DISCLAIMER: I DON'T OWN NARUTO, HINATA DOES
Legacy Part 2
Jounin Exams Arc
Chapter 56 – Problems Arise
## Hidden Tower – Forbidden Forest ##
Both Naruto and Hinata looked up to see a familiar white mask with blue patterns. The man was clad in samurai styled blue armor with white fur adorning his shoulders. "Your room is this way" Blue led Naruto and Hinata deep into the tower and towards the room where they would spend the following days.
Extending his senses, Naruto felt no one nearby. "Where is Hashirama? Is he waiting for Shika's team?" Naruto asked.
"If Shika is that pineapple haired guy that seems bored by everything but seems driven to find what lies behind our masks then no" Tobirama answered sighing. That boy was getting to his nerves, more than that green freak. "What happened to the good old shinobi" Tobirama cried anime tears in his head.
"He went to the valley of the end for a quick stop" Tobirama explained and Naruto raised an eyebrow.
"What for?" Naruto asked.
"Fix his statue" Tobirama groaned while both Naruto and Hinata laughed.
"I figured he wasn't very happy about the fight's collateral damage" Naruto chuckled while Tobirama just shook his head.
"Meh" Tobirama shrugged and looked around for something. "Where is your teammate? The pale faced one?" Tobirama asked and immediately noticed the dark looks on both Naruto and Hinata.
"What happened?" Tobirama sighed, feeling a headache coming around.
"The bastard tried to kill us in our sleep" Naruto gritted his teeth. He still didn't make up his mind on what to do with Sai. On one hand he tried to kill them in their sleep, on the other he was a fellow shinobi of the leaf, albeit a root one.
"Why did I even ask?" Tobirama muttered in his breath, nursing his temples. "Any idea why?" Tobirama asked but Naruto shook his head.
"It happened a couple hours ago and he's currently taking a nap in my dimension. I still haven't had the time to interrogate him" Naruto explained and Tobirama nodded.
"We are here" Tobirama said as they stopped near the door, half way down a long corridor. "I got you to share the bedroom and since Sai is sleeping away then I'll just released the other room to other participants" Tobirama said, opening the door and entering the room.
It was a simple room for lack of better words. A small window provided vision to the forest, a small bed, big enough for both Naruto and Hinata. Next to the bed was a small bed stand and on the wall a dresser. Naruto walked towards a door inside the room and noticed that it lead to a small bathroom.
"Seems good enough" Naruto said and Tobirama nodded and started walking out.
"By the way" Tobirama suddenly said, stopping by the door. "Do you want any help in your training during this month?" Tobirama asked and Naruto looked towards Hinata who shrugged her shoulders and shook her head.
"Guess not. You and Hashirama can focus on Shika's team. They need it more than us" Naruto said and Tobirama nodded walking out.
"What are we supposed to do now?" Hinata asked but Naruto shrugged his shoulders, dropping to the bed, his armor rattling at the action. Naruto closed his eyes but didn't go to sleep. He merely went to a meditative state in order to think about his problems and promises.
## Next Day ##
Naruto groaned as he opened his eyes and noticed it was already morning. He shifted on his head and noticed an empty spot next to him. He blinked and cleared the blurriness to notice that Hinata wasn't in the bed or in the room for that matter. He sat on the bed and noticed a small slip of paper on the stand.
Went for my morning workout
"I wonder why she didn't wake me" Naruto wondered in thought until he heard the door open and saw Hinata walking in. Her clothes were wet and she had sweat running down her face. Even her hair seemed somewhat sticky.
"Morning" Hinata said as she entered the room and noticed Naruto awake.
"Morning" Naruto replied, eyeing Hinata with curiosity. She took out a towel and approached Naruto and gave him a small kiss, making Naruto cringed his nose.
"You stink" Naruto said and Hinata just giggled. "Why did you go out so early?" Naruto asked curious.
"I plan on working on a few techniques today" Hinata replied as she separated from Naruto and started heading towards the shower. Nothing like cold water hammering your sore muscles.
"Want help?" Naruto asked but Hinata quickly turned around.
"No no no" Hinata said wiggling her index finger at him. "These will be my secret jutsus for the tournament" Hinata explained.
"Really?" Naruto asked, raising his eyebrows, his curiosity sparkled. "Can't I get a feel at least?" Naruto innocently asked.
"If they work as I suspect I'll have two more s-rank moves in my repertoire. One defensive and another offensive" Hinata explained and Naruto nodded.
"S-rank?" Naruto asked and Hinata simply nodded.
"What about you? What do you plan on doing today?" Hinata asked.
"Nothing seems appealing" Naruto replied and Hinata smiled as Naruto draped himself on the sheets and dug his head into the pillow. "But anyway…I'm going to Konoha to do a bit of research" Naruto said and Hinata blinked at his words.
"Research?" Hinata asked sweetly and Naruto nodded but when he noticed the dark look she got, his mind suddenly clicked.
"No no no" Naruto waved his hands defensively in front of him. "I mean I'm going to the library on the Senju compound, NOT the hot springs" Naruto quickly replied and sighed in relief as Hinata smiled again.
"*cough* whipped *cough*" Kurama said from his mind, making Naruto chuckle weakly.
"Good boy" Hinata smiled and patted Naruto's head.
"Am I a dog or something" Naruto thought sweat dropping while Kurama was rolling on the floor laughing his ass off. "Maybe I'll talk to Sai as well" Naruto said.
"Let me know how that goes" Hinata said. Naruto nodded and watched as Hinata headed off to the bathroom. Naruto sighed and dropped to the bed again, looking at the ceiling.
"What am I going to do with you" Naruto thoughts wondered towards Sai as Naruto got up and dressed. With a simple Kamui he swirled into his own dimension.
## Naruto's Kamui Dimension ##
Naruto arrived at his dimension and it was the same way he always left it. "What a bleak place" Naruto said as he arrived at his dimension. He never did do much about it with the exception of a wall where he had a few weapons in case he ran out.
The sky was pitch black, there was no wind, no animal's sounds, nothing but silence. His dimension was comprised solely of cement cubes that seemed to hang in the air, all of them separate from each other. There was no sun, no North or South Pole, no up or down.
Naruto walked to the wall he built and noticed the weapons he had. Several fuuma shuriken or for those that don't know, large four-bladed shuriken. Naruto could release them directly from his dimension and into the enemy. His chokuto that he hadn't used in while also hanged on the wall.
But his two main weapons hanged in the middle of it, standing side by side. On the left was the staff that Hagoromo had given him. And on the right was his fan, an heirloom passed down between the heads of the Uchiha Clan until Uchiha Madara had deserted from his clan. Nonetheless it was passed down to Minato and later on to himself.
Naruto shifted his attention towards the final member of his team. Sai was bound by ropes and was staring at him neutrally. "Comfy?" Naruto asked but Sai remained neutral, staring at his soon to be torturer with seemingly dead eyes.
Naruto lost his happy attitude and adopted an equally blank look. Naruto crouched until he remained at eye level with Sai, cold blue eyes staring unflinchingly at Sai. Sai, determined to never lose, stared with equal strength and vigor. Both seemed driven to make the other flinch. Seconds turned into minutes and Naruto got tired and simply stopped the stare and got up. Sai released a breath he didn't even know he was holding.
"You are not going to break me" Sai said and Naruto suddenly turned around.
"Nice to see some participation from you" Naruto replied chuckling as Sai returned to his blank look. "But don't misunderstand me. I have no intention of breaking you" Naruto said and almost laughed when Sai's jaw threatened to drop. It was normal protocol to try and break prisoners for information, even gennin knew that.
"If I wanted to break you I would simply hand you over to Ibiki for some mind play or perhaps drop you at Anko's house" Naruto said chuckling and smiled when he noticed that Sai seemed to shiver at mention of Anko. "Oh yessss" Naruto almost hissed. "When dear Anko-chan was through with you, you would be singing like a canary and be the embodiment of dickless my friend. I've seen some of her patients and it isn't pretty" Naruto explained.
"I mean…have you seen her snakes?" Naruto rhetorically asked. "She has more snake poisons than Konoha has of antidotes and you know how sadistic she can be. Always searching for a…volunteer" Naruto said and noticed Sai's pulse starting to quicken.
"But since I don't any intention of breaking you are safe from them" Naruto said and sighed in relief. "But not from me" Naruto replied, glaring at Sai with his sharingan glowing.
"People always give too much credit to pain" Naruto explained waving his hands dismissively. "It's true that under certain conditions pain can be very persuasive but root agents are supposed to be strong willed, emotion free and have the mindset of perfect soldiers right?" Naruto rhetorically asked.
"I mean" Naruto began dismissively. "You are supposed to feel no fear, no compassion, no love, no regrets and no self-preservation. You are supposed to carry orders to the letter and should your master ask you to slit your throats, you would do so with hesitation" Naruto drawled, getting a sower flavor in his mouth. "I've even heard of a secret medical procedure to disable the nerve clusters on the brain, disabling any feeling of pain whatsoever" Naruto explained.
"I myself am a mind person. No matter what you do to a person's mind they will never physically die. You might turn someone into a vegetable but only happens to amateurs of the mind arts" Naruto began.
"But the thing almost everyone overlooks, even some excellent shinobi like Inoichi is that the mind is not a book, to be opened at will and examined at leisure. Thoughts are not etched on the inside of skulls, to be perused by any invader. The mind is a complex and many-layered thing... It is true, however, that those skilled in the mind arts are able, under certain conditions, to delve into the minds of their victims and to interpret their findings correctly" Naruto explained and noticed a bead of sweat running down Sai's head. (1)
"You can resist of course. Those strong willed always offer some type of resistance towards any invader. However, under the right circumstances and with proper, shall we say…precision? Any mind crumbles" Naruto finished smiling.
"Danzo wants the perfect soldier. Let's see you truly are one then" Naruto said and he sat on the ground, crossing his legs and standing directly in front of Sai. Sai tried to think of anything to help himself. His cursed seal only stopped him of physically talking and therefore not blocked anyone from entering his mind.
The moment Naruto's eyes glowed Sai thought desperately for a counter. His first thoughts were of running away but he was currently wrapped in ropes with chakra disruption seals, making any molding impossible. Sai did the only other thing possible and snapped his eyes lids shut, blocking Naruto's gaze. Sai foolishly let out a sigh of relief until he heard Naruto's chuckle. The problems is that the chuckle came not from the outside, but from inside his own mind…he had been compromised.
(Inside Sai's Mind)
Naruto arrived into Sai's mind and immediately started shifting through the memories. He began with those buried deeper, meaning Sai's oldest memories of his early life.
"Welcome back sir" a woman with brown hair and simple clothes answered. Naruto narrowed his eyes at her since he would recognize her anywhere. She was the nurse in charge of the orphanage of Konoha. He went way back with her back when he still lived in that hell hole of a place.
"I trust you have what I want" the man replied and Naruto chuckled when he noticed him. A man walking with a wooden cane, x-shaped scar on his chin, white bandages across his right eye, Shimura Danzo.
The woman nodded and stepped aside to reveal some black haired and very pale skinned kid hidden behind her back. "Shall we do this somewhere more private?" Danzo asked and the matron nodded, leading Danzo through the cold halls of the orphanage. He stopped near a door and waited for the matron to unlock it.
"HAHAHAHAHA…You will never catch me" Danzo, the matron and the kid turned to the sound spike to see another kid being chased around the orphanage. The kid had spiky blonde hair, deep blue eyes and three whiskers marks on each cheek. Naruto narrowed his eyes when he noticed his younger self appear in the memories of Sai.
"I never realized that Sai went to the same orphanage as me" Naruto mumbled in his thoughts. He didn't remember ever seeing him but apparently he did.
"Go away demon brat" the matron snapped and young Naruto froze in his steps when he heard the matron's voice. He nodded meekly and quickly hurried away from the halls. "I still wonder why Hokage-sama lets him live" the matron sighed, shaking her head while Danzou narrowed his eyes at young Naruto.
"I don't suppose you want to take him as well?" the matron asked somewhat hopefully while Danzou pondered. He could take the Kyuubi brat and make him the perfect tool for the village but he was to high profile for that.
"He will never strive with the amount of hate he receives" Danzou thought before making his decision. "Him I cannot. Hiruzen is to close attached to him" Danzou simply replied.
"A shame"the matron replied and opened the door to reveal four other kids.
"So five in total?" Danzou asked and the matron nodded, walking inside and opening some drawer. She retrieved multiple files and handed them over to Danzou.
"Five is the total we can negotiate. Anymore and the other nurses might notice" the matron replied and Danzou nodded, handing her a small envelope. The matron greedily accepted the package and quickly opened it to reveal a stack of money.
"Do we have a deal?" Danzou asked and the matron quickly nodded her head.
"Alright kids, you are being…adopted by this fine man. Treat him with respect and obey him. Understood?" the matron glared at them and the kids all nodded their heads in acceptance.
"Yes Hitomi-san" the kids chorused together and they were lead away by Danzo.
Naruto shook with rage when he realized that the matron had been selling kids to Danzo. In the aftermath of the Kyuubi's attack seventeen years ago, many people died and the influx of orphans almost broke the orphanage. "It was right for the taking" Naruto muttered and promised to have words with her.
Naruto released the memory and started scavenging for the next one. This time they were in some underground facility. Naruto watched as some Root instructor lined up several kids in a perfect line. All the kids seemed older, around six years old and they already were in perfect stance.
"Next" the instructor ordered and Naruto watched as the pale skinned kid he remembered from the orphanage step forward. "You will be named Sai. Yesterday you didn't exist, today you don't exist, tomorrow you won't exist. Is that clear?" the instructor asked with stern tone.
"Yes" Sai replied with a small smile tugging the corner of his lips.
The instructor reared his hand and backhanded Sai across the face. Sai grunted in pain as he fell to the ground, clutching his bloodied lips. "NO smiles, NO emotions, NO weaknesses. Is THAT clear?" the instructor asked, glaring at the kid on the ground.
"Yes" Sai barely replied through the pain.
"The same goes for the rest of you" the instructor ordered.
"Yes sir" the rest of the kids chorused together.
"Honestly" Naruto said, shaking his head as he let go of the memory and focused on another.
"Happy Birthday!" some grey haired kid yelled, handing Sai some book.
"What's this?" Sai wondered as he lightly shook the package.
"Open it" the grey haired kid said, shaking his head in amusement.
"It's…a sketchbook" Sai's eyes lit up in happiness when he noticed his gift.
"Now I can draw a picture of you and me in here" Sai replied making the grey haired kid blink in confusion. "Thank you Shin-nii-san" Sai yelled as he lunged forward and hugged Shin.
"Then you have to show it to me when it's done. Deal?" Shin asked and Sai quickly nodded in acceptance.
"Never realized he had a brother" Naruto mused. "I don't really understand Danzou's training. The instructor punish any emotion and then these two happily show them" Naruto said out loud as he scanned his memories for the next one.
The scene changed into a desert terrain. Both Sai and Shin were standing face to face in full gear. Danzou was standing in a nearby cliff, watching the two brothers. "I'm ordering the two of you to fight to the death. If by tomorrow one of you isn't dead then I shall kill you both" Danzou ordered and shunshined away.
Naruto watched as the two brothers battled it out, with Shin trying to kill his brother. Sai however surprised Naruto, as he didn't fight back, unwilling to harm his brother. Naruto finally understood Shin's actions when he fell to the ground coughing up blood.
"You are too much gentle to make it out alive" Shin gritted his teeth, struggling to explain.
"Brother" Sai muttered with shocked face.
"But you are the one who will live" Shin said as his eyes started to dim. "You must kill your emotions. Otherwise you won't survive in root and this job will kill you" Shin said and Sai could only nod as tears ran down his face.
"I really wanted to see his finished drawing" These were Shin's final thoughts as he closed his eyes and died.
"What a crappy life" Naruto muttered to himself as he finished reviewing Sai's thoughts. Naruto withdrew from Sai's mind and watched as his hollow eyes regained their black color. Naruto was happy he didn't show him his Rinnegan because he was even more confused on what to do now.
After reviewing Sai's memories he noticed that Sai knew nothing about Danzo's plans. For him, it was a simple mission. Danzo went to the lengths of hiding the mission description until the very last moment. Danzo knew that if Sai had his mission from the gecko, Naruto and Hinata might suspect him and thus compromise the mission.
"Sai" Naruto called but the only sign of acknowledgement was a raised head from Sai. His face may have been neutral but his eyes betrayed him, they showed deep sadness, regret and at some level, acceptance. "Sai, who do you serve?" Naruto asked somewhat curious.
"Lord Dan- *gasp* *gasp*" Sai started but suddenly started shaking and squirming against his bindings. Sai took deep breaths and he started to gasp and his tongue burning, like someone had lit it on fire. Naruto watched as several black markings surrounded his body and Sai suddenly found himself completely frozen, unable to move a single limb, much less even blink.
"A seal" Naruto thought in shock as he watched it spread across Sai's body. Naruto approached him and started rummaging through his memories until he came across the reference to what happened to him. "A simple paralysis seal keyed to Danzo to prevent information leakage" Naruto thought as he kneeled in front of Sai and slowly opened his mouth and pulled his tongue outside to reveal a small black seal, imprinted on the moist tissue.
"Fuin Kai (Seal Release)" Naruto pressed two fingers against the black tattoo and channeled enough chakra to break the seal for good. The seal started sizzling into smoke until nothing remained. As the seal faded away so did the black markings spread across Sai's body, returning him his movement.
"So Danzo is your master correct?" Naruto asked and Sai simply nodded. He realized it was futile to hold against Naruto. He could just rummage through his memories and get every answer he wished in the blink of an eye.
"And who commands Lord Danzo?" Naruto asked.
"Senju Tsunade, the fifth Hokage of the Hidden Leaf Village" Sai replied and Naruto smiled.
"So then, logically, you work and take orders from the leader of the leaf village correct?" Naruto rationalized and Sai nodded.
"And yet you tried to kill me, the Senju Clan Head and Hinata, one, if not the best medic in Konoha" Naruto explained. "What does that mean to a servant of the leaf village?" Naruto asked.
"A traitor" Sai whispered in disbelief. "It was order from my superior" Sai explained.
"Then logic dictates that said superior is a traitor to the leaf correct?" Naruto asked and Sai nodded once again. Sai had betrayed the beliefs he had been trained to die for his whole life. "If you knew that killing us will constitute an act of treason, then why did you chose to do it nonetheless?" Naruto asked and Sai frowned for the first time.
"In Root, you have no name. You have no feelings. You have no past. You have no future. There is only the mission" Sai replied in such tone that suggested that this creed had been engrained deep in his brain.
"That is why you betrayed the leaf. You feel no emotions you don't know the difference between right and wrong. You follow orders without question even if they go against your own beliefs" Naruto explained but Sai remained silent. Naruto approached him and placed two fingers on his forehead. "Don't worry. We will discuss this again when we go back to the leaf. I'm placing you in stasis until then" Naruto said as Sai closed his eyes lids and into deep sleep.
## Senju Compound's Library ##
Naruto arrived at Konoha a few seconds later and made his way towards the library. Since Hinata wasn't there he had to find the biology section but this time for human beings. His jaw nearly dropped at the size of that section of library. Shelves upon shelves ranging from human anatomy, skeletal system, tissue systems, cellular biology.
It completely outshined the biology section on reptiles. It was a testament on how much research had been made on the human body. It shouldn't be surprising after all. Hundreds of people have searched ways to improve and stretch the levels of a human body. To stretch the strength, speed, power in order to create a perfect body, a perfect weapon, a perfect shinobi.
Even though hundreds were researching on how to break these limits, very few actually managed to even dent the barriers. Senju Tsunade for instants, created her seal that drastically improves cellular regeneration on the cost of losing a few years of her life. Cells don't divide indefinitely, they have a limit and when this barrier is stretched beyond their limits, the user's life expectancy diminishes.
Another genius, although crazy, sadistic and with no regard for human life also fitting the description, is Orochimaru. People think is evil and they are right, but neither can refute that he is one of the best medical minds ever born. Like everyone else, Orochimaru searched to stretch the boundaries of the human vessel and came up with his own cursed seal, infusing senjutsu chakra into the user.
But like most people, senjutsu chakra is extremely difficult to control. Of all the shinobi population on earth, there are only six people that can withstand and use senjutsu chakra and of those, a mere three are perfect sages.
Naruto himself was also searching for something similar and while he didn't have the vast knowledge like Tsunade, Hinata or Orochimaru, he had something that neither of them had. He had the Rinnegan and with it, perfect control over Yin and Yang chakra. He didn't need vast knowledge to achieve what he wanted simply because anything he thought, anything he imagined, he could create.
"This is going to take time" Naruto sighed, breaking himself from his thoughts and started searching for the books he wanted.
"Naru-chan? Is that you?" Naruto heard and turned slightly to see Tsunade approaching. "What are you doing here? Aren't you supposed to be in Kumo?" Tsunade asked, confused at the sight of Naruto in the library.
"Just came by to browse for a couple of books. By the way, me and Hinata qualified for the third round" Naruto replied as he continued searching for the books.
"Never doubted you" Tsunade replied smiling, proud of her grandson. "What about Sai and the others?" Tsunade asked and immediately noticed the frown on Naruto's face.
"Shika and the others have yet to finish the second stage and Sai…well, he tried to kill us in our sleep" Naruto said sighing.
"WHAT" Tsunade roared.
"It was mission from Danzo. The whole protect the Senju heir and Kyuubi jinchuuriki was a rouse to hide his true intent" Naruto explained. "I don't know what he attempted to accomplish with having me and Hinata of all people killed"
"When I get my hands on that pale faced freak and his mummy of a master…" Tsunade laughed evilly, cracking her knuckles.
"It wasn't Sai's fault" Naruto simply replied, frowning again.
"Don't tell me you are defending Sai now?" Tsunade asked in near disbelief. Attempted murder of a clan head was the highest level of treason possible, second only to attempts on the hokage himself and carried out immediate execution.
"I searched through his memories as he's just an emotion conditioned tool" Naruto replied sadly. "To him it were just orders, nothing more"
"I have no use for shinobi who are willing to betray their comrades on orders" Tsunade replied and Naruto seemed taken aback by her attitude.
"A bit harsh wouldn't you say?" Naruto asked.
"I could say the same for you. You are not one of showing pity to your enemies either" Tsunade said a bit harshly.
"Like I said, he isn't an enemy, he's a comrade" Naruto forced.
"One that tried to smother you during your sleep" Tsunade huffed in defiance. "What is up with him?" Tsunade thought to herself. Naruto didn't show neither mercy nor pity to his enemies. So what drove him to defend Sai of all people, one that even feel emotions to begin with.
"Just forget it" Naruto waved off the discussion. "We will deal with him when I return from the exams" Naruto said.
"Fine" Tsunade said in reluctance. "What about the old mummy?" Tsunade asked.
"Sai didn't know anything about his plans. Like I said, he was but a tool. Sai didn't even know about his mission until the very last second" Naruto explained. "I don't know what Danzo is playing at but you should keep an eye on him and his activities"
"Don't underestimate me Naru-chan. I may be a medic and a woman but I didn't get chosen for Hokage because of my pretty face" Tsunade explained smiling mischievously. "I always have an eye on him and if you want to know, he's been rather quiet these last few days" Tsunade said.
"I would never dream of underestimating you baa-chan" Naruto replied chuckling.
"So what are you doing up here?" Tsunade asked suspiciously. Naruto didn't come to the library unless he was working on some new technique or something else considering his over powered eyes. Tsunade's eyes roamed around the shelf and noticed the books he had already picked up.
Her blood ran cold he she noticed the exact titles Naruto was picking. Memories buried deep in her head rose for the first time in many years.
"Yo Orochi-baka enough with the books and lets go" a younger, smaller and less wrinkled version of Jiraiya yelled to his other comrade. Orochimaru, who was currently sitting in his chair, countless papers, books and other sketches spread across his table sighed in annoyance.
"I can never get anything done with those two around" Orochimaru thought to himself as he slowly twisted his neck to see Jiraiya waving his hand in a come on motion. Next to him was Tsunade who was leaning against the wall, an annoyed expression in her face.
"Enough with this" Tsunade replied leaving the wall and quickly approaching Orochimaru. She arrived next to him and peeked over his shoulder to find out what exactly he was working on, and what had him so focused.
She noticed sketches on the human nervous system, notes on cellular division and many others spread across the table with no seemingly apparent order to them. She shifted attention and her eyes landed on the books, stockpiled on the table.
'Human Body Biology'
'Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity'
'Mitosis and Meiosis'
'Immortality, Myth or Reality?'
"Orochimaru" Tsunade said looking from the books to the neutral Orochimaru. "You can't be serious" Tsunade said in surprise mixed with shock.
"Maybe, just maybe, there is no purpose in life…" Orochimaru started annoyed that he was constantly interrupted. "but if you linger a while longer in this world, you might discover something of value in it"
"Is that what you think?" Tsunade asked. "That there is no point in being alive?"
"Quite the contrary" Orochimaru chuckled, looking at Tsunade's confused face. "I treasure life more than you know it. Its fear that holds us back from reaching new heights. Why isn't simply immortality the next step in our evolution?" Orochimaru rhetorically asked as he started packing everything up.
"Its human nature that people won't realize the true value of something unless they lose it and I for one do not wish to lose it to begin with" Orochimaru said and he finished packing and turned to Tsunade who had a puzzled face.
"Is this research because of your parents?" Tsunade softly asked and watched as Orochimaru nearly flinched.
"Don't look too much into it. I am merely doing this to my own benefit" Orochimaru said as he walked and Tsunade reluctantly followed.
"Why?" Tsunade seemed unable to stop her mouth from moving.
"I want to obtain all the jutsu and gain a true understanding of everything in this world" Orochimaru said and with that he exited the room.
"Naruto" Tsunade called, leaving behind the affectionate name in order to portray her worries. "You are old enough to make choices on your own" Tsunade started and Naruto looked at Tsunade confused. "I lost a very dear friend to what you are searching for right now. He lost himself in that research and no matter how hard I or Jiraiya tried, he was lost to us. He became so emerged into his research and his final goals that he forsook everything that made him human to begin with"
"You talking about Orochimaru right?" Naruto asked and Tsunade nodded. "I will never became like him" Naruto firmly replied and Tsunade smiled.
"I know that you would never think of becoming like him. I'm just telling you to be careful with what you researching for. It's easy to lose yourself" Tsunade warned and Naruto nodded.
"I have faith though" Tsunade said, placing a hand on his shoulder. "That if anyone can crack the key to it, it will be you" Tsunade smiled and walked off, leaving a very confused and pensive Naruto.
## Meanwhile in Kumo ##
While Naruto was talking with Tsunade, Hinata was working hard on the new techniques she had envisioned. Two more S-ranked level techniques for her repertoire if they worked as she wanted. Currently she was sitting in a small pool of water of her own creation.
She was working on reaching the highest level of water manipulation possible. Several water tentacles raised ever so slowly from the pool and started flailing wildly around her, without even grazing her skin. Hinata opened her eyes and concentrated on her own hand. Her byakugan activated as she refined her control to highest level possible, controlling the water inside her own body.
Her right hand started softening, becoming somewhat translucent and gaining a light blue color. Just has her hand started becoming more and more water like, her control somehow slipped and her hand abruptly regressed to her normal color, although a bit dehydrated.
"Nearly two months on this and I can only do it momentarily" Hinata frowned in thought but she wouldn't give up. Hinata hissed at the pain as she submerged her hand in the pool and surveyed it with her byakugan, checking for any damage she might have caused. Whatever technique she was working on seemed to be highly dangerous. She took a deep breath and was ready to begin again she a loud shout broke her concentration.
When he Hinata heard the scream, she immediately recognized it as Shikamaru's voice. It sound far too desperate than she would have liked it. Hinata immediately dropped her control, splashing water in the ground as she blurred towards the sound of the voice.
To any bystander she was nothing more than a purple blur. Her byakugan blazed to life as he tracked Shikamaru's position to just a few corners away. She nearly gasped as she arrived near his team. His team seemed to have been through hell, their clothes completely ripped to pieces.
With her byakugan she already noticed a few cracked bones in Shikamaru and Lee. They were all dirty, burn marks and even blood splattered across the remaining of their clothes and skin. But the worst of it was Tenten. She was nearly unconscious, using Lee for arm support.
Tenten was nearly dragging her feet through the ground as Lee did his best to carry her but seemed completely spent. Tenten seemed to be hanging by a thread, her left arm was completely missing, cleaved just lower than the shoulder joint. She had some type of tourniquet to hold the blood flow.
While she had seen most type of injuries during her medical training it was the look of complete despair on Shikamaru's face that frightened her.
"Flags?" the Kumo shinobi at the entrance asked.
"OUT OF THE WAY" Shikamaru yelled as he pushed the jounin out of the way just as Hinata rounded the corner and arrived near them.
"Quick…heal her!" Shikamaru stressed as Lee lowered her to the ground, right in the middle of the tower's entrance. Tenten was breathing very harshly and her eye lids were threating to close.
"I need you awake for this Tenten" Hinata said and Tenten managed a small nod. "What happened?" Hinata asked, trying to ascertain the injuries while she perform a quick diagnosis.
"We were ambushed as we arrived here" Shikamaru started as he sat on the ground, exhausted. "She was poisoned by one of those big spiders and we didn't have any antidote. While the poison wasn't immediately deadly we needed you to heal her. As we arrived at the tower we were ambushed by two sand teams" Shikamaru gritted his teeth.
"I was already low on chakra and Tenten was compromised by the poison. Lee was forced to open the gates to fight them. The poison was slowly working and made her a static target for them and you know how good Suna shinobi are with wind jutsus. She caught a Wind Blade that cleaved her arm like it was butter" Shikamaru explained and Hinata nodded.
"Shadow Clone Jutsu" Hinata said as another clone popped into existence and immediately sat on the other side. The Hinata clone was performing a few gashes along Tenten's body, not on vital spots.
"What are you doing?" Shikamaru asked in shock when he saw more cuts appear on Tenten, clearly due Hinata's work.
"The poison is clotting her blood. I need to extract it before I move on" Hinata quickly replied with a look that said to stop distracting her. "If she wasn't a shinobi the poison alone with have finished her long ago"
A very poisonous green liquid started pouring out of the newly made cuts. With her free hand, Hinata made a strange seal and the suction seemed to increase, making Tenten squirm under the pain. With a quick Jyuuken strike to the base of her neck, she was paralyzed from the neck down.
"Sorry Tenten but I can't have you squirming and messing with my work" Hinata replied when Tenten seemed to try and glare at her. "Don't worry, you pull through" Hinata replied smiling at Tenten who sighed in relief. Her Jyuuken strike also disabled the nerve cluster, preventing any pain from going through.
Once the poison was extracted, Hinata performed a quick healing jutsu across her whole body, closing any open wounds. Her hands started glowing white, instead of the traditional healing green. Her hands traveled from her head, along her neck and rib cage, down to her legs and ending on her feet.
"What are you doing?" Lee asked, curious about the different glow he usually saw when he was treated.
"I'm stimulating her bone marrow to vastly increase blood cell production. It's instantaneous unlike the blood replenishing pill. I need her stabilized to heal her arm" Hinata explained as Tenten's breathing seemed to slow as her heart rate also slowed. "Her blood level was dangerously low. A few more minutes and she would have been gone" Hinata explained and Shikamaru sighed in relief.
"It doesn't matter anymore" Tenten whispered but everyone heard her.
"What do you mean by that?" Shikamaru asked.
"I lost my left arm. I'm a cripple and a shinobi one at that" Tenten said with her eyes moist.
"Don't you dare" Shikamaru warned. "We didn't drag you and nearly killed ourselves for you to simply give up. Besides, it's not the end of the world" Shikamaru said, trying to cheer the girl.
"It is for me. I'm not a particular strong shinobi, everything I wanted was to become jounin and I'm not made for a civilian life" Tenten almost yelled.
"ENOUGH" Hinata yelled as she cut the discussion. "Stop talking and pushing your body. Your heart rate is going up again and I don't want to tax your body any more than it already is" Hinata warned and Tenten reluctantly nodded but couldn't help to let out a sob.
"I've been working on a medical technique that might heal you" Hinata smiled warmly.
"Really?" Tenten asked with her hopes rekindled. Hinata nodded her head and Tenten smiled.
"Troublesome. All this fuss when you could have said that earlier" Shikamaru said as he leaned against the wall, nursing his ribcage.
"Please" a snort was heard and everyone attention shifted towards the owner. He had a wide frame, with neck-length black hair, and a bandanna with his village's forehead protector. He wore the standard Iwagakure shinobi uniform, complete with a flak jacket and a shirt having no right sleeve. "Even I know that medics can't heal what doesn't exist" the Iwa shinobi said.
"OUT" Shikamaru said firmly when he noticed Tenten's mood drop again.
"A bunch of tree huggers getting killed in the forest is just too much for me to miss" the shinobi explained, licking his lips in anticipation. Before he could even blink, Shikamaru closed the distance between them and clocked him right between the eyes.
The shinobi stumbled backwards, clutching to his face. "Bastard" he groaned out as he built himself to his full height, trying to intimidate Shikamaru who remained his ground.
"Enough Taiseki" a new voice broke the incoming fight. This voice, although had a harsh tone was clearly female. She had short, black hair and pupil-less, black that are accentuated by her eyelashes running upwards at the corner. Her garb was similar to that of her teammate.
"Fine Kurotsuchi-taicho" Taiseki spat at his team leader. He held a small grudge against Kurotsuchi since she was the granddaughter of the Tsuchikage. Kurotsuchi always had her way, and to make things worse she was stronger than him. Shikamaru sat back down but maintained his eyes on the newly arrived Iwa team.
"He's right though" Kurotsuchi said getting the attention and turning towards Hinata. "Even you can't heal something that doesn't exist" Kurotsuchi said with a feral smile.
"We shall see" Hinata mysteriously replied.
"I thought you didn't want trouble?" Lee asked towards Kurotsuchi who shrugged her shoulders.
"It's hard not to hate any of you, and watching one being crippled for life is to amusing to pass" Kurotsuchi simply said and was interrupted by a small yank of her vest. She turned around to look at her last teammate.
"What's up Ren?" Kurotsuchi asked when she noticed the look of slight apprehension on her teammate. She had long brown-colored hair which she tied in such a fashion as to form a ball on top of her head, using what appears to be a knitting-needle, while two large locks with darkened tips framed the remainder of her face. Her attire consisted of a short sleeveless dress, further adorned by the presence of numerous bandages that encircle various portions of her body, including her waist and thighs.
"M-maybe we shouldn't antagonize them" Ren said, looking wearily at Hinata who was still busy with Tenten.
"What's wrong with you?" Taiseki spat towards her other teammate. While she wasn't strong as him, she was still able to hold her own. What could possibly had her almost stuttering like someone afraid of her own shadow?
"My…aren't you a charmer" Shikamaru muttered beneath his breath but Taiseki heard anyway.
"N-no….stop" Ten almost yelled as she tried to halt Taiseki's advances on Shikamaru.
"You are acting strangely" Kurotsuchi turned to Ren, clearly waiting for an explanation.
"I-It's her" Ren said, pointing towards Hinata. Kurotsuchi raised an eyebrow in confusion but looked towards the Hyuuga girl anyway.
"What about her?" Kurotsuchi asked.
"H-her chakra levels are through the roof. They are way bigger than the Tsuchikage-sama" Ren stuttered.
"Is that it?" Kurotsuchi asked in disbelief. "Because having a high amount of chakra means nothing. Besides, grandpa isn't getting any younger. Even I am almost to his level in chakra reserves, so what is the big deal?" Kurotsuchi asked annoyed at her teammate's actions.
"It's not just her chakra reserves. I can't place it but there is something about her that is strange. You could say it's her presence, it's unnerving" Ren explained and Kurotsuchi just shrugged her shoulders.
"Are you dying anytime soon or not?" Taiseki asked towards Tenten who huffed in defiance. She was feeling much better, whatever Hinata was doing was clearly working very well. "Maybe you need a little help" Taiseki grinned as he stepped forward and Shikamaru jumped to his feet.
Taiseki remained unintimidated and continued walking forward until he felt a hand land on his shoulder and squeeze rather painfully. He hastily turned his head back only to look directly at two blue eyes, staring coldly at the Iwa shinobi, but what caught his attention was the leaf symbol on his forehead protector. "You fuckers keep popping everywhere" Taiseki spat as he wriggled out of Naruto's grasp and swiftly turned around, glaring down at Naruto.
"Now" Naruto began with a smile tugging the corner of his lips. "Why do you have to be so rude?" Naruto asked, amused by the shinobi in front of him. Taiseki was clearly taller than him and with a broader frame, but his attempts at intimidation were ridiculous.
"Look who it is" Taiseki spat. "It's the spawn of the yellow flash. I heard you have quite the sum in the bingo book" Taiseki smirked until he remembered his details. He swiftly turned to the Hyuuga girl on the ground and studied her features. "Now I know why Ren had her panties in a twist. She's Hyuuga Hinata isn't she? Your beloved?" Taiseki smirked and Naruto raised an eyebrow as Hinata let out a quiet chuckle.
"Testosterone spill in aisle nine" Hinata muttered quietly to herself.
"Cute" Taiseki replied towards Hinata cheek remark.
"You will have plenty of time to collect our bounties during the tournament" Naruto said but Taiseki didn't even reply.
"What is this I'm feeling?" Ren thought to herself, her curiosity peeked. She looked towards the blond haired shinobi in front of her and he seemed, for lack of a better word, strange. She wasn't getting any weird vibes from him but she recognized him from the bingo book as an S-ranked shinobi.
It simply wasn't possible for a Kage level shinobi or even any shinobi at all to have no presence at all. It was like he didn't have any chakra at all, he felt like a civilian, and yet here he was, partaking in the jounin exams and standing up to her team's muscle. He had no discernible aura around him, not even a slight waste of chakra.
Feeling the curiosity growing she concentrated and decided to look deeper. She relaxed and extended her senses, using her sensor ability that made her the tracker she was. She picked up a small tune, it seemed like static at first but as she dug deeper the static noise changed into a humming sound, slowly increasing in strength.
Naruto noticed that someone was poking around and ever so slowly turned his head from Taiseki to gaze upon the intruder. He looked somewhat at her confused face, as if trying to solve a puzzle, more specifically Naruto himself. "So she's measuring me" Naruto hummed in thought as he watched her, interested in her reaction.
There was a reason why always had his chakra restrained to his best ability, normal shinobi wouldn't pick him up and neither would sensors unless they concentrated on their target. The reason why he always restrained his chakra was because to some it could be…overwhelming.
The standoff between Naruto and Taiseki immediately came to a stop as both Taiseki and Kurotsuchi turned to the source of the high pitched scream. Ren was the ground shivering, her eyes wide with horror, mouth rigid and open, the fists clenched with blanked knuckles and the nails digging deeply into the palms of her hands.
It was the kind of scream that made your blood run cold. Kurotsuchi immediately rushed her teammate and kneeled besides her. "What's wrong?" Kurotsuchi immediately asked and noticed that Ren was staring at Naruto with glassy eyes, wanting to look away but unable to.
"What did you do to her?" Taiseki shouted as he grabbed Naruto's by his armor and bringing him up to his eye level.
"She took a look at my chakra and that happened" Naruto simply said. "My chakra can be…overwhelming to some, and sensors usually take the full blunt of it" Naruto explained but Taiseki only sneered.
"H-he's a-a m-monster" Ren managed to say, her words intermittent and her state bordering on shock.
"Troublesome" Shikamaru muttered.
"Don't worry about her" Naruto replied as he slowly pushed Taiseki back, freeing himself from his grip. "It was just a shock, she will be fine in a couple of minutes" Naruto explained.
"I don't understand what is so special about you" Kurotsuchi huffed.
"You are not a sensor so unless I start releasing chakra you won't know" Naruto said, shrugging his shoulders. After the whole ordeal with Ren and Naruto things started calming down, although the tension was still palpable.
"I'm fixing your arm now Tenten" Hinata said and Tenten slowly nodded. She watched as Hinata removed the tourniquet and immediately gave a jyuuken strike to the arm, making every muscle contract and stem the blood flow far better than the cloth wrapping.
Naruto kneeled next to Hinata. "I can patch her up discretely" Naruto whispered to Hinata but she shook her head.
"Can't risk it" Hinata replied. "I have been working on a new technique based on this seal that Tsunade-sensei developed" Hinata said pointing to her forehead.
"Now this I want to see" Kurotsuchi arrogantly stepped forward, not enough to be considered a threat, but enough to get a good view what she would do.
The clone in front of Hinata dispelled as the original Hinata gained several purple markings around her face. They radiated from the diamond shaped seal on her forehead, skipping her eyes and down her cheeks. Ren let out a gasp when her aura seemed to sky rocket.
"Senpou (Sage Arts)" Hinata said as she opened her eyes with her byakugan blazing. "Chosoku Saisei no Jutsu (Ultra-Fast Regeneration Technique)" Hinata whispered as she placed her hand at the exact place of the wound. Her hands started glowing deep purple, somehow matching her markings in her face.
Everyone held their breath in expectation of what was to come but neither could anticipate what they would witness. The muscles slowly started ease their stiffness, the arm regained its natural color. The dead pieces of flesh simply fell to the floor making Lee empty his stomach.
Everyone watched in disbelief as a whitish substance started growing out of the remaining portion of arm. It didn't fall to the floor but instead it continued growing outwards, reaching around a foot in length. The white substance started changing form, taking the shape of cylinder with the edge being slightly bigger. Anyone even remotely aware of the human body anatomy would recognized just exactly what the substance was, it was the humerus bone.
Tenten gulped when she saw a new bone sticking out of the flesh of her arm. She felt nothing, not even a tingling sensation but she guessed it was due to the fact she didn't feel her body from the neck down, courtesy of one Senju Hinata.
Since the bone had been regenerated, Hinata took another breath as the purple glow intensified, forcing Tenten to close her eyes due to the proximity. The flesh around the bone seemed to want to stretch but in fact it was multiplying…and rapidly. Several tentacles of flesh burst and wrapped themselves around the bones.
As the flesh grew around the bone, a light rosy layer started covering the red flesh giving it the appearance of a fully functioning arm. Once the flesh had reached the arm joint, two new bones started growing at the same time, almost parallel to each other. They were the radius and ulna bones of the forearm. In the blink of an eye, the muscle covered the bones, being topped by skin.
From the end of the forearm several new bones grew and started manifesting five protuberances. They started extending, each one being covered individually by flesh, thus giving the appearance of a left hand. Everyone had their jaws on the ground as the process finished and the nails finished appearing in her fingers.
Tenten noticed the purple glow lowering and opened her eyes. Her eyes nearly popped out of her skull when she noticed that her arm was just like new. She started looking from her new arm to Hinata rather fast. She opened her mouth to say something but no sound came out.
"That took a lot more from me than I thought" Hinata gasped, taking deep breaths as the purple markings faded away. She got and, feeling light headed, stumbled but was quickly grabbed by Naruto.
"You alright?" Naruto asked, concern in his tone. She had just pulled some serious technique.
"I am" Hinata replied, her breathing stabilizing. "Performing this this jutsu on others is far more demanding than on me" Hinata explained and looked towards Tenten who looked like she was sobbing in happiness.
"You are right" Hinata said, turning towards the Iwa team who had their jaws on the ground. "I can't heal what doesn't exit but…it doesn't mean I can't regrow another one" Hinata replied cheekily.
"I-I…whatever" Taiseki said and went off with his team quickly after him.
"Ready to try your new arm?" Hinata asked and Tenten quickly nodded. Hinata kneeled besides her and fixed her jyuuken strike. Tenten's body seemed to relax from the stiff state. Her new fingers started twitching as Tenten rose her arm into the air. "Just like new right?" Hinata asked and Tenten nodded. Hinata helped Tenten back to her feet and went to deal with Shikamaru and Lee.
"Wow" Tenten whispered, flexing her arm. She couldn't see any visual differences, it felt just like her old one.
"You used this technique like someone who already had practice" Naruto narrowed his eyes. "I hope you aren't doing this if this jutsu has dangerous ramifications for you or the patient"
"Tsunade-sensei technique does cost the user a few year of their life span however mine doesn't. By using senjutsu, I can use that energy to regenerate just about anything, including vital organs without sacrificing life expectancy. I can pretty much heal anyone as long they are still alive and stable enough" Hinata explained and Naruto's mind went back to what he had read.
"Senjutsu" Naruto hummed to himself. "Could that be the answer?...No, if it was then Orochimaru would have discovered it long ago"
## One Week Later – Root Headquarters ##
Danzo was peacefully sipping on this tea, thinking how well his plans were going. If everything went as according to plan, then he would reach his goal within the next three weeks. He was broken from his thoughts when a swirling sound started manifesting itself in front of him.
As the swirling stopped a man with flowing black cloak adorned with red clouds and an orange mask stood in front of Danzo. "You lied to me" Tobi said rather softly.
"I am pretty sure I don't know what you speak of" Danzo replied, opening his single visible eye.
"DON'T PLAY GAMES WITH ME" Tobi shouted, slamming his hand on the metal table. The sound reverberating through Danzo's office. Danzo sighed and noticed a small slip of paper on his table. He carefully picked it up and opened it.
Jounin Exams Tournament Grid
Match 1: Nara Shikamaru vs. Taiseki
Match 2: Senju Naruto vs. Ren
Match 3: Akira vs. Winner of Match 2
Match 4: Senju Hinata vs. Kurotsuchi
Match 5: Rock Lee vs. Tenten
Match 6: Masuyo vs. Sadao
"They are alive?" Danzo asked out loud when he noticed both Naruto and Hinata's name on the tournament grid.
"You are more naïve than I thought Danzo" Tobi spat. "Sending an assassin against hose two…pathetic" Tobi said and Danzo narrowed his eyes at him. "You put a wrench in my plans even further"
"If I remember correctly you asked me to deal with them since you weren't capable of it" Danzo replied in his neutral tone. "Besides, does it matter at this point? They played us both for fools" Danzo said.
"What are you going to do now?" Tobi asked.
"I will continue as planned. I've come too far to simply withdraw" Danzo explained, getting up from his chair, his tea cup falling to the ground.
"I hope you know what you are doing" Tobi warned. "Our plan maintains correct?" Tobi asked and when Danzo nodded he swirled away.
"Dammit" Danzo thought as he called his two servants and went for an adjustment of plans.
"Where the hell is Sai?"
Like it? R&R
Sorry for the delay. Next chapter we start with some action.
Next chapter: Quarter Finals
Description of Legilimency from Harry Potter (I do not own Harry Potter btw…I wish)