Sarutobi Hiruzen, the sandaime hokage of konohagukare no sato was a busy man during these grave times. He was the man who had to endure the guilt and pain, from sending his subordinates to their possible deaths, day after day.
He was also the man whom recieved daily reports of how the various battlefields was holding up. During the last 3 weeks he had been working nonstop, as the war in Kiri had taken a drastic change. Reports from Danzo stated that a battle 65 miles inside Kiri's borders had taken place 3 weeks ago, and was thus far the bloodiest one during the second shinobi war.
He couldn't help but feel saddened by the amount of lives lost. They had lost around 250 of their own shinobi, where as Kiri lost around 300 to 400, as well as their main base.
The battle had been dubbed 'The battle of the bloody mist' by everyone who had witnessed the aftermath. It had been a popular name for Kiri for the last previous 10 years, but it was finally official. Kiri was no longer known as just the village hidden in the mist, they had become the bloody mist.
A few good news about this battle of the bloody mist was the sudden halt to the war. Both sides had simply stopped fighting, as if not figuring where the war would go from there. It had taken 5 days for the bloody mist to pull back with half of their forces after making an agreement for a ceasefire, giving the leaf nins a much needed break.
However, not everything was good. Hiruzen's letters from Kiri wasn't only sent by Danzo. Yagura had definitely been spotted, and quite frankly Hiruzen knew it would come to this. Kiri had obviously not been happy when they found out, and thus sent mails concerning the topic of their living weapon.
The battle had been put on halt, yes. However, the war had just begun, although this time it wasn't a battle of blades and jutsus. This time it was politics, and Hiruzen could only smile grimly. This was after all something he specialised in.
Truth be told, he wanted and expected Yagura to rely on his powers at some point. He didn't expect it to be so soon though, but he didn't mind too much.
The rumors of Konoha having a jinchuuriki with control of his powers had spread out wide and far, and since the knowledge of jinchuuriki powers wasn't widespread or known of, it was safe to assume the respect and fear of Konoha had increased.
Jinchuuriki was always a weird and widespread topic. Many people know they can use the bijuu's powers to a certain degree, but that was about it. Most of them would eventually turn insane, and get outright executed, as a new young vessel would be picked.
Nobody expected someone to actually become the so called 'perfect jinchuuriki', but Yagura had thrown that belief straight out of the window. A few people had obviously witnessed the sheer power, and even Hiruzen had witnessed it, and was left in awe.
Yagura was after all only 10 years old, and already in good control. A few years from now, and he might just make a legendary step in history, and transform completely. Hiruzen was only grateful that Yagura seemed like a well behaved person of honor, and wouldn't abuse that kind of power.
It wouldn't surprise him if Yagura was actually capable of a full transformation. He always felt as if Yagura held back somewhat, but he couldn't blame him for that. Practising in the arts of being a jinchuuriki was to say the least, not safe.
Yes, Yagura was obviously making a name for himself out in the world already. Hiruzen had expected as much. The youngest shinobi of the leaf completing a S-rank mission as well, impressing Hiruzen even further.
He gave a pleasant smile as he thought of the young boy thinking back on when he arrived, and his questions if he made the right choice. It was finally now that he could sit back and enjoy that decision. "It was the best decision of the century." He muttered with mirth.
As his thoughts went away from the prodigy that is Yagura, he once again focused on his job. Only this time it would be interesting. He never understood why he liked politics this much, perhaps because nobody would expect this old man to be cunning. He had to admit that subtly defeating your opponent with wisely chosen words was as satisfying as any battle.
Yagura hadn't expected the knowledge of his jinchuuriki status to become so famous this quickly. He was however, relieved that nobody downright feared him, people were more curious than anything in fact. A few people were wary around him, but that was to be expected he supposed.
If this was 19 years into the future, after the kyuubi attack they would have thought differently. But for now he simply enjoyed actually being admired for his abilities, rather than treated as a freak.
He had told Minato as the first person, the conversation had been something Yagura could never have imagined. He realised then and there that the yondaime hokage which he sometimes viewed Minato as, was still only a child.
"Hey Yagura, what was that red cloak and tail technique?" Minato asked.
Yagura remained silent for a while as if figuring the right way to explain the concept of a jinchuuriki. He was quite sure that Minato hadn't practised in the arts of fuinjutsu yet, and downright telling him that a mountain sized turtle was sealed inside him wouldn't do wonders.
"...I suppose you can call it the power of my tenant," Yagura said, confusing Minato further.
"Your tenant? What do you mean by a tenant? I didn't know you had a bloodline limit, if that's the case." Minato said chuckling.
Yagura sighed as he gestured for Minato to follow him as they moved away from their travelling group. "Do you know of the nine bijuus? You know, the tailed beasts ranging from 1 to 9 tails?"
Minato frowned as he nodded, "yeah, everyone knows about that. It is rumored that the kyuubi was a part of Madara's and Hashirama's battle. Some people claim that it was the personal summon of Madara. I personally believe it's a myth though."
Yagura smirked in amusement at that. Kurama would have thrown a fit had he heard someone call him a personal summon, and especially for someone like Madara. "It's not a myth, Minato. This is gonna take some explanation, so please be patient with me, alright?" Minato simply nodded, gesturing for Yagura to continue.
"The reason I know they aren't a myth is because... one of them is sealed inside of me, the sanbi." He said as Minato's eyes widened. "That doesn't mean I am the tailed beast itself. I am the one keeping it in check, holding it in it's prison if you will." Yagura explained.
'I don't like being talked as an object you know, Shorty.'Isobu said definitely pouting by the tone of his voice.
'Sorry Shellster, I don't like doing it either.' Yagura replied mentally frowning.
"So... you basically just used that tailed beast's power at your own will?" Minato asked, almost in childish curiousity.
"...Well, yes, that's one way to put it." Yagura said dumbfounded. Most people would have pointed accusing fingers at him, yelling freak, monster or simply avoided him fearing for their life. Perhaps jinchuuriki wasn't well known in Konoha? Then again, the previous yondaime hokage did marry a jinchuuriki.
"That's so cool!" Minato exclaimed with a bright smile putting Maito Gai to shame, unnerving Yagura slightly.
"...What?" Yagura asked dumbfounded beyond belief.
"What? Come on, it's cool! So how is it? Did you talk with the beast? How was the beast? Can you do other special things with it?" Minato rambled on asking questions here and there.
Yagura could only stare in bewilderment as Minato kept on asking questions. He still couldn't help but smile. At least Minato didn't hate him. He was probably one of the few people to see it as 'cool' and quite frankly, Yagura thought it was quite cool too.
"Well you see..." Yagura started as the two friends and rivals talked about the topic that is a jinchuuriki.
That was three weeks ago, and the news spread wide and far, no doubt because of Minato. Slowly more people began asking him questions about the topic, and Yagura to his huge relief found them to be mostly curious, and not too fearful or detesting him for being what he is.
The change was a welcomed one, as people looked upon him with approval and pride of Konoha's achievements. The topic of a jinchuuriki had become the new topic of discussion amongst the leaf camps.
Yagura found his new fame quite astounding. It didn't matter that he was a chunin, people admired him for his work and effort. The shinobis didn't see him as a chunin either, and quite frankly, everyone knew he was jonin material despite his age. However, to his amusement he had seen Minato work even harder in his already crazy training regime. It was almost heart warming viewing his rival not giving up without a fight.
A few years from now, Minato would start his own legend, that much Yagura was sure of. It still wouldn't hurt pushing him to train harder a bit earlier than expected, because Yagura was clearly being superior at the moment and the perfect hokage candidate, right? Right? If you asked Minato the answear would be 'never'.
Yep. Life was good for Yagura, and he was sure that he would have fun sharing war stories with Minato, and outdo him more than he already had. At least he thought so, until...
"...I'm what?" Yagura asked confused.
"You're being sent home." Danzo replied reluctantly. He didn't like it either, but orders from the hokage was to be followed.
"B-but I still have 3 months left to serve before my break! It's too early!" Yagura hissed. He actually liked it in Kiri at the moment. People respected him, and the war was on a complete stop for the time being. It was nice and quiet.
"Hokage-sama's orders. There's nothing I can do about it." Danzo said, finding a small bit of amusement at Yagura pouting and mutters of senile old men.
"Did he tell the reasoning behind this?" Yagura asked sighing.
"I believe we both know the answear to that. It doesn't take a genius to realise. Your very existence in Kiri is a taunt towards them. Hiruzen probably planned this to happen eventually, and send you home the very moment Kiri located you." Danzo said. "...Although he probably didn't expect it to reach so many ears."
Yagura nodded reluctantly as Danzo smirked. "Besides," Danzo started, "your life would constantly be in danger just by being in the land of water. Assasination attempt after assasination attempt. I'd rather have you return home safely, than lose our living weapon." Yagura glared at the last remark but didn't voice his opinion.
"Fine, I'll be packing then. By your leave."
Minato had been slightly dismayed by the news of Yagura returning home. He swore to have surpassed Yagura the next time they met, and Yagura only grinned mockingly back with a smug reply. "Even with a century to spare Minato, you will never surpass me." Yagura shunshined away before the furious blonde could answear back.
Jiraiya had surprisingly been listening in on the conversation, and promised to teach Minato in the arts of chakra manipulation and fuinjutsu. When Yagura heard that, he smirked, the legend of the yellow flash was already in creation.
That thought only made himself frown. So far he had relied on already common and existing jutsus. He used them expertly, but they weren't special.
The rasengan and hiraishin was ingenious, and something even Yagura would fear. Not much could stand up to the rasengan, he had never witnessed anything that could actually rival it... at that thought, one jutsu came to mind. One jutsu which made him cackle in glee.
The chidori. He didn't know how to use it since he never had a lightning affinity, until now that is. He already knew the theory behind it, which would help out immensely. He smiled sadly as he thought of the man whom created the jutsu. It was very unlikely that Kakashi would even be born as the same person, as the timeline had changed so much already.
Despite those thoughts, he couldn't find any guilt in his upcoming actions. Kakashi was after all the infamous copy nin, whom had stolen over a thousand jutsus. Surely he wouldn't blame him for learning that jutsu.
Perhaps being sent home for 6 months wasn't so bad after all. The thought of sending Minato miles away from him in skill made him smile. Yagura was ready to return home.
The trip home was quite uneventful, considering that it was war time. Usually ambush squads would be placed, or at least some exploding tags would have been planted, but he didn't mind the calm trip.
The trip had taken a little over a week, but the sight of Konoha was still heart warming in a nostalgic way. He would have loved to stay around, check up on the village but he knew duties came first. And besides, he had several months to check up on the village.
He suspected that Hiruzen expected him home soon, since the waiting time was surprisingly short. He barely managed to make his presence known, before the door opened welcoming him in.
Hiruzen hadn't changed much in the last few months, perhaps a few sleepless nights which didn't do good for his wrinkles, but that was one of his charms Yagura supposed.
"Hokage-sama, I'm reporting from duty." Yagura said with a small smile.
Hiruzen mirrored the smile as he chuckled. "I was wondering when you would show up. Your teammates and sensei have been asking about your arrival repeatedly. Apparantly you're growing famous in the world." he said as Yagura sighed out loud.
"Not many 10 year olds can brag about being put in the bingo book." Hiruzen said as Yagura rolled his eyes. 'Except for Kakashi, of course.' Yagura thought dryly.
"Anyhow, it's a welcoming sight with you back. I won't keep you for long though, your payment will be transferred to your account as usual. You'll have a few months for a break. Sakumo might contact you soon, and discuss the amount of months, if not a year you'll be staying here. He recently requested you as his apprentice, just like Jiraiya did with Minato. Will that suit you?" Yagura nodded at that slightly surprised.
"I should also warn you about something concerning Kirigakure." Hiruzen said in a grave tone. "Kiri has sent many letters concering you, which you shouldn't worry about too much, due to me taking care of the paperwork. However, I gave them permission to send a group of negotiators to talk and make a treaty concering you. However, you have nothing to fear about. I'm just warning you, some of your time might be spent in meetings."
Yagura couldn't help but frown at those news. He didn't have any particular experience with these meetings, and the way kiri persisted stubbornly ired him. Nothing to do about it now, he thought with a mental sigh. "I see... by your leave hokage-sama, I need time to think about this." Yagura said.
Hiruzen smiled, "dismissed. Oh, and do watch out for Kushina and Mikoto. Apparantly they have been quite restless since the news of your... status became known." Yagura frowned but nodded with a sigh.
He could have sworn Hiruzen had a hidden meaning by the way he looked at Yagura. Probably that Kushina had been surprised as hell realising her own teammate was a jinchuuriki too. He absently wondered what Mikoto would be thinking about all of this, having two jinchuuriki teammates.
"Will do hokage-sama. I'll see you around." He replied leaving the office room, preparing for a team reunion. He wasn't too afraid, after all Kushina was just like him, if not worse due to having a stronger bijuu. He still wondered if she would tell him.
Yagura had barely spent an hour in his apartment before his door had been slammed open, followed up by a loud roar/scream from two very familiar voices. No doubt the loudest one being Kushina.
He sighed, stepping out to greet his teammates although the sight was an unpleasant one. Yagura couldn't help the twitch of his eyes at the sight of his broken door, which Kushina attempted to repair, key word being attempted.
"Ehem." Yagura said clearing his throat. "Why is my door broken?" He asked in a surprisingly calm manner, although the killing intent was definitely felt by the two kunoichis.
Kushina grinned sheepishly pushing Mikoto towards Yagura, "I can honestly say it was Mikoto's idea. Anyway, who cares about a door, what took you so long turtle boy!"
Yagura raised a eyebrow at that comment. It was better than other nicknames, but it still didn't sit too well with him. "Turtle boy? How original." He said dryly.
Kushina didn't give him the chance at changing the subject and quickly shoved her teammates towards a couch, pulling a chair forth sitting infront of Yagura with a predatory gaze. "Now, spill the beans, what happened!" she all but demanded.
"...I kicked ass? Saved Minato from certain doom? Defeated thousands of jonins, what do you want to know?" he muttered slightly amused and frightened. He could practically feel Mikoto rolling her eyes despite being out of his eye sight.
"You could start off with why people are calling you some sort of turtle transformer." Kushina demanded. Yagura couldn't help but chuckle at the childish explanation and questioning from Kushina.
"Well... you see, I got this turtle in my gut, which obviously means I can turn into a turtle. Hence I'm the turtle boy. Makes sense, no?" Yagura said perfectly imitating Kakashi's eye smile.
The answear served him a punch to the gut, he clearly forgot about Kushina being a hard hitter. "Anyway," Mikoto said changing the subject. "It's nice having you back Yagura, I see you've grown a bit." she said giggling as Kushina smirked. "Still got a ways to go though."
Yagura growled but sighed instead. The jibes didn't bother him too much anymore. "Any other questions?"
"You can start off by explaining clearly, and not mockingly?" Kushina said clearly not satisfied so far.
Yagura sighed running a hand through his hair. "Okay, you know of the nine bijuus?" he asked, they nodded. "Well, I got one of them sealed in my gut. This does not mean I am the bijuu itself! The beast is the sanbi, the three tailed turtle. I can somewhat borrow or take his chakra, call it what you want. The effect is what you have heard of, a somewhat transformation of a turtle and a human. I haven't done a complete transformation yet, and the rumors are probably exaggerated."
Kushina's eyes widened slightly in recognition until they narrowed suspiciously and then back to normal. Yagura didn't know what to make out of it, he chose that moment to glance at Mikoto whose mouth was slightly open in shock. Perfect. She probably thought he was a freak now.
"Does it hurt?" Mikoto asked concerned.
"What?" Yagura replied blinking in confusion.
"Does it hurt? You know... having a bijuu sealed in your gut?" Yagura kept silent for a bit until he sighed.
"No... it doesn't physically hurt. But he can be a pain in the ass, that's for sure. I don't know if physical torture is better than listening to him day in and day out. Did you know he talks while sleeping?" he said chuckling. Mikoto giggled again. Yagura was satisfied that the mood went back to normal again.
"This doesn't change anything between us, right?" he asked hoping for at least Mikoto's understanding. He already knew Kushina would accept him. He noticed how hopeful Kushina was looking at Mikoto as well.
Mikoto nodded with a smile, "of course! We are teammates after all, we look after eachother. Besides, I talked with hokage-sama about it, and he explained it all to me. Apparantly quite a few ninjas asked him as well. You're famous Yagura." She said smirking. "Better watch out for the fangirls these days, Yagura. I heard even the slightly older girls are interested these days."
Yagura raised a eyebrow at that, about to reply but Kushina broke in before. "Fan girls..." she growled, "disgusting beings, Yagura won't ever sink down to their level. Just keep an eye out Yagura, you got our backs if necessary!" she declared fiercely. Yagura chuckled quietly, actually thinking they were joking. He was wrong, but he wouldn't know that yet.
"Well, that's good to hear Kushina. Anyway, I was planning on visiting Sakumo-sensei for some pointers on a jutsu I had in mind. Do you have any idea where I could find h-"
"You just got home from your duty work, and you're already at it again?" Kushina hissed. "I see some things never change, prodigy, anyhow Mikoto and I thought it'd be better catching up. Don't you agree, Yagura?" she asked with a not so calm tone, which Yagura took as a threat, which quite frankly scared him slightly.
In the short amount of time he had known Kushina, he realised a few things about her. She was overprotective of her friends to the point of insanity. She had a fiery temper, and her strength had no rival, Tsunade was a close second though.
"...I agree, how foolish of me to think of training which might just save my life one day. No, no, let's go catch up." He was sure Mikoto caught the sarcasm, unfortunately Kushina wasn't Mikoto.
"Great!" Kushina chirped. "I know this awesome ramen stand which just opened a few weeks ago!"
"Ichiraku?" Yagura all but whispered with a hopeful tone. This caused Kushina to look at him with narrowed eyes. Suspicious.
"How'd you know that?" She asked.
"Rumors spread fast, I guess." He said giving a bright smile, so foreign from his usual stoic face. His smile caused two blushes to appear, not that he noticed anyway, he was always dense like that. "Anyway, let's go then."
It was almost midnight when Yagura reached his apartment once again. He was definitely surprised by some of the updates in Konoha, which was clearly different from Naruto's time.
First of all, Sakumo-sensei wasn't meant to be a father for another 3 years, which had surprised Yagura immensely. Sakumo's wife had been pregnant for two months so far, which was ironic in a way, since Yagura himself had thought of claiming the chidori for himself at that point in time. He really didn't hope this was Kakashi demanding retribution for the chidori theft.
It didn't matter too much to Yagura, he would probably teach the kid a thing or two as repayment to Kakashi one way or another. The name wasn't even decided, or whether if it was a boy or a girl.
Then the other somewhat shocking news regarding Yagura, was the few requests for apprenticeship. Being an apprentice was nothing new to Yagura, since Jiraiya had been Naruto's sensei and master for 3 long years, however that was for many other reasons.
Naruto was a hunted jinchuuriki and needed the training to survive, Yagura was different. He had the skill and dedication to become great, and even seeing few jonins request him as their apprentice was an honor in itself. He wasn't too surprised that Sakumo was one of them, he was after all the person giving him the news in the first place.
Yagura, Mikoto and Kushina had ended the day with a simple sparring session showing eachother several moves and jutsus they recently learned. It had taken a few hours of begging from Kushina and pleading eyes from Mikoto until he couldn't resist, and finally showed them what made him the 'turtle boy' which awed them to no end, and a bit of envy on Kushina's part.
Yagura didn't know if the hopeful or determined face from Kushina after the show was a great sight or not. She really shouldn't go around playing with her jinchuuriki powers, just because he had done so. He was slightly put off that she hadn't told him about Kurama yet, but he knew better than to push her. Kushina was known for having a temper after all.
The last of his thoughts went towards Kiri. He knew that he was on the top of their enemy list, or at least he thought so. He had royally pissed off the mizukage, that much was for sure.
The negotiators travelling to Konoha would arrive soon, probably escorted by Konoha ninjas for safety sake. He was nervous, not really knowing what Kiri's game was. They couldn't demand him back, since he wasn't officially a rogue ninja, and even then they couldn't reclaim them.
There were no rules claiming jinchuurikis to be property of a hidden village. It was more like a unwritten rule, and thus was in no effect.
Kiri was in no possession to reclaim him either, as Konoha held more power than Kiri without a doubt. Which brought Yagura's nervousness. What was Kiri hoping to achieve with this meeting? They would probably negotiate for a trade, but Hiruzen had made it perfectly clear that a trade between shinobi would only be accepted if said shinobi and village agrees.
That only brought one oppourtunity for Kiri. They would try to tempt him into joining Kiri, but how? He wasn't interested in power or wealth, but they obviously didn't know that. Either way, he had a bad feeling about this upcoming meeting, as if a nasty surprise was coming up.
With a frustrated sigh, he turned off the lights and went to sleep.
The next day was spent attempting to locate Sakumo. He was going to talk about his apprenticeship, and hopefully get some pointers on his chidori project. He wanted it to be a surprise and thus decided to hide it from Kushina and Mikoto for the time being.
If there was one thing he had learned from Naruto's memories, and their shared experiences, then it is the fact that almost everyone in Konoha doesn't care about other peoples' privacy, and that was thus how Yagura almost got his head cut off.
He had simply leaped through a window into Sakumo's flat, and a second later had a ninjato hanging by his throat. He was definitely caught off guard, and slightly scared. However, he quickly forgot about his immediate danger as he realised his mistake. He hadn't leaped into just any room, he had by unfortunate bad luck landed in a bedroom with two adults wearing little clothes left to the imagining.
Fighting back a heavy blush, and the immediate urge to shunshin the hell out of there, never to return again, he spoke with his most confident voice he could muster. "S-Sakumo-sensei, y-you wanted to see me?" he said giving a quick glance at the woman next to him, just to look away again. "A-and good day to you miss Hatake, congratulations with the child by the way."
He wasn't surprised by the two heavy glares sent his way, however Sakumo quickly dismissed him, pushing him towards the living room telling him to wait for a few minutes and grab something to eat, while Sakumo went out to contact someone.
Ten minutes later Sakumo returned, with a carefree attitude once again, as if the past episode never happened. Either way, their conversation started off about what apprenticeship entailed. Yagura wasn't surprised by the fact, that Sakumo picked this job due to certain privilegies.
Privilegies such as being able to stay off war duty teaching his apprentice, and thus being able to stay home with his wife and upcoming child. Yagura didn't mind much, although he did feel as a cheap excuse to stay off duty on Sakumo's behalf.
They could stay in Konoha for a maximum of 15 months before returning back to duty, or in case Hiruzen requested or demanded them back on duty. Yep, Sakumo had definitely thought of everything when he thought of apprenticeship.
Either way, their conversation quickly skipped the details of apprenticeship information, and went straight to the training details. Yagura didn't waste time explaining his upcoming project, giving certain pointers and ideas. To Yagura's surprise and pride, Sakumo thought the jutsu sounded like a work of a genius.
"It's genius, nothing short of a work of a genius!" Sakumo praised hearing the details of the project. Yagura felt somewhat guilty at the praise. Hearing those words from his father would make Kakashi so happy, and for Yagura to take that praise... well, he wasn't feeling all too well.
"It reminds me somewhat of a technique from the sandaime raikage," Sakumo commented with a thoughtful expression. "You focus lightning chakra into your palm, rather than your fingers creating a strong piercing effect. The extra defensive layer covering your palm protecting yourself from lightning damage is simply genius. I knew there was more to you than just a hell of a lot of chakra and skill." Sakumo said smiling widely.
Yagura inwardly smirked at the mention of the sandaime raikage. Memories of Naruto beating him thoroughly, during the 4th shinobi war running through his mind. Yagura somewhat mused if the chidori was an imitation of the saikyō no hoko jutsu created by the 3rd raikage. Either way, Kakashi had been a genius, that's for sure.
"I got the idea from the sandaime raikage in fact," Yagura lied. "So, are you up for it? If you're lucky, I might just let you use the jutsu yourself in the near future," Yagura said smirking.
Sakumo chuckled in return, "well... it's my job now, isn't it? And you're just in luck as well. I'm a lightning user myself, which will help greatly in the project. However, I don't want to focus purely on this jutsu project. We have to practise some taijutsu first of all." Yagura's smile faltered abruptly at that.
"Taijutsu...?" Yagura muttered with disdain clear in his voice.
"Come on now Yagura. You can't always rely on your staff." Sakumo scolded, smirking as Yagura pouted. "I made sure you had a proper training partner as well for taijutsu," Sakumo said, smirk never leaving his face. "Come on in Kushina!" Yagura's eyes widened to comical sizes as Kushina stepped inside smirking.
"Kushina is my training partner!?" Yagura spluttered. "Are you insane!? She's the freaking Tsunade reincarnate! I'll be dead by the end of the training session! I, Kenji Yagura hereby decline the offer of becoming Hatake Sakumo's apprentice." He said crossing his arms scowling.
If anything, Kushina's smirk only increased. "Aww, Yagu-chan are you afraid? Perhaps you're right, I should go to Minato for a real challenge." Yagura ignored her, he wasn't going to fall for her tricks.
Sakumo's smirk hadn't faltered for several minutes by now as he joined in on the teasing. "You're probably right Kushina. Minato has the right height after all. Yagura is a bit too short to really succeed at taijutsu." Yagura's eyes twitched, but he wouldn't fall for it.
Sakumo sighed dramatically with a mocking far away look on his face. "I suppose Jiraiya was right after all. Yagura doesn't have what it takes to become a proper shinobi and my apprentice." At this point Yagura couldn't hold back a growl.
"I didn't know turtles growled? I always thought them to be somewhat lazy and carefree. Is that why you aren't taking your shinobi career seriously, Yagura? Are you a little lazy carefree turtle?" Kushina said libs twitching into a smile.
Yagura definitely growled at this point. "Kushina. You, me. Taijutsu, NOW!" He growled stepping out of the apartment ignoring the slapping sound of a highfive in the background.
A few hours later consisting of taijutsu spars, and a result of a severely beat up Yagura with bruises and wounds covering his body, we find the group sitting in the Ichiraku stand.
"I'm actually quite surprised by your taijutsu style Yagura," Sakumo commented. "Your style is... unique, not very sloppy actually. It's like a mix of the academic taijutsu style, my own style and Jiraiya's style if such a thing is even possible."
Yagura simply smirked. Sometimes it did wonders having Kakashi and Jiraiya as senseis. "Coincidence I suppose. Although it wasn't enough to beat Kushina. Then again, Kushina is a natural at taijutsu."
"Just like you are a natural at ninjutsu... and slamming people with a staff I suppose," Kushina commented.
"And Mikoto as a natural at genjutsu... huh, who would of known. The team is really quite balanced all around, huh?" Sakumo said, somewhat with pride.
"Yeah..." Yagura said frowning in deep thought.
"Is something wrong Yagura? You haven't been very talkative lately, well, less than usual." Sakumo asked worriedly.
"It's nothing... hopefully. It's just this whole Kiri ninja business. They are sending over some negotiators within the next few days. Heck, they might as well arrive tonight. I just don't understand it at all Sakumo-sensei. I'm not interested in wealth or power, and I'm pretty sure they know this. Shinobis usually doesn't care much about their economy or wealth, and power... you can't just offer power, that sounds too much like..." Orochimaru. "I don't know. It's just confusing, is all."
"You're worried," Sakumo said.
"Not really. Well, sort of I guess, but I really don't know. Hokage-sama has told me about the details. They can't just simply demand me back to Kiri. The only way for that to happen, is if I actually want to come back. And even then hokage-sama still has to accept the details. I simply don't understand what Kiri wants out of this whole deal?"
Silence took over the ramen stand for a while until Sakumo came up with something. "Maybe they didn't come as a means to get you to return. Perhaps they want something else? Perhaps an alliance of sorts."
"Maybe an arranged marriage?" Kushina commented with a wide smirk. Yagura choked on his food at that suggestion.
"W-what?" Yagura whispered.
"It's a possibility..." Sakumo smirked, "although, I doubt it. Hokage-sama has never agreed to such a deal without the shinobi's agreement." Yagura breathed out in relief at that information. "But perhaps they truly did want something else other than your allegiance Yagura." Sakumo said.
"Perhaps." Yagura said feeling a bit more reassured. "Whatever happens. I'll definitely stay here, it is my home after all." Yagura said, and no sooner had an ANBU appeared behind them all.
"Kenji Yagura?" the masked woman asked in the usual monotone voice famous around ANBU shinobi. A nod from Yagura, and the ANBU handed over a piece of paper. "Information from hokage-sama," and just like that she disappeared.
Yagura quickly opened the piece of paper taking in a deep breath of air. Sakumo and Kushina took the oppourtunity to read over his shoulder as well.
Kirigakure no sato negotiators has arrived at Konoha. You are ordered to particpate in tomorrow's meeting, by your hokage and the Kiri negotiators. A time for this meeting will be decided and delivered at a later time tomorrow.
Prepare for a family reunion, Yagura. I merely sent the letter as an early warning.
Sarutobi Hiruzen – Sandaime hokage.
Yagura raised a eyebrow at the short letter. "Prepare for a family reunion? What the hell is that supposed to mean?" he muttered.
"Who knows? Maybe you have a distant relative coming?" Sakumo said chuckling.
"No... I don't have any relatives. I made sure of it, plenty of times in fact. I asked the mizukage several times and he always denied it, telling me my relatives were dead." Yagura said frowning.
"Well, maybe he didn't mean family reunion as in real family. Perhaps he merely meant family reunion, such as Kiri was your old home and therefore family? You know how hokage-sama is like that. All of Konoha is his family, maybe he thinks Kiri ninjas is sort of family to you?" Kushina said. Yagura and Sakumo nodded at that, it was reasonable after all.
"Either way, good luck with your meeting tomorrow. We will put a stop to training for now, you need to prepare mentally for this meeting I think." Sakumo said as they gave their goodbyes and spread off.
Sarutobi Hiruzen couldn't help but frown at the moment. He had observed with his crystal ball, Yagura's reaction to his letter. Yagura truly didn't have any clue as to who this young woman had been.
Truth be told, Hiruzen was surprised as well. He is also quite worried. The few times he had talked with Yagura, it was clear that Yagura was proud of his family tree. That's what worried him greatly. He didn't know how Yagura would react to seeing such a close relative.
He was sure that Yagura wouldn't leave, but there was no telling how he would take the news. Kenji Hikari, Yagura's sister, was a surprise and it was clear that she desperately wanted to meet her brother. However, that didn't make sense since Yagura didn't know of her very existence.
Kenji Hikari was a mystery, just like Yagura was. It was possibly a family trait he mused. He would have to look up on her details in the future, and figure why on earth Yagura didn't know of her.
Thinking back on the meeting between him and the negotiators he couldn't help but feel a bit nervous, happy and sad. It was clear by the way she acted that she wanted to meet Yagura, and he would bet his hokage hat that the feeling was mutual on Yagura's behalf.
Flashback: 30 minutes.
Hiruzen watched impassively as the Kiri ninjas entered the office, escorted by his ANBU ninjas. The kiri ninjas' weapons and other tools had been taken from them, as well as blocked their chakra. It was necessary, and the Kiri ninjas knew it as well.
There was four of them in total. Three men, looking just as dangerous and ruthless as any other Kiri ninja. Shark looking teeth, unruly hair and several scars. It was a common joke how inhumane Kiri ninjas could look, and behave.
However, the young teen girl standing next to them was anything but ruthless and bad looking. Her hair was a dull brown color, bordering grey almost like Yagura's. It didn't make her look bad at all, her eyes were a deep green almost like Yagura's, just in a green color rather than purple. The only difference would be their height and age. This girl had an average height, rather than Yagura's short height. She had shoulder length hair and looked pleasnt and soft, yet very dangerous.
"Hello gentlemen, and lady." Hiruzen said with a nod of acknowledgement which was mirrored by four bows. "My name is Sarutobi Hiruzen, the hokage of my village."
To Hiruzen's surprise, it wasn't the older men taking the initiative. But the young teen instead. "It is a pleasure to finally meet you hokage-sama," she said politely. "I am Hikari. Kenji Hikari," she said as Hiruzen's eyes widened for a second turning into a neutral expression again. Hiruzen knew by the subtle smirk on her face that she had noticed his reaction.
"And these three men are Hoji, Nobou and Tadao," she said gesturing to her comrades.
"A pleasure to meet you all," Hiruzen said softly. "Hikari-san, are you by any chance related to Yagura?" he asked bluntly.
"Why, yes I am. He is my little brother after all," she said smiling softly, as if it was the first time admitting that to anyone. Hiruzen was surprised either way. "He doesn't know about me though... there was... certain reasons for that," she said scowling.
"I... see," Hiruzen said. "Either way, it is quite late for a meeting, and I'm sure Yagura is needed for this meeting, yes?" at the four nods he continued. "I will send a message to Yagura, although I believe it to be a better idea of continuing this meeting tomorrow when all are refreshed and ready."
Hikari nodded, "um... hokage-sama, I have a personal request." At Hiruzens perplexed look and nod she continued. "Is it... possible for me to meet Yagura before the meeting? As in this evening if possible? I would very much like to meet him," she said in a neutral tone, but it was almost pleading.
Hiruzen frowned as he sighed. "I'm sorry Hikari-san, but I believe you'll have to meet him tomorrow. Village security foremost, and I don't know how Yagura will react to seeing you."
Hikari nodded with a somewhat sad chuckle. "Heh, I suppose our second meeting can only go better than our first one." At the konoha ninjas' confused look she elaborated. "Our first meeting wasn't... very pleasant. It was during the battle of the bloody mist. He sort of beat me," she said blushing in embarassment as the konoha nins smirked. "I didn't quite know it was him, all I saw was his staff and I blamed him for theft."
The konoha ninjas chuckled at that, the tense atmosphere slowly disappearing. "Anyway, I'll meet him tomorrow. I just hope it to be possible for a personal meeting with him. There are certain things I'd like to talk about." Hiruzen nodded at that.
"I'll try and arrange that. Please follow your escorts to your rooms for the night, and we'll talk about this further tomorrow." Hiruzen said as the kiri nins gave him their thanks and left.
Hiruzen sighed, tomorrow would certainly be a interesting event. He only hoped Yagura wouldn't react badly. Never in his life would he think Yagura could cause so much trouble for him, when he was placed in the ninja academy a few years back.
He chuckled at the thought as he locked the office door returning back home. He had a busy day for tomorrow, and the thought of a family reunion on his mind would certainly be interesting.
As he locked the office and returned home for some night's rest. Several inviduals thought of tomorrow's meeting with several thoughts swirling their minds.