Disclaimer - I do not own Naruto.

Chapter 8 - The Paths We Take

They had gotten settled with their rooms and had met in the mess hall of the Uzukage Tower. Sasuke had healed a bit and more bombshells were about to be dropped. Not that the Konoha-nin knew about the last part. . .

"So, Rikudo Sennin Reborn, huh?" Kakashi eye smiled. "I imagine there are few, if any, people on the planet who could match against you."

"Yeah, your technically the Founder of the Art we seem to have taken for granted it's so common," Tenten commented.

"Well," Naruto laughed and scratched the back of his head. "You'd be right about that. . . though being the Rikudo Sennin Reincarnated. . . it is a bit creepy when you think about it, you know?"

A few of them blinked and Tsunade asked, "How so?"

"Well. . .how should I put this. . ." Naruto thought a minute before saying, "Ah, screw it. My past life is the founder of the Uzumaki, Senju, and Uchiha clans."

They gaped at him as they processed the information. Not even Jiraiya had picked up on this earlier. Naruto nodded, "Yeah. Kind of messed up isn't it?"

"Wow," Jiraiya stared mouth wide-opened. "So that makes you the Shodai's, Nidaime's, Mito's, Tsunade's, Sasuke's, and your own mother's ancestor. That's. . . very disturbing."

"You're telling me."

"Gaki, I don't know if I could ever look at you the same way again," Tsunade commented. The others previously mentioned by Jiraiya could only nod. They didn't have any words to the fact that Naruto was their ancestor reincarnated. Then Kaosu brought something else up, "You know, you all are related anyway. Since the Senju, Uchiha, and Uzumaki clans all descend from lover boy's past life. You all are distant relatives anyway so it doesn't really matter if he's you ancestor or not."

"Great, that's all I needed to hear," Tsunade sarcastically commented rolling her eyes. "I'm related to the Uchiha brat. That is all I need to hear."

"Right back at you, hag," Sasuke commented just as sarcastically and this earned him a hard whack by Tsunade, effectively leaving him embedded in the far wall. Everyone sweat-dropped.

"Um, Hokage-sama," Tenten began. "You know he's still healing, right?"

"Yeah, so?"

"Um. . . just wondering."

"Damn right you were."

The reactions to this little exchange ranged from deadpans to snickers to sweat-drops. Tenten looked at Naruto, who was sitting with Hinata right next to him, with curiosity, "So, Sennin-san, what was your training with Kaosu like?"

"Call me Naruto. Sennin-san or anything like that is just something Kaosu and my paths call me to irritate me," Naruto glared slightly as said group of SS-ranked shinobi and Harbinger, who were all snickering at that. He returned his face to a smile before continuing, "As for my training, I didn't actually spend the whole two years training with just Kaosu. I trained with him and all my paths in different areas which they specialized. My Otou-san for Ninjutsu, chakra control with the Nidaime, and so on."

"You practiced chakra control?" Kakashi blinked in surprise. Naruto nodded, "Yeah, it took awhile to get used to due the sheer massive size of my chakra reserves due to my naturally large chakra reserves from being an Uzumaki, the boost gained from being the Kyuubi Jinchuuriki, and now the added bonus of the power and memories of my previous life. I did get the full hang of it after a number of months and have gotten my chakra control to almost the point of the Nidaime himself."

"Rikudo-sama, I don't think even you could get to my level of chakra control anytime soon," the Nidaime commented snickering. Naruto deadpanned, "You know, this is the reason they feel the need to be all formal and crap with me."

"We know and that's why we do it," Kaosu stated causing the paths to snicker. Naruto simply rolled his eyes, "Whatever, I'm still technically your boss."

"Yeah," Minato spoke grinning. "Because as we all know we get paid soooo muuuch."

The group laughed at that. It was nice to see a good air come back to the group. Tsunade and Jiraiya both looked at each other, "He's certainly grown, uh?"

"Yeah," Jiraiya chuckled. "Both mentally and physically."

Tsunade nodded.

"So, we all know about Naruto's story," Ino commented. "What about you, Kaosu?"

"What?" Kaosu's eyes-widened, a bit surprised by the sudden question. Naruto and the Paths tensed a bit. They knew the subject of Kaosu's past was a touchy subject for him.

"What's your story. How'd you become a Harbinger?"

The entire room was instantly silent as they waited for his answer. Kaosu bowed his head solemnly and the Konoha 12 looked on curiously. However, the instructors as well as Tsunade and Jiraiya could tell just how tense Naruto and his Paths were, and they began to get worried themselves. Kaosu took a deep breath, "Fine, I guess I'll give you all the short version."

Naruto and his paths' mouths dropped. He had never agreed to tell them much about his past at all. Kaosu sat down and was silent for a moment; Naruto, his paths, and the Konoha 12 all listened intently. Finally, he began, "I began my training for being Yami's Harbinger around. . . I'd say, er. . . six? Anyway, I was born and raised west of Tsuchi no Kuni so don't expect to be able to just go and find where I used to live. Religion and worshiping Kami and Yami was a big part from where I was from; so naturally being selected to be one of Yami's Harbingers was a very special honor and I was held in very high regard despite how dark the vocation is."

"If that's so then why did you come to Elemental Nations?" Kiba asked. "Was it to train Naruto?"

"Part of it was," Kaosu admitted. "But I was already in the Elemental Nations about nine years before I recieved the order. By that time I was near Kumo and since Yami likes to make my job harder he only told me the kid's location was in a country southwest of me."

Naruto and his friends all sweat-dropped at Kaosu's rant. But then Asuma brought up a good point, "Why were you in the Elemental Nations earlier then? Was it some sort of order from Yami?"

Kaosu shook is head, "No, it wasn't. Before then it was simply to leave my homeland. Something incredibly important was taken from me and the populace didn't even glance at it. I left soon after."

Kurenai looked at him, "What was taken from you?"

Kaosu was silent for a long while before he spoke, "My wife."

Their eyes widened, "Your wife? What happened to her?"

A long silence rose again before Kaosu could speak. They could tell he was holding back tears, "She. . . she was butchered. . . by my old sensei. The one who trained me to be a Harbinger."

They collectively gasped. Kaosu nodded sorrowfully, "Yes, he used the Kage no Hiso on me. A technique that summons ethereal chains with blades at the end. They are used to pull a person closer to the user or to chain him down. I assume you remember them, right Jiraiya-san?"

The Sennin nodded as the memory of his defeat entered his mind. "He saw my attachment to my family as a weakness and sought to remove that attachment. He almost completely succeeded until my rage overtook my body and beat him into the ground. I crippled him but didn't kill him. No person, civilian or military, stood by my decision. In fact, they backed my old sensei up. So I left with one of Harbinger who supported me."

They all nodded, recognizing that he had a hard life like so many of them had had. Shikamaru frowned, "Almost completely succeeded, Kaosu? What do you mean?"

They blinked and thought about those words as well. Then they looked at him as if begging for an answer. Kaosu, seeing he wasn't going to leave without giving an answer, sighed, "My daughter is still alive and I brought her to the Elemental Nations with me."

"WHAT?!" they shouted at him in unison.

"You never told us you had a daughter!" Naruto shouted at him. "Where is she?!"

Kaosu frowned, "Don't you have a girlfriend?"

Naruto grew red with embarrassment, "THAT'S NOT WHY I WANT TO KNOW!"

"She's training with the previous Harbinger whom I mentioned," Kaosu stated. "Yami ordered me to leave her to my friend to train as he needed me to still act as his Harbinger."

"Why didn't he let you train your daughter and your friend still work under him?" Tenten asked.

"Because he likes to screw me over," Kaosu stated bluntly. "I work for him but it doesn't mean he likes to make my life easy. Also, I've been a Harbinger longer and I'm more experienced. Anyway, can we please change the subject?"

They all nodded and stopped questioning him. It was a bit before they brought up another subject.

"So, Naruto," Kiba asked gaining the Reborn Sennin's attention. "I trust you are coming back to Konoha with us?"

There was a pause before he answered, "Temporarily, but. . . yes I will come back."

"Wait, temporarily? Why?" Kakashi asked stunned. There others were wide-eyed as well. Naruto sighed, "As much as I want to return to Konoha I can't. At least not permanently."

"B-but why, Naruto-kun?" Hinata asked desperately as a heavy saddened tore through her like a jagged knife. the mere thought of her boyfriend not being able to stay with her like she had hoped he would was almost too much to bear for her.

"It because of who I am now," Naruto answered. "I am the Rikudo Sennin. My past life proclaimed to his sons and to the biju that one would come who would bring peace to the world through love and kindness. That person is me, his reincarnation. I have a mission to complete as the Rikudo Sennin and as such being attached to a village would unfortunately make my job harder."

"How so?" Tsunade asked crossing her arms.

"Don't get me wrong, Tsunade-baa-chan, Konoha is still my home. However, think about it. To bring peace I must be able to travel around trying to bring the nations closer together. Gaining allies throughout the Elemental Nations will also gain me a lot of enemies and if they knew me to be an active Konoha-nin, what do you think their reaction would be?"

Jiraiya nodded in understanding, "To attack us."


"But they must know that you were a Konoha-nin to begin with!" Hinata tried to point out. Naruto shook his head, "Yeah, but what are they more likely to respond to? Would it be an active nin they knew was loyal to Konoha or a shinobi supposedly kidnapped by some unknown entity who holds no direct affiliation with any village?"

Hinata deflated as her face fell. Naruto responded by hugging her, "Believe me, Hinata, I do want to return. Now is just not the time."

"I-I understand, Naruto-kun," Hinata said as tears fell from her eyes. She looked up at him and gave him a quick kiss.

"Ack, that mushy stuff between you two is getting on my nerves," Sakura blanched mockingly. Everyone glared at her.

"Damn, and I thought being a mood killer was my job," Kaosu muttered to himself.

"Shut up, Sakura," Kiba spoke angrily. "You shouldn't be talking considering how 'mushy' you've been trying to get with Sasuke for years."

"That's different!" Sakura retorted. "He's a fricking demon!"

A sudden force of strong killer intent sent Sakura to her knees. She managed to look up to see an enraged Six Paths before her. Kushina snarled, "Don't you dare call my son a demon."

"That'd make myself and Kushina one as well," Mito pointed out just as angrily. "We were both Jinchuurikis of the Kyuubi before Naruto was."

The others blinked in surprise. 'Kyuubi had been part of Konoha that long?' was the general thought. Naruto raised his hand, "Stop. She's had enough."

The killer intent slowly eased, allowing Sakura to stand. However, now she was terrified of the paths and immediately moved a far distance from them.

"Anyway, you're coming back to Konoha, aren't you?" Jiraiya asked hope to regain a lost subject while diverting attention to the previous scene. "Even though it's temporary, why would you do that? Isn't that sort of defeating the purpose you just set?"

Naruto shook my head, "It's for three reasons. One: it is to get my heritage that was kept from me. Two: it is to sign my resignation from service as a Konoha-nin. And three: it is to clean out all the rats within Konoha itself and to reignite the Will of Fire within the village."

He paused a moment, letting his words sink in.

"After that, myself and my paths will join me on a journey around the Elemental Nations, seeking to ally with anyone we can. Kaosu will act as a sort of scout, giving us intel on the areas we will come across. Also, we'll have Jiraiya's spy network keeping us up-to-date on any activities that happen under the radar or simply out of our range."

Another pause.

"Please try to understand. I love Konoha. It is my home. But right now, I have to act as a peace-bringer for the Elemental Nations and I simply can't do it while attached to any one village. I'm sorry."

"Don't be, gaki, we understand," Jiraiya spoke up. "You have big shoes to fill and high expectations to live up to. You've got to do what you've got to do."

Naruto nodded smiling. Tsunade then spoke up, "You know, gaki, that's the thinking of a kage right there. You put the mission of your position before yourself. If you didn't have this job as the Rikudo Sennin's peace-bringer I might just have let you take over as Hokage sometime soon."

Naruto laughed, "Anything to get out of the Great Kage Paperwork Curse, eh baa-chan?"

They all laughed at Tsunade's expense. She frowned, "You think it's funny, gaki?! I'd rather have a challenge of sadism with Ibiki than be stuck doing that damned paperwork!"

"Relax, Tsunade-chan," her grandfather laughed. "We've all had to do it and we've all survived."

"Yeah," Minato laughed as well. "And it was a damn bitch to all of us, too!"

The four previous Hokage's all shared a laugh. They failed to noticed Naruto's smirk, however, "Have you ever considered using shadow clones?"

Immediately the four Hokage's stopped laughing and all of the kages looked at Naruto wide-eyed, "W-what?"

"Shadow clones," Naruto repeated. "It could make the paperwork so much easier you know."

The five Hokages gaped at him. Why the hell had none of them thought of that? Simultaneously, all five face-palmed themselves.

"Why on earth didn't we think of that?" Minato asked rhetorically.

"I'm beginning to doubt my own mind," Hiruzen, the Professor, stated. The others present laughed at their expense.

"So," Jiraiya said gaining their attention again. "When are we leaving?"

"Tomorrow," Naruto answered. "You only came here to get me correct?"

Jiraiya nodded. That was when Kaosu spoke up, "Well, one last thing before we go off to do whatever. Myself and the Paths all made a bet on how many of you would fainted. Which was 9 or you. Since no on picked nine we've all officially lost. So, because of this, we all have to sing you a song."

The Paths all sighed. Kaosu followed suit, "Ready? 1. . . 2. . . 3!"

The following morning the Konoha-nin and those of Naruto's groups met at the front gate. They were all packed and ready to go. Kaosu had already bid his farewell at the Uzukage Tower. He was staying behind to 'hold down the fort' as he put it. Naruto's nodded to his friends, "I trust we're ready to go?"

"Yes, we're ready, Rikudo-sama," Jiraiya answered with a mock salute. Naruto groaned and shook his head, "How many times do I have to say 'Don't be formal like that with me'?"

"Might as well get used to it, gaki," Tsunade grinned. "It's never going to change due to who you are now."

Naruto sighed as a few laughs escaped from his friends.

"So, Naruto," Kiba began to ask as Naruto looked at him. "Ready to go home?"

Naruto smiled, "Let's go."

Naruto took to the trees. His paths and his comrades were right behind him.

Danzo waited on the outskirts of Konoha waiting for the other party in the meeting that was about to take place. On either side of him were two ROOT ninja. He stood there under the cover of darkness away from Konoha sensors. It had been about five days since Tsunade and the Konoha 12 left Konoha to find the demon brat. His spy amongst the Konoha 12 had sent him a message that was vital to both him and his accomplice and it wasn't long before his 'ally' appeared. The snake-eyed, paled Sennin known as Orochimaru appeared in front of Danzo. Kabuto was by his side.

"I trust you have a good reason for calling me out here?" Orochimaru grumbled. He and Danzo had conspired to take over Konoha and eventually Hi no Kuni since a year after the Kyuubi attack. Danzo had managed to convince Orochimaru through secret meetings not to destroy Konoha, but to eventually allow him to become Hokage. Once he held that position, he would work with the newly founded Sound to overthrow Orochimaru, who would then declare himself the Fire Daimyo.

Danzo wanted Konoha to become the strongest and to be the Hokage went it was declared unstoppable no matter how he did it.

Orochimaru wanted power and authority as well as the destruction of the Will of Fire.

This goal fulfilled both of their foul goals.

However, the message sent by his ROOT ninja within the Konoha 12 called for immediate planning. Danzo nodded, "I have received a message from my spy within the Konoha 12 who went to go recover the demon brat."

"Oh," Orochimaru looked at Danzo gaining some interest.

"Yes," Danzo nodded. "As you know the brat has been training with the Harbinger of Yami."

"A man claiming to be the Harbinger of Yami you mean," Kabuto pointed out.

"He's not claiming anything," Danzo said with a tone a seriousness. "Part of the message said that Jiraiya encountered the man named Mahotsukai Kaosu and apparently he defeated Jiraiya rather easily even though the fool was in Sage Mode."

Orochimaru's eyes widened. He beat Jiraiya in Sage Mode? Even he would have trouble accomplishing that and it wasn't a guaranteed victory either. "Is that so?"

"Yes, but that is not the most derailing part of the message sent to me."


"Yes, I assume you know of the Rikudo Sennin myth?"

Orochimaru raised an eyebrow, "Yes I have. The myth involving the Founder of Ninjutsu and the man who originally held my former sensei's title."

"Yes, but recent events have proved it far from myth."

"What?" Orochimaru's voice rose. "What do you mean?"

"The demon brat, Namikaze-Uzumaki Naruto, is the Rikudo Sennin's reincarnation and has the Sennin's mighty dojutsu: the Rinnegan."

"WHAT?!" Orochimaru shouted.

"That's not all."


"Apparently, the Rinnegan gives the person the ability to control six bodies to control six different abilities of the Rinnegan through metal piercings in their bodies," Orochimaru's eyes widened. He had seen that before when he was part of the Akatsuki. . . when he had met Pein.

"So it was the Rinnegan he had. . ." Orochimaru thought. "What of these. . . bodies. . . ?"

"Due to something the Harbinger did, the paths have all the memories and personalities of their living life. And these paths are the previous four Hokages and the previous two Kyuubi Jinchuuriki."

Orochimaru was, for once, speechless. This was a HUGE monkey wrench thrown into the gears of war set turning by both him and Danzo. The Jinchuuriki brat, the boy who was considered the deadlast, was now, in essence, the strongest and most powerful shinobi in the Elemental Nations. Orochimaru finally managed to break out of his stunned state and frowned, "So, what is the boy's plan? Do we know?"

"He is currently returning to Konoha with his Paths as he calls them to file resignation papers from the Konoha Shinobi Force and to recieve his inheritance as the Fourth Hokage's son and as the son of the Uzumaki Matriarch."

"Resignation?" Orochimaru's eyes widened in interest and surprised. He knew the boy's patriotism for Konoha was sky high and the fact that he had continuously shouted he was going to be Hokage was only to prove that point. The idea that'd he'd resign from the Konoha Shinobi Force, and consequently ending his chances to be Hokage, was very surprising indeed. "I wonder why the boy would do that?"

"Apparently," Danzo answered with some seriousness. "He sees his position as the Rikudo Sennin Reborn as him being the one who shall bring forth 'peace and order' and, due to this, he can't be bound to solely one country because it would cause him to lose credibility."

Orochimaru nodded in understanding, "They would see him as trying to benefit Konoha instead of everyone."


"So if the boy is leaving Konoha then how is he a threat?"

"Two reasons," Danzo stated. "One is that he still says he considers Konoha is home; so attacking Konoha will gain his attention. And two is that he's also coming to Konoha to 'weed the rats out of the council'.

Orochimaru frowned, "He's going to take away the control the Civilians have gained over Konoha."

"Yes, and with the first four Hokage's behind him I won't be able to stop them without bringing suspicion upon myself."

"Then don't," Danzo's eyes widened, but before he could argue Orochimaru continued. "You can't possibly hope to stand a chance against the reincarnation of the Founder of Ninjutsu especially when he has the first four Hokages and the first two Kyuubi Jinchuuriki as his Paths as you say. Numerous Sharingans or not, he has the Rinnegan, the Eyes of God. Not to mention if they find out about the Shodai's DNA, the Shodai himself will likely rip you apart. And you are of no use to mine nor your own goals dead. We will figure out how to deal with the Rikudo Sennin at a later date. Once he liberates Konoha, he will leave, which will leave you open to reestablish yourself. While it's no longer possible to regain major control over Shinobi systems in Konoha due to the chance they might contact the brat, it still leaves other options open. . . and in other areas."

"You mean the rest of the country, "Danzo said catching on. "Turning the civilians across Hi no Kuni against the Godaime and her loyal shinobi. Have them cause such an uproar to force the Daimyo's hand."


"This is a very dangerous game, Orochimaru. If the Daimyo catches wind of any of this, myself and my ROOT Shinobi will be finished."

Orochimaru turned to leave with Kabuto. He smirked, "Then I suggest you don't get caught."

With that, he vanished into the trees. Danzo turned away and took off back towards Konoha. His ROOT-nin and followed him.

He had work to do.

Kaosu sat cross-legged in his room within Uzushiogakure. Naruto, his Paths, and the Konoha-nin had left about a day ago and now the sun was setting. He had stayed behind to watch Uzushio but he had other reasons.

More spiritual reasons.

Slowly, he took a deep breath as he faded into his mindscape. . .

Kaosu's Mindscape

Kaosu's mindscape was filled with a shadowy, black air that was not too dissimilar from his Yami no Shio technique. He sat there seemingly floating in midair for about half a minute before he heard a dark whispering. . .

"Your task with the boy is over my Harbinger. . ." a cold, steely voice rasped in a dark whisper in his ear. "It's time to leave. . ."

"I cannot, Yami-dono," Kaosu answered. He instantly could feel the pressure of the deity's anger attempting to crush him. He slowly took in a deep breath. "My lord, I swore to Naruto I would help him in his journey to. . ."

"THAT is not your place, mortal" the voice of the god rose in anger. "You are my servant and you will obey ME."

"It's a matter of honor-" Kaosu began to say but was interrupted by his lord's terrible fury. "YOU ARE MY HARBINGER! YOU HAVE NO HONOR! YOU HAVE NO MERCY! YOU HAVE NO CHOICE IN THE MATTER! YOU BELONG TO ME!"

"Yami-dono," Kaosu said calmly. "I cannot. I swore to him that I would."

With Yami's rage still trying to pressure into the ground, Kaosu heard the dark god start to laughed, "Fool, this is exactly what led your wife to her end. You forget you place and you gain emotions. It will lead to your downfall. . . or the downfall of someone else. . ."

Now Kaosu's anger rose, "Don't you even dare attempt harm my daughter!"


Kaosu glared into the darkness and then let out a breath, "My lord, if any harm comes of my daughter, god or not, I will bring you pain. My master or not, I have lost too much in this world to care about that foolish belief anymore."

Kaosu felt the pressure of rage intensify. Calmly, he looked forward, "I will leave. . . but only after Naruto meets with the other Rinnegan user: Nagato."

There was a moment of silence and Kaosu could feel the god's rage subside slightly, "Very well, boy. I will let you play as the Rikudo Sennin's pet. However, once he has met this. . . Nagato. . . I expect you to leave so that I can make you receive the mentality a Harbinger is supposed to have. If you do not leave, I will repeat what you master did to your wife with your daughter. And I will make you watch."

Kaosu clenched his fists in anger but nodded nonetheless. "Very well, Yami-dono."

Kaosu left his mindscape and sighed, "Sorry, kid. I guess I won't be enjoying the coming of peace with you and yours after all. . ."

Sorry it took me so long, guys. School started back up so I won't be able to get chapters out as often. I'll try to get them out as soon as I can, however. Anyway, the poll results so far are as follows:

Large Sakura Bashing - 12

Small Sakura Bashing - 4

Change for the Better - 3

Jealous of Hinata -3

. . . wow, you guys really hate Sakura don't you? Well, I made the decision to follow the one voted for the most, but I'll keep it up for about a couple more chapters before it's finalized. Also, for the embarrassing song Kaosu and the Paths did, well, I decided to make you wait like the evil man that I am and put it in an omake for next chapter. ;-)

Anyway, thank you for reading and please review!


Response to Reviews

{NaruHinafan86} - Shouldnt naruto be able to summon the five sacred treasures since in this story they are his and since hashirama tobirama have access to naruto's memories they shouldve ask if being hokage is foolish and will naruto be able to use tsukiyomi ameterasu susanoo and kamui

Answer: Not necessarily, besides it will make for an interesting conversation, eh? And where does it say they have access to Naruto's memories? I seem to recall they have access to whatever he sees or hears. Chapter 2 shows this.

{Guest} - Wait, how did you count the number of people who fainted? Hinata and Tenten fainted but apparently woke up really quickly and Lee fainted twice (at one time)? How confusing..

Answer: One of the rules, people fainting more than once doesn't count and people who faint can actually wake up within a minute or two. So, it works. Stop being so damn nit picky.

{Peter Kim} - This is the last time,I'm going to read this fic since you made it pro sasuke and I hate and loathe Sasuke,your plot is good but you made this fic into Naruto helping and allying himself with Konoha which is done too much. I hope you do well with your other fic. Farewell.

Answer: Fine. That's your call. A stupid reason to stop reading a fanfiction but I can't stop you. But seriously, it's called a 'Peace' challenge for a reason. And I did it ever occur to you that I may no loath the idea of Sasuke's redemption. I can lean either way personally, but again, it's your call though, again, I think it's a very stupid way to view fanfiction.

{Guest} - Nice! I like how in the other chapter you managed to prove Jiraiya's worth. Even though he was fighting a servent of a god, he was still able to inflict damage.

Answer: Yeah, I wanted to make him powerful but still beatable. I haven't decided his full potential but I'm guessing it's going to be around Pein's/Nagato's level.