Ch.5 Preparation

Danzo sifted in his chair and stared in the dark of the room. Back within the dark was his element, only a single candle gave light to the room allowing him to slightly see. Multiple thoughts ran through his mind, each one trying to unravel this new light that had come to pass. Variables had to be taken in. Different instances, each one trying to destroy the other in a battle for supremacy. A thought, one plan, that was all he needed. But it couldn't fail, not now, not while he was coming so close. The future he had envisioned. It was so close now, he would not fail. 'The past few days have been surprising to say the least. I need to find a way to keep that Naruto brat here or I will have to accelerate my plans. The Uzumaki clan will be a hindrance no more. The Leaf will finally be under my control. I will not have this man ruin me, but first a test.' "Sai!"

On cue a boy appeared before Danzo and bowed before him. His pale skin shined through the darkness of the room. Danzo smiled at the boy "I want you to greet our new guest properly Sai. Record what you can."

Sai nodded and faded back into the dark of the room. Leaving Danzo to gaze at the whipping flame.

"I still don't understand why you threw away all of my ramen!"

"Kid I am sure that some girls love ramen every day of the week, Hinata doesn't seem like one of them."

After the storm passed yesterday Kenshi woke up Hinata and brought her home, when he returned however he certainly wasn't expecting this kind of treatment. Maybe thinking at first that a good 'thank you' or something may be in order but no the kid had to complain about his noodles. This was probably the one thing that got on Kenshi's nerves the most, on how well he attached to that addiction. They walked through the village on the way to Ichiraku's to stock up on Naruto's favorite food. Unfortunately for Kenshi's wallet once more as it was growing surprisingly lighter during his time with Naruto.

Naruto sighed in acceptance "well I guess she isn't that fond of ramen."

"I still have no idea how you messed up making cinnamon buns that bad."

"It was my first time making them, give me a break!"

For a moment Kenshi could have sworn Naruto switched places with his mother, the same naïve attitude towards almost anything. In experience, it would be better just to let the kid off, rather than experience the full wrath that an annoyed Naruto had to offer. "Alright kid , I give you this one."

Naruto smiled as he got Kenshi off his back. Quickly switching the conversation, he figured it was time to get to know some of the people that Naruto had known. "So, tell me about your friends."

Naruto put his hand on his chin, seemingly thinking "well first would be Sasuke and Sakura. Sasuke is a teme who always tries to prove he is better than everyone but even though he tried to leave he is my friend. Sakura has been acting strange this last couple of days, after I returned it is like she is avoiding me or something. And I might have a good idea why."

Kenshi nodded 'might want to have a chat with Sakura later.'

"Kakashi-sensei is cool, even if he is always reading that pervert book of his. Shikamaru and Choji are around the same, they are almost always together and watching clouds or something. Ino who is also on their team has been nice to me these last couple of days as well, more than usual."

'Those four are safe.'

"Asuma-sensei is alright I guess, we haven't really talked along with Kurenai-sensei. Jiraiya is a Sannin but he is nothing but a pervert, not only does he write those books but I caught him peeping on women, more than once. Rock Lee and Might Guy are crazy with training, I once saw them run a hundred laps around the Leaf...on their hands! They are weird but are really dedicated people."

'Huh didn't know he knew the word dedicated.'

"Neji and TenTen are fine. Neji used to be a jerk but after I beat him in the Chunin exams he has been nice to me, don't tell anyone but I am sure they are in a relationship."

'He beat the Hyuga genius! I will have to check onto that.'

"And Kiba and Shino are cool. Kiba is always loud and annoying but Shino is quiet, they don't act like it but they are like brothers."

He looked like he was about to continue but stopped talking for a moment as they continued down the street "uh Naruto? Aren't you forgetting someone?"

"Yah I just don't know how to describe her."

Naruto stopped walking "I mean she is a little weird but in a good way. She never gives up or stops trying. Although a lot of people call her weak she is seriously strong, now that I think about it she is one of the only people who have believed in me from the start."

His thought was cut off from Kenshi's laugh "if I didn't know any better I would say you had a crush."

"Oh, not you too!"

Naruto turned around and faked pouting "alright, Naruto I'm sorry. Come on let's go get your ramen."

Naruto didn't follow but stayed put. Kenshi turned around to see that Naruto hadn't moved "hey are we-."

"I think I will go."

Kenshi's eyes widened as he continued "I want to meet my family, everyone says I should go and I want to, but."

"But what?"

"Even what this village did to me, even through the pain. Well, there are some things that I don't want to leave behind, things that are precious to me."

Kenshi nodded knowing what he was talking about "they will wait, if you give them a reason to, they are your friends. And remember you can bring one person if you wish but the person can't be from this village, maybe Jiraiya. We will go tomorrow."

Naruto nodded as Kenshi stood back up to his full height. Towering slightly above Naruto. "Alright, let's go replenish you addiction for tonight."

Two figures sat at the training grounds. One was hastily eating his food while the other seemed to stare in awe of the other. It was disgusting, horrifying, and amazing at the exact same time. There were almost no words towards Naruto's 'ability'. As the kid finished his fifth container of the food and reached for the next, Kenshi tried to stop the boy. "Don't you ever get full?"

Naruto shook his head as he continued slurping down his food. Absorbing the food within a few seconds. Kenshi smiled at the boy as he downed another container. The forest was devoid of noise, allowing them to enjoy the moment. And that had Kenshi worried. No noise, birds, insects, anything. Something was here, watching them. Before Naruto could even react Kenshi was behind him and a few senbon lay on the ground, seemingly deflected by the angle they were thrown in. And in that angle, towards Naruto's neck. How was Kenshi that fast? The man looked around the area slightly before resting upon one area in the trees "show yourself!"

Naruto stood up and looked at the figure that landed infront of the duo, he was seriously pale and wearing the leather outfit of an ANBU but instead of a animal mask he wore a blank one. It was different, almost no emotions showed from the boy. He spoke in a very monotone voice, barely showing emotion as he bowed respectfully towards the duo. "Hello, my name is Sai, I am here to judge you."

Kenshi sighed "look I rather not kill you infront of Naruto so I will give you this one chance to go. I will count to ten."

Sai pulled out his scroll and paintbrush in a flourish, not wanting to wait tell the man even began counting. "Ninja Art: Super Beast Scroll!"

Sai put brush to scroll as seemingly paintings of war dogs came to life and rushed out of the paper, charging at Kenshi with a murderous intent. The man only shifted slightly to the side as black dogs came charging after him. Only seeming to touch his sword and in an instant they exploded infront of him, back into their ink form. Covering the area infront of the man in a black ink, as if they returned back to art. Kenshi only seemed disappointed, sighing slightly and shaking his head. "Fine, your choice."

Sai grimaced as he wrote again, this time producing a giant hawk. Soaring into the sky quickly and diving back towards the ground Sai stood upon. Leaping upwards, Sai landed on the back of the giant winged creatured and charged after Kenshi with a short sword he had produced from his back in hand. Whatever shall come, whatever shall happen, nothing would allow this mission to fail.

Kenshi sighed, turning to Naruto with an almost saddned look in his eye. He had hoped not to use this jutsu, it was horrifying, even to himself. Maybe the kid shouldn't watch this, it wouldn't give the greatest impression. "Naruto, cover your eyes."

As the child charged with full intent to kill, Kenshi turned towads the hawk. The crimson blade at the ready before the hawk made contact. Naruto quickly covered his eyes, turning all senses away as all of them were filled of the wretched screams of pain. They echoed throughout the forest as Naruto tried to block them out of the mind. This was worse than pain, this was torture. Whatever he was doing, what ever was happening, it was maddening. They stopped as suddenly as they came and he felt a hand placed on his shoulder. Reassuring and comforting, a calm voice echoing into his ear. "You can open them now Naruto."

Slowly, the sense of vision returned to his eyes expecting to see a nightmare. But the forest seemed to have not changed at all. Even Kenshi showed no signs of battle for fatigue, as if the battle hadn't taken place. "What?"

"I drove him off. I scared him a lot but he left."

Quickly standing, Naruto took another look around the area, checking for signs of battle. The ink still stained the area, slightly faded now and turning gray with time. The few senbon still upon the ground where he left them, but as to the battle itself, nothing was there. Either the guy did leave, or something worse happened. Trying to turn the mind away from that thought, he turned to the uncle. "Who was he?"

"I don't know. He didn't have a headband but he was trained in the ninja arts. I haven't seen him before though."

Turning back to the area where the battle once had taken place, Kenshi grimaced a little, this isn't what he needed today. Another unknown, what could possibly be any worse? "Come on, let's go back to the village."

Nodding once again, Naruto followed the silent command of picking up after himself. Collecting all the scattered containers before returning to the armored ninja's side.

Danzo looked at Sai with disgust in his expression. Even with the boy in pain he did not care. Only the mission mattered, and he had failed his master, his savior. What did Sai have to say for himself. The tone of Danzo's voice showed as much, a sense of failure laced on every syllable. "How could you fail me?"

Sai now missing an arm, and a large slash across his stomach showed, he bowed painfully. Barely noticing the state at which the body was in, only his master mattered now, and he was not likely to be happy. Red ooze dripped from the large cut held by the right arm, keeping slight pressure on the wound to stop the bleeding. But as the blood continued to drip, and breathing came as a great pain, Sai continued to show humility. "I am sorry, he was beyond my abilities."

"How so?"

"He was fast, beyond the word actually I don't know how, he seemed to use almost the same technique as the Fourth from what I read, but his style of the jutsu was different. He wasn't releasing much chakra but seemed to use his sword but the problem was, not once in the battle did he unsheathe it, only barely releasing it from his side. Sort of like the style that Mifune wields in the northern Iron lands. He must have been superior in Genjutsu as well, he made me feel fear."

Danzo grimaced "it is no surprise that he knows that jutsu, he was his brother in law, and to make you feel is also quite a feat. How did you lose your arm then?"

"Like I said Lord Danzo he was fast. If he did unsheathe the blade I didn't see him do it. I am sorry I failed you, it won't happen again."

"You are right."

He quickly pulled out Sai's own sword from his back and cut his throat, his body falling on the floor in a pool of his own crimson. Without hesitation, without hatred, he had failed, plain and simple. There was no use for a broken or useless tool. It was a only a matter of time before Sai had run his course, he was never one that would make it far. His brother showed more promise, how unfortunate the other survived. Maybe then the tool wouldn't need to die, and the flaw in the plan would be removed. "If the man saw you again he would capture you Sai. I don't need anyone giving out my secrets so it is better this way. Fu, dispose of the body."

A orange haired nin appeared from the shadow of the room, picking up the boy's body. Removing it from sight before Danzo could gaze at the boy anymore. The pool of crimson still filled the room however, that would need to be dealt with. "You are becoming a problem Kenshi. But no matter, you will not get in my way."

Kenshi stood infront of the Hokage as he gave the report from being attacked. The words flowing easily, and the battle quickly described. Tsunade kept her head in her hands the entire time, it didn't help that she had a hangover when he told her this. After disposing of the addiction the two went to the Hokage, hoping that she could give some light on the situation. But unfortunately for them, she sighed "I'm sorry, I don't have a ninja by that description."

Kenshi nodded, accepting that Tsunade knew just about every ninja on the force. So not recognizing one would be a suspicion, maybe the child belong to another village? But that was sincerely doubtful. Removing that train of thought however, there was another thought on mind. "And on another note Naruto has made his choice, right?"

The blonde nin nodded as he turned back to Tsunade. The voice coming from the child was slightly heavy, still slightly uneasy about this decision but ready anyway. "I am going with him."

She nodded, smiling "good I hope you learn something. How long do you expect to keep him?"

"Maybe until the next Chunin exams."

Making a quick note, she quickly a sheet of paper from her desk, skimming it slightly. "That's not that long away actually only a few weeks."

"Actually no, we sent out word to the other hidden villages, minus the Kumo village for they were the main force in destroying us in the last war but the Sand has agreed to send the message for us. So as to avoid any other conflict the villages proposed a standby on the official Chunin exams so that way we can ready ourselves, and we should be ready in about two years. In the agreement the villages can produce Chunin if absolutely needed. I guess the other villages really want to meet us as well."

"And what would qualify?"

"Well they would have to be skilled first off, but the main reason is that it is not right to ask the villages to only have Genin in their villages that would be wrong. So they made it to where the villages can only appoint a promotion to several nin every time an official exam should start until we are ready. And they their records would have to be looked over by the Kages to see if they are qualified, the other villages have been approached with this and accepted it, do you?"

Putting the calendar away, Tsunade turned her full attention upon the task at hand. "I think that is acceptable. The next exams in two years then will be held in the Leaf."

"When we come back I will give Naruto the option if he wants to register in as a ninja from the Leaf or Whirlpool."

"What, he is a ninja from the Leaf and he will stay that way."

"But if the boy decides to stay with me I am not going to leave him without a status. When he comes with me he will be automatically placed as a Genin. And when the time arrives he can decide for himself, and I am sure that if he changes his mind either way he will still be a Chunin."

Tsunade thought for a moment placing her hands on her forehead. The hangover once again coming back, and with a vengeance. "Has Jiraiya said if he is going to go?"

A large white haired man seemed to faze into the room and laughed, smiling widely, writing into a small book. "I think I will take you up on that offer. Who knows what research I will gain there?"

Before Tsunade could hit the Toad Sage across the Leaf, Kenshi grabbed his shoulder and squeezed, the group shuddering from hearing multiple crunches and cracks from his shoulder as Kenshi spoke. "Jiraiya, I am going to make one thing clear. You are there to help teach Naruto, nothing more and nothing less. If I see you even look at a girl wrong, I will cut off your hands."

He let go of his shoulder as Jiraiya held it in pain, and rolling it slightly. "Yah, hi to you to."

Although Tsunade was glad that Kenshi shut him up she knew that now he was going to be a problem at the hospital. Each time the man visited he seemed to be more trouble than he was worth. Although he was an old friend, he still needed to get out of that habit. If only he could just stay in one place, and not be the self-proclaimed 'hermit' that he was. That would fix a lot more than just one problem actually.

Jiraiya rubbed his shoulder again, feeling the pain move away slightly, the man certainly had a grip. His attention in the conversation returning as Kenshi turned to Naruto. "We will go tomorrow but don't worry about saying goodbye today I will request that your friends meet us at the gate before we go. Now go home, I have some things to discuss with the Hokage."

Naruto nodded and headed out the door, waving back before disappearing into the hallway. Tsunade laughed, a sudden pain rushing to her head as she forgot her slight hangover. "I can't believe how much that gaki listens to you."

"I am his uncle."

Jiraiya rubbed his chin, his eyes suddenly in deep thought "what I still can't wrap my head around his how your clan survived the destruction of the last Whirlpool village."

"Like I said at the council meeting, I will not say how we survived. If we are going to tell you our Kage will tell you personally."

"Who is your Kage? And will he be attending the Chunin exams?"

"Sorry can't say who he is but as to your other question, yes. I will be leading a team and they will be participating in the exams, hopefully with Naruto in the team as well."

"Well it would actually be best if he went as a Whirlpool nin in the exams."

Tsunade turned on Jiraiya but before she could strike he put a hand up, stopping the woman mid-flight. "Sakura and Naruto are far from good terms right now. Sasuke is also in recovery and we don't know if he harbors and ill will towards Naruto so I think it is best for him to do that and if he wants to, he can still be a Chunin in the Leaf."

"As much as I hate to admit it, you are right Jiraiya. But it is still his decision and it is three years away, I will be there to say goodbye but teach the boy well Jiraiya. And keep an eye on him Kenshi."

Kenshi stood tall, his chakra burning bright with a light aura around him "I will not let him out of my sights now that I have found him."

"Then he is yours. Now both of you get out, I have some paper work to do."

Jiraiya laughed as he disappeared from the room, with Kenshi walking out the door. Tsunade sighed as she stared at the stack of infinite paperwork infront of her. Even if the job did come with a lot of perks, sometimes being Hokage isn't what it is cracked up to be.