AN: Here is the fourth chapter of my story. I'm terribly sorry for the huge time delay between this, and the last update. It took me way too long. A lot of things happened in my life recently. I've had a lot of personal problems, which made it nearly impossible to even think about writing. While I have a lot of ideas, it was really hard to focus on anything. Right now most of my problems is solved, so I can start writing again. However I still don't have as much time as few months ago. So I'll try to post at least one chapter per month. On the good side, I'll try to write longer chapters. Anyway, I hope you'll forgive me. As for now, enjoy the chapter and post a review if you feel like.
Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto.
"Normal writing": people talking
"Italics": People thinking
"Bold": Tailed beasts or summons talking, jutsu names
"Bold italics": Tailed beasts or summons thinking
"Underline italics": Flashbacks or written messages
Chapter 4 - New foes, new friends
It was second day since Naruto left Konoha. Our blonde hero was slowly walking through the forests of Hi no Kuni. Having lots of time, he didn'have to worry about time schedule, so he could think about events that took place last week. His promotion, his disappointment and anger, when Sakura was chosen over him to become next Hokage.
"I almost ended up destroying Konoha… I have to work on my temper." He thought bitterly. No one in Konoha knew how close they were to the second coming of Pein's attack. "Yeah, anger management is definitely high on my 'to work on' list. Still, I wonder what kind of Hokage Sakura-chan will make. I hope this development won't bite Konoha in the ass…"
"We'll see in a few years Naruto. If things will go really bad, they can always ask you for help." His tenant decided to speak.
"Maybe you're right Kurama. Besides they have now Sasuke-teme back, so I don't have to worry too much." Naruto responded.
"You have more important things to worry right now. You'll have to hunt down some animals, you can't eat that crap you call instant ramen constantly. Besides you'll run out of it sooner or later, so try to save it for times when you'll really need it." The fox reminded his host.
"Good idea, I don't know if I'll be able to hunt something outside Hi no Kuni. And it'll be at least 3 more days before I reach Amegakure." Blond agreed with his companion. It was around 2 pm, so he decided to walk for another 4 hours, before setting up a camp, and going hunting.
Meanwhile, in Konoha things weren't going as Tsunade has planned. While civilian part of a village didn't mind Sakura as the Hokage, lots of shinobi were rather unhappy with the recent turn of events. Shikaku openly said to Tsunade, that it wasn't smart decision to make Sakura next leader of their village instead of Naruto. While Sakura was smart and competent kunoichi, she lacked Naruto's charisma and passion, things really necessary to be a good leader. Konohamaru almost went ballistic, demanding from Tsunade to change her decision and call Naruto back to the village. Tsunade of course kicked him out of her office, while grumbling something about 'annoying blonde brats giving her headache even after leaving Konoha.'
Back in the forests…
"Achoo!" Naruto sneezed. "Someone must be talking about me." He said to himself.
The rest of Konoha 11 had their own doubts. While they believed that Sakura would lead the village properly, in their minds Naruto was still better suited for the role.
It was around 7 pm, when Naruto's small camp was ready. It was placed in a small clearing, and consisted of a tent, a fireplace and a log that served as a place to sit. There was a river nearby, so fresh water wasn't a problem. Half an hour later Naruto came back from his hunt, holding a rabbit in his hand. It was time to start a fire, and our blonde hero wished he knew some Katon jutsu.
When the fire was burning he skinned the rabbit, and started to cook it. This reminded Naruto his training trip with Jiraya. They often camped in the woods, and hunted for food. It was good survival training. Naruto was so lost in his own musings, that he almost forgot about his meal. But the smell of delicious, cooked meat was impossible to ignore for too long. So the blonde Rinnegan wielder decided to eat it, before it could burn.
After he finished his meal, Naruto decided to take a quick bath in a river. Cool fresh water felt amazing against his skin. It was refreshing, both physically and mentally. He could get rid of all soreness, and at the same time forget about his problems, just wash them away with the flowing water. No wonder his supposed 'quick' bath lasted for next hour. When it was getting dark he finally dried himself, and went back to his camp. He stayed awake for next few hours, watching the moon and thinking. Around 1 am Naruto decided to leave a clone to watch the camp, and he himself went to sleep.
Next day was rather uneventful for our blonde jinchūriki. After really quick bath this time and some dried meat for breakfast, he packed his all belongings and took off in the direction of Ame no Kuni. After nearly 10 hours of constant walking, he decided to set up the camp. He was close to the border, so it was his last night in Hi no Kuni. During his journey he haven't encountered anyone. That was somewhat disturbing him. But then again, Amegakure no Sato and whole Ame no Kuni weren't exactly the safest places, so no wonder no one wanted to go there.
Next day Naruto crossed the border between Fire and Rain Countries. The landscape in Ame no Kuni was different from what he was used to. Instead of endless forests, he could only see plain terrain. The road was muddy, ground soaked with rainwater. Sun was barely visible, courtesy of gray rainclouds. It was also much colder, Naruto was glad that his new coat was warm and rainproof, otherwise he'd have to buy some new clothing. And with his rather limited amount of cash, he wasn't looking forward to spend it on clothes. It was around noon, when Naruto spotted a small civilian village on the horizon.
"Finally, some civilization, some people… Some ramen!" He thought.
"Is ramen all you can think about?" Kurama asked with facepalm / facepaw / whatever he can do.
"Of course not! But I haven't eat it since we left Konoha" Was blonde boy's reply.
"And it was only 4 days ago." Bijū stated with a deadpan.
"It feels like eternity…" Naruto started to drool, and decided to pick up his pace. After 5 more minutes he was at the entrance to the village. Said village was rather small and in poor condition. Houses were old and rundown. Main street was empty. The place was like a ghost town. The only sign that the place was inhabited were columns of smoke rising in from the chimneys.
"What the hell is going on here? Why is this place looking like this? Where is everyone? Where is my ramen?! This village looks worse than Nami no Kuni when Gatō was still alive. I don't like it at all." The young sage thought to himself. He did get a really bad feeling about this place. Something clearly smelled fishy there.
He walked around for a few more minutes, until he found a small inn, which was surprisingly open. Remembering one of Jiraya's boring lectures about gathering information, Naruto decided to walk in, and approach the owner. After all, inns were usually one of the best places to find some information.
"Hello. Can I have a room for one person please?" He asked a brown haired man who was in his mid forties, while looking around. From inside the place looked better than from outside. There were few cobwebs here and there, but place was livable. Although it looked like Naruto was the only guest.
"Yes, you can. But let me warn you. If I were you, I'd rather not stay for too long in this country. It's not safe in here, and from your looks I can tell that you're a foreigner." The man revealed as owner of this place said, and pointed at blonde's hitai-ate.
"Naah, it can't be THAT bad. I know that there are probably better places to spend holidays but still, it's not like someone will come and kill me while I'm sleeping. Besides, I'm a shinobi, I can take care of myself." Naruto replied, hoping for any reaction from the man behind the counter.
"Don't say I didn't warn you. This village doesn't look like this without a reason." The man said, somewhat annoyed by Naruto's carefree attitude. Said boy wanted to ask the owner what was going on here, however his chance was lost when young, purple haired girl with brown eyes appeared. From her looks you could tell that she was about 13, maybe 14 years old. She looked at Naruto and blushed slightly, then spoke to the other man.
"Hi tou-san, is this man our new guest?" She asked her father.
"Yes Yumiko-chan, he's our guest. Could you help me a little and prepare a room for him? I have to catch some fish, otherwise we'll be hungry today." Her father replied.
"Hai tou-san" The girl, now known as Yumiko said to her father and went upstairs, where the guest rooms were located. Her father went to small closet placed under the stairs. After a while he returned with fishing rod, and some other equipment. He looked at Naruto, and spoke:
"Your room should be ready in a while. If you need something, ask my daughter." With that said, he walked out of the building, and headed towards nearby river. True to his words, short while after mans departure Yumiko was back, and took Naruto to his room.
"So,"- Yumiko started – "what are you doing here, Shinobi-san? You're not from this country, are you?" She asked him.
"No, I'm from Hi no Kuni. I decided to visit Ame no Kuni, because my distant relative lived here. I just wanted to see with my own eyes the place where he lived." Naruto replied. Younger girl nodded to him, seemingly satisfied with the answer. Seeing, that she's more talkative than her father, young Rinnegan wielder decided to ask her for some answers.
"I couldn't help but notice, that this village looks like nobody lives here. Could you tell me what happened here? Your father only told me to not stay here for too long, but I don't know why." He asked, and Yumiko frowned. But unlike her father, she decided to tell few things about her village.
"Well, tou-san is like this because of something, that happened to our family. It's related to the state our village is in." She said, while opening door to Naruto's quarter.
"It started about year ago, when a bunch of bandits and nuke-nins attacked this place for the first time. Since there, they're raiding us every month, taking our money and other possessions. From what I heard, they're attacking other villages as well, but no one knows where their main base is." She said.
Naruto's suspicions were confirmed, this place was in serious trouble, and he didn't like it. He decided to change his plans a little, and stay here a bit longer to see what he can do.
"Thank you Yumiko for this piece of information. It's always good to know what to expect." He said with a friendly smile.
"You're welcome, Shinobi-san. Here is your room. If you need something, just tell me or my father. Enjoy your stay." Yumiko replied with small blush.
"Naruto, my name is Naruto. I don't like using honorifics. It makes me feel old." Blonde said, rubbing back of his head sheepishly.
"Okay then, Naruto-san." Yumiko said, and walked out of the room, closing the door behind.
Naruto looked around his room. It wasn't big, but it looked decent. There was a single bed, a nightstand next to it, small table with a chair and small refrigerator. Overall it looked better than his old apartment in Konoha. After placing his possessions in the corner of the room he san on his bed and decided to talk wit his tenant.
"It seems we have another place to save, ne Kurama?" He said to the fox.
"Looks like even after the war, there are still places like this. Maybe it's not that bad, that you're not the Hokage, at least you can help those, who really need it. You can finish what my Father started." Fox said back.
"Yeah, you're right. I hate seeing people suffer. And sitting in Hokage office, doing paperwork wouldn't help them. But it doesn't change the fact, that I still feel betrayed by Baa-chan. Her reason to make Sakura-chan next Hokage is stupid."
"You'll get over this after some time. Though I understand your feelings. Honestly, I'm surprised that you managed to suppress your anger for long enough, to not destroy Konoha with that gravity technique. If it was me in your place, the village would be obliterated." Kurama replied.
" It's a good thing that you're not in my place. As for Baa-chan, maybe I'll forgive her someday. But now we have more important things to do. We have to find a way to help this village, without destroying it. Dealing with thugs is rather simple, but missing nins are sometimes real pain in the ass. They won't hesitate to destroy this place, so I have to think before doing anything." Our hero thought.
"Since when you're so smart?" Fox mocked him. Even if his relationship with Naruto is now friendly, it doesn't change the fact that Kurama really likes to make fun of his host. Naruto's reactions are amusing him to no end.
"I thought that you were going to simply blow the village along with those thugs, and resurrect the villagers later." Bijū was now laughing madly. Naruto only sweatdropped.
"Thank you so much for having so little faith in my intelligence, Baka-kitsune! I don't think villagers would like having their homes destroyed." He yelled within his mind. When the laughter didn't stop, he simply severed mental link between him and his tenant. Said fox was now thinking to himself about his host.
"You've really matured Naruto. Maybe someday I'll even look upon you with the same respect I looked once upon my Father."
Few hours later, when the owner was back with rather big fish, Naruto decided to get something to eat as well. But his meal consisted of instant ramen, and some dried meat. Yumiko asked the blond, if he wanted to eat with them, but to her father's relief Naruto refused, stating that he's not really hungry. Besides, he didn't want to be another mouth to feed.
The rest of the day was uneventful for the blond Uzumaki. He wanted to get some rest, so after quick shower he was in his bed. For tomorrow he planned to start training his gravity manipulation.
Naruto woke up around 7 a.m. He looked out of the window and mentally sighed.
"This rain is really depressing. But I guess I shouldn't complain. I came here on my own free will. Besides I have training to do, so better get going. At least my coat is rainproof." He mused to himself.
15 minutes and 4 cups of ramen later Naruto was ready to leave. The only problem was, that he didn't know any place suitable for makeshift training ground. Given that his training will be rather destructive, Naruto knew that doing it too close to the village wasn't really good idea.
"I'll ask Yumiko or her father, if there is a place where I can go and train without worry about destroying something." He thought to himself, and exited his room. Once he was downstairs, Yumiko greeted him with a small smile.
"Good morning Naruto-san. How was your night?" She asked him.
"Morning Yumiko" – He said in somewhat sleepy voice – "I slept well, thank you for asking. Warm bed feels really nice after few nights slept in tent."
"It's good to hear that you're satisfied with our service. Remember to tell if you need something." She said in very polite manner.
"Actually, I have a question. Could you tell me if there is an empty place nearby, that could be used as training field for ninja? I want to test some technique, and it can be rather destructive." Naruto asked the girl. She seemed to think for a while, before replying.
"There is an old, abandoned quarry about 2 kilometers from the village. Nobody comes there, so it should be good enough for you. Let me put on my raincoat, and I'll take you there." She said.
"Perfect! Thank you Yumiko." Older boy gave her his typical foxy grin. Said girl disappeared in one of the rooms, only to reappear 5 minutes later, dressed in rainproof clothes.
"Alright, I'm ready to go. It'll take us about 30 minutes to get there, so let's go." Yumiko said, and both of them left the building.
As they walked, Yumiko questioned Naruto about his life as shinobi. He told her about his friends back in Konoha, his first 'real' mission, when he saved Nami no Kuni. After hearing this, purple haired girl started to wonder if he could save also her village.
"Maybe he could help us... Nah, who am I kidding, he'll probably leave this place as soon as possible. Why would he care about some unknown village in foreign country? He was on a mission, they paid him for help… But still, I have this weird feeling about him…" She thought to herself. Little did she know that Naruto already decided to help them. Soon after said blonde finished his tale, they reached their goal.
"Okay, here we are. I hope this place is good enough for you." Yumiko said to her companion. The place was basically one big hole in the ground, about 300 meters in diameter and 30 meters deep. There were some remains of old mining machines and broken slabs of rock scattered everywhere.
"Are you kidding? This is perfect! I can train here without hurting anyone. Not to mention all of this junk can be useful to test power of my jutsu." He replied in his usual loud voice.
"Good. I must go back to the village. I promised my father to help with laundry today. Don't stay here for too long. And be careful to not get hurt." With that said, she left.
Naruto entered his Sage Mode to check if he was alone. After he felt that Yumiko was far enough, he decided to exit Sage Mode and start his training. He channeled chakra into his eyes, and started to think.
"Yosh, it shouldn't be too hard. I managed to do this on accident, so I should be able to do it again."
He looked around, trying to find his first target. He found an old rock crusher not far from him.
"That piece of junk will be perfect training dummy for my first try. Tendō." He said out loud, and started gathering chakra. He pointed his right palm towards the old machine. The most inner rings in his eyes shrunk a little and Naruto felt that he was ready.
"Shinra Tensei!" He roared. For a while nothing seemed to happen. Then after a second repulsive force exploded from his palm with supersonic boom, but unlike in the forest when he used it accidentally, this time it was focused in one direction and controlled. Needless to say poor machine stood no chance, and in matter of seconds was ripped from the ground and reduced to pile of scrap. Naruto looked at the damage he caused, and whistled to himself.
"Whoa, that was awesome! Now I know why Nagato liked this jutsu so much. I have to learn how to use it in smaller scale." He said to himself.
For next hours he tried with different amount of chakra, which resulted in different power of the technique. And he was rather positively surprised with the result. It was as if his body unconsciously knew the exact amount of chakra needed to perform the technique. Encouraged by this, he decided to try something different. Instead of pushing things away, he wanted to try to stop incoming projectiles like kunai or shuriken in midair. So thinking quickly he summoned few kage bunshins and commanded them to throw some stones at him. He wasn't stupid enough to try with kunai or other pointy objects. If something goes wrong, stones would give him few bruises at worst, instead of nasty cuts.
"Allright guys, I'm ready!" Naruto yelled to his clones. His doppelgangers immediately started their assault.
"Let's see if I can do this. Shinra Tensei!" He thought and pointed his hands towards incoming projectiles, while focusing chakra. Protective bubble of force appeared around him, and all of the stones thrown by his clones simply stopped, and hovered in the air for a while, before falling down on the ground.
"Yatta! It worked! It really worked!" Naruto started to yell while jumping around joyfully. His clones simply sweatdropped in unison, before dispelling themselves. After all, their task was completed so there was no need for them to stay around.
It was about 3 pm, and Naruto's stomach started to growl. So he decided to go back to the village, and maybe try to find something to eat. He was low on instant ramen, and there wasn't any place nearby, where he could restock his supply.
"It seems I'll have to catch some fish. I saw a river near the village, it's probably the same river where Yumiko's father is fishing. I'll go there and see if I can catch something."
So with that in mind, our blond protagonist headed towards the river. Without Yumiko he could travel a lot faster, so it took him about 5 minutes to reach his goal. He wanted to start fishing immediately, but then he realized that he doesn't have any fishing equipment.
"Great, how am I supposed to catch damn fish without fishing rod?! Gaah, what to do? I don't know Raiton manipulation, otherwise I could simply use some low level Ration jutsu to paralyze those bastard fishes." He thought with a frown, while looking at rather big fishes swimming peacefully under water surface. Then a light bulb went on in his nead. He grabbed kunai from his pouch and threw it at the poor fish. Of course he missed, and fish simply got away.
"Grraaah, god dammit! What am I doing wrong? I aimed perfectly!" He whined, and tried again. And like previously, this time fish also got away.
"Chikushō! What the hell is going on?" Naruto was confused and frustrated. It was getting colder, rain didn't stop even for a while, and now he couldn't catch even small fish. Kurama, who was now fully awake and could barely contain laughter, decided to help his host. Of course not without mocking him a bit.
"And just when I thought that you're getting smarter, some brainless fish is too much of a challenge for you." The fox taunted.
"Maybe YOU try and catch that god damned fish if you're so much smarter?!" Naruto replied even more annoyed, much to Kyūbi's amusement.
"I could easily deal with that fish, but unfortunately I'm sealed within you. And I can't catch that fish from inside the seal." Kurama said with toothy grin, which Naruto couldn't see.
"So why even bother? You were asleep for the whole day, and now you wake up only to laugh at me. Really helpful." Naruto huffed.
"Allright, no need to be so nervous. Ever heard about refraction of light rays?" Kyūbi asked his host.
"Refa-what?" Was blonde's intelligent reply.
"Refraction of light rays. Have you ever seen a spoon in a glass of tea or water?"
"Yea, so wha- Of course! The spoon looks like it's bent! How could I forget it? The whole time I thought I was aiming at fish, I was shooting next to it. I'm so stupid."
"I cannot really disagree with you. Anyway, try to catch something this time. I'm going to take a nap." Fox said and yawned.
"Which reminds me, you always complain about my ramen addiction. You say that ramen is all I can think about, yet at the same time almost all you talk about is sleeping. It makes you no better than me." Naruto said out of blue.
"At least sleeping is good for health. You can't say the same about eating tons of ramen. The amount of salt would kill any other human." And with that said, Bijū went back to sleep.
"Might as well go back to fishing. I wasted enough time. Now how to deal with that refra-something issue… Hmm, I have an idea." Naruto thought to himself, then started gathering nature chakra. After a while orange pigmentation appeared around his eyes, indicating his Sage Mode active. He concentrated for a while, and then threw his kunai without even opening his eyes. When he opened them, he saw that he nailed really big fish.
"Yea, it worked! Why haven't I thought about it from the start. Now I can go back to the inn. I'm starving." So he sealed his prey into a scroll, and headed back towards the village.
It was 4:30 pm when Naruto arrived back to the village. When he entered the inn, he was immediately greeted by Yumiko.
"Hi Naruto-san. I hope your training went well." She said with a friendly smile.
"Yeah, it actually went better than I expected." He replied.
"It's good to hear. You should probably go to your room and have a cup of tea. It's getting cold. I'd like you to join us for dinner, but unfortunately we don't have much food left.
Tou-san didn't catch anything today, so we only have some leftovers from yesterday." She said in a sad voice.
"Actually, it's not a problem. I have a fish big enough for the three of us." Naruto said and the girl's features immediately changed. But then she spoke to him:
"I don't want to sound rude, but I don't see you holding any fish. You don't even have a fishing rod." She said. She hoped that he somehow managed to hide the fish, but it seemed rather impossible to do. At least from her point of view.
Naruto chuckled a little, and replied.
"Ah, sorry. I guess you're not familiar with the way shinobi deal with carrying stuff." He said, and produced a scroll, where their future meal was sealed.
"I have it sealed within this scroll. It's easier to carry, not to mention it stays fresh much longer. As for the lack of fishing rod, I have my own methods. Although it took me over an hour to even realize what I was doing wrong." He said to her, but kept the last part to himself. Then he asked Yumiko to lead to the kitchen. After placing scroll on a table, he unsealed it's content. In a puff of smoke a fish appeared on the table. A big one.
"H-how did you do this? I m-mean how d-did you manage to catch something s-so big?" Yumiko stuttered.
"I told you I have my methods. I'll show you some other day. I think I really should go and change. This coat while rainproof, is rather uncomfortable when wet. Not to mention I really could use a cup of hot tea. I'll be back after I change." He said and went to his room.
Yumiko could only nod her head. About 10 minutes after Naruto left, her father came with firewood. When he saw the fish on the kitchen table, he was stunned.
"Yumiko-chan, what is this fish doing here? Where did you find it?" He asked.
"Naruto-san brought it here. He said that it's big enough for the three of us and we can eat it together." She replied to her father. Said man just shook his head in disbelief.
"So it seems we have to make a dinner, ne Yumiko-chan?" He said to his daughter. She nodded happily, and both father and daughter went to work.
When Naruto came back, heavenly aroma of cooked fish assaulted his nostrils. He saw Yumiko and her father smiling at him in an inviting manner. He smiled back at them, and sat on a chair. They ate rather quickly, talking a little bit. Yumiko's father opened up a little, and told Naruto his name, which was Yuichi. He thanked his blonde guest for the fish, and said that Naruto can stay for as long as he wants if he is careful enough to stay out of trouble. Which in Naruto's case is almost impossible. Said boy is walking magnet for trouble.
Next few days looked very similar to the first one. In the morning Naruto trained his gravity techniques. He managed to shorten the time delay between every Shinra Tensei to 8 seconds, which was pretty good result, considering he started his training only few days ago. He could also use Banshō Ten'in now, even if his first try was rather embarrassing for him. Well, getting hit by a rock square in the face because of your own jutsu really isn't something you want to remember.
After training was time for fishing, and usually Yumiko was keeping him company. She opened to him and they talked freely. She dropped honorifics and simply started calling him Naruto. She also told him more about her family. He was shocked and angered when she told him what happened to her mother.
Naruto finished sealing fish that he caught. He was ready to head back to the village, however Yumiko stopped him.
"Wait Naruto. Can we stay here for a while? Please?" She asked him.
"Yeah, why not? We don't have to hurry." He replied. They sat under lone tree and stayed in silence for another few minutes, before Naruto couldn't take it any longer and spoke:
"Is something wrong, Yumiko? What's bothering you?"
The girl in question looked at him for a while, thinking if she should really tell him. When she made up her mind, she spoke:
"I'm just thinking about things that happened in my life. A little over year ago this village was totally different place. I was living a happy peaceful life with a loving family. My parents loved each other unconditionally. We used to have lots of guests in our inn. I was very close to my mother. She taught me almost everything I know and was always there for me. I thought that nothing can change it." She said, and tears started to well in her brown eyes. Naruto simply put his hand on her shoulder in a comforting manner and said, that it's okay to cry sometimes. Yumiko only nodded, and after a while spoke again.
"Then, one day everything has changed. My whole life shattered, when those bandits and ninja came out of nowhere. They ruined our village and took our belongings. But t-the worst t-thing is that they k-killed my m-mother." She said between sobs. Tears flowed freely down her cheeks. Naruto held her gently, just like older brother would do to his sister. After few minutes her sobs subsided, and she continued.
"When they attacked for the first time, they gathered everyone in the middle of the village, and checked our homes for any valuable things. When it seemed that they're going to leave, their leader suddenly asked my father if this is everything we've got, and said that inn's owner should have more money." She said started crying harder.
"When father said that we don't have anything else, they weren't pleased, and their l-leader said, t-that they're g-going to take m-my mother instead." Yumiko's eyes were now red and puffy from crying. She started sobbing again. Talking about past really pained her, but at the same time she felt relieved, because she finally told someone about it.
"T-they raped her m-multiple times. T-they did it in our home, while every villager w-was outside. W-we couldn't h-help her, they l-left some people to watch over us. After t-they grew tired o-of her, they dragged her outside, a-and k-killed her in f-front of e-everyone. They s-said it was a l-lesson for us."
When she finished her tale, Naruto tried to soothe her. On the outside he appeared to be calm. The only visible sign of his inner anger was his Rinnegan active, which manifested itself, when he unconsciously focused chakra into his eyes. But inside him, rage was boiling. He decided to make those pathetic excuses of shinobi and thugs pay for what they did. While Naruto was rather a one big pacifist and always tended to give everyone second chance, he couldn't stand scumbags, who hurt other people for their own sick pleasure.
Eventually Yumiko grew tired, and fell asleep while Naruto held her. It was getting dark, and blonde sage took her back home.
Needless to say Naruto decided to train even harder, in order to help those people. He started to read some scrolls he took with himself from Konoha. Evenings in Ame no Kuni were rather cold and dark, so reading was the only reasonable form of activity. While Naruto in his younger years was never a big fan of reading, he started to change, especially after the war. He realized that power means very little, if you don't have the knowledge required to utilize it fully.
So that's why we find our blonde jinchūriki digging through his belongings in search for something to read. Just as he was about to grab some random scroll, something attracted his attention.
"What's this? I don't remember packing this scroll with me. It looks different from the rest. Not to mention the seal on it. What's going on? Whatever, I'll just check it." He grabbed said scroll and channeled chakra into the seal on it. After the scroll opened, he saw that there was a message written inside.
"Dear Naruto. I hope that someday you'll forgive me for my decision. I know that you would make fine Hokage, way better than myself. But I was just so scared that I'll lose you. You'll never hesitate to sacrifice your life for Konoha, just like your father. And while you're great fighter, you're too hotheaded sometimes. And rushing in without thinking usually leads to death. I know that it was selfish, but I just didn't want you to die early, like many Kages. To me, you're like a son, and I wish for you to live a long and happy life. Have a wonderful wife and a bunch of kids. Do something interesting instead of spending your whole day in the office doing paperwork. So even if you'll hate me for what I've done, I'll be fine with it as long as you stay safe.
This scroll contains knowledge about some seals that I believe will be useful during your journey. While I'm not at Jiraya's level, I have some knowledge about Fūinjutsu. Some of those seals are designed to be used with your summons, so you should probably talk about it with Fukasaku-sama.
Anyway, I wish you good luck. Stay safe and remember that I'll always love you like my own child, Gaki.
Your "Baa-chan", Tsunade.
After reading the message, Naruto could barely contain tears. While he still was hurt by Tsunade's decision, at least she let him know the real reason behind it. She just wanted to keep him safe, because she viewed him as her son. And Naruto always craved for family.
"I don't think I'll be able to read anything else today. Maybe I should take a break from physical training tomorrow, and finish this scroll instead. Yea, that sounds like a good idea."
And with that in mind, he decided to go to sleep.
Next morning was different than usual, mainly because it wasn't raining at all. While the sun was still hidden behind the clouds, it seemed that the weather won't change, at least till afternoon. So our blonde hero decided to read the rest of the scroll he received from Tsunade outside. He wanted to go near the river, so after reading he could catch something to eat. But before he left his room, Kurama told him to take his full ninja gear instead of one kunai pouch. For some reason the fox couldn't shake the feeling, that something bad was going to happen.
Naruto sat under a tree. It was his usual fishing spot, and it was also perfect for reading. The only sound in here was calming sound of water flowing nearby. Nobody else was here, which meant that nothing will disturb him. So he opened the scroll, and started to read.
About 2 hours later Naruto finished reading. He started gathering senjutsu and was about to start fishing, when he picked some chakra signatures in the village. And he knew what that meant.
"Can you feel it, Kurama?" He asked his companion.
"Of course I can! I feel a lot of negative emotions from the direction of the village. Mainly fear from the villagers. I knew that something will happen today." The fox replied to his host.
"So those scumbags decided to attack today. I'll make them pay for what they did to this place!" Naruto shouted in his mind, and sped towards the village. It took him no longer than 2 minutes at full speed to reach the village. 2 thugs tried to stop him at the entrance, but he simply knocked them out cold. He looked around for a while, and saw more thugs, ready to attack him. He decided to create some clones, and let them have fun with bandits.
"Kage Bunshin no Jutsu!" He shouted and 6 clones appeared behind him.
"Allright guys, take care of those idiots! I'll deal with the missing nins."
"Hai boss!" His doppelgangers shouted, and proceeded to beat the crap out of bandits. Original Naruto headed towards the centre of the village. From distance he saw villagers gathered in place, and surrounded by few missing nins. From their chakra output Naruto guessed that most of them were Chūnin level ninja. About 20 meters away from the group there were two people with higher chakra capacity, probably Jōnin level shinobi. One of them was probably the leader of their group. The other one was holding someone hostage. Naruto recognized this person.
"Yumiko." He thought. It made his blood boil. The scene looked familiar to him.
"Yumiko's mother was held the same way, before they raped and killed her! Kuso! I have to do something really quick!" Naruto realized. He focused his chakra in his eyes, activating Rinnegan. Then, he created one clone and both of them dashed ahead. He was so focused on thinking about plan, that he haven't noticed that he could see through clone's eyes. He landed on a nearby rooftop, and decided to observe for a while before doing anything reckless. From his hiding spot he could hear what they were talking about.
"So Yuichi, tell me where are you hiding your money. You must have some, after all there was a guest staying in your inn for about a week. Give it to us, and we won't hurt your daughter that much." The leader said. Yumiko was to petrified to say something. Her father didn't look any better.
"I told you, I don't have more money. My guest haven't paid us yet. How do you know there is someone staying in our inn anyway?" Yuichi replied.
"Maa maaa, Yuichi. Have you already forgotten what happened with your wife? So better chose your words carefully, or…" The man threatened. Naruto was getting angrier. He had a plan and was about to start.
"Please, let my daughter go!" Yuichi pleaded.
"And if I don't want to?" The man asked mockingly.
"Then I'll have to force you to do it." Said new voice from nearby rooftop. It was Naruto's voice.
"Naruto, help me!" Yumiko shouted. She hoped that blond haired shinobi could help her.
"Who are you?! And how did you get there? My people should have taken care of you!" The leader asked.
"You mean those samurai wannabe? My Kage Bunshins are playing with them right now. As for who I am. I don't think it's relevant but I'll humour you. My name is Uzumaki Naruto. Now, let Yumiko go and get out of here before you get hurt." Naruto said, while glaring at the man with his Rinnegan eyes. In his mind Kurama was both surprised and proud, that his host was actually thinking before rushing in.
But there was another person, who was listening carefully. One of the lower rank missing nins was from Amegakure. When he heard Naruto's name, he started to sweat, and searched for his bingo book.
"Uzumaki Naruto? The same guy who defeated 'The God of Amegakure'? This is bad! If that's the same person, then we have no chance. He said something about Shadow Clones… And he even looks like the guy on photo." He thought to himself, while looking at Naruto. When he saw his eyes, his heart stopped.
"His eyes! They look the same as Pein's eyes! If he really has the Rinnegan then we're so screwed! I have to get out of here!" He started to panic.
"You can try, but I have more people at my disposal, and you're alone. You can't even hope to win." The leader laughed.
Meanwhile, the one who recognized Naruto mentally facepalmed himself.
"Does he have a death wish? This guy will crush him. I'm not gonna fight him, no matter what." He thought.
"In that case, have it your way." Naruto said, and nodded to his clone who used Kawarimi and switched places with Yumiko.
The one, who held her hostage stabbed said clone with kunai, but not before receiving a Rasengan in the gut.
"Arrrrgghhhh!" The man screamed in pain, as blue ball of compressed chakra tore through him. Yumiko was shocked. One second she has kunai at her throat, and the next thing she sees is that she's standing next to Naruto, and her captor is sent flying by some weird ball of energy.
"What the hell was that?!" The leader asked/shouted. He haven't even seen what happened.
"Congratulations. Your man managed to stab my Clone. Do you really want to fight? While you lost a real man, my Clones are fully disposable and I can always create more." Naruto said.
The one who recognized him, decided to flee, before it was too late. Others saw him, and started to shout: "Hey, get back here! What do you think you're doing? Come back you coward!"
"If you want to live to next day, then get away from here with me. I'm not fighting a guy who is most likely an S rank shinobi!" Was his reply.
Their leader saw this, and said:
"Let him go, I'll kill that trash after we're done here."
Naruto also have seen the scene, and thought to himself:
"That guy, he was terrified. Fear in his eyes was visible. He didn't want to fight. I think I should let him go. He'll tell others to stay away from this village." He concluded. However the leader was getting impatient.
"Enough! Take him down guys! And try to not kill the girl, I want to have some fun with her." He said.
Rest of his people obeyed and started throwing kunai at Naruto. Yumiko looked at speeding projectiles with fear. Naruto only shook his head and pointed his palm towards incoming knives. The girl looked into his ringed eyes and saw the most inner rings shrink a bit.
"Shinra Tensei." The blond uttered. All kunai stopped for a while in midair, before falling on the ground.
"Good thing I tried it earlier with my clones!" Naruto thought. Yumiko was stunned, she didn't know such things were possible. Those who attacked them were also surprised, and started to feel fear. Suddenly they started to think that maybe fleeing wasn't that bad idea.
"He repelled it?! Who the hell is this guy?"
"I don't know, but I think that we should get out of here!"
They started to shout. But it was too late, and Naruto was about to go on the offensive.
"Is that all you've got? Pathetic" He said, and started doing handseals. He decided to use one of techniques he received from Sasuke.
"Fūton: Shinkūgyoku!" He exlaimed, and fired multiple small, but deadly wind bullets. He aimed them precisely enough to hit their vital points. Almost all of nuke-nins fell on the ground dead. Those, who were unlucky enough to survive, were crying in pain on the ground.
"I don't care who are you! You killed almost all of my people and made fool of me! I'm going to kill you and all of those stupid villagers, even if it kills me too!"
The leader, who was the only one standing shouted in rage. Then, he pulled something from his pouch. A kunai with explosive note attached to it. Naruto thought that he'll throw it at him, and wanted to repel it. However what happened next surprised him. The man instead of throwing kunai at him, aimed it at the villagers. Yumiko's eyes widened. While she was only civilian girl, she has seen an explosive tag in action before. One of houses in her village was destroyed by it. She knew what will happen, when it'll reach its target.
"Nooo!" She screamed, and closed her eyes. She was certain, that her father will die. Probably all villagers will die from the explosion. Meanwhile Naruto's mind was racing at lightning speeds. Just when kunai was only 2 meters from the group of villagers, his body started to move on it's own. He saw flashbacks from his fight with resurrected Nagato within his mind.
He pointed one hand towards his last opponent, and the other precisely at the flying kunai.
"Banshō Ten'in." He said. His technique managed to stop, and change the trajectory of the flying projectile only seconds before it actually reached its destination point. But it also yanked from place the one, who threw the bomb. The man was shocked when he felt strong gravity pulling him towards Naruto, and… His own kunai! He could only wait, before his own ninja tool hit him with a squelch.
The bomb exploded only 3 meters away from Naruto and Yumiko, killing the missing nin in process. Naruto and Yumiko on the other hand were unharmed, courtesy of Naruto and protective bubble of repulsive force created by him. When younger girl opened her eyes, she expected to see dead bodies of villagers. But instead she saw that everyone was fine, and the only one who haven't survived is the one who threatened them.
"Tou-san? Everyone? What happened? Am I dead?" She asked in disbelief.
"No Yumiko-chan, you're not dead." Her father replied.
"Then what happened? The last thing I saw was that weird paper bomb thingy only few meters from you." She said.
"I don't know exactly what happened, but it seems that Naruto was somehow able to stop that damn thing, before it actualy hit us." Father said to his daughter.
Yumiko looked at Naruto, who smiled at her. She hugged him with her whole might.
"Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!" She started to repeat.
"No need to thank me. I can't stand when people hurt others for some sick pleasure. I promised you, that I'll help this place. And I never go back on my word." He said to her, and jumped down onto the ground while holding her.
Villagers started to thank him, and shout his name. They were happy. The nightmare was over.
It was third day after the attack, and Naruto was getting ready to continue his journey. Village was full of life again. Stores were open, and children were playing outside. People were repairing their houses. When Naruto was leaving, everyone was there to say goodbye to him. Yumiko was looking at him with tears in her eyes. She started to see him as her older brother.
"Good luck Naruto-niisan! Visit us sometime!" She shouted.
"I'll definitely come here again some time in the future! Do you remember what to do if for some reason anyone will try to attack you again?" He asked.
"Hai! I know what to do!" She replied.
"That's good. I really like this place, but it's time for me to go. Bye guys!" He said, and dashed forward.
He traveled for the whole day. He wanted to cover as much distance as possible. It was getting dark, when he decided to stop, and set up his tent. However he saw a small shack in the woods, and decided to check if anyone was there. What he haven't seen was a small paper butterfly flying behind him. Just when we was about to try to open the door, he heard voice from behind.
"It seems both Nagato and I were right to put our trust in you, Uzumaki Naruto." The voice said. Naruto turned his head, and saw the source of the voice. His eyes widened.
"Konan? But how..." He could only ask.
AN: I know, I know. I'm such an evil bastard. Not only I haven't posted anything in months, but now I ended chapter with annoying cliffhanger. Anyway, I hope you liked this chapter. I've thrown in some OC's, but the story takes place after the war and the only thing restraining me is my own imagination.
For jutsu names, I don't feel like writing translations next to Japanese jutsu names everytime it's used in my story.
For Naruto knowing about Nagato being an Uzumaki and therefore his distant relative - in this story Obito told him during their fight.
While figting, Naruto may seem a little OOC here, but that's the point of this story. While he still acts like an idiot for the most of time, let's not forget that he fought in the war. And war can change everyone. Besides even in manga he showed few times, that he can be serious and analyze his opponents.
I'll try to post next chapter by the end of march. Till next time!