Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto or any other series that I might use for inspiration.
This chapter will begin with a summary of recent events, and than the story shall proceed as scheduled. Some parts I felt would limit story progression, so I added them to the summary, in detail of course.
The proper pacing of the story will begin after Sasuke (and Kabuto) take on the remainder of team Kakashi. Okay, anyway, here goes nothing...
While Kakashi, Sakura, and Yamato carry on with their mission to retrieve Sasuke, in doing so, following Kabuto's scent along with the trail that he intentionally left behind, Naruto is locked in a life and death duel with the great snake sannin, Orochimaru.
At the beginning of the battle, Naruto arrives at the clearing where Orochimaru's body crashed, leaving behind a massive crater. Orochimaru's body sustains so much damage that his skin peels off, enough for Naruto to see the face of the host that Orochimaru took over.
Naruto taunts Orochimaru about his sexual orientation, asking if Orochimaru was tired of being a girl (his previous host was a girl) and finally decided what he wanted to be. Naturally, Orochimaru is angered by the assumed simple minded conclusions that the blonde Uzumaki is making about him, but chooses rather to keep his harsh words about that issue to himself, choosing rather to to attack the blonde Uzumaki before he attacks him again.
Having realized that he could not possibly hope to keep up with Naruto's speed in his three tailed form, Orochimaru goes for a one hit kill, using the Kusanagi's ability to extend rapidly to impale Naruto right through the heart. However, Orochimaru clearly underestimated Naruto's speed, as the blonde Uzumaki was still able to avoid contact with any major arteries or organs, the exponentially lengthened sword only piercing through his right shoulder as a result.
Orochimaru tries to yank the sword sideways with the intention of cutting right through Naruto's chest, however, Naruto uses one of his chakra limbs to hold the sword in place. He tries to break the sword with his chakra limbs and does not succeed, but than remembers that the Kusanagi, being one of the late rikuudo sennin's treasured weapons, will not be that easily broken, if breakeable at all.
With that in mind, Naruto finds himself in a desperate situation, one option is to force the sword to shift to the right, with the possibility of cutting through part of his chest and dismember his arm, but he chooses another option, an experimental one, which is to channel the fox's chakra through the Kusanagi and to Orochimaru with the hope that the Kyubi's corrosive chakra would be enough to outright kill him, or paralyze him long enough for Naruto to get rid of him. Needless to say, the latter of the two options was chosen.
Orochimaru however realises the danger in time and spits out the sword from his mouth, along with the snake from which the sword was stored, as he moves away to a position he deemed safe from the fox's chakra. The snake is almost instantly eroded by the corrosive chakra
Recovery of the sage's weapons being one of his lesser but regardless important objectives, Naruto already has an idea of how the Kusanagi might work. He theorizes that one would have to obviously channel their chakra into the sword in order to trigger the extention effect. However, extention is not the only ability that the Kusanagi has, he remembers that Orochimaru levitated the sword and controlled it from a distance when he fought the Sandaime Hokage and he also is able to clearly feel in his body the poisonous effects of the sword.
Spinning all of this inside his mind, Naruto comes up with a theory, he concludes that there had to be a way to determine what effect one wanted when channeling chakra into the sword, but with only one chakra entrance point visible on the seal that is on the handle, he realizes that the seal must serve also as a storage compartment of sorts. The seal stores the chakra of the user in order to confirm the identity of the user whenever he channels chakra into the sword. The sword than reacts whenever that person channels chakra into the seal. This is so that only the owner can manipulate the sword, in other words, to protect the user from the opponent using the user's own weapon against him. He also comes to the conclusion that, all things concidered, the sword works in a manner not too different from a human. A human channels chakra to a specific body part and uses his mind to manipulate what effect said chakra should have on that body part, therefore, he would also have to channel his chakra into the sword and manipulate the effect with his mind. However, he would have to get rid of Orochimaru's chakra that was already stored within the sword, which might as well have been as easy as taking candy from a baby, the Kyubi's potent chakra more than strong enough to push out Orochimaru's chakra out of the sword and replacing it with his own.
Needless to say, Orochimaru is left stunned when his own Kusanagi, glowing with a the menacing red of the Kyubi's chakra comes flying at him at quite an impressive speed. Orochimaru realizes that he wouldn't be fast enough to evade the Kyubi enhanced Kusanagi and instantly summons a rashomon gate to block the Kusanagi. He underestimates the kyubi enhanced Kusanagi in the process as he never expected it to penetrate through his specially modified rashomon gate. However, even though the gate is penetrated, it does just enough to slow down and alter the sword's direction, enough for Orochimaru to avoid getting impaled by the sword.
As this is going on, and with the aim of not allowing the battle to drag on, Naruto quickly enters a tailed beast transformation, entering his four tailed form and quickly generating a tailed beast blast to destroy both the rashomon gate and Orochimaru himself. Orochimaru summons two more rashomon gates just in time and as a result just barely survives the attack, losing more than half of his body in the process, forcing him to use the snake shedding technique to spit out a new body for himself, a jutsu with a massive chakra requirement.
At this point in time, Orochimaru feels secure in either his victory, or successful escape as he believes that Naruto has lost control and is nothing but a mildless beast, he is shocked when Naruto, in his four tailed tailed beast form starts speaking to him, praising Orochimaru for surviving such a powerful attack and for finding a way to have access to ninjutsu despite the sealing of his arms, albeit a limited access it may be. Orochimaru is further surprised by Naruto's intelligence when Naruto accurately speculates on the secret behind Orochimaru's ability to use his hands, Naruto stating that Orochimaru was using the life-force of the body that he took over to replenish his arms, but that as a result, Orochimaru had to keep switching bodies every three years or so because of the depletion of the host's life force, which would lead him back to square one, lack of access to his arms and the constant pain and agony that came with it. Naruto also concludes that Orochimaru probably wanted to either finish the fight quickly, or get as far away from him as possible because the longer they fought and the more jutsu Orochimaru uses, the faster Orochimaru would lose the host's life-force.
Naruto than questions Orochimaru's hesitance to deplete the life-force, as Orochimaru should want that to happen sooner rather than later in order to get Sasuke's body as soon as possible. Naruto than concludes that maybe Orochimaru wants Sasuke to get older and stronger, as a result, get a larger and more potent life-force so that his body can last longer, but than changes his mind tauntingly, suggesting that rather, the real reason must be that the serpent sannin is scared of Sasuke, scared that if he loses access to his host's life force, and therefore access to his ninjutsu, Sasuke would betray him and kill him, that's why Orochimaru was delaying.
Orochimaru is angered by this insinuation, add the danger that this seemingly different Naruto seemed to pose to, never mind his plans, but his very existence as a whole, one cannot be surprised by his decision to go all out for the kill. Orochimaru therefore ratailiates verbally and physically. Verbally, as he tells the blonde that he has the power equivalent and possibly even greater to that of a tailed beast even without the use of his arms, physically, as he spits out a new body for himself...a very very big body, the serpent sannin using the Yamata no Jutsu, the Eight Branches Technique, taking on a form that is a white, gigantic, eight headed and eight tailed snake made up of many other small snakes. Inside the open mouth of the snake head in the middle of the eight headed formation, the fourth snake to be exact, is a naked Orochimaru, revealing only his upper body to the blonde Uzumaki as the rest of his body seemed to be the rest of the eight headed snake.
Orochimaru explains that this is his sage mode and that this is his ultimate technique. He also explains that he will never really run out of life-force to replenish his arms as he could just get it from nature itself. Naruto however is outwardly unimpressed by Orochimaru's new form, the blonde Uzumaki explaining that a true sage had the ability to contain nature energy in his human form without his appearance taking on major transformations. He explains that the fact that Orochimaru turned into a gigantic creature only shows his lack of control over his power. Orochimaru points out the hypocrisy in the blonde Uzumaki's statement, saying that Naruto, having taken on the form of a miniature fox himself, is no different to him as he himself should be able to control the fox's power without transforming into a beast if he truly was a master of his power. Inside his mind all the while, Orochimaru can't get it out of his mind, how on earth did Naruto become so intelligent, why does he know so much, who is his real source of information, could it really be that Jiraiya was that good of a teacher? Was Minato also a hopeless idiot before Jiraiya took him under his wing?
Nevertheless, Naruto accepts Orochimaru's criticism somewhat graciously, the blonde Uzumaki transforming back to his normal human form. Orochimaru is surprized that Naruto hasn't suffered any side effects from using such a dense and corrosive chakra in the manner that he had, but quickly puts it at the back of his mind. He is also impressed by the blonde's apparent immunity to the kusanagi's poison, but instead chooses to focus on the battle at hand, adopting the kill first and ask questions later motto.
Deep down, Orochimaru laments his failure to kill the blonde Uzumaki three years ago when he had the chance in his three way battle with his former team mates, as he re-affirms in his mind that Naruto will pose a great threat to his plans and his very existence if left unattended to, as he had concluded three years ago when he saw Naruto use the rasengan on Kabuto. With all that in mind, and his self preservation instincts kicking in, Orochimaru decides to go all out from the start, preparing to use his strongest ninjutsu to get rid of the blonde jinchuuriki.
Before Naruto can make his own move, or rather, because Naruto was waiting for Orochimaru to make the first move, he is unable to do anything to stop Orochimaru from activating his ultimate ninjutsu, as seven spheres of energy, very big spheres of energy form on each of the other seven heads of Orochimaru's body, all except for the one that was housing his body.
Seeing the surprised look on the blonde Uzumaki's face, Orochimaru can't help but to smirk triumphantly at the blonde Uzumaki's awed expression, the serpent sage even going as far as to gloat to the blonde Uzumaki about his archievements before launching the jutsu, as, as far as he was concerned, victory was already assured as soon as that jutsu was activated.
Orochimaru explains that this jutsu, named the raging serpent sphere barrage, is the reason why he has power superior even to the Kyubi. Orchimaru confirms what Naruto has already deciphered through visual information and through his chakra sensing ability, when he tells Naruto that each of the snakes that make up the eight branches has the ability to control nature energy and elemental chakra independently of the other snakes. Naruto already knows that this is true, as he has confirmed that one of the spheres is made up of wind chakra, two with fire, two with lightning, and one with water. the blonde Uzumaki also notices that the two lightning spheres are situated on each side of the water sphere and the two fire spheres on each side of the wind sphere, which means that Orochimaru is planning to use the complementary properties of wind and fire, along with those of lightning and water, to increase the power and destruction of his jutsu.
There is one sphere though that captures Naruto's attention, the one that doesn't have any nature transformation imbued into it, a sphere that, just like the others, is almost as big as a tailed beast ball, if not just as big. Orochimaru also takes note of the blonde Uzumaki's attention on that particular sphere, and can't hold back the jab at the blonde Uzumaki and his father, asking Naruto if he thought that his father was the only one that aspired to attain the power of tailed beast ball? He also brags that fourth's pathetic ideas for the rasengan pale in comparison to his achievements with the raging serpent sphere barrage.
Naruto is irritated by Orochimaru's words, but shows no outward reaction, much to Orochimaru's surprise, the sannin having thought that at least if not by demonstrating his superioty to the fourth, than at least the blonde Uzumaki should have been surprised by the revelation that the fourth was his father. Regardless, this further confirms what Orochimaru already suspected, that this Naruto is completely different from the Naruto of old, almost like someone else had taken over his body.
Nevertheless, Orochimaru theorizes that the weakening of the seal must have given the fox more access to the blonde, hence concluding that Naruto's maturity might have been a result of the fox manipulating him. He gets no response however from the blonde, further adding to his already boiling frustration.
Meanwhile, Naruto evaluates his options, realising that if Orochimaru's jutsu was a poweful as he made it out to be, than, given his current position, if the jutsu were to miss, or even if it hit him, it would be headed towards the direction that Sakura, Kakashi, and Yamato had taken. He can also sense their chakra and knows that Kabuto is already too far away to get caught in the blast range, but...they aren't.
Naruto smiles truimphantly, of course, he is aware that Kakashi has that troublesome kamui ability that could probably save them from Orochimaru's jutsu. In fact, he was counting on that, knowing that Kakashi would be significantly weakened should he use that jutsu, thereby granting Kabuto and Sasuke a greater chance of victory.
With that in mind, Naruto taunts the serpent sage, telling him to give it his best shot and see what happens. Orochimaru falls for the bait, not that he had any other choice given how much he'd already hyped up his jutsu, and how confident he was in its destructive power. Before that however, Naruto jumps high up into the air, forcing Orochimaru to raise his aim higher in order to hit the blonde, not knowing that the blonde Uzumaki was actually adjusting the jutsu's trajectory in order to target his own comrades.
Orochimaru fires the jutsu, all seven spheres at the airborn blonde Uzumaki, giving virtually zero chance of dodging the jutsu. However, the blonde had been training really hard with Haku over the last two weeks, overusing shadow clones and his limitless energy to speed up the process of learning and mastering the demonic ice crystal mirrors technique. As a result, the blonde Uzumaki was able to dive into a mirror and teleport himself to another mirror that he formed higher above the snake sannin without Orochimaru's notice.
Orochimaru, celebrating his victory prematurely, was caught completely off guard when a number of glowing chains suddenly surrounded him and indeed, his entire body, the chains going into the ground and forming a tranparent barrier around him. Orochimaru is quick to recognize the jutsu as Kushina's chakra chain barrier, but is unable to believe that Kushina could be alive, thereby concluding that the jutsu is being used by Naruto himself. This theory is further substantiated when the dust and debri clears up to reveal Naruto standing on the ground with the chains protruding from his back.
Orochimaru makes his surprise and begruding respect known to the blonde Uzumaki, as he never expected him to have mastered such an advanced clan kinjutsu. He however arrogantly taunts the blonde, stating that the barrier was useless as he was immortal and could not be killed by any jutsu in the blonde Uzumaki's arsenal, even that tailed beast blast that he used in his four tailed fox mode, and even if he could, Naruto would have to drop the barrier in order to hit him with that jutsu, giving him a small but significant window to escape the jutsu.
Orochimaru is left speechless however as the real Naruto, not the clone that was restraining him, speaks to him from an ice mirror just a few metres above him, Naruto stating that he wouldn't need to remove the barrier in order to get rid of the snake sage. Orochimaru is left speechless once again when he sees the blonde inside an ice mirror, immediatly recognising the jutsu and to whom it belonged to. Already concluding that Naruto must have left a clone behind when he jumped into the air and teleported himself at the very last second before contact with the raging sphere barrage, Orochimaru demands different answers, asking how it was possible for the blonde Uzumaki to know a kekkei genkei jutsu like the demonic ice crystal mirrors
Naruto answers him truthfully, stating that Momochi Yuki Haku had taught it to him. Orochimaru challenges such a statement, as a kekkei genkei jutsu like that couldn't possibly be simply taught to another, he wonders to himself if Naruto was part of some kind of dna transfusion experiment conducted by R.O.O.T.
Naruto howeve entertains no further conversation, as he believes Orochimaru is simply trying to buy time to find an escape from his entrapment. However, before delivering the killing blow, Naruto responds to Orochimaru's earlier taunts, saying that Orochimaru was mistaken when he said that the Fourth's attempts to replicate the power of a tailed beast were futile, as those attempts had helped him complete his ultimate ninjutsu, a ninjutsu superior to Orochimaru raging sphere barrage, and a jutsu he had originally intended to use to destroy Konoha, but had no qualms about testing it on him. As he says this, Naruto removes his upper body from the mirror as he forms a dark, menacing sphere the size of an oodama rasengan with a glowing, white ring floating around the sphere on his right hand palm.
Needless to say, Orochimaru is shocked by the sheer potency of the energy released by such a 'small' jutsu and fear creeps into the center of his being. He demands to know what kind of jutsu the blonde Uzumaki was using, and the blonde Uzumaki indulges him before ending his life, explaining that this jutsu combines the power of a tailed beast ball, the rasengan, and the power of the sage of the six paths, the yin/yang release, to produce the result that he was holding on the palm of his hand. Naruto also explains that he knows that Orochimaru can reincarnate himself even if one of the thousands of snakes making up his body survives, hence why he was using this jutsu, to guarantee that everything forming part of the serpent sannin would be eroded from face of earth.
"Rasenringu..." Naruto says as he almost casually drops the spiralling fear wheel technique onto the barrier.
Orochimaru waits anxiously for the moment where the blonde Uzumaki would undoubtedly have to drop the barrier, but that moment never comes, instead, it almost seems like the jutsu just fazed through the barrier without the shadow clone ever releasing the barrier, or even showing signs of doing so. The jutsu makes contact with Orochimaru and explodes, incinerating every living cell of the snake sage, effectively and literally wiping him off of the face of the earth.
Elsewhere, Kakashi, Yamato, and Sai finally follow Kakashi's scent detections along with Kabuto's directions and finally catch up to Kabuto and Sasuke. The two rogue shinobi seem to have been patiently waiting for them, standing side by side at the top of a relatively small cliff, in front of a cave entrance.
This is the moment that they've been waiting for, for three years now, yet it seems so surreal to them, both Sakura and Kakashi unable to quite believe that they finally caught up to Sasuke. However, if they expected a warm reunion, than they might have been more naive than Sasuke originally thought, the rogue Uchiha simply greeting them with a 'generous' warning, to go back home, without him, or die right there and then, by his own hands.
Naturally, neither Kakashi nor Sakura have any such intentions, Sakura pleading with Sasuke to come home and Kakashi declaring that he was taking Sasuke home, even if he has to do it by force. Yamato on the other hand remains silent the whole time and Kabuto watches the interaction from Sasuke's side with nothing short of amusement.
Sasuke, realizing that his warning would fall on deaf ears retaliates with a retorical question, asking the new team 7 if they knew why he had chosen to wait for them on that particular position, leaving all three members of team seven scratching their heads in wonder. Sasuke shakes his head with mock pity at his former team's naivety, crouching down at the edge of the cliff and placing his palm on the side wall of the cliff before uttering the name of his jutsu...
"Summoning Technique: Great Fire Illumination!" Sasuke utters, a modified summoning seal spreading out rapidly on the side wall, the wall facing his former comrades before the seal, at it's rapid completion, expelling a great fire storm with unreal degrees of heat, a heat equivalent to that of the sun itself.
Team seven, and everything behind them would have been whiped off of the face of the earth had it not been, once again, for Kakashi's kamui, the copy ninja having no choice but to absorb the whole fire. However, the magnitude of the jutsu, and the fact that this was the second time that Kakashi had used this jutsu in the space of a few minutes, was enough to almost completely drain Kakashi of his chakra reserves, leaving the copy ninja in a vulnerable state, although still succeeding in absorbing the whole fire storm.
Sasuke is impressed by Kakashi's jutsu, expressing his surprise that Kakashi really awakened a mangyeko sharingan like Kabuto had told him despite not even being an Uchiha. He also explains that his jutsu is a summoning technique of his own creation that summons heat directly from the sun and than controlling it with his chakra to form the ultimate fire technique. He states that he never expected that someone, especially anyone from team seven would be capable of stopping such a powerful fire jutsu, moreso as he had developed this space time technique in order to trump Itachi's amateresu.
Nonetheless, Sasuke, with his powers of observation, is able to diagnose that Kakashi has been severely weakened by the use of the mangyeko sharingan despite his best efforts to hide it, and explains that this is the gap between Kakashi and a real Uchiha, a gap bigger than the distance between heaven and earth. He calls Kakashi a cheap imitation of an Uchiha that deserves to be eliminated for his mockery of an existence.
Kakashi and Sakura plead for Sasuke to stop acting like this and return to his old self. They beg him not to let Orochimaru turn him into something he is not and reclaim his real self, the old Sasuke, the Sasuke that they know and love. However, Sasuke won't have any of that, the rogue Uchiha brutally enlightening them in the process, telling them the Sasuke that they want is a mere illusion they conjured up on their own. He tells them that the Sasuke they knew was never real, but a reflection of what they wanted him to be, not what he actually was. He further adds that no one has any right to tell him how to live his life, that he has taken control of his life and will write his tail the way he wants it to be written, without the burden of their selfish desires that they wish to impose on him. Having said that, Sasuke creates three shadow clones and sends them after the new look team seven, but not before noting the irony that their demise would come in the form of Naruto's signature jutsu.
The shadow clones are extremely fast, but not as fast as the original, all three of team seven's members able to counter their taijutsu attacks and deliver a killing blow. Kakashi is surprised, and chastices Sasuke for underestimating them to think that he could kill them with such a parlour trick, however, Sasuke simply smirks at Kakashi as he explains that the parlour tick as he calls it is merely a means to an end, a way to set up the jutsu that will end their miserable existence.
The whole of team seven is confused until Sasuke points at their feet. Looking down, they are all surprised to find that under and around each one of them is a seperate summoning seal. Kakashi, being an admirer and regular user of the shadow clone technique himself, is able to instantly and correctly analyze the situation. He remembers that the chakra that the shadow clone retains when it dies is returned back to the user of the jutsu to replenish his own chakra reserves, but notes that Sasuke has modified the technique to his own advantage. Instead of the chakra of his clones returning to him, Sasuke simly manipulated the chakra from the dispelled shadow clone from a distance in order to form the summoning seals. He realises that Sasuke simply used the shadow clone technique as a means to transport his chakra to their location for this very purpose.
However, this realization comes too little to late, as, with a simple ram hand seal, Sasuke re-activates the summoning technique: great fire illumination, this time, using three smaller seals for a more focussed application of the jutsu, and this time, attacking from below, out of Kakashi's line of site, just in case he still had enough chakra to re-activate that kamui jutsu. Kakashi and Sakura are caught in their own dispair, realising that there was no way that they could possibly avoid this jutsu, Kakashi, because of his condition after using kamui twice, Sakura, because she had no idea how to evade this jutsu, and no means either. However, Yamato comes to the rescue, using the wood style: substitution technique to replace all three of them with replica wooden dummies.
Kakashi is glad for Yamato's quick thinking and his unique abilities, having wanted to use the substitution jutsu himself but having nothing to substitute himself with in such a secluded area. However, thanks to Yamato's wood style, he on the other hand had the abiltity to almost instantly create wooden dummies and use them for substitution. He could even make them of a special kind of wood that was much lighter than the average log, thereby making the execution of the jutsu quicker and easier.
At this point, Sasuke is no longer amused nor does he have the time to acknowledge their jutsu prowess. Just the thought of these 'weaklings' surviving two of his most powerful jutsu and attack formations is enough to send him over the edge, after all, these jutsu were meant to be used against Itachi, to be used to 'kill' Itachi. However, if these 'weaklings' were able to survive these jutsu, than how was he ever going to kill Itachi with them?
Still, the rogue Uchiha is able to take solace in the fact that his attack formation was yet to be completed, as the last piece, above and literally in the skies, was taking position, dark and thunderous clouds forming themselves in the skies as a result of the the heat from his two fire jutsu, the second of which was launched straight into the sky.
It is impossible for Sakura, Yamato, and Kakashi not to notice the dark clouds forming in the sky, and Yamato is quick to point out the reason for this sudden occurence, pointing out that it was Sasuke's recent fire attack that was the cause of storm clouds. Sasuke praises him for his scientific and climate knowledge, but also explains that the thunder clouds are not just a coincidence, or just a regular side effect of his fire jutsu, he explains that this is very much part of his plan, his grand master piece, his ultimate jutsu that will wipe them off of the face of the earth without fail.
As he says this, Sasuke lifts his left hand and points it towards the sky, his hand getting coated by a powerful electrical current. As soon as he does this, a gigantic dragon made out of lightning shows its raging face up in the clouds, causing team seven to gasp in shock, realization, but most of all, dispair! The trio unable to quite comprehend how Sasuke could have possibly become this strong over such a short period of time.
Kakashi tries to reason with Sasuke one more time, asking him to reconsider and telling him that he still has time to turn back from his path of destruction, a path that will only lead to emptyness. However, Sasuke ignores hm, only telling him and his comrades to vanish with the roar of thunder as he pulls his hand downwards, sending the lightning fast, destructive, and widespread bolt of lightning down on his former teammates.
The whole landscape is reconfigured as the power of the heavens themselves brings forth judgement on the earth and its subjects. Sasuke and Kabuto watch the scene with insanely gleeming eyes, the two of them seemingly enjoying the the destruction and carnage as if they were little boys in a fireworks carnival.
However, as soon as the dust and debri clears, the two Konoha defectors see something that they hardly could have expected, the landscape is littered with human sized slugs that seem to have come out of nowhere. Kabuto quickly analyzes the sitaution, stating that either Sakura, as Tsunade's apprentice, had signed the slug summoning contract and summoned Katsuya, or, that Tsunade must have sent Katsuya to the battefield to aid team Kakashi.
Sasuke is irritated by this intervention, but watches the sitaution carefully in order to properly measure his situation. He is now becoming increasingly weary and agitated, having used three shadow clones and two S rank fire techniques, he realises that there is only so much more that he can do before he is forced to access the cursed seal, an idea that doesn't quite sit well with him, after all, why should he, an elite and genius Uchiha, be forced to rely on that power to defeat such inferior opponents?
Nevertheless, the answers present themselves soon enough as three of the slugs litering the battlefield seem to split up into three slugs and three humans, although, what actually happened was that they just released the humans that they had stored inside of them briefly through their bodies. The humans are revealed to be none other than a weary Hatake Kakashi, Yamato, and an unconscious Haruna Sakura.
Kabuto notes that the answers to their questions have been answered, but can't help but show his surprise that Sakura was able to summon Katsuya, even if the mere achievement itself almost killed her. Sasuke on the other hand is not impressed, and seeks to end the one sided battle once and for all. The thunder clouds are still in the sky and this time, Sasuke summons all of the electricity in the clouds and creates an even bigger lighting dragon. Before he drops his hand however, he feels he has to explain something to his enemy. His explains that the role of those without power is to obey the ones who have the power, and thereby, he, as one who has power, has the authority to pass down orders unto them, just as they have the obligation to follow his orders. He tells them that he only has one order for them, and that order...is for them to die.
Sasuke drops his hand as soon as he has said his piece. Katsuya notes that even she can't survive a second hit from that jutsu, more especially if it is an even bigger one. She wants to ask the others about Naruto's whereabouts but never gets the chance to do so as Sasuke drops his hand, forcing her to make a decision she never wanted to make, but found that she had no choice but to make. With this in mind, Katsyuya re-absorbs Yamato, Kakashi, and Sakura before dispelling herself, taking them back to the summoning realm of the slugs, the Shikkotsu Forest, and than later, back to Konoha, thereby abandoning Naruto in enemy territory...in order to save herself, and three other lives.
Once again, Sasuke and Kabuto are forced to shield their eyes from the blinding light and the mini dust storm created by Sasuke's kirin, the duo waiting patiently for the dust and debri to clear up.
After a minute a so, the atmosphere is cleared and the two rogue shinobi are unable to sense team seven's presence or existence with any of their five senses. Sasuke concludes that they are indeed dead, but can't believe that it took his ultimate ninjutsu to get rid of such low class shinobi. He decides that he will demand more training from Orochimaru as he feels that, in his current state, he would probably still lose to Itachi.
"Itachi is indeed a powerful foe, however, don't sell yourself too short Sasuke-kun, after all, how many people can claim to have singlehandedly faught a mangyeko sharingan and a mokuton ninjutsu wielder and forced them to retreat, huh, Sasuken-kun? Isn't that another way of looking at it?" Kabuto asked retorically.
"Did you just say...retreat? What do you mean by that exactly?" Sasuke demanded.
"He means that you failed to kill team seven, that they escaped via Katsuya's reverse summoning. You know, for someone with a sharingan, your discerning skills are quite lacking...Sasuke." A soft spoken voice sounded right on Sasuke's ear, the rogue Uchiha feeling a sharp pricking pain on his throat, a small trail of blood leaking from the shallow wound.
To say Sasuke was surprised would be like saying that Tsunade has sizeable breasts, a massive understatement. The rogue Uchiha had no idea how someone, anyone could have possibly gotten that close to him without detection, just the thought of it sent a cold chill down his spine, filling him with a fear almost equivalent to how he used to feel when he thought about Itachi after the massacre.
'That voice, that's definitely Naruto-kun, but why can't I see him? Is he using the hiding with camourflage technique...no, that's impossible, this jutsu is something else entirely, he's not cloaking his visibilty or camourflaging himself, he's literally invisible.' Kabuto thought analytically.
'I'll just have to ask him about it later, more importantly, if he's here, than that must mean that he succeeded...he really defeated Orochimaru-sam...Orochimaru.' Kabuto thought with a mixture of relief, excitement, and dare he say... happiness.
"W-who are you? And how did you sneak up on me...why can't I see you?" Sasuke demanded without a hint of fear, or at least, tried to say without a hint of fear, but his slightly cracking voice betraying him unfortunately.
"I'm surprised you don't recognise my voice, Sasuke. Don't act so scared though, I mean, I'm not going kill you, you spared my life when we fought at the valley three years ago, so I'm going to spare yours today. That will make us even, right, Sasuke?" Naruto said, causing Sasuke's eyes to widen in surprize and realization.
"N-Naruto! You bastard!" Sasuke said angrily.
"Good guess, but there's no need to get riled up, just like there is no need for us to fight right now, after all, we have the same goals...or rather, one of my goals coincidentially just so happens to coincide with one of yours." Narutoreplied casually.
"Unhand me, dobe!" Sasuke demanded arrogantly.
"As you wish." Naruto said, jumping away from the rogue Uchiha and landing next to Kabuto at a relatively safer distance from his former best friend.
"Naruto..." Sasuke said as he turned around to face the blonde Uzumaki, only to find himself staring at thin air.
"Show yourself, dobe, or do I really freighten you that much that you feel you have to hide yourself and fight from the shadows. Are you scared of facing me head on, Dobe?" Sasuke asked condensingly.
"You know, you're quite cocky, for someone that almost died a few seconds ago...for someone that was saved only by my merciful heart." Naruto said as he made himself visible again.
"Whatever, what kind of ninjutsu is that anyway, where did you learn it?" Sasuke demanded.
"Still acting like the world owes you everything I see. But anyway to answer your question, this is a jutsu I learned from my summons, it's a jutsu that requires the ability to harness nature energy from earth itself. It takes a special kind of shinobi to be able to master such a jutsu." Naruto explained, causing Sasuke's eyes to widen slightly in realization.
"You mean to tell me that you're a sage, like Orochimaru? What nonsense! There's no way someone like you, who couldn't even control his own chakra properly, would be able to control nature energy. Even Orochimaru couldn't master that ability. And besides, since when do toads have chameleon like abilities?" Sasuke argued with a heavy dose of irritation, or was it just jealousy?
'There's no way the dobe could have become that powerful in such a short time, it's impossible!' Sasuke thought in denial.
"Oh well, it doesn't matter whether you believe me or not, in fact, I don't really care at all, Sasuke. And by the way, I'm no longer aligned to the toads, I cancelled that summoning contract years ago when I met the chameleons." Naruto explained.
'So he's aligned with chameleons after all.' Sasuke thought to himself.
"Excuse me for the interuption, but why did you cancel the taod summoning Naruto-kun? Why not just sign them both and use them together? After all, the toads are very wise, knowledgeable, and powerful. If you were worried about Jiraiya, well, I'm sure someone as resourceful and powerful as you could have found a way to get rid of him." Kabuto asked curiously and suggestively.
"I'll explain everything to you later on, in fact, I'll explain everything now, before I return to Konoha. Sasuke, you're free to go, Orochimaru is dead, so you don't need to stick around any longer, you can now focus on your mission to eliminate Itachi. And you don't need to worry about Orochimaru taking over your body, I made sure of that." Naruto said neutrally.
"W-what?" Sasuke asked with a look of disbelief.
"Where do you think I was all this time, did you just think that I arrived late because I didn't wake up in time? I was fighting Orochimaru while the rest of team seven followed Kabuto here. Our intention, as in I and Kabuto's intention was for him to lead team seven here so that you can eliminate them. However, that didn't quite workout the way we planned it, team Kakashi managed to escape before you delivered the killing blow thanks to Katsuya." Naruto explained.
"Nevertheless, my other goal was to get rid of Orochimaru and to free you from Orochimaru's grip, so at least that was a success." Naruto said casually.
Sasuke didn't think that he could have been more surprised by his reunion with Naruto. This was totally unexpected, he really didn't expect to their reunion to pan out like this. In fact, he expected Naruto to be even worse than Kakashi and Sakura, to scream, curse, beg, plead, and even cry about everything and especially about his refusal to return to Konoha. But this Naruto was different, Sasuke wasn't hundred percent sure if this wasn't a trick, but he was fairly certain that this Naruto didn't really care if he returned to Konoha or not. And he wasn't sure of this either, but he felt like this Naruto wouldn't hesitate to kill him if he gave him a reason and a chance to.
"Do you really expect me to believe that you killed Orochimaru, you, Uzumaki Naruto, deadlast dobe?" Sasuke asked with an insulted expression.
"Actually, it's common sense Sasuke-kun. Naruto-kun was told to delay Orochimaru in order to keep him occupied and seperated from you until team Kakashi captured you. However, Naruto-kun is now here and Orochimaru is no where to be found. Therefore, one plus one is two...and Orochimaru is dead." Kabuto said as if speaking to a little child, causing a tick mark to appear on Sasuke's forehead.
"Kabuto, weren't you one of Orochimaru's lackeys, weren't you one of his most loyal fanatics? If Orochimaru really is dead...wait a minute...Dobe! What did you mean back than?" Sasuke demanded with a confused expression.
Flashback no Jutsu:
"Where do you think I was all this time, did you just think that I arrived late because I didn't wake up in time? I was fighting Orochimaru while the rest of team seven followed Kabuto here. Our intention, as in I and Kabuto's intention was for him to lead team seven here so that you can eliminate them. However, that didn't quite workout the way we planned it, team Kakashi managed to escape before you delivered the killing blow thanks to Katsuya." Naruto explained
Flashback no Jutsu End
"Oh that's right, you don't know do you? Hahaha, Kabuto and I are friends, very good friends actually. In fact, I consider him as a friend more than I ever thought of you." Naruto said with a sinister smirk, one that was equally matched by Kabuto's own next to Naruto, his glasses gleeming brightly, with the effect of making him look even more menacing than he already did.
"N-no way! Y-you mean to tell me that you two were in on this together from the start?" Sasuke asked in shock.
"You know, I thought that, having spent three years with Orochimaru, you'd be much colder than this. However, you have showed more emotions in the few minutes that I have spent with you than you did the whole time I knew you in Konoha. You've gotten soft...Sasuke." Naruto said patronizingly, causing Sasuke to snarl at the blonde Uzumaki.
"Answer me!" Sasuke shouted irritably.
"No!" Naruto said as his chakra spiked rapidly, freezing the rogue Uchiha in place with his strong and potent chakra, so strong that the earth itself started cracking and breaking apart, a strong breeze washing over the the area.
"I will no longer listen to your demands! I don't owe you anymore explanations, I don't owe you any answers to your questions. And, after sparing you your life today, I no longer owe you anything!" Naruto growled out menacingly.
"This is the current situation. You are alive, and you are free to do as you please. Go and train, get stronger, and kill Itachi, or is your revenge no longer a priority for you? Has your hatred weakened over the years?" Naruto asked retorically, the blonde Uzumaki letting go slightly and regaining control of his wild chakra.
"I will kill Itachi under my own terms and conditions, I don't need anyone to tell me how to do it. Besides, why are you so interested in my goal, why do you want Itachi dead so much?" Sasuke demanded.
"I think you'll have to answer some of his questions Naruto-kun, he's just like a woman sometimes, he just never lets things go. He'll nag you until you feel like cutting through your own throat if he has to." Kabuto said with a mischievious smirk.
"Fine, I'll answer this question only. Sasuke, do you know about Akatsuki?" Naruto asked.
"Of course I do. It's the criminal organisation that Orochimaru used to belong to...that Itachi belongs to!" Sasuke said with disgust at the mere mention of his brother's name.
"Okay, do you know what this organisation is after?" Naruto asked.
"They are after the nine tailed beasts, from the ichibi to the kyubi. That is what they are after. You know that Itachi came to the village looking for me three years ago right, and you can recall that I used a strange power when we fought at the valley of the end don't you?" Naruto asked retorically.
"I see...so that really was the kyubi's power that you used that time after all. You have the kyubi sealed inside of you, and that's why everybody hated you in Konoha. Everything makes a lot more sense now. The fourth Hokage didn't kill the kyubi, he sealed it into a dobe by the name Uzumaki Naruto." Sasuke thought out loud.
"Exactly, so you see, Itachi is the Akatsuki member to which the duty to capture me has been assgned. That's why I have such a vested interest in his death. You and I have the same goal. That is part of the reason that I spared your life, so that you can complete that goal for us." Naruto explained.
"So you're using me, just like Orochimaru!" Sasuke said indignantly.
"Yes, I'm using you!" Naruto said with blunt honestly.
"I'm not your pawn!"
"Wrong! You are very much my pawn, because you have no choice but to be. You want to kill Itachi no matter what it takes, and killing Itachi before he gets to me makes you my pawn!" Naruto said.
"I'll just wait and kill him after he captures you than!" Sasuke retorted.
"What if he fails to capture me? What if I kill him instead? Than what? What happens to your revenge?" Naruto asked retorically.
"Exactly! Don't throw my kindness back at my face, I could have killed you and gone after Itachi myself, instead, I gave you a chance to fulffill you own dreams and ambitions. Stop looking for reasons to fight me, I have no interest in fighting you, I have more important things on my mind, bigger plans, and greater ambitions. And if I'm not mistaken, so do you? You have a clan to rebuild don't you?" Naruto asked.
"This is not over, we will meet again, and when we do, I will kill you...remember that!" Sasuke said as he activated version two cursed seal and flew away.
'The dobe is too strong and unpredictable, If I fight him now I might sustain permanent damage and possibly get killed even. There's no guarantee that I'd win. I can't risk that happening, not until I've killed that man! And than, after that, I'll kill the dobe!' Sasuke thought with determination.
"Do you think he'll be able to kill Itachi, Kabuto?" Naruto asked curiously.
"Oh, I'm sure of it, Sasuke will kill Itachi. You can count on it." Kabuto said with a tone laced with mystery.
"You seem to know something that I might not know about, why don't share some of that information with me?" Naruto asked casually, even though Kabuto knew that it was more of an order/demand than a request.
"It's quite a long story." Kabuto said.
"I figured as much, that's why...kage bunshin no jutsu!" Naruto said with a cross hand seal as another Naruto popped into existence next to him.
"I'm going to have to go back to Konoha and do some damage control. Even if I don't come back with Sasuke, the fact that I killed Orochimaru will be more than enough to distract them from any further inerogation on the matter concerning you and Sasuke's escape."
"I see, so you're gonna have a shadow clone stay behind and listen to my story huh. However...won't Konoha want any proof of Orochimaru's demise?" Kabuto asked curiously.
"I have the Kusanagi now in my possession, I managed to take control of it by pushing Orochimaru's chakra out of the sword during our battle. I am now it's wielder. Is that proof enough for you?" Naruto asked with a small smile.
"I guess it will have to do. But you know, when it comes to knowledge on Konoha and Akatsuki, you can think of me as a pirate's treasure. I don't only have information about Itachi, Sasuke, and the Uchiha Massacre. There are many other secrets that you might want to hear about, especially considering the nature and extent of your ambitions." Kabuto retorted.
"I know that. That is why I am going to leave a shadow clone with you. If I stay myself and listen it will take too long and the people in Konoha will get suspicious. I already learned alot from Sasori's journal, but I want to learn everything from you too. Anyway, we won't be seeing each other for quite a while now. But I'll send word to Uzushiogakura about the latest developments and make sure you and the Oto clan are welcomed and accomodated. My clone will teach you the reverse summoning seal and the code to enter Uzushiogakure when you're done talking. Also, if there are any people in the Oto clan that are worthy, than please try to recruit some for Akakitsune." Naruto instructed.
"Of course, I already have a few people in mind. However, they won't listen to me as I am, it is best that we keep the information about Orochimaru's demise a secret until I have...developed myself so to speak." Kabuto retorted.
"I see, so you want to get stronger first, if the people can acknowledge your power, than they will be more willing to listen to you...to accept you as their leader."
"Precisely." Kabuto answered.
"Okay fine. I'll let you handle this situation at your own discretion. Oh yes, I almost forget, also tell my clone everything that you know about Danzo. He's a dangerous man, but my information on him is limited to what Sasori knew of him. I'd like to hear your side of the story too so that I know how to deal with him when I inevitably encounter him." Naruto ordered.
"Don't worry too much Naruto-kun, by the time I'm done with you, you will know everything there is to know about everyone in the elemental nations, or at least, alot more than anyone else knows." Kabuto said with a confident smile.
"Okay, I will take my leave than. Until we meet again, my friend." Naruto said with a hand on Kabuto's shoulder.
"Until we meet again Naruto-kun...my friend." Kabuto retorted with a serious expression, also placing his right hand on Naruto's shoulder.