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Chapter 36: Target Rin
Naruto is given a scroll containing the secrets of making women fall for him, a scroll he uses at first on the women around him but soon on the shinobi world as a whole, giving birth to the Ero-ninja.
Chapter 36: Target Rin
The Past during Third Shinobi War: 12 Months After Kannabi Bridge Mission:
“Come on Rin, move it!” Kakashi shouted behind him at the young woman tailing him.
“O-okay,” the medical kunoichi said slightly winded as if they had been running full out for hours but was truthfully a handful of minutes. She pushed herself harder, but then fell flat on her face as her foot snagged on something. She felt a weakness come over her for a moment, but it ended as she pulled her foot free after climbing to her hands and knees. She looked back in order to see what she had tripped over, but frowned as nothing obvious presented itself.
The moment slipped from her mind as her attention was pulled to the trees where she spotted several members of the Prajna descending towards her. Before she could react though, Kakashi appeared in the air between her and her attackers easily dispatching them.
Landing next to her, the Jounin said, “Are you alright?”
Rin frowned internally at Kakashi’s tone as ever since Obito’s death he had been emotionally distant. In truth it felt as if he had put a wall between them. And while she had to admit that Kakashi had never shown any signs that he carried any feelings for her besides those of a teammate. His current treatment of her made her feel more like a client that he had been hired to protect then a teammate or potential lover. It was a bitter pill to swallow that Obito’s last request to Kakashi may have been the final nail in the coffin to her dream of one day starting a relationship with him.
She pushed such thoughts aside as Kakashi began rifling through one of the dead shinobi’s pockets and pouches prompting her to ask, “What are you doing?”
“I’m hoping these guys are carrying some clue as to why they are interfering with our mission. The latest intel we have is that the shinobi village in the Land of Woods was destroyed. So the question is… what are they doing in Taki?”
Rin shrugged scanning for any sign of pursuit as she responded, “They’re probably survivors hiring themselves out as mercenaries.”
“That’s what I’m thinking.” Kakashi agreed. “But what I want to know is who hired them. The orders that we are carrying to the units helping to defend Taki from Iwa are important. But Iwa would likely send its own people. Whoever hired these guys is going to great lengths to keep his fingerprints out of it. That leads me to believe it’s either a third party hoping to sell our plans to the highest bidder, or perhaps worse…” Kakashi trailed off leaving Rin to imagine what he meant. Before she could ask though a kunai shot from the woods aimed at Kakashi’s back. He spun deflecting it into the ground before saying, “Looks like we’ve overstayed our welcome.”
“Hand over the orders boy and we’ll let you live. The girl can stay though, we’ll show her a real good time.”
Rin shrunk into Kakashi’s shadow as several of the former Anbu of the Land of Woods chuckled at their team leader’s comment. She could also feel several of the men lustful gazes traveling over her making her shiver. She felt a spark of girlish joy as Kakashi said, “It’ll be okay Rin.” It quickly died out though as he finished with, “I promised Obito that I’d protect you.”
Once more reminded of the promise she felt was barring her path to a relationship with her crush she stepped from behind him saying annoyed, “I don’t need protecting Kakashi.”
She charged forward pulling a kunai from her pouch prompting the Prajna leader to say amused, “Watch out boys this kittens got fangs.”
A few of his men chuckled and much to her chagrin the Prajna commander managed to block her attack. With a tanto he had strapped to his back. He lashed out with a kick that she managed to sidestep, but he in turn avoided her counter-attack causing him to leap away. She charged after him intent on proving to Kakashi that she could handle herself and didn’t need him treating her as if she was some glass doll in need of his protection. She heard Kakashi shouting for her not to get too far away from him. However she paid him no mind as her focus was solely directed on her opponent and her desire to best him in order to prove herself to Kakashi.
The Pranja squad leader leapt back as she swiped at him with her kunai. He countered with his sword which she parried, yet her breath was taken from her as he brought his knee up into her stomach. His follow up spun her around as he hit her with a backhand fist. She suddenly found herself rolling down a small hill before coming to stop near a river bank. She appeared to struggle to get back up, but found she couldn’t get any traction as her feet kept skidding in the mud.
“Pathetic,” her opponent said landing in front of her using chakra to prevent himself from sinking into the mud. Moving to her side he added, “It’s almost a mercy to put such useless kunoichi out of their misery.”
He lashed out with a foot as if to punctuate his point by kicking her in the ribs, but missed his target as Rin easily rolled out of his way. She struck at the thigh all his weight was resting on as green chakra coated her hands. Severing the muscles that her chakra scalpel connected with, her opponent shouted out in surprise as his leg could no longer support his weight. “You little Bit..” he shouted, but was cut off as Rin’s follow up attack was to slam into him bodily as she pressed her hands to his chest, her chakra blade severing his main artery. He tried to fight against her, but she used her weight to hold him down as he quickly bled out. Finally after several moments he laid still after emitting a final gasp. Having heard the death rattle a person often produced at the end many times over the course of the war she knew he no longer posed a threat.
Sitting back, she wiped at her forehead in relief. She felt a small desire to say something flippant to break the sudden silence that seemed to have descended over the forest with the man’s passing. But she reined it in since as a medic she felt it was wrong to mock the death of another, even if he had been an enemy. But it was also due to the fact that she was fairly confident that while she had struggled against her opponent, Kakashi had likely and easily handled the rest of the squad.
She was about to begin the process of searching to see if the man had any intel of value on him, but stopped as a female and familiar voice said, “Whew, that was a close one. I was afraid I’d have to step in to bail you out.”
Before she could react something landed against her back as white plant like flesh clamped around her torso making her feel like a fly caught in a Venus fly-trap. She looked over her shoulder as she felt her chakra being drained like when she had tripped earlier and received the shock of her life as whatever it was that was attacking her was doing so while wearing her face. After a handful of moments she felt on the verge of chakra exhaustion and the “jaws” that had held her in place retracted into her doppelganger’s body. She collapsed and although still conscious was powerless to move as a white man with green hair approached her and although naked. He lacked any of the defining features of his gender. He looked down at her as he said with a tone that was both curious and bored, “So this is the girl he’s been talking about in his sleep.”
Her copy nodded as it replied, “It would seem so. I can’t see why, she doesn’t seem all that extraordinary. The way he talks when he’s conscious it’s almost as if he believes she doesn’t poo.”
“Don’t be stupid all these meatbags do.”
“We don’t” her copy quickly countered.
“That’s because we ain’t meatbags. I’ll take her to the Master. He apparently needs her to pay for the Prajna assistance and for some intelligence he wants. You know what you need to do.”
The Doppelganger nodded and after slipping a note in the dead man’s pouch began to walk away in the direction that she had come from. She figured that Kakashi must have finished with his opponents as she could hear him calling for her. His voice sounded as close to panicked as she had ever heard it and she would have been happy if not for the fact that she had come to believe it had more to do with his promise then the depths of the feelings he possessed for her.
She tried to call out but the White man grabbed her around the mouth before causing them both to begin to sink into the earth. By the time her doppelganger led Kakashi back to the corpse where he would uncover the note which detailed his and Rin’s supposed route to take on the way to the camp they were to deliver the Hokage’s orders and thus force them to pick a new course, she would be miles away.
“Who would I like to become?” The Kiri-nin repeated in confusion. Her voice hardened a moment later as she shot back, “What kind of stupid question is that?”
Far from being offended Kiyomi replied, “In most cases I suppose it would seem a rather foolish thing to ask one who has suffered like you have.” Kiri-nin KK-one-one-seven-six looked at the sitting red-head in surprise especially as she began to recite, “I won’t bother with your name as I’m sure you wish to discard it, but you were captured only after being betrayed by your squad’s bodyguard Kisame Hoshigaki…”
“I wasn’t betrayed by one lone shinobi,” the Kiri-nin said cutting Kiyomi off her voice sounding bitter. “I was betrayed by my entire village. I have no doubt that he was following the orders of the Fourth Mizukage.”
“Likely I suppose,” Kiyomi replied, “I’m curious though. If you believed that why didn’t you give the code up under torture or the many interrogations? It would have made things much easier for you.”
The Kiri-nin glared at Kiyomi before looking away as she said bitterly, “If I had given the code up then it would have perhaps justified the orders Kisame was given. Besides, even if I desired revenge on those who had wronged me and given up the code, they wouldn’t have suffered. It would have been the rank and file shinobi of the village. Not to mention, I bear no love for Konoha.”
Kiyomi gave her guest an amused grin as she said, “No, I suppose you wouldn’t.” The grin disappeared as she turned serious once more, “Now, back to my original question. Let’s just say hypothetically that I could give you a new life. A fresh start as you would say.”
“That’s awfully generous of you,” the formerly imprisoned kunoichi said skeptically. “Why would you do that for me? Especially since I already told you I didn’t do it for Seven, but myself.”
Kiyomi shrugged dismissively as she answered, “I could tell you that regardless of your reasons, your actions still benefitted both my Sister and myself greatly. Although personally I could care less about what happens to the Uchiha woman. It would have been…upsetting to others had something happened to her.” Kiyomi could see her words had little effect on the kunoichi so added, “However if you require a selfish reason then I suppose you could say that it’s because I would like to further test my abilities. I have already used them to reshape people several times. The form I possess being but one. However, should you agree, you would be the first to do so willing.”
“You honestly expect me to believe that you are some kind of flesh sculptor. Come off it…”
The kunoichi trailed off as Kiyomi clapped her hands and the door to the room opened. Three women then stepped into the room and moved towards the chair Kiyomi was sitting in. The youngest of the three came to a stop and said, “What are your orders?”
The former prisoner had a sense of familiarity wash over her from the woman’s voice. It took a moment for it to register and with a sudden understanding exclaimed, “Yuffie!” The kunoichi gave no recognition that her name had been spoken as she waited for Kiyomi’s order. Turning her gaze to the other two women she couldn’t place them, but from the blank looks that they wore suspected that they may have been the Taki-nin’s teammates.
Her attention was pulled back to the red-head as she said, “Very good, I’m surprised you recognized her.”
“What did you do to her? And are those her teammates?”
Kiyomi inclined her head as she responded, “Indeed.” She stood from her chair and directed the three women to stand in a line. Kiyomi stepped behind Yuffie, who due to her deaging appeared to be around sixteen so was much shorter than the Kiri-nin recalled. She placed her hands on the woman’s shoulders as she explained, “During the battle I decided to test certain aspects of my ability to alter people’s forms and personalities. Unfortunately, my attempt to alter their personalities failed to a certain extent. I’ll have to research just how the Shinobi of the Sand are able to do it when they create their double-agents.” She then moved between the other two women as she continued, “My success here was quite stunning. Although admittedly I’m not sure if I achieved the desired effect.”
“What effect would that be?” the Kiri-nin asked with some curiosity as she was able to tell that the three kunoichi weren’t just simply henged.
“I was hoping that my abilities brought out the women they wanted to become. But sadly at the moment they are in no condition to tell me.” Stepping around the two women, Kiyomi held out her hand as she asked, “So how about it? Are you interested in becoming the person you always desired?”
The Kiri-nin reached up to take Kiyomi’s hand, but stopped just short as she asked, “What if my desire isn’t only my looks…but to become stronger?”
Kiyomi stared at the woman for a moment and felt a frown threaten to appear since she could guess at what the woman would want to use any power the Bijuu could give her for. She nearly retracted her offer as a result, but in the end felt it would be good practice for helping boost Ayame’s chakra. Not to mention was confident that given time Naruto would be able to help the woman look past any desire for revenge she may have. As a result she said, “Boosting your chakra will take more time…but it can be done.”
The Kiri-nin gave the matter one final thought and then took the offered hand. At first she felt nothing but then her body began to feel warmer as Kiyomi’s chakra filled her system and altered her looks. When the transformation was complete she wanted to find a reflective surface to gaze at. However she collapsed back into the bed feeling drained, she closed her eyes unable to fight the fatigue as her body began to ache causing her to realize that Kiyomi must have dulled the pain she would otherwise have felt. Drifting off to sleep, she began to think about to what utilization she would use the promised power she would receive. Standing at a crossroad she found her gaze looking down a path that ended with a village in flames.
Komachi guided Joseki through the tunnels that ran beneath the village, and were centered around Danzou’s home, which resided near the abandoned Uchiha district. As she led the Suna elder to his meeting with Danzou, she thought back to how with some of her precious little free time she had scouted both the tunnels of Root as well as those that made up the Den. Her primary reason for doing so was just to insure that at some point they didn’t intersect. Fortunately, it appeared that the tunnels that both groups were utilizing for their personal uses had been established by two separate entities and thus didn’t intersect. She suspected that since the tunnels that Danzou had taken over as Root’s base of operations also ran under the Uchiha district they had been the architects of ones she currently found herself moving through.
Komachi’s thoughts were pulled away from the matter as they passed a group of Root-nin calmly heading in the opposite direction. Joseki chuckled as the two groups walked by each other. She suspected it was due to the fact that outside of ensuring that there was enough room for them to pass each other none of the Root members had acknowledged the other existed. A part of her wanted to ask what the Suna elder found so amusing. However, she was self-aware enough to recognize that was something she would only even contemplate recently. The Root member she had been would have filed away Joseki’s reaction as unimportant and continued on in her task of guiding him to the leader of Root.
But despite her seeming indifference she got a glimpse of his mindset when he commented rather mockingly, “How orderly. It’s much like what I imagine it would be like to be guided through a beehive. All the little worker bees moving about and only interested in the tasks they need to perform.” Joseki’s gaze moved to another group of shinobi heading towards them, but then suddenly turned at the intersection both groups were approaching. Although they moved at brisk pace, it wasn’t hurried, but the quick walk of men not interested in small talk or camaraderie. Only in completing the missions they were given no matter how small in as quick and efficient a manner as possible. Joseki seemed to read her mind as he commented, “Yet even if the worker bees have no concerns outside of their assigned tasks. They should still sense some of the pressures that those who manage the hive are under. Either Danzou is surer that the story he had in place to blame that noble connected to the One King Movement is going to survive an investigation then I believe he should. Or, he has deluded himself into believing it wasn’t the devastating defeat to his ambition that it appears to be.”
Naturally Komachi remained silent, but she wanted to add a third choice and one she feared greatly, which was Danzou still had an ace in the hole that he had yet to play. Reaching the door to the room Danzou had told her that he would be waiting for Joseki in, she feared it was likely that her belief would be the correct one as she saw him sitting behind a small table upon which sat a shogi board. She allowed Joseki to enter first before following him in and not seeing any of his normal Root protection feared for a moment that she would be asked to leave. However, he made no sign for her to do so. Moving to stand behind him, she briefly looked at the board and saw that it appeared Danzou was playing the game by himself.
Joseki commented on this as he sat across from his old nemesis by saying, “What is the matter Danzou, unable to find any worthy opponents to play against? You should have plenty of free time to play with the other old men in the parks now that your ambition has been crushed.”
Danzou didn’t rise to the bait as he made a move and then analyzed it to see how best to counter it as an opponent would. Looking up from the board he said, “Joseki, I was surprised when you said that you wished to meet again. I was fairly confident you would try and distant yourself from me as quickly as possible. Please don’t tell me you came all this way to simply rub my nose it what you believe to be an utter defeat on my part. True, it is a setback…”
“A setback,” Joseki said his tone dripping with disbelief, “A scheme you have no doubt been planning for years suddenly falls apart. And while you may be confident that your pinning it all on some noble with delusions of grander may cover you from any of the fallout. The very fact that your Hokage reached out to Gaara and they managed to counter your plan without you catching even a whiff of it means that on some level they suspect elements within the Leaf.”
“That is to be expected,” Danzou said disinterestedly as his gaze drifted back to the board, “especially considering that a major Leaf installation was the home of the impending rebellion. I’ve already have been questioned several times about my connection to Akame. They will find nothing of value and all of my meetings with him were held in an official capacity. Tsunade may suspect more, but her opinion of me has never been the highest. In the absence of evidence, her concerns about me will be attributed to her prejudices against me.”
Joseki shrugged as he said, “I suppose you are entitled to your delusions. But if I were in your shoes I wouldn’t be relaxing just yet.”
“Oh, I’m not relaxing and hoping this will all blow over. If Tsunade does suspect me then she is no doubt of the belief that is exactly what I would do.” Danzou said moving a piece from the opposite side of the board. Komachi had to admit that as in all things Danzou was serious in all that he did, even in such activities as playing a game by himself, as the move he made perfectly countered the one he had done when they first entered the room.
“Still, I can’t imagine you have very many moves left. Deny it all you want but I know this scheme cost you quite a bit.”
Danzou gave no sign he was bothered by Joseki’s words as he calmly reached for one of the captured pieces. He placed it on the board pointed against the pieces of his “opponent.” Looking at Joseki he said, “Do you know what makes Shogi such a challenge? It’s that unlike similar strategy games a cunning player can use his opponent’s pieces against him.”
“I see, and have you managed to capture one of the Hokage’s pieces.”
“Not exactly,” Danzou said while acting as his opponent he made a move. “She wasn’t the opponent I was referring to.”
Joseki reading what Danzou meant suddenly shot to his feet tossing the table and board separating the two elders away. Komachi from years of training reacted without thought quickly unsheathing her blade in preparation of defending her leader. Through clenched teeth Joseki said angrily, “What have you done?”
Danzou came as close to smiling as he ever did while saying, “Don’t act so surprised. That you came here looking to gloat over my supposed defeat, only highlights that we were only ever in an alliance of convenience. If you thought that also meant that we would pause in our own struggles against one another than you are a fool.”
Despite Komachi’s presence Joseki still took a step towards the sitting Danzou as he said, “I said what have you…”
“Done, yes I heard you,” Danzou finished showing he was hardly feeling threatened. Raising his hand and signaling to Komachi to relax he continued, “It’s simple really. All I’ve done is reclaim the piece that you captured during the height of the Third Shinobi War. A piece taken from Konoha while the ink on the document solidifying the alliance between our two villages was not even fully dry.”
Joseki glared hatefully at Danzou as he growled, “What’s your point? If anything you’ve just shown you’re as capable of ignoring alliances of convenience as I am.”
“It wasn’t a recrimination,” Danzou said a small tone of amusement entering his voice, “I’m merely pointing out that it is a tactic that you’ve used before you try to take the moral high ground with me. I admitted to you in the park that I had the Prajna eliminated once it became apparent you had secured their services. A group of former Anbu in the hands of my enemy was a threat I couldn’t ignore. Fortunately, from the leader I learned of an interesting fact. Mainly his group had been ordered to attack a pair of Leaf-nin carrying orders to the front. In truth I nearly discarded the information as unimportant since I already had prior knowledge…until he admitted a little tidbit I had been unaware of. While his men had been hired by you to get their hands on those orders, I’m assuming for the purpose of learning of our forces locations in Taki in order to convince the Kazekage to betray us and deal a devastating blow, there had been a secondary objective. Getting your hands on the medic-nin partnered with Kakashi. They didn’t know this, but I gleamed this fact since you gave specific orders to the Pranja that only Kakashi was to be harmed.”
To both Komachi and Danzou’s surprise Joseki seized on a small facet of Danzou’s retelling of past events. “What do you mean you had prior knowledge of the attack? The fact that you knew of my involvement but didn’t go running to the Fourth Hokage means…”
Komachi felt her eyes go wide at what Joseki was implying. She was glad that the Suna elder’s attention was solely on his Konoha counterpart as she was sure her rather un-Root like reaction would have garnered some notice. Danzou didn’t even reply with the smallest amount of shame as he coldly said, “Yes, I was the one that provided Kakashi and Rin’s route. After all, both you and I had dealings with the same man.”
“The Broker,” Joseki said unable to keep a small hint of the fear and respect the mention of the mysterious man incited in him.
Danzou inclined his head and as she was unable to see his face she suspected he may have held the same feeling. “Yes. He, or more accurately I should say one of his associates approached me asking for details on the remaining members of Team Minato’s movements. As his name certainly entails, he offered me something I had been desirous of in return. I saw it as a win-win type situation. With the death of the remaining members of his team, I believed Minato would finally take the steps necessary to achieve a final and lasting peace. Plus I would finally be able to meet with Hanzou in order to hammer out an alliance with him. Sadly, that alliance was short lived as some upstarts slaughtered the men that I had loaned to the Salamander. I am curious…what did you trade to him?”
The name of the last host of Iwa’s Five-tailed Jinchuriki. As you know they had managed to keep it under wraps after the death of the previous one.”
“Ah,” Danzou said, “I believe we now know what he wanted that information for.”
“Wait you can’t mean?”
“Exactly, the Broker wanted to learn the location so that Akatsuki could later collect them.”
“Is it,” Danzou replied, “The Broker has always had inside connections to all the villages. I mean how else can you explain the Mist Village’s involvement in you securing Rin Nohara?”
“What are you talking about? I was told his agents were able to secure her while Kakashi was busy facing the Prajna.”
“That is only half of the story,” Danzou said, “The rest even I’m not fully aware of. But Rin was declared killed by the enemy by the Fourth Hokage. However, before even a cursory autopsy and after mission investigation could be called they had buried her. I found it curious, but always maintained the belief that both Minato and Kakashi were covering up the truth of what happened. What I do know as fact is that after encountering the Prajna, Kakashi claims that Rin and he took an alternate route to link up with the unit that the orders they were carrying were for.”
Danzou went silent for a moment, Komachi felt on edge in a way foreign to her due to her desire to hear what the elder knew about the mysterious Broker he had mention, due to his connection to Akatsuki. To her further surprise she was fighting back a desire to attack her former master. She supposed it was part of her lover’s personality rubbing off on her. But having to remain emotionless as Danzou admitted to treason was proving extremely difficult. It was partly due to how he was callously revealing that he was willing to sacrifice loyal Leaf shinobi so long as it benefited him or brought the Leaf Village another step closer to how he wished it to be. But what was truly whipping up a fury inside her was that he was admitting as much right in her presence. Granted he had done so before, but with her new perspective it just highlighted the wrongs that had been committed against her and the other members of Root that had turned them into unthinking machines.
Luckily Danzou’s focus was directed squarely on Joseki since it was clear the man was building up a powerful anger as well. Komachi believed the only thing keeping the Suna Elder rooted to where he stood was a desire to learn what Danzou knew about how the Broker had secured the kunoichi that he had used to further his own agenda for over a decade.
Unaware of his subordinates thought’s Danzou picked up from where he had left off by saying, “Now according to Kakashi a short time after changing their route, they encountered a group of Hunter-nin. Considering that Mist had a short time earlier opened up a new front where Taki bordered the ocean in the north we were told that it was likely they had stumbled onto an advanced scouting party for what would be their Harbor Wave offensive.”
Danzou paused as he stood from the chair and turned his back on Joseki. For a brief moment the Suna shinobi tensed as he considered attacking Danzou. However, he noticed Komachi tense as well, and unaware that her reaction was simply a result of years of training, since due to her own swirling emotions she was considering letting the man make his move, he backed down. Komachi had no doubt that Danzou was well aware of what his presenting an opening to his opponent had done. She also was coming to understand that to him it was all part of the game. However what she wasn’t so clear on was what he was hoping to gain by telling Joseki what he was up to, especially since whatever it was that he had done, he could likely have done so without the Suna Elder being any the wiser.
The moment passed and Danzou moved to a map that had been hanging on the wall behind him. Although she kept her back to Danzou, as she watched Joseki, she could easily imagine that as he stood before it he was envisioning the many battles that had taken place during the Third Shinobi War. This was in part due to the contemplative tone his voice carried as he said, “That was always the most upsetting thing about the strategies of Kirigakure. Their shinobi would show up in a theater, cause a bunch of chaos and then fade like the mist they so often used to cover their tracks. It was almost as if their whole purpose was to prolong the war for as long as possible.” Danzou turned from the map before continuing, “But I’m getting sidetracked. Needless to say that as far as Minato and Kakashi were aware Rin didn’t survive the encounter. I’ve long wanted to dig up what was buried in her grave, but I couldn’t do so without raising questions that may have led to my own dealings with the Broker.”
Danzou began slowly moving towards his opposite number in the Sand Village as he said, “It must have been quite a convincing double for Minato and Kakashi to not even question it. Her quick burial was explained away as being necessary for a village that was experiencing far too many funerals. However, I have long believed that whatever the Broker had used had put Minato into the unenviable position of possibly tarnishing his student’s memory if an investigation was called for. I suppose that much like Sarutobi, it must have been an extremely difficult thing to except that a person you helped bring up in this world of shinobi may have decided to betra…”
Having heard enough Joseki snapped, “While this is all so fascinating. You’ve yet to answer my question. What have you done now that you have possession of this kunoichi? What is it you that you plan to do? Are you going to offer her up, should the investigation into the prison begin to point to you? Are you going to use her as proof that I’ve capable of controlling people and thus was framing you?” Joseki aware that he was on Danzou’s turf scoffed as he added, “I suppose that’s why you allowed me to come before you to gloat.”
“I had indeed considered doing that,” Danzou admitted as he came to a stop in front of his long-time rival. “However while that would likely have cleared me…it does nothing to move me closer to my ultimate goal. If anything using such a tactic would likely force me to keep a low profile. I don’t think I need to tell you that I’m not getting any younger. No, the best way to find myself through this storm is to do exactly what you did to that shogi board.”
Joseki tore his gaze from his hated rival and looked towards the board he had sent flying. Seeing it lying against a wall, as well as the pieces for it scattered all about, his eyes widened in understanding prompting Danzou to say, “Precisely. I plan to find my way through these current troubles by creating an even greater incident by which to distract them. An event that no one can ignore, one that when the dust settles and all the pieces are placed on the board again, it will be with me as the Hokage.”
“How do you propose to do that with one mediocre kunoichi?” Joseki asked turning his full attention back to Danzou.
“Come now Joseki,” Danzou said with a mildly disproving tone, “We both know she is far more than average. You tend to be rather hard on your puppets. On some level she must have pleased you.”
“I have never used her in that sense,” Joseki said quickly and angrily at what Danzou was suggesting. “I wouldn’t sully my wife’s memory by using some Leaf whore. The reason this puppet didn’t end up as a discarded and broken tool is because I believe she may have had some future use for bargaining or blackmail token against the Broker.”
Danzou remained silent figuring Joseki would explain what he meant. When no answer was forthcoming he shrugged as he said, “No matter, perhaps I will learn what secret she holds after everything settles down. Although, considering she is going to be what instigates a new round of conflicts I highly doubt it.”
Joseki scoffed incredulously as he said, “Do you truly believe that the Leaf and Sand will go to war over this matter? Besides since it seems you are going to let me live what is to keep me from telling them all I know about you.”
“That is rather a simple thing to answer,” Danzou replied sounding smug as if everything was proceeding exactly how he expected it too, “self-preservation. You are mistaken in that I plan to use her as a wedge between our villages. Recent events show that the ties between our villages are far stronger than even I anticipated. However, Tsunade has made recent inroads with Kumogakure as well. Before these can fully form I plan to disrupt them by provoking the Raikage in such a way that he’ll react in the most severe way possible.”
“Do you truly think yourself capable of such? You couldn’t even predict the events going on in your own village.”
“I think you will find that predicting an enemy’s reaction is simple when compared to that of allies. The reason for this is because in most instances your enemies are reacting to the pain you inflicted, and all people react the same in the face of pain and death. They seek out the one responsible and inflict it in turn.” Danzou raised his cane and tapped the destroyed eye that one of Joseki’s plots had left him with after the Elder’s own had killed the Sand-nin’s wife. “Do you remember what happened after the death of the previous Raikage?”
“Of course, Kumo became twice as aggressive. They pushed hard into Hot-Water Country and nearly broke through until Shikaku Nara took command.”
“True,” Danzou said, “But you forget that he also put his jinchuriki into hiding.”
“So what,” Joseki said dismissively, “He did that so the jinchuriki could protect the village. A pulled almost all of his village’s defenders for the offensive.”
“Is that what you believe?” Danzou said with a tight almost imperceptible grin. “You would be wrong. It did have that benefit, but the Jinchuriki didn’t make an appearance even after Shikaku forced Kumo back into their own territory. In truth, the Eight-Tail’s host never made another appearance onto the battlefield. Rather strange considering how poorly the war began to go for Kumo after their offensive failed.”
“What’s your point?”
“My point is that the reason the Raikage kept his jinchuriki in the rear was because he wasn’t willing to lose him. Remember it took almost Ten-Thousand shinobi to bring the Third Raikage down. Considering his strength A must have thought his father would live forever. Suddenly seeing him brought down must have been quite the shock.” Danzou moved back to his chair and sat down. He leaned forward as he continued, “Now considering that both he and his jinchuriki were raised as brothers he did what all good older brothers do. He ensured that his younger brother would be safe, even at the cost of his war efforts. Now imagine if that brother was to suddenly be attacked. I imagine it wouldn’t matter whether or not that attacker succeeded. The mere idea that his beloved partner would be threatened should be enough to rouse his anger; especially should he accuse a kunoichi that as far as the Leaf is concerned is dead and buried. The more the Leaf tries to deny it, the angrier he’ll get and eventually he’ll begin to believe all the cozying up that Tsunade has done was to get him to drop his guard so we could eliminate his greatest military asset. I don’t think I need to tell you what is likely to happen next. I should thank you, as a result of your willingness to work with me. I was able to ascertain how you communicated with your various pawns. Granted the information is of little uses since I’m unsure of any of the other people who are under your jutsu, but I just needed to know the one to send her an order. Don’t bother trying to recall her. She’s already been made aware that any future attempts are to be considered misinformation generated by the enemy.”
Joseki was shaking with barely controlled rage now that Danzou had revealed that he had been used. Twisting the knife just a little further he added, “This moment is rather exhilarating. I’ve often wondered if this is what the Silver and Gold brothers felt when they spoiled the peace talks between the Second Raikage and Hokage. Did they have any idea that their act of betrayal would spiral events out of control and lead towards the Second Shinobi World War? Probably not, but they had to at least know they were guaranteeing that the bloody age of shinobi would continue. I’ve always figured that the Broker may have had a hand it the matter as well. However since neither of us have heard from him in decades it is likely that he has passed on. That is good news for you, especially since if you believed Rin could be used against him then I imagine he gave her to you with the understanding you would eliminate her. I doubt he’d be pleased to learn she was still around.”
Joseki instead of exploding seemed to center himself. With a restrained tone he said, “I trust we are finished here then.”
Danzou nodded so the Suna Elder spun on his heel and quickly made his exit. Komachi moved to follow but stopped as the crippled elder said, “Let him go. He isn’t going to do anything so foolish as remain here.” Once it was just the two of them he said, “You disapprove Komachi.”
Komachi feared he had picked up on her own anger towards him. However, thinking along the lines the emotionless Root kunoichi she had been would she said, “It isn’t my place, sir. However, is it wise to reveal so much to him and let him go? He will no doubt try and foil your plan if for no other reason than that he may fear what this Broker character you mentioned would do if he is still alive.”
“That is a slim possibility,” Danzou said standing as he made his way to the door. “Although I never saw his face, in my dealings with him you could feel the age he carried on his robed shoulders. I doubt Joseki truly believes he is alive either. No my old sparring partner will simply try and foil my plan out of ego. But I’m counting on him to at least attempt to. I want him to make as big a mess of this situation as he dares. He’ll no doubt expend quite a few assets that he has in place in Kumo in an attempt to keep Rin from reaching her target. Should he succeed I lose nothing, but should Rin kill a few other Kumo-nin on her way to the Eight-tails well I can only imagine how the Raikage will react.”
Danzou paused at the door when Komachi didn’t fall into step behind him. He looked over his shoulder to see her picking up the pieces for the Shogi game that Joseki had overturned. Guessing that as he had pulled her from escorting Joseki through the Root facility she was simply finding a way to be useful left her behind.
Komachi righted the table and began to place the pieces back on the board. However, although she could have recreated it exactly as it had been before Joseki had sent it tumbling, she placed one of his pieces next to his king facing the wrong way. Since it was facing towards where Danzou would be sitting it would be considered his opponents. She smiled briefly as she began to walk away as she enjoyed the irony that Danzou’s enjoyment of capturing an enemy’s pieces and using it against them was in turn being done to him. Reaching the door, she looked back at the board and the captured piece that was holding his king in check. Seeing herself as that piece she promised then and there that this would be the last scheme that Danzou plotted. Leaving the room, she would first alert her lover to the new danger to the peace he was building and then would find the link necessary to make sure that when Naruto foiled his scheme that Danzou would face the justice he so richly deserved.
Tsunade ducked beneath a punch thrown by her opponent. Now inside her opponent’s guard she struck out with a shot that she channeled her chakra into. Much as she expected although it connected with his gut, it did little of the damage that she was used to. Still her opponent staggered back as he rubbed his stomach saying, “Ho, Ho, your Taijutsu is as truly formidable as your legend claims Lady Tsunade.” He looked at where her apprentice Sakura was squaring off against the clone of the man she fought. “I’m glad you requested this training session. It’s such a rare opportunity to see how my own taijutsu would fare against a living legend such as you.”
Tsunade felt a vein appear on her forehead since to her Gai’s calling her a legend was akin to calling her old. Therefore charging the man who was fighting her with the first three gates opened, she said, “Legends are dusty old things you read about in books.”
Gai met her charge throwing several punches that put her on the defensive. She blocked or avoided most of his attacks before spotting an opening. Putting all the information that she had gathered from the session, and her fight with the Idiot Brothers about why her chakra enhanced blows didn’t seem to work against opponents whose chakra was in an overly excited state, she hit Gai in the chest. Modifying how she released her gathered chakra, she was almost as surprised the Jounin when he went flying back. He hit the ground and then skidded along it as well as over the small pond the training field they were using contained. Coming to rest on the opposite bank she heard Lee shout, “Gai-sensei!!!” He abandoned his fight with Sakura and took off running. He cradled his master’s head in his lap as he cried in the exaggerated fashion that he and his master were prone to.
Feeling like she had kicked a puppy in front of the young man she was about to go check on Gai when Shizune said, “It would seem you’ve overcome your recently discovered handicap. I must admit I’m beginning to see how you earned your reputation as a prodigy.”
Tsunade turned towards her first apprentice with an arched eyebrow, while catching a towel that Shizune threw towards her. Wiping the sweat from her forehead and chest, which was glistening from her exertions, she said, “Just beginning?”
Shizune smiled as she replied, “Well you must admit I didn’t exactly get the fully engaged Tsunade. It’s still hard for me to imagine that for every day following the battle you’d be up at the crack of dawn training. Or that you would be at it several hours later and in danger of missing a meeting because you lost track of the time.”
“What? Shit,” Tsunade said about to take off. She paused a moment as she looked over her shoulder and still seeing Gai lying in a dazed heap was about to order Sakura to look at the Jounin.
But Shizune beat her to it by saying, “I’m sure you and Sakura would like to discuss what you’ve learned. I’ll see to Gai.”
Tsunade nodded her thanks as she began to briskly head towards her office. Tsunade was about to explain what she had learned but was stopped when Sakura said, “Please correct me if I’m wrong but the reason our techniques are impaired by those who open their chakra gates is because it is in essence being overpowered by the stronger chakra.”
Beaming at her student and fellow Harem member Tsunade said, “Very good. For me I imagine a still pond. Let’s call the pond our opponent for the sake of my example. Now imagine throwing a rock in it, what happens?”
“The pond would begin to ripple from the point of impact,” Sakura answered.
“Much like how when we would punch the ground the earth reacts to our technique.” Sakura nodded at Tsunade’s remark causing the Hokage to say, “Now imagine a fast moving river. Much like before you punch it, however this time there is a far less noticeable reaction since more water swarms in to carry away the disruption.”
Sakura inclined her head in understanding before asking, “How did you overcome it just now though?”
“I used a bigger rock,” Tsunade said with a smirk. “No matter how fast a river is flowing, with a big enough rock you can force it to recognize your efforts. What I did was hit him so that for a moment I created a gap in the overflowing chakra. When his chakra tried to fill it, well you saw the results.”
Reaching the Hokage mansion Sakura peeled off to grab a shower. Her apprentice aware of what was in store for her master said, “Good luck.”
Tsunade hid the small grimace that threatened to appear. Entering the building she made her way to her office and struggled again to keep it from appearing as she saw Asuma and Ibiki waiting in front of her door. Although she wasn’t late, she knew the two men had been waiting sometime for her, which led her to believe the coming meeting would be a tense one. She couldn’t blame them, since if she had been in their shoes she would likely have seen it as a slap in the face to learn that the person they took orders from had apparently trusted people outside the village to deal with the threat the prison posed then the people that had called it home.
Stepping before them she said, “Good morning gentlemen.”
“A little closer to afternoon at this point Milady,” Asuma said his tone terse but diplomatic.
“I’m sorry if you were waiting long,” Tsunade said stepping into her office her two subordinates following behind her. “I was at the training field. Considering how you take after your student Asuma I didn’t think I’d need to worry about you wanting to start this meeting early.” Asuma didn’t respond to the jest so guessing that both men wanted to get down to business she took a seat behind her desk. She studied the men for a moment before saying, “Let me start out by saying that my decision to not include the two of you as to what was going on in the prison in no way reflects any doubts I may have in your loyalty to the Leaf Village.”
“Then what does it reflect?” Ibiki asked quickly his tone making her feel like a prisoner being interrogated. “Because as near as I can tell you chose to trust a recently awakened coma patient, the mercenary she hired, a prisoner who once tried to sack Konoha, and finally the Kazekage of a village that has attacked us in the past, all over the shinobi that served you.”
Tsunade had a hard time not frowning as Ibiki rattled off his list. Hearing it from an outsider’s prospective; she admitted it showed that to most people it looked like she had lost faith in her shinobi. Yet having expected to be questioned along such lines she quickly responded, “Deciding to keep this a secret from shinobi I know and trust was no easy matter. However Ibiki you must understand the need to keep an operation secret especially when the fear that the ears of your enemy are present among your forces as well. Look at it from my perspective. An instillation that was supposed to protect the safety of the Leaf Village was turned into a training camp for a force to destroy it. The people we trusted to keep this facility running smoothly were the ones plotting rebellion.”
Ibiki’s face didn’t lose any of its gruffness, but he did incline his head in acceptance of her point even as he said, “I understand what you are saying. However, your choice in allies is…questionable to say the least.”
“Is it,” Tsunade said sensing that at the very least Ibiki was someone who could understand her running an operation off the books. “Before you pass judgment on that let me tell you how we first learned of this impending threat. It started several months back when Yuugao upon hearing rumors of Anbu at the prison decided to investigate.” Tsunade paused, while she knew that in truth it had been Koharu to discover the Anbu presence at the prison, she and her fellow Harem members had changed that fact for public consumption. Beginning again she said, “She did this off the record. While there she discovered that not only were the rumors true, but that it appeared the prisoners had the run of the top few levels. She was discovered unfortunately, but managed to escape. She came to me with what she had learned.”
“I’ve gone over the security tapes,” Ibiki said as she paused for a breath. “I take it that Yuugao was this masked woman that infiltrated the prison. She had managed to avoid the known security of the prison, but was picked up by the modified one that Akame had installed.”
Tsunade nodded. “Yes, although I was hesitant to do so I was forced to bring Koharu into the matter.”
“I find that pretty strange,” Asuma said speaking up, “You two never truly saw eye to eye, at least not until recently.”
Tsunade gave a small amused smile as she thought about how the jounin would react if he knew just how much she had come to see the elder eye to eye, generally while pressed against her as one or the other was being fucked by the man they both cared for. Unable to help herself she said, “Well you know what they say about certain circumstances making for strange bedfellows. Yuugao had brought her concerns about the unaccounted for Anbu activity to elder Koharu first. She recalled that Elder Koharu had raised some concerns about the security of the prison. She had asked for some advice on how to breach it. Since it didn’t appear that the prison was put on alert by the Elder’s knowing we decided to trust her. As for my reaching out to Kiyomi, I did that shortly after the assassins tried to eliminate her. We were of the opinion that Akame had to be getting his supplies for the rebellion into the prison from somewhere. What better way than from the company hired to secure and deliver them?”
The Hokage could see that her logic was winning over the Head of the Torture and Interrogation department. Strangely enough the usually far more readable Asuma was giving her no feedback. Continuing she added, “When Kiyomi was awoken as a result of the first chakra wave I paid it no mind. That is until she was targeted for elimination.”
“You figured that her regaining consciousness threw an unexpected monkey wrench in Akame and the noble’s plot so they put pressure on her siblings to have her eliminated to ensure their supplies would continue to flow in.”
“Forget the noble,” Tsunade said and could tell her statement surprised both men, “He’s a patsy…he was a potentially dangerous one but a patsy all the same. Truthfully so was Akame. But I’ll get to that eventually. However you are correct in your reasoning, Kiyomi was targeted to ensure the smuggling operation wasn’t discovered. This led me to believe she could be trusted and since her bodyguard defeated the assassins when Kiyomi suggested I let her in I agreed.”
“I’m unclear on how you brought Yoruichi aboard. She was out of the village supposedly hunting down the last assassin.”
“True, but where was Koharu during these events,” Tsunade said in response to Ibiki. “She managed to find Yoruichi, who had quickly eliminated the last hired killer. You see, it was Yoruichi that Yuugao caught up with, although she was henged at the time. We figured that since Akame would know that the assassination attempt had failed. Giving him the chance to tidy up the loose ends would be too tempting to resist. That was how we made contact with the woman calling herself Seven.”
“If I recall correctly she ended up killing her cellmate…unless some other woman was sacrificed.”
“Hardly, we placed a seal on Yoruichi that when activated disrupted the chakra suppression seal. As you know Ibiki, sometimes the worse thing for security is its efficiency. Since up to that point no one had found a way around the chakra suppression seal, the guards never even checked to see if they had been placed in a genjutsu. What appeared to be a fatal injury was nothing more than a carefully staged scene. I’m still unsure how Yoruichi managed to smuggle in the blood packets. All she’ll tell me is a lady needs to have some secrets. With the offer of immunity Seven agreed to be our spy on the inside and with her chakra suppression seal was tampered with so that she had access to a small amount of chakra. We were able to communicate in the form of small stone beetles she would create to pass us notes. From there we reached out to the Kazekage and the Training Force was born.”
Asuma frowned as he said, “Still the idea that you would trust all these outside groups over us is rather…”
“Upsetting,” Tsunade supplied understandingly.
“That’s putting it mildly.”
“I know. It was hard not knowing who I could go to. However there is a very good reason for that…Root still exists.”
Both men shared a look at the mention of the supposedly disbanded Anbu organization. Once they turned back towards her she said, “It’s true. What I’m about to reveal does not leave this room. I mean it…Asuma I don’t want even Kurenai to know.”
“You can’t mean to suggest that she…”
Tsunade held up her hand and silenced him with a stern look as she said, “Don’t be ridiculous. However, the threat to Konoha still remains and the last thing I want to do is upset a pregnant woman who is entering the third trimester.” Asuma nodded in understanding so she continued, “Remember what set this all in motion were reports of Anbu hanging around the prison. Yuugao encountered two members on the roof. She managed to place a tracking seal on one of them. As a result, we have learned that running under the Uchiha district as well as Elder Danzou’s residence are tunnels that are being used as a base of operations for Root. We believe that Danzou never truly disbanded Root and even expanded it after the Uchiha massacre. Therefore, it is in all likelihood that placed all throughout Konoha’s forces are shinobi that are loyal to Danzou first and the village second. That is why I couldn’t risk letting even Shinobi I trust with my life in on our plans.”
Ibiki recognized what she was suggesting first as he said, “You’re saying that Danzou was behind this plot from the beginning. Some of the surviving prisoners and guards have mentioned him. They have pointed his picture out, but they also did so when I showed them a picture of the noble they would insist that is Danzou as well.”
“That is because we believe he tampered with the Sharingan he gifted Akame with, so that whenever it was in the presence of the noble it would put those present under a hypnotic suggestion to see him as Danzou.”
Ibiki crossed his arms over the chest as he said with a disbelieving tone, “Are you saying that Danzou created a situation where he would be pointed at as a potential suspect.”
“I know it’s a theory that is rather hard to swallow, but considering that he’d be able to point out that people were seeing this noble as him. He’d easily be able to raise the point that it appeared he was being set up.” Tsunade stood and came around the desk. Standing before her two Jounin she said, “However, Danzou’s days of slinking in the dark as he covets the position of Hokage are over. I’m going to need both of your skills if I’m going to make sure that when we bring Danzou down the charges stick. But for the time being nobody outside of this room is to be brought into this. Root has had years to seep into every facet of the village. If we’re going to pull it out then we need to be positive that not even a whisper reaches Danzou’s ears.”
Both her shinobi nodded in understanding. They then began to plot on the best ways to insure that the small group could grow without attracting the attention of the elder or those loyal to him. Little did Tsunade know that soon she’d be putting the ideas that where being suggested to use much faster than anyone anticipated.
Mikoto awoke slowly, but some part of her immediately registered that she was no longer in the Punishment section of the Leaf Maximum Security Prison. The fact that it was probably a good forty degrees cooler was one clue as was the fact that she was lying on luxurious silken sheets. That fact told her that she was most likely not even in the prison anymore. For a brief moment she wondered if she was awakening from the horrible nightmare her life had become ever since the occasional griping about how the Uchiha were treated had turned into plans for rebellion. A part of her hoped that at any moment a young Sasuke would come bounding into the room telling her it was time to get up as he excitedly bounced in place.
However, she quickly abandoned her flight of fancy since she knew it would not help her deal with whatever new situation she found herself in. Without opening her eyes she tried to take stock of her surroundings. From years of shinobi practice and just married life in general she instantly knew she wasn’t alone. Mikoto wondered just who it was that was watching her since the woman that had instructed her in what life as a kunoichi was like, had often told her and the other female academy students that just because they didn’t find themselves in a dungeon. It didn’t mean that they were safe from the dangers the fairer sex far too often experienced when taken prisoner by the enemy.
Apparently though the man watching her had enough experience to know when a woman was only pretending to be asleep. He alerted her to this as he said with a warm voice, “I really don’t mean to rush you. But, I’ve only just gotten back to the village and several of my friends have offered to treat me to barbeque. I don’t think they’d understand if I told them I was late because I was watching a woman as she pretended to be asleep.”
Mikoto turned her head towards the voice and cracked her eyes open for a brief moment she thought she saw Minato sitting in the large comfortable chair he was sitting in. However as he came into focus she could see more of Kushina come into the picture and coming to the only conclusion that fit upon her recognizing the whisker marks on his cheeks said, “You must be Naruto.”
The blond man nodded in greeting as he said, “I am. It’s nice to finally meet you.”
Mikoto sat up in the bed to discover she was dressed in a large t-shirt. She then took in the room and was surprised by just how opulent it was. Commenting on it, she said, “It appears you’ve come up in the world. These living conditions are quite the improvement over the rat hole the Third arranged for you after leaving the orphanage.”
Naruto cocked his head in confusion as he said, “I wasn’t aware you had any interest in my living arrangements.”
Mikoto looked away from the kind penetrating eyes of Kushina and Minato’s son as she recalled going to the Hokage upon learning that he had let the young boy move into an apartment one step away from being condemned. She had torn into him about it, but he had told her that the other apartment buildings had refused to allow the young jinchuriki to stay on their premises. She had nearly offered to take him in, but since by then the Uchiha were fully committed to toppling the Hokage. She was afraid her husband would use the boy as a bargaining tool or worse begin to influence him to support the Uchiha in their rebellion. Not to mention she doubted the elders of the village would allow such a thing to happen since there were many of the opinion that the Uchiha had been behind the Kyuubi attack in the first place. She doubted these people would be pleased for the Bijuu container to be living under the same roof as those who were supposed to be able to control it.
She felt guilty about her inability to have offered any sort of support to the boy. She guessed it showed as he gave her a wide disarming smile as he said, “It’s okay. I understood why you couldn’t get involved in my situation despite how close you were to my mom.”
Mikoto stared at him in surprise as she said, “I…I was under the impression the truth of your parentage was being kept from you. What made the Third change his mind?”
Naruto began to scratch his cheek and he wasn’t quite sure how to explain his current situation. He was saved from having to do so as Mikoto began to scratch at her ankle through the covers. Finding it wasn’t doing the trick, she pulled it to the side enough to uncover the irritation, less she give the young man a glimpse at the panties she could feel she was wearing. What she saw confused her as she discovered a small fox mark. Directing her attention back to Naruto, she could see that he was suddenly far more nervous than when she had mentioned his parentage. Giving him her best mother tone she said, “Care to explain what the hell this is?”
She fought back a smile as he gave her a defeated sigh that reminded her of her own children’s reaction when she’d use the tone in the past. Coupled with the, “Not really.” She had a hard time not wondering what life would have been like had she decided to take him in. Her amusement faded though as Naruto explained, “That mark reacts to another one located on the grounds here. Basically it will keep you from leaving the house.”
Mikoto turned her gaze towards a window where she could see the Leaf village. With a disappointed tone she said, “So it seems I’ve traded cages and although this one is far more gilded. It is still a cage.”
She saw Naruto wince from his reflection in the window. She turned to him as he said, “I can understand where you are coming from. However, we did it for your protection as much as ours. Right now it is still dangerous for you out there since quite a few prisoners are still on the loose and being hunted down by Anbu. Also once certain events become known to you we were afraid you’d do something…”
“By events are you referring to how my eldest son has been murdered by his younger brother after he betrayed the village?”
“You knew…” Naruto said sadly his eyes showing a genuine kindness and concern.
“I...I only recently learned about it,” Mikoto said on the verge of letting the tears she had felt when Akame told her fall, no longer interested in holding her emotions at bay. However before she broke down she was suddenly overcome by the desire to know, “Did you know Sasuke?”
“W-we were teammates,” Naruto said his own voice filled with emotion at what Mikoto guessed was betrayal and the loss of a friendship they had likely shared. “He was also the shinobi that I often measured my own success against. It also made me happy when he admitted that he considered me a rival.”
Thinking of her own past, Mikoto favored him with a soft smile as she said, “It was the same for your mother and me.” It faded as she said, “It must have hurt when he decided to betray you and the village to pursue his own goals.”
Naruto rubbed at his chest for a moment looking lost in thought. It was a gesture that confused the Uchiha kunoichi. When he refocused his attention on her he said, “It did. I considered him to be my best friend when he left.”
Mikoto was about to question him further but both of their attentions were pulled to the door as a young woman entered holding a tray with food on it. Mikoto could see a look of confusion on the young man’s face which grew more pronounced as the woman said, “Excuse me. Lady Kiyomi thought your guest would be hungry.”
Mikoto’s stomach rumbled prompting the young woman dressed as a maid to make her way towards the bed. She had just placed it down when Naruto asked, “Excuse me, but who are you?”
The woman turned as she replied robotically, “Yuffie Kisaragi.”
She remained silent as she began to make her way out of the room. Naruto noticed a look of recognition appear on Mikoto’s face causing him to say. “Hey hold on a second.” The young woman stopped as instructed but didn’t turn or anything. Focusing on the Uchiha he asked, “Do you know her?”
“It’s hard to say. I knew a woman by that name, but unless she suddenly shed forty plus years this girl can’t be the same woman.”
To her surprise Naruto growled under his breath, “Kiyomi.” Standing abruptly, he grabbed Yuffie by the wrist as he said, “Follow me.” The woman did so but as she was truly capable of judging the urgency by which Naruto was moving ended being dragged several feet until she got the hint.
Mikoto quickly followed as she felt her curiosity piqued by the young man’s strange reaction. Following in his wake she caught up to him to find him at the bottom of a large staircase. A beautiful red-head wearing a splendid kimono stood at the base as if expecting his reaction to the servant she had sent. Her gaze traveled towards Mikoto for a moment causing the woman’s green eyes to narrow, but when she looked at the blond the Uchiha only saw love and devotion. That wasn’t to say though that the woman’s body language was screaming that she was prepared for a verbal confrontation.
She got it as Naruto stopped while still on the stairs and with a tone that barely concealed the anger he was feeling, “Do you want to explain this?”
The red-head shrugged dismissively, “There’s not much to explain. She and her teammates were part of the force pursuing my sister and the Uchiha. Instead of killing them outright I decided to test my abilities further.”
“You call this testing your abilities?” Naruto questioned throwing a look at the woman standing behind him. Facing the red-head again he said, “It’s like you turned her into some mindless zombie.”
“Granted, my results were less than stellar, but I believe given time they will become more self-reliant.”
“T-that’s not the point,” Naruto said his voice rising in frustration.
“Then what is the point,” Kiyomi said letting her own voice spike due to Naruto raised voice. “They were enemy combatants. Would you have preferred I killed them outright? I saw an opportunity to test a new ability and I took it.”
“Why would you even need to learn such a thing? We don’t operate this way.”
“Really,” the woman replied crossing her arms defiantly, “Aren’t you forgetting how roughly you handled Koharu when she first entered your circle?”
Mikoto felt a cold fury settle over her at the mention of the female elder. She also wondered what the red-head was suggesting primarily since Naruto seemed genuinely regretful at the mention of his supposed mistreatment of her. The conversation further confused her as the woman added, “Plus, I doubt Mabui was too pleased to learn you used your ability to silence her until she came around. If it truly bothers you so much sleep with them and once they’re under your control I’ll remove the programming until you win them over with your charm.”
Although she couldn’t make out the look on Naruto’s face, Mikoto could see that although the red-head was winning the argument, deep down she knew she wasn’t necessarily in the right, but was too headstrong to admit as much. This became more evident when a small crack of doubt appeared as Naruto said deadpanned, “You know I won’t do that.”
Mikoto got the sense that the red-head was afraid she had pushed the blond too far as she tried to ease her position by saying, “Naruto… I needed to learn this skill for our benefit. In the future there may be obstacles that you won’t be able to convince and we can’t just eliminate. With this ability we won’t hav…”
She was cut off as a shout of, “Naruto,” resounded through the mansion. A young pink-haired kunoichi ran into the room appearing from a doorway that looked like it headed down to the basement. For a moment it looked like she could feel the tension hanging between the two. Her gaze briefly traveled towards Mikoto, but the news she was caring was obviously of more importance then her curiosity as she said, “Naruto, you need to head to the Den right away.”
“What is it Sakura?”
“Danzou, he isn’t just hoping things blow over like we thought.”
Naruto leapt over the banister of the stairs quickly following Sakura down into the basement. Mikoto saw a flash appear making her wonder how the kunoichi had entered the mansion in the first place. She looked at the woman whose worried gaze was still focused on where Naruto had disappeared. “Quite a lively place you have here.”
The woman stared up at her before leveling a menacing glare her way as she said, “Watch your mouth Uchiha. I’m only tolerating your presence because of him. If you know what’s good for you, you’ll do your best to avoid me.”
Mikoto shrugged before turning to head back to her room to finish her meal. Kiyomi let the concern that she may have won the argument only to lose standing in her lover’s eyes appear now that she was alone. She tried to come up with some way to repair the damage, so lost in thought headed deeper into the mansion.
Yuffie simply remained where she was on the stairs as no one had instructed her to do otherwise.
“Welcome to the Rolling Thunder Inn,” a pleasant woman approaching old age said to her newest guest, “I hope you enjoy your stay.”
The masked and cowled woman nodded as she picked up the key to her room off the counter. She tensed briefly as the door behind her burst open as two equally hooded people entered. However, she relaxed as they stood in place shaking the rain from cloaks that they wore. As one of them pulled down their hoods it confirmed to her that the people were travelers looking to get out of the downpour outside.
Paying them no further mind, she traveled to her room and only after entering pulled her cloak off. Draping it over a chair she stopped in front of a mirror for a moment. Empty brown eyes stared back at the woman, who then pulled down the mask that covered her lower face to reveal two purple marks on her cheeks. The rest of her clothes soon followed and once completely naked she raised an arm over her head to inspect a large bruise on her side that was responding well to the treatments she was using for it. Channeling chakra to her hand, she pressed it against the injury. She sighed as some of the pressure from the injured ribs underneath the bruise subsided from the treatment and from the mere fact that she was no longer running.
A small tear leaked from her eye but it was a reaction to the relief she was feeling. Not a result of the memories of how she had sustained the injury. After all, she was a puppet plain and simple. Therefore she didn’t need to know why Joseki would order her to a small town that she was sure even the residents would have a hard time finding on a map. Nor did she question why he had wanted a beloved leader of said town murdered. All she had needed to know was the most efficient way to do it. Which she had quickly ascertained but in the end had underestimated the woman’s fourteen year old son who had dreams of growing up to become a great samurai.
Dreams that would remain unfulfilled, as he made the mistake of getting between her and her target. He had managed to actual sneak up on her as he scored the hit to her ribs thus breaking one. However, as his mother shot up in bed, she was greeted to the sight of her assassin chopping him in the side of the neck. The woman was quite sure that the mother had no idea why her son was choking so violently at least until he vomited up the blood the unseen but severed jugular vein was pouring inside his body. She began to scream then, but was quickly silenced in a similar manner. By the time the people that had been paid to guard the pair arrived they would find the two lying in pools of their own blood, although the wounds that had killed them would only be discovered during the autopsies.
There was a part of the puppet that recoiled at those memories, but to her it was more like a phantom that was forced to watch life as a passenger in her own body. Growing weary, the woman ended her self-treatment and quickly showered. After efficiently cleaning herself, she turned in for the night and that was when Rin Nohara recalled the events that delivered her into her current existence.
“Let go of me you freak,” Rin shouted pushing the white plant-like man away from her as they appeared from the earth in an underground cavern. The man bent backwards bonelessly allowing her to break free of his grip. She saw several more of the White men turn towards her which only spurned her to run faster. Heading towards the only apparent opening, as the other was blocked by a boulder, she nearly stopped as a stooped over old man wearing hooded robes appeared at the entrance. However, she doubted that he had just stumbled upon the area so she prepared to attack him if need be to get by.
He raised his head so that she could see his dark eyes which turned red as the tomoe that appeared begun to spin. She wasn’t clear on what happened next, but when she next became aware of her surroundings she was no longer in the cavern. Instead she found herself following behind the old man as they walked through a subterranean tunnel. They approached an intersection that split into many different directions. The old man didn’t even slow down as he chose a tunnel indicating he had been using them for an extremely long time. Unable to do anything but follow Rin put her mind to trying to figure out what the roots sticking out of his back were for. After hours of endless walking the only conclusion she could come to was that they somehow sustained the weathered man’s existence.
She noticed a lessening of the darkness as she could see the end of the tunnel and the night sky that lay beyond. For a moment she felt a small hope that the man was leading her from the subterranean world of strange plant men that she had stumbled upon. But she felt it disappear as she noticed the silhouette of a man blocking the entrance. As they got closer and she could make out more of his features she wanted to gasp as she recognized the Suna elder Joseki. She had accompanied her sensei quite a few times to Suna as the Fourth Hokage had negotiated with his counterpart as they tried to hammer out an alliance. On one such occasion they had been taking a tour of the Suna hospital when a squad of shinobi were being rushed in.
The Fourth Kazekage aware that the squad had been patrolling close to the village feared it was a sign of a forthcoming invasion. He tried to get some information from them, but had learned they had been poisoned using a strand recently developed by Iwa. The medics attending to the men and women of the squad had informed the Kazekage there was little they could do, but ease their suffering. Even Chiyo had been forced to admit that she had yet to find a cure.
Unable to watch people suffer Rin had asked for a chance to help. Many of the Elders that had shown up at the hospital to discuss how best to react to the situation had scoffed at the idea a mere sixteen year old chunin would be able succeed where their own experts had failed. She also had held the belief that it was because the Suna Elders knew the poisoned weapons that Iwa was using to such devastating effect had yet to make their way to the battlefields where the Rock shinobi were fighting Konoha. In no small part due to the destruction of Kannabi Bridge since Iwa was having a difficult time getting supplies to its forces. She believed the Elders didn’t want her getting access to it so that when it did show up it would hurt the Leaf as much as it had the Sand.
Her sensei had supported her and even pointed out that even should Suna learn anything from the squad, it would be suspect due to extremely high fevers the squad were exhibiting. The Kazekage with the idea that anything he may learn may be nothing more than the feverish delusions of his shinobi gave her permission.
Rin had immediately set to work, but sadly several of the shinobi expired before she finally managed to succeed twenty-four hours later. Naturally by then it had become apparent that no large invasion was imminent, but had actually been just another skirmish between scouting parties. Still, she had just been glad she had managed to help and imagined that she at least had also shown that Konoha was serious in its desire for an alliance. The fact that she also believed she had earned the respect of several Suna elders didn’t hurt either.
Although to be honest she had believed Joseki to be among that number as well. However as they approached she was beginning to believe the appraising look she had received had just been him coveting her skills.
Her attention was pulled to the old man as he said while keeping his hooded head lowered, “Ah, Joseki…you’re early.”
Joseki studied Rin closely almost as if he didn’t believe his eyes. Focusing on the old man, he said, “I was surprised when you contacted me. From what the Prajna had reported to me, I was under the impression Kakashi and she managed to escape. Not to mention I’ve begun to hear rumors that she was killed in action.”
“How best to insure no one comes looking for her?” The old man replied with a shrug. “It is why you came to me with the request to secure you a medic of the Leaf, is it not?”
“Your point is well taken. Although I must say when you accepted my request I never imagined that you would go as far as to capture the one from the Fourth Hokage’s team.”
“Why not,” The man questioned calmly although Rin had noticed a slight tensing in his shoulders at the word Hokage. “She was the one you mentioned when you explained to me how you wanted to use a Konoha medic in order to bring Suna’s medical program up to par. What better medic to provide then the one that impressed you so?” Joseki inclined his head in recognition of the man’s point. He was about to respond, but the old man wanting to get down to business cut him off as he said, “Now there is the matter of what you promised me in return.”
Joseki reached into one of his pouches as he said, “Of course.” Pulling out an envelope he tossed it to the Broker who easily caught it. As the old man pulled out the photo that was inside Joseki explained, “The Jinchuriki of the Five-tails name is Han. They’ve kept him secluded as he’s been trained, but he’ll be making an appearance in this conflict soon enough. That armor that he’s wearing in the picture has been specially designed for him. With it they expect he’ll be far more capable of handling the steam based abilities of his Bijuu.”
“I see,” The Broker said sliding the photo back into the envelope as he began to back-up down the tunnel. “Very good, that stubborn fool Ohnoki managed to keep this new host’s existence from my normal sources. I had nearly come to the opinion that they had sealed the Five-Tails away as your own village does with the One-tails while in-between hosts. It would have been far more difficult to locate an item then a shinobi.” Having backed up past Rin so that he stood behind her he said, “She’s all yours…however remember that once you have learned all that you need to in order to improve Suna’s medical program she is to be eliminated. These were the terms of our deal.”
“I’m well aware…it would be problematic for both of us should her existence ever be learned of.”
The old man nodded as he said, “Good...good.”
She could no longer feel the old man’s presence as if he had faded into the darkness leaving just her and Joseki. Giving her a dark smile the Suna elder said, “Now my dear, let’s make you a little more agreeable to passing those impressive skills onto the shinobi of the Sand.”
From that point on the woman known as Rin ceased to exist as anything but a shade that saw all, but was unable to stop herself. After being given a new personality Rin began to train Josek’s daughter in the techniques used by the Leaf. Therefore after she could no longer train the kunoichi it had almost come as a relief when Joseki had approached her in order to eliminate her. However, at the last moment he seemed to relent, but not out of mercy as he had decided to keep her as a hedge against the Broker due to his sensing some perceived value in keeping her alive. But Joseki wasn’t the type to let his puppet sit in storage collecting dust and as such she became an agent for many of his wetwork missions. The latest of which appeared to be the elimination of the eight tails.
Naruto waved to the gathered shinobi and kunoichi while giving them a smile as he stepped out of the restaurant. Cheers and joyful revelry followed him out the door, as well as a few worried glances from several of his gathered lovers. Who knew that despite his joining in the celebration, beneath his happy exterior several less pleasant emotions were churning. But those darker emotions took a backseat as Naruto caught sight of Pakura just before the door of the restaurant closed. She sat as the guest of honor at the party celebrating her rescue and the defeat of the missing-nin Hiruko’s plot. He was quite pleased that the gathering hadn’t only been composed of Leaf shinobi, but many Sand-nin as well.
Pakura had been quite surprised, especially when some of the Sand-nin had come up to her to apologize for their past treatment of her. Apparently quite a few people had come to the conclusion that if they had been wrong about how Pakura had killed her fellow Training Force members. Then they may have also been mistaken about what had happened between the noble and her so many years before. Upon coming to that conclusion, and realizing that Pakura had still remained a loyal kunoichi of Suna despite her harsh treatment, many of the same shinobi who had once turned their backs on her were now asking for her forgiveness. Naruto could tell it made her a little uncomfortable, but seeing her getting her due really raised his spirits.
But then the door closed and he was outside with just his own thoughts which quickly caused the smile to disappear from his face. Throwing his hands in his pocket, he closed his eyes for a moment and could sense Mabui was still surrounded by several of her peers. He could also feel a strong unease rolling off of her. It made Naruto fear that he was too late and that the Eight-Tailed jinchuriki had already been attacked. That Mabui was still at the Raikage’s office all but confirmed that something major had happened.
Naruto felt a spike in his anger, but quickly clamped down on it less he do what it was telling him which was to charge into Danzou’s home. But to do what he wasn’t sure, other than that he would likely hit him, a lot. However, since he didn’t want to have to go on the lam for attacking a village elder he forced himself to begin walking in the opposite direction of Danzou’s home.
Once more Naruto wondered if how he was currently feeling was what the Hokage of the past had to put up with. He knew he could go ask Tsunade, and likely would at some point, but considering he was the one that had talked her into the job didn’t want to come off as whiny. Especially since the troubles he was currently facing were due to his decision to take Jiraiya’s dream as his own. Still he was becoming tired, which he hated admitting. He just hated how there never seemed to be a moment to catch his breath.
He sighed as he thought how at the party his lovers had constantly sent worried looks towards him, “No wonder everyone was so concerned over me. They’re probably afraid I’m going to go all emo on them again.”
He tried to chuckle, but couldn’t generate any real mirth behind it so sighed again. Thinking back to the party he recalled pulling Maki to a corner to try and figure out how Joseki was communicating with his agents. At first she hadn’t wanted to believe that Joseki had been complicit in kidnapping and brainwashing a Leaf kunoichi. However, faced with her new knowledge of her mentor since becoming one of Naruto’s lovers, she quickly accepted it as fact. But, she had claimed to have no idea of how he could secretly communicate with Rin until suddenly exclaiming, “Pigeons!”
Maki had shook her head in both disbelief and anger as she would recall gathering on the roof of Joseki’s home with her fellow Hardliners as they would discuss how best to prevent Suna from growing too cozy with Konoha. There Joseki would speak to those who shared his desire in pressuring Gaara to cut ties with the Leaf, all the while attending to his collection of pigeons. She had then quickly explained her reasoning to Naruto.
Her face had gone pale for a moment prompting Naruto to ask, “What is it?”
Maki didn’t look like she wanted to answer, but had finally said, “Naruto, a pigeon used to communicate can generally only be trained to go two places. To their homes and to the place they were trained to carry the message.” Naruto nodded but didn’t understand why that would appear to bother Maki so much until she added, “Joseki, had at least thirty birds. That means… it means he has to have at least that many people under his thumb.”
Naruto had been shocked as he quickly replied, “T-that’s a bit of a stretch, don’t you think?”
Maki adamantly shook her head in the negative as she explained, “It’s the only thing that makes sense. Think about it…if this Rin was activated by Danzou then that means she had to accept her mission from a reliable source. It likely wasn’t a person since his meeting with people who would promptly leave the village constantly may cause him some scrutiny. But what if Joseki would always send the same bird to carry a message to a particular agent he wanted activated? The bird’s appearance could also be what triggered the Human Puppet jutsu so that this Rin would believe her orders came from Joseki. At some point Danzou must have realized this was how he was communicating with his agents, and with his knowledge that Rin was one of them, he must have figured out what bird was hers.”
Naruto didn’t need the rest explained to him, nor was Maki given the chance as a well-meaning Chouji approached them asking why they looked so serious since it was a party before shoving drinks in their hands. Despite his desire to have a good time being at an all-time high, the mere thought that tomorrow his village could be at war made it impossible, making him long for the days when he thought he would always be happy so long as he was surrounded by friends.
Naruto came back to the present to find that while walking on auto-pilot his feet had carried him to the training field where Team Seven was born. Despite how late it was a part of him wasn’t surprised to find someone else was there as well. Proving himself to be a true jounin who never let his guard down Kakashi said. “You’re out quite late tonight Naruto. Or would it be early? Since from the way people were talking earlier the party for you and Pakura was going to last until dawn.”
Kakashi hadn’t turned to face him even as Naruto came up beside the jounin while he said, “I guess tonight I’m just in the mood for some quiet reflection.”
Hearing that from Naruto caused Kakashi to turn his head towards his student as he said with a slightly disbelieving tone, “You?! Perhaps I should go investigate the sight where you fought Hiruko to make sure you weren’t replaced by some sort of chimera creation.”
“Hey!” Naruto replied in annoyance, “I’m capable of being thoughtful.”
Naruto could hear the smile he pictured on Kakashi’s bucktoothed face, that being what he believed was under the mask his teacher always wore, especially as the jounin said, “Of course you can be.”
For a moment the teacher and student both felt their spirits rise from the camaraderie they shared. However a moment later Naruto felt the melancholy settle on his teacher again and figured it was because of one of the names on the Memorial Stone, Rin Nohara. The reminder brought his own mood down as well especially since in a sense he had known she was alive from his time in the Land of Spring. When Tsunade had told him that the person that had healed Nadare Roga was once a Leaf-nin and furthermore Kakashi’s old teammate, Naruto had immediately wanted to go to his teacher. However, he had relented only after learning that Rin was supposed to be dead and furthermore was buried in Konoha. To make the matter even more confusing Tsunade had not been able to find any record that a proper autopsy had been done. According to his lover and current Hokage, it had appeared that his father had tried to put the matter behind her death to rest as quickly as possible. To his shame, Naruto had soon forgotten about it due to all the other crises that popped up since his adventure in Spring. Therefore, he had never picked his mother’s brain on the matter, at least until learning of Rin’s involvement in Danzou’s newest plot.
Unfortunately, whatever it had been that prompted the apparent cover-up, his father hadn’t wanted to burden his mother with it. Although, she had picked up that both Kakashi and his dad had appeared to be haunted by it. Hearing his mother’s words on the matter, it suddenly made a great deal of sense to Naruto as to why Kakashi could almost always be found near the Memorial Stone.
“Do you want to talk about her?” Naruto asked once he noticed Kakashi’s gaze move to Rin’s name again.
“Rin Nohara,” Naruto replied, “Every time I find you here, you’re looking at the same two spots on the stone. I did a little research and discovered that you lost your teammates during the Third Great Shinobi War, Rin Nohara and Obito Uchiha.”
Kakashi turned his surprised gaze on his student, but then gave him an eye-smile as he said, “You’ve grown Naruto and have become a far better shinobi then me.” He could see the surprise written on his student’s face at the stark admission. Turning to look back at the stone he continued, “I must say that ever since the mission to save Gaara it’s almost like you’ve found your center. Your improvement has been astonishing.”
Naruto felt his cheeks coloring at the praise as he grew embarrassed from it. Plus he found himself growing warm as he thought about how his vast improvement was a result of his loving and supportive harem. Naturally not prepared to tell his teacher this he said, “Ah come on Kakashi-sensei, you’re making me feel self-conscious.”
Kakashi chuckled having a hard time picturing the young man before him as the knuckleheaded student he used to be since the younger Naruto was always looking and basking in the approval of others. The Jounin figured that having found it from Jiraiya in the one-on-one guidance of his sensei had probably made Naruto a little more humble than he remembered. Thinking back on the past with regret as always Kakashi said, “I’m sorry I wasn’t a better sensei to you Naruto.”
“What are you talking about? You were a great teacher Kakashi-sensei. You taught me so much about what it means to be a shinobi. You’re also the one that taught me how it’s important to never abandon your friends. I mean sure at the time I might have felt you favored Sasuke a little especially when you pawned me off on Ebisu…”
“About that…” Kakashi tried to interject
“But,” Naruto said speaking over his teach, “Looking back on it that just proved how great a teacher you truly were.” Naruto felt a point of pride as he could read Kakashi’s stunned open mouth expression through his teacher’s mask. Looking away from it towards the stone he explained, “When I graduated from the academy I have to admit I was a wreck as a shinobi. You’re the one that had to build up and reset the foundation that I should have had after leaving the academy. That’s why during the Chunin Exams you wanted Ebisu to train me. Granted at the time I wanted to learn a big and flashy jutsu, but now I understand what you were trying to do. Plus, you likely figured Neji would clean my clock, but at least leave me alive. You couldn’t say the same for Sasuke since he was facing Gaara.”
Now it was Kakashi’s turn to look a little uncomfortable from the praise he received. He tried to deflect it by saying, “Truthfully, I just figured I’d be tearing my hair out trying to explain something as complicated as water-walking to you.”
Naruto chuckled as he looked at the other name on the Memorial stone. Thinking of the Uchiha he knew he said, “The other reason I figured you were so invested in Sasuke’s development was because he reminded you of yourself at that age.”
“Really,” Kakashi said following Naruto’s gaze and was surprised at his student’s insight, “I would figure that you would think it was due to my other teammate.”
“Nah, that would be too obvious.” Naruto smirked as he faced his teacher and continued to surprise him, “Besides, it doesn’t take a genius to guess that is where you got your Sharingan. Sasuke wasn’t even born when the war was going on and it’s kind of a stretch to think you would believe training him would somehow pay off whatever debt you think you owe him.”
“You’re right,” Kakashi said looking at the names of the teammates he lost. “Obito would probably have disliked Sasuke because he was just like me at that age. You and he I think would have gotten on pretty well. But if he was alive today…Obito would never forgive me…” Kakashi turned to walk away as he said, “Look at the time…you should get back to the party Naruto.”
He stopped though as Naruto asked, “Why wouldn’t he forgive you? Did you abandon her someplace?”
Kakashi stopped walking and turning to face his student asked, “What makes you think Rin would be the reason Obito wouldn’t forgive me?”
Repeating a statement he had lived his life by Naruto said, “In the shinobi world, those who break the rules are trash. But those who don’t care for their comrades are worse than trash.” Naruto stared at his teacher and could almost sense the pain hearing those words caused in him. Commenting on it he said, “When you told us that…it almost sounded as if it was something you had been told and come to hold true. I’m guessing it was another thing that Obito left you.”
Kakashi looked past Naruto to Obito’s name on the Memorial stone. Focusing on his student he admitted, “It was…he told me it just before he died. Rin had been captured and I wanted to go on with our mission. Obito refused to leave her behind...” From the way Kakashi trailed off Naruto imagined his teacher was reliving the events. The jounin focusing back on him told Naruto that he had returned from the trip down memorial lane. “We succeeded…but at the cost of my eye and Obito’s life. Obito gave me his Sharingan and made me promise to keep Rin safe. I…I failed…”
“It couldn’t be as simple as that.”
“Excuse me,” Kakashi said his tone gaining a hard edge.
“What I mean is that…if you had just failed…while you would live with the pain... I just can’t see why you would feel the need to come here almost every day asking for forgiveness. Did you love her or was it…”
“Naruto, I cared for Rin as a teammate and a friend…but just drop it okay. Nothing good will come from digging into this matter. Obito was the one that loved her…I come here to…reflect about how even with the gift he gave me…I couldn’t see enough to prevent things from turning out the way they did.”
Naruto watched his teacher leave more tempted than ever to tell him that his teammate was alive. However, he was beginning to believe that Kakashi was keeping silent since he felt the truth would in some way tarnish Rin’s reputation. If that was the case, then he began to fear that perhaps the Personality Jutsu that Joseki had used was what created the girl Kakashi had known as Rin and if so, then should he encounter her all Naruto would find is a cold-blooded killer.
He was pulled from his thoughts upon sensing that Mabui was alone and was practical screaming at him to appear via her fox mark so Naruto disappeared in a red flash. But not before promising the two people that had known Rin Nohara that if she could be saved then he’d find a way to do it and that he’d take it upon himself to protect her from there on out.
Mabui was pacing back and forth in the records room waiting for Naruto to appear. When he finally did she quickly said, “It’s about time. Did you stop for some of that Ichiraku Ramen you’re so fond of?”
“Sorry,” Naruto said sheepishly causing her to frown.
Mabui sensed that Naruto’s reaction wasn’t just due to the situation she had called him to Kumo for. She reached up gently to cup his cheek while asking, “What’s wrong? Don’t say nothing.”
Naruto stopped as that had been what he was going to reply with. However, instead he said, “We can talk about it later. Right now we have bigger concerns to deal with.”
Mabui nodded, but made a mental note as she would get the truth out of her lover as soon as the current crisis was dealt with. “You’re correct…I could feel your need to speak with me, but Kumo had several defections today. As you can imagine it has created quite the uproar. Is it related to what you needed to talk about?”
“It might be,” Naruto said assuming a thinker’s pose, “Who were the people that defected and why go together? Was it a team?”
“That’s the strange thing,” Mabui replied, “There were six in total. But we cannot find a link between them as to why they would all leave the village today. We only began to suspect something was off when two of them didn’t show up to their posts on time. When someone was sent to investigate they learned that early in the morning all six had left the village together. The night guardsmen said he tried to question them, but since one of the men was our Anbu commander when he was told it was a special mission he didn’t question it.”
“Shit,” Naruto cussed believing that Joseki had activated several more of his sleeper agents to eliminate Rin before she could reach the Eight-tails.
“What?! Do you know what’s going on?”
Grabbing his lover by the shoulders he stared into her eyes as he said, “Mabui, I know you’re hesitant to give me information on your home that is deemed classified. But, I need to know where the Eight-Tailed Jinchuriki is at. I believe you call him Bee, right?” Naruto could tell that his request made Mabui uncomfortable so said, “If Yugito knew I’d ask her, but she said that the only place she trained with Bee was some island where she came to her understanding with Yoruichi. I know that only you and the people assigned to guard him are aware of where he is kept. I’m guessing that this Anbu commander would have the information as well.”
“He does,” Mabui said before biting her lip as she tore her gaze away from Naruto’s pleading one, “Are you saying that these six are going after Bee? If so I can send word to the teams guarding him and…”
Naruto shook his head as he replied, “It isn’t that simple. If anything it is likely those six are trying to stop the threat to Bee. Danzou is making a play to start a war in order to derail the investigation into what happened at the prison. He managed to activate a sleeper agent Joseki possessed with ties to the Leaf. Danzou believes that should the attack go through it would incite the Raikage to declare war against Konoha.”
“He may especially if the attack succeeded,” Mabui said after a moment. Looking down she said, “But…Lord Bee’s location is known only to a handful of people…I can’t just betray the Raikage’s trust even for you.”
“I understand,” Naruto said without letting the disappointment he felt show as he truly knew where Mabui was coming from. “Can you at least tell me in what direction those shinobi took off in this morning?”
Understanding that her lover wasn’t just giving up she said, “Naruto you can’t. The area is teaming with shinobi looking for the defectors? If you’re caught or worse should you stumble onto Lord Bee’s location the Raikage would have you executed. He might not even wait to extract the nine-tails.”
“That’s a risk I’ll have to take,” Naruto said stepping away from his lover.
“Why? If you’re right then the defectors are likely already moving to stop this other agent.”
“Likely, but I don’t think they are planning to take her alive. She might be a cold blooded assassin or she may be a victim of some puppet jutsu. Until I know which, I have to operate under the belief that she is doing this against her will.”
“Sorry, Mabui you can’t talk me out of this. I might never have met her, but she’s a fellow Leaf shinobi and if I abandon her. I’ll be taking a step towards becoming trash.”
Mabui stared at her lover and could see there was no dissuading him from his current course of action. Feeling her respect and admiration for the young man grow even more, she made the decision to put herself fully in his camp by saying, “Lord Bee is at the Valley of Clouds and Lighting. It is just north of Kumogakure.”
Aware of what had just happened Naruto stepped forward to cup his lover’s cheek as he said, “Thank you. I promise you will not regret giving me your trust.”
Mabui turned her face and kissed his palm as she replied, “I know, but please come back alive. If the Defectors are waiting for Danzou’s assassin, then they’ll be waiting for anyone willing to get in their way.”
Naruto took the warning to heart and gave her a quick but passionate kiss. A moment later he was gone in a red flash. She stared at the spot that he had been occupying sensing his reappearance outside the village likely on a buried kunai he or Yugito had planted. Able to feel him heading north, she left the Records Room. Much to her surprise though, she found that a great deal of the concern that had been with her all day was gone and although still worried, couldn’t help but feel the right person was on the job now.
The Agent formerly known as Rin felt as if something had shifted. Although she had been given the location of her target as well as the patrol routes of those guarding him, she had been forced to abandon the path to the jinchuriki that she had chosen. The reason being was the shinobi activity in an ever expanding area around Kumo had been rife with activity. It had made her wonder if Kumo had been tipped off about her mission. However, after several patrols had passed her heading away from Kumo she began to suspect they were looking for someone else, most likely a missing-nin.
Believing that the coast would be clear until arriving at the valley where the host of the Eight-Tail stayed when not in the village, she had allowed herself to move a bit quicker than she normally would to make up for lost time. However, several miles back she had paused, believing she had been detected, but when no patrol appeared she had brushed it off as her mind playing tricks on her. As a result she had slowed down again, but in hindsight she now realized that she had been detected. Guessing it was likely a shadow clone that had seen her, she reasoned the reason it hadn’t revealed itself was so it could disperse in order to alert the castor of her position. In the end all her slowing down had done was afford the shinobi the chance to get in front of her.
Coming to a stop, she tossed a kunai into a canopy of leaves, but wasn’t too surprised when she heard the metallic clang that told her it had been deflected. A moment later a shinobi in orange dropped down in front of her. He studied her masked face for a moment before saying, “I would comment how rude it is to throw a kunai at someone without announcing your intentions first, but considering your reason for being here, I guess I can understand. It isn’t like…”
The Agent reacted immediately upon hearing the stranger knew of her mission leaping from her branch as she pulled another kunai to attack him. Naruto parried the kunai as she landed on the branch with him, but leapt back as he realized it was a feint when her free hand appeared from the cloak glowing in green chakra. Considering that he had several lovers well versed in medical ninjutsu. He was well aware that those healing hands could just as easily kill.
Rin didn’t let up though forcing Naruto to abandon the branch in favor of the surer footing of the forest floor. He continued to backpedal as the kunoichi continued to swing the kunai at him in wide sweeps. However, he easily either evaded the kunai or would quickly parry it, all the while making sure to keep track of her chakra encased hand. Naruto managed to grab the Kunoichi’s wrist of the hand holding the kunai. Squeezing painfully he heard the woman gasp in pain as she let go of her weapon. However, she then tried to strike him in the side with her free hand. Her blow struck empty air as he teleported away.
She spent a moment trying to find him, but was sent flying as he reappeared hitting her in the side with a leaping kick. Rin rolled along the ground, but halfway through her tumble turned it into a controlled roll. Coming to a stop in a crouched ball, she quickly scanned where Naruto had grabbed her to see the Hiraishin mark he had placed on her. Ending her chakra scalpel, she placed her hand against it and dispelled the mark.
Standing straight she held out both her hands and they both began to glow with green chakra. Readying his own stance, Naruto prepared to meet her charge. But, instead they were both forced to the leap at each other in order to avoid being struck by the thrown ninja tools that appeared from the canopy of leaves as their fight was interrupted by a third party. A party of six to be exact.
Mikoto entered a large dining room having decided to explore her new cage despite the warning she had received. Her entering the room was punctuated by a dark skinned woman saying, “You’re really unbelievable you know that. Did you honestly believe you could force Naruto to accept what you did to those three by throwing it in his face?”
Kiyomi didn’t respond and although she was sitting in a chair facing away from her new house guest instead said to Mikoto, “I thought I told you to remain in your room.”
The dark-skinned woman looked up from where she was standing above the sitting red-head and Mikoto received the same dark stare she had from the red-head earlier. Not one to back down from a confrontation the Uchiha said, “Actually you said something along the lines that it would be best if I didn’t cross your path.”
“And yet here you are,” Kiyomi replied calmly.
Mikoto moved so that she could sit at the end of the table while watching both women. “Here I am,” she replied calmly. “And while it may be hazardous to my health I’m getting the feeling that you are not too keen to get on Naruto’s bad side any further. With that in mind, I don’t think I need to worry about running afoul of you anytime soon.”
Both women narrowed their eyes at her in response. Rolling her eyes in return she said, “Look, you’re the ones holding me here. But we can get into that later. Right now I’d like to know where Seven is. I consider her a friend and want to know that she is safe.”
The glares that she was receiving softened although it was far more noticeable on the dark-skinned woman’s face. The two women shared a look after which the purple-haired woman said, “Thank you for your concern. I’m Yoruichi and this is Kiyomi.”
Mikoto inclined her head in greeting as she replied, “I’m sure you both know who I am. Now as to where Seven is?”
“She’s still in the prison,” Yoruichi answered taking a seat at the table.
“What!? How is it that I’m here if she was captured?”
“Our sister chose to keep the face that you would recognize. As such she needed to turn herself in after the prison break.”
“Prison break!” Mikoto said shocked, “Just how long was I out?”
“For quite some time, Triple Zero” a new voice said inserting itself into the conversation.
Mikoto turned towards the new speaker and didn’t recognize the woman who had entered the room from the kitchen entrance. She was dressed as a miko decked out with purple hakama pants and a sash that matched her waist length hair. Her brown eyes seemed amused as she knew the Uchiha was trying to place her face and voice. However she knew the woman wouldn’t recognize not just her face but voice since the only times she had heard it. It had been scratchy due to the scars from where Kisame had plunged his blade into her throat.
After a moment Mikoto gave up stating, “I’m sorry; I’m usually pretty good with faces. But I have no idea who you are. But for you to know me as that you must have been in the prison as well.”
“Indeed,” the woman said moving to take a seat at the table as well, “You would have known me as KK-one-one-seven-six.” She giggled at the shocked look that she received in response to her statement causing her to say, “I know, there have been some changes since then. It’s all thanks to our host.”
Kiyomi gave a curt nod as she said, “Indeed, but I thought I told you that you should rest. I didn’t just change your appearance but genetically you have been altered as well.” Kiyomi seemed to remember something as she began digging in the sleeve of her kimono. Pulling out a small packet held together by a rubber band, she looked at what was on top of it before tossing it to the new arrival as she said, “Miya Asama that is the name you choose for yourself correct. Those are the documents certifying your new existence. For all intents and purposes the woman you were is dead.”
Miya nodded as she looked at the identification documents she had been tossed. Due to her time as a member of the Kirigakure Cypher Division she easily could tell the items she had been given were either incredible forgeries or the real deal. Looking up she said, “I must admit you are full of surprises. I only told you that name this morning, for you to be able to get your hands on fake documents of this level…”
“Those documents aren’t fakes,” Kiyomi said cutting her off, “True, all the information on them is not true, but the paperwork is indeed the real deal. Once your treatments are finished, you’ll be able to set up shop anywhere in the Land of Fire.”
Miya stared at Kiyomi for several moments before saying, “Again your generosity is rather overwhelming.”
“I’ll say,” Mikoto said interjecting herself in the conversation, “Why does she get a new face and life, while I’m stuck here as a prisoner?”
Kiyomi leveled another glare at the woman before replying, “Believe me. I would like nothing better to be rid of you. Yet for the time being Naruto believes you may be of some use in curbing your son’s true nature.”
Mikoto narrowed her eyes at Kiyomi as she said, “Whatever Sasuke has become he did so because of what Konoha put him through. I’m sure that he must have learned the truth of the massacre which is why…”
Kiyomi silenced her by slamming her hand down on the table as she said angrily, “Sasuke made no mention of any knowledge about your clan’s fate when he defected from the village. The only thing he was chasing was power. Deny it all you wish, but the only thing he has come to care about is himself.”
Mikoto shot to her feet as she said heatedly, “Don’t you dare speak like that about my son! You speak as if you were there…”
“I was,” Kiyomi said icily in a way that chilled Mikoto to the bone. “I was there as he did his level best to kill the shinobi tasked with bringing him back to the village. He would have succeeded to if not for my intervention. Yet despite that the only thing keeping him from being hunted down and destroyed like the rabid dog he is, would be the benevolence of that same shinobi. A shinobi I might add that upon learning the traitor’s mother was still alive made her rescue one of the objectives for putting down Danzou’s plot.”
Mikoto suddenly felt her strength leave her as she collapsed back into her chair upon realizing that Kiyomi was describing Naruto. She also suddenly believed she understood why it was that when she had mentioned how Sasuke’s defection must have hurt he had rubbed at a spot on his chest. However, her sorrow was replaced by curiosity about the woman she was sitting across from so asked, “Just who are you? If you were there why would you let Sasuke escape?”
“At the time my mobility was rather limited, since I was sealed inside of Naruto at the time” Kiyomi replied. Kiyomi smirked at the reaction that appeared on Mikoto’s face. “That is correct. I used to go by the name Kurama, but you would have called me Kyuubi. This is my sister Nibi and I’ll leave it for you to guess just what title Seven used to go by.”
Miya’s jaw dropped upon coming to the realization of just what it was Kiyomi was claiming to be. Shocked at why it appeared three women that at the very least believed themselves to be ancient and terrible chakra beasts capable of leveling villages were apparently following the directions of a young man asked, “I don’t get it. If what you say is true then why are you sitting here talking about some shinobi instead doing whatever it is you Bijuu do whenever you broke free of your jinchuriki?”
Both Kiyomi and Yoruichi shared a look as a similar smirk appeared on their lips. Turning to the other two women present Yoruichi answered, “Well that’s both a rather complicated and easy question to answer.”
Yoruichi then began explaining how Naruto’s dream was to unify all the shinobi villages. Naturally, she left out how he tended to convince the kunoichi who had thus far signed on for his ambition. Needless to say that as a result it lost a little something in translation leaving both women believing it to be little more than a pipe dream. However, they couldn’t deny that it appeared the two women claiming to be Bijuu appeared to believe in it rather fervently.
Naruto’s back was facing Rin’s as he stared up at the trees where three of the six Defectors were standing. One of the men wore a mask that looked like a depiction of a Tengu. Guessing him to be the Anbu commander that Mabui had mentioned he was about to try and reason with the man when he had to move when Rin attempted to take advantage of his focus being off her. Rolling away from the swipe at his back, he said, “Hey that was a cheap shot. I know my dad didn’t teach you to fight like that.”
Naturally Rin didn’t respond treating everyone as an enemy. However to his surprise Tengu did as he said, “I don’t know why a shinobi of the Leaf is so deep in our territory. Especially one that has recently been to Kumogakure as a guest, and appears to have earned a small measure of respect from the Raikage. I would hate to think of how the Raikage would react should he learn that same shinobi was spying on us. Your presence is interfering with our capture of a dangerous fugitive. Leave now and we’ll forget we saw you.”
Naruto felt a desire to chuckle since, as a result of what Mabui told him about the Defectors, he knew the man was lying. The realization that his knowledge came as a result of the trust that Mabui had placed in him made him feel stupid for his earlier complaints about being tired of the constant struggles. Now more positive than ever he was moving in the right direction he ignored the man to say, “Rin, we never met. But my father was the one who trained you to be a shinobi.”
Rin didn’t say anything in response nor did she turn towards him as she was busy watching the three at his back. But he was positive she was listening so continued, “I’m not sure about all the details that led you here. But, I’m sure that my Dad and Kakashi-sensei never doubted you were a Leaf shinobi through and through. So if you’re being controlled I need for you to fight it, because I promise that I’m taking you back to the Leaf.”
Rin tensed in response and as if sensing the sudden turmoil in her all the Defectors attacked throwing kunai and shuriken at her. Naruto reacted quickly creating a mass of clones that threw themselves over her as a makeshift shield. Naruto charged up the tree towards Tengu who directed the two apparent chunin with him to move against the blond.
Sadly for the chunin, they barely even slowed him down as he created another pair of clones to deal with them. Using one clone as a springboard he slammed into Tengu as he tried to leap from the branch to another perch. Tengu managed to break free of the jinchuriki by slamming a knee into his stomach before slamming his hands down into Naruto’s back to propel him towards the ground. Tengu planned to finish him off by throwing several kunai at the falling shinobi, but was forced to react as a pair of kunai shot from the cloud of burst clones. Throwing the senbon meant for Naruto at the kunai to deflect them. The Kumo Anbu grumbled as Naruto created a clone that tossed him towards a tree to prevent him from hitting the ground.
Naruto grabbed onto a branch which he then pulled himself on top of to stare at the battlefield. He wanted to believe that his words had reached Rin, but as the memories of the clones that had protected her began to filter into his head. He learned that she had dispersed two of the first two to reach her using chakra scalpels. Guessing that meant she still saw him as an enemy he knew that made dealing with the Kumo-nin far trickier as he was operating under the belief that they were also being controlled.
Not wanting a blood bath on his hands, Naruto tried to come up with a way to end the battle quickly. He cursed though as Rin apparently came to the conclusion that with both sides in the conflict targeting her it would be best to make a break for it and hope that they took each other out. The three other Kumo-nin moved to block her path, but she took a deep breath and expelled a large cloud of a vapor like gas. The three men scattered, allowing her to pass by, but apparently not before having inhaled some of it as they landed rather woozily. Naruto saw several nearby animals get caught up in it as well, but as they landed on the ground he could detect that they still were breathing. Guessing the vapor to be some sort of anesthetic he looked back to see the three Kumo-nin had also succumbed.
Pulling a tri-prong kunai, he tossed it after Rin, and once sure it had passed through the barrier of vapor he teleported to it. Naruto followed after Rin as she continued north. He saw her approach a large ravine and could hear the violent river running through it. Rin increased her speed as she prepared to leap it causing Naruto to do likewise. But, out of the corner of his eye saw that Tengu had also found a path through the gas and was tailing the kunoichi through the trees.
Once Rin leapt, he threw a senbon which Naruto mirrored using his kunai. Having been slightly closer Naruto’s weapon reached her first, so he teleported to it and tossed Rin out of the way to the opposite bank. Before he could do anything else though he screamed in pain as the senbon tore through his stomach and apparently had been charged with lightning chakra for good measure as Naruto felt as if he had stuck a fork in an electrical socket. He felt his consciousness fading as he thought, “I really need a vacation.”
Due to the added momentum that Naruto had given her, Rin landed roughly. She hit the ground hard and came to a skidding halt. She looked back in time to see Naruto take the senbon meant for her. Watching him scream from the senbon releasing its electrical charge she was suddenly thrown back to the past where another brave young man had sacrificed himself by tossing a teammate out of the path of danger only to die as a result. The moment ended and although she doubted Naruto truly saw her, as he appeared to be blacking out, he gave her a small smile as if just glad he had remained true to the promise he made her only moments before.
The next thing Rin knew she was staring at empty air as he fell out of her sight to the river below. She felt the persona that Joseki had placed within her want to turn around so she could continue her mission. However, Rin refused to budge and instead began to scramble towards the ravine cliff. The Agent Persona tried to retake control but Rin no longer willing to be a passenger in her own body fought back until she felt something snap inside her mind. Believing that the needle Joseki had placed in her when he used a variation of the Memory-Concealing Manipulative Sand Technique to control her had broken due to her resistance. She took a moment to bask in not feeling as if she was being controlled by unseen strings. However the moment was short lived as she ran to the bank to find any sign of Naruto.
Due to the orange that he wore she quickly caught sight of him as the river carried him away. But before she could move to rescue him, she was forced away from the bank as several needles buried themselves where she had been standing. Staring across the river at the Tengu masked Anbu she raised her hands to say, “Please, I swear I’m no threat to you. I’ve managed to free myself from what was forcing me to violate your borders.”
“Well isn’t that too bad for you. I had considered trying to take you alive back to Joseki. He doesn’t often activate so many of his puppets at once. I was of the opinion you held some sort of value to him. But I don’t think he’s going to want a broken puppet and something tells me you’re going to give me quite the hassle. Rin was visibly taken aback by the man’s statement causing him to explain, “You see while we both had the same jutsu done to us. Joseki suppressed my personality so I could better become the perfect solider and work my way into a position of importance. That’s a difficult thing to achieve when your natural inclination is to harm the place you are infiltrating. Now be a dear and die.”
Not really having much to live for Rin said, “Please let me save that man first.”
“Sorry, no can do. But if you want I’ll let the river carry your corpse to where it’s taking his. Now die.”
Rin didn’t try to avoid the senbon that the Tengu threw. All three hit her in the chest causing her lifeless body to hit the ground. The Tengu turned away trying to think of a way to save his cover in Kumo. But he spun around as he heard a poofing sound. Seeing a log lying where his target had been, he sensed her proximity behind him and spun to attack her. However, Rin was already passing him as she ran a gentle hand across his throat and although there was no physical sign of the damage. As a result of the chakra scalpel she used his throat had been sliced from ear to ear.
However, Rin pushed her latest act of violence out of her mind as she dived into the river allowing its current to carry her to the young man who had saved her. In order that she could once more apply her talents to the reason she had learned them.
Naruto felt a warm naked body pressed against him and quite used to such a state pulled the person closer to him. This caused the person next to him to gasp and pull away. He mentally frowned from the reaction, but was suddenly hit by the memories of what he assumed had led to his current state of undress. Opening his eyes he found that he was in a cave, with a nearby fire going. Sitting up he was surprised to find that the naked woman had been Rin, who was using the emergency blanket he kept sealed in his pouch to cover her nudeness.
He favored her with a warm smile as he quipped, “I’m going to go out on a limb and say that this was some sort of medical technique and you don’t make it a habit to lie naked with people.”
Rin gave him a small smile as he tried to ease her embarrassment at being undressed in front of him. Or from the fact that he seemed so at ease with his own. As if sensing her discomfort he attempted to pull the other emergency blanket he was laying on to cover his pride. But Rin closed the distance as he grew a bit frustrated as she said, “Relax, you’ve taken a nasty hit.”
“It wouldn’t be the first,” Naruto replied with a mixture of humor and sadness from the memories that came to him. “Besides I heal quickly.”
Rin nodded in agreement as she looked down to his stomach where his wound had been. But she quickly looked up with coloring cheeks as she also took in what laid just a bit lower. Naruto chuckled, but then shivered slightly due to the cold. Rin noticed his discomfort and said, “What am I doing? You’re the injured one.” She then draped the blanket over him while trying to hide her breasts and pussy.
The two lapsed into silence as Rin began to try to stand without exposing herself to Naruto. Succeeding somewhat, she moved to the clothes that she had arranged around the fire. However, finding them to still be quite wet sighed at the fact that it would be still sometime before they dried. She began to shiver slightly as the heat from her embarrassment began to succumb to the cold weather of northern Lightning Country.
Trying to take her mind off of it she said, “You’re a jinchuriki aren’t you. I wasn’t aware of the Leaf Village possessing one. But I guess Sensei must have sealed the Kyuubi inside of you when it attacked. I can’t believe he would do that to his own son.”
Naruto was surprised the Rin was aware of his parentage. But recalling he had told her when he promised to help her, he stated, “You heard what I told you.”
Rin continued to stare at the fire but nodded her head as she replied, “I…I was aware of everything that I did over the years. It was liking watching some movie through my eyes…” Recalling the many memories and actions she had performed while under Joseki’s control she began to breakdown. Huge sobs began to shake her frame as she said, “I’ve done so many horrible things. It should have been me that died instead of Obito.”
Before she could continue she was pulled into a hug by Naruto and forgetting her embarrassment she pressed her face into his warm chest as she let out years of pain and anguish. Naruto stroked her hair soothingly as he whispered, “No one wishes that at all. And it wasn’t you that did those things. That I’m sitting here is a testament to that fact.” Rin allowed Naruto to pull her back to the blanket he had been sitting on. He continued to hold her close and after almost an hour the tears ended.
However the memories refused to be completely banished and wanting to replace them with something else, she turned into the warm chest she was pressed against where she kissed it softly. She felt Naruto stiffen from the contact of her lips. She looked up to see him staring down at her with a fair amount of concern. Afraid that he would reject her she said pleadingly, “Please, I’ve been out in the cold for so long. Just for tonight…keep me warm.”
Naruto looked conflicted but after a moment said, “Rin, for me there is no just tonight. If you give yourself to me then from tonight on you’re going to be my woman. I’ve also involved with quite a few…”
Hearing someone refer to her as their woman filled Rin with the desire to be held in the strong arms surrounding her in the embrace of a lover. A desire she succumbed to by leaning up and pressing her lips against his. Naruto's embrace shifted from comforting to needful as his arms pulled her tighter against his chest. She mewed into his mouth as his hands traveled down her back to cup her ass and then pulled her pelvis against his where she learned that the beast between his legs was beginning to stir. Pressing her pussy against his awakening cock, she began to rub herself against it as it became trapped between their bodies.
Kushina sat on the couch as the green light surrounded her. Despite herself, she found that she was curious as to what was transpiring outside the seal. She tried to chalk her curiosity to being that she knew Rin, and had a hard time matching the love-struck young woman she had been to the older woman seeking comfort in the arms of her son. However, she couldn’t ignore the fact that it was likely Rin had long ago been exposed to sex and she doubted it had been for anything other than the fulfillment of whatever mission she had been assigned.
Kushina felt her heart break at the thought, especially as she remembered how hard Minato and Kakashi had taken her supposed death. She had little doubt that if they had even entertained the idea that she may still have been alive there would have been no stone they wouldn’t have turned over in search of her. Thinking along those lines Kushina thought about how tragic that so much of Rin’s youth had been stolen from her.
No sooner had the thought occurred to her then did several ways she could use the Bijuu chakra that she now possessed to perhaps give her it back. Kushina was torn as she could also use a theory that Kiyomi had come up with while still sealed in Naruto to alter people’s personalities. Well aware that Kiyomi had recently put it in practice with the Taki kunoichi and how her son felt about it, she didn’t know if she should. However, she doubted Naruto would be upset if she instead erased Rin’s memories of her time as Joseki’s agent. She realized that she could use Kiyomi’s theory, but instead of creating new pathways within a person’s brain so that the new persona could be created, she would instead remove them. She was quite sure in her idea, but there was one problem that she could see. Namely that she would need to step out of the green field in order to implement it.
The reason being that since Naruto’s chakra was already busy modifying Rin’s the seal holding back her power was at an extremely weak point. Therefore, she would be able to use the Bijuu chakra without experiencing a lot of resistance from the seal much as Kiyomi had done when she had made Tsunade young again. She reached towards the lamp but stopped just short as conscious warred with her claiming that she was just making excuse to experience the pleasure she felt from Naruto’s lovers. She told herself that it was for Rin, but couldn’t deny how her body tingled in anticipation just before she switched off the lamp.
Rin moaned in a long and pleasured filled voice which grew in volume as Naruto fed more and more of his length into her. Having lost her virginity to a target Joseki wanted dispatched she tried to block the memory out of her mind, but couldn’t help compare her deflowerer to Naruto. But she soon found her mind only became occupied by the present when instead of roughly taking her. He gave her time to adjust to his large presence inside her all the while showering her chest, neck, and lips. Soon Rin found the legs she had wrapped around the back of his thighs were applying pressure so that her understanding of what it felt like to actually make love would grow.
Naruto understood what she wanted and she gasped as he slowly began to pull out. The soft pleasure she experienced as the gripping flesh of her pussy tried to keep him inside was hard for her to describe. Yet it was perfectly accented by the sharp spike of bliss that pierced her when just before fully withdrawing he slammed himself back inside. Rin cried in pleasure each time, but aware that they were still behind enemy lines, so to speak, tried to muffle herself by nibbling on his earlobe.
Rin continued to sink deeper and deeper into the pleasure Naruto’s efforts were generating inside her. Some small part tried to remember if any of the other times she had experienced sex had felt as good. But strangely found her ability to recall any of them rather difficult. Trying to think of at least the first time she briefly pictured being thrown on a bed as the man she was to dispatch roughly pulled her panties from her body before slamming inside her. However, the details began to fade one by one until only she remained on the bed.
Naruto hit something deep inside her that caused even that to disappear as her entire focus pulled to the man that said she had become his. Not remembering exactly why she felt so indebted to him, she decided tried to commit everything to memory as a young woman’s first time should be remembered.
Kushina continued to use her Bijuu chakra to erase Rin’s time as Joseki’s pawn. It was proving far harder to do then she had anticipated. The reason being was punctuated as she moaned loudly due to being split apart. Although having experienced the sensations of Naruto’s lovers before, she couldn’t deny that due to the chakra she was using and the weakness of the seal it had never felt so incredible. She was also no longer able to truly block out her son as for all intents and purposes he appeared to be lying atop her. But she knew she was simply experiencing all that Rin was as she also found that her body wasn’t moving to her commands but was simply following Rin’s movements.
She suddenly felt empty and heard a voice cry out, “No,” but whether it was hears or Rin’s, she couldn't say. However neither woman needed to worry about the blond stopping what he started as Kushina found herself flipped over and pulled up to her knees into the doggy position. She felt him slide along her slit teasingly before pressing harder until her pussy granted him entrance. Her head whipped back as Rin’s voice cried out, “Yesssss!”
Rin looked over her shoulder as he began to push and pull her hips along his cock as he worked his hips. Naruto kept the brisk pace going for several minutes until deciding to give his newest lover a chance to take charge. He pulled her back so that he could lay down with her on top facing away from him. He then folded his hands behind his head. Rin stared down at him with pleading eyes from over her shoulder for him to continue. However a moment later she got to her feet and began to slowly pick herself off of the cock impaled inside her. Before he slipped out she dropped back down crying out in pleasure, before quickly picking her hips up once more.
Kushina felt so exposed in the new position, and had to remind herself that her son wasn’t seeing her as her hips moved at the fast past Rin was setting. Having been able to see the memories that Rin had possessed as she erased them Kushina could understand why she had given herself to Naruto. However, Kushina stopped her efforts to reset Rin’s past at where she had encountered the Broker. She wanted Rin to understand what it was that the memories she was losing had entailed so she wouldn’t be haunted by them. Therefore, with the kunoichi’s memory wiped she decided to take things one step further by returning her to the age she had been when she was taken.
Kushina could tell her efforts were working as she suddenly felt as if Naruto was getting even larger insider her. Understanding that as Rin grew younger the already snug fit of her son’s cock and the kunoichi pussy was growing more so. She felt the urge to cum grow more pronounced as his cock began knocking more insistently against the opening of her womb. Rin did as well and when he suddenly pumped his hips deciding to take an active role in their love making Kushina found herself suddenly laying with her back on his chest. Naruto’s eyes grew wide causing Kushina to fear he was seeing her, but she quickly realized he was reacting to her deaging the kunoichi.
He must have had some idea of what Kushina was doing as instead of reacting he carried on as if nothing had changed. Kushina considered trying to end the session seeing as her work was done. But Naruto prevented her from doing so as he reached down and used his middle finger to press on her clit. Kushina and Rin both came hard as he released wave after wave of cum into his newest lover. As Kushina caught her breath she hated just how content she truly felt.
Rin stared up at the ceiling with glassy eyes as she came down from her orgasmic high. She couldn’t quite place why she was making love in a cave. But remembering her last experience in one sat up quickly. She looked about for any sign of the white plant men or the robed old man they seemed to serve. However, she found no sign of them. Yet, faced with the fact that the last thing she recalled was being about to be turned over to a Suna elder. She pulled away from the man who had just introduced her to pleasure she had never imagined existed.
He sat up worriedly staring at her as she appeared to take in her surroundings. She moved to the clothes and guessing the orange ones weren't hers tried to pull them on but found they hung quite loose on her frame. Finally at a loss she turned towards Naruto asking, “What’s going on? Why are we having sex in a cave? You didn’t give me some strange drug to have your way with me did you?”
Naruto tried to call out mentally his mother but received no response. Believing that his mother was tuckered out from deaging Rin and from apparently removing her painful memories he decided not to dive into the seal. Plus he was afraid that the kunoichi would bolt. Taking a breath he asked, “What’s the last thing you remember?”
“I had just been abducted by some strange plant men. They took me to a cave where this old man was going to turn me over to a Suna Elder named Joseki.” Naruto was about to respond but she took in the larger clothes she was wearing and coming to a rather fantastical conclusion said, “He did…didn’t he?”
Naruto nodded so Rin approached him and dropping to her knees stared into the blue eyes that reminded her of her sensei’s. After a moment she said, “You’re Naruto…you saved me.”
Again he nodded, and somewhat hesitantly reached up to cup her face. Rin felt comforted by the strength and warmth she felt at the contact. Finally after several moments of just staring into her brown eyes he said, “You’ve been missing for a long time Rin. I think it’s time for me to take you home.”
Rin felt tears gather in her eyes as she suddenly lurched forward wrapping the blond man in a hug. She wasn’t sure why she was crying but felt it was a result of the memories she had lost. She instinctively knew they were better off forgotten and looked forward to making happier ones.
Next Chapter: Last Days
[*Author’s note: Let me start off by saying thank you to everyone that takes the time to review. Now that a little stability has been achieved site wise I hope to be able to dedicate my full energies to writing again. Also, in case people aren’t aware there is a poll on my fanfiction.net profile page. Please vote on which characters you’d like to see make the jump Eroninja part II.
[*Before I go please also check out my profile on Deviantart.com. It is probably the best place to get answer for questions related to the story. For instance in the next few days I plan to answer several questions that I’ve received via PM’s. It isn’t that I’m averse to answering a private message sent to my Fanfiction.net account, but sometimes it can get old having to answer the same one over and over again. Or saying how I refuse to answer one multiple times. This way I can answer it once and move on. The need for a more public way of communicating was really made apparent when Yourfanfiction shut down. So, basically its where I plan to also announce when a new chapter is being posted to either Ficwad or AFF.net
[*The link is: http://thelemonsage.deviantart.com/
[*So until next time take care, sincerely The Lemon Sage