Chapter 2-Getting Things Started
Baraggan sighed, hating to meet with the Sandaime Hokage, to meet in this office, and to be in the presence of this old Hyuuga walking around in dramatic fashion while speaking loudly for anyone outside the room to hear his complaints. His complaints? The demands made that jeopardize the Hyuuga Clan with the arranged marriage, all the risks of having their precious bloodline, and the offspring produced not being protected behind their clan walls with a Cage Bird Seal to ensure they were never stolen. Of course, Baraggan knew what the Cage Bird Seal was, and knew it did anything BUT protect the bloodline of the clan.
It enslaved them.
"How many times must the Hyuuga Clan sacrifice itself for the good of the Leaf village Sarutobi? How many more Hyuugas must we surrender to appease enemy villages and creatures that threaten us with annihilation? Its too much! I will not allow this to happen unless the demands of the Hyuuga Clan are met with Hiashi's daughter having the Cage Bird Seal placed on her head and another to preventing our bloodline from manifesting itself in any offspring created from the union with the boy," demanded Hyuuga Hibachi with the Father of Hyuuga Hiashi glaring venomously at Baraggan.
The former Espada residing in Naruto's body not even looking at him and it was clear this meeting was quite boring in his mind despite all the dramatic posturing the old Hyuuga was doing in his presence. All that posturing from the Hyuuga was like watching a damn peacock showing off its feathers to remind those that see it of its splendor, and in this case it was to remind the Hokage of the Hyuuga Clan's prestige. That the set conditions made by Baraggan would remove several of those beautiful feathers and making the bird look out of place with the other birds (clans) around it.
"Hibachi-san please, we are not talking about sending Hinata away to another country or Shinobi village like Kumo. We are talking about her marrying someone within the walls of Konoha and helping Naruto create strong ties with the village," stated the Hokage while he kept a watchful between the two people in his office and making sure one did not provoke the other.
"But not within the walls of the Hyuuga Clan! Of Hyuuga blood!" exclaimed Hibachi with the Sandaime Hokage sighing.
"Hyuuga blood creating Hyuuga blood. Sounds like inbreeding to me," replied Baraggan with Hibachi glaring daggers at him.
"We take great care to avoid inbreeding. We have done it with pinpoint precision since the clan's founding!" Hibachi nearly yelled.
"Probably because the first Hyuuga to form the clan didn't start such things until much later. Unless of course, they did do inbreeding from the start, and just branched off when they had enough members of the clan to do it without the risk of inbreeding," countered Baraggan with Hibachi looking ready to strike out against him.
The former Espada was hoping he would since it would further enforce the point of not crossing him.
"How...DARE YOU!" yelled Hibachi nearly moving to hit Baraggan with a lethal Gentle Fist strike.
"Hibachi don't! Several high level Shinobi have already fallen from a small sample of his power. Hatake Kakashi himself is currently in the hospital with a broken arm from his touch alone," called out the Hokage with Hibachi staying his hand while Baraggan was just looking at them with a bored expression on his face.
"Fine! But this matter is not over. The Hyuuga Clan will not consent to any arranged marriage unless our own stipulations are met. Will you concede to the demands of the Hyuuga Clan?" questioned Hibachi with Baraggan looking at the top of his cane.
"Shouldn't the Head of the Hyuuga Clan have the final say in this? Where is he?" asked Baraggan in a bored tone.
"My son is busy. More important affairs have come to his attention and required that I take his place here," answered Hibachi with Baraggan not even looking at him.
"I see. From the way you speak about your Granddaughter, you don't have high hopes for her, or believe she is even worth being called your Granddaughter," remarked Baraggan with Hibachi sucking in air between his teeth.
"She is a failure of the clan. Weak! I am simply ensuring that the boy's chosen wife does not dishonor us and knows her place when she becomes his wife," countered Hibachi with Baraggan was looking a bit annoyed.
"I will judge whether or not she is weak and unfit to be Naruto's future wife. Not you," replied Baraggan with Hibachi looking red in the face with anger.
"You dare impose your Will on the Hyuuga Clan? To inspect the girl without trusting my words on the matter? You maybe in the son of the Yondaime Hokage, but the boy is a commoner compared to the clan, and so are you by that extension! You have no right to dictate such terms to us much less ignore what we demand of you in return for...," ranted Hibachi before a thunderous pressure filled the room and made the Hyuuga fall to his knees.
"I can demand whatever I want from you and the Hyuuga Clan. I can demand anything I want from the entire village if not this entire country. I will not only get what I demand from everyone around me, but I will get it with a smile on the faces of those that present the offerings, and watch them flee back to their homes while soiling themselves," stated Baraggan while looking at the downed Hyuuga struggling to rise from the intense weight in the room that neither he nor the Hokage could see but still feel.
"B-B-Baraggan-s-sama! Stop! Please!" exclaimed the Hokage with the former Espada waiting a few more seconds before doing what was asked of him.
"Let me make one thing clear to you two old fools. There is no negotiations here. There is only total submission. No compromise. Just absolute domination. You can choose to live with the demands I've set or you can slowly rot and die," stated Baraggan before getting up from his chair and headed for the door.
It was when his back was complete turned did Hibachi moved to strike.
"Hibachi-san don't!" exclaimed Hiruzen while watching Baraggan vanish from his sight before reappearing behind the old Hyuuga with a hand on the man's back.
And the Hokage could only watch in horror as Hyuuga Hibachi fell to the ground seconds later in the form of bones that soon turned to dust in the room.
"Do you know what I just Sandaime Hokage?" asked Baraggan with the Hokage looking at him in fear and horror.
"You...You aged him!" exclaimed Hiruzen with Baraggan nodding.
"Yes. That is my power. To make things age. To make thing rot! To make things...DIE!" replied Baraggan with an emphasize on his chosen words.
"I-I see," was the Hokage's only response.
"No. You don't see. Imagine what I will do to this village and the next generation should I find ALL my demands not being met. Imagine the young growing old. Imagine the young growing old and dying before the eyes of the previous generation. Parents having to watch their children become skeletal corpses before the bones turn to dust and scatter into the wind with no remains to bury. Now...do you see?" stated Baraggan with a whole new shade of white appearing on the Hokage's face as he imagined the horror that would be unleashed if the former Espada was displeased.
"All the requirements will be met Baraggan-sama. I swear it!" exclaimed Hiruzen with the former Hollow King letting out a scoff at his proclamation.
"We will see soon enough Sandaime Hokage. I'm still waiting for the day when your two former students arrive," remarked Baraggan with Hiruzen inwardly cursing at the lateness of Jiraiya and Tsunade.
Where were they?
(Konoha Streets-Sometime Later)
Baraggan walked through the streets of Konoha, the people giving him a wide amount of space, and rightfully so since word had reach the village of Hyuuga Hibachi's death by his hand. Even now rumors were spreading of how with a single touch, the Hyuuga had died, and rotted away with many fearing the same thing would happen to them if he came in physical contact with them. Some wondered if that power would hurt the daughters of the Clan Heads when the marriages happened and that it would punish them by watching each woman die on their wedding day.
"What is it?" asked Baraggan, as he stopped walking, and sensed a figure behind him.
"My Mother suggested I meet with you Baraggan-sama," said a female voice and saw the redheaded boy's form turn to look at her.
"Judging from the unique markings on your face...you are from the Inuzuka Clan and as for your Mother...she is the Clan Head," deduced Baraggan with the slightly older girl (physically anyway) walked toward him.
"Yes. My name is Inuzuka Hana. My Mother is Inuzuka Tsume and the Clan Head of our clan," Hana humbly stated while Baraggan looked at her with an appraising eyes.
"I take it you and the rest of the Inuzuka Clan knows the truth?" stated Baraggan with the Inuzuka girl nodding.
"Yes. It created an uproar in the process. Some of our family members have...little love for Naruto-san," replied Hana honestly since she was told Baraggan disliked liars and didn't wish to offend him.
Hence why the triplets she had for dog partners were told to stay home.
"Have? As in they still do?" asked Baraggan curiously with Hana nodding.
"From what my Mother told me earlier in private when discussing my arranged marriage with Naruto-san, the late Yondaime Hokage, and his wife had enemies within the village as well as outside," answered Hana with Baraggan nodding.
"I see. And how did you feel about Naruto prior to this information?" asked Baraggan with Hana trying not to show nervousness in front of him.
"I was unsure of him. I had heard stories of Kyuubi, witnessed its power from a distance when I was still young pup of a girl, and knew from the whispers that Naruto-san carried it. But I never saw him lash out at people when they attacked him, even when I knew I would have in his place so I thought perhaps...that they were wrong about him being the demonic beast they all said he was when they talked in secret," answered Hana with the former Espada letting a smirk appear on the side of his mouth for a moment.
"Well at least you are honest in your answer. I'll give you that much. At least you are far more open minded then the rest of the arrogant fools in this village. No doubt there are plenty more people in other villages too that hold all the other Jinchuriki with the same level of disrespect," commented Baraggan with Hana walking toward him.
"Mostly like yes. Each village treats their Jinchuriki pretty much the same, but they all use different methods in keeping them...controlled," said Hana with Baraggan frowning in thought.
"Such arrogance. You humans make these Jinchuriki, then treat them like they are pests for most of their lives until they are needed to fight, and then throw them away when their services are no longer required. Such a thing would never have happened in Hueco Mundo or in Las Noches for that matter," stated Baraggan though the last part was more to himself.
"It wasn't meant to be that way from what we were told about the history of the Biju," commented Hana before explaining the history of how Hashirama divided up the nine Biju to each of the Shinobi villages to promote peace and balance between them.
"Only for them to be abused and used for warfare. Honorable intentions twisted by those hungry for power," remarked Baraggan with disgust in his voice.
"Its just how things are here Baraggan-sama. You need to be strong to survive and use whatever is at your disposal to do it," said Hana with Baraggan letting out a noise from his throat.
"True, but to abuse your subordinates for the sake of that power is not the way to do it. I have lived long enough to know that," countered Baraggan with the memory of his loyal Fraccion dying under his command making the blood in this body boil.
That and Naruto's own personality was merging with him and the sense of betrayal the boy felt over this matter seeping into it.
"I'm sorry Baraggan-sama. I didn't mean to offend you by bringing up this sensitive topic," said Hana while seeing and sensing his anger over the matter.
"Its not your fault my dear. Tell me, have the other clans been complying with everything I have asked of them?" questioned Baraggan with Hana shifting nervously.
"I cannot truly say Baraggan-sama. My Mother has submitted to your request in terms of agreeing the arranged marriage, but I'm not sure about the other clans, or how many of their respected members support it. Naruto-san was not well liked within the clans with several members in each assaulting the pup when they had the chance," answered Hana with Baraggan frowning slightly.
"All the more reason to enforce my presence and eventually make sure Naruto enforces his own when the time is right," remarked Baraggan before walking down the street with Hana now walking beside him to talk about other things.
The Inuzuka girl could only hoped that doing this would put her clan in Baraggan and eventually Naruto's good graces.
(Hokage Tower-Day of the Deadline)
Baraggan sat in the chair as he did before not that long ago, he was tapping his cane on the ground lightly, a means to keep himself from being bored, and it made those around him become on edge with nervousness. There was no power behind each "tap" he made with the cane, but it was fun to see these fools sweat knowing it could happen at anytime, and they would be annihilated in the process without a moment to defend themselves.
Why was he even in the room with these fools? He was waiting here originally for the two Sannin to come in and take their standing position on either side of the Sandaime Hokage. It was to show that they were loyal to the old man responsible for teaching them and were loyal to the Leaf. Not unlike Tousen and Gin did when walking beside Aizen when they were walking through Las Noches doing something devious.
Just the thought of them made Baraggan want to head back and use his newly raised level of power to make those fools bow before him like they should have done when he first met them. But alas that was not possible and even it was there was no telling what the state of the conflict between the two warring sides had been since his "death".
No. He had a clean slate to work with now and was going to ensure he had a legacy that not even Aizen could take away from him.
"I would think the stench in this room would have lessened since I was here last. Instead, it has increased, and has become...nauseating!" remarked Baraggan finally while looking at the clock that was off to the side on the wall ticking away.
"What stench?" asked Homura while keeping his emotions in check at the insult.
"The stench I smell coming off all of you," replied Baraggan while seeing them all scowl and frown at his insult.
"With all do respect Baraggan-sama, I do not smell any stink in this room, and my senses would know if any of us did. I assure you everyone here has a proper hygiene based smell about them," said Inuzuka Tsume with Baraggan himself letting a cruel smile appear on his face.
"Of that I have no doubt Inuzuka Tsume. Though its not a bodily stench I smell coming off of you and everyone else here. Its an emotional stench I smell in here. It is the stench of arrogance! It is the stench of hatred! It is the stench of FEAR!" exclaimed Baraggan with those around him shifting at his words.
"Surely not everyone 'smells' that way to you Baraggan-sama?" asked Aburame Shibi, who was a man of logic, and only let his emotions become known when required.
"No. Not all of you do. That still doesn't weaken the stench in the slightest since the vast majority in the room stink of these things. Its only increased since the last meeting we had and considering the lack of two Sannin in room...I can see why," countered Baraggan with his smile never leaving.
"What do you mean Baraggan-sama? Jiraiya and Tsunade are right here next to Hokage-sama!" exclaimed Inoichi while happy the two Sannin were here despite cutting it close.
"Do you take me for fool? Do any of you think I'm naive? That I will simply believe what you show me and not check to ensure these two Sannin are indeed who you claim them to be without question to their authenticity?" questioned Baraggan with the Clan Heads frowning while the Civilian and Shinobi Council were sweating along with the Hokage.
"Watch your mouth pal! I know who I am and so does Tsunade-hime!" exclaimed Jiraiya with Baraggan looking at him dead in the eyes with a great deal of dislike.
"I know you are who you say you are Jiraiya of the Sannin, but its your supposed former teammate that I question the identity of being the genuine article," challenged Baraggan while many of the people in the room looked shocked and even outraged that he would question whether the woman was in fact Senju Tsunade.
"How dare you!" exclaimed one person.
"You don't even know what Tsunade-sama looks like! How would you even know if she was Tsunade or not?" challenged another.
"The fact you don't believe this woman to be one of the Legendary Three Sannin means that your power is not as great as you would like us to believe!" stated another person.
All from the Civilian Council side of course.
The Clan Heads however, looked over at the form of Senju Tsunade, their eyebrows raised, searching for truth in Baraggan's words, and noticed the Shinobi Council along with the Hokage seemed a tad nervous. This only enforced the former Espada's words and in an instant Hiashi used his eyes to see if the woman before them was in fact the one true Senju Tsunade.
"That's not Tsunade-sama!" exclaimed Hiashi with his voice a mixture of shock and pure outrage.
"What?!" Inoichi nearly yelled while the threat Baraggan made from the start came to the forefront of his mind.
"Silence! Both of you!" commanded Homura, but any further words were never spoken when they heard the chuckle from Baraggan, and his smile being a cruel one that sent shivers up the spines of everyone in the room.
"This village truly is pathetic. I didn't even need to use my own unique sensory abilities to know that woman wasn't Senju Tsunade. Do any of you want to know how I knew this woman wasn't the real Sannin?" questioned Baraggan while the fake Tsunade removed the illusion to reveal she was in fact Konoha's Genjutsu Mistress Yuhi Kurenai.
And it was clear this woman was terrified of the former Espada.
"How? How did you possibly know she wasn't Tsunade-sama?!" questioned a member of the Civilian Council while Baraggan sent him a "watch your tone when addressing me" look before giving a cold one to the Hokage.
"First, her posture alone didn't say she is a woman who was capable of physical strength that everyone knows Tsunade possesses. Second, this woman's eyes were filled with a sense of fear, and the worry that the real Senju Tsunade from the memories of Uzumaki Kushina would possess. Third, her very chakra signature is nowhere near the Toad Sannin's level, or that of the Hokage's own for that matter. The real Senju Tsunade would have near matching energy levels, but you two were hoping I wouldn't notice, and that the energy you were producing would mask it. Finally, the fourth reason for the ruse being so obvious was the lack of Tsunade's pet pig, and her apprentice Shizune whom she took with her outside of the village years ago from the Leaf village. Apprentices stay by their Master's side at all times when traveling together and I do not see the woman in this room so therefore the real Senju Tsunade is not really here. Not that it matters. Even IF you somehow managed to factor in all these different things into trying to deceive me, my sensory power would detect the difference between Senju Tsunade's own unique energy signature, and that of this woman impersonating her," answered Baraggan with many in the room flinching at the obvious clues they either missed in noticing themselves or didn't cover when trying to deceive him.
'Damn it!' thought Danzo, as he had suggested this move when Tsunade didn't show up, and they were pressed for time with the Hokage coming up with the plan to deceive Baraggan.
"Where is Tsunade?! Why isn't she here? Surely you told her to come back to Konoha immediately Hokage-sama?!" questioned Inoichi in a pressing tone.
"I tried reaching her Inoichi, but she has not responded to my message, or given any indication of her return to Konoha," answered Hiruzen with the Clan Heads looking devastated before looking at Baraggan to see what the former Espada and Hollow King would do next.
"Well that certainly puts you all in a predicament now doesn't it?" questioned Baraggan with his smile increasing and a chuckle leaving his mouth.
"Baraggan-sama, surely the presence of one the requested Sannin is enough to give us some kind of extension to bring Tsunade back to Konoha," stated Hiashi with the former Espada letting out a growl of sorts while thinking it over and looking at the fox's head on the top of his cane.
As if he was talking to it and hearing its advice on the matter.
"I suppose that having one of them here is worth some form of extension to motivate you to finding the other," remarked Baraggan slowly while thinking it over.
"We will ensure Senju Tsunade comes back here in two weeks," stated Danzo in a taking charge tone before Baraggan stomped his cane down on the ground and shook the room with his power.
"Do not dictate the extension for me in my place old fool. I will be dictating the extension time for when you are to have Tsunade returned here to face my judgment. As for the extension itself, you have one week to bring the woman back here. No more! No less! If she isn't here in one week from now at this time, I will unleash my FULL power on this village, and the last thing you all see in your last moments of life...is the true face of death!" stated Baraggan before he got up from his chair and began walking out of the room.
"Wait!" Jiraiya called out to the entity inhabiting his Godson's body.
"What is it Jiraiya of the Sannin? I have very little patience for a lowly worm such as you and I do not want my time wasted," remarked Baraggan with Jiraiya looking a bit ticked at that.
"I want to talk to my Godson. Bring Naruto's consciousness out so I can talk to him," said Jiraiya in an almost demanding tone.
"No," was Baraggan response.
"Do it now!" demanded Jiraiya angrily with Baraggan looking even more displeased at the man's disrespect.
"And why would I even consider listening to a proudly self proclaimed Super Pervert like yourself, who abandoned his Godson for...'research'? That is the term your late student's memories of what you call peeping in hot springs is called if I remember correctly," said Baraggan with Jiraiya sucking air in through his teeth.
"I was hunting down my former teammate turned traitor to the village," countered Jiraiya with Baraggan scoffing.
"Yes. Orochimaru if the memories of him are correct. Such a disgusting human. And yet you could have visited the boy countless times in the last 12 years. Why didn't you? Why not visit your Godson? Surely you must have been curious in regards to his well being?" questioned Baraggan with Jiraiya not answering.
"I told Jiraiya the boy was fine. That he shouldn't worry about Naruto and leave me in charge of him," answered the Sandaime Hokage with Baraggan sneering at him.
"And you did such a wonderful job in doing just that, With all the abuse you put my Heir through, it was remarkable the boy didn't try to kill himself sooner, or unseal the Kyuubi from its cage in a blind attempt at revenge," remarked Baraggan with the Hokage not able to look him in the eyes any longer.
"Naruto wouldn't do that!" exclaimed Jiraiya defiantly at Baraggan and saw the former Espada smirking at him.
"And how would you know the boy wouldn't do that? How would you know that Naruto would have remained strong under such horrible abuse? You couldn't know that for certain or that the boy wouldn't even consider the idea. Not unless...unless you were keeping tabs on him. That you knew of his abuse...and did nothing!" accused Baraggan with the Sannin jolting his head back like he had been struck.
"What? That's absurd! Empty accusations without a shred of proof!" stated Jiraiya while Baraggan snarled at him.
"Is it?!" countered Baraggan in a heated tone with Jiraiya looking him right in the eyes.
"It is!" answered Jiraiya with Baraggan raising his left hand and made everyone dive behind something to shield themselves from the impending attack.
Instead, all they heard a simple sound of finger snapping, and a hole filled with darkness opened up behind the former Hollow King before the entity reached into it to pull a terror filled man from the hole. Within moments, the hole closed, and the shocked people in the room looked at the new individual shaking in fear while looking up at the red haired boy responsible for it.
"Everyone, meet Yoshi. Yoshi, meet the governing body of Konoha. I take it you already know Jiraiya of the Sannin considering you report to him about things here in Konoha," said Baraggan with the terrified man now identified as Yoshi nodded.
"One of Jiraiya's spies was here in Konoha?" questioned Shibi with Baraggan nodding.
"Yes. Yoshi here was given one simple order by Jiraiya...to watch and observe his only Godson until his return to Konoha where upon learning of the boy's past would he be properly molded into a willing to learn for almost any price for a student. To be molded into a student worthy of his attention. As if being your student's only son wasn't enough to get it!" answered Baraggan with Jiraiya seething in anger at this.
"Is this true Yoshi-san?" asked Hiashi with the man nodding weakly.
"Y-Yes! Jiraiya-sama a-approached me a f-f-few days after the Kyuubi attack in Konoha. He provided money and the deed to a house to live in while I observed Uzumaki Naruto for an unknown determined amount of time while recording his life. I wasn't allowed to interfere in the child's development in any shape or form while reporting to Jiraiya what I knew from my observations of Uzumaki Naruto," answered Yoshi while Jiraiya clenched his fists.
"So Jiraiya could manipulate him further in case the Sandaime was unable to or failed in molding the boy into a weapon," stated Inoichi with Yoshi nodding.
"Yes. He told me that knowing how the boy was treated would help him determine what to do when the time came to teach Uzumaki Naruto. His plan was to eventually teach the boy very little when the time came, but make the things that were being taught seem like a big deal to keep the child hooked, and enforce the teacher student relationship," replied Yoshi with Jiraiya getting angrier with each passing second.
"Did he say why? For what purpose? His reason?" asked Baraggan with Yoshi shaking his head.
"I don't know," answered Yoshi with Baraggan taking a quick step forward.
"Are you sure?" questioned Baraggan with Yoshi sweating a little.
"Yes!" repeated Yoshi with a hint of fear in his voice at being so close to the former Espada.
"Are you...sure?" questioned Baraggan with his face an inch from the terrifies man.
"Yes! Yes! I swear I don't know why!" exclaimed Yoshi fearfully while curling up in a ball and whimpering at Baraggan's feet.
"Is that enough proof?" asked Baraggan with Jiraiya glaring daggers at him.
"The boy is an important asset to this world. I needed to make sure that when I trained him that he would learn at the pace I set," answered Jiraiya angrily.
"Was it the same pace you set for your late student?" countered Baraggan with Jiraiya not answering.
"What did you mean when you said the boy is important an important asset for this world Jiraiya?" asked Koharu with Jiraiya not looking away from Baraggan.
"The Toads know of a prophecy of a child, who will either revolutionize, OR destroy the Shinobi world as we know it. The child in question was or is meant to be my student. I first thought it would be the Yondaime, but after he died along with his wife, and left only his son...," answered Jiraiya with the implication of his unfinished sentence sinking in.
"You believed Uzumaki Naruto to be the child of prophecy," stated Hiashi with Jiraiya nodding while Baraggan sneered at him.
"And no doubt you shared this little piece of information with the Sandaime Hokage behind you. The two of you talked and conspired together on what to do next, all the while the people are wondering what happened to the Kyuubi no Kitsune after its sudden disappearance. You along with the Sandaime, being the greedy humans that you are, decided to control the boy, and the prophecy in general since it wouldn't be that hard to control the development of an infant growing into adulthood. Jiraiya comes along later in his life, trains him, and influences him along with the decision on what to do with the Shinobi way as you know it. Revolutionize? Or destroy? Decisions! Decisions! The trouble with prophecies, is that they can be misread, or misinterpreted when foretold to people. That's why the unwritten rule on how they are never to be influenced is in place for just this sort of reason. It kind of imposes the grasp of freewill and making choices," added Baraggan while he walked over the quivering body of Yoshi and moved towards Jiraiya.
"What are you talking about?" questioned Jiraiya with Baraggan shaking his head.
"Isn't it obvious? When you heard that this student of yours could possibly destroy the Shinobi way of life as it is now known, you panicked because you first believed it would mean the end not only for the Shinobi way of life as you know it, but it could possibly destroy the Shinobi villages too. ALL the Shinobi villages, am I right?" accused Baraggan with Jiraiya's eyes wavering slightly.
"So what if I did interpret that? I had a duty to Konoha as one of its Shinobi to protect it from all threats no matter the cost. That includes prophecies," answered Jiraiya with some of the Civilian Council nodding and the Shinobi Council agreeing with that statement.
"So you try to manipulate the boy surrounding the prophecy so that in the event he does decide to destroy the Shinobi way of life and the villages...Naruto spares Konoha so the village is left unopposed in being the dominant force in the world," deduced Baraggan while seeing Jiraiya nor the Hokage denying it.
'Interesting plan you created for the Kyuubi Jinchuriki my rival. Your student being a key influence on the boy should your life end without solidifying your influence on him. To influence a prophecy to your liking could make one seem...Godly!' thought Danzo while wishing he had a hand in it.
"Konoha is the strongest of all five Shinobi villages. We needed to ensure it stayed that way," argued Jiraiya with Baraggan frowning at him.
"There are less idiotic ways fool. Like raising the boy properly. Treating him with the respect he rightfully deserved. Making sure the public knows the difference between the fox and the jailor in that they are two separate entities. Or perhaps tell them of how the Kyuubi first manifested itself and why it went on a rampage in the first place!" countered Baraggan with each point being made was soon followed by his cane striking the floor and each strike shaking the room violently.
"You're only saying that because you are in the boy's body and therefore you are clearly biased. Would you say these things if you weren't?" challenged Jiraiya with Baraggan smirking at him.
"Probably not. But I wouldn't disrespect him either. If anything, he would be praised for what he was, and enduring this village's cruelty. In any case, I know your former student is not happy to hear of your neglect, and manipulations regarding his son. Not to mention Kushina herself would very much like to have a word with you and everyone else in this room responsible for her boy's suffering!" answered Baraggan with Jiraiya looking angry at the mention of his dead student.
"Leave him out of this," said Jiraiya in a threatening tone.
"Why should I leave him out of this? Unless of course I hit a nerve and...ah! You blamed Naruto for your student's death. Didn't you?" accused Baraggan with Jiraiya clenched his fists tightly to the point where he was drawing blood.
"Shut up," said Jiraiya while hating the fact things spiraled out of control so fast and he had underestimated this thing inside Naruto.
"I figured as much. It must have made the guilt you felt betraying your student, his wife, and your Godson lessen knowing you would get some meager revenge against the fox," remarked Baraggan with the Sannin in front of him looking livid.
"Shut up!" exclaimed Jiraiya while forming a Rasengan in his hand while Baraggan just ignored him.
"Do you know what it is actually funny to me Jiraiya of the Sannin? The fact that none of the abuse this village gave Naruto hurt the fox. Not once was he hurt by it. No once! The memories I have of Kyuubi show he was actually laughing at your misguided attempts to hurt him, calling you all foolish, and stupid for hurting the warden to get to the prisoner. Laughing for hours on end at how you all tried to make him suffer and how you had all failed...miserably! That is what I find funny in all of this Jiraiya. Years of abuse on the boy to make the fox suffer while trying to manipulate him into being your tool and it was all...for nothing!" stated Baraggan just before he let out a laugh and it was cruel laugh at that.
"Shut up and die! Rasengan!" exclaimed Jiraiya in anger, as he thrust the orb into the face of his Godson, and everyone was blinded by the light from the energy.
"Did he get him? Did Jiraiya kill that vile monster?" asked one member of the Civilian Council hopefully while seeing only smoke in front of Jiraiya currently hiding the end results of his attack.
"No. He did not get me," came the cold voice of Baraggan before a hand came out of the smoke and grabbed Jiraiya's extended arm.
And breaking it violently with the greatest of ease.
"AAAHHHHHHHH!" screamed Jiraiya, as he fell to his knees, his arm dangling at an odd angle, it looked like a piece of his arm was missing something inside, or had just shriveled up with blood dripping from the hand of his Godson currently being used by the former Espada.
"You arm is useless now. Even your former teammate will have a hard time healing your arm since all the bones I broke are now brittle and are the size of pebbles. I estimate you have exactly one week before that arm is lost and will need to be amputated. All the more reason to find Senju Tsunade and bring her back here to Konoha whether she likes it or not," stated Baraggan before he left the room.
(Konoha Academy-The Next Day)
Iruka sighed heavily, his eyes showing how tired he was right now, as he looked over the tests he had given the Genin he just graduated from the Academy, and just wished this nightmare would end. After what happened with Naruto with the history of the boy being abused, which he felt stupid for not seeing (or possibly on a subconscious level refused to see), had gone back to look at the records for the boy, and every other student there. The fact Naruto was sabotaged by Mizuki so easily made Iruka believe it had happened since the boy was attending the Academy from the start, and also suspected some foul play in the handling of the other students too.
The results were NOT encouraging.
As suspected, Naruto had been sabotaged from the start of his Shinobi training, the very first day in fact, and possibly from the second he entered his first classroom. The other teachers at the Academy were not fond of the boy and made it known even now despite what was happening to the village. Iruka however, was also concerned with how they had altered things just to ensure Uchiha Sasuke was the Rookie of the Year, and had done more then altering tests.
Little side notes were even made in the Taijutsu section of the programs to indicate who should be allowed to "win" and who should be put down. Naruto had marks on all the pages with orders to "beat within an inch of his demonic life!" while Sasuke was marked as "Let him win no matter what!" to his own. The same was said for test scores, as some teachers had forged Naruto's handwriting to add incorrect answers to his paper, and did the opposite for Sasuke's tests. The only reason Iruka didn't notice it sooner was because Mizuki had been the one handling the tests in grading the pile that held tests for both boys. Some of the other students had been marked that way too, mostly Civilian Council members to ensure their kids get passing grades, but also some of the Clan Heirs to no doubt have some form of political favoring from their parents should the need arise in the future.
No doubt in the event someone who actually cared for Naruto on a genuine level brought this evidence of cheating to light.
Not that it mattered since the Clan Heads had already thought the same way as him and had asked for an immediate inquiry into the matter since the whole incident with Naruto being possessed by the former Hollow King. Any boy, who was dead last at the Shinobi Academy, and capable of getting the Forbidden Scroll of Sealing from the vault clearly had skills that were not viewed at the school. It made the Clan Heads wonder what else they had missed or ignored not only in regards to the former Kyuubi Jinchuriki, but of the education of their own offspring as well.
Hence the inquiry.
When Iruka brought them to one big conference yesterday after the incident with Jiraiya, who was at the hospital while the Hokage tried to get a message to Tsunade to come back to Konoha, it had made several parents angry at hearing this, and they made that known to him in their own way. Inuzuka Tsume growled, foaming mouth when she heard the news, and looked ready to go rabid any moment. Aburame Shibi felt it was illogical for the instructors to tamper with tests and teachings to ensure two other students would be put into different positions to appease certain higher ups. Choza didn't like how one of the teachers deliberately beat down his son just to quote: "beat the fat out of the pudgy kid and hope it turns into muscle after all the bruises heal." if the remark on the Taijutsu portion of the test was any indicator.
Poor Shikaku got hit hard with a frying pan (somehow manifesting itself out of nowhere) by his wife since she blamed him for not keeping a better eye on their son while she was busy all day with house work.
As it stood, none of the Clan Heads were happy, and demanded something be done to correct this insult to their children's education. The answer? Taking a crash course in everything they were taught about being Shinobi and a then some in the span of a few Months.
By the time Naruto was ready to awaken from his own form of learning to rejoin the rest of the world, the Genins that "graduated" from the Academy would finally be ready to properly graduate too. The Clan Heads were all in agreement with that, as was Baraggan when Iruka came to visit the former Espada after the meeting to discus it with him since the boy he possessed would need to interact with kids his age. Granted they wouldn't be strong enough to compete with Naruto, but they could at least get to know him, and Iruka did hope they would form bonds with the boy to bring about a lasting friendship.
Baraggan felt that was acceptable and would even make sure that Naruto would be there to take a test of his own when the time came so he could graduate properly with the other Genin in his class.
"Iruka? What are you doing here so late?" questioned Suzume, as she entered his empty classroom to see her fellow Academy Instructor looking over the information in front of him
"Huh? Oh! Sorry Suzume, I was just looking over all the information I've been gathering for the past week on the recently graduated class, and what to do when we have to give them a crash course in everything plus additional stuff. I was thinking of having some of the other Shinobi we have come in and perform some form of test in the field they are experts in. Like Maito Gai for Taijutsu and Yuhi Kurenai for Genjutsu. I would ask for Hatake Kakashi for Ninjutsu, but the man is still in the hospital, and his rumored past history with Naruto being a touchy subject too," answered Iruka while possibly looking to another Shinobi and going so far as to recruit Mitarashi Anko since she could help in weeding out the fan girls that would no doubt use this second chance to "impress their Sasuke-kun" since everyone in the class has to retake it just to be sure.
"Personally, I never thought much of the boy. Always running around in his filthy 'kill me' orange clothing, eating nothing but ramen all day, and the way he eats makes you sick to your stomach," replied Suzume with Iruka shooting her a glare.
"Considering he raised himself all this time, his table manners aren't THAT bad, and the clothing he wears was the only thing shops would sell him. They deliberately gave him bright clothing to make Naruto a very big target they would have a hard time missing," Iruka countered with Suzume letting out a huff.
"Yes well, even still at his age, a boy like that should be taught proper discipline, and be given a good smack to ensure he behaved properly. The fact it hasn't worked means no one has smacked the boy hard enough," remarked Suzume with Iruka's eyes narrowing.
"That boy has been hit hard enough and long enough to the point where it needs to stop Suzume. In fact, it shouldn't have started at all, and the fact you condone it makes me question your ability to teach here," stated Iruka with Suzume looking like she had just been struck.
"You have some nerve to say that to me! I teach a kunoichi to blend in with the crowd, to act like a normal girl, and how to be a proper lady. Unlike some kunoichi in Konoha, I carry myself with a sense of sophistication, and respect that all women should strive to achieve," countered Suzume with Iruka raising an eyebrow at her.
"And by some kunoichi, you are referring simply to Mitarashi Anko," answered Iruka with Suzume letting out a huff yet again while looking away.
"So what if I am? She is a vile woman. Has no sense of manners. She's almost as bad as the Uzumaki brat in fact in terms of clothing if not worse! At least the boy wears clothes that cover his entire body and not something demeaning like a fishnet shirt that barely hides the rest of the upper body," countered Suzume with Iruka trying to fight the blush that wanted to rise up because of the image the woman here put of the Anko in his head.
"Anko is good at her job Suzume. You shouldn't care about her attire," replied Iruka with a sigh and running his hand through his hair.
"Its not just Anko's sense of work attire. Its her former teacher too and his mark he left on her. You know the one," added Suzume with Iruka scowling further.
"That's unfair. That's like condemning Naruto for holding Kyuubi," countered Iruka with Suzume shrugging her shoulders.
"So what if it is? Both are tainted Iruka. Naruto even more so now due to that vile and ghastly Baraggan in his body instead of Kyuubi," replied Suzume with Iruka gritting his teeth.
"And we aren't in some manner? Human beings as a whole much less most of those in this village haven't exactly got a spotless record Suzume. We've done horrible things to Naruto and never once batted an eyelash of regret or sympathy towards him. Don't go judging someone just because you think they're lower then you in life until you've had a good hard look at yourself in the mirror," remarked Iruka with Suzume letting out an angry huff and decided to leave.
"Fine! Be that way. But mark my words Iruka, the boy is going to become an even bigger monster after that Baraggan creature works his magic on him, and we can only hope that Anko doesn't catch his eye. The last thing anyone needs is those two being together or Kami forbid it...producing offspring," replied Suzume with her face going a tad green like the idea would make the woman want to vomit.
"Go Suzume! I have a lot of work to do and I can't be bothered anymore by such a 'prim and proper' kunoichi like yourself," remarked Iruka sarcastically in his voice with the woman leaving with another angry "huff" as she left.
(With the Rookies)
"You mean we have to take the tests again? Because of Naruto?! This is crap!" exclaimed Kiba, as he just got out of the Academy, and wanted to kick some Shinobi ass now that the graduation was over.
Now he had to go back and do it all over again!
"Not from what my Father has informed me when he returned from speaking with Iruka-sensei. I believe the term we should use to describe our situation is...'being cheated' since that was what was found when it came to our various tests being scored by the instructors marking us," remarked Shino while he saw Kiba grit his teeth and Shikamaru sighing.
"Troublesome. I knew that things were going to be bad when Mom came home dragging Dad into the house with multiple bandaged lumps on his head. Though from what my Mom told me during her ranting about making sure I was trained into the ground, only one of us benefited from all of this," added Shikamaru while glancing over at Sasuke, who let out a scoff, and brooding in silence until now.
"It doesn't matter. Even on your best day, I could handle all of you, and a few tweaks on tests won't make that much of a difference here," said Sasuke arrogantly.
"This isn't about tweaking a few tests. Ours were cleverly altered along with yours for different purposes. And it wasn't just a few. It was ALL of them. ALL the tests we ever took were tampered with so the end results for our overall progress are tainted. That's why we have to take everything over again in the span of a few Months and even learn new stuff the Academy didn't teach us. Though who they plan to use for THAT, I have no clue, but I suspect its people who are experts in each field," concluded Shikamaru with Sasuke listening to the last part about additional training since it meant getting stronger and that's what he wanted above all else.
"What about Naruto? Is he going to be joining us? I heard he's been...well indisposed of for the time being," asked Choji, who was munching on chips, and seeing his friend shrug his shoulders.
Hinata merely blushed at the mention of Naruto while Kiba scowled along with Sasuke and Sakura. Ino was well...unresponsive for once, as she didn't expect to be put into an arranged marriage unless it was with Sasuke, and her Father had to explain in painful detail on why this had to happen.
"Who cares about the baka? I don't! So annoying asking me out all the time. If he spent half as much time paying attention in class as he did on me, the baka wouldn't be the dead last of the Academy," remarked Sakura with Shikamaru shaking his head at her statement and Shino's bugs were buzzing in annoyance to her words while Hinata scowled.
"Sakura, in case you haven't noticed yet, Naruto's tests were altered too, and for the sole purpose of making him seem like a failure to everyone. Truth is, if he had parents, or had a teacher to help him do things properly combined with fair grading done properly with the instructors not being biased...I have no doubts he would have been Rookie of the Year instead of Sasuke," replied Shikamaru with Sasuke looking livid by those words and got in the Nara's face.
"You want to say that again Nara?!" demanded Sasuke with Shikamaru not looking away from the Uchiha.
"Its true Sasuke. Everyone has pampered you up until now while Naruto got the shaft in just about everything, yet he has the most potential. I've calculated the odds in my head since this little meeting of our began. Naruto would have outclassed you easily like the Kyuubi outclasses all other Biju," replied Shikamaru with Sasuke moving to punch the boy, but was stop by the hand of an adult, and looking up they saw it was a familiar face.
"That's enough from all of you. Go on home, except you Kiba," commanded Tsume while the other kids, minus Kiba left since it was clear the woman wanted to talk to her son, and make sure he didn't do anything stupid in provoking Naruto.
Her son didn't like the idea of his sister marrying Naruto regardless of Uzumaki's now known unique pedigree.
"What is it Mom? Its bad enough I have to go back to the Academy again, but Naruto is going to marry Hana? Did I do something in a past life to deserve this? The guy was dead last at the Academy! Do you know how embarrassing that is for me? You? Hana?! The Clan?!" asked Kiba with Tsume scowling at her son and growling slightly at his stupidity.
"First off, the boy's education was sabotaged. Far worse then yours was I might add and your scores were just barely above Nara Shikamaru who was the second lowest in the class. The only reason he wasn't the 'dead last' instead of Naruto or possibly you was due to his test scores making up for his lazy nature," countered Tsume while not believing the Uzumaki gaki was that bad despite the pranks pulled.
She still couldn't figure out how Naruto defaced the Hokage Monument during the day, in front of the eyes of the general village populace, and wearing an orange jumpsuit. Then again, if the Nara Clan was stumped on the matter, it was probably best that the question be left unanswered.
"He henged himself into a naked girl during the transformation test," added Kiba with Tsume's eyebrow ticking slightly.
Okay. THAT, Tsume would admit was a bit bad, but considering the results got the male instructor to topple over wasn't bad, and was an unorthodox Jutsu to say the least even if she as a woman had a disapproving view on the matter. Still, it had an unforeseen factor added to the mix, and could be useful in getting out of jam if surrounded by male only enemy Shinobi.
And maybe a few secretly bisexual or lesbian kunoichi too.
"That aside Kiba, this arrangement for Hana to marry Naruto in the distant future is not something we can stop, nor should we try since the village as a whole would suffer, and I do mean as a whole. I assume you heard the stories circulating through the village about Baraggan-sama?" stated Tsume with Kiba nodding while looking away slightly.
"Yes," answered Kiba since it was kind of hard not to hear them.
"Well they're all true for the most part. Hiashi's own Father died not that long ago after making a fuss over Hinata being branded with the Hyuuga Clan's thrice damned Cage Bird Seal on her among other things. Jiraiya-sama's arm and Shinobi career is in serious jeopardy because of his actions against Naruto, who I'm sure you heard is rumored to be the Sannin's Godson. That's also true and so is the bastard not looking in on Naruto once in the last 12 years during the boy's suffering. Imagine what Baraggan-sama will do to us or what Naruto will do when he awakens from within his mind and finds out you decided to make unnecessary waves on the matter?!" replied Tsume with Kiba snarling slightly, but he relented, and decided to let the matter drop.
"And the situation with Hinata-chan?" asked Kiba with Tsume raising an eyebrow at him.
"Hinata-chan? When did you have such an interest in the Hyuuga girl? The Hokage had hinted at putting the two of you on a team with the Aburame kid, but as far as I know you have never been interactive with the girl," questioned Tsume with Kiba looking away and it was clear there was more then friendship there.
"So? I can't show concern for my girl?!" asked Kiba suddenly with Tsume grinning in a feral manner and it was clear he slipped up.
"Your girl? Since when did my son form a crush?" Tsume questioned with Kiba blushing and looking away with anger on his face to match his embarrassment.
"Its more then that. She's mine! My future mate! I can feel it in my blood," replied Kiba with Tsume still not looking convinced.
"And does the girl you feel this way for also feel the same way?" asked Tsume with Kiba sighing.
"No. Hinata has her eyes locked on Naruto-baka and she gets all red in the face before fainting when she is in close contact with him," answered Kiba before being hit on the head by his Mother.
"Don't refer to Naruto that way again! His lineage is top grade pedigree since he is the son of the Yondaime and Uzumaki Kushina. The Uzumaki Clan were nothing to sneeze at back at the height of their power and it took three major Shinobi villages to defeat them. Three! They numbered a few hundred, but they made up for their lack of quantity with quality in their skills, and Namikaze Minato was the Yondaime Hokage for a reason Kiba. He had a "Flee on sight" order in the Bingo Book thanks to his actions in killing so many Iwa Shinobi in the last war. The fact Naruto didn't do well at the Academy was not his fault and deep down you know it Kiba. Perhaps Hinata saw what no else did or even refused to try seeing in the first place when it came to the boy," said Tsume was glaring at her son and saw the boy was rubbing his head while not liking the fact Hinata had eyes on Naruto.
"I still don't like it," mumbled Kiba with Tsume rolling her eyes.
"Look, I'm sure in time, Hinata will come to like you Kiba, BUT as a friend only, and she will be a valuable teammate to have in the distant future if you are still paired with her when the Genin teams are being made," said Tsume with Kiba frowning further.
'I don't care if they are going to have an arranged marriage. I'm going to prove to Hinata that she deserves to be mine. She is my prize! My future mate! My future bitch!' thought Kiba while intending to outshine Naruto before the boy "awakened" in the Months that followed their education.
(Konoha Bank-With Baraggan)
"Do you know who I am?" asked Baraggan while he sat in front of the very nervous Bank Manager with the sound of utter contempt clear in his voice while moving his cane ever so slightly with his fingers.
"Y-Yes Baraggan-sama," replied the shaking Bank Manager, who from the name on the desk was named Sasaki Toshi, and knew of the reputation the former Espada made for himself since inhabiting Naruto's body.
"And you know of the person whom I am currently possessing?" questioned Baraggan with the man nodding quickly.
"Yes Baraggan-sama. Word has traveled fast around Konoha about you and the...boy. It always does when it comes to important matters," replied Toshi while seeing a few of the people in the bank looking at them through the window of his office.
"So you know that I am here to inspect financial bank records. Records pertaining to the Uzumaki and Namikaze Clan to be more precise," stated Baraggan with Toshi squirming slightly under his gaze.
"Yes. It is just...we weren't expecting you so soon. I know you have other affairs around the village and I assumed your business here would be...minor!" replied Toshi with the former Espada not appeased by the nervous smile he was being given.
"I was looking over official bank records while at the Namikaze Estates that were being held there 12 years ago to the statements given to me recently per my request I made to the Hokage. To be perfectly straightforward with you Toshi-san...the numbers do not add up and I think you know why," stated Baraggan firmly and while he wasn't a genius with numbers, the former Espada lived long enough to do math, accounting, and knew when someone was cooking financial numbers that would leave a bad taste in the mouth of the one who owned the accounts.
"I...I might," replied Toshi before jumping when Baraggan tapped his cane loudly on the ground, having heard the stories of what the former Espada could do with just that cane, but was fortunate that nothing bad happened when it did, and yet it was clear the entity possessing Uzumaki Naruto was not happy.
"You might? That's not exactly a ringing endorsement to me in regards to your value in the terms of your life being spared my wrath. It would be better for everyone if I just killed you now and talk to your successor. I'm sure HE would be more cooperative when I asked him questions about these financial indiscretions," threatened Baraggan with the man in front of him letting out a small squeak of protest.
"No! No! That's quite all right. I DO know why the numbers are...off to be blunt, but you must understand that I didn't want to do it, and was forced to do it by higher forces then myself," answered Toshi quickly with Baraggan nodding though it was clear this news displeased him.
"Explain it to me and do it fast!" demanded Baraggan with Toshi nodding quickly.
"Yes! Yes! Of course. About 12 years ago, a few Months before the Kyuubi's attack, I was promoted to Bank Manager for my previous years of devoted, and loyal service to my profession when it comes to managing money. I've always had a skill for it and my services were always praised for what I could do. After things died down, I was suddenly approached by the newly reinstated Sandaime Hokage, and his former student Jiraiya of the Sannin. They told me that I was to redirect certain funds from both the Namikaze and Uzumaki Clan accounts in a discreet manner to another account. They didn't tell me why they were targeting these two accounts or why they wanted this done in the first place. They said if I didn't, they would accuse me of treason, lock me away, and I wouldn't see daylight until I was an old man. I couldn't risk saying no. I wasn't in any position to resist what they were asking of me," stated Toshi with Baraggan snarling slightly.
"Do you have access to this other account they asked you to pilfer funds into when they first arrived?" asked Baraggan with Toshi nodding.
"Yes. The account falls under my direct control in transferring funds into it, but they stopped draining funds from the Namikaze, and Uzumaki accounts roughly 4 years ago. BUT, the third account has been slowly gaining interest since then, and has become quite a lump sum," answered Toshi with Baraggan's eyes narrowing.
"Good. Two can play this game. Reverse the flow of money that was being sent to that third account back the Namikaze and Uzumaki accounts. The extra money earned during that time will also be added to each account equally and you won't notify the Hokage of your actions when its done until a few days pass," stated Baraggan with Toshi going pale in the face at the mention of the Hokage.
"B-But Baraggan-sama, t-the Hokage will have me arrested, and executed for treason!" exclaimed Toshi with Baraggan standing up and flared his power in front of the very frightened the man a few years out of his life.
"The Hokage will be the least of your worries should you disobey me Toshi-san. I am a far greater enemy then the Sandaime Hokage ever will be to you in any given situation. Do as I ask or die with those that will be dead soon once Senju Tsunade returns to the Leaf," countered Baraggan with Toshi looking at him in shock.
"T-Tsunade-sama is returning to Konoha? I thought she vowed never to return after she lost all those close to her?" questioned Toshi with Baraggan letting out a chuckle.
"She has one more person left in this village...even if the woman has no idea yet of that fact," remarked Baraggan before leaving the office and the shocked man slumping in his chair.
(Hokage Tower-Several Days Later)
"This better be good sensei! First, you send one of your summons to find me, and deliver an important message that according to the chimp I should read immediately. Which I destroyed since I had no intentions of returning for whatever stupid reason you may have had to call me back. Second, I get another later from the same chimp telling me to open this one in its presents, and that the message I get in the scroll is barely readable writing saying to come back to Konoha with all being explained! Well? Explain!" demanded Tsunade at the top of her lungs, as she marched to the door, her assistant Shizune was quivering behind her with the pet pig doing the same, and just watched the very short tempered woman kick the door open to the Hokage's office.
Only to see the old Hokage that was her sensei and her former teammate Jiraiya, who she noted was injured having a defeated look on their faces.
"There is a valid reason for your return Senju Tsunade. Sit down next to me so the old fool here that is your sensei and your former teammate can explain it to you properly," came the surprisingly mature voice of a boy with red hair and a pair of scars on his face wearing strange regal clothing sitting in a chair opposite of the Hokage.
"Who are you?" questioned Tsunade while walking over to the boy, who had this look in his eyes that told her this kid was mature beyond his years, and to be cautious should she decide to provoke him.
"Sit. Please," commanded Baraggan with Tsunade finding herself obeying the order.
"What is going on? What was so important that you had to command me back here under threat of using Konoha Shinobi to do it?" questioned Tsunade with both the Hokage and Jiraiya shifted nervously.
"Tsunade, listen to me before you jump to any conclusions about what I'm about to say to you, and that I only did it because...," began Hiruzen before Baraggan's spiritual pressure made itself known.
"Do not tell her excuses to your actions Hiruzen. Tell her the truth and tell it NOW! Or I will and without holding back the slightest detail that resulted from your actions," said Baraggan in a threatening tone that left no room for arguments or compromise.
"What? What action? What the Hell is going on?!" demanded Tsunade while looking between them and wondering what it is that has her sensei nervous with Jiraiya having a fearful look on his face.
The same kind he had on his face when Tsunade caught him peeping on her in the hot springs and beat the Sannin within an inch of his life.
"Tell me Senju Tsunade...what exactly do you know of your Godson. A one...Uzumaki Naruto?" questioned Baraggan with Tsunade frowning at him and then looking at the Hokage.
"He's dead. My sensei and Jiraiya told me the sealing took too much out of the boy and the fox killed him with its chakra. A final insult before its death that also resulted from the sealing. Why?" answered Tsunade while seeing the Hokage flinch and Jiraiya now eyeing the window with calculating eyes on how long it would take for him to make a mad dash through it.
"Tsunade...what I told you before you left 12 years ago was a lie," said the Hokage with Tsunade's eyes widening in shock before they narrowed.
"A lie?" questioned Tsunade with a hint of anger in her voice.
"Yes. A lie. A lie I told in a moment of weakness," answered Hiruzen before a sound from Naruto's throat made by Baraggan was made.
"It was hardly a moment of weakness Hiruzen. Not with the company you have been keeping since that day you were reinstated," remarked Baraggan with Hiruzen looking away for a second.
"Okay. It wasn't a moment of weakness, but the loss I suffered was key to agreeing with Jiraiya that you should be lied to about Naruto's existence," countered Hiruzen with the woman in front of him leaking killer intent at him.
"Why lie? Why keep him from me?" WHY?!" demanded Tsunade while nearly rising from her chair as she looked at him with angry eyes.
"Simply put, they wanted control over Naruto. They wanted to control him, the Kyuubi, and more importantly they tried to manipulate a prophecy. Something that no one in their right mind, whether they are human, Hollow, demon, or God should be doing even in the slightest. Something these two morons here thought they could get around on account of one being labeled the Kami of Shinobi and the other being a so called Sage," answered Baraggan with Tsunade looking at him again, then back at the other two, and then again at him.
"Just who are you exactly and how do you even know all of this?" asked Tsunade with the boy's face turning up in a small smile.
"My name is Baraggan Louisenbairn. I am the former Hollow King of Hueco Mundo, but more importantly, I am also the new and temporary guest within your Godson's body that sits before you until the two of us merge into one," answered Baraggan with Tsunade now looking shocked and scared at the same time before she narrowed her eyes at him.
"Get out of my Godson's body. Now!" demanded Tsunade while she slightly cocked her fist back to do some damage and hope Naruto would forgive her for it later.
"That's not possible. The seal that held Kyuubi is doing its job on me. Something else that needs to be explained and what has happened in your Godson's life that these two have allowed to happen after you left 12 years ago," answered Baraggan with Tsunade pausing in her right hand's subtle movement and turned to look at her former sensei.
"What happened to my Godson while I was away drowning in my sorrows? What did you two bakas do to Naruto? What did this Shinobi village, my Grandfather's village do to him? Answer me!" demanded Tsunade with Baraggan smiling fully now.
"I'll tell you Tsunade-san. And when I'm done telling you every single detail of suffering your Godson endured for 12 years of his life...you can decide whether or not they deserve to die quickly...or slowly!" replied Baraggan with a cruel chuckle leaving his mouth.
"I'm listening intently," said Tsunade, as she blocked out everything, and everyone else around her while Baraggan explained everything to Tsunade in methodical fashion.
The former Hollow King wasn't lying when he said there would be no sparing in detail of the suffering Naruto endured from the boy's memories, and even about the soul fragments of Naruto's parents inside of him each acting as a fail safe to keep the fox at bay as a last resort. How they were in him right now for the moment, being parents to the boy, making up for 12 long years of unintentional neglect, and giving the child the love long deserved before they were to be devoured into him. How they were displeased by Konoha's cruel betrayal, not to mention the Sandaime Hokage, and Jiraiya betraying them since neither of the two saw it coming.
By the time it was over, Tsunade couldn't restrain the killer intent, and let it fill the room while glaring daggers at the two people she thought could be trusted with her life. After hearing everything Baraggan just told her, Tsunade knew now that if she couldn't trust them with Naruto's well being, then she couldn't them at all, and wouldn't be surprised if they had considered having a special team on standby to kill her in the event she ever did return to Konoha to find Naruto very much alive.
"Tsunade...Tsunade please listen I...," pleaded Hiruzen, but the old man's words were ignored, and could only see the blonde haired woman looking livid!
"Listen? Listen! Like I listened to you the day before I left Konoha? Listened to the lie you spun about the boy being dead?! I was weeping for Months and even years after I foolishly believed that lie you told me. Weeping over the loss of a Godson who wasn't dead, but probably wished he had been, and don't say that's not true. I've heard all the stories from other Shinobi villages and how they treated their own Jinchuriki with little to no civility," countered Tsunade with a fury in her voice that made the Hokage and Jiraiya since knowing she was right.
"Hence why Kyuubi's last two chosen Jinchuriki were not known to the rest of the village for that reason alone," stated Baraggan with Tsunade nodding with her eyes closed now with her anger ready to explode.
"You know, a part of me actually thought that I should be glad my Godson's dead so he wouldn't have to face such a possible life in Konoha despite the fact I would sooner burn the Leaf village down then let anyone harm him. Now I find myself back here, listening to the truth, and the events that have followed it because of your arrogance and stupidity! The only reason I don't make Konoha a crater right now is because Baraggan-sama here has already set terms I find fitting. With one exception I wish to add," said Tsunade with Baraggan raising an eyebrow at her.
"Oh? What condition do you wish to add?" asked Baraggan curiously.
"Its clear to me that my sensei is no longer qualified or trusted to be Hokage of the Leaf village. To further ensure this never happens on my watch again and ensuring that I can close to Naruto as possible...I am going to take up the mantle of Hokage," answered a determined Tsunade with both Jiraiya and Sarutobi Hiruzen now looking shocked by this news.
Baraggan just thought it over for a second before nodding.
"Agreed. Plus, I'm sure Naruto would love to meet someone with Uzumaki blood in their veins on your Grandmother's side," replied Baraggan since the fox's memories told him that much along with his own brief time in the hands of Hashirama before being sealed away.
"Now wait a minute! Tsunade just can't take the mantle of Hokage just like that! Sensei is still physically fit and his mind is still sharp. If you want to take the mantle of Hokage from him Tsunade, then you better be ready to fight for it, and in front of witnesses too," stated Jiraiya with Tsunade grabbing him by the collar of his shirt.
"Gladly! I'm more then ready for a fight. I'm sober, I'm fully awake, and I'm pissed off! Let's take this to the arena for everyone to see right now. Let us see if sensei is just as ready to fight for the mantle of Hokage like I am at this moment," replied Tsunade before she turned to look at the old man and saw him looking grim.
Even if he had more power then her, more Jutsus then her, the Sandaime knew she would be fighting for the mantle with a purpose that would outdo his own, and Tsunade would win in the end. Even if he won the fight, Hiruzen could never kill her, and his injuries would no doubt leave him crippled beyond healing. He would have to step down and then someone else would have to take his place with the Councils no doubt moving to have Danzo take over if not Jiraiya. Baraggan wouldn't allow that in the slightest and put his own input (using lethal force) to make his own recommendation being Tsunade and he would no doubt win by a landslide in that regard.
He was doomed to surrender to her no matter what.
"Take it," replied Hiruzen with Jiraiya looking shocked.
"Sensei?!" questioned Jiraiya, who was thrown violently against the wall, and he let out a groan since his arm was in a cast in a sling.
"I couldn't stop her if I tried Jiraiya. Even if I was successful in fighting for the mantle of Hokage...it would be an empty victory. Besides, there is no one else more qualified to take up the mantle, and we both know this to be true," replied Hiruzen with Jiraiya now struggling to get up.
"The Councils will never accept this," Jiraiya reminded the old Kage.
"The Councils have no say in this! Unless of course, you changed those rules since I have been gone?" stated Tsunade with Hiruzen shaking his head.
"They have no real say in this matter, but that won't stop them from voicing their opinion on matter in me choosing my successor," answered Hiruzen before taking off the hat and handing it to Tsunade.
"Let them bitch all they want. I don't care. All I care about is my Godson and fixing the village you two have been slowly breaking after the Yondaime Hokage's death," said Tsunade while wearing the hat and heard clapping behind her with the source of it being Baraggan.
"Well said Senju Tsunade. Truly someone worthy of being Hokage. As such, I wish to reward you with a gift to ensure a long reign as this village's ruler for years to come," stated Baraggan with Tsunade frowning along with everyone else.
"A gift?" questioned Tsunade with Baraggan smiling at her.
"Yes. The gift...of youth!" exclaimed Baraggan, as his right eye where the one scar was located changed from showing Naruto's natural blue eye to shining in a whitish light that locked onto Tsunade's form and began the process of making the woman stronger again.
By making her younger again.
And boy did she feel it.
"W-W-What did you do to me?" asked Tsunade, as she felt younger, and stronger then she had in years with the Genjutsu over herself breaking to reveal her newly restored to its prime body.
"Simple. Originally, one of my powers was to age things ahead of schedule. However, it was after I devoured the Yin half of Kyuubi, which was sealed unknowingly into the body of the Yondaime Hokage before his death that I learned of the ability to reverse it. In short, I reversed your age back by 30 years, meaning you can now fight in your prime with all the knowledge, and wisdom gained since that time," answered Baraggan before he turned to see Shizune looking shocked at this news.
'She's younger then me now,' thought Shizune with her mental self crying at being the "old hag" between the two kunoichi.
"Don't think I've forgotten about you my dear. Its only fair I bless the student with the same gift I gave the teacher," stated Baraggan before he did the same for her in reversing the woman's age, but only reduced it by 10 years, and then did it to the pig just so they wouldn't ask him to do it later.
That and he was sure the pig would make a fuss since the animal seemed as intelligent as it was pampered enough to do make some kind of demand in its own unique way.
"Thank you Baraggan-sama," replied Shizune while bowing, Tonton doing the same, and the two mental versions of themselves were doing a happy dance at not being "old hags" of the group.
'He has that kind of power now. To influence life and death?' thought Hiruzen and Jiraiya while Baraggan gave Tsunade a brief bow.
"I will leave you to handle things here for now Tsunade-san. I know there is much to do and I will be back again later when the transfer is official. We can talk about business at that point since there are matters I need to address with you about some things," stated Baraggan with Tsunade giving her own bow of respect to the former Hollow King before he was out the door and turned to face her sensei and teammate.
"Be careful when dealing with him and Naruto for that matter Tsunade. Neither of them can be trusted," said Hiruzen with Tsunade grabbing him by the collar lifting him out of chair.
"I'd sooner trust him and Naruto over you. To think, Minato along with Kushina trusted you, me, and Jiraiya to help watch over Naruto. A trust you and Jiraiya both broke. That I broke because you lied to me! And for what? All for some form of phantom power and control over one boy possibly being part of a prophecy that was neither clear or accurate in anyway. Well I'm not about to let you do anything else and I'm sure as Hell not going to let you try to manipulate my Godson anymore. You're retired again old man though depending on what I'll soon learn later, I might just execute you for your crimes against Konoha, and make an example out of you. As for you Jiraiya, I'll heal your arm, IF its still healable that is, but after I fix the appendage, I'm going to break every other part of your body, and then I'll slowly heal that too. Make no mistake pervert, you belong to me, Baraggan-sama, and Naruto when he awakens," stated Tsunade with both men not liking the sound of that.
But then again...they weren't meant to like it.
(A/N: YAY! I updated and what an update it is! LOL! Hope you liked it. This is a super long chapter for all of you guys. I will be in College again after next week so I wanted to get this out there ASAP to you guys so I can work on one more fic before I have to go back into semi-hibernation again until my next holiday break, which will most likely be in the Spring, or some other potential three day holiday. Until next time...PEACE!)