"Water Style: Raging Waves!" Yahiko declared his Jutsu as a wave surged forward at the Shadow Clone of Jiraiya.
"Paper Shuriken!" Konan also cried out, and paper in the form of shuriken swirled around her and was sent flying at the Shadow Clone as well.
Last, but not least, Nagato put his hands together and shouted, "Wind Style: Gale Palm!"
Wind rushed forth and aided the water and the paper shuriken. The combined attack aimed at the Shadow Clone with precision and hit him dead on. The Shadow Clone didn't stand a chance, and he popped.
"How was that, sensei?!" Yahiko called out and pumped his fist in the air.
Jiraiya chuckled at the boy's enthusiasm.
"Oho! You can take down my Shadow Clone down now, huh?" Jiraiya walked over to his three beloved students and smiled. The three of them turned to him and smiled back, and Yahiko brought his fist back down. Jiraiya breathed a sigh of relief. "Well then, I can return home now without any worries."
Nagato, Yahiko, and Konan appeared shell-shocked at the sudden news, and the triumphant atmosphere was lost. Jiraiya reiterated his declaration.
"You three are all on your own from here on out!" Jiraiya said while grinning with closed eyes. "You've done a great job these past three years!"
The three orphans from Rain were too shocked and sad to say anything. Even Yahiko began to shed tears, and he always berated Nagato for that! All the while, rain continued to fall down around them, adding to the gloomy atmosphere.
"Heh! Don't cry, Yahiko, or people will call you a coward!" Jiraiya went on, repeating the warning that the boy always gave Nagato. "Konan, you're going to grow up to be a real beauty! I know it. I hope we meet again someday! This land is destitute, so there will be hard times ahead. But from this point forward, you three can change the fate of this land."
As he was saying his parting words, Jiraiya turned around and began walking away. Naturally, the three orphans couldn't accept this farewell, so Nagato and Konan both began to walk in the direction Jiraiya was going, but Konan didn't make it as far as Nagato, who was stopped in his tracks by Jiraiya.
"Nagato… You three have really grown up, wouldn't you agree?"
At last, Nagato managed to find his voice. Frowning, he murmured more to himself than Jiraiya.
"Thank you, Sensei…"
Now, at one time, that would have been the end of that, and the family of Jiraiya, Nagato, Yahiko, and Konan would have been broken up. The three orphans from Rain would have gone on to establish an insurgent group within the Rain Village and eventually earn the attention of Hanzo the Salamander, which would inevitably have led to the death of Yahiko, and start a chain of events that would have shaken the Shinobi World to its very core.
However… in another time, this was not farewell. In another time, Yahiko did not accept Jiraiya-sensei just up and leaving like that. Life in Rain Country was Hell. It was situated precariously between three of the Five Great Nations, and was a constant battleground, ESPECIALLY in wartime. And it didn't help that Hanzo had changed quite drastically from how he once was; he was now very much a tyrant, and a paranoid one at that. Yahiko's dream was to save the Hidden Rain Village and overthrow Hanzo, and he was absolutely ready to die to make that dream a reality, as were Nagato and Konan.
But then the three of them had met Jiraiya, newly christened as one of the Sannin by the very one that they were aiming to overthrow. They had been wary of the man at first, because he was a Leaf Ninja, and the Hidden Leaf had in no way attempted to help quell the fighting in Rain Country. But after three years of living under one roof, Jiraiya had become a father figure for the three orphans, who had known nothing but War for much of their young lives. He was genuinely sorry about all the fighting going on, and he had a similar dream of bringing peace to this accursed Shinobi World. He made them laugh, he comforted them when they wept, and he willingly taught them the skills to become Shinobi. They weren't even from the Land of Fire, and yet he had done all of this for them, like they were his own children.
They knew he would one day return to the Hidden Leaf, though. He had to return to his own home and help his own people. It was wartime, after all. They just didn't expect it to be so soon, nor the fact that they would become this attached to the man. He wasn't just a father figure; he practically WAS their father, at least to the three of them. None of them were related by blood, but that didn't stop them from being a family.
And their father was just going to leave, now that they were able to defend themselves…?
Yahiko used his arm to wipe his tears away and then he clenched his fists.
"No. This isn't the end…!" Yahiko screamed. "He can't just LEAVE!"
Konan and Nagato turned to their friend, surprised by his sudden outburst. Jiraiya was out of earshot.
"Yahiko…" Konan murmured quietly. She didn't want it all to end either, but what choice did they have? She continued, barely above a whisper. "Jiraiya-sensei has to return home… He can't stay idle forever, not when a war is going on…"
Yahiko shook with anger. But he wasn't mad at Konan.
"I KNOW that! So why don't we just follow him home?!"
Nagato and Konan stared at him with gaping mouths. The idea was unheard of, and yet…
"What about your dream, Yahiko?" Nagato questioned his friend. "We were going to bring peace to this land…"
Yahiko nodded emphatically. Turning in the direction that Jiraiya had gone, Yahiko confirmed that was still the plan.
"And we will! But think about it: Jiraiya-sensei also dreams about peace! He can't be the only one in his village like that! We can set up a base and gather supporters from there!"
Nagato remained silent after Yahiko's reasoning. He had a point, but still…
"We can do the same thing here, Yahiko… We're not the only ones tired of the current regime. Could you guarantee that people in the Hidden Leaf would assist us…?" Konan asked when Nagato wouldn't.
That reasoning didn't waver Yahiko's decision in the least. He could be stubborn when he wanted to be.
"Konan, I'm not just doing it for the sake of helping our country anymore… We're not the only ones suffering. I have a feeling that with our efforts, combined with Sensei's, we can bring peace to the world! Besides, hasn't the past three years been the best we've ever lived? Do you really want to give that up?"
Konan looked down dejectedly. She didn't even have to answer that one.
"But what about the Hidden Leaf? How can you know that they'll accept us?" Konan pleaded Yahiko to answer. Nagato awaited his friend's reply.
"Sensei will vouch for us! And even if that won't be enough, I'll be willing to do anything they want, if it'll keep the family together! They want to interrogate me? Fine! If they want compensation for letting us stay in the village, I'll fight to the death for it! Just because we would be living in the Hidden Leaf doesn't mean we would forget about our home here. We will overthrow Hanzo one day, but wouldn't it be great to have Sensei and the Hidden Leaf help us do that? Sensei trusted and helped us even when we weren't from his country, and I'm absolutely certain he'd help fulfill our goal of liberating Rain Country in a heartbeat. It's only fair for us to offer our assistance, too! I don't even want to think of 'us' and 'them' anymore; when we bring about a peaceful world, there certainly won't be any of that!"
All was quiet after Yahiko's speech. When Yahiko's mind was made up, nothing could deter him. And his reasoning made an awful lot of sense. For a while, Nagato had been inwardly debating whether or not to go along with Yahiko's new plan of action, and Yahiko's speech finally convinced him.
"… I will come, too, Yahiko. Sensei has done much for us, and it is only fair to repay him even a little for the three years he lived with us. And you are right; we shouldn't be selfish in bringing peace to just our home…"
Yahiko grinned at his friend and gave him a thumbs up.
"What about you, Konan?" Yahiko asked, turning to his other dear friend.
Konan closed her eyes and bit her lip. There was so much uncertainty, and yet both Yahiko and Nagato were willing to go through with following Jiraiya home, thus leaving theirs. She wanted to wait and think it over, but she knew how rash Yahiko could be. And Nagato was a firm believer in Yahiko's ideals, so…
Smiling tentatively, Konan gave her answer.
"Doesn't look like I have much choice, does it?"
Yahiko laughed joyfully.
"Alright! Let's set out right now!"
… But before he could he got too far, Nagato and Konan reminded him they would need provisions for the journey, just in case. Ten minutes later, the three orphans said farewell to the home that they had come to know for the past three years, and set out. Nagato clutched the keepsake that their Sensei had left behind, his first ever novel, and ran in formation with Konan and Yahiko…
The journey into the Land of Fire was very different for the three orphans of Rain Country. For one, they got to see the sun for much longer than they ever did back home. And for two, the ecology was vastly different. With no ever-present rain, trees and lush grass were allowed to grow freely. Well, more than was allowed back home, anyway.
The three orphans could've easily stopped to admire and appreciate the change in scenery, but they were all too focused on their destination: The Hidden Leaf Village. They hadn't been stopped by border patrol, surprisingly. A battle must have been brewing nearby, or the Leaf Shinobi were sloppy at border patrol.
… Yeah, probably the former.
"How far away is this place?!" Konan called out as the three kept running nonstop.
Yahiko laughed heartily.
"The Land of Fire is bigger than our little country, Konan! Just relax! We'll reach it eventually."
Konan sent the orange-haired boy a deadpan look, but didn't dignify him with a retort. Nagato wordlessly watched the two as they darted along the road. Konan did have a point; they really should have looked at a map. For all they knew, the Hidden Leaf was days away, and they had passed Jiraiya a long way back.
But then again, Jiraiya-sensei would've noticed them if they did. Besides, they'd only been running at a decent pace for five hours. Jiraiya wouldn't stop to take a break yet… probably. There was always the possibility they passed him and just missed him; he was more trained in the Shinobi Arts, after all.
Pushing thoughts of Jiraiya-sensei to the back of his mind, Nagato's thoughts drifted to the Hidden Leaf. What would it be like? What would the people be like? Truth be told, Nagato still had some concerns about this little change in plans. Yahiko was very convincing with his speech, but it was also true that Leaf Shinobi killed his parents, believing them to be Shinobi themselves. No matter how strong the Hidden Leaf was, the people there could still make mistakes, just like anywhere else. It was highly possible that they could be perceived as spies upon reaching the village.
Nagato shook his head to clear away the doubts. Everything would be fine. It might be a little tough at first, but they would adjust. No doubt about it.
But still Nagato wondered as they raced along the dirt path…
Needless to say, Nagato's doubts resurfaced once the three orphans reached the front gate of the Leaf Village.
"Halt! Stat your names, ranks, and intentions!" A man in a green Chunin vest shouted at the three wayward children.
The three tensed but swiftly obeyed.
"My name's Yahiko and these are my friends Nagato and Konan! We're from the Hidden Rain Village, but we hold no Shinobi Rank… Um… Oh, and we're here because Jiraiya-sensei finally returned home, and we didn't want to leave him…" Yahiko finished off kind of weakly.
The two Chunin on front gate duty listened to Yahiko's introduction, but didn't appear as if they believed a word of it.
"… I think you three better come with me to see Lord Hokage…" The same Chunin spoke and stood up. Moving outside of the small booth, the Chunin motioned for them to follow him.
Hesitantly, the three orphans followed the Chunin. The Hokage was the leader of the Leaf Village, and they were nervous about meeting with him without seeing Jiraiya again first. But if they attempted to flee and find Jiraiya on their own, their actions could land them in prison. Also, they were only trained to defend themselves. If they attacked Leaf Shinobi, it would reflect badly on Jiraiya, and the three children didn't wish for that to happen.
Perhaps they should have thought a little more before checking in at the gate. Sneaking into the village would have been deemed suspicious, but would it really have been more of a hassle? Yahiko wondered a bit at this.
"So, you three are from the Hidden Rain Village, hmm?" Hiruzen Sarutobi puffed on his pipe and casually clasped his hands together on his desk as he sat behind it. His piercing eyes gave each orphan a thorough glance. They seemed harmless, but you could never be too careful.
"That's right!" Yahiko took a step forward, but an ANBU bodyguard held up his hand for the boy to stop. "Jiraiya-sensei trained us for three years, and then just left us! We wanna live here with him! Those three years were the best of our lives!"
Konan and Nagato shot Yahiko curious glances. True, he was at liberty to admit all this, and he was probably obligated to. But did he really need to make them sound so desperate?
Hiruzen frowned and leaned back, setting the pipe on his desk.
"Do you have any way to authenticate your story?" Hiruzen calmly asked. It was true that Jiraiya wrote back to him constantly about three orphans for the past three years, but never reveal what you know to the potential enemy.
Yahiko, Nagato, and Konan shared looks between one another. They could easily request that Jiraiya be summoned to authenticate their story, but each one felt that wasn't the right thing to do in this situation. Not yet. They communicated that gut feeling to each other through their eyes, but they were back at square one. How to go about proving that their story was true?
Nagato's eyes dawned with realization, and he reached into his cloak. An action that provoked the ANBU to clutch his tanto in anticipation for an attack on the Hokage. Hiruzen motioned for the ANBU to stand down, and Nagato pulled out Jiraiya's first novel: Tales of the Gutsy Ninja. Hiruzen beckoned him forward, and Nagato stepped forward to place the book on the Hokage's desk. Then he stepped back in line with Yahiko and Konan.
Hiruzen hummed thoughtfully as he skimmed through the book. The book was definitely in his student's handwriting, but Hiruzen couldn't recall Jiraiya ever writing a book. Turning to the back cover, he read the little note about the author, and what inspired him to write the book.
With a weary sigh, the Hokage nodded gravely.
"Summon Jiraiya here at once."
Another ANBU that was outside one of the windows shunshined away to do just what the Hokage ordered. The Hokage resumed skimming the book, but he eased the orphans' fears a little.
"I can certainly tell that this is my student's handiwork…" Smirking at their shocked faces, Hiruzen continued. "It's not his usual style, but it's most definitely his handwriting. And the author's note seems to indicate that it is him who wrote the book, as no enemy Shinobi should have knowledge of his personal information… However… We just need to eliminate any doubt. Jiraiya should be all the confirmation I need; he is eccentric, but I would trust him with my life."
A few minutes later, the ANBU shunshined back, and Jiraiya entered the Hokage's office through one of the windows.
"I came as soon as I got your summons… What's up… sensei…?" Jiraiya trailed off weakly as he gazed at the three youth before him once again.
Hiruzen chuckled at his student's shock. But he answered back in a serious tone.
"These three seem to know you, Jiraiya… Do you care to confirm if this is true?"
Jiraiya rubbed his eyes and then attempted to dispel a Genjutsu, in case one was indeed active. But the three orphans were still there.
"You… but… how? Why? Nagato, Konan, Yahiko, I thought you were going to liberate the Rain Village! You don't need me anymore!"
Yahiko was the one to step forward this time.
"Sensei… You were our father for three years, how could you possibly think that we would simply let you walk away?!"
Jiraiya stuttered profusely. But then he sighed. He had to confess to himself that he felt a similar, close connection with each orphan.
"I can't go back with you… I'm sorry. I want to with all my heart, but…"
Yahiko grinned cheekily at Sensei.
"Good! 'Cause we're movin' in with you!"
Cue the sputtering once more.
"But… how… How are you going to achieve your dream here?!"
Nagato stepped forward one more time.
"Sensei, you made us realize that there are more hurting people out there than just us in the Hidden Rain. We want to combine our world peace efforts with yours, and bring about a better world! We will liberate the Hidden Rain, but first we want to repay you for all you did for us!"
Konan stepped forward at last.
"Please, Sensei…?" Konan asked with pleading eyes. Jiraiya never could resist those eyes.
Jiraiya was still sputtering when Hiruzen spoke up again and chuckled.
"It seems you have a family that doesn't want to part with you, Jiraiya… I am happy for you. I will bring this before the council and make it official: Yahiko, Konan, and Nagato will be granted citizenship here in the Hidden Leaf. And if they so choose, they may take the Genin Test. We will see if what you have taught them will be enough for them to become loyal Shinobi of the Leaf. And if not, remedial classes may be taken at their leisure. I would hate to dismiss such passionate students, Jiraiya…"
Jiraiya blinked surprisingly, but then gave the Hokage a grave look.
"But if you take it before the council…"
Hiruzen held up his hand and Jiraiya ceased talking.
"Leave it to me, Jiraiya. I will not let the council turn away these three. They have no doubt seen much while living in the Hidden Rain Village… perhaps too much. They will be placed with you for the time being, as I cannot guarantee them other residence at this point in time."
Nagato, Yahiko, and Konan smiled, relieved. Hiruzen dismissed them, and Jiraiya numbly led them to his abode. This was just too much for him…
"Okay, now that the written exam is over, we move on to the Taijutsu portion of the exam."
The next day, Yahiko, Konan, and Nagato had woken up early to go and take the Genin Exam. Because they hadn't taken part in the Academy's curriculum, they had to be tested in everything in order to ascertain where they were at. The orphans weren't so educated on history of the Hidden Leaf, but they answered what they could, including practical knowledge. And now the rest of the exam would be demonstrating that practical knowledge.
Naturally, the Taijutsu that the orphans did learn wasn't the basic Academy style, and so the proctors for that portion of the exam were in for a shock when the orphans actually managed to land blows on them.
Nagato winced as Yahiko delivered a swift blow to the back of one Chunin's neck after getting behind him with astonishing speed. Oh, the Chunin got back up, but if that had been a real battle, the Chunin could very well have been killed for underestimating the enemy.
"You're going too easy on me, sir! C'mon!"
The Chunin grumbled and got back up. Dusting himself off, the Chunin shook his head.
"I've seen all that I need to see from you. Your fighting style is unorthodox for a beginner, let alone a Genin, but I suppose that's what you get when you learn from Jiraiya, and not from the Academy. Next!"
Konan was up next, and she, too, throttled her opponent. Jiraiya had made sure to drill Taijutsu into all three orphans hard. Ninjutsu wouldn't always work, and Taijutsu would serve as an excellent last line of defense. None of the three chose to specialize in Taijutsu, Genjutsu, or Ninjutsu, even if Yahiko was particularly skilled in Taijutsu. Their reasoning was that if they ran into an enemy Shinobi that knew how to counteract their specialties, then they could be beaten with ease.
And so, the three orphans made sure to train in Ninjutsu, Genjutsu, and Taijutsu. Jiraiya approved of their training method, even if he himself was bad at Genjutsu. Still, he told them what he could about Genjutsu, and had even brought in the Toads to help tutor them in the arts of Genjutsu. Nagato was curious about summonings, but Jiraiya told him, at the time, that he wasn't ready to sign a Summoning Contract yet, too inexperienced. Well, it appeared that he would be able to learn it from Jiraiya at a later date now.
After Nagato put his opponent through the wringer, the three passed the Taijutsu portion of the Genin Exam with flying colors. Next up was the Clone technique, and then they had to demonstrate their accuracy with shuriken.
Finally, after several more tests, the three orphans from the Rain Village had demonstrated their worth as Genin of the Leaf Village. Jiraiya had trained them quite efficiently in three years. Granted, they were only Genin, though. They had the potential to be of higher rank, particularly Nagato, but due to politics, they would rise up through the ranks the traditional way. They would work hard in the years to come to prove their worth to the Hokage, the Leaf Village, and the Land of Fire.
Unfortunately, because Jiraiya already had his own team of Genin, they were unable to train under him beyond getting the occasional pointer from him. Still, the Third Hokage showed compassion on them… and had them placed under Tsunade's tutelage. Tsunade was not amused, as she had quite recently lost her loved ones, but she reluctantly obeyed the will of the Hokage and became a Jonin Sensei.
But as soon as they had made Chunin, she was GONE, no ifs, ands, or buts about it.
"Put some back into it, brats!" Tsunade barked.
"Yeah, Konan, put some back into it!"
Konan smirked and shook her head from the branch she was perched upon. She'd already gotten the tree-walking exercise down pat. Nagato had it down, but it needed a little more finesse, so he was still practicing. Yahiko, on the other hand…
"Yahiko, that's enough slacking off! Get back to it!" Tsunade addressed Yahiko.
Yahiko grumbled and returned to failing miserably at the exercise. Meanwhile, Nagato had his way up to the tree branch that Konan was on and sat next to her to take a breather. Contrary to Yahiko, Nagato hadn't stopped practicing since starting in the wee hours of the morning. He was bushed, to say the least.
"Good job, Nagato!" Konan told her friend and beamed at him.
Nagato rubbed the back of his head sheepishly and watched Yahiko run at a tree, make five steps up it, and fall back down.
"Thanks… But it still needs finessing… You seem to have perfect Chakra Control, Konan…"
Konan nodded astutely and turned her attention back to their frustrated friend below.
"Tsunade-sensei wants to start me on water-walking today… I'm sure she'd be fine with starting you on it, too, since you've been working hard…"
Nagato rubbed his chin.
"Well, I'll give it a shot, but I hear that water-walking requires more precise Chakra Control. I'm not too bad at tree-walking, but I'll probably seem really bad at water-walking…"
"I'm sure you'll do fine, Nagato… Don't sell yourself short."
Nagato shrugged nonchalantly, and the two watched their friend in silence. They would help and give him pointers, but Tsunade forbade that. Konan and Nagato both managed the exercise on their own, so it was only fair for Yahiko to work it out on his own.
Tsunade gave Nagato a breather before making her next announcement.
"Alright, since Nagato and Konan seem to be adequate at the exercise, I'm going to move them on to water-walking. Yahiko, I'll be checking on you in a little bit. Don't slack off; I WILL know."
Yahiko grinned nervously as his Sensei shot him a warning glance before motioning for Konan and Nagato to follow her. However, before Nagato left, he made a hand seal and made a Shadow Clone. It was true that they were only Genin, but Jiraiya thought Nagato could handle the Jonin-level technique, because he possessed the Rinnegan. And it was a smashing success; Nagato's chakra reserves were unreal. Nagato could create more Shadow Clones than anyone else in the village by a long shot. And that was SHADOW CLONES, not the typical Clone.
Nagato didn't need to explain to his Shadow Clone what he wanted him to do, so Nagato took off after Konan and Tsunade-sensei after making the Shadow Clone, so as to not arouse suspicion.
The Shadow Clone of Nagato made his way over to the orange-haired boy, who was panting on the ground.
"Knew YOU wouldn't abandon me, Nagato!" Yahiko giggled gleefully.
The Shadow Clone rolled his eyes and folded his arms across his chest.
"Perform the exercise, and I'll tell you what you're doing wrong. My Dojutsu might not work like the Sharingan or the Byakugan in seeing Chakra flow, but I know the telltale signs of any mistakes you might make."
Yahiko nodded and attempted to ascend the tree again, making six steps up this time.
"Well? What's the verdict?" Yahiko eagerly asked, once more flat on the ground.
Nagato looked up the tree in contemplation, hiding his small grin as best as he could. Oh, he knew exactly where Yahiko went wrong; Nagato didn't even need that demonstration to prove it. Secretly, Nagato got a laugh out of seeing Yahiko scale the tree and fall down, but it was all in good fun, and not because he enjoyed watching Yahiko fail.
"…" Nagato considered his advice carefully. The reason Tsunade-sensei didn't want them to help each other with this exercise was because they couldn't be babied for their whole career, and getting that lesson drilled into their head now would help them out in the long run. Naturally they were supposed to trust in their allies to cover their backs, but they shouldn't DEPEND on their allies so they could make rash mistakes. "… Observe the tree. That is all I will tell you, Yahiko."
"Whaaat? C'mon, Nagato! What'm I doing wrong?!" Yahiko whined, staring up at his crimson-haired friend.
The Shadow Clone shook his head and dispelled. Yahiko would work it out.
Yahiko twitched at his friend's seemingly unwillingness to help. Seriously. 'Observe the tree'? What the heck was that supposed to mean?! Nagato could've gone into more detail than THAT!
Growling, Yahiko stood up and dusted himself off. Looking up at the tree, all Yahiko could see were the indentations of his footprints. That was typical, right? Turning to the tree that Konan had scaled on her first try, Yahiko was surprised to see no footprints on the tree.
Ah. The footprints weren't supposed to be there. So what did that mean?
"… Too much Chakra?" Yahiko took a stab in the dark. No one answered, of course. He was all by himself, now. Sighing, he got back to work, but this time struggling to put less Chakra into his feet.
At least he managed ten steps up the tree this time. He wasn't even a quarter of the way up, but still… Progress is progress.
Yahiko thought to himself appreciatively, and vowed to repay Nagato later. He still owed Nagato his life for that incident back then, and Yahiko always repaid his debts… Well, at least he INTENDED to.
This concludes the Prologue… I actually did this up weeks ago, and really didn't intend to publish this for a while, but a friend of mine liked it, and insisted that I at least release this as a Pilot. Truth be told, this Prologue was just a way to make my main idea plausible, but it was inspired by Twilight of the Thunder God by Fenrir of the Shadows. You'll learn what the 'main idea' is at a later date; this is just the tip of the iceberg, really. Honestly, all I'd like is for you guys to tell me how this is; what could be improved, what you liked, if anything, etc. This is an experiment, pretty much. I'm intrigued by the thought of Nagato, Yahiko, and Konan moving to the Leaf Village and living there, and so I thought I'd try writing that out for my first attempt at Naruto fanfiction. This story will follow Nagato, Yahiko, and Konan as they live in the Leaf Village, and illustrate just how much change they will bring about. Will the Uchiha Massacre still happen? How will the Third Shinobi World War pan out? Will 'Tobi' still be plotting behind the scenes? For every blessing there will be a curse; just because Nagato, Yahiko, and Konan will be among the protectors of the Leaf Village, doesn't mean that the Leaf Village's threats will dwindle. When this story gets going, several possibilities will be explored, and I intend to enjoy the ride. I'm pretty nervous about writing for Naruto, because I might not be too adept at it, but that will be up to you guys to decide how I am. Future Chapters will be epically long, so you don't have to worry about them being this short. Like I said, this is more or less an experiment.
For those who read JCA:A, don't worry, I haven't given up. Life happened, and I'm still struggling with writing the next chapter, but I will get it out soon. I promise, guys…