The First Namikaze
Yo! Here with another updated chapter.
"Katon" – Regular Speech
'Suiton' – Thought/Flashback Speech
'Raiton' – Demon/Summon Speech
"Doton" – Jutsu Speech
Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto.
It had been a few days already since both Naruto and Tōka had left the Senju compound in the dead of night. They were currently walking at a sedate pace inside of a forest.
"So...do you know where we are going, Naruto?" queried the female companion. She had been quiet for most of their journey, and only spoke when necessary. She eyed the armor she had given him and was admiring what he had done to it.
When she had first given it to him, it was bland and ugly, his words not hers. She had watched, amazed at how resourceful he was. Taking two different colored flowers, pealing the petals, and then heating them up so they melted, mixing together to create another color; orange. When she asked him why that color, he said "I don't know, I just like the color." so she left it at that. She would have told him something had the color been vibrant but he had made it so it was more of a darkish color, it contrasted well with her azure colored armor.
"I was just going to follow this road and hoped it took us to a small settlement, and then go from there." he replied. He turned back to her, "Why, do you have a place in mind?"
She sighed, feeling like she was dealing with a mix of both her brothers, smart yet naive. His answer was straight to the point, which she liked, but it held no direction for them or their goals.
"We are currently in Hi no Kuni(Land of Fire), and are heading east, towards the coast." she explained to him. "We could keep this route or go west or north. It matters little to me."
He was impressed with her knowledge of the lands. "How do you know so much about these lands?"
"My clan is used often for mercenary work, and we had to be knowledgeable about the people who contracted us and where they lived." she explained a bit about her family. "Information is a shinobi' greatest tool."
He agreed wholeheartedly with her on the latter of her statement. "Agreed. For now, we continue down our current route." She nodded her head in consent.
They settled back into a comfortable silence, until the blonde broke it. "So, tell me a bit about yourself, Tōka. We haven't really gotten to know one another since we first met, and since we're going to be traveling companions, then I figure we should be more familiar with one another."
She thought about it and his logic was sound. "You already know my name and one of my goals."
"You have another?"
She nodded. "Yes. I want to be the best there ever has, is, or ever will be in genjutsu." she replied. "I also know some ninjutsu, and my favorite food is peaches. I hate rapists, arrogance, and those who look down on kunoichi." Since she had stopped talking, he figured it was okay to talk.
"You already know my name, I have no siblings. I have experience in many ninja arts, my favorite food is ramen, and I have one goal at the moment." he said darkly. "I'm going to find the people who killed my mother and kill them." Tōka mentally sighed.
"Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to vengeance. Vengeance leads to suffering."
Naruto stopped and whirled back around, facing her. "Then what are you suggesting? That I forget this ever happened?" he said, an edge in his voice.
"No, that's not what I'm saying. I agree with you killing them, but it should not be your end goal. What then happens when you complete your task?"
He settled down. "Then what do you suggest?" he genuinely asked. She had been correct, he had no other goal after he set out to accomplish the first.
"I don't know. Become the strongest shinobi under the sun, find love, create new techniques." she listed off a few suggestions. "The point is, you can do whatever you want. Don't let what someone else did dictate what you should do."
"Why do you care so much? We've only known each other for a few days, so why?"
"Despite me keeping my emotions in check, it doesn't mean I don't care for your well-being." she admitted. "You saved my life, helped me leave my clan, but above even those, you believe in me. That I can get out of my brother's shadows and make something of myself."
"I see..." he said. "...Thank you." he muttered quietly. Only two other people had ever shown concern for him, but now it looked like he could add a third.
Tōka smiled inwardly, having caught what he said. "What was that last part?" she lied.
He coughed, clearing his throat. "Nothing. Let's keep moving."
They were once more moving towards their destination.
"Earlier, you mentioned genjutsu."
"Yes, that's correct."
"How proficient are you in using it?"
"I'm no novice if that's what you're asking."
"No, no, I'm just curious since most don't fight using illusions since it takes a creative mind, superb control, and nerves of steel to use it during a fight." Tōka read in between the lines and smiled at the compliment he just gave her.
"Would you like to learn?" she offered.
"You would teach me?"
"I would, but I would like something in return for my services."
"Okay, and what would that be?" he questioned.
"I would like to learn more ninjutsu." That was a deal that was within his power.
"I can do ninjutsu, and if you really want to use it to it's highest degree then you should expand your chakra pool. Also, what is your natural affinity?"
"Water, and a minor one in earth."
"Okay, I have some scrolls on some water and earth techniques. First we'll start with your chakra and then go from there."
"While I'm doing this, what will you be doing?" she asked. While glad to be receiving training, she did not want to take him away from his own.
He smiled mysteriously. "A project of mine, involving fūinjutsu." Tōka mentally shivered. She had never been one for the art of seals, unlike her brothers. Seals had the potential for mass destruction in the hands of a capable user.
"I see." she replied. "Let's keep moving." she said, trying to get away from the seal using blonde, not particularly wanting to be near him when he starts.
~Two Days Later~
Tōka groaned, her back was hurting. She and Naruto had still been traveling but they were closer to the coast, and would reach it by the evening. The reason she had been groaning was because they two of them had been sleeping on the rock hard ground. She however would not voice her own displeasure at their situation, she was a kunoichi, she could handle this.
Or she would wait until her blonde companion said something, then and only then would she speak her mind. Other than that, everything had been going great for the two of them. More specifically, her. Her chakra reserves had increased a bit over the past few days since she had gotten back to honing her control, plus, it also helped she would often spar with Naruto, who would not take it easy on her because she was a woman; she respected him for it. He on the other hand had been continuing to tinker with some seals while learning some genjutsu from her. It simply astounded her how quickly he took to the techniques and just how powerful they were when he cast them. She wanted to be able to do that.
Her musings were cut short.
"Ugh." groaned the blonde. "I don't think my back is going to last on this rock hard floor much longer."
"What's wrong?" she asked. Quietly, she was willing him, urging even, to spill his guts and say they weren't going to sleep on the floor anymore.
"I think I may have slept on a rock or something." he mumbled. He looked at her, "I have this kink in my back that I just can't seem to shake." She was watching him as he contorted his body in various ways to try and get it out.
"Your very flexible." she commented offhandedly. He grinned at her.
"It's all in the training."
"I'll take your word for it." She looked around and spotted something in the distance. "There's a settlement over there." she pointed, "We can stay there for a few hours or a day, eat, and then leave in the morning."
"Great idea." he nodded to her. "Lead the way."
Within a few minutes, the duo were in front of the settlement. From a distance, it was small, but as they kept getting closer and closer, it got bigger and bigger. The gates were open for anyone to enter, so they did.
The settlement was mostly made of homes for those who lived there, but there were a few places for travelers such as themselves. The needed to restock their supplies, but first they had decided on finding an Inn and a place to eat. They split up, but Naruto sent a clone with Tōka to let him know if she found the place first then she could meet up with him.
When she had seen the technique, she thought it was just a regular clone technique, but when she found it that knowledge transfers back to the original host from the clone. Well, let's just say she just couldn't wait to learn it.
While the duo went in search of their own needs, they both took note of the way the people seemed to act around one another. They were scared. Anytime anyone would look at another person or began to speak, they would flinch and back away.
It was suspicious, that's for sure. But neither had the time to figure any of it out right now. It wasn't on the top of their to do list. They had to worry about their own problems at the moment.
After an hour of searching, both of them had found their desired places, well, Tōka did. Naruto didn't know what he was looking at, well he did know, he just knew it wasn't ramen. Both Tōka and himself were sitting in a stall eating a dish called Yakisoba.
To the blonde, it was basically ramen without the broth. It had little bite-sized cuts of pork, vegetables, little bits of seaweed, and topped with it's own special sauce. He ate it, and had to admit, begrudgingly, that it had it's own charm and would have eaten more until he convinced the chef to recreate ramen for him then and there.
So, now sitting before him was a piping hot bowl of ramen, and granted, it was makeshift and it didn't resemble what he normally ate, but it would suffice. Unfortunately, not all were as open minded as he as his companion was eying his dish with a suspicious stare, not even sure it was food.
"Although this isn't the ramen I'm used to, I gave the chef a pretty good description of what went in, so it should taste good." He grabbed a small bowl and poured some of his into it. "Here, try this."
As he handed the bowl over to her, he subtlety sensed that someone was watching him. It disappeared as soon as he had felt it. He shrugged it off for the moment and returned his attention back to Tōka.
She sighed, exasperated. If it would get him off her back, then she would try it. "Very well, give it here." She looked down in her bowl and could swear she was looking at slop of some kind. She shrugged and ate some.
It passed the test, she hadn't regurgitated. It wasn't overly delicious the way Naruto had explained but nor did it taste as disgusting as it appeared. She could only really provide one answer for her experience.
"It was adequate." she said, pushing her bowl away.
Naruto had incredulous look on his face. "That's it, just adequate." She shrugged and nodded. He sighed, shaking his head but at least glad she had given it a chance. It seemed he couldn't convert one over to his way of thinking.
'Oh well.' he shrugged. A smile came to his face then, 'It's time for me to eat my delicious ramen-' he was stopped cold in his tracks. His anger and urge to kill rising.
It was sacrilege, blasphemous, and most important; a waste of food. Looking down at his bowl, there was something that should not have been. It was brown, it stank, and it was floating in his food. A giant turd was swimming around in his bowl.
His lips were a thin line as he stared emotionless at his bowl. He vowed to shove the bowl up the person's ass, whoever did it, so that way they wouldn't shit their pants anymore. His ears and keen eyesight caught some shuffling in a tree above them; it was a monkey. Just by looking at the animal and he knew he had his culprit.
Slowly pushing himself off the table and his seat, he turned around, sending a murderous glare at the primate. The monkey seemed to have sensed the danger and jumped out of the tree in a mad sprint.
'Oh, you're not getting away! Just wait till I catch you.' he laughed evilly, 'I'm gonna have you for dinner since you ruined my current one.' he then vanished, chasing a monkey.
Tōka had seen the whole thing and didn't care that he left to get his vendetta. Had it been her thought, she would have placed a deadly illusion on the mangy animal, but it hadn't so it didn't face her wrath.
Naruto was giving chase and steadily catching up to the fleeing primate. It was quick and could move at angles that were suited to it's tiny body, it was the only thing giving it an edge over him or else he would have caught the sucker. The fleeing monkey suddenly halted, he did as well.
They were both eying the other from separate tree branches, one waiting for the other to make the first move. Getting fed up with all the waiting, Naruto shot off his branch and he was in front of the perpetrator, but immediately knew something was wrong. He was proven correct when he was caught in a net.
He was trying to calm himself down, but he was letting his emotions get the better of him. Not only had he lost his food, but now he had gotten captured. Now, that damn monkey was starting to poke and touch him, like he was some animal. He snapped.
"Take your stinking paws off me! You damn dirty ape!"
"Oi, oi...Don't talk shit to my friend, asshole." said a disembodied voice. "Your still the asshole stuck in a net."
"Ah! Who the fuck are you?!" he questioned, angry. "Why don't you show yourself instead of hiding. Or are you just scared of being in my presence." He had felt the chakra signature just pop out of nowhere, which meant one of two things: either he was losing his touch or the ninja who captured him is extremely skilled. Neither were good.
"Ha! Who are you to talk to me like that. You are at my mercy, bitch. It should be you who trembles at my presence."
"And just who the hell are you?"
"Why, I'm the great Sarutobi Sasuke." he proclaimed, revealing himself. "Head of the Sarutobi clan. Now just who the hell are you?" questioned Sasuke.
Naruto was in silent awe of the man in front of him. This man was a legend, having been a shinobi whose clan was always under employ from the various Daimyō' around the lands. His stature wasn't imposing at 5'6, but that didn't matter, this man was someone who got the job done. He was very dangerous from the stories he'd heard from his parents.
"I'm Namikaze Naruto...bitch." He couldn't show weakness here.
"Hm, Naruto, Naruto...I don't like that name." replied Sasuke, eying the youngster in front of him warily. On the outside, he put up the facade of being tough, but should the two of them fight, he just might end up losing. He had felt the young man' chakra and knew he was a monster. Only question that he didn't have an answer to; was he skilled?
"The feeling is mutual. Sasuke, just saying that name leaves a bad taste in my mouth." replied the blonde, making a face. While he had been talking, he had been reaching for his kunai, slowly. He cut his net, and immediately jumped away.
Now he was facing the man.
"So I'm to take that the fleabag by your leg is yours?" queried Naruto, glaring. "I didn't know your clan numbers were so low that you would resort to bestiality." He shook his head, a small smile on his face, knowing he pissed the man off.
'Who the fuck you calling a fleabag, ya dumb blonde bastard?' Naruto's head shot up when he heard the different voice, his mouth almost hit the floor. The monkey, it had just talked.
He was speechless.
'Well.' waited the talking monkey. 'You gonna say something to me boy?'
'What. The. Fuck?' Naruto mouthed the words. "Your son, he can talk?"
"He isn't my son!" yelled the Sarutobi head, knowing the blonde was doing to piss him off. "He's my own personal summons, and one of my best friends."
"You sign a contract with an animal clan. By doing this, you can call upon their mighty force to aid you in battle." explained said user.
"Whoa." He was stunned, he had to get his own.
"Indeed." agreed Sasuke. "Now, mind explaining to me why you were chasing my buddy here?"
"I paid for food, and you buddy there dropped a turd in it."
"I see." he replied. He then started to laugh his ass off, getting Naruto to growl at him.
"Bastard...Why are you laughing? He defiled my food, and by doing so wasted it."
"Okay, okay, jeez." Sasuke waved him off. "Don't start acting like a kid here. It was only food, and I'm sure my buddy here is sorry."
Naruto sighed. "Look, I don't want an apology. Just reimburse me what the food cost." He held his hand out.
Sasuke slapped his hand. "Low five!" he laughed. "Sorry, I couldn't help it. Look, I don't have any money on me, so I can't reimburse you."
The blonde sighed again, shaking his head. "Fine, whatever! Just stay away from me." he replied and left the area to return to Tōka.
Finally returning to the stall, he saw his female companion eating some bread with what looked like yakisoba inside of it. He shrugged, she could put whatever she wanted in her mouth, ruining her taste buds with whatever food she wanted.
His eyes lit up. 'Hey! Wait a minute. If she's eating something else, then that means she has more money.' Hope was starting to resurface. 'And if she has money, then I can eat a bowl of ramen.'
He turned towards her. "Hey, can I borrow some money for a bowl of food?" he asked as nicely as he could, pleading to her.
She just finished her last bite and covered her mouth, releasing a small burp. "No, sorry. That money is for the Inn." she replied stoically. She ignored his soft whimpering and his muttering of going to sleep hungry. "Where did you go anyways?" she asked. He had been gone for a while.
His depression over his food took a one-eighty. "I followed this damn monkey, which led me to it's damn master." He scowled.
"Who was it?"
Her own eyes lit up in wonder. She and her brothers had heard of this man from their father. He was a very powerful shinobi who lived in the darkness and would always get the job done. He led a clan who was just as famous as the Senju or Uchiha, they had even fought before. It wasn't a pretty outcome for the Senju clan that day. The Sarutobi clan is used to fighting in forested areas and using guerrilla tactics, along with hit-and-run tactics. They are a very tough opponent.
She was about to ask him what the man was like but saw his face. "What's wrong?"
"That man, he just irritates me for some reason."
She didn't comment on it since it wasn't her business.
Naruto grabbed his head and rubbed his hair in frustration. "Ah! Whatever! Let's just forget that dumb bastard. We need information but since everyone is so scared to talk to people, we need to solve that problem first."
"I already have information on this. There is a gang holding up in an abandoned warehouse, they're terrorizing the people, killed some of the men brave enough to stand up to them, and even raped a few women." The last part was said devoid of all emotion, she was going to torture those men specifically.
"Do you know where this warehouse is?" He was pissed off as well. Rapists were the lowest type of scum on the planet.
"Yes. To the north of the settlement, they all stay in the one building. Only problem is, I don't know if there are any ninja or if we're just dealing with bandits."
"Give me a second." He closed his eyes and searched for the signatures, trying to discern if any of them had above average chakra pools or just enough to live. Tōka waited a few seconds.
"About one-hundred fifty, enough for this settlement, but not enough for the both of us." He smirked at her, she nodded with a small smirk of her own.
"Shall we commence the attack today or wait?"
"We do it tomorrow. I will send some clones out to scout out the area and gather any other information we may need. It's best we rest today." She nodded and led him to their Inn.
Both were up and well rested after sleeping on two separate beds. Now that they were up, it was time to plan accordingly. From the information Tōka had secured the other day, the bandits went around in groups of four to five men on occasions for shakedowns.
In order to corral them into one place, they were going to need one of them to cause some chaos; Naruto volunteered. He already had a good spot from where to rain down destruction.
Tōka's assignment was different. Her job was to watch the groups out and about, check to see who responds to the chaos and who doesn't. Those who don't were to be taken care of then and there by whatever means she deemed necessary. She was fine with that.
However, in order for her to completely track every single one of them, Naruto had decided to teach her the shadow clone technique. Albeit a bit earlier than he would have wanted. Her chakra reserves had increased, but she could still go higher. He wanted her to gain the full benefits of the technique.
Seeing as everything was set, they both set off to accomplish their parts of the plan.
"Let's go hunting." He smirked, and lo and behold, he got her to smirk as well. It was the first time he had seen some form of emotion on her face, aside from a few very rare times. She looked beautiful smiling, and wished she did it more often. That was a mission for another time, now, they had bandits to clear out.
Naruto had the perfect view of the warehouse and all of the blundering fools inside of it.
"Let's get this party started."
"Yeah, party on bro." Naruto whirled around, eskrima sticks ready to bash whoever was unlucky enough to get behind him. "Whoa there!"
Naruto growled when he saw who it was; Sasuke. And for the second time he had gotten up close to him without him sensing him.
"What do you want, Sarutobi?" asked the blonde, irritated.
"I'm here to get rid of this gang." countered Sasuke. "Why are you here?"
"Same reason, but I was here first, hence, I will handle it. You should leave." Naruto was shooing him away.
Sasuke rolled his eyes. "Nuh-uh, I had this place scoped out since yesterday. Why did you think I arrived after you had already been caught." He smirked when he saw the blonde scowl.
"How is your son by the way?" countered Naruto, who was smirking as Sarutobi scowled.
"Tch, whatever." mumbled the patriarch of the Sarutobi clan. "How about a truce?" he offered. "We both want to get rid of these scum." He held his hand out.
They shook on it. A temporary alliance was forged.
"Age before beauty." Naruto moved out of the way for the old timer.
"Cheeky brat." muttered Sasuke. He eyed the blonde next to him as he took out some ninja wire and very skillfully guided it so it wrapped around many of the bandits. It seemed that the youngster next time wasn't all chakra.
Both stood shoulder to shoulder, gathered, kneaded, giving shape to the fire within their bellies, and then released it.
"Katon: Hōsenka no Jutsu(Phoenix Sage Fire Technique)!"
Sasuke blew out small volleys of fireballs, killing some, and causing panic. Naruto waited a bit until his victims ran into others who weren't either dead or not attached.
"Katon: Ryūka no Jutsu(Dragon Fire Technique)!"
The small wire acted as a guide and rushed at it's master' enemies, devouring them in it's fires. The two shinobi watched on as their attacks had benefited and worked well with each other.
"Not bad, Namikaze, not bad at all." commented Sasuke. "However, I do believe I was faster of the two of us in using my attack. So I do believe I won this round." He was grinning from ear to ear.
"Whatever." grumbled the blonde, before a smirk appeared on his own face. "Your wife must be disappointed with how fast you are." The grin fell from Sasuke' face as Naruto laughed at him. "Watch this."
Naruto once more started to gather chakra, but this time he was sending it into the earth. He was going to need to control this one well since it wasn't something he practiced often.
"Doton: Yomi Nūma(Swamp of the Underworld)!"
The men who were running around like chickens with their heads cut off were suddenly swallowed up by the very earth they once stood on. Some of the fortunate bunch had fallen face first and drowned to death with very little oxygen. The remaining few alive were not; they instead burned.
"Katon: Karyū Endan(Fire Dragon Flame Bullet)!"
Inhaling a large amount of oxygen, and giving shape to his chakra, he breathed out a giant dragon made of flame, descending upon it's prey. The swamp down below ignited, and began to burn everything inside of it to ash.
The citizens of the settlement could hear the wails and fear in the voices of the men who had tormented them for months. Their cries were like music to their ears.
Naruto cut the flow of chakra to his dragon, letting it slowly dissipate, and then looked to Sarutobi.
"How bout that!" Sasuke grumbled something unintelligible. "I do believe I've won this game 2-1."
"...Whatever. Let's just finish this job."
Naruto snorted, smirking at him for bowing down so fast and wanting to get out of his presence. Seeing if any stragglers had somehow miraculously survived their onslaught, they were checking the bodies but found none.
Tōka dropped down from one of the buildings, ready to give her report of her own mission, but was interrupted. She stopped, it was the famous Sarutobi Sasuke. She wondered what he was going to ask her.
"Why hello~" Sasuke licked his two pinkies and used them to comb his eyebrows. "My, what a lovely lady. I know this is sudden, but would you do me the honor of having breakfast with me, meet me at my place tonight?" Tōka gave him a stoic look but she was disgusted on the inside. She had the perfect answer for him.
"...No." She turned away from his pathetic excuse of a pick up line and looked at Naruto, who was trying somewhat hard to control himself.
It was no good, he couldn't hold it.
"Bwahahaha!" he laughed uncontrollably, holding his sides. "Oh man, that was priceless. Look at his face!" Naruto continued to laugh while pointing his finger at Sasuke.
She didn't see the humor in her rejection and shrugged, perhaps it was over her head. "I take it you took care of everything here?"
"Yeah. Now what...heh...do you have to report." He was still laughing a bit.
"Some of the groups did as we predicted, others did not. I took care of those that didn't."
"Oh?" Naruto was intrigued. "And how were you able to do that?"
Tōka had seen the fire erupt from the warehouse, even from her current position. If she could see it, then chances were her prey could to; they did. They had done as expected and ran away like the cowards they were.
A group total of twenty had escaped momentarily escaped their deaths. She created a single shadow clone and had it disguise itself as a bandit, slowly steering them in the direction she wanted them to go in. A subtle hint here and there did wonders when the human mind working overtime, trying to find a safe location for the body.
'Magen: Kokoni Arazu no Jutsu(False Surroundings Technique)'
She subtlety covered the group of men in her chakra, giving them a false sense of hope that they might survive should they shelter themselves in the building in front of them. The disguised clone hung back as it watched every single bandit enter the building, and once the last one entered, it dispelled, sending back the information to the original.
The raven haired Senju entered the building through the rafters and had an eagle eye view down below on the floor. The illusion was still in place since the blissful looks on their faces still existed. She produced some ninja wire and slowly began to dance the wire around their necks, where it rested comfortably.
Seeing as all twenty heads were wrapped, she tied all twenty together into ten a piece, all of them eventually becoming two wires. One wire was in her left hand, the other her right hand with two kunai acting as base.
Adding chakra to her feet, she walked to off the rafter and onto it's side, and she pulled slowly. After a minute or two, she could hear the choking for air from ten men. Those were going to die painfully. She then yanked on on the other wire, and she heard popping. The other ten died immediately.
Relaxing her posture, she once more heard thuds. This time from those who died from suffocation. Her job here was done.
'Doton: Doryūha(Earth Flow Wave)'
The ground beneath the dead men opened up and swallowed the bodies, removing any traces that they were ever there, or existed. This technique was one of the few she had learned from Naruto, and it took tremendous concentration to manipulate the earth to such an extent, but since she had, this just proved that her blonde companion knew what he was talking about.
Naruto was beyond words, he couldn't even comprehend them. The woman in front of him had ruthlessly killed the twenty men. She had hit them hard and fast, giving them no time to react. He was impressed, beyond impressed, she truly was a one of a kind woman.
"Well done." he complimented. "I wish I could have seen the skill and tact you used when trapping them and then using the wire. Truly a magnificent kill. Much better than mine."
Tōka was beaming, though you couldn't tell, but she was. She had puffed out her chest when she had heard his words. His words were the most important for her right now.
"C'mon." he laid his hand on her shoulder. "Let's go and inform the people they no longer have anything to fear."
She followed after him, Sasuke trailing very far behind, still shell shocked.
The trio of ninja stood atop a building that offered view of the entire settlement. When they had spread the news of their bandit infestation being taken care of, some were celebrating, others eyed them suspiciously, some just didn't seem to care. Regardless of what the people thought of them, the elderly leader informed them they would always be welcomed there with open arms for freeing them.
All of them were surprised by his decision, but thanked the elder nonetheless. Now it seemed they had a permanent home to return to, it felt nice.
Sasuke had wandered off somewhere to sulk or something, while Naruto and Tōka had decided to stay for a few days, taking advantage of the generous offer. It was only when they were about to leave that Sasuke revealed himself, with a few of his clan.
He had stated then and there that he wanted a match, and winner would get Tōka. She had bristled at that, and had he not intervened when he did, they all would have been seeing their worst nightmare at the moment.
"So you want a match, huh."
"Alright then. I want to tell my kids one day of how their old man wiped the floor with Sarutobi Sasuke."
The clansmen present growled at his cockiness but were held back by their leader. "He's just trying to rile you up and make you act rashly." he informed them. "C'mon, follow me."
The rules were as followed: no ninjutsu, and no kill moves, everything else is permitted.
Both stood across from one another, and were beginning to amass a crowd. Neither noticed though, each focused on the man in front of them.
Naruto decided to make the first move. He rushed forward, eskrima at the ready. Everyone watching leaned forward in anticipation as the blonde tried striking first but were dodged with inhuman agility as the man known as Sasuke resembled a monkey.
Sarutobi swiftly dodged each strike while simultaneously equipping two shuriken. He threw them at Naruto who batted the first one that came to him easily. The second one had been making odd movements when he realized it was attached to wire.
Realizing this, he added a fine amount chakra to the tip of his eskrima stick and slashed it down, severing the wire from steel. No sooner had he done this did the first one come flying back towards the back of his head. He deftly avoided getting his brains splattered out on the floor by diving forward.
He looked up to the man. "Oi, oi...your not trying to kill me, are you?"
"No~, of course not." he replied innocently. "This is just a friendly spar after all."
A small smile was tugging on the blonde' lips, he got up and ran forward again. Both of his weapons at the ready once more, he watched Sarutobi get in his stance, and then he vanished from sight.
Sasuke was alarmed that he couldn't track the blonde and immediately got into a defensive stance. Too little too late did he sense the blonde behind him, he wasn't going to make it in time. He felt the heavy weight of the sticks as one rammed his ribs while the other bashed the side of his head. Before he could make a move of his own, the blonde disappeared once more.
Sarutobi cursed himself, he was losing to some upstart. 'Namikaze is using tactics that my clan perfected on the battlefield.' He tried once more to track him, and this time he got the early read on him.
He took out two kunai and blocked the overhead strike to his temples, however he did not account for the smirk on the blonde's face. He had done exactly as the blonde had predicted. Sasuke couldn't follow the movement of his hands as they wrapped around his wrist in a vice like grip and then twisted, hard.
Pain shot up his arm, his wrist felt numb and as he was on the verge of dropping the kunai in hand, he felt the blow to his midsection.
He was breathing hard, tenderly holding his wrist. The pain had been severe and his judgment had been clouded by the pain he had felt. It seemed there was indeed a lot more to the young Namikaze than met the eye.
Naruto was going to end this once and for all when the man in front of him suddenly began to turn a vile shade of black. He melted into the ground, and was cautiously inching forward to inspect.
"I see you defeated my Kurai bunshin(Dark Clone)." Sasuke was perched atop some tree branches, watching the entire fight from afar. He threw a few kunai towards the surprised blonde but then it was his turn to be surprised, the blonde erupted in a poof of smoke.
Naruto was in the tree opposite of Sasuke. He didn't bother to ask what the clone was since it was very straightforward. He just didn't know if the clone held the same properties as his own clone technique.
"How bout we finish this up Sarutobi. I've got places to be."
"Oh, and just how are you going to do that?" he sneered.
The blonde didn't answer and instead smirked. "Kai." he released his weights.
If Sasuke thought the blonde was fast before, then he was invisible by this point. He caught little snippets of blonde hair blurring past him, in front of him, or behind him, he didn't know. The next thing he did know, however, was the floor. He was down on the ground, holding his jaw. His brain just hadn't registered he had fallen or felt pain.
"And he's down!" crowed Naruto. Tōka had approval in her eyes, happily watching as Sasuke hit the floor in pain. The Sarutobi clan members however didn't share her enthusiasm.
"Ugh..." groaned Sasuke. "Wait a damn minute." he grunted out.
"Just stay down monkey man." sighed Naruto, exasperated.
"Shut up!" was the reply. "We're still fighting."
"Whatever." muttered Naruto, getting in his stance, waiting.
Sasuke noticed this and knew he had him. The blonde had made his first mistake.
"How about fighting with just our shuriken and kunai, nothing else? Unless your not confident about your skills." taunted Sasuke.
Naruto didn't know why the idiot on the ground was suddenly spouting such nonsense, but he nodded nonetheless. This was his second mistake.
No sooner had the blonde agreed with a nod did Sarutobi launch himself from the ground, each of them throwing punch after punch, each getting parried skillfully. Sasuke overextended on a swing, and the blonde moved in to take advantage, or so he thought.
Dust, dirt, or whatever his sparing opponent held in his hand was suddenly clouding his vision. He tried to blink it but it only made it worse. Rubbing it out would clear some of it, but not all of it.
"Dammit!" he cried out. "That was a dirty move and you know it." accused Naruto, angry. This was his third mistake.
"I'll give ya a break kid and explain just how I was able to beat you." replied Sasuke. "You made three mistakes: You allowed me to recover, I pulled you into my flow by following my suggestion, and three, nothing is considered dirty when in a fight for life and death, which this could have been. Especially in the times we live in. Consider these life lessons."
Naruto very badly wanted to call him out on this, but the logical side of him couldn't refute anything he had been told. He said nothing and got up, eyes closed and in his stance, ready to continue.
Sasuke was grinning in satisfaction, glad the youngster in front of him was acting like a man. Taking what he said to heart. Perhaps there was some hope for him yet. He rushed forward and threw a punch towards the blonde's left side, hoping to graze his side.
Naruto felt the whistling in the air and knew the punch was on it's way. He tilted his head to the side and knew by fact that Sarutobi was within his reach. His arm shot out like a snake, gripping Sarutobi' neck. His free hand was looking to break his nose with an open palm strike, but didn't inflict the full effect since Sasuke rolled with the attack.
Feeling his strike miss it's target, he then kicked the man in the groin area. Naruto freely let him go as he bent down, holding his manhood. Naruto kneed him in the chin, sending him flying. He was on him within the seconds his body landed, his knee on his neck, cutting off circulation.
"Yield!" He took this time to summon a small amount of water into his hand and splash it across his face.
"Never!" He struggled under the weight, but soon replaced himself.
Naruto frowned. 'That is a problem. I guess it was the reason why I never learned grappling or throwing techniques when I learned taijutsu.' His eyes lit up, he had an idea.
"Try this on for size!" he pointed his index finger at Sasuke. The blonde then ran up the trees, jumped up in the air, weaving his hand-seals, and then fired.
'That little shit!' cursed Sasuke. 'We agreed on no ninjutsu!'
He could feel the heat coming from the giant ball of fire coming towards him. Dodging it was simple as he started to retreat from the area when he felt his body crumple to the floor. Confusion was clear in his eyes as he watched the fireball make it's way towards him at an alarming rate. He closed his eyes.
Not feeling his body getting incinerated, made him peek his eye open only to see the infuriating smirk of the blonde.
"How'd you like that."
"What the hell happened?" grunted Sasuke, breathing hard.
"Do you concede?"
"I see, then you better do something quick." Sasuke tried moving his arms but couldn't, it was like they were numb. He then felt a blunt force strike his head and all he saw was black.
When Sarutobi had come to, he was sleeping in a bed, his injuries having been patched up. It was currently nighttime and he couldn't sense the two large chakra signatures that were Naruto and his female companion.
"Oh, Sarutobi-sama!" He looked up and saw a young girl in his room. "I didn't know you were awake."
"Do you know where Namikaze Naruto is at?"
"Namikaze-sama and his companion left a few hours ago, but he did leave you a message." She handed him a small scroll.
"If you're reading this, then that means I or my companion are no longer in the settlement." he explained. Sasuke then read how it was he had lost, he had been placed in an illusion when the blonde had pointed at him and while under illusion had been hit several times by the eskrima sticks in precise locations on his body.
He continued to read.
"I don't know when or where we will end up, but I have this feeling we will meet again someday. So keep getting stronger so that when we do meet, we can fight once more."
"Hm, that was considerate of him, explaining how he beat me. Didn't even gloat." His respect for the blonde was rising. He looked to the girl, "By the way, I know I just woke up, but why am I all sticky?"
"Um...Namikaze-sama mentioned you might get curious about that. So he said to keep reading." she replied, scurrying away.
"Since you were unconscious at the time and no water source available to us to wake you up. I did the next best thing. After all, I wanted you to say goodbye after the ass kicking I gave you."
Sasuke took a full minute to digest what he had read and that was realization hit him like an earth technique. He had been given a golden shower.
"What's the matter?" asked Tōka, looking at him.
He kept looking behind them. "Nothing." he finally said. He thought he had heard someone shout his name. Must have been his imagination.
"Hey Naruto." he turned his attention to Tōka. "What was that technique you used on Sarutobi?"
"It's a technique I created involving my eskrima sticks. I target the most sensitive spots on the human body, as hard as I can." he explained. "The attack only has nine currently and I'm looking to add more."
She nodded, if he could employ even more attacks, then the whole body would be on the ground and the need for anything else would be irrelevant.
"But I can't take all of the credit. I must give you credit as well, with you showing me how to cast illusions without hand-seals and just by pointing at Sasuke." he said. "Without that, I probably wouldn't have won or at least it would have taken much longer. So thank you." he smiled at her.
She blushed a bit. Usually, she was not one to be praised or thanked by others, it was always her brothers. So it felt very good to be on the receiving end.
"Your welcome." she replied. "So, where are we headed to next?"
"I'm not sure." he admitted. "I don't even know this area that well, do you have any suggestions?" he asked her.
"We are much closer to the cost now, and I would suggest heading over to the Uzumaki clan. Though they may not let us enter, it is a suggestion though. They are the best seal users in the land."
"Uzumaki huh..." He may have a way to get around them letting them enter. "Alright, lead the way."
~A few days Later~
He had been following Tōka for the past few days, going at a moderate pace. She had informed him they had their own compound located on a small island just a bit off the mainland. They hadn't met much resistance on their way there; a few bandits here and there, but nothing they couldn't handle.
The duo stopped when they heard the sound of steel clashing, someone was fighting just over the horizon. Picking up the pace, they were surprised to see a somewhat large scale battle going on between two clans.
The first group had by far the most combatants, ranging up to twenty-five. All of them had crimson hair and large chakra reserves. Some of them were putting up a decent fight, but he could tell that against the enemy they were fighting, it wasn't doing much. They were mostly acting as shields for those in the back who were scribbling on seals.
'So this is the Uzumaki clan.'
He watched the clan that his parent's had once been apart of with interest. It was true what his parent's had told him, even when in such situations, Uzumaki can create seals like no other. They also wasn't anything to scoff at with their physical ability since they could recuperate from most life threatening injuries, but their opponents were just more gifted it seemed.
The second clan had fewer people fighting, but it didn't matter. One of theirs was the equivalent of two Uzumaki fighting. Plus, out of the fifteen members fighting, about five of them had bones sticking out of their body.
He leaned forward with even more interest. 'So this is the Kaguya clan.'
He remembered what he had learned from his parents all those years ago.
"Okay." Yuusūke said, grabbing his son' attention. "Now we move onto the Kaguya clan."
Naruto sat there, taking in everything his parents had said. They had indeed kept their word when they began to explain what they knew of certain clans. They mostly knew about the Uzumaki, Senju, and a bit of Uchiha clans.
"The Kaguya..." he sighed. "They are ruthless, ferocious, battle crazed warriors. Most, but not all, hold almost no strategic ability, preferring to bull rush their enemies." explained his father. "However, there are some that are born special and if they were dangerous to begin with, these special shinobi are twice if not three times that."
"What's that?" asked Naruto, interested.
"Some members of their can manipulate their skeletal structure and use their bones as weapons. We believe it is their bloodline. If any shinobi or kunoichi were to ever run into one and this person knows nothing other than a few ninja arts, then they are as good as dead." explained Kumiko. "This is why we want you to be well rounded in everything we can teach you. You just never know."
Naruto had a frown on his face now, clearly remembering that talk. With them being down there and after the clan he was looking for meant he would have to get involved. It also meant that his own taijutsu was useless in front of such a clan, and even if he could break their bones, who's to say they just couldn't mend or discard them. He would need to rely on something else.
"Are we going to help them?" asked Tōka stoically. They may be distantly related, but in today's world protecting someone else before yourself usually meant death.
"Yes." answered the blonde. "But don't cause unnecessary risk to yourself trying to help anyone. You protect yourself first. It won't do us any good if we die, then we are useless to everyone." he explained, getting a nod from her. "Hit them hard and fast."
They were being overwhelmed, she knew this. It didn't make things any easier watching as her kinsmen sacrifice their lives in order to buy them more time, even though they had more people. Numbers meant little to the clan across from her own. She needed to do something to ensure the survival of those remaining. Hopefully the seal she had just finished would do just that.
"Kekkai Kabe(Barrier Wall): Fūin!"
This technique hadn't been easy to create nor scribe in the middle of a fight. It was kekkai ninjutsu incorporated into a seal. Creating the seal matrix for the seal itself was difficult, but learning barrier ninjutsu was something completely different, but not out of the realm of possibility for her.
"Those of you behind me!" she hollered, grabbing their attention. "Provide backup to our clansmen who are out there, use anything and everything you have!"
She rushed out towards the battle and had a minute to get as many of her people behind the barrier before it went up. Those left behind would be killed immediately. Reaching into her sleeve, she pulled out numerous tags and launched them with pinpoint accuracy towards her enemies. No sooner had they landed did they glow and explode.
Hopefully, the tags would be enough to kill one of the bone user's, if not slow them down. She quickly dodged a sloppy punch aimed at her chin, pushed her assailant back, and strapped two tags onto her wrists. These were not exploding tags, they were something she's been developing for a long time.
Parrying another sloppy punch, she sent chakra into her wrists, and then swung.
Whoever the Kaguya clan member was that attacked her, they were unconscious on the floor beneath her feet. She went to finish the job, but deftly dodged a fine pointed bone looking to pierce her chest.
Now she would be dealing with the real threat. Weaving as best she could out of harms way, she saw opportunity when her enemy overextended and she tagged him in the ribs. The Kaguya didn't even budge.
Her eyes widened as the tags on her wrists had burnt out. She had still yet to devise a way to stop that from happening since they couldn't handle the minute explosions of chakra they were being forced to release every time she striked. She needed to come up with a way so that it incorporated near perfect chakra control in the seal but with chakra always fluctuating due to its increase from time to time, this was easier said than done.
"Ow!" She had been knocked down, holding her her wounded shoulder. Looking up, she made eye contact with the battle crazed fiend, ready to strike her down. She showed defiance. This only seemed t excite the man.
Before he could bring down his weapon, he was blasted by a large force of water, not enough to knock him down, but enough that she could get away. Sparing a glance around the battlefield, most of her kinsmen had made it across the threshold and were waiting for her. Others hadn't been so lucky, dying with their backs turned.
She breathed a small sigh of relief. Had she not made it back to the barrier before it went up then all of her clansmen may have died. The seal had a small matrix that linked it to herself. The more concentration and chakra she had, the longer the barrier would stay up. It was a double-edged sword but her family was more important. However, she was not dumb enough to risk her life with a seal, she could release herself from it whenever she wanted, but it would be quite taxing on her reserves and on her mind.
The Kaguya were pounding on the barrier with relentless pursuit, wanting to get inside and spill as much blood as they could. So many attacks were coming from different angels with varied amounts of force, it was difficult keeping track of and repairing the barrier, that it finally gave way.
She fell on one knee in exhaustion, her mind spinning. She heard the screams and watched in sadness as her clan was giving fight, but dying all the same. Some tried to flee, but were taken down by bone like spears. Only ten, counting herself, remained. And that number looked like it would be going down once more as the Kaguya in front of her swung downwards.
Head held high, showing no fear, she was ready to accept her fate. It was only because of her holding strong that she caught the glimpse of someone interfering and forcefully kicking her would be killer away.
'What force!' She marveled at the sheer strength it must have taken to do that to such a person. Granted it did little than push them a few feet away, but it was enough to save her life.
At first, she believed it to only be one person, but now that she looked, it was two people. A man and a woman. Being born more sensitive than others, she could feel the amount of chakra they both had and it was quite the amount; especially the male. She had never seen hair as bright as the sun on someone before nor his shade of eye color. The woman felt familiar in a way to her but couldn't quite place it.
Whoever they were, they had her and her clansmen' thanks.
"You may want to back up a bit, miss...?" She heard his voice and was surprised at how youthful he sounded. It sounded a bit younger than herself, perhaps by a few years.
"My name is Mito." she started, and would have held off on her surname but felt that these two already knew what clan she belonged to. The crimson hair would do that. "Uzumaki Mito. Thank you for the save...?"
They both nodded and answered.
"Namikaze Naruto." introduced the male.
"...Senju Tōka." Mito noticed the hesitation in announcing who she was but thought nothing of it. But the fact that the two of them so brazenly gave out their names must mean they are very strong that they think nothing of the consequences.
It also made sense why she felt familiar with the female, she was of Senju blood. She couldn't forget how their chakra felt even if she wanted to. Her musing was cut short.
"Your welcome." answered Naruto. "But if you don't mind, can you please step back a bit." he asked, watching her do as asked. He nodded his thanks to her and then looked at Tōka; she nodded her head, ready to begin.
Mito watched them flip through their hand-seals and felt the chakra rising from the both of them. Tōka finished first.
Those standing behind her heard the above whisper and watched as most of those onrushing Kaguya
stop in their tracks.
'It's an illusion.' Mito realized, having felt the chakra search out it's target and then bind them. It however wasn't affecting those who had the bloodline. They were far too deep in their lust for battle and blood to even realize it.
"It is done." stated Tōka, giving her companion a look and then went to tend to the wounded. She didn't know any medical techniques, only first aid. Naruto tilted his head forward and sucked in a breath of oxygen.
Mito watched in fascination as the enormous chakra building within his core was being shaped and molded. His attack took her breath away, never thinking someone younger than her could have or know such devastating techniques.
"Katon: Gōka Mekkyaku(Great Fire Annihilation)!"
A well of flames as bright as the sun in the sky and as hot erupted forth from his being, destroying everything in their path. The fire rushed forth, hungry, consuming those who were immobilized by the genjutsu. The onrushing members who weren't affected dove out of the way, avoiding certain death.
Mito was gaping, two moves was all it took for two people to take down what her current squad had failed to do. Only one conclusion came to mind; the duo that arrived were very powerful. They would be great allies for her clan, or greater enemies should she not do something.
"Hey." Mito was brought out of her reverie. "My friend is mending to your clansmen and moving them away from this area. If you wouldn't mind helping her, then we could get out of her twice as fast." said Naruto.
"But I can't! The remaining few are different from their comrades!" she pleaded. "If one of them can give you trouble, then four..." she trailed off.
"Don't worry." he reassured. "I don't plan on dragging this out. The sooner you guys leave the area, the quicker I can catch up."
She searched his eyes, looking into them for a moment, getting lost in their unique color. She eventually nodded her head, hesitantly. She pulled out of the area and went to help her clansmen.
"Suiton: Mizuame Nabara(Starch Syrup Capturing Field)!"
Naruto jumped back and spat out high-viscosity chakra infused water from one side to the other in a line. As he expected, some of them ran straight across the line, capturing themselves, while others leapt into the air, ready for him to pick them off.
"Suiton: Suishōha(Water Colliding Wave)!"
Clapping his hands together, the blonde shinobi concentrated as water began to form around him in a swirling vortex, and before anyone knew it, the vortex had consumed all of the Kaguya.
Naruto knew he would be hard pressed to fight this group one on one, so since he couldn't do that, then he would just drown them. When he had kicked that one away from Mito earlier, he felt just how heavy their bodies were, and since it was because of their bones, he knew he could exploit their greatest strength as their greatest weakness.
Their bloodline would be their downfall, they were basically anchors when underneath water.
Everyone that had been moved away for treatment had a prime view of the entire battlefield and couldn't help but gape in awe. Watching the female kunoichi render their enemies immobile with one attack was one thing, but watching the male who wasn't even twenty yet control and manipulate his affinities to such a degree was staggering. To summon water with no prior source was unheard of as was to control such fierce flames.
Mito was now strongly considering making the both of them allies to her clan. If that was even just a glimpse of what these two could do, then they would be extremely powerful as the years went by. She was about to go and see if he needed assistance but stopped.
"Hello." Mito turned around and found another blonde. "The boss told me to check and see how far along you lot had gotten to, and from looking around, not far. But, the boss is pretty much finished as it is anyways." The clone poofed out of existence. Mito couldn't get a word in edgewise wondering how the clone was even going to get the information to the original.
The original had received the information and summoned three more clones. He had since stopped the vortex of water and dropped those that had been airborne. He could sense that three of them yet lived, even after going through all of that, it was simply mind boggling how much these Kaguya could survive.
He knew anything short of a powerful penetrating could kill them. So far, his clones had yet to be able to do so. They dispelled soon after.
"You can't kill us." coughed one of the few survivors, sucking in air as fast as he could.
Naruto simply ignored the claim, and pierced him with one of his chains, killing him. His theory had been proven correct. If their bones were indeed being covered in chakra, then it made them all the more durable, but when met with a foreign source of chakra, it was reversed. He didn't know why his chakra chains emitted a different signature compared to his own chakra, perhaps it had been something passed down to him from his original parents, he shrugged. He didn't have time to dwell on that right now.
He killed the remaining two and sensing no others alive, he went to meet with Tōka and Mito. Unbeknownst to him, one had indeed survived after pulling herself out of the clutches of death's embrace. She hadn't seen what had caused the deaths of her kinsmen with her similar bloodline nor did she care. She needed to spread the news of what happened here today to not only her clan but to others. There were new players in the world...
"...And they are strong." she muttered, the maniacal grin never leaving her face.
Naruto arrived to see what remained of the Uzumaki squad. Most of them had minor injuries that would heal with rest, the others would probably take much longer. He spotted Tōka speaking to Mito whom he knew to be the leader, seeing the way she had taken charge earlier.
Now that he was closer and not in the heat of battle, he could check her out better. One word came to mind as he looked at her: Beautiful. Porcelain snow white skin, pupiless eyes, and crimson hair. Add to her brains to the beauty and she was ideal. Just like Tōka.
Mito spotted him. "Thank you for saving us, Naruto-san." she thanked. He was still lost in his thoughts.
"You have really pretty hair." He clamped his hands over his mouth, realizing what he had said in his stupor.
Mito blushed a little. No one had ever commented her on her hair before. It was always her snowy skin or eyes. Even sometimes her skills as a kunoichi, but never her hair. It was a nice change of pace.
"Thank you." she whispered. Noticing everyone was looking at them, she regained her composure. "If there I anything I can do to repay you, do not hesitate to ask."
"That's a very generous offer, and one I will take you up on."
Mito arched an eyebrow. "Care to explain?"
"We were actually looking for the Uzumaki clan." Now he had Mito's interest. "I know fūinjutsu to an extent, but learning from a master in the art will only help. So I ask, will your clan be willing to teach me?"
She stood silent for a few seconds before answering. "We are indeed masters, and I don't see a problem in teaching you, but I do not have final say." she explained. "My father, the clan head, has final say. It will be up to him. Do you still wish to move forward with your request?"
Mito led Naruto, Tōka, and the rest of the surviving Uzumaki back to their home.
Finally arriving at the Uzumaki compound, it was exactly as Tōka said; an island. Never had he dreamed of seeing something like this. They had to ride special boats that would avoid the dangerous whirlpools surrounding the island. He wondered if they had placed seals beneath the boat to counteract the force, so instead of sucking them in, the whirlpools would push them out. He would have to ask.
About fifty sets of eyes were trained on him and his companion the moment they had entered through the gates. The reason they were even still alive was thanks to Mito and the other Uzumaki' presence.
The first place they went to was Mito' home.
Entering the home, Naruto immediately felt the power being concentrated in one spot. The spot where an elderly looking man sat, watching his every move like a hawk. His hair no longer held the clan trademark crimson, and was now a healthy white.
"Mito, are you okay?" he asked, ignoring the blonde and his companion. He would speak to them when he felt like it. "When I hadn't heard from you or your group, I began to worry."
"I am fine, Tou-sama." she said. "These two helped me and our clan out of danger." She went on to explain just what had transpired and how it was these two who had completely dismantled the Kaguya clan members.
The Uzumaki clan leader returned his gaze towards the two, and let them stew. Both of them held immense power, something he didn't want directed at his clan.
"I thank you for saving my daughter. For that you have my undying gratitude." he started. "But give me one reason why I should allow you to stay here and learn under us?" Naruto thought saving his daughter was reason enough, but he guessed not.
"My parents were Uzumaki Yuusūke and Kumiko. I wish to learn more of the art they had mastered." he replied.
Naruto could see the older man' eyes widen when he mentioned those two names, and now he was being looked at suspiciously.
"They had no son last I remember nor did either of them have blonde hair."
The blonde sighed forlornly. "They were my foster parents. Took me in when I was a baby, could have left me to die had they wanted to, but they didn't." he told the man. "Showed me the good in a person when they decided to raise me as their own."
The elder Uzumaki frowned, had had heard the past tense earlier but didn't comment on it, now he had proof. He could still turn the young man away, but if he did then he would be no better than any of the others out in the world. Never trusting anyone, always living afraid of their shadows. He made a decision.
"I am sorry for your loss." he replied solemnly. "They were two of my best before they left due to the fighting. It is ironic how the they who hated fighting were some of the best at it, but I digress. I will allow you to train under us, but there are guidelines I will be implementing."
"You will have guards watching you while you train with your teacher." The first guideline. "Next, you will only train when your teacher is with you, never alone." Second guideline. "Lastly, your work will be checked by your teacher."
"I can agree to the first two terms, but not the third." stated the blonde.
The man narrowed his eyes. "These are non-negotiable. Would you squander this opportunity just because you do not wish someone to see your work?"
"I may." His words surprised everyone listening in. "These projects of mine are something for my eyes only, no others." he said, not budging from his stance.
"Pardon me for not trusting your secrecy." scoffed the man. "I'm not about to let you keep something secret when I have an entire clan to watch out for. If your secret project has even one blunder in it, this whole island could suffer the consequences." argued the elder.
Naruto frowned, not quite able to refute his point. He knew how dangerous seals were, his parents had made sure to drill that into his head.
He looked the man square in the eyes. "A compromise then?" he offered.
"...Go on." Naruto was glad he hadn't been abstinent about this and would at least hear him out.
"I will allow one person to view my projects and guide me through them as I work, but not multiple."
"Oh? And who is this mystery person who have in mind?"
All eyes turned to the crimson haired heiress. She was surprised he would nominate her to teach him when others were clearly better than her. It did feel nice having someone have need of her.
Naruto was smirking while the father frowned. They both knew she could do it since both knew she had the skill and ingenuity for it. Naruto had seen it firsthand on the battlefield while her father had taught her himself.
Only thing is, her father didn't want her anywhere near whatever this seal or seals may be. He wanted to say no to the idea, but by doing so would be putting down his daughter in front of everyone and denouncing not only her skill, which was still rising, but his own teaching. Plus, he knew that by choosing his daughter, she would just report anything dangerous she saw back to him anyways instead of their being any bickering between him and someone he didn't know.
He eyed the young man in front of him warily and whether he did this intentionally or unintentionally, he had backed him into a corner, with few benefits.
"Your a shrewd tactician young man." praised the elder. "I praise the woman who reins you in." he sent Naruto a smirk.
"Heh, thanks." replied the blonde, lightly chuckling.
"I agree to your terms."
"Thank you sir." replied Naruto, tilting his head forward.
"Call me Ashina or just Ash." They shook hands. "It makes me feel young again."
"Very well, Ashina-sama." Naruto had to address the man befitting his station. "My name is Namikaze Naruto."
"And I am Senju Tōka." she chimed in, having remained silent till then.
His elderly eyes now turned to the other companion. "Really now? A Senju? Why are you so far from home?" He heard her reasoning and he could understand where she was coming from. Mito would one day be the exact same as her, each trying to find their place in the world.
"If we're done here, then I suggest we hit the training grounds." said Mito. Naruto and Tōka bowed to the Uzumaki patriarch and left to follow his daughter.
– Training Grounds –
Mito stood in front of the duo.
"First off, I thank you for choosing me." she started. "While I may not be as experienced as my father when it comes to certain things, I do have skill. I will do my absolute best in teaching you both sealing-"
"Ah, I actually don't want to learn." stated Tōka, hand raised.
"Then why are you here?" Mito' gaze followed the Senju' to the blonde. "Ah, I see." she mumbled.
"I know basic sealing knowledge, but I have no wish to further it at the moment." she explained. "I am going to be working on my genjutsu."
"I see, then it appears that it will be myself and Naruto."
"So it seems." Tōka started to walk off a bit to the side, giving them and herself more room, but was stopped.
"Don't leave yet. We need to figure out living arrangements. I have my own home with a spare bedroom but only one bed." Realization dawned on them. "I hope that isn't a problem."
Tōka looked scandalized while Naruto just blushed a bit.
"I thought you two were lovers?" questioned Mito. They seemed as such when she had seen them interact.
"No, we aren't." clarified Tōka, nipping this in the bud. "We are just traveling companions."
"Yeah..." agreed Naruto. "Although...there was that one time..." he trailed off, as Tōka shot him a death glare, "Sorry, sorry." he chuckled. "I was just poking some fun."
Mito didn't know whether to laugh or tear her hair out. Her new friends/students obviously liked one another, it was in the body language yet neither knew how to approach it. She would have helped them, but she didn't know much about the subject herself.
"Well, I'm sorry to hear that, but unfortunately that is all I have."
Tōka was reluctant, but she nodded. "Very well." She went off to the side to begin her own training.
Mito looked at the blonde. "Lets get started."
Naruto agreed and unsealed the first scroll he had been working on, knowing this technique would blow her mind.
– Six Months Later –
If one were to describe Mito, most would say she was calm, cool, and collected. Never one to show her surprise or fear in the face of danger, they obviously had not seen her in the last six months as she trained Naruto and monitored Tōka.
The past months were like a blur. Tōka was a prodigy when it came to genjutsu, putting people under with relative ease, creating new techniques as well. It was Naruto, however, that was the most surprising.
When she had first seen the scroll containing the notes on the seal the blonde was trying to work on, her mind was blown. It was no simple seal he was trying but one that manipulated the space-time continuum. Allowing for instantaneous teleportation.
The problem was recreating the seal to link with his chakra so when used he wouldn't end up in multiple places. That problem had been figured out, but until it was tested, they weren't sure just how well they had figured it out. So that was their next goal, along with figuring out a way to utilize the skill in combat.
Mito has been quite happy, as others had noted, when she had spent time with her new friends. The both of them were just different compared to everyone else in the compound. They weren't afraid to be themselves, but while she was happy with them, she was also envious.
Over the past months, the both of them had somewhat started to see the other very differently. It wasn't pubic, but if you looked hard enough you could see it. Someday' it might be a look, a touch on the arm, just talking, or as simple as a smile. She often found herself daydreaming, what it was like being in Tōka's shoes for a day, with someone she obviously liked. It never went further than that though.
The other thing she was jealous over was the fact that neither of her friends had expectations set unto them just by being born. She was expected to take over for her father as clan head when he stepped down. Or be sent to another clan as a wife due to some arranged marriage. She didn't want that, but she would never voice it out loud. Her clan came first.
"Mito-sama!" She heard her name called, and pushed her own desires to the side.
"What is it?"
"Your father needs you. He also wants Namikaze-sama and Senju-sama present."
All three were standing at attention, waiting to hear why they had been summoned.
"Thank you three for coming on such short notice. Recent information has made it's way into my hands regarding my clan members." he stated. "I sent them further east to search more of the islands when they were attacked. I don't know if it was a group or a single person. The point is, I want them back or proof they are no longer among the living."
Naruto and Tōka were confused, wondering why they were going on such a mission.
"I can see by the confused expressions, you're wondering why I'm sending two who are not of my clan?" They both nodded. "I have given you shelter, food, and training. I ask this one thing of you, help my clan."
Nothing more needed to be said, Ashina had said his piece. Neither Naruto nor Tōka could refuse the man since he had indeed given them those things, but they also understood he was just using what he had at his disposal. Compared to his other kinsmen, the two of them alone were stronger and only continuing. He was acting like any clan leader would at the moment.
"What are the conditions of the area?" questioned Naruto, ready to get started. If by doing this got the clan leader to trust him and Tōka more, then he was all for it. Nothing wrong with having the backing of a major clan when he had none to begin with.
"It's hard to tell." admitted Ashina. "The weather however should be the least of your worries. Find out what happened to my people and take care of the assailant if he shows himself." he ordered.
Ashina watched all three of them leave his office, but what nobody seemed to notice was the glazed over look in his eyes. Watching the retreating form of Naruto.
The trio had taken one of the boats and had sailed through the whirlpools and through the sudden rainy downpour on their way to Mizu no Kuni. Once they had landed, they were and weren't really surprised at what they saw.
On the one hand, none of the Uzumaki had survived, no surprise there. However, they didn't expect to see the bodies of the Uchiha clan as well, now that was surprising.
"What happened here?" wondered Mito.
"It looks like the Uchiha attacked the Uzumaki. Or vice versa." offered Tōka, throwing in her opinion.
'Hm, while either option is true, I find it hard to believe that not one person is left standing.' thought Naruto. 'So that begs the question. Who took out the surviving members?'
No sooner had he finished his thought did they hear the scrambling of footsteps heading in their direction. Another group of Uchiha arrived to back up their comrades, and all they found was them standing over their corpses.
"You bastards." growled out the apparent leader. "What did you do to our comrades!?" he snarled out.
"We didn't do anything, you dumb idiot." retorted Naruto. He hated when people assumed things, it always mostly went bad.
Before the Uchiha could launch themselves at him and his group, a very think mist started to roll in from the south. Naruto, Mito, and Tōka were immediately on guard. Both the blonde and crimsonette had felt the amount of chakra laced within the very mist itself, and it was huge.
Naruto pushed further, trying to discern just what was going on since there was no possible way this wasn't a man made mist. That meant the user had to be nearby. He searched out the Uchiha as well and was stunned.
Someone or something was taking out the men and women of the squad effortlessly, using speed he hadn't ever encountered before. It put him on extreme alert.
'Is this what it's like for people when they see me without my weights?' he idly wondered. He had discarded the weights after he had started training his taijutsu with his mother many years ago. He sometimes put them back on, but very rarely.
The mysterious figure stopped, finished with his slaughter. It began to make it's way over to him and his friends. He quickly unsealed his eskrima, pushed Mito and Tōka out of the way, and blocked the Zanbatō the figure was using.
As the mist started to recede, the group was finally able to see their attacker. He was lean, broad shouldered, average height, dark green eyes, and black hair. He was wearing a shawl, only it cut off at the midsection. All of his clothes were in dark colors.
"Ho~, to think that somebody could block that strike." said the man, surprised. "Not bad, not bad at all." he praised, a crooked grin on his face.
Naruto grunted under the weight of the blade and the pure strength it took to lift, let alone swing, such a blade. He had yet to grow into his full adult body.
"Thank you for the compliment, but I have to ask. Why did you attack?"
The man looked at the pile of corpses off to the side. "Because they woke me up." he yawned. "Then these other idiots over here started to make even more noise by fighting the first idiots." he said, exasperated. "Then these other fools come and try to start a fight, and now I turn to see you and your group, just standing around like damn fools."
"That's it!?" cried out Mito, saddened by her clansmen' needless deaths.
"Yep." chirped the mystery man. "That's about it." he let out another yawn.
"We didn't come here with intention of a fight." explained the blonde. "We were just sent to gather the Uzumaki and return with them or news of their deaths. Since they died, we will be leaving." Naruto turned to leave and motion for Mito to seal the bodies but was stopped.
"Hm...well that's too bad for you then." started the man. "You see, when there is fighting near or around my home, I'm bound to get pissed. As is my right. So, I'm sorry to say this, but you three aren't going anywhere." Naruto frowned. He knew where the man was coming from but he really didn't want to fight. "I've still got anger in me and I've deal with the canon fodder. It's either you or them." he looked at Mito and Tōka. "Pick your choice."
"Dammit." he cursed. "Tōka, Mito..."
"Seal the Uzumaki, once your done then we leave."
"Don't think I will make it easy though." said the man, having heard the blonde.
Both Mito and Tōka were worried. They didn't want Naruto to have to fight a battle were all he was doing was evading until they finished their own mission. That was bound to fail or end up with a severe injury. All they could do was trust and believe in him.
"Once we're done, well come back!" said Mito, giving Naruto the most serious look he had ever seen on her face.
"Please do. I would like to go back with my friends." said Naruto, trying to lighten the mood.
Both women smiled at him, he was always playing the fool to try and get them to laugh or cheer them up when they were down. He was the type of person who would make fun of himself if it could get you to laugh.
"Be careful Naruto." said both Mito and Tōka, worryingly, as their hands brushed against his momentarily.
A small smile crept up on his lips. "I will." he promised. "Thank you for your concern, Tōka, Mito."
The man couldn't take it anymore. "Oh gods, that was so mushy." he groaned. "Are you done flirting with your girlfriends?" he questioned.
Naruto's cheeks, along with his companions, tinted a light pink. "Their not my girlfriends or anything." he muttered. By this point, the two females were gone. "Just friends." The man heard him and snorted.
"Sure their not." he rolled his eyes, clearly not buying his just friends excuse. "They wouldn't have told you to be careful or touch you on the hand if they didn't have feelings for you." He spoke from experience.
"Yeah, I guess your right." the blonde mumbled, softly. He shook his head, and looked at the man with sharpness in his eyes. "Now tell me the name of the man who's about to get my foot up his ass."
The man scoffed. "Please, as if you're fast enough. And isn't it proper etiquette to introduce yourself first or were you not raised properly?" Naruto frowned at the dig at his parent's and their parenting.
"Namikaze Naruto." He got in his stance, eskrima at the ready.
They both stared the other down, neither wanting to make the first move. It was then that Naruto saw Saizō place his giant clever behind his back at an angle, crouch his knees, and lean forward. He heard him mutter two words.
"Ougi: Shūnko(Secret Technique: Instant Light)!"
Right before his very eyes, the man had disappeared in a blur of speed. All he saw was a zigzag pattern of light, and before he knew it, he felt Saizō at his back, bringing down the cleaver in an overhead strike, looking to cut him in half.
End of Chapter Four
So that was the updated fourth chapter of this story. What did you think?
I felt the fight against Sarutobi Sasuke was better written, as was how Tōka had taken down her own bandit group. Much more realistic in my opinion; lot cooler to. Anyways, I will soon be posting updated versions of the other chapters up till I believe chapter 8 or 9, I think. I need to look at my notes to see.
Anyways, that's it from me.