AUTHOR OF THIS FANFIC DOES NOT OWN BLEACH OR NARUTO IN ANY WAY WHATSOEVER. THESE TWO GREAT IP'S ARE PROPERTY OF TITE KUBO AND MASASHI KISHIMOTO RESPECTIVELY. I DO NOT WHATSOEVER ALSO USE THIS FANFIC TO GAIN ANY FORM OF REVENUE AS WELL.
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Story Arc for Chapter 3 and possibly Chapter 4 (Land of Waves Arc will continue on Chapter 5)
Shinigami of the Leaf
Kurosaki Ichigo stares at the glowing purple orb in his hands. To an observer that was never close to Ichigo, they will see that he is looking at the orb with a look of indifference. However, to those who know him thoroughly or at least interacted with him on a daily basis, can see sorrow, weariness, and rage. This small orb, the Hōgyoku, was the very thing in which Sōsuke Aizen used as the catalyst to start the Winter War. The war that forced the entire Goteijūsantai to its knees, Aizen's ingenuity in planning and executing his master plan of obtaining Kisuke's own Hōgyoku to complete his own was nothing more than flawless. He later revealed mutated hollows that have gained Shinigami powers and calling them Arrancars to face the Taichous of the Goteijūsantai in a free-for-all at Fake Karakura. It was here that they learned that Aizen started undergoing an evolution, or a mutation, by fusing with the Hōgyoku to achieve transcendence and fulfill his plan in assassinating the Soul King.
However the effort of one Shinigami Substitute has definitely destroyed the madman's entire plan, but not before accepting the price he must pay to destroy Aizen, sacrificing his power and life for one move that will hopefully end the war. Ichigo, using Saigo no Getsuga Tenshō, used Mugetsu to direct an omnipotent force of void black reiatsu toward's Aizen's mutated form. The force of the attack destroyed Aizen atomically, making sure the madman will never return. Aizen's death is similar to how a Quincy's attack will permanently destroy a soul instead of purifying it. All that was left was a cracked Hōgyoku that was slowly repairing itself. This lead to Ichigo picking up the orb and studying it intently and pondering on how something so small can cause a war of such magnitude.
Ichigo continues to study the crumbling orb in his hand, when he felt it trying to tempt him with power. Using his indomitable will, he swatted away the fledgling connection the Hōgyoku was trying to establish with him, making the sentient orb silent once more.
'So much has happened because of this orb. So much life lost unnecessarily.' thought Ichigo. This is when an idea sprung up in his mind. If no one can destroy the orb, and since he is already dying, he might as well absorb the device and die with the orb inside his soul so no one can ever abuse its power again.
'Hōgyoku, since I am your new master, I command you to merge with me.' ordered Ichigo telepathically. The orb, recognizing its new master, pulsed with a bright purple hue and instantly disappeared. Upon merging with Ichigo, it started pulling on Ichigo's mind again; this time much stronger than before. Ichigo realized that Aizen must have succumbed to the manipulations of the object or his madness was amplified by interacting with the orb and thus leading to this situation they are all facing now. Shaking his head to clear of all those thoughts; Ichigo, with sheer will destroyed the nagging probe of the Hōgyoku with ruthlessness and precision. For the first time since its inception, the Hōgyoku's will was finally broken and calmed. Ichigo was rather smug that he has surpassed Kisuke and Aizen in subjugating the Hōgyoku. However, upon realizing the he will still die and cease existing, that smugness and sense of achievement was replaced with melancholy and resigned acceptance. As of right now, he feels his body is slowly dissolving, his time left grows short, and he can feel the reiatsu of Kisuke, Yoruichi, Chad, Ishida, Orihime, and his father Isshin nearing his location. He knows that they will not be able to reach him in time so he just smiled and sent forth a burst of his reiatsu that carried out a message of thanks and apologies for not being able to come home after all of this was finally over. After that, he felt himself fall into the gentle hands of unconsciousness.
Inside the royal chambers there is a throne made with obsidian, sat a being that is only known as the Soul King, many millennia has passed since he has forgotten his name. Now, only his title remains. He also exudes an aura of authority, obedience and finally death. He was watching the events unfold during the battle and was filled with pride on how Ichigo, took down a man with an insane God complex and left the world by taking the very catalyst of the conflict with him in death. He has received the soul known as Sōsuke Aizen earlier and promptly devoured it to prevent the soul from entering the cycle of reincarnation. Now though, he is waiting for the arrival of a certain orange-haired Shinigami for a personal talk with the man who saved the balance of this world. He was shaken out of his musings when the familiar form of Kurosaki Ichigo materialized in front of him.
"Where the hell am I?" Ichigo asked to himself, as he surveyed his surroundings and his clothes, he now wears a completely white outfit that consists of a hakama and kimono securely strapped by a black obi.
"You are in my home, Kurosaki Ichigo." said a booming voice that practically screams authority and requires one's utmost attention. Ichigo, surprised that someone was able to sneak behind him, turned abruptly and saw a man standing 6'2 with raven black hair, porcelein white skin, high cheekbones, eyes that completely black that seems to read your very soul and an aura with the feeling of facing true death.
"Wh-who are you?" asked the eldest Kurosaki
"I am what you simply known as the Soul King. I want to congratulate you on destroying Sōsuke Aizen and letting me finally feast on his soul. As to why you are brought here instead of waiting to be reincarnated, well, let's just say that I owe you a debt and I am offering you a deal to pay for this debt of mine." explained the deity to the shocked Kurosaki.
"Ano… What death are you talking about Soul King-sama?" asked the still reeling Shinigami.
"We deities cannot involve ourselves in the daily life to life occurrences on the worlds or dimensions we have created unless it affects the natural order of things and will lead to chaos at the end. Dealing with Aizen and stopping him from disrupting the balance using that thing that currently resides inside of you and returning the balance back to where it once was. Back to the deal, since you have dealt with Aizen and lost your powers and life in the process; Kami and I have decided to give you another chance at life." explained the Soul King to the now floored Ichigo.
Ichigo, after all that has happened to him during his life, this one was the real kicker; to know that a deity has a debt to him of all people and was offering him a chance to live a second chance again. Maybe he can fulfill that promise to his younger sisters. Before he can accept the deal, the Soul King clarified a few things before Ichigo makes a decision.
"However, you will not be sent back to Karakura or even Soul Society for that matter. Since you have 'joined' the cycle of reincarnation, the chances of you going back to that world is slim at best. We will send you to another world, this world is not as advanced technologically as yours but its inhabitants are still humans." explained the deity.
'It is sad to leave the world where my sisters will grow up knowing that I have made the ultimate sacrifice without giving them a proper goodbye… Although, the chance of having a blank slate is something I cannot let go of.'
The Soul King seeing that Ichigo will most likely accept his proposal of having another shot at life coughed lightly to gain his attention.
"What is your decision young Kurosaki?" asked the deity
"I accept Soul King-sama." replied Ichigo respectfully
"Good, now before you ask, Zangetsu and Shiro have merged with you. I am sorry Ichigo, you may not be able to talk to them anymore but take comfort at the fact that they are now part of you." explained the King solemnly. Ichigo was extremely sad to see his two companions, no matter how annoying Shiro can be, were lost to him forever.
"Do not worry, a new Zanpakutō spirit will be your partner from now on. It may not be Zangetsu, but remember, a soul cutter is an extension of your soul. To deny your new partner is like denying a part of yourself young Kurosaki." advised the King sagely. Ichigo managed to nod at the advice of the deity in front of him. However, the king is not done yet and what he said next shocked the Kurosaki again.
"With your soul stabilizing already and your reiryoku is already denser and more abundant than three Yamamoto with Bankai activated and still growing, you will finally be able to cast Kido spells. Before you leave this realm in favor of settling to your new home, I will be depositing all the knowledge of Kido in your brain. This includes all forbidden Kido, I am confident you will use it wisely and appropriately young Kurosaki." explained the deity.
Ichigo, due to the war, his poor control of reiatsu and unstable reiryoku has been unable to perfrom Kido. The idea of performing a new branch made him giddy, especially after seeing some high-level kido at work during the Battle at Fake Karakura. Upon hearing the King's trust to him in using kido both allowed and forbidden wisely he promised himself to do that. Upon coming to a decision, he nodded his head and watched as the king stand up and approach him and put his right thumb at the center of Ichigo's forehead and started uploading all information on Kido to the Substitute Shinigami's head. After the transfer, Ichigo is currently suffering a massive headache that the King found amusing.
"Before I send you to your new home, you will train yourself in all the Shinigami arts here in my dimension until you have achieved mastery of it all. The Ōzokutokumu will help you achieve that goal young Kurosaki." said the King after sitting in his throne again. Ichigo only managed to nod to the king.
"You will find the Ōzokutokumu at the courtyard. Do your very best young Kurosaki." said the king. Recognizing the dismissal, Ichigo left the room and searched for the Ōzokutokumu. His new lease on life starts now.
200 Years Later
Ichigo, now 215 years old was walking towards the Royal Chamber where the Soul King is preparing the portal that will transport him to his new home. In the last century, he has mastered all aspects of the Shinigami arts. In Hoho, he was now able to match the fastest Shunpo user in the Ōzokutokumu and use some advance Hoho techniques such as Utsusemi to a high degree.
In Hakuda, he is a proven master in hand to hand combat due to years training in karate and the winter war has honed his reflexes to the max. He is able to use Ikkotsu and Sōkotsu efficiently and packs a lot of power. He literally disintegrate an enemy with his punch and can also use Oni Dekopin to finger flick an opponent through numerous obstacles like trees or even buildings.
In Zanjutsu, he has mastered it in a far higher degree than his Hakuda skills, facing master swordsman ever since becoming a Shinigami will definitely make one a master swordsman with proper training. Here he can use three master level Zanjutsu techniques; one of these is Hitotsume: Nadegiri, where Ichigo creates an extremely precise cut using supreme speed and force. The cut occurs so fast, the enemy will not be aware of them being hit until they are falling down dead. Hierro skin is also useless to this technique. The other is Agitowari in which Ichigo uses a single strike to bifurcate the enemy from the jawline below. The last technique he learned and mastered is Senmaioroshi. Here Ichigo cuts and slashes so fast he literally shred his target to pieces. Couple all of his techniques with his Shunpo he can take a group of enemy in matter of seconds.
In Kido, despite having problem with reiatsu control in the beginning due to his extreme reserves, has mastered it to the degree where he can match Yamamoto in the Kido Arts, he can use Hado or Bakudo just by calling the spell's name and still retain it's great power. He also retrained his hollow powers and was satisfied that his hollows skills now do not drain him as much as before.
Speaking of his reiryoku, the Hōgyoku is constantly making his reiryoku denser with each passing day. Although his reserves are constant which is about the size of three Yamamoto's with their Bankai activated combined, the density of the reiryoku is enough to send all members of the Ōzokutokumu to their knees when he released it. He can also induce fear to anyone by just making eye contact with said person due to his masterful reiatsu control that he still does every day. This is the reason why his Kido spells are extremely powerful; if Ichigo uses an incantation the spell that will come out is so devastating he reserved using the incantation if and only if the situation calls for it. Another side effect of having a broken willed Hōgyoku is immortality and regeneration. Meaning he can use a sacrificial Kido and have that sacrificed part back by the end of the week with the Hōgyoku slowly and carefully regenerating the exact arm that was attached to him before using it as sacrifice for a Kido spell. Also, thanks to his masterful reiatsu control, he can now keep his soul cutter from being stuck in its shikai state.
The most shocking of all is his new partner… Ryūjin Jakka. After the death of Yamamoto due to Quincy leader Yhwach, Ryūjin Jakka disappeared from the First Division barracks and to the lap of a meditating Ichigo Kurosaki. Upon learning of the famed founder's death, he asked the Ōzokutokumu on what is happening outside the King's realm and got a rundown of all the things happened after he died. He was shocked at first to see so much suffering even after the end of the Winter War and cannot help because of the Soul King's orders of not to interfere.
For the last 175 years, both he and Ryūjin Jakka have established a strong bond that is far stronger than that with Yamamoto and Ryūjin Jakka with the same amount of time. He also learned all of Ryūjin Jakka's Shikai and Bankai technqiues. It also converted his reiatsu to accommodate the fire type soul cutter. Meaning, every time Ichigo exudes his spiritual pressure, the temperature will increase just like Yamamoto; however the difference is that Ichigo's spiritual pressure is heavier and far hotter than Ryūjin Jakka's former wielder.
Ichigo's body has also underwent some changes as well, lean yet firmly muscled that caters to both speed and power is his built. A towering height of 6'1 and have orange hair that drops below his neckline and bangs that shadow his calculating and cold brown eyes. He still has his patented scowl on his face, making it his trademark look. Personality wise, Ichigo has become more cautious, calculating, and colder when facing opponents but does not hesitate to show his softer side to people close to him.
Ichigo was brought out of his musings when he reached the chambers that will transport him from this dimension to the next. During these 2 centuries, Ichigo has studied the Elemental Nations quite extensively, from how the Juubi was a shell of its former self and how a person sealed the Juubi inside his own body to stop its rampage across the world up to latest major event; that is the Third Great Shinobi War. He also studied how chakra is far different from reiatsu. Chakra is the combination of both the physical and spiritual energies produced by the body. However, upon further inspection it shows that it is not reiryoku that is the spiritual half of chakra. But instead it is the mental energy that a shinobi produces on one's own that interacts with one's physical energy to create chakra. Physical energy is from the energy produced from the cells that compromises a shinobi's body, whilst spiritual energy is gained through exercise and experience. He was also informed by the Soul King that Kido spells cannot be broken by chakra and therefore he must be careful on who he will target with Kido, especially Hado. He was also informed that even the lowest Bakudo can restrain even the strongest shinobi for quite some time. He was shaken from his thoughts upon stopping in front of the doors that will lead him to his new home. He steeled himself and knocked on the doors.
"Come in." ordered the Soul King
"Thank you again for giving me another chance." said Ichigo politely after entering the chambers.
"No no… Thank you for your service to me…" replied the King magnanimously, "Now, as you can see, the portal is up and running already. It will deposit you in one of the many forests in Hi no Kuni. Upon exiting the portal you will find inside your shihakushō a map of the entire world, plus a very detailed map of Fire Country. Remember this is your new lease on life, whatever you want to do with it, is up to you. Oh and by the way, take this haori." explained the King, before throwing him a white haori, like the one worn by the taichous of the Goteijūsantai, the difference is the word printed on the back of the haori, instead of the division number there is the kanji for Shinigami (死神) inside the rhombus. Upon thanking the Soul King he readily put it on and looked himself at the mirror the soul king has materialized and he got to say, it looks good on him. Thanking the deity again and giving his farewell to the man, he started walking to the portal. However, even before he steps inside of it, he hears a final piece from the deity behind him.
"Ichigo, when you do find yourself a mate in that world, whoever that may be for that matter. You will not have to worry about losing him or her to the sands of time or diseases, once you have done the deed, he will be inscribed with a mark that will make him like you, immortal and forever youthful. If you do decide to have children you have a choice of giving them partial immortality, and you also have the power to remove those gifts in kind. Use it wisely my boy. Have fun now." said the deity before shoving the Kurosaki through the portal and marking the new start of his adventures.
'The Elemenal Nations will never be the same again. Child of Prophecy, help is coming soon.' thought the Soul King before returning to the throne room.
25 miles outside Konoha
Ichigo grumbles to himself after stepping out of the portal from his previous home dimension. The idea of having a mate that will become immortal like him is appealing but, he thought that finding his mate is not the appropriate time for it yet. He was broken out of his musings by his partner.
'Ichigo, even though you look 21 you are already 215 years old for Kami's sake. You have to start thinking about your future family.' stated Ryūjin Jakka
'I know, but we have to settle down first and find a stable job to earn some money. The money given to me by the Soul King will only be enough for at least 6 months.' replied Ichigo, Ryūjin Jakka just nodded and settled back to Ichigo's soulscape.
Ichigo reached inside of his shihakushō, retrieved a map, and studied the map of Hi no Kuni. He determined that joining the shinobi village and living incognito for a while is most preferable. He trekked out of the forest until he reached the main road and disappeared in a series of Shunpo towards Konoha.
Izumo and Kotetsu, the immortal gate guards of Konohagakure no Sato, are having a slow day at work guarding the main entrance to the great shinobi village. Izumo, a chūnin and a mysophobe, was watching the road for any travelers, possible intruders, or returning shinobi that might want to enter Konoha. He just got back from the Jōnin Standby Station because his partner Kotetsu, another chūnin and his partner, has been slacking off his duties again. After giving his best friend another tongue lashing, they went back to their posts and resume their duties of guarding Konoha against intruders. They were snapped out from their thoughts when a man suddenly appeared in the middle of the road.
"Ano… Izumo, did you see that?" Kotetsu asked his partner, getting ready for possible hostiles entering their home.
"Yeah, let's just be prepared for anything. We'll ask first what his is his business here before doing anything drastic." replied Izumo.
The man that they saw appeared was at least in his earlier twenties, was fairly tall, standing at about 6'0 or 6'1, long spiky but tame orange hair that goes below the neckline, and strands of his hair shadowing his eyes revealing brown orbs that shows unfathomable power beneath them and screams experience in war. He wears a black kimono and black hakama with a white obi to secure his uniform snugly. Over his black attire is a white long-sleeved haori that reaches down below his thighs, but way above his ankles. It was just tad shorter than his hakama. The haori has also an alternating pattern of black vertical bars and black diamonds among the hemline of the haori. On his left hip is a katana with with a black sheathe and dark purple handle with bronze diamond pattern, it also has circular guard that depicts flames licking the handle of the blade. He face also seems to be permanently stuck into a scowl. Their observations were cut short when the man stopped in front of them and coughing lightly to get their attention.
"Halt! Who are you, and what is your business here in Konoha?" Izumo asked the young man in front of them.
"My name is Kurosaki Ichigo, and I come here to appeal to your leader about staying and establishing my home here in Konoha. I also wish to speak to your leader if I can also join the shinobi ranks." replied Ichigo crisply. The response unnerved the guards with the power that seems to coat each word spoken by the man.
"Very well, sign your name here. Upon entrance to the village, you will be escorted by our ANBU towards the Hokage Tower and meet the Sandaime. Be warned, any action that will show hostility against Konoha will not be tolerated." said Izumo, as Kotetsu handed Ichigo a roll of parchment and a brush to write down the pertinent information regarding his visit. Upon finishing the paperwork, Ichigo entered the hidden village and was awed by size and grandiosity of the village; he also noticed the festive mood the village seems to exude. He was brought back to reality by a shinobi dropping beside him with the gracefulness of a feline. He only gave a nod to the shinobi that he is ready to follow him towards the shinobi tower. He could have shunpoed, but it is better to hide his skills first than broadcasting them to potential enemies.
The walk to the Hokage Tower was tense. Ichigo can see that the ANBU, despite being trained exceptionally well, is tense due to his posture. To an untrained eye, the ANBU may be seen as relaxed but to Ichigo he can see that the ANBU is ready for any possible circumstances that may arise. Well who can blame the ANBU, here is a man dressed like a civilian that knows a thing or two about Kenjutsu, but the stance and power that he exudes tells a different story. It tells of a master in the sword arts that can kill you but a single stroke and not waste any energy at all. It also did not help that his haori has the kanji for 'Shinigami' (死神). Upon arriving at the tower, the ANBU instructed him on how to reach the top floor of the building. Ichigo gave a thankful nod at the ANBU and watched as the ANBU disappeared in swirl of smoke and leaves. Ichigo associated it with the quirks of shinobi. Ichigo entered the tower and answered pertinent questions from the secretary of the Hokage and waited to be called.
Sarutobi Hiruzen the Sandaime Hokage, Kami no Shinobi, and the Professor, is battling his most powerful enemy yet; paperwork. After retiring from his post after the Third Shinobi World War and handing the hat to his successor, Namikaze Minato, he has been enjoying his private life with his wife, his son, and his grandson. However, the attack of the Kyuubi no Kitsune twelve years ago, and the sacrifice of the Yondaime in sealing the beast inside his son Naruto, has forced him into taking up the hat again, and started the efforts of rebuilding Konoha and warding off potential villages in attacking his home village.
Speaking of Naruto, he cannot help but become guilty and sorrowful for his life. The night people learned from a talkative council member about his status as jinchūriki of Kyuubi, his life became a living hell. Despite his attempts to help the boy, the civilian council keeps blocking him and the shinobi council from doing anything substantial to Naruto. Despite the law he set forth, the beatings, glares, and overall hate the boy received never waned. He can only take comfort in knowing that the cheery boy still did not lose his happiness despite being stripped of his childhood innocence so early in his life. The only things he can do are to support the boy financially and provide him at least some comfort.
He was broken out of his musings when a boar-masked ANBU whispered to his ear that a person is seeking refuge in Konoha and is willing to join the shinobi ranks. This surprised the Sandaime somewhat as outsiders rarely join the ranks of Konoha. Most of the time, outsiders just live a civilian life after settling in the village. However if this man is willing to join the ranks, it means he has already access to chakra, and that means he may be a former shinobi of another village. He cannot just accept him readily, despite the lack of manpower in his ranks. The man may be a sleeper agent for another village and can become a threat to the village. Getting back at the matter at hand, he dismissed the ANBU and motioned for his secretary to let him through. He will have his answers soon enough.
The man in question entered his office, and Sarutobi cannot help but sit straighter due to the aura of power that the man exudes. The young man looks relaxed, but his tense muscles did not escape the keen eyes of the Professor. Sarutobi also established eye contact with the man and saw his brown orbs scream unfathomable power and experience at him. Sarutobi shook those thoughts away and bid the man to sit so they can get underway.
After answering the questions that the Sandaime has asked of him, he was told that he will be under 6 months of probation to ensure his loyalty to the village. He will also be doing D-ranked missions with pay. After ensuring his loyalty, he will be tested to determine his possible rank in the shinobi forces of Konoha. He accepted the stipulations and left the village to search for lodgings that will suit him for the meantime. He also needs new clothes to blend in better with the populous and shinobi of this village.
After the interview, the Sandaime was deep in thought about the man named Kurosaki Ichigo. He did answer his questions succinctly; however he can also see that he is also not disclosing everything. He can respect that everyone has secrets, but he also has to look out for the safety of his village. He will have to keep a closer eye on the Kurosaki to determine if he is a subtle threat to the village or he is really not that comfortable in sharing his past with anyone.
Time Skip: 6 Months
It has been six months since entering this world, and Ichigo is slowly going mad due to the D-rank missions he has been assigned to. Menial tasks that do not need any shinobi interference should not be called missions but chores that civilians are too lazy to do. He finds the entire thing troublesome. He did not know that in another part of the village, a father and son playing shogi both sneezed and was discovered by family matriarch to be shirking in their duties. Both received a hit on the head by the matriarch who suddenly materialised a frying pan out of nothing.
However, those maddening missions are now finally over because he will be tested today to determine which rank he will get once fully joining the shinobi forces. He readied himself and wore a long-sleeved blue turtle-neck shirt with a red spiral at the right arm sleeve. It is then followed by his custom made jōnin vest. Instead of a green vest with pockets, his vest, or flak jacket, is black and lacks any pockets whatsoever. The vest is also plated on the inside and the outside with high quality metal for additional protection. He also wears black combat pants with knee pads integrated inside the pants. And black combat boots with steel-toes to protect it from possible stray kunai that can penetrate his impressive guard. He wears fingerless black gloves with a metal plate sewn inside the glove for hidden protection. He also wore his haori to complete the look he is looking for. He finished his set up by donning his forehead protection signalling of his affiliation with the Leaf, and strapping Ryūjin Jakka snugly and securely on his left hip using a customised belt he wore. This is actually the first time he will wear this to impress them all before, during, and after the ranking test. He looked himself at the mirror and nodded in appreciation of his look. He went outside of his home, which is in the quieter areas of Konoha and disappeared in a burst of shunpo towards the stadium.
Chūnin Exam Stadium
Shinobis that are off-duty were at the chūnin exam stadium to witness the ranking test of a new shinobi of Konoha known as Kurosaki Ichigo. Among the prominent shinobis that are at the stadium are Mitarashi Anko, Yūhi Kurenai, Sarutobi Asuma, Hatake Kakashi, and Maito Gai. They are interested in this newcomer. Both Kakashi and Gai will be part of the team that will test the new guy, while Anko, Kurenai, and Asuma are just going to watch if the guy has got spunk.
"Hey Kurenai-chan, what do you think will happen with the gaki?" asked Anko to her fellow Ice Queen.
"I don't know Anko-chan. It has been hinted that he is a powerful shinobi. A master swordsman according to the rumours I heard." replied Kurenai, whilst focusing on the Hokage's speech.
"Then Yūgao will get along fine with him then." replied Anko easily.
"Maa… I do not know what to expect from this guy, and I don't heed that much to rumours floating about." drawled Kakashi, whilst his face is stuck in his favourite literature, Icha-Icha. He also deliberately ignored all the glares he has received from the female populace for reading the smut book in public. He is off-duty from his ANBU duties. In ANBU his codename is Inu.
"YOSH! KUROSAKI-KUN'S FLAME OF YOUTH IS SHINING BRIGTHLY THIS DAY! WOULDN'T YOU AGREE MY ETERNAL RIVAL?!" asked, well shouted by the eccentric taijutsu master to Kakashi. Maito Gai in a word is an eccentric individual, he has his thick eyebrows, green jumpsuit, and shiny bowl haircut. Kakashi just lifted his head from his reading and looked at Gai impassively.
"Hm… Did you say something Gai?" dismissed the elite jōnin easily. It only serves to start Gai on his rant about his hip and cool attitude. The rest of the jōnins just tuned out Gai's rant and focused on the arena.
"… so therefore, let me introduce to you the one that will be tested here, Kurosaki Ichigo." introduced the Hokage to the audience. The man of the hour walked methodically towards the centre of the stadium. Ichigo's face is still stuck in a scowl, but you can see the indifferent attitude that he has towards the whole thing, making gauging him difficult. Some of the female jōnins blushed at the sight of the handsome man that is walking towards their Kage.
"Now, Ichigo, you this will be a three part test, you will be tested in various shinobi disciplines and determine what are your strengths and weakness, plus determine your rank as well. You do not have to win, but it is a bonus to you if you do. The three parts will be a ninjutsu, taijutsu, and a kenjutsu test. Your first test will be a taijutsu match. You will face our premier taijutsu master, Maito Gai. Prepare yourself." explained and advised the aged kage before using a shunsin to get to the kage booth. Maito Gai just jumped over the railing and faced his challenger.
"YOSH! LET US SHOW THEM OUR FLAMES OF YOUTH ICHIGO-KUN! I AM KONOHA'S SUBLIME GREEN BEAST OF PREY, MAITO GAI!" shouted Gai, with a nice-guy pose complete with sparkling teeth.
'Damn… that is one hell of an introduction. Is all shinobi of Konoha this eccentric?' thought Ichigo.
'I do not know Ichigo, I must warn you however if you ever imitiate this guy's fashion style, I will drag you here and beat the crap out of you. Understood?' ranted Ryūjin Jakka after seeing the man's unusual and eye-watering style. Ichigo shivered at what he might look like if he followed the guy's style. It was enough to give him horrific images.
'Noted…' replied Ichigo. He was brought out of his conversation with his partner when a man with brown shoulder length hair and a senbon sticking out of his mouth coughed to get both combatants attention.
"Ichigo Kurosaki against Maito Gai, this is a taijutsu match only. Hajime!" shouted the man and leapt away to watch the two slug it out.
Gai attacked first by running at jōnin level speeds, he cocked his right arm aiming for a right hook when Ichigo blocked and send a straight jab at the man's face, only for it to be countered by the Gai's arm. Both combatants are testing each other's strength and reflexes, and so far it is up to point.
Gai and Ichigo jumped back away from each other and formulated strategies to use. Gai entered his signature Goken stance, whilst Ichigo entered his Hakuda stance. Ichigo's stance garnered the attention of Gai, since he has not seen such a stance before. Upon analyzing Ichigo's stance, Gai was impressed by the low number of holes he can take advantage of. However, before he can move, Ichigo disappeared. Gai only managed to blink before pain originated from his stomach and was sent flying to the far wall of the stadium creating a Gai shaped crate in it. He removed himself from the man-shaped crater and started getting serious.
He removed his weights to allow him to move more freely without opening the gates. He blurred out of sight and sent a roundhouse kick to Ichigo. However Ichigo still saw Gai even without his weights on and countered effectively, he caught Gai's leg and punched Gai again, this time straight to his face. But before his fist can make contact, it was blocked by Gai's free arm. Both separated again and started having a slugfest again. Gai using his speed while Ichigo used a low-powered shunpo to match and surpass Gai's speed a little bit.
At the stands
The shinobi audience was shocked on how this newcomer can match an unrestrained Gai in taijutsu. Their blows against each other are making shockwaves that crack the ground due to the speed and power of their blows. Asuma, Anko, Kurenai, Kakashi, and the Hokage are impressed on how the two can match each other in taijutsu. However, it is clearly shown, that Ichigo has landed more hits than Gai. Each strike of Ichigo was precise and accurate. Gai's attacks were just redirected or blocked entirely. However the most shocking thing was yet to come.
Back to Ichigo
Ichigo and Gai have been at it for half an hour now, and both are not showing any signs of stopping. They both jumped back again and surveyed each other for openings.
"YOSH! YOU ARE A TRUE MASTER OF TAIJUTSU ICHIGO-KUN. AFTER THIS I WILL BE GLAD TO HAVE ANOTHER TAIJUTSU SPARRING SESSION WITH YOU. LET US FINISH THIS IN ONE MOVE. DO YOU AGREE MY MOST YOUTHUFUL OPPONENT?" asked Gai to Ichigo
"Sure. One big move." replied Ichigo
Both blurred again from sight and met halfway to the arena, Gai threw a single right hook with enough power to destroy a building. Ichigo just prepared to intercept the attack with his hands. Upon reaching the middle, Gai slung his arm forward, hoping to hit Ichigo. He was in for a surprise however, when Ichigo caught his fist without flinching. The ground behind Ichigo cracked due to the power of the punch by Gai. But the next thing Ichigo did was more shocking, he just pulled his index finger back against his thumb and flicked it a Gai's forehead. The force of the attack was powerful enough to create a miniature shockwave and send Gai flying through the far wall of the arena and through several trees outside.
At the stands
They could not believe it. Ichigo has replicated the Legendary Slug Princess's finger flick technique. What's more is that they did not see and concentrated chakra to augment the power of the attack. Just pure raw power alone, the Hokage was shocked and now more than ever that Ichigo is really a master of hand to hand techniques. The audience were not doing any better. A simple finger flick from Ichigo is powerful enough to send someone through multiple obstacles easily is something no one wants to experience. Asuma, Kurenai, and Anko just have their jaws hanging on the ground, while Kakashi was now more than curious about this newcomer. Kakashi was now sure that Ichigo's taijutsu is at least Kage level to defeat Gai in a straight out slugfest.
Back to Ichigo
"Winner of the taijustu match: Kurosaki Ichigo!" announced the proctor, impressed with Ichigo's skill in hand-to-hand combat. The proctor then waited for Ichigo's next opponent; Neko of ANBU.
Neko, a female ANBU that is partial to the way of sword fighting appeared in the arena in a traditional Leaf Shunshin. She nodded to the proctor to start the match
"Next match will be a Kenjutsu match. It will be between ANBU Neko and Kurosaki Ichigo. Hajime!" the proctor announced and jumped back to watch the match.
Neko observed the young Kurosaki and saw that his stance has a handful of holes. However, the flaws she perceived will be extremely difficult to capitalise on, making those holes in his stance moot in the end. Seeing as he will not make the first move, Neko unsheathed her sword and charged at Ichigo. Imagine her surprise when Ichigo did not move at all, she thought he may have frozen up. However, she shook those thoughts away and continued charging. What happened next shocked her to her very core. Before the strike can hit him, it was stopped, not by a sword, but by his index finger alone. Her eyes widened when she saw that her swing was completely halted by a finger. She disengaged, tried to attack agin with more speed and power to her strikes, but to her increasing frustration and to the audience increasing awe, he still managed to stop her attack with a finger even when the strike is at full power.
At the stands
Shock. That was the entire audience is feeling right now. Neko, one of their best swordsmen is being matched by Ichigo in Kenjutsu. However the real kicker is that all her strikes are stopped by his finger alone. A finger! He did not even unsheathe his katana yet. The Hokage, was getting more and more giddy at having a powerful shinobi at the ranks of Konoha. It will definitely boost their ranks by having such a master of sword and hand-to-hand techniques. If his ninjutsu portion will be the same as his performance here, he will be put in ANBU to undertake missions that are great in difficulty, and earn Konoha some precious allies and greater intimidating factor due to the increase of S-rank missions that they finish. If words spread that Konoha has a high number of successful S-rank missions, clients will be going to them in droves, plus their enemies will think twice of attacking them, since the idea that Konoha's shinobi are extremely skilled will pause any nefarious thoughts of invasion in the near future.
Back to Ichigo
Neko was getting frustrated by her lack of progress against Ichigo. She is also having an enlightening experience, since she now know for sure that her opponent is a master swordsman, way above her and Hayate's skills in kenjutsu. After the match, she is hoping if he can teach her and Hayate some moves in Kenjutsu. She was shaken from her musings when Ichigo spoke in monotone.
"Are you done, trying to attempt the same thing over and over again Neko-san?" drawled Ichigo. The monotonous tone and laziness present in his speech irked Neko. Thus she jumped back and formed a cross sign. She created two clones. Both clones took their respective position and the original taking the top.
"Mikazuki no Mai!" exclaimed Neko. They all attacked simultaneously, it seemed to have worked because the three Neko's have found their attack to be true and hit Ichigo. However, the image of Ichigo disappeared and both of her clones disappeared. She then heard Ichigo talked behind her.
"Good move Neko-san, attacking me at three fronts to make sure that I cannot escape, very commendable of you." Ichigo stated to the shocked Neko
"H-how did you escape that move? It is usually an attack that guarantees the enemy cannot escape" stuttered the shocked ANBU member
"Indeed it is, however, you forgot that I can match Gai-san's speed without his weights. I just took it to another level. The move I uses is called Utsusemi. This technique means that I move so fast, that I leave an afterimage of myself that takes the damage of your attack and then the image of 'me' taking the damage disappear completely." explained Ichigo to the stunned Neko and awed audience.
At the Stands
The audience, were again speechless at the skills of their new recruit. Gai, who has already recovered from the Oni Dekopin from Ichigo earlier, is in serious contemplation about the revelation of Ichigo.
"His speed is out of this world. To move so fast and leaving an afterimage of himself. I say he is much faster than me without my weights and at least 6 of 8 gates open." confessed Gai in a rare serious tone. Those who heard his confession was shocked to say the least.
"You're serious Gai, You are one of the fastest men alive in the entire Elemental Nations, surely you must be kidding." asked a slack-jawed Asuma to his fellow jōnin. Gai just shook his head in the negative. That alone is enough to guarantee that Kurosaki Ichigo is definitely at least Jōnin level shinobi.
Kakashi, on the other hand, prepared himself in using the Sharingan later during the ninjutsu portion of the test. Gai has already confirmed that Ichigo's speed is faster than his own. The probability of him getting under his guard and using a jutsu at point-blank range is something not nice to experience.
Back to Ichigo
Neko finally reigned in her shock due to Ichigo's skills in speed and kenjutsu. She decided to rush him at full speed and attack him overhead. Ichigo just placed his left hand at the Ryūjin Jakka's sheath near the blade guard, flicked his thumb to release the lock. His right hand is at the handle and waited for the right moment to strike. Neko saw this movement and was wondering what Ichigo will do next. Mere feet from his head, Ichigo, using unrestrained speed unsheathed Ryūjin Jakka and broke Neko's ANBU katana in pieces. The move earned bug eye looks from all people watching the fight. However, none is more shocked than Neko. This proves to her that Ichigo is indeed a true master in the ways of sword fighting. The attack also showed on how much Ichigo is keeping restrained!
At the Stands
"… Holy Shit!" commented Anko, when he saw Ichigo's katana destroyed Neko's, or to her friends Yūgao, ANBU issue katana with ease. Others are not faring well at all. The match with Gai showed that he is a master of taijutsu, but now it also shows that Ichigo is also a master of kenjutsu judging by the skill he displayed in the attack moments ago against Neko.
The Sandaime is finally convinced that with Ichigo he definitely hit the jackpot when it comes to strengthening his shinobi ranks. He is now thinking of offering some incense to a shrine for Kami for the good fortune he has received in the form of Kurosaki Ichigo.
Back to Ichigo
Neko is still in shock on how she was outclassed in Kenjutsu. The proctor however quickly masked his shock in and announced that Ichigo is the winner of the match. He gave Ichigo a 30 minute rest before conducting the last part of the match. Ichigo nodded gratefully and sat on an empty chair at the stands. He started meditating and gathering natural energy. During the past six months, he found a book detailing the meditation practices of this world that describes on using nature energy as a catalyst in entering a meditative trance. Ichigo found this world's meditation practices enjoyable and started doing it at his home or at a secluded training ground every time he is not doing anything. He found out that the natural energy is making his already very dense reiryoku much denser, adding another dimension of power in his Kido spells and reiatsu enhanced attacks. Ichigo now have to double his efforts on making sure his reiatsu is masterfully controlled and avoid people spontaneously combusting due to the thickness of his spiritual pressure. He was brought out of his meditative state when the proctor called him to start his next match; the ninjutsu test.
Hatake Kakashi, known throughout the Elemental Nations as Sharingan no Kakashi, is observing his opponent for the ninjutsu portion of the test. If there is one thing he can expect from Ichigo it is unpredictability. The first two matches show how much skill he has hidden and the news that Ichigo rarely uses any jutsus for the last six months make it difficult for him to predict on what his affinity and how good he is with those jutsus. One thing is for sure though, the aura that is exuded by Ichigo tells a story of an extremely powerful and skilled man that should not be taken lightly.
Ichigo is also doing the same to the man in front of him. Physically, the man has silver hair that defies gravity, face mask, forehead protector that covers his left eye, face mask and standard jōnin outfit. Lazy posturing hides the readiness of the man to lure him into some false sense of security. Overall, Ichigo approves of the man's presence. Deciding that he should be the aggressor now, he started with one of the weakest Hado spell. Weakest in terms of classification, but to a Kido Master like him there is no classification of weak or flimsy kido, it all depends on how good one can manipulate one's reiryoku to produce devastating results. Ichigo nods to the proctor to start the match.
"Hatake Kakashi against Kurosaki Ichigo both can only use ninjutsu. Gejutsus are allowed as well. Hajime!" the proctor jumped back and waited for the fireworks.
Ichigo started by becoming the aggressor of the match. He pointed his index finger in the direction of Kakashi's right shoulder. He approved when the elite shinobi tensed and was about to start throw a jutsu when he heard Ichigo mutter a single word
"Byakurai" a pale bolt of lightning was released from the pointing finger and went to Kakashi at terrifying speeds. Kakashi performed a Kawarimi no Jutsu to escape the lightning bolt. The bolt pierced through the log, leaving a nice charred hole as thick as the bolt of lightning.
Kakashi went through a series of hand-seals at max speeds and ended at the Tiger seal and saying:
"Katon: Gōkakyū no Jutsu!" a fireball twice Kakashi's size was released and headed straight to Ichigo, who shunpoed out of the way and prepared are Kido spell against the copy ninja.
"Shakkahō" a large sphere of red spiritual energy was formed and launched from Ichigo's hands and straight to Kakashi, upon contact with the copy ninja a miniature explosion occurred and a decent crater was all that is left. Ichigo knew that Kakashi escaped the technique but cannot see him anywhere. He then felt someone tugging on his foot and saw the hand of Kakashi, trying to drag him down.
"Doton: Shinjū Zanshu no Jutsu" said successfully after dragging Ichigo underground, leaving only his neck above ground. However, to his surprise, Ichigo's form vanished altogether. It cannot be bunshin since Ichigo felt solid when he dragged him down. It was also not a shadow clone due to the lack of smoke when the shadow clone disperses. In other words, Ichigo has left and afterimage of him. He stood up and looked for Ichigo, only to feel a hand touch his shoulders, he looked back and saw Ichigo smirking at him and uttered a single word:
"Rikujōkōrō" Kakashi then saw six thin beams of light hit him at his midsection and trap him. He cannot even move his hands! He tried collecting chakra to his arms to break the bindings but Ichigo, put his hands on his shoulders again. His face however, shows seriousness.
"Let go, of the chakra building up in your arms slowly Hatake-san, unless you want to lose your arm in the process or cripple you permanently. Kido cannot be broken by chakra; you are just going to mutilate yourself painfully if you try overloading the bindings with chakra." stated Ichigo firmly, something in his voice made Kakashi know that the man before him was a leader, and that his voice obviously show that obedience must be shown. Kakashi followed Ichigo's advice and slowly dissipated the chakra that has been building in his arms. Ichigo just nodded and dispersed the Bakudo binding Kakashi and nodded to the proctor, signalling the match is over.
"Winner of the Match: Kurosaki Ichigo!" the proctor announced at the silent audience before them, no one reacted for a moment before the Hokage started clapping in appreciation for the display of skills by all the parties involved. Following their leader, everyone soon cheered due to skill shown by their new comrade in arms in the shinobi arts.
"Maa… You are really good Kurosaki-san, those techniques you used requires no hand-seals. And what do you mean by Kido? And call me Kakashi, no formal stuff needed." asked Kakashi to the 'young' Kurosaki.
"It is a special branch of techniques taught to me by my mentors before I settled here. A select few can only hope to grasp the idea, much less perform Kido, and the requirements for using it are rather steep." said Ichigo. It is true; one must die first and become a Shinigami before one can use Kido arts to the fullest. Kakashi just nodded and whipped out his Icha-Icha. He was waiting for an outburst from Ichigo because of this, but was surprised when he just shook his head in amusement and tapped him at the back.
'Perhaps,' Kakashi thought, 'we can be good friends in the future.' with that thought he disappeared in a swirl of leaf and smoke.
The Hokage, has seen it all, but those jutsus used by Ichigo has piqued his curiosity, no hand-seals, cannot be broken by chakra, and powerful if the crater created by one of his jutsus earlier is any indication. He will just have to ask him about that later. For now he has to evaluate and assign him a rank among his forces. He stood up and applied a voice amplification jutsu to be heard by everyone in the stadium.
"Congratulations on Kurosaki Ichigo for defeating all of his opponents in this test. It also shows how strong you are my boy. Let us star first with Taijutsu, judging by the fact you have defeated Konoha's premier taijutsu specialist, Maito Gai, you can easily be ranked as a master in Taijutsu. In Kenjutsu, you have defeated the ANBU operative Neko in a clash of blades and destroyed her ANBU issue katana as well. Finally in ninjutsu, you have used a different set of jutsus or what you call Kido to defeat one of the best in ninjutsu in the village. As the current Hokage of Konohagakure no Sato, I award you with a rank of Jōnin. Congratulations!" announced Sarutobi. He nodded at his newest Jōnin and swirled away in a shunshin to finish his ever growing paperwork, leaving Ichigo to celebrate with his fellow shinobi of the leaf.
Time Skip: 5 Years
It has been 5 years since Ichigo was made Jōnin. The last four years however, has been one hell of a roller coaster ride for him. After meeting the Hokage, and accepting his proposition to join the ANBU, which he accepted, he quickly rose through the ranks and became an ANBU Taichou. Under his command were Neko, Tenzo, and Weasel. His training of those three are legendary among ANBU members due to his ruthlessness and perfectionistic attitude when it comes to the combat aspects of the shinobi arts. However, he was also noted to be a very efficient and extremely skilled sensei when it regards to training various combat arts like kenjutsu, or taijutsu. During his time in ANBU he garnered an infamous reputation as the Shinigami of the Leaf. Due to his trademark haori, and the aura of pure dominating power he exudes when facing his opponents. Even the ANBU Commander is weary in annoying the Ichigo due to the fact of an incident where a rookie badmouthed him right in his face. Suddenly, the rookie and everyone else in the ANBU HQ were on their knees due to the pressure exuded by Ichigo. This incident cemented the fact that Ichigo is more skilled and powerful than the current ANBU Commander and perhaps on the level of their Hokage. Accolades are also abundant in Ichigo's team in ANBU due to their 100% success rate in multiple A to S-rank missions that they take.
But despite all of the accolades Ichigo garnered in his time in ANBU, two events pushed Ichigo in retiring from the force and return to being a Jōnin of Konoha. The first is the Uchiha Clan Massacre, where his friend Weasel, or Uchiha Itachi, killed everyone from the clan leaving only his younger brother Sasuke alive, and psychologically tortured him to make him hate Itachi. When he found out about what happened from the Hokage, the spiritual pressure he unleashed was felt all over the village.
Ichigo, decked in his customised ANBU gear, knocked on the office of the Hokage. He has just returned from a solo mission from the capital to train the current batch of Guardians in Kenjutsu and Taijutsu. It has been a long 4 weeks of stubborn headed recruits. Upon hearing the go ahead to enter, he can feel the tense atmosphere in the air; he just heard from the gate guards that the Uchiha clan has been massacred. Only Sasuke survived the horrific incident. While Ichigo may hate those some of arrogant Uchihas, he does not completely hate the entire clan. He shrugged off those thought. He will get his answers later after reporting the success of his mission to the Sandaime. He stood in front of the kage and gave a nod of greeting and respect.
"Hokage-sama, mission from the capital regarding the training of the new Guardian members is successful. Here is the signed mission scroll and written report on the events that happened during the mission." sadi Ichigo as he handed two scrolls of parchment to the aged leader and waited patiently for the Sandaime to go through both papers.
"Congratulations on another successful A-rank mission Shi. Proceed to the mission office and get your payment there. Is there anything else you need Shi?" asked the Hokage, he was preparing for the eventual outburst that he will receive for the event. Ichigo, or Shi in ANBU, has a technique that is like Killer Intent but more potent and deadly. He has felt it once, when Ichigo released it inside ANBU HQ, he was in the tower doing paperwork when he felt the heavy weight, making it harder to breath and sit straight. Upon investigating it was found it was Ichigo who released such pressure. The result was a unconscious recruit with a wet spot on his pants.
"Yes, the guards at the gate have informed me that the Uchiha Clan was murdered last night. Do you know who perpetrated the attack? Perhaps I can help in the apprehension of the culprit Hokage-sama." said Ichigo, waiting patiently for his leader's response.
"Yes, Ichigo, please sit down and let me explain what happened last night with no interruptions." replied Sarutobi after a moment of gathering his thoughts. The use of his name while in ANBU gear means something about him is personally involved.
"The Uchiha clan has been at odds with Konoha ever since the Kyuubi attacked 7 years ago. Tensions were at an all-time high, and the clan is getting restless. It is said that the one responsible for Kyuubi's attack has the eyes of an Uchiha, meaning a Sharingan user. This rumour spread like a wildfire throughout the village and to make sure that the people don't massacre the entire clan by themselves, we have isolated the Uchiha clan in a place where we can keep a closer eye on them. The Uchiha's think they are being oppressed have started planning for a coup. I, looking for another way to resolve this diplomatically, asked for negotiations to be open. That failed miserably; however, a lone Uchiha took it upon himself to kill his clan without consulting me for that matter. He murdered everyone last night; even the innocent children were not spared from the nightmare." told the Hokage warily. The event has added a few more years to the clearly old kage. But the next thing that happened shocked Ichigo even more.
"The one who did all of this, was none other than Weasel, or Uchiha Itachi. He was the one who massacred the clan last night, and escaped from being captured." finished the Hokage, to a completely speechless and horrified Ichigo. Ichigo took the time to get everything into place. The information on the why, when, and who of the incident was enough to release a fraction, merely scratching the surface of his true power. The Hokage noticed that it was getting hotter, the building is shaking, and then an explosion of dense spiritual pressure forced the Hokage to drive his head to the table due to the extreme weight of the pressure Ichigo is releasing. Some objects in his office started setting itself alight due to the increased temperature. Sarutobi, was awed and fearful of the raw power being exuded by Ichigo right now. This is more powerful than his killing intent during his prime. It is so thick that it really is difficult to breathe normally. Even the ANBU that has experienced his spiritual pressure during the 'Rookie Incident' still cannot believe that their Taichou is more powerful than their Kage. And just as quickly the pressure came, it disappeared completely. Ichigo reigned in his reiatsu and calmed himself. He stood up and bowed to his leader in apology.
"I apologise Hokage-sama. The news of my subordinate doing that is a lot for me to take in. I would like to request a break from my duties as ANBU to get my thoughts on the matter organised." requested Ichigo. But there is a steel in his voice that said, he will unleash his pent up fury somewhere no one will be hurt. The Hokage, still having some laboured breathing, mereley nodded his head in acquiescence. Ichigo bowed again and disappeared in a burst of shunpo.
That night, in an isolated traning ground Ichigo unleashed a volley of high-level hado spells to relieve him of the tension and rage he is feeling right now. He will not go after Itachi, but when they meet again, he will get some answers, if the answers do not satisfy him, he will personally make sure that Itachi will pay for killing the innocent who have no participation whatsoever in the coup being planned.
With that incident behind him, he started relaxing and collecting his thoughts about things and what will be the next direction to his shinobi life. However, the decision was easily made for him by an event he witnessed during the Kyuubi Festival.
Ichigo, was on his way towards his home after buying his necessities from the Market Square, when he saw a mob, entering an alley. This made him suspicious; the mob was carrying weapons and being accompanied by some chūnin on a hunt for something. He quickly shunpoed to a roof that will overlook the alley below, he took a look below, and what he saw made his blood boil, and his partner begging for him to release his shikai and torch the mob to ashes. Ichigo was tempted to do so as well, but before he can call attention, he saw a chūnin going through a familiar set of hand-signs that will definitely harm the young kid. The chūnin finished his hand-signs and breathed out a torrent of orange hot flames, approaching the bloodied boy at chūnin-level speed. Ichigo dropped his groceries and stood between the boy and the incoming fire-stream and called out a Bakudo spell:
"Dankū!" immediately a transparent barrier made of spiritual energy formed in front of Ichigo, protecting the young boy and himself from the flames. Ichigo held on to the spell, until the the chūnin cut off the chakra powering the technique, hoping the 'Kyuubi' will be just ashes. He was surprised however when he saw a transparent barrier protecting the 'demon brat'. However, what made him shit his pants was the man who set up the barrier, the Shinigami of the Leaf, glaring down upon them. He was thinking of a good persuasive argument for him to join their cause in finishing what the Yondaime has started when the famous Jōnin spoke in an eerie cold voice which was usually reserved to his enemies.
"Give me one good reason, on why you are attacking this boy behind me. If you give me a story full of bull, I will execute you slowly." warned Ichigo. Some civilian thought it was just a bluff or a figurative speech since Ichigo is a Konoha shinobi answered arrogantly.
"We are going to finish what the Yondaime has started. We will kill this demon brat to get rid of the Kyuubi!" shouted the ignorant one, with many others agreeing.
"I see…" replied Ichigo, the Bakudo is still up and running, when he turned around and saw the bloodied boy looking at him fearfully, but there was a sense of hope there, that he will not hurt him or kill him. It broke Ichigo's heart to see such a young kid lost his childhood innocence and bear witness to the flaws of humanity. He approached the kid slowly and non-threateningly, however the boy still tried crawl back and whimper in fear. Ichigo's will faltered but pressed on. Upon reaching the boy, he touched a pressure point to knock him unconscious and spare him the brutality that he will unleash upon these people. Upon making sure that the boy is safe and comfortable, well comfortable in his current state, he faced the crowd to see them whimpering to the sight of the Hokage glaring down at them and blasting them with his killing intent. He shunpoed outside the barrier and confronted the Hokage.
"How long has this been going on? Answer me truthfully Hokage-sam." asked Ichigo in a deceptively calm voice. However, despite Ichigo being calm, the Hokage can detect a certain steel edge in his voice that warns him to answer truthfully or suffer the consequences. The incident from 2 weeks ago still has not left him. Such power was not seen in the Shinobi world frequently, the last of that kind of feeling was from both the Senju brothers and Uchiha Madara.
"Ever since the night the Kyuubi was defeated. The council has been blocking my ever move to protect the boy, but perhaps you can. After this, let us talk in my office regarding Naruto's guardianship." offered the old kage.
"Indeed. However, I have a request from you Hokage-sama…" started Ichigo
"And that is?"
"Let me be the one to execute the ones who are gathered here to hurt Naruto. That is non-negotiable Hokage-sama. I'll become Naruto's guardian from now on. This is a warning to never touch a hair on this boy again." informed Ichigo with a look that he will not back down from this. The Hokage glared at him for a moment, with Ichigo doing the same. A battle of wills, but in the end the Kage gave up, simply because after being interrogated by Ibiki or Anko, these people will be executed in the end either way.
"Do it quick Ichigo. But this is the last time I will allow such actions." said the Hokage with a warning to his voice. Ichigo merely nodded his head in understanding. He faced the quivering mob and prepared to cast a high-level kido to eliminate the mob quickly and efficiently with the most pain possible. He gathered the required amount of reiatsu and called out the spell:
"Kurohitsugi!" suddenly a small orb purple-black spiritual energy emerged from Ichigo's finger, dispersing and creating the outline of purple-black box of spiritual energy. The box then seals all the members of the mob inside it. One of the glaring features of the box is its covering of multiple protrusions made of spiritual energy that is moulded to look like spears on every visible side of the box. The ANBU and Hokage watched on amazed at the sight before them. Ichigo rarely uses his Kido, and when he does, any person that sees it is awed on how elegant, yet also on how destructive it is. They were broken from their gawking when the spear-like protrusions pierces the box simultaneously. Screams of pain and flesh being pierced was heard from inside. After all sound has died, Ichigo faced the direction of where he left Naruto and started walking over there. As he started walking to Naruto the black coffin disappeared, and what was left was a dozen bodies lacerated multiple time making them like a human pincushion. Some unfortunate members of the mob are decapitated by the spears that pierced the box. Overall a gruesome sight, the Hokage just sighed at the number of casualties and ordered an ANBU to incinerate the bodies using a Katon jutsu. Their families will be informed of them breaking his S-class law. Sarutobi turned around and saw Ichigo kneeling beside Naruto, with his hands glowing soft green obviously healing Naruto's wounds. He slowly approached the pair and waited for Ichigo to finish healing the boy. After that is done Ichigo nodded to him and he placed his hand on his shoulder and transported them into his office. Ichigo carefully laid Naruto on the sofa and let him sleep through the meeting he will have.
Ichigo and Sarutobi discussed everything regarding Naruto's guardianship. Ichigo will shoulder every expense that Naruto will ever need in his childhood life. The Hokage on the other hand gave the paperwork necessary for the adoption of Uzumaki Naruto to Kurosaki-Uzumaki Naruto. Ichigo finished the forms and settled everything about Naruto's well-being. However there is one more thing he needs to tell the Hokage.
"Hokage-sama, I am retiring from the ANBU corps and shinobi forces effective immediately to facilitate the proper development and care of Naruto. It will be moot if I adopt him and not be there for him, especially now." stated the Kurosaki, giving the Hokage his hitai-ate and ANBU mask. This move did not shock the Sandaime, since he can see that Ichigo is tired of going through long-term missions left and right and with the news of Itachi killing his clan and now seeing Naruto getting beat up. Ichigo may snap and unleash a rampage that will make the Kyuubi's attack look like a tantrum.
"Very well, but remember Ichigo, should you need to return, you can always talk to me so I can redraft you to the forces." advised the Hokage. Ichigo just nodded and went to Naruto, placed him on his back and disappeared in a burst of shunpo.
Now, here he is in his home waking for Naruto to wake up. He observed the boy and cringed at the sight of a malnourished body. He has spiky sun-kissed blonde hair, heart-shaped face, cerulean blue-eyes from what he saw of the boy earlier, three whisker marks on each cheek, and finally a seal on his stomach that contains the Kyuubi, it was not a hard thing to deduce, if villagers are calling him demon brat and the Kyuubi attacked Konoha 7 years ago, it stands to reason that Naruto is its jinchūriki. He was brought out of his musings when he felt that Naruto is stirring awake from his sleep.
The last thing Naruto remembers is him being chased by an armed mob, being beaten severely, and being rescued by a man with orange spiky hair. What happened after was beyond him due to being unconscious. And now, he feels comfortable in wherever he is lying now. He felt around and concluded that he is lying on a bed. This is actually the first time he remembers lying on something comfortable. His time at the orphanage involves him being fed with spoilt food and sleeping on the floors, sometimes being bitten by rats or cockroaches that roam the dirty orphanage. When he was forcibly kicked out last year, his only shelter was a piece of cardboard box where it served as his protection from the weather, whilst searching dumpsters every day for food that is edible. And now, for the first time he slept comfortably and he never want the feeling to end. Sadly for him, a voice interrupted him from his musings.
"Good you are awake, how are you feeling young one" a deep, yet silky voice resounded from the room. Naruto looked around and saw the same orange-haired man that saved him look at him with eyes that is looking at him like a precious thing.
"M'fine." His shy childish voice seems to not convince the man at all, but he let the issue drop for now.
"That's good. Tell me young one, do you know why you are here now, instead of the orphanage?" asked the man before him. Thinking back of his time at the orphanage, he accidentally blurted out,
"I was kicked out from the orphanage." he murmured softly, his eyes downcast. Unaware that the man before him heard him clearly, he is also unaware of the narrowed look the man is sporting before it relaxed to a more pleasant visage.
"Regardless, Naruto…" called out the man. Naruto brought his head up confused on how the man knew his name and not sneer or glare at him. The man must have seen the look and sighed softly.
"Naruto, I know you because… well, I adopted you after you passed out." said the man like it is the most natural thing in the world. Naruto looked up with eyes alight with unhidden joy of someone there for him after being lonely for so long he threw himself at the man and wrapped his arms around the nice man and mumbled 'thank you' over and over again. The man just smiled warmly and returned hug, whispering assurances that he is more than happy in adopting him. After Naruto finished unleashing all pent-up emotion, the man backed away from him a little bit and kneeled to his level and spoke,
"From now on, you are now Kurosaki-Uzumaki Naruto, and I will be you aniki. I am Kurosaki Ichigo by the way. Call me Ichigo-nii from now on okay?" the man, or Ichigo now, demanded from him softly. Naruto just hugged him again and nodded his head. Happy that even though they are not related by blood he can now have the family he has been yearning for.
"Now, all that lovey-dovey stuff is over. You hungry otouto?" his nii-san asked him. He just looked at his nii-san like Christmas has come early. This was also the first time someone asked him if he wants to eat or eat anything nice. Naruto also missed the narrowing of the eyes of his nii-san again. He just nodded shyly. He was ordered by his nii-san to stay and wait for the food, he waited patiently and the smell of delicious food soon filled his nostrils and makes him hungrier than before. After waiting for a few more minutes his nii-san came out with a tray containing bacon, rice, omelette, an onigiri, and sushi. He set the table and both ate, with both of them talking about each other, getting know one another. This continued up until evening and both slept with smiles on their faces. For Naruto, this is the start of something good for him.
Time Skip: 6 years
The past six years came by and the number of glares received by his brother has decreased drastically. The beatings have now stopped because of one simple reason. Kurosaki Ichigo.
After the Konoha Council learned of Ichigo's move of adopting Naruto, the civilian council made moves to revoke the adoption since Naruto is still a civilian attending the academy. However, there is a special stipulation that few knows the Sandaime Hokage has granted to ANBU members during his first term of service. Corps member who have served ANBU for at least 4 years and has done 10 A-rank missions or at least 5 S-ranks missions can ask anything resonable to the Hokage, as long it is not outlandish and within the power of the Hokage to grant. Both councils have agreed that such request is absolute and can only be used once. Ichigo utilised this method before adopting Naruto and retiring from active duty. He used this nice little loophole and threw back their complaints at them.
However, some idiots never learn their lessons well. During his trek back home, knowing that Naruto is already home. He sensed chakra signatures approaching his home with an intention thanks to the Kido Barrier he set up around the property. The Kido Barrier is like the barrier that protects Seireitei, so he can sense and know when someone is at his property. He mentally smacked himself for forgetting to reactivate the defences after keying Naruto's signature to it, making entering his home like a walk in the park. He can swear to hear his partner laughing his ass off for his forgetfulness. So he left using shunpo, unaware of the bug-eyed looks he got from the civilian and the shinobi due to his technique.
He arrived at his home in time to see, shinobi with plain unmarked ANBU masks about to pick the lock on his door. He knew these men from Danzō's Ne or ROOT. He knows about it because of some of his men's interference on some of his missions while in ANBU. He quickly catches their attention and they prepare to attack him, but Ichigo was way faster, he quickly unsheathed his katana and performed multiple Agitowari and sheathed his sword slowly. A loud resounding 'click' and the bodies of Danzō men are bi-sectioned. He gathered the bodies and performed a low hado to vaporise it completely. He has resolved to keep a closer eye on Danzō from now on. After reactivating the Kido Barrier of his property, he went on and reported to the Hokage about his house being broken into, and with the perpetrators attacking him, and him killing them without trouble. After reporting it to the Hokage, he looked at Danzō straight in the eye, and let his eyes tell him that 'I know what you are up to Danzō.' with Danzō no even giving an answer to the knowing look sent at him.
Since then, ROOT has become suspiciously quiet. Ichigo also returned to the force and took up his position as an Elite Jōnin after being retired for six years. He only re-joined the ranks 2 months before Naruto is set to graduate from the Academy. He noticed that Kakashi also resigned from the ANBU and was slated to become the Jōnin-sensei of whatever team will be assigned to him. Both he and Kakashi have now become extremely close best friends ever since Ichigo entered the ANBU corps. Both have shared stories about their lives and share a strong sense of camaraderie. He also is the second person he has ever revealed about his true origins. Kakashi vowed to take the secret to his grave and only discuss it with people who also knew that piece of information as well. Naruto was the first person he disclosed his true origins when they were sharing life stories a day after he adopted the kid. If there is one thing Naruto loves to uphold, it is his promises, for that is his belief. He felt proud that his otouto is more mature than some people he has the unfortunate pleasure of knowing.
Speaking of Naruto, ever since he has adopted the blonde-haired ninja, he has taught him the fundamentals such as science, history, mathematics, and calligraphy. He also helped as well on his body conditioning. So that in the future his body is built for both speed and power. He also taught him his personal taijutsu stlye and also some basic katas to his personal kenjutsu style. However if there is one thing his otouto hates from him, it is slave driver mind-set when it comes to training. Nothing but a sadist is what Ichigo will hear from Naruto during their training. With regards to his chakra control, Ichigo asked Kakashi to train him in chakra control exercises and reach him the Kage Bunshin no Jutsu to replace the useless Bunshin technique being taught at the Academy. Kakashi agreed and both Naruto and Kakashi have bonded as well like brothers. Naruto has now two persons he can call aniki or nii-san and was happy for it.
Location: Konoha's Shinobi Academy
Naruto was excited! He was about to graduate from the academy and become a genin of the Leaf. After his adoption, Naruto's life steadily improved. His nii-san, Ichigo, is a world-renowned SS-Rank shinobi, with an extremely large bounty posted by Iwagakure and Kumogakure, due to him being a Leaf Shinobi and his success during his time in ANBU. He is the only ANBU that has his name known to everyone because he usually carries his mask on his right hip strapped to his belt and uses his real name in public even during missions when interacting with civilians or clients. He only uses his codename when confronting targets or during briefings. He remembered the first time he saw his nii-san on the Bingo Book with his scary ANBU mask on.
"Hey nii-san, what does this Bingo Book contain?" asked a 9-year old Naruto. He was taking a break from finishing his assignment in his nii-san's small but impressive library, when he saw a black covered book with the name 'Bingo Book' in kanji. Since his nii-san is just in front of the fireplace reading a book, he asked the question. Ichigo looked over at him and smiled at his curiosity.
"That otouto, is a compilation of ninjas that have broken the rules of their home village and ran away to escape from being captured by their respective ANBU. It also contains a list of shinobis that have no quarrel with their home village, yet was listed by rival villages as security threats to them. In summary, it is a list of powerful criminal ninjas or powerful ninjas that pose a threat to another village's security." explained his aniki.
"Are you listed here nii-san?" asked an excited Naruto. Ichigo just smiled fondly at Naruto and simply said,
"Page 150." it was all Naruto needed to look for his aniki's profile in the Book. What he saw made him wide eyed and look at his brother in shock and awe.
His entry states:
~ 20 to 23
Shi (ANBU Codename), Shinigami of the Leaf, Kami no Shinobi
Konohagakure no Sato
A standard Katana with a black sheath with a dark purple hilt with bronze diamonds as designs, the circular guard that separates the handle from the blade depicts fire surrounding the figure of a dragon from the base of the hilt.
*Ninjutsu techniques used by Kurosaki Ichigo are totally unique that has a variety of effects. From restraining, to jutsus that can vaporise anyone hit by it. One of his jutsu has enough power to thin out the Samurai rebels by an impressive degree during the Civil War in Tetsu no Kuni.
**His skills in kenjutsu far surpass the skills of the famed Samurai General Mifune. Has been noted to win against Mifune and his second best sword user in a 2 on 1 spar with both both Mifune and his partner going all out and him countering each one with him only using a hand on his katana when doing that.
***Known to have never cast a genjutsu. There are also no solid facts if he even has knowledge on how to cast a genjutsu. However, he can break through even the most difficult double-layered genjutsu with ease.
****His natural speed is far above high- Jōnin level and can close distance between him and his enemy quickly. His speed technique on the other hand, is faster than the Hiraishin of the infamous Konoha no Kiiroi Senkō. He also has the ability to move so fast he can leave after-images of himself to fool his enemy that their attacks have hit him.
*****Due to his unique ninjutsus, he does not use hand-seals. However, instead of hand-seals he uses incantations to mould the jutsu he will be using in battle. However, there are reports that most of the time he only uses the name of the jutsu and the effect is still the same as when he uses the incantation. We can only speculate that the incantation that he recites simply empowers the jutsu to a higher degree and abandoning it weakens the jutsu somewhat. Be warned however, that even when he abandons the incantation, the results of his jutsus are still devastating to anyone targeted or hit by it.
*Second person in history to receive a double S-Rank status, with Konoha no Kiiroi Senkō being the first to receive it.
Flee at Sight
500,000,000 ryō Alive (Iwagakure and Kumogakure)
250,000,000 ryō Dead (Iwagakure and Kumogakure)
100,000,000 ryō Alive or Dead (Otogakure)
Naruto cannot believe it, his aniki is on the same level as his now second hero the Yondaime. Ichigo just laughed at Naruto's slack-jawed look. The look really does make him crack up. Naruto just pouts but suddenly spoke up.
"Nii-san! I will reach your level and become as great as you and create my own legend, dattebayo!" exclaimed Naruto. Ichigo looked at his determined otouto with fondness and pride and promised to help him achieve of being the third person to have a double S-Rank status in the Bingo Books.
It was also during this time that Naruto met his second aniki. Hatake Kakashi. This man is his nii-san's best friend during his time in the ANBU Corps. They first met when he was trying the Bunshin Jutsu that he learned from spying a higher class when they were discussing the requirements for graduating from the Academy. He was very thankful that his adoptive aniki has a jutsu section in the library that contains some Katon, Raiton, and Fūton jutsus as well as some supplementary jutsus. Upon learning the hand-seals for the Bunshin no Jutsu he tried it at the backyard of his home and was disappointed to see he made a crap-ton of clones that looks like they will be dead from a terrible illness. He dispelled them and tried again, he did not notice that his aniki and his guest were watching him in amusement.
Ichigo was talking to Kakashi about him returning back to the force after raising Naruto properly for 3 years already. Naruto is already responsible enough to watch over himself, but Ichigo has having second thoughts on whether to return now or a few months before Naruto graduates. As they were talking they heard Naruto shout a jutsu. Ichigo allows Naruto to use jutsus at the backyard, provided it did not destroy the surroundings heavily. So far Naruto has mastered some supplementary jutsus like Shunshin no Jutsu to help him speed up travel time.
"Dammit! I cannot make a stable enough Bunshin! I'll never graduate if I cannot perfect this jutsu." shouted the frustrated ninja. Ichigo and Kakashi stepped outside and decided to observe Naruto fail in creating perfect bunshin clones.
"Hey Kakashi, why don't you teach Naruto some advanced control exercises for his chakra? His lack of control is one of the reasons why he sucks in genjutsu or any low-powered techniques. Plus his massive chakra reserves as well." commented Ichigo
"I could, but we Jōnin's are not allowed to show favouritism. You know that Ichigo." retorted the copy-nin
"I know. But can you teach Naruto. I'll owe you a favour you can cash later." offered Ichigo. Kakashi mulled over the offer by his only best friend after all of his teammates and sensei died. Upon further thought, he agreed. Having one of the most powerful shinobi alive owe you a favour is not something to be discarded hastily.
"Maa... Sure, I'll teach him a few tricks. I expect you deliver on your promise." said Kakashi. Ichigo just chuckled and nodded his head in reassurance.
Since that fateful meeting, Naruto was able to control his massive chakra reserves better. However, even with both tree-walking and water-walking under his belt, he still cannot use the Bunshin no Jutsu, so Kakashi taught him the Kage Bunshin no Jutsu. He had difficulty using the right amount of chakra at first, but later got a hang of it. He shocked both Kakashi and his aniki when he created a dozen of madly grinning Naruto and not succumb to chakra exhaustion. After the training session, the trio adjourned for dinner and Naruto and Kakashi got to know each other better. This resulted in a close brother relationship growing between them. He hopes that Kakashi or Ichigo will be his Jōnin-sensei. He was broken out of his musing when stomping can be heard outside the classroom. He prepared himself when the door was suddenly slammed open and shows the triumphant faces of the Academy's number one fangirls: Haruno Sakura and Yamanaka Ino.
"Ha! I am first Ino-pig!" screeched the paink-haired banshee
"Shut up forhead! I was first!" screamed back Ino. They both got in each other's faces and glared at each other to oblivion. They ignored each other and searched for their quarry: Uchiha Sasuke, the 'last' loyal Uchiha of the Leaf.
Naruto always notices that Sasuke always sits beside him during class, and figured out early on that he is using him to be his 'human shield' against his fangirls. Since then, Naruto always change seats when the two class banshees comes crashing in. He quickly got up and sat next to his best friend, Nara Shikamaru. Shikamaru is the son of Konoha's top strategist, Nara Shikaku, and one of the laziest people that Naruto has the pleasure of knowing. He sat beside him in time to hear his patented 'troublesome' phrase when describing something. Soon the bell rang and their sensei, Umino Iruka and Mizuki, entered the room both carrying a stack of papers.
"Alright class…" started Iruka, when he saw that no one is listening, he performed his patented Demon Head Jutsu, "EVERYONE SHUT UP!" shouted Iruka. It got every one's attention and started explaining that one must pass a written, taijutsu, weapons, and ninjutsu tests. Once everything was cleared, the written exams were administerd. Naruto found the subtle genjutsu placed on his papers by his silver-haired teme of a sensei and dispelled it discreetly. He answered the test adequately and waited for the rest to finish.
After everyone has finished, they proceeded to the training area for the taijutsu and weapon's throwing test, Naruto performed admirably well on these two test and passed it with flying colours. They proceeded inside for the ninjutsu portion and waited for his turn. After patiently waiting for everyone else to finish, he was called and stand at the centre of the room.
"Alright Naruto, perform the Henge please." ordered Iruka. Naruto did so without hand-seals and transformed into the ANBU gear of his nii-san complete with the mask, making the two chūnin shiver in fear due to the infamous reputation of the man Naruto transformed into.
"Excellent Naruto, but why did you choose Shi as your image?" asked the still surprised Iruka. Naruto just rubbed his back sheepishly.
"I changed into that, because he's my aniki Iruka-sensei. I was adopted by him a few years ago by him." informed Naruto. It was not common knowledge that Naruto was adopted by the infamous 'Shinigami of the Leaf'. What was known to the public is that said shinobi protected Naruto. This piece of information shocked Iruka, and destroyed the plans of one Leaf traitor in hopes of manipulating the blonde.
"Okay… Moving on, perform the Kawarimi no Jutsu please." ordered Iruka. Naruto performed it by replacing himself with Mizuki. It shock Iruka due to Naruto's level in this skill. Normally if one is going to replace oneself with another person, one must overwhelm the latent chakra of the targeted person. He added bonus points to Naruto's record for the event.
"Very good Naruto, now perform a Bunshin and then you can graduate." asked Iruka whilst smiling at the blonde boy fondly. Naruto rubbed the back of his head embarrassingly and asked Iruka a question that shocked him.
"Ano… Iruka-sensei, can I use another Bunshin?" asked Naruto. Iruka was surprised but nodded nonetheless. As long as it is a Bunshin it is approved to use that. Naruto then formed a cross sign using his fingers and shouted
"Kage Bunshin no Jutsu!" shouted Naruto. In a puff of smoke, two identical copies of Naruto appeared and smirked at the the shocked Academy-sensei before disappearing in a cloud of smoke.
"Wow! Using a B-rank forbidden kinjutsu, this deserves some bonus points. Congratulations Naruto! Please head over to the table there pick your very own hitai-ate. Naruto nodded excitingly and picked the black one to match his clothes and future ninja garments later. He then performed a shunshin to report to his aniki the good news.
Time Skip: Evening
Naruto was left all alone inside their home. His aniki left hours ago after treating him at Ichiraku's due to a delivery mission to the Fire Country Capital. Since no one is faster than Ichigo, Hokage-jiji assigned the mission to his nii-san. Since he graduated from the Academy, Ichigo also allowed him to peruse his jutsu collection in the library after finding out that his affinity is wind. Now here he is, sitting in the library, in front of the desk studying fūton jutsus. After memorising the necessary hand-seals he exited his big brother's library and went his way to the backyard to practice it. He was unable to do so, because his Kakashi-nii appeared in front of him in a swirl of smoke and leaves.
"Naruto, Hokage-sama requires your presence now." Kakashi informed him without any preamble.
"Okay nii-san. Let's go!" exclaimed an enthusiatic Naruto. Kakashi just nodded and placed his hand on the blonde's shoulder and left in a shunshin. They appeared moments later in front of a grim-faced Hokage.
"What's the problem jiji?" asked Naruto after he understood that something is terribly wrong, and that something involves him.
"Well Naruto, 2 hours ago someone stole the Forbidden Scroll of Sealing right from under our own very noses. The theft occurred when I was in a council meeting, with my ANBU here escorting me to the council chambers. How the perpetrator bypassed the protection seals, I do not know. However, upon investigation, it was determined it was you who stole the scroll." explained the Sandaime. The news shocked the young ninja. Someone is framing him by using his likeness to do the act.
"But I'm here jiji. I was alone in my home when Kakashi-nii fetched me moments ago. And if I was the one who stole the scroll, why would I be at home in the first place?" reasoned Naruto. Ever since being adopted by Ichigo, he learned how to be control his vaunted stamina. He also learned how to control his impulsivity, to make sure he can think things through logically. Since then, it granted him the 2nd spot in the Academy behind the Uchiha. He could have become the Rookie of the Year, but his nii-san told him to better hide your skills and have a trump card than becoming predictable.
"I know that Naruto-kun. With you here, implications that you are the one who stole the scroll will be baseless since I have 4 ANBU and 1 elite jōnin serving as witnesses. As of right now a squad of ANBU is currently tracking down the traitor to be apprehended." explained the Hokage. Naruto nodded his head in acceptance, but he cannot shake of the feeling he should defend his honor right now. He looked at the old Kage with determined eyes.
"I can help you in tracking the traitor jiji." exclaimed Naruto. Sarutobi was surprised by the suggestion and shook his head in the negative
"Naruto-kun, let the ANBU squad handle the criminal." advised the Hokage to his surrogate grandson. Naruto just shook his head stubbornly.
"I can handle it jiji. I have been training with Ichigo-nii since he adopted me." declared Naruto proudly. Realizing that time is of the essence, he bit his thumb and smeared it to the summoning tattoo on his shoulder and ran through the hand-seals Boar → Dog → Bird → Monkey → Ram. He then slammed his hand on the ground and shouted out,
"Kuchiyose no Jutsu!" suddenly a puff of smoke a white tiger with black stripes appeared. It seemed to adjust to its surroundings first before its eyes landed on Naruto.
"Oh hey Naruto-kun, it has been some time you summoned me. What can I help you with?" the Tiger asked its summoner.
"Hi Kinto-chan. See someone used my likeness to steal an important scroll from Hokage-jiji, can you track down the scent and possible route that the thief took?" requested Naruto. The female tiger just nodded her head and started sniffing around. The Hokage coughed to get Naruto's attention.
"Naruto-kun, you never mentioned you have summons?" asked the Hokage accusingly, Naruto just rubbed the back of his head sheepishly.
"The summons was a gift from aniki during my 10th birthday. It was one of the best days of my life jiji, I mean there are only few people who have summoning contracts." explained Naruto to the Hokage who nodded his head in acceptance. The Hokage proceeded to catch-up with his surrogate grandson, when a few minutes later, Kinto approached the one who summoned her and informed them of what she has gathered.
"The scent I've picked up is at least two hours old. It's faint but still there. I followed it to the window and determined it is heading towards the deep inside the forest. If you want to follow trail, you better do so now Naruto-kun before I lose the scent." explained and advised Kinto. Naruto nodded and prepared in hunting the thief. But before he can leave the Kage's office, the Sandaime got his attention.
"Be careful Naruto-kun, if you find the thief stall him or her. I will redirect the ANBU squad to your direction okay?" ordered the Sandaime. Naruto nodded and exited the tower, intent of capturing the one dirtying his name.
Naruto and Kinto are running through one of the lush and thick forest Konoha is famous for. They are running in search of the thief who broke inside the Hokage's office and stole the Forbidden Scroll of Sealing.
"Naruto-kun, I can smell the scent getting stronger, we are approaching the thief's location fast. Be alert now." advised Kinto. Naruto merely nodded and heightened his senses, ready at any unusual events occurring. They came upon a clearing and clearly saw the thief looking like Naruto, down to the whisker marks. However, the scent that the thief gave off was like the difference between night and day. Kinto returned to her home in the summoning world, for she was not a combat tiger, she is more of a information, reconnaissance, and tracking tiger.
"You there! Who are you and why have you used my likeness to steal the scroll? Speak now!" ordered Naruto in his most commanding voice. The thief just laughed and dispelled the henge. Naruto was not shocked at all to see it was that silver-haired teme of an Academy instructor that used his likeness. For someone to copy a likeness accurately, one must have comprehensive knowledge of the target.
"Finally show up here eh demon brat?" sneered the traitorous Academy sensei to a calm Naruto. Before Naruto can retort, a surprising newcomer arrived,
"Naruto?" started Iruka. Upon confirming it is indeed Naruto he continues, "why have you stolen the scroll Naruto?" asked a very serious Iruka. Mizuki just smirked smugly behind Iruka. Naruto, knowing this will get bad for him soon replied,
"Iruka-sensei! I did not steal the scroll, I was tracking the thief and found out that Mizuki-teme was the one who stole the scroll from Jiji's office!" explained Naruto. Mizuki sneered at the 'demon brat' and created a sob story to lay the blame on Naruto.
"How I can be the one who stole the scroll Iruka? The reports flying around the village it was the demon brat who stole the scroll. I just got here to confront this brat and return the scroll to the Hokage." said Mizuki. However, Naruto pointed out something that is wrong with the Mizuki's story.
"If you are going to retrieve the scroll, then why do you have a wound on your calf muscles, when it is very simple that no wet behind the ears genin can make a drop on you?" asked Naruto to the now scowling Mizuki.
"I have no time to deal out bullshit lies right now. But I do have information on why you are hated Naruto." states Mizuki sweetly to the now confused boy.
"No! It is forbidden Mizuki! You cannot say it!" shouted Iruka, but it was already too late.
"12 years ago, the Kyuubi did not die like you believed. You never wonder why the people are calling you demon brat? Simple it is because the Kyuubi was sealed in you! You are Kyuubi reborn!" exclaimed Mizuki, hoping to break the boy mentally and emotionally. It seems to be successful and saw that Naruto hung his head down.
"Time to die Kyuubi!" shouted Mizuki and threw a large windmill shuriken at Naruto. Naruto, still in shock about the news did not move at all.
The sound of metal piercing flesh sounded all over the clearing. Naruto looked up to see Iruka smiling down on him fondly with blood running down his mouth.
"Why sensei? I'm a demon aren't I? Why did you save me?" asked a sobbing Naruto to his fallen sensei.
"You were never a demon Naruto. You are a bundle of joy, and a human being that I have come to see as my little brother as well." smiled Iruka. Naruto just nodded his head, thanking Kami that he was not seen as a demon by his favourite sensei. Mizuki took this time to interfere.
"Enough of this disgusting show, Iruka may have saved you from the shuriken, but next time there will be no one here that will take the blow for you." sneered Mizuki and prepared to throw a kunai at the demon brat. However before he can throw a kunai; someone appeared in the clearing and made his presence known to both of them.
"So you are the teme who hurt my otouto eh." said the voice. Both Naruto and Mizuki looked at the direction where the voice came from and felt awe and fear respectively. They both saw Ichigo, his katana drawn with a look in his eyes that promises pain on whoever has managed to piss him off. And in this scenario Mizuki pissed Ichigo off by hurting his otouto.
"So the legendary Shinigami of the Leaf made his presence known. I am honoured that the Hokage has sent you to apprehend me. It seems that only you have the chance to restrain me." boasted Mizuki arrogantly. Ichigo just snorted in looked at Mizuki condescendingly.
"I did not came here in official capacity you brain-addled fool. I just got back from my mission and was surprised to find that Naruto stole the scroll but was later briefed by the Hokage about the real story. I requested that I am the one to apprehend you. I hear everything you said Mizuki and saw how my otouto cried. Let me show why I am one of the deadliest shinobi right now." said Ichigo before he disappeared from the clearing, much to the shock and awe of Naruto and the fear of Mizuki. He has heard of the tales where Ichigo will simply just disappear, and his technique is faster than the Hiraishin without the need for a special marker. Those who have been his enemies will just see him disappear and then death comes to them swiftly. He frantically looked around the clearing and saw no trace of Ichigo. He was about to take advantage of the situation when he heard the most chilling voice in his entire life.
"Sajō Sabaku!" intoned Ichigo coldly. Chains made of spiritual energy emerged from his back and wrapped around Mizuki tightly, rendering his use of his limbs fairly useless at this point. He fell to the ground like a tied up hog at the mercy of a cold-blooded butcher. He also saw the Forbidden Scroll of Sealing being held by Ichigo.
"Consider yourself honoured Mizuki, this is the first time I will unleash my Zanpakutō. I will show you, why you should have never crossed the Kurosaki family." said Ichigo.
'Finally after 12 years, you release me. The last time you did was against that Vasto Lorde in Heuco Mundo. Regardless, I have become fond of that gaki and for fools like him to hurt Naruto regardless whether it is physical or emotional is unacceptable' commented his partner, Ryūjin Jakka.
'True. It is better to stave off any potential threats that will come towards Naruto because of my infamy.' replied Ichigo on the situation on hand. He then readied himself to release his partner from his sealed state. In doing so however, the spiritual pressure increased dramatically, since it is not directed on anyone or anything neither Mizuki nor Naruto felt that much heavy weight on their shoulders. Thankfully, Iruka has already passed out due to the injury he got from being struck with a large shuriken.
Sarutobi Hiruzen, Sandaime Hokage, has heard everything from the very beginning. He was furious at Mizuki for not abiding his law and hurting a fellow Leaf shinobi. He was reserving the day after the graduation to tell Naruto about his burden with Ichigo being there to help Naruto emotionally. But now the cat is out of the bag so to speak, Mizuki's life is now forfeit.
He was also interested with the statement that Ichigo made about him releasing a zanpakutō. Sarutobi knew of zanpakutō, since there are legendary swords able to harm the soul as well as the body. It was also known to have some form of sentience and augments its wielder's powers four times the amount. So now with his interest further piqued, he focused on the images playing in his crystal ball. This event will serve to give him ammunition for him to use against Ichigo to succeed him as Godaime Hokage. He then felt the spiritual pressure and increase of temperature in his office. Considering this is Ichigo, he knew for a fact that the entire village will be feeling it. He cursed his potential successor mentally due to the added paperwork he will need to finish by next day.
ANBU Squad tracking the Thief (Before Ichigo confronts Mizuki):
Boar, Neko, Hawk, and Tenzo. These four ANBU members are the squad assigned to track down the thief. They have been running around the village searching for clues on possible locations of the thief when they were intercepted by Hatake Kakashi.
"Hokage-sama orders you to return to the tower for new information regarding the Scroll incident." ordered Kakashi in a crisp and commanding voice.
"Hai Taichou!" responded the squad. Regardless of whether Kakashi is ANBU now or not, he was still their sempai and taichou in the ANBU Corps. They all disappeared in a standard leaf shunshin and appeared at the Hokage's office talking to another former ANBU taichou, the infamous Ichigo Kurosaki. Neko and Tenzo were both surprised since, last they heard their former taichou and sensei is living the civilian life raising Naruto properly, to see him wearing his trademark jōnin outfit plus haori and his aura of dominating power brought nostalgic thoughts about their time under him. They are extremely grateful for his teachings since right now, both of them are some of the best ANBU in service right now, and they will not achieve it without the help of the man standing in front of them. He seemed to notice them, but finished reporting to their leader before facing them.
"Neko, Tenzo, Boar, Hawk, and Inu." greeted the retired Taichou curtly. Kakashi just rolled his eyes at his best friend.
"Nice to see you back Shi." returned Kakashi. Ichigo just maturely stuck his tongue out as a reply.
"Taichou!" acknowledge the ANBU squad. Boar and Hawk are fairly new to the Corps, but the man before them is a legendary figure in ANBU as one of the greatest to ever grace the Corps.
"No need to be formal. I'll go to where my otouto is right now. The Hokage is going to brief you on that. However, if you want to see a firework show, you may come as well." stated Ichigo before he disappeared. Both Neko and Tenzo are still awed by the skill of their Taichou, whilst Boar and Hawk, cannot help but gawk at the speed of the Shinigami of the Leaf. It is a good thing that they have their masks on to hide their faces. The Hokage coughed to get their attention.
"Ichigo is right; he is currently on his way to confront the thief at the forest." explained the Hokage. From there new information on who the real thief was revealed and their current location. They were also informed that Mizuki will be executed personally by Ichigo for breaking his law. Tenzo and Neko both nodded to each other and left towards the forest to see their taichou in action. Boar and Hawk just followed their seniors towards the forest. It was also a chance of a lifetime to see a legendary figure in action.
They are almost there when both Neko and Tenzo felt the familiar pressure their taichou exudes when he is angry or annoyed at someone or something. Boar and Hawk were not fairing any better because they never have experienced this kind of pressure before. Regardless, they continued their journey and perched themselves on a tree overlooking the clearing where Mizuki was tied by yellow chains made of energy and the former taichou looking at the down man in disdain. What he did next, was forever burned into their minds forever.
Back to Ichigo
Ichigo, sensed the arrival of the ANBU squad he met earlier, and shrugged his shoulders mentally before focusing on Mizuki again.
"Banshō Issai Kaijin to Nase, Ryūjin Jakka!" what happened next resulted in different reactions from the witnesses. Ichigo's body was covered by a shroud of fire whilst a firestorm of veritable power scorched everything in its path. The pillar of fire continued to climb up and scorch the sky and its clouds. Naruto, Mizuki, the ANBU, Sarutobi, and Kakashi have different reactions to the event happening in front of them.
'Wh-what power! This is what taichou is keeping restrained?' were the thoughts of Neko and Tenzo about their taichou's display of his skills.
'What kind of shinobi is he? This is more potent than Hokage-sama's Killing Intent' were the thoughts of Boar and Hawk on the display in front of them
'Oh boy… The paperwork will be a nightmare tomorrow. But what power! I'm sure now; Ichigo will succeed me after the Chūnin Exams. But how to trick Ichigo into the position, hmm…' schemed the Hokage in hopes of retiring again and enjoy his Icha-Icha in peace.
'I know Ichigo came from another world after being trained as a Shinigami by the Soul King's Royal Guard, or in this word THE Shinigami's Royal Guard. To hear his prowess is one thing, to see it first hand is another level. Damn! I should tread carefully not to annoy him or even angering him. Especially with Naruto in my team, hopefully I will be able to restrain the Uchiha and the pink-haired girl.' thought the copy-ninja.
They were feeling the weight of the spiritual pressure bearing down upon them like a boulder placed on your shoulders. Well that was everyone felt, but to Mizuki it is far worse, it felt like the sun is on his shoulders burning his slowly and painfully. He can only scream in pain due to the heat. Thanks to Ichigo's mastery of Ryūjin Jakka and his masterful reiatsu control, he can affect only those he really wants to affect by his reiatsu. While he cannot remove the bearing weight completely He can remove the burning effects of Ryūjin Jakka from those who are not part of his shit list.
"Chūnin Mizuki, due to your blatant disregard of the Sandaime's law of never disclosing the nature of Naruto's burden, your sentence is immediate execution." stated Ichigo with a voice that is fit his station. However, Ichigo was not done yet.
"Personally, for hurting my otouto, you will burn slowly and painfully, until you are no more than ashes." said Ichigo coldly at the whimpering Mizuki.
"Taimatsu!" exclaimed the Shinigami of the Leaf. He swung his zanpakutō and watched as white hot flames rushed towards Mizuki sparing the plant life from destruction. Ichigo's control over this technique is so great that he can spare anything that is in the path of the flame with only the target being burned. He can also increase the intensity of the flame from normal orange-red combination to white hot flames that can rival the fires and heat of the sun.
Knowing that Mizuki will not survive the technique, basing from his screams of pain, he turned around and faced his adopted younger brother. He sheathed Ryūjin Jakka and walked towards Naruto. He cannot help but chuckle at Naruto's wide-eyed look because of what happened.
"Hey otouto, are you alright?" asked Ichigo softly, as he extracted the shuriken imbedded at Iruka and started on using healing kido at the man. The question also snapped Naruto's attention back to his surrogate older brother.
"Am I the Kyuubi Ichigo-nii." asked Naruto. Ichigo's head snapped up to look at at Naruto seriously.
"Naruto, I want you to get that thought out of your head okay? You are not the Kyuubi, you are Kurosaki-Uzumaki Naruto, by little brother, and Konoha's most unpredictable ninja. Those who say you are do not know the real you. The Naruto that always strive to become the best, the Naruto that always make me smile with his pranks. Remember that otouto okay? If someone calls you degrading names, ignore them and walk away, do not step to their level, you are just letting them control your life. Understood Ruto?" asked Ichigo softly to his brother who is sobbing right now. Naruto just nodded and hugged his brother very tightly after he finished healing the still unconscious Iruka. Ichigo just patted Naruto's hair and whispered encouraging things to him. After Naruto has settled down, he called their live audience to wrap things up. The traitor has finished screaming and was reduced to nothing more than ashes.
"ANBU" called Ichigo authoritatively, said ANBU operatives dropped in front of the retired ANBU taichou.
"Take this scroll to Hokage-sama and inform him that Naruto and I will be visiting him tomorrow regarding this event. This has been one roller coaster of a day. Also, one of you, bring Umino Iruka to the hospital for further evaluation of his injuries. Dismissed." ordered Ichigo. While he may no longer part of ANBU his authoritative voice did not show room for any insubordination, and judging from what they saw earlier, it is better not to piss of someone who can turn you into ash by just a swing of his sword.
"Let's go home otouto. I'm exhausted, and I know you are as well." ordered Ichigo, Naruto just nodded with a smile, happy that his aniki never looked or treated him like the other villagers.
Hōgyoku - The Crumbling Orb
Goteijūsantai - The Gotei 13 or The 13 Court Guard Squads
Saigo no Getsuga Tenshō - Final Getsuga Tenshō
Mugetsu - Moonless Sky
Zanpakutō - Soul Cutter
Ōzokutokumu - The Royal Guard
Mikazuki no Mai - Dance of the Crescent Moon
Oni Dekopin - Oni Headpoke
Byakurai - Hado no.4: Byakurai, a low-level Hado spell that sends thin bolt of lightning to create precision attacks.
Katon: Gōkakyū no Jutsu - Fire Release: Great Fireball Technique, a staple of the Uchiha Clan where one kneads their own chakra to create a ball of condensed fire or create a continuous stream of fire.
Shakkahō - Hado no.31: Shakkahō, a mid-level Hado spell that creates a basketball sized sphere of spiritual energy that can be launched as a single attack or a continuous stream of red spiritual energy.
Doton: Shinjū Zanshu no Jutsu - Earth Release: Double Suicide Decapitation Technique, a low-level earth release jutsu that involves the user sinking into the ground and getting behind their enemy and dragging them underground until their head is the only thing sticking out of the ground.
Rikujōkōrō - Bakudo no.61: Rikujōkōrō, a high-level Bakudo wherein the caster fires six thin beams of yellow spiritual energy to bind their opponents midsection, making movement impossible.
Dankū - Bakudo no.81: Dankū, a high level Bakudo that solidifies spirit particles in front of the user to create a transparent, yet durable and solid barrier to protect attacks that range from Hado no.89 and below.
Kurohitsugi - Hado no.90: Kurohitsugi, a high-level Hado that produces a torrent of gravity bending box of pure spiritual energy. Each visible side of the box has multiple spear-like protrusions littering it. Simultaneously the spears will pierce the box, lacerating everything trapped inside, causing massive damage.
Kuchiyose no Jutsu - Summoning Technique
Sajō Sabaku - Bakudo no.63: Sajō Sabaku, user creates chains or threads of yellow spiritual energy to bind their target tightly to prevent movement.
Banshō Issai Kaijin to Nase, Ryūjin Jakka! - Shikai release command of Ichigo's new Zanpakutō.
Taimatsu - Shikai ability of Ryūjin Jakka where a stream of fire is released every time the sword is swung. Will burn anything until ashes remains. Power and Intensity can be controlled by the user of the technique.