep.", he heard Asuma mutter.
'I agree.', Naruto thought as he looked up to the sky and allowed a few drops of rain to fall on his cheeks, giving him the impression of crying.
When the funeral was over everyone was dismissed and went back to help the village recover from the invasion.
"Hey Naruto.", Kakashi called out with Sasuke and Sakura on his left and right respectively.
Naruto ignored him and used Shunpo to get away leaving a blinking jonin, an angry Uchiha and a fuming Haruno.
"Where'd that baka go?", Sakura huffed as Kakashi rubbed the back of his head in thought.
"Well Naruto did care about the Sandaime a lot so I'm guessing he's still upset over his death."
"Hn, weakling. Come on Kakashi I want to learn more jutsu.", Sasuke scoffed as he walked back to the Uchiha compound to get changed into his normal clothes.
Kakashi sighed but nodded as he and Sakura followed him.
Two hours later: Konoha gates...
Jiraiya stood up against one of the large gates in thought as he waited for his apprentice to show up.
Jiraiya looked to his left to see Naruto standing there in his normal shukasku clothes, with Zangetsu on his back and the hilt peeking out from his right shoulder.
"You know of your mission Itachi, Kisame."
"Your target is now on the move and is outside the village. Capture him, but be warned he has Jiraiya of the Sannin protecting him. Your best option would be to lead Jiraiya away from the jinchuriki so that he is on his own."