The Legendary Sage of Konoha Returns 27  Part 1
Roku's Bleach Movie finally gets a proper challenge in size!!
Author's Note: This is my biggest chapter ever, and perhaps, the biggest stand-alone chapter NB ever has seen. For all my readers, it's going to take some time reading through this one, so if you're planning to do so in one sitting, I suggest putting off some time ;D
The Legendary Sage of Konoha Series, All Previous Chapters [In Chronological Reading Order]:
The Legendary Sage of Konoha Returns, Chapter 27;
Peace at Last?:
Some days had passed since the end of the war and Tobi and Kabuto's final threat, as the five great shinobi villages had returned home to their respectively villages, preparing funerals for their fallen friends and family. A meeting was about to find place in a week's time... A meeting to decide Kabuto's fate, and of course, collect information on the events that had happened and so forth. Back in Konoha, a few people were gathered at the graveyard, as several Konoha Shinobi were about to get their last honor.
Shikamaru: I can't believe he's gone.
Ino: I know Shikamaru, even my father and Choji's too... We've all lost a father in this war.
Sai: Your fathers were a respected trio in this village, and they will always be remembered.
Ino: Thanks Sai, that means a lot to all of us...
Reaching over to him, Ino then gave him a comfortable kiss.
Rock Lee: At least you three have each other, me, on the other hand, lost both Neji and Tenten in this war...
Shikamaru: The Konoha 11 will never be the same indeed...
Rock Lee: I will never forget their sacrifice and their memory, and they will always live on in my heart.
Gai: Lee... What a nice thing to say.
With tears in their eyes, the two of them gave each other a comfortable hug.
Hiruzen: Is dad going to be alright ma?
Sakura: Yeah, I think so... Just give it some time son.
Mito: Hey dad, where is ma by the way? I haven't seen her all day?
Shikamaru: She's in Suna at the moment, attending Baki, and the rest of the Sand Shinobi's funeral, together with her brothers...
Mito: I see...
Jiraiya: Ma, are you alright??
Hinata: Yeah... But Kiba-Kun, and Shino-Kun...
Jiraiya: I... Come here.
Giving his mother a hug of comfort, Jiraiya continued.
Jiraiya: Kushina... Do you think she...
Hinata: No, she's still too young to understand death I suppose...
Holding her in her arms, Hinata reached her out to Jiraiya as he took her firmly into his grasp.
Jiraiya: I can't believe she's this young yet... It's only been two weeks since she was born... It's only been two weeks since Konoha and the rest of the great shinobi villages were attacked by the returning Akatsuki... She's never met people like granny Tsunade, Onoki, A, Mei, Mifune and the rest of the great leaders who died in this war... And she never will...
Kakashi: Akashi... or Jin, as mother and father originally named you... Though we never had time in life, one good thing came from this war... In the end, I did get a chance to meet you, even though I had to go through one heck of a process to actually get to know you first, *Smirk.* I will never forget the brief time we had together, and when we stood against our reanimated father... I will never forget your sacrifice, and the gift you left me with.
Reaching his left arm up to his left eye, Kakashi looked at the gravestone in front of him as he unveiled his newly gained Eternal Mangekyo Sharingan that he had developed after his brother gave him his newly gained Mangekyo Sharingan, right before he died. From his right, Yamato approached, as he laid his right arm on his left shoulder.
Yamato: Kakashi-Sempai, how are you coping?
Kakashi: Yamato... I'm fine.
Covering for his Sharingan with his headband once more, Kakashi turned around towards Yamato, as Gai too approached them, as the rest of the people gathered at the graveyard quickly followed.
Kakashi: Sakura... Have you managed to pile together your report on Naruto's condition?
Sakura: Yes, Kakashi-Sensei...
Waiting in awe to hear what news she might have, people started gathering around them.
Sakura: Okay, okay, give me some space.
Walking over to the nearby staircase, leaving out of the graveyard, Sakura turned around as she addressed them.
Sakura: Naruto, like Tsunade before him, has indeed slipped into a coma...
As distinctive mumbling began scattering throughout the crowd, Sakura continued.
Sakura: Though, I do believe that it's not a severe case, and that Naruto, once he wakes up, will quickly recover.
Peasant: What do you mean when he wakes up? Are you sure he even will?
Peasant 2: He's in a coma you say?! Do you even know what that means girl?!
Shikamaru: Hey, don't question Sakura's expertise!
Peasant 3: In Tsunade's case during the Akatsuki attack all those years ago, it took days, almost weeks before she woke up, Kakashi-San was even almost elected as the 6th Hokage!
Peasant 2: What if he doesn't wake up?! What if he dies, what if the Jubi breaks out of its seal, what if we need to choose a new Hokage, what if-...
Kakashi: Calm down, all of you, and let her talk.
Sakura: Thanks, Kakashi-Sensei... *Kremt, Kremt* As I was about to say before you interrupted me, I do believe that Naruto will wake up, if given enough time... The reason to why I say this is because it doesn't seem to be a deep coma he has fallen in, but one that is based on exhaustion and rapid changes to his body... Once he's got enough rest, I'm sure he will wake up...
Peasant 2: Uhm...
Sakura: Yes... In the meantime, we shouldn't worry too much.
Peasant 3: How long will it take then? What about the Kage meeting in a few days??
Sakura: I... Like I said, I don't know how long it takes, and if he doesn't wake up by that time, I'll go my-...
Shikamaru: Then I will go there, and Sakura and Konohamaru will accompany me... Unless you have any objections to this, Kakashi-Sensei??
Kakashi: No, not at all... Why would I? You're the second in charge after all, Shikamaru...
Shikamaru: Right, then it's settled.
As Shikamaru, Sakura, Kakashi, and the rest began to walk up the stairs, the chattering was still spreading through the remaining crowd as the clouds above began to break into rain.
Temari: Gaara... Are you alright?
Gaara: Oh, yes... Baki always was a good teacher, and I regret I couldn't do more to protect him...
Kankuro: Don't blame yourself brother... Come, let's head back, it seems as it's about to rain.
Gaara: Yeah, I need to prepare for the Kage meeting in a few days after all... Will you two accompany me?
Kankuro: Like always...
Temari: Ehm, me? I thought you had adopted another adviser after I moved to Konoha??
Gaara: Yeah, well... She decided to retire when we came home from the war... She lost both her husband, brother and son in it, and the fact that she was home, safe here in Suna and could do nothing about it, due to a sickness that spread itself throughout my convoy as we were about to leave, has taken a heavy toll on her... You mind taking her place for now, at least until this Kage meeting is over?
Temari: I guess so... But what about Ebizo, your newborn son? Who will-...
Gaara: I already have that covered...
Darui: Bee-Sama... Are you sure you're going to be fine??
Killerbee: I'm fine alright, just...
Darui: No, I can tell you're not...
Killerbee: I just want to... be alone for a bit...
Darui: Alright then, I'll head back to the head-quarter and start preparing things with Sarah then... It's not long until the Kage meeting now after all, and after we lost Shee, Omoi, Karui, A, and countless others, I fear tha-...
Killerbee: Just go and do your job, okay?! I'll be there in a bit...
Darui: I'm sorry Raikage-Sama, I don't mean to be dull, I didn't know-...
Darui: Right, on my way!... Just be sure not to stand here in front of their graves for too long, it's about to rain and-...
Killerbee: I won't... For now, dismiss Darui.
Turning his back on Killerbee, Darui proceeded down some stairs.
Darui (In Thoughts): Damn, it's not like Bee-Sama to be like this... The only time he stops raping and putting rhymes into his every sentence, is when... Huff, I just hope he'll recover fast...
?: Darui, why are you hastening away like this??
?: Yeah, something wrong?
Darui: Ine, Tokie? No, everything is fine, I just... With everything that has happened lately, it will take some time to recover, for all of us.
Thinking back on the recent days, Darui knew that the war had taken a heavy toll on all of them.
'Tsunade: Tokie and Ine?
Remembering back to the Kage meeting, right before the war broke out, Tsunade recognized the two girls, whom were in their early 20s, accompanying Killerbee to the Kage meeting.
Tokie: Tsunade, it's Killerbee... He's been captured by the enemy!
Ine: We were overwhelmed and couldn't do anything to stop it.
Mei: They got Killerbee?! Then that probably means that Tobi and Kabuto should have retreated to start extracting his Bijou... We need to rescue him at once, before Tobi obtains his beast!
Tsunade: You're right!
As she said, Tokie and Ine went on explaining more on what happened.
Killerbee: Damn what just happened? That man must have been an Akatsuki spy, he just appeared from the blue sky.
Ine: Uncle, we need to get back to the rest and regroup.
Tokie: She's right, we're vulnerable alone, if anything were to happen to you Uncle, I-...
Killerbee: It's too late to retreat, we got to fight to avoid defeat.
In front of the three, an army of Zetsus emerged from the ground. Killerbee readied himself to attack, when suddenly he heard an unfamiliar voice.
?: I wouldn't do that if I were you...
Turning around to face the voice, Killerbee saw Akashi and a Kage bunshin holding two kunai to the two girls' throats.
Kabuto: So you're Killerbee, the 5th Raikage I presume? We finally meet in person.
Walking in from behind the Zetsus, Kabuto came forth and revealed himself to Killerbee.
Killerbee: Kabuto... I should have guessed.
Kabuto: It's more or less up to you now. You could either take a leap of fate and try to rescue your nieces before they get their throats slit, in other words putting their life in danger... Or you could surrender yourself right here and now and we will spare their lives... Kehehehe, if you ask me the answer is actually simple.
Killerbee: You Basterd, just wait until you see the attacks I've mastered!
In an instant, Killerbee turned on his Bijou chakra as four tails emerged from him.
Kabuto: I see you're going for speed and strength right away, very well.
As he was just about to prepared an attack on Kabuto, he suddenly felt a presence from behind.
Killerbee tried to turn around as he saw a glimpse of Tobi standing behind him. A strange feeling went shivering through his body as Tobi completely absorbed him.
Kabuto: Oh... You weren't planning on putting up a real fight after all?
Tobi: ... This place is too crowded, let's proceed.
Akashi: And these two?
Tobi: Let them go, they are of no use to us.
Akashi: Hah, didn't know you could be merciful?!
Akashi and his clone then removed their kunai away from Ine and Tokie's throats as he jumped over to Tobi and Kabuto's position, while his clone vanished in the air.
Tobi: Let's go.
In seconds, the three of them were gone.
A: ?! That reminds me... My brother... Killerbee, where is he?!
As he spoke, A recognized two shinobies who came running towards him from the shinobi crowd.
A: Tokie, Ine?! If you're here, then where is Killerbee? You're suppose to stay with him at all time.
A little surprised and shocked at the same time to see his two daughters, A pressed the sad, but harsh truth. As they explained how Killerbee was captured after being outmaneuvered by Tobi, Kabuto and Akashi, A got more and more enraged.
A: That's it! I'll personally hunt the two of them down and kill them!'
Tokie: We were just on our way to see our father's grave actually, I still can't believe he's gone, I-...
Ine: Tokie, don't start crying again, at least wait until we get to his grave! At this rate, you're going to make me cry as well!
Darui: You might as well proceed, Bee-Sama is up by the graveyard too.
Ine: Right, see you later then Darui-San. Tokie, let's go see his grave.
Tokie: Right, maybe even uncle Bee needs some comfort.
Taking their leave, the two proceeded to walk up the staircase as Darui went to the bottom of it.
Killerbee: Darui, I thought I told you to leave me alone for a bi-... Tokie, Ine??
Tokie: Uncle, why are you here alone in front of father's grave?
Ine: Is everything alright?
Killerbee: I'm fine, it's just that... Even though we weren't brothers by blood, A always...
Ine: It's alright uncle, don't be sad.
Going over to him, Ine tried to comfort him the best she could, while Tokie however, began to burst out in tears.
Tokie: I just... I just...
Killerbee: Damn it, damn it all... I'm sorry, but I have to go, Darui and Sarah went to prepare for the Kage meeting, and I should-...
Ine: We understand, we'll be alright.
Tokie: *Sniff, Sniff* Yeah, Sarah is your wife, isn't she?
Killerbee: Yeah that's right, although we've been together for twelve years, we just recently got married before the war... But you already know this right? I mean, even if it was a dislocated wedding, you two talk a lot to my daughter, Saria, right??
Ine: Yeah, of course, I guess she's just not thinking clear because of everything that has happened lately.
Killerbee: I see... Alright then, off I go, make sure you two don't stay here for too long, getting your mood too low! Besides, it's just about to rain too.
Waving the two goodbye, Killerbee then proceeded to walk down the stairs in front of him.
Kurotsuchi: Sasuke, are you ready??
Akatsuchi: If we don't go now, we'll be late for the ceremony.
Sasuke: I know alright, just give me another second...
Akatsuchi: Alright then, I'll be on my way...
Turning his back on Sasuke and Kurotsuchi, Akatsuchi began to head over to the Tsuchikage-Mansion to prepare the final things for the ceremony that was about to take place as he was the third to last person to leave the ceremony at the graveyard. Closing up to him, Kurotsuchi laid her arms around Sasuke waist as she tried to comfort him the best she could.
Kurotsuchi: Are you sure that this is what you want?? It's not that long ago when you said that-...
Sasuke: Yes... unless you want to take my place?
Kurotsuchi: No, I couldn't be a Tsuchikage... Not after father and grandfather passed-...
Sasuke: It's alright, you don't have to say-...
Kurotsuchi: Yeah... I know...
Sasuke: Miyuki and Mu, are they going to attend??
Kurotsuchi: Yep, Miyuki will carry Mu there, it's not like he can walk himself or anything yet, haha...
Sasuke: Hehe, you're being silly now, of course he can't, he's a newborn after all... And Itachi, will he make it home from the training cam-...
Kurotsuchi: No, he won't... Though he's said that he misses his twin sister, and that he badly want to see his newborn baby brother... After all that has happened in the recent weeks, he really felt like he wanted to quit his training and come home to be with us... to be with his mother and father
Sasuke: I see... I will talk to him then. It's not like I've forgot about him or anything, he is my son after all...
Kurotsuchi: So, any last words you want to say while we still are here, or should we head to the Tsuchikage-Mansion?
Sasuke: In fact, there is... but you go ahead, I'll catch up.
Kurotsuchi: Alright then, see you there... and don't be late, it wouldn't be prudent for our own Tsuchikage to be late for his own inauguration, now would it?
Sasuke: You're right, although as of now, I'm still only the Active 5th Tsuchikage...
Kurotsuchi: Not for long I mind you.
Sasuke: Haha, indeed... Okay, I'll be there, I promise.
Taking her leave, Kurotsuchi turned her back on Sasuke as she walked away from the graveyard. Looking up to the skies, Sasuke saw that the clouds split open as heavy rain began to pour down.
Sasuke: What a day to be elected 5th Tsuchikage at, eh old man?? I would never be in this position if it wasn't for you, Onoki-Sama... I promise I'll take good care of your granddaughter and our kids, and that I'll never let anything happen to them... Jugo, although we never really bonded, you were a valued member of my team... of our team... actually, you were more than that, you were one of my few true friends after I came to Iwa... To think that Suigetsu actually ended up doing what he did... I just, don't know how it happened, I-... ?!
?: Found you!
As he continued to talk with the graves, someone approached him from behind, as Sasuke turned around at the sound of her voice.
Sasuke: Karin?! What are you doing here, I thought you were in Konoha no-...
Karin: Not a bloody chance I would miss your Tsuchikage ceremony, after all, I'm-...
Sasuke: Geez, alright let's get going then, I don't want to be late...
Karin: Alright, alright, though you have a lot of things to clarify for sure. I mean, with animal weirdo Jugo dying, and Suigetsu going all power crazy, having to be brought down by you personally... There's too much not to tell, and I'm just so glad that fool is out of this world, he was nothing more than trouble that Suigetsu.
Sasuke: Geez, don't you have anything better to say for your former friends? Besides, I don't even understand why you came all this way, just for my ceremony, especially sneaking up like that.
Karin: I-!... Well no particular reason, I just wanted to-...
Sasuke: Whatever, let's go.
Kiri Counsel Member: Are you really sure you want to do this??
?: Yes, it's probably what Mei would have wanted too... And besides, it will only be a temporary solution until her daughter, my niece, is of the right age to claim the position herself.
Kiri Counsel Member: Well, after Mei died in the war, and Kiri Shinobi like Ao and Chojuro did as well, you were perhaps the best candidate, even though you had a lot of skepticism towards the position of becoming our 6th Mizukage...
Kiri Counsel Member: But are you really sure she is more capable than you, I mean, she's only sixteen years old as of yet... Are you sure it's wise announcing her as the 7th Mizukage already, several years in advance? It wouldn't really up for stability and prosper with too many rapid changes in the Mizukage position of Kirigakure...
?: I am more certain than I need to be... Come, let's head back to start preparing for our Kage meeting in a few days. This place creeps me out and I wouldn't want to overstay my welcome at Mei's grave... Especially when it's dark and raining like now, ehehe.
Kiri Counsel Member: As you wish, Rokudaime Mizukage-Sama!
Back at Konoha, Kakashi, Gai, Shikamaru, Sakura and Konohamaru had met up at the Hokage-Mansion as day had turned into evening and the rain had stopped pouring from the skies.
Kakashi: So you're really sure about this Sakura?
Sakura: Yes I am... I doubt he will be out for too long, but in any case, we should start preparing for the Kage meeting in a few days.
Shikamaru: You're right...
Kakashi: Well, you always were Naruto's head adviser and second in command together with Tsuande, Shikamaru-Kun... Now that she's gone... And now that your father is gone... We need to appoint a new adviser, and a new Jonin Commander...
Shikamaru: Hmm... Well, Sakura always was third in command behind Tsuande and I... I think Naruto would want you as his second adviser from now on...
Sakura: Me? But I'm the head of the Health Care Program and the Hospital in Konoha... I...
Shikamaru: You would be able to do both, don't you think?
Sakura: Haha, yeah, but...
Shikamaru: Well then it's settled, at least for now... So unless Naruto wakes up and decides he want someone else as his second adviser, you will be it.
Sakura: Geez, alright then I suppose.
Konohamaru: What about a new Jonin Commander?
Gai: Yeah, someone will have to replace your father Shikamaru.
Shikamaru: I think, somebody is a more fitting term.
Shikamaru: Yes, I think we should have more than one Jonin Commander from now on. I mean, the academy system has been updated, the security system, which you and the Anbu are in charge of Konohamaru, has been updated, I think it's time we updated the Jonin Commander system too.
Kakashi: So what do you have in mind?
Gai: Surely, you must claim one of those spots then, Shikamaru-Kun.
Shikamaru: Well, it will be up to the Hokage and the Daimyo to elect the Jonin Commanders, but I guess they won't have any trouble with what I had in mind.
Sakura: Which is?
Shikamaru: The Two Fangs of Konoha, Kakashi and Gai, and if the Counsel would have it so, I guess I could take the third spot.
Konohamaru: Sounds like a good idea... Since I'm the Anbu Leader, I would have a vote in the matter, and I'll definitely be voting for that suggestion and you three being elected in those roles.
Kakashi: Then that too is settled.
Sakura: I was thinking about something... With-... with... with Neji and Shino no longer here... Naruto would need to do alterations to his Defense Squad...
Kakashi: Oh? Why are you worrying about that now? Let's deal with that when Naruto wakes up, shall we?
Sakura: If... If he wakes up you mean... You shouldn't think that he will wake up without any problems, even though he's fallen in a light Coma.
Gai: So who are the remaining members?
Konohamaru: The Hokage's main Defense Squad consisted of Sakura, Rock Lee, Sai, Neji and Shino... One for air combat, two for defense, one for medical treatment, and one for offensive attack... while Tsunade and myself worked as backup to whomever needed it, while Shikamaru analyzed the situation and came up with a plan. And then of course, Naruto himself. With Neji, Shino and Tsunade gone, we will indeed need some updates and reformations.
As the five of them were discussing the latest events, someone knocked the door as Shikamaru went to open it.
Shikamaru: So you're here, Ibiki...
Ibiki: Yes, and I have my report on the captured Akatsuki Member, just as you requested.
As Shikamaru went through the report, Ibiki started revealing the Intel he had gathered, and what his thoughts was on the subject.
Shikamaru: Are you certain of this Ibiki?
Ibiki: Yeah, Sonia seemed to be telling the truth after all.
Gai: Is that so.
Ibiki: Yeah, I could not detect any traces of her lying to me about Kabuto using her brother as a mean to get her to do what he wanted... I'm sure the events of her capture, and your encounter with Akashi also seemed to strengthen this, Kakashi, Gai?
Kakashi: Hmm... Akashi really did say that Sonia was the only member of the new Akatsuki that had someone dear to her captured by Kabuto, that she was the only one that didn't join on her free will... He also said that her brother was disposed off, unbeknownst to her, so she helped them out in vain.
Gai: If all this is true, then I can't say anything else than that I feel sorry for her.
Konohamaru: Who really were the other hired members of the new Akatsuki, Shikamaru, beside Akashi, who were your brother Kakashi, and Sonia?
Shikamaru: According to the Intel we've gathered, the other members were Kazuki, who apparently were the brother of the former team member Hidan, one of the many few that Naruto took care off; Keiji, who Rock Lee and I killed in our fight with him, in the confusion that followed the interruption of the kage meeting... Those two seemed to be a two-man team... Then we had Makito and Sakito, the two brothers, both deceased. One killed of by Rock Lee's 8 gates, the Morning Peacock and the Afternoon Tiger I believe, while the other brother was killed by Naruto... And finally, Nobunaga and Ryu, the two former Konoha Shinobi under Danzo's Root... whom Killerbee and Gaara took care off. Then we also had the spy who infiltrated our Kage meeting and blew up the place, the one who gathered all the seven swords of the Mist, a former ally of us, and one of three who stayed in Iwa for the past twelve years... Suigetsu, whom Sasuke brought down personally. As for the records though, we're not sure if he actually went through the hiring process, or if he just worked as a personal spy for Kabuto... And as we searched through the Cave of Ordeal, we found two corpses, who's identity is still unknown... We do believe they worked with Tobi though and that Kabuto killed them when he retreated back to the cave...
Konohamaru: I see...
Kakashi: I've already made my report on what Akashi told Hiruzen, Mito, Yamato and I, just before Kabuto attacked, summoning Sakumo, just before... Just before he died. It should clarify a lot on what really went down in Root, as well as how and why the two deserted Konoha and brought Akashi with them.
Shikamaru: Right, I've already read through it...
Sakura: So, with everything that has happened, what are we going to do with her? Did you get any other information out of her Ibiki? Other than she telling what seems to be the truth... Did she have any other Intel to share, that we don't know already?
Ibiki: No... Before Inoichi... Before he went with the rest of the Konoha back-Up, he read into her mind... there was nothing else to be found, besides bad memory of pain and the evil deeds of Kabuto.
Sakura: I see...
Ibiki: So what will you have me do with her?
Shikamaru: It's not really my place to decide, it should be Naruto wh-...
Sakura: But with Naruto in coma, you are the one in charge, Shikamaru-Kun.
Shikamaru: Hmm... Kakashi-Sensei, Gai-Sensei, what is your take on this?
Gai: Uhm... I don't really know, she did indeed seem to be telling the truth, and since Ibiki says that she seems to be telling the truth...
Kakashi: If you're really sure on her intentions, you might as well just...
Kakashi: I don't know, release her??
Konohamaru: Hang on a minute, is that really a wise thing to do?? Innocent or not, she was part of the Akatsuki before, what if-...
Shikamaru: Fine, then release her Ibiki... But, just to be sure, have some of your Anbu members track her initial movement, Konohamaru-San.
Konohamaru: Alright then.
Ibiki: Then that settles it, I'll be going then.
Taking his leave, Ibiki rapidly closed the door gently behind him.
Jiraiya: Hey mom, wake up!
Hinata: Huh? oh, did I fell asleep again?... What time is it?
Jiraiya: You've been sleeping in that chair, by dad's bed for two days now, ever since we came home from Kiri... Don't you think it would be wise to go home and rest a bit? Kushina... Kushina needs you, she's been crying, and I bet that she's hungry.
Hinata: Oh yeah, I guess you're right, it's just that, Naruto-Kun, your dad, he...
Jiraiya: Don't worry, I'm sure he will be fine, I'm sure he will wake up soon. You know what, why don't I stay a bit and watch over him, so you can take care of Kushina for a bit.
Hinata: Right... Here, let me have her.
Reaching Kushina over to Hinata, Jiraiya proceeded to sit down in the chair by Naruto's bed, as Hinata walked out into the corridor of the hospital with Kushina in hand. The clock was just over 9 pm, and Jiraiya was already very tired from the long day. As he looked over at Naruto laying in the bed, appearing as if just sleeping, he noticed that his hand had fallen out of the bed, as it was hanging from its side. Jiraiya got up as he went over to tuck it in, when someone knocked on the open door, scaring the heck out of him, causing him to knock his head into the roof as he fell down on the floor again.
Jiraiya: Ouch, my head!
Iruka: Oi, are you alright son?
Jiraiya: Yeah, I just-... Iruka-Sensei?? What are you doing here?
Iruka: Well, I thought I would check up on Naruto, to see how he's doing.
Jiraiya: I see, well I'm sure my dad don't mind that.
Iruka: I brought a bowl of his favorite Teuchi ramen, maybe the smell of it will wake him up...
Jiraiya: Really?! Why didn't I think of that!
Iruka: Hehe, I thought why not try, to see if it works.
Placing the bowl of ramen at the desk beside the bed, Iruka grabbed onto another chair as he sat down by Jiraiya.
Jiraiya: Hey, thinking about it, didn't Teuchi already retire? I swear I can remember that he made a big thing out if it, at the Chunin exam four years ago??
Iruka: Oh, you mean the Chunin exam you won? Yeah, he did actually, and one of his final guests were Naruto, Killerbee, Kitsuchi and Gaara, all at once... But indeed, this is his daughter, Ayame's ramen. She was the one who took over after him. Teuchi often comes by to check on the shop though, but he wasn't there today, besides, with Ayame's husband already working there now as well, it tend to get a bit crowded and with minor space left to work on, so she uses to tell him that either he's retired, or he's not, haha!
Jiraiya: Haha, I see, well that's something I gue-...
Jiraiya & Iruka: ?!
Iruka: Did Naruto just??
Jiraiya: Dad?? Damn, maybe the ramen worked!
Racing up to the ramen bowl, Jiraiya proceeded to lift it up, placing it in front of Naruto's nose.
Jiraiya: Let's see.
Getting close to Naruto as well, both Jiraiya and Iruka waited patiently to see if Naruto responded.
Jiraiya: Come on dad, it's ramen time!!
Starting to shake him gently with his left hand, holding the ramen with his right, Jiraiya attempted to make contact, but none was to be made.
Jiraiya: Damn... You did hear that too, didn't you Iruka-Sensei??
Iruka: Yeah, I could swear that Naruto said Ramen...
Jiraiya: I'm just tired I suppose, maybe I should just get to bed alread-...?!
Naruto: I'll take that...
Jiraiya: Dad?! You're awake!
Just as Jiraiya was about to give up, Naruto opened his eyes and sat up in the bed, grabbing a hold onto his hand as he reached out for the ramen.
Jiraiya: Iruka-Sensei, you're a genius!!
Iruka: I... I didn't expect it to work, I just...
Naruto: *Slurp* Ahhh!! One more mist-... Damn, what am I doing in a hospital?? And where's... ?! Where's Kabuto?!
Iruka: Relax, you've been in a coma, and you've miraculously woken up by the smell of Ramen!...
Naruto: Jiraiya, I-...
Almost tipping the bed over, Jiraiya jumped at him as he laid his arms around his neck, grasping him tightly.
Naruto: Jiraiya-... You're choking me.
Jiraiya: Oh, sorry, ehehehe.
Getting back in their chairs, Iruka and Jiraiya were still amazed, not only because Naruto had awoken from coma so quickly, but because he had woken by the smell of ramen. Naruto seated himself up again, as he looked around.
Naruto: This is the same room as... Hinata gave birth to Kushina, your sister, Jiraiya...
Jiraiya: Yeah, now that you mention it, it really is... I can't believe I didn't notice that.
Iruka: So how are you feeling?
Naruto: Except from being hungry, I feel fine.
Iruka: Well no wonder, the supplements they've been given you for real food isn't really giving you much energy.
Jiraiya: Gehehehe, I can't believe you woke up from a coma by the smell of ramen, just wait until the rest get to hear this.
As the three of them broke out in laughter, Hinata came into the room again, unbeknownst of Naruto having recovered.
Hinata: I thought I heard some noise Jiraiya, is everyth-...
Hinata: Naru-... Narut-... Naruto-Kun... You're awake?!
Running over to him, Hinata quickly laid the sleeping Kushina in the hands of Jiraiya as she jumped up in the bed and hugged Naruto passionately.
Naruto: Hinata, I... I'm fine.
Ino: What is all this noise I've been hearing, it's over 9 pm and it's suppose to be quiet at the hospital! Don't you guys ha--... Naruto-Sama, you're awake?!
Coming through the door due to the noise she heard, Ino was pretty surprised to see Naruto awake again.
Naruto: Ino, you too!
Ino: I... How are you feeling?
Naruto: I couldn't have been better!
Racing up from the bed with Hinata in his arms, Naruto quickly went over to the door-frame, as he stopped there, looking back at Iruka, Jiraiya and Kushina.
Naruto: Are you coming or not??
Ino: Naruto, where are you going?? We still need to... I still need to do some check-ups, or you might have a setback, you shouldn't be walking right now, you need to take it easy-...
Naruto: Rubbish! I'm fine!
Hinata: Naruto-Kun, were are we going?
Still carrying Hinata in his arms, Naruto proceeded to head straight for the hospital exit.
Naruto: Just wait and see, Jiraiya, Iruka, are you coming or not??
Iruka: I'm going as fast as my feet are taking me, just hang on a minute!
Jiraiya: Dad, where on earth are you going?!
As he raced down the corridor, several hospital patients woke up from the noise, as they all broke out in joy seeing their Hokage back on his feet again. As Naruto reached the exit, he proceeded, still with Hinata in hands, to jump on top of the nearest roof, as he started to raced down the street from the roof-tops. From behind him, Iruka and Jiraiya, with Kushina in his hands, quickly followed while Ino however stayed behind, shouting after them.
Ino: Naruto!!! Just be careful alright, don't take any chances!!
Naruto: I won't!!
Racing across the roof-tops, Naruto seemed as in a hurry.
Naruto: Oh, yeah what is it Hinata?
Hinata: Do you mind telling me where we're going?? Or at least take a break, you don't need to carry me like this...
Naruto: We're almost there.
Landing on top of the Hokage-Mansion, Naruto proceeded to the end of the fence, that was there for safety purposes, facing down towards Konoha as he shouted out.
Naruto: I, Uzumaki Naruto, the 6th Hokage and The Legendary Sage of Konoha, have woken from my slumber!!
Reaching his right arm out in the air, while still holding Hinata in his left, Naruto let off a big grit as some lights began to turn on in one of the nearby houses as some people opened their windows and shouted out to him.
Villagers: Idiot!! Who do you think you are, waking the entire neighborhood up?! You foolish little kid, do you have any idea what time it is?! It's over 9 PM already, and it's time to get to bed!
Shutting the windows tightly, the lights began to switch off as it all got silent. From above Naruto, a crow flew by as it shouted out a famous catch-phrase;
Crow: ~ Aho! Aho! ~
Naruto: Ehh... But I... I'm...
Jiraiya: Dad, what exactly are you doing, *Pant, Pant.*
Having just caught up with him, Jiraiya, followed by Iruka, landed on the top of the Hokage-Mansion as well.
Naruto: Did that guy just say... That the clock was over 9 PM?!
Iruka: Yeah it is, what about it??
Naruto: The Ramen Shop!! It closes 9.30!!
Iruka: Well it's about 9.25 now, so-... ?!
But before he managed to finish his sentence, Naruto, together with Hinata, suddenly vanished in thin air in front of him.
Iruka: Flying Thunder God??
Jiraiya: Geez, now where is he going?? And he took mom with him too! I can't let Kushina be without her mom for a second, or she will start crying for food...
Iruka: I know just the spot, he's going to the...
Naruto: Hello! Anyone here?!
Banging on the front door of the Ramen Shop, Naruto seemed to be just too late as a woman approached the door.
?: What do you want, we're closed already...
Naruto: But, but, you don't understand, it's an emergency!!
?: I'm sorry, but we don't allow exceptions, even if it were the Hoka-... Naruto-Sama?! Is that you?!
As she opened the door, she quickly realized who it was standing outside of her shop.
Naruto: Yes! Yes! It's me alright, and I need my ramen! Pretty please, Ayame!
Hinata: Naruto, please put me down...
Naruto: Oh, right Hinata...
Placing her on the ground, Naruto walked up to Ayame as he fell to his knees, begging her to make an exceptions.
Ayame: Naruto-Sama, get up to your feet, this is not how a Hokage should act, this is not a prudent way to behave for you... Besides, weren't you in a coma?? I thought Iruka was on his way to you with a bowl of my ramen?
Naruto: Yeah, that's exactly why I need my ramen, I just woke up from it!!
Ayame: In that case, I guess I'll make an exception then!
Naruto: Really?? Thank you so much, Ayame-Chan!
Ayame: Alright, alright, you've made your point. Just hang on a minute and let me open up. I'm alone at work right now as my husband had to leave early to gather some supplies for tomorrow, so all I can offer you right now is this.
Opening her shop again, Naruto then proceeded inside as he seated himself at one of the chairs as she pointed her finger at her recipe list. Naruto then started to read the text her finger landed on, as he realized what she meant by "gathering some supplies."
Naruto: Uhm... Okay, I guess since you made an exception for me, I'll make an exception for you... Bring me some bowls of that please!
Ayame: Coming right up!
As she went on to start preparing the ramen, Hinata seated herself beside Naruto.
Hinata: Naruto-Kun, are you sure you're alright??
Naruto: Thanks for asking Hinata, I'm fine, I really am, and I'm so glad to see you too.
Reaching his hand up to her face, Naruto went on to kiss her passionately.
Jiraiya: Mom, dad, what are you doing?!
Interrupting their flow came Jiraiya busting into the shop, as he handed Kushina over to Hinata.
Jiraiya: It's feeding time!
Pointing at the crying Kushina, Jiraiya seemed beyond tired and a bit annoyed.
Jiraiya: I'm very glad and all to see you up and running again dad, but right now I'm so damn tired that I can barely keep my eyes up. You don't mind if I go to bed, do you?
Naruto: No, not at all son. We'll be right behind you, after I've grabbed some food.
As he said, Jiraiya proceeded to leave the Ramen shop as another man entered.
Iruka: So here you are, I knew I would find you here.
Ayame: Iruka, you're back... Does this mean that my ramen actually had anything to do with Naruto waking up? It was the last bowl of his favorite recipe that I sent with you after all.
Iruka: It seems like it!
Ayame: Well that's great!
?: Hey, what's going on over here, I thought I heard some noise and it's already passed closing time... Ayame, is everything alright??
Naruto: Old man Teuchi!
Teuchi: Oh, isn't it Naruto-Sama! I thought you were in a coma?!
Naruto: Not anymore, and thanks to Ayame's ramen!
Teuchi: Really? What recipe did you give him Ayame??!
Ayame: I... Only the one Naruto always liked?
Teuchi: Do you know what this means?! Not only does my ramen recipe taste great, but it also have the power to wake people up from coma!
Shocked hearing this, all of them started to get excited over his statement.
Teuchi: I should really start working again, if I can promote that, we will rise to even higher grou-...
Ayame: But dad, you retired four years ago!
Hinata: I don't think... I don't think you should get... Too excited...
Iruka: Haha, It's probably only Naruto that reacted this way, it's his favorite food after all!
Teuchi: But I...
In response to this, everyone started laughing as Naruto got his first bowl of ramen served. Half an hour later, the five of them decided to split up as Ayame finally could close her shop. It was getting late, and it was no time for a newborn to be up as Hinata expressed her concerns. A few minutes later, both herself, Naruto, and Kushina arrived at home, as Hinata tucked her in bed. From the other bedroom, you could hear Jiraiya snoring loudly as Naruto snuck up to Hinata from behind and whispered something in her ear.
Hinata: Naruto-Kun, you-...
Turning around to face him, she was met with a familiar expression.
Laying his finger between their mouth just as he was about to kiss her, Naruto grabbed a hold to her hand as he began to lead her towards their bedroom.
Naruto: Come, let's go to bed.
Pulling her inside the bedroom, Naruto gently closed the door behind them.
On a mountain top, distanced far away from the battle that took place in Kirigakure... A dark storm was roaring over the skies as rain was pouring heavily down from the heavens. The ground suddenly started shaking and transforming, as something oddly shaped emerged from it.
Black Zetsu: So the fighting has ended and the shinobi alliance stands triumphant... Tobi's gone... and Kabuto's defeated.
White Zetsu: The Edo Tensei turned to dust, the Zetsu army demolished... That Masashi kid and that old creeper... Even Akashi, Ryu and Nobunaga. Suigetsu couldn't help either... oh boy, now what?
Black Zetsu: ...
White Zetsu: Not only have we lost all of Kabuto's and our own strength, but Uzumaki Madara's gone, and there is no way to bring him back again in the near future as his body got completely pulverized... So what do we do now?
Black Zetsu: Without Tobi, Uzumaki Madara... There is nothing to do... No goal, no purpose, no guidance...
White Zetsu: It will take years and years to rebuild the Zetsu army and gather a new round of Akatsuki... Even then, all the Kages will be old, dead and, if not, replaced. I wonder if we're able to even do any of this without Tobi and the Gedo Mazu...
Black Zetsu: ... It might take years, it might take decades, It might even take centuries or millenniums... But one thing is certain... One day, the power of The Great Elder Son of The Sage of Six Paths shall return in some shape or form again, and with the help of the powers of "Zetsu", the world will once again be thrown into turmoil...
White Zetsu: ... Uzumaki Naruto...
Black Zetsu (Ryarghhh...-indistinctly voice-): ... The plan failed... We were so close this time too... That stupid 6th Hokage. Who would have thought he would be the reincarnation of Six Paths himself. We only needed one beast... one path... We even had that for a while, but Tobi was unable to control the Jubi... And in the end, the one who had it was the only one we couldn't defeat. And now that he defeated us, he's become the perfect creation, the one we've strived to become for so many years... The new Sage of Six Paths. First it was the older brother's defeat against the younger, then it was Madara's defeat against Hashirama... This time it was Naruto redeeming Sasuke and becoming the perfect being!... Will the power of hatred never prevail?!
Furious that the plan failed so near the final, beaten by the only man they couldn't defeat, this mysterious voice slowly retracted as Black/White Zetsu set their eyes once again on world domination.
White Zetsu: Now that all the paths and beasts are gathered in Naruto, we only need to bring him down to achieve the real Eye of The Moon plan, and for you to take his place. But at our current condition, we can't achieve nothing. There is no way to beat him now... We'll have to wait and let the time do its bidding. However, when the time is right, then-...
Black Zetsu: We will finally set the operation Tsuki no me, The eye of the moon in motion once again, and our name will be feared throughout the land and we will be the rightful recreation of the Sage of Six Paths...
As night turned to day, the sun had already risen outside Naruto's bedroom as he woke up at the singing voice of some birds that had seated themselves in his open window. Stretching himself, Naruto turned around as he was about to face towards Hinata, but as he did however, he noticed that she was gone as he thought to himself that she must have woken up a bit earlier. Thinking twice about it however, Naruto began to question what time it was as he looked at his watch.
Naruto: What?! 3 PM in the freaking day?!
Getting up from the bed in an instant, Naruto quickly changed to his daily clothes as he grabbed onto the Hokage robe last, before storming out into the living room, only to find Hinata standing there as dinner was already served.
Hinata: Oh, you're awake Naruto-Kun... I figured since you just woke up from coma late last night, you wouldn't be able to sleep right away, so I thought I would let you sleep for as long as you'd like.
Naruto: But I'm the Hokage, I have a job to do and-...
Hinata: Don't worry yourself about it, Shikamaru and Sakura already got that covered for you while you're recovering. Besides, you should be glad to have woken up so soon, so why don't you just take the day off? Dinner's already served, and it's afternoon by now too.
Naruto: Yeah... I suppose you're right. And Jiraiya and Kushina?
Hinata: Jiraiya is already out training with Mito, Hiruzen and Yamato. I believe Kakashi and Gai were also suppose to join them today.
Naruto: I see.
Hinata: And I just recently put Kushina down to bed again... Here.
Giving him a plate, Hinata then sat down on a chair as well as the two of them began to eat dinner. A half an hour later, as the two of them were doing dishes, someone suddenly knocked on the door. As Hinata opened the door, she started whispering with the person that was at the other end, as he quickly hurried inside, closing the door behind him.
Naruto: Oh, Iruka-Sensei.. What are you doing here?
Iruka: Oi, Naruto, I thought I would check up on you to see if everything was fine.
Naruto: Yeah, everything is great, although I really feel like training or something...
Iruka: Haha, I take it that you're full of energy now that you're up and running again.
Naruto: Yeah, I suppose... By the way, what was that look you gave Hinata just now when she opened the door??
Naruto: No... Nothing like that, haha, it seems as there is something going on, might sharing??
Iruka: Oh that, yeah... Actually, I thought we could take a quick walk down to the graveyard... I guess you haven't had the chance to say goodbye to Tsunade and the rest?
Naruto: Damn, you're right about that...
Getting a sad expression over the realization of Iruka's words, Naruto firmly agreed.
Naruto: Okay, I'll just get done with this dishes first, then we'll-...
Hinata: Don't worry, I'll take the rest, the others are wait-...
Suddenly preventing herself from finishing her own sentence, Naruto looked at her with a puzzled look.
Hinata: Ehehe, nothing...
Naruto: Okay, if you say so, thanks.
Reaching over to her, Naruto kissed her on her chin as he put his Hokage robe on and followed Iruka out the door.
Naruto: ?! Everyone...
Everyone: Welcome back Hokage-Sama!!
As Naruto and Iruka stepped out the door, a large mass of people met them as they all applauded Naruto's quick recovery, showing how much they cared for their Hokage.
Naruto: I... *Sniff*
Iruka: It's alright Naruto, go ahead!
Giving him a push from behind, Iruka sent Naruto into the crowd as massive celebration erupted. The streets were literally filled with people coming to see him, as Naruto was completely surrounded.
Peasant: Thank you for saving the world from Tobi and Kabuto, Hokage-Sama!
Peasant 2: We're so happy to have you back!
Peasant 3: Thank the heavens that you're alright!
Peasant 4: You are the greatest shinobi to ever live, I knew a simple coma wouldn't be the end of you, Hokage-Sama!!
Naruto: Oi, guys-... Hey?!
Not having much choice other than to accept, Naruto was lifted up in the air and tossed up and down as the celebration continued.
*2 Hours Later*
Naruto: Damn, there was no need for this Iru-...
Peasant 5: See you later Hokage-Sama!
Naruto: ...Yeah, later!... As I was saying, there was no need for this Iruka, but thanks anyways.
Iruka: Haha, I figured the people wanted to see their Hokage, now that you are back on your feet again.
Naruto: Gehehe, yeah I suppose...
Iruka: Alright then, still want to go to the graveyard?
Naruto: Yeah, sure...
As the two of them went down to the graveyard, Naruto passed by the different graves to the likes of Tsunade, Shikaku, Inoichi, Choza, Neji, Tenten, Kiba, Shino, and other fallen Konoha Shinobi, as he paid his last respect. As he was at the final grave, Iruka took to the word.
Iruka: You know... When the Kyubi attacked Konoha, and your father, the 4th, sacrificed his life among many others who died that day, Hiruzen, the 3rd, rose a memorial stone in their honor... What do you think of raising a new one, in the honor of those who died in this war?
Naruto: Hmm... You know what, that's an excellent idea, I'll make sure to bring it up with Shikamaru!
Iruka: Thanks... Anyways, I have some other things to take care of at the Academy, you don't mind, do you?
Naruto: No, not at all, you've already devoted a lot of time for me both this day and the previous, we all have things to do after all. Besides, I might go over to the Hokage-Mansion and see Shikamaru and Sakura as well.
Iruka: Well, you're the Hokage after all, plus, you once were my student too, hehe.
Iruka: Right then, I'll be going for now... Talk later, Hokag-...
Naruto: Please, just continue to call me Naruto, Iruka-Sensei.
Iruka: Aha, right... Well then, later!
Taking his leave, Iruka slowly walked up the stair as Naruto looked up to the sky, setting his eyes on a bird that flew by and straight towards the Hokage-Mansion.
Naruto: Well then, guess I should get going as well.
Shikamaru: That's right, if we let her have the four chickens, they should be able to settle their argument..
Sakura: Right, let's see... Four Chickens to...
Shikamaru: Huff, this sure is troublesome taking care of personally, especially without Naruto and Tsunade around... Well, I guess you can just get used to it Sakura, you will probably be Naruto's second adviser from now on.
Sakura: ... And two dogs to... Huh? What did you say, Shikamaru-San?
Shikamaru: I said-...
Sakura: Oh, who can that be?
Shikamaru: I don't know, why don't you open it?
Sakura: Alright, but I don't see why they just don't come inside??
Proceeding over to the door, Sakura opened it, however, to her surprise, there was no one there.
Sakura: Oh, there's nobody here?
Shikamaru: Nobody there you say??
Sakura: Eh?? It's not the door, Shikamaru...
Shikamaru: Oh, guess it must be the window then...
Standing up to see out the window, Shikamaru looked high and low, but there was no one to be found.
Shikamaru: Ehm, there's no one here either...
Sakura: Are you sure? Maybe it was just the wind then.
Walking over to the window, Sakura too looked out the window.
Shikamaru: Meh, I suppose you're rig-...?!
Out of nowhere, both of them felt a hand landing on each of their shoulders as they, in a blink of the eye, suddenly found themselves standing on top of Naruto's Hokage stone monument.
Turning quickly around, there was no one to be found, as neither of them understood what was going on.
Shikamaru: Flying Thunder God I take it... Naruto, where are you?!
Looking up towards the top of the cliff, Shikamaru and Sakura saw Naruto standing on the top of it, waving down to them.
Sakura: What are you doing?! Why have you-...
Star-struck, Sakura jumped into the air as she lost the block she was writing on as several papers got caught into the wind, sending them flying far and wide. From behind her, Naruto suddenly stood as he grabbed onto her shoulder again, as the Naruto on top of the cliff disappeared in a cloud of smoke.
Shikamaru: Kage Bunshin eh...
Sakura: Naruto!!! What the hell are you doing?!
Enraged by Naruto's childish behavior, causing her to lose all of the papers she had in her hand, Sakura turned around to face him as she lifted her fist in the air towards him.
Naruto: Sakura-Chan, it was just a practical joke...
Taking a step back, Naruto almost fell of his own stone monument head, as Sakura was furious at him.
Shikamaru: My, oh my, just be careful so that you don't knock him into another coma, Sakura...
Sakura: I won't, just some minor bashing will do...
*Five Minutes later*
Back in the Hokage-Mansion, Shikamaru had seated himself in the Hokage chair once more, as Sakura was standing next to him, writing down on another piece of block. Naruto however, was sitting by the window-frame with a bag of ice to his left eye, as his entire face had swollen up due to Sakura's beating.
Sakura: *Kremt* Where was I...
Shikamaru: Sakura, why don't we just call it a day? I mean, we've been her all day, more or less, and now that Naruto is back, we could-...
Sakura: Do you want a beating as well??
Terrified at Sakura's mean look, Shikamaru didn't dare propose slacking off again.
Naruto: So, you've been here all day then... I didn't see you among the rest earlier...
Shikamaru: Yeah, we were meaning to go, but we've had a lot on our hands since we got back, and then there's the Kage meeting in Kiri in less than a week...
Naruto: Kage meeting?!
Sakura: Yeah, haven't you heard yet??
Naruto: No, I... Coma, remember??
Sakura and Shikamaru then began to explain to Naruto what happened after Naruto passed out when he captured Kabuto, Shikamaru's suggestion for the Jonin Commanders, what they decided to do with Sonia, that Shikamaru had temporary picked Sakura as the second adviser, something in which Naruto agreed fully on, as well as discussing what Naruto wanted to do with his Defense Squad.
Naruto: I see... Well, I personally wouldn't have chosen anyone else than you Sakura either. So I guess Shikamaru really knows me well after all these years, haha. In fact he seems to always be one step ahead of me.
Shikamaru: Don't give me more credits than I deserve Naruto...
Naruto: Hehe, yeah but you do deserve it... Anyways, so Konohamaru has a team tracking Sonia's movement... If she decides to do anything suspicious, make sure you move in right away.
Sakura: Right, Konohamaru is already aware of this.
Naruto: Good. As for picking three Jonin Commanders, I couldn't agreed more... I'll make sure that I'll get the Daimyo's approval for this... Regarding my Defense team... *Sigh* I'm not really sure... From the top of my head, I may want to include my son Jiraiya's team, and-... or even Kakashi and Gai. I'll have to give that some more thoughts.
Shikamaru: Yeah, might be a good thing.
Naruto: And then there's something Iruka suggested... I think we should raise a new Memorial Stone, in honor for the fallen Shinobi in this war.
Sakura: A new Memorial Stone?
Shikamaru: Well that's not a bad idea, I'll see what I can work out then.
Naruto: Excellent... So, if there's a Kage meeting in a few days, I guess we need to start preparing for it... Please lay all other concerns aside, we should write down a report on everything that happened, and gather personal reports from the surviving Shinobi.
The three of them then started to make preparations towards the meeting that was about to find place.
*Less than a week later*
Having arrived in Kiri once more, Naruto, accompanied by Shikamaru, Sakura, Konohamaru and Kakashi, was the last Kage to arrive to the meeting. As he greeted the guard and approached inside the village, towards the staircase up to the recently fixed Mizukage-Mansion, Naruto got a lot of eyes looking his way, as if they had seen a ghost and couldn't believe what they saw.
Naruto: Why is everyone looking our way??
Kakashi: Well, the hero of this war has returned I suppose, and everyone would have a glimpse at him.
Naruto: Haha, yeah I doubt it...
As they approached the stair, they heard some mumbling further up ahead, as it almost sounded like the Kage meeting already had started without them. Walking through the door, Naruto was met with mutual joy by the rest of the Kages.
Gaara: Naruto, you're up and running I see! Glad that you could make it. Shikamaru, Kakashi, Sakura, Konohamaru, well met.
Nodding back at him, the Konoha convoy proceeded towards the Kage table as the rest of the Kages spoke out as well.
Killerbee: Great to have you back bro, it would have been lame if you had died like a mofo!
Sasuke: I knew you wouldn't go down that easily...
?: I don't believe we've met yet, allow me to introduce myself.
As Naruto approached the table, the new Mizukage reached his hand out, greeting him.
?: My name is Yukimura Terumi, and I'm the brother of the late Mei, and the 6th Mizukage of Kiri.
Naruto: Nice to meet you, and I'm so sorry for your lost...
Yukimura: It's alright, come, have a seat with us.
As the five of them seated down, the rest of those who had accompanied the Kages stood firmly by their place. Spotting Temari standing over by Kankuro, Shikamaru went over to her to have a brief talk with her as the Kages continued their meeting.
Yukimura: Alright, now that everyone is here, the official meeting might begin. Gaara, do you have the list over the notes that we need to conclude in this meeting?
Gaara: Yeah I do... Okay, the main concerns of this meeting are as follow;
Looking down on a piece of paper, Gaara then continued.
Gaara: Deciding Kabuto's fate, as well as the Alliance future goals and purpose... We've already gathered and shared our reports on the events of the war, so we all should be updated there...
Sasuke: That's right...
Naruto: Hey, didn't you just become the real 5th Tsuchikage Sasuke??
Sasuke: Yeah, what about it?
Naruto: Hehe, I knew you would take the position after being the active one for a short time, congratulation.
Having a big smile on his face, Naruto was happy for his friend who bluntly gave off a smile back, as Killerbee took the word.
Killerbee: Kabuto is temporarily locked up here in Kirigakure, but we should move him to a more secure prison... having him here, won't make him listen.
Yukimura: You're right... What about Kumo? Don't you have one reserved for the greatest of crimes?
Killerbee: Yeah we do, we should move him there too.
Sasuke: Just wait a minute! I don't mean to question your decision Naruto, but is it so wise to keep him alive?? I mean, wouldn't it be better if we-...
Gaara: Killed him you say?
Sasuke: Yes! It's a high risk keeping him a prisoner, and the chances of him escaping are-...
Yukimura: I don't mean to be rude, but weren't you, Sasuke, in a similar position before?
Sasuke: What did you say?! I... that was nothing like it!
Gaara: Hey, calm down both of you, no need to raise your voice... I don't mean to go personal, but I do believe he has a point Sasuke...
Sasuke: Tch... Fine, well then you decide.
Tossing his feet up on the table, Sasuke didn't seem to care much about the other Kages seemingly grouping up on him.
Naruto: Bee, are you sure that prison will be able to keep him there?
Killerbee: It's a top secret prison-facility with security grade at five, I don't believe you will find a prison that fewer people escape alive. In fact, no one ever has...
Sasuke: But this is Kabuto after all, if anyone can do it, it's him... But don't mind me though, I'm just saying.
Still having his feet tossed onto the table, speaking out in a carefree attitude, the Mizukage seemed a bit bothered and perplexed over Sasuke's behavior.
Gaara: I guess it's settled then, unless anyone has any objections to it?
Concurring to the decision, the five kages agreed that it was the right thing to do, as Sasuke didn't seem to have a choice in the matter.
Naruto: Now that we have that out of the way, I actually have something that's been bothering me for awhile, ever since I woke up from the coma... I've already mentioned it in my report, in section 7, page 355.
Grabbing on to their respectively pieces of paper, the Kages began to read what it said.
Gaara: I see, well yeah that might be a problem.
Sasuke: I don't believe that there is any way for Tobi to get resurrected through his soul-transferring technique again, as you literally turned his body to dust. Such a technique must have a downfall, as a reload time or a limit, and it most definitely need preparation to be completed. I doubt he had time to activate it, and besides, wasn't it already mentioned that Tobi needs the Black Zetsu to complete this ritual?? I thought Kabuto already confirmed this to you?
Naruto: Yeah, but it's still something to keep in mind, it wouldn't be the first time he's done so, like the time when you killed off his previous body, right after our fight at the Valley of the End... And it's better to take precautions than to be sorry afterwards...
Yukimura: You're right, maybe, as time passes, Kabuto can share some more details on his time with Tobi...
Naruto: And another thing, from what I could read in your reports, none of you have a clear view on what happened to Zetsu, right?? Last time I sensed his presence, was when I was in the Cave of Ordeal fighting Kabuto...
Killerbee: We've already set our best search squadron on the task, at least Zetsu's not wearing a mask.
Gaara: And they will act with intentions to kill at sight if capture is deemed impossible...
Yukimura: Indeed... While we're at it, the Mist has taken the opportunity to completely rid itself of the Seven dreadful swords after the Suigetsu incident, so from here on and out, there will no longer be any Seven Swordsmen of the Mist again.
Sasuke: So what did you do with the swords?
Yukimura: We terminated them...
Gaara: So, now that, that's out of the way... Maybe we should start discussing what the new purpose of the Alliance should be?? If there's come one good thing out of these two wars, then it's the fact that the five great shinobi villages are now standing together as one unit... We should continue our cooperation and see our villages prosper to greater heights than ever before as a new era of peace is about to begin... So even if the war is finally over, we should not forget what we've learned from each other.
Naruto: You sure are right about that...
Gaara: And because of all this, we should perhaps...
Taking a pause in his about to be suggestion, Gaara then continued.
Gaara: ... Elect a Sekaiteki-Kage (Global Shadow), one that will have the final say in decisions regarding our Kage meetings and our continuous cooperation.
Killerbee: You mean like a leader of leaders, one to rule them all, one that has the final call?
Gaara: Yes... Instead of just having a leader in the crises of war, like your brother, A, was in the past one, we should elect a permanent one, a position that is not affected by the Kage role of our respectively villages.
Yukimura: So you're saying that, the Sekaiteki-Kage, can't be both Kazekage and Sekaiteki-Kage at the same time for example?
Gaara: Close, but not exactly... What I'm saying is that, regardless of his or her role as Hokage, Kazekage, Mizukage, Tsuchikage or Raikage, the Sekaiteki-Kage don't need to be the Kage of his or her village, but he can if that's what he or she so desires... For example, if you were to become the Sekaiteki-Kage, Yukimura-San, you could either decide to continue to stay Mizukage of your village, or elect a new on to take your place there... If you decide on the latter, you will not only be the one to take the final decision on the Kage meetings and have a vote extra compared to the rest of the Kages, but you would also be the true leader of your village, having the rule over your Mizukage...
Sasuke: This sounds just like being a Daimyo (Feudal Lord) or something Gaara... Are you sure this is necessary?
Gaara: As I was hinting at, this is just an idea I had, a suggestion, feel free to add to it or discard it completely.
Yukimura: I don't think it's a bad idea, but if we were to choose one, the one that takes upon the role, should act accordingly, meaning that the role should be more formal than the ordinary Kage role... Something more like a Supervisor...
Gaara: I've already taken this up with the Daimyo of the Wind Country, and he concurred that it was a great idea... Though his thought on the matter was that the Kage, would be in charge of the Village, the Daimyo would be in charge of the Country, while this Sekaiteki-Kage, would be in charge of the Joint Shinobi Alliance, and the five great villages in general, meaning that the Daimyo would also report to him or her...
Yukimura: I see...
Gaara: The Sekaiteki-Kage's role, would be similar to the role of the late Mifune of the Samurai, as he or she would act as a neutral part, taking his or hers village identity aside.
Naruto: But won't this, in the end, neglect the purpose of the Daimyo?
Gaara: Not at all, as the Sekaiteki-Kage would have his or her say in actual Kage meeting, where no Daimyo are present... We should probably run this idea through with the rest of the four county Daimyo as well, as the Wind's Daimyo has already agreed upon the suggestion.
As Gaara had proposed his initial thoughts on the idea of a Global Kage, the Mizukage ordered in some televisions and some other high tech equipment.
Yukimura: Alright, everything should be set now, begin the transmissions.
As each of the four Daimyo of the Fire, Water, Lightning and the Earth Country appeared, Gaara began to lay his idea out in front of them, just the same way as he already had laid it out to his own Daimyo, of the Wind Country... A half an hour later, the Daimyo all agreed upon the same decision as the Mizukage ordered the TVs to get removed.
Yukimura: Well then, I guess that settles it...
Gaara: I knew they would be reasoned with in the end.
Sasuke: Though you might add that they only agreed for the Sekaiteki-Kage to be needed in high leveled matters, that a simple Kage meeting like this wouldn't need one, and that the role of the Sekaiteki-Kage, other wise would apply like you stated before... Meaning that the Daimyo only will seek his or her's counsel when the matter is out of their reach and when it's no longer a national matter, but a world-wide one...
Killerbee: So I guess this means that we have a green light, to give this Kage some special might.
Yukimura: Well, I personally don't have much experience as Mizukage yet, so I don't think neither I, or anyone from my Country, is qualified for such a position... Though if Mei was still alive, I would have recommended her... What about you Gaara-San? You're the one who's been a Kage the longest of us, and you're also the one that came up with this idea.
Naruto: I agree with Yukimura, the role would suit you Gaara...
Gaara: Actually... I was thinking about you, Naruto...
Naruto: Me?! But why, you are way more qualified than I am, and besides I-...
Gaara: You were the one who single-handily took down Tobi and sealed the Jubi inside you, and-...
Hearing this, Sasuke shook his head as he didn't seem to like the fact that Gaara totally ignored that he too did a major part bringing Tobi down, and that it wasn't Naruto alone who did all of the job.
Gaara: ...Sasuke, something bothering you?
Sasuke: Heh, no by all means, go ahead...
Gaara: And Naruto, you were the one that took care of Kabuto and most of his Edo Tensei, even managing to over come the resurrected form of the Sage of Six Path himself, and practically walk as his reincarnation... If anyone would fit this role, with no offense aimed at you others, it would be you.
Naruto: I... First of all, both Killerbee and Sasuke helped me deal with Tobi, secondly-...
Killerbee: Gaara's right, you did that with your own might! Both Sasuke and I originally died in the war, but you brought us back, leadership that all of us others lack.
Sasuke: Ahh... I hate to agree with the rest, but I suppose they are right, Naruto... Yukimura and I just became the official Kages of our own villages, the way I see it, it should be either you, Gaara or Killerbee that takes this role... You've been in this game longer than us anyways.
Killerbee: I'm too old for that shit, Naruto, Gaara, you two decide which one of you are more fit.
Gaara: I've already said my mind... Naruto?
Still not sure what to say, Naruto turned around towards Shikamaru and Sakura for advise. After exchanging a few words with them, Naruto turned around as he faced the other Kages again.
Naruto: Alright, I suppose I don't have a choice then...
Gaara: Good, then it's settle... Uzumaki Naruto... You will be the first Sekaiteki-Kage of the Joint Shinobi Alliance! And as a proof of this, we hand the five Treasured Tools of the Sage, over to you... After all, you're the only one among us able to wield them anyways, and if anything, you probably know what to do with them to keep them out of the wrong hands.
Having regained the three final tools, stolen from Tobi and kept by Kabuto during the war, after Kabuto's eventually defeat, the alliance had temporarily stored them at Kiri, as well as bringing the two tools they still had in their possession after the temporarily break up of the war sixteen years ago...
Naruto: I will, do my best, to fulfill my role... Thanks guys for believing in me!
A few days later, Naruto and his convoy were back in Konoha as the Kage meeting had come to an end. Naruto had been selected Sekaiteki-Kage, and handed over the 5 Treasured Tools of the Sage, completing the collection with the 6th and final tool, that he already had in his possession after sealing the Jubi inside himself. Additionally, with the Master Sword already in his collection, Naruto had really turned into a powerhouse without no equal. Kabuto had been shipped of to the high security prison of Kumo, and peace finally seemed to thrive for the first time in a long time... Still perplexed about Zetsu's whereabouts, Naruto had a feeling that he would need to seek some answers, answers that he only could get from one place.
Naruto: Konohamaru... Do you mind accompanying me to Mt. Myobokuzan?
Konohamaru: Oh, what for? We've just recently got back in Konoha, why do you need to go over there?
Naruto: To get answers...
Konohamaru: To what??
Naruto: You'll see... But I'll be bringing the 5 Treasured Tools with me.
Thinking back to his encounter with the Sage, as well as what the Great Toad Sage had previously told Konohamaru and himself about the just ended war, Naruto knew that he had to seek the old Toad out for some new advice.
Konohamaru: Alright then, then let's go... Hey by the way, I was meaning to ask you... Your Rinnegan...
Naruto: What about them?
Konohamaru: When Pain invaded Konoha all those years ago, and when Madara was revived during the last war... I can't remember seeing them being able to turn their Rinnegan on and off, like the Sharingan does... I thought it was more permanent, like the Byakugan??
Naruto: These were awaken naturally, instead of being transplanted... That's why Kakashi's Sharingan always is on, while I'm able to turn my Rinnegan on and off... Madara on the other hand, was an Edo Tensei, so he wouldn't have no reason to turn them off.
Konohamaru: I see...
As the two of them were walking into the forest in the outskirt of Konoha, Naruto halted by a tree.
Naruto: Alright, I think this should be far enough... Are you ready?
Konohamaru: Yeah, I am... Are you sure you have everything with you?
Naruto: Yeah, let's go!
In a matter of seconds, the two of them were gone.
Shima: You're not eating enough Pa, at this rate, you will get thin and-...
Fukasaku: Don't tell me how much I should eat Ma! I think this is quite enough...
Shima: No, you need to eat more of my delicious soup, or you'll never get this flu cured!
Fukasaku: Alright, alright.
Taking a scoop with the spoon, Fukasaku continued to eat his dinner as a large cloud of smoke suddenly appeared beside the two toads inside their house.
Shima: Wha-...?! That's...!
Fukasaku: Naruto-San, and Konohamaru-San??
Naruto: Hey you guys! Are we interrupting anything?
Shima: No... although Pa has come down with a flu, and I'm trying to make him feel better with my soup.
Naruto: I see.
Shima: I don't see why you appeared inside our house at this hour though...
Fukasaku: Yeah, anything up kids?
Naruto: Now that the war is over, I need to talk to him...
Fukasaku: Hmm... Well normally you only talk to him when summoned, but I guess since you are the one you are, he might have something to say.
Konohamaru: Then let's go then!
Not long after, the four of them were standing in front of the Great Toad Sage once more, as Naruto greeted him.
Naruto: Honorably Geezer, I've come before you to-...
Great Toad Sage: I know why you have come, Naruto-Kun...
Fukasaku: Old Geezer?? You seem...
All of a sudden, it seemed as if the old Sage was cured of his obliviousness and was no longer demented. He was speaking clearly for the first time in ages, and he seemed to be perfectly able to remember who Naruto was this time around.
Great Toad Sage: He told you to come before me, didn't he?
As he said, something triggered in Naruto's memory.
'"There are so many thing I could have told you about my life, so many things I could have asked about yours... However, the memory of my life and what I experienced, still lives on within the Jubi and the Great Toad Sage of Mt. Myo... The state I left him in was a defense mechanism, so that no one would know of my life, of my feats and fails... Not until someone worthy came before him."
Naruto: So that's why he has such a bad memory, why he sometime seems so... Oblivious and demented??
"Haha, yeah, although some of that may come from his old age I suppose... Naruto, I must ask you... How far are you willing to go to obtain true peace and break the curse?? What are you willing to risk??"
Naruto: I'm willing to do whatever needs to be done...
"I see... When this is all over, I want you to seek him out, the Great Toad Sage, tell him that you're ready to Fulfill your Destiny... and that you are ready for the final test... Tell him about our meeting..."
Naruto: To Fulfill my Destiny?
"Yes... Those are the magic words..."
"I truly believe that you are my successor, the one destined to fulfill the task I left behind... I believe in you, Uzumaki Naruto, and I know that you will find the key to peace eventually... Never stray from your path, never give up, never pursue foolish ambitions... Claim the Master Sword your own, and follow your heart... Now don't forget what I told you, and be careful of my attacks..."
Naruto: I will, you can count on me Old-Man-Sennin!
"Hehe, it seems that something good came out of this after all, just as HE predicted. I'm glad we got this opportunity kid... When we meet again, I'm sure you'll be one step closer to achieving that goal, that dream, the dream left by your Sensei, Jiraiya..."
Naruto: Who's he?? And how did you-...
"Our time is running out now it seems... This will be my final parting gift to you... Here..."
Walking over to Naruto, the Sage laid his hand carefully on Naruto's head as the white bright light of the Skyworld dimension, of the room around them, suddenly vanished.'
Naruto: The Great Toad Sage... I'm ready to Fulfill my Destiny, I'm ready for the final test...
Great Toad Sage: Then come before me, reincarnation of the Sage, and let me bestow upon you the key to unlock the Sage's knowledge... The parting gift he has left you with...
Konohamaru: Hey wait just a minute, what exactly is going on??
Shima: This is what the prophecy of the old foretold...
Fukasaku: The reincarnation of the Sage... You will just have to wait Konohamaru-San.
Konohamaru: Alright then...
Obviously a bit worried and perplexed about what was happening, Konohamaru took a step back, while Naruto stepped forward in front of the old toad.
Great Toad Sage: Kneel before me, Uzumaki Naruto, and let me give you access to what you desires.
Kneeling down in front of the old toad, Naruto looked up on him before closing his eyes as the Toad stood up on his feet, for the very first time in ages. Amazed to see this, both Fukasaku and Shima looked anxiously as the older toad laid his hand upon Naruto's head. As he did, a bright light appeared as Naruto's Bijou Mode turned on. Blinded by the bright light, the rest covered for their eyes as the light slowly began to dim down again. Just as it did, Naruto opened his eyes again and suddenly found a old looking book in the grasp of his Bijou arms, reaching out in front of him, as his Staff of Fortune and Destiny was in his right hand, the Master Sword was in his left, and the five remaining Treasured Tools were floating around him in the air. Then, the Bijou Mode retracted, and Naruto was standing in his natural form again as the book, the staff and the rest of the tools were gone. The Master Sword was holstered on his back once again.
Great Toad Sage: The past and the future has now been synced...
'Great Toad Sage: This man will tie past with future and become... complete.
Great Toad Sage: Hmm... It's unclear, but this man will then meet several people from the past, people he knows... And together move on towards the future.
Great Toad Sage: Meeting those from the past will call upon an important choice by this man. Then...
Great Toad Sage: Uzumaki Naruto... You will bring upon the period of the Three Great Toad Sages.
Great Toad Sage: When the three new sages are ready, when your legacy is ready, you will be ready, Uzumaki Naruto. That is all...'
Konohamaru: What happened to the treasured tools of the Sage??
Shima: They are now synced with Naruto's Bijou Mode... Just like the 6th Treasured Tool, the Staff of Fortune and Destiny...
Great Toad Sage: Study the Founding Book of Jutsu... Grasp and learn the same secrets the Sage learned... You are now complete, but it is still not the right time for you to take your final trial... It is still not the time for you to make the important choice you are destined to make... The one that will seal the future of Peace... First, your legacy must be prepared... Your legacy must be ready... for you to be ready...
Naruto: But I am ready! The Sage said that I had to-...
Great Toad Sage: Not yet... Patience young human... The period of the Three Great Toad Sage are not upon us yet... You will have to find the missing two... and to help you with this, the first new Sage, Sarutobi Konohamaru, will lend his assistance...
Naruto: The Sage spoke of a man who had predicted the two of us meeting... Who is this man?
Great Toad Sage: Hmm... You don't need to ask questions you already know the answer too... The Sage's knowledge has already been transplanted to you, his memories, his knowledge... You still have to grasp and learn though...
Realizing that the parting gift was knowledge, Naruto suddenly knew who he spoke of...
Naruto: The Wizard of the old...
Konohamaru: The Wizard?
Great Toad Sage: Yes... The one who bestowed upon the Sage the Founding Book of Jutsu and the Staff of Fortune and Destiny... the mysterious being of ancient times...
Naruto: ... What do I need to do to find true, eternal peace? What must be done, what is the key to peace?
Great Toad Sage: Once your legacy is ready... once you're ready... Once you've made that important choice and fulfilled your destiny... the two of you will meet... The Wizard holds the answer you seek....
Naruto: What is this choice I will have to make?
Fukasaku: You will have to wait Naruto-San, he said it's too early to-...
Great Toad Sage: If you must know... The Wizard is the one that will give you the choice... A choice of life and death, a choice that only can be made by you... That is all.
Konohamaru: What about the other Sages? Where do we look?
Great Toad Sage: One is in the Land of Fire... A promising young man with much to accomplish... the next Hokage of Konoha... Someone you know...
Konohamaru: Someone we know?
Great Toad Sage: And the other... is not of this world yet... Only time will tell who this person is... But, he is of both Uchiha and Uzumaki blood...
Naruto: Both Uzumaki and Uchiha blood?... But... There is no bonding between the Uchiha and Uzumaki... Our clans are almost extinct...
Shima: Looks like you two will have to be patient... Just like Jiraiya-San once were, having to roam the land in his search...
Great Toad Sage: Uzumaki Naruto, Sarutobi Konohamaru... when the two final Sages are ready, come before me again... Until then.
As he said, the old toad suddenly went silent as he seemed to be dozing of.
Naruto: Old Geezer??
Great Toad Sage: ZzzZzz
Konohamaru: Did he fall asleep?
Great Toad Sage: Huh?! Who are you standing in front of me...
Naruto: It's time to go Konohamaru...
A few minutes later, Naruto, Konohamaru, Shima and Fukasaku were back at the two toads' house as they were discussing the latest events. Knowing that he had a lot of work in front of himself, Naruto then rose to his feet.
Naruto: Yosh, time to head back Konohamaru! The 2nd Sage can't be far away, I can feel it!
Konohamaru: Right, let's head home then.
Shima: Take care then, both of you!
Fukasaku: And don't destroy yourselves searching.
Waving goodbyes, Naruto and Konohamaru were gone in a flash as a cloud of smoke was left hanging in the air. In the next second, Naruto and Konohamaru found themselves inside the Hokage-Mansion as the door suddenly blasted open.
Konohamaru: Alright, we're bac-...
Jiraiya: So here you two are!! I was wondering where you went after you came home from the meeting dad... Remember our appointment?
Naruto: Oh shoot! I completely forgot!
Jiraiya: No way...
Konohamaru (In Thoughts): Jiraiya??... Could it be...
Naruto: Ehm, can we do the training tomorrow instead son? I really have to do somethin-...
Konohamaru: I'll take him.
Naruto: But, I need you to-...
Konohamaru: You may not need to look further my friend...
Naruto: !! That's it!
Konohamaru: Gehehe, so you've figured it out too then?
Naruto: Of course I have!
Jiraiya: Hey, what are the two of you rambling about??
Naruto: You're a genius Konohamaru!
Konohamaru: Well, the moment we transported back here, it really was obvious, wasn't it? I mean, who was it that came through the door just as-...
Before he could finish, Naruto reached his hand out to a book on the desk in front of himself which had the title of "Konoha Shinobi Track List" on it.
Naruto: If we look through the list of our most promising Shinobi, we will surely find him!
Konohamaru: I... That was not what I-...
Naruto: I'll begin right away then...
Konohamaru: Geez, fine... I'll take Jiraiya to the training ground meanwhile.
Naruto: Excellent! Is that okay for you Jiraiya?
Jiraiya: I don't know what the two of you are so worked up over, but sure, I could use some training from a man I actually have the abilities to beat.
Konohamaru: What was that??
Jiraiya: Nothing, let's go...
Heading out the door, Konohamaru quickly followed.
Naruto: Later then...
Jiraiya: Are you coming or not?
Konohamaru: Yeah, yeah, I'm on my way...
Jiraiya: Then let's go!
Sprinting down the corridor, Jiraiya almost disappeared from Konohamaru's sight.
Konohamaru: Hey wait up a minute, running is not allowed inside here!
Jiraiya: Whatever you say...
Konohamaru (In Thoughts): Could it really be that it's Naruto's own son that is the next Sage? And if so, how come Naruto isn't able to sense or see that? Whatever it is, I just have to follow my hunch on this one...
As the two of them disappeared out of the Hokage-Mansion, Naruto started to do some notes as Shikamaru walked in.
Shikamaru: So here you are... Did you get the information you wanted?
Naruto: Yes, the Great Toad Sage has given us his guidance once more.
Shikamaru: I see... So is this related to what you are doing??
Naruto: Yeah, although I'm a bit busy to fill you in right now.
As he said, Naruto had scribbled down three names on a piece of paper.
Shikamaru: What are those names for anyways?? And why are you looking into our Shinobi record?
Naruto: These three Shinobies... Will be my first three students!
Shikamaru: What?! But you're our Hokage, you can't go around so carefree, I mean, who's going to do the paper work, who's going to-...
Naruto: That's why I have you and Sakura for! Now that the war is over, I'll need to do as the prophecy had foretold.
Shikamaru: Yeah, but we still need the Hokage to officially sign the papers, I mean-...
Naruto: I'll start my search right away, and Konohamaru will be helping me, so I need you to act as Hokage while I'm off work... Can you do that??
Shikamaru: What, act as Hokage, what do you mean?
Naruto: You'll know where to find me, and I'll notify Sakura on my way over there... If there is any emergencies, then notify me.
Shikamaru: Wait just a minute, who said I even would do-...
Naruto: Glad I can count on you.
Laying his left hand on Shikamaru's left shoulder, Naruto was gone in a flash.
Shikamaru: Geez, how troublesome... Sigh, I wasn't meant to do paper work.
Walking around the desk, Shikamaru then sat down in the chair as a woman stormed in the door.
Woman: Good day Hokage-Sama, here's today's paper wor-... Shikamaru-San?? Where is Naruto??
Shikamaru: I'll handle the paper work from now on as Naruto, the Hokage, has other business to attend to...
As the woman dropped the paper work on the desk, she then walked out the door again as Sakura entered in.
Shikamaru: That was fast...
Sakura: You don't say... Is Naruto really going to become a sensei and take three students under his wing? That hasn't happened since Sarutobi Hiruzen was Hokage, and back then he had Shimura Danzo to help him out...
Shikamaru: Well, it's his will, so I guess we might as well comply. Shall we?
Seating herself down next to him, the two prepared to start the day of work. Meanwhile on the training ground however, three promising students who had just graduated from the academy were standing patiently, waiting to see who their sensei was going to be.
Jin: So... I wonder who this fellow might be anyways...
Heihachi: I really hope it's someone cool, like one of the two Legendary Fangs of Konoha!
Asuka: You mean Hatake Kakashi or Might Gai??
Heihachi: Yeah, that would have been cool!
Jin: I don't think the two of them takes students anymore...
Heihachi: It would be so cool to have the teacher of the Ninjutsu academy, Kakashi, as our sensei! I mean-...
Jin: That's probably why they rarely take in new students anymore, as they're too busy at the Jutsu Academies... And besides, you're only saying that because you went there Heihachi...
Heihachi: But still! Would you rather have Kurenai then??
Jin: Yeah, she rocks at the Genjutsu Academy, so I don't see why not!
Heihachi: Blah, Genjutsu is boring if you ask me...
Jin: What was that?!
Asuka: Hey calm down you two... Besides Jin, haven't you paid attention?? Gai stepped down as the Taijutsu Academy teacher long time ago, it's Rock Lee who teaches there now...
Jin: Shoot! That's right, maybe we'll get Gai after all then!
Heihachi: Yeah, that would have been awesome!!
Asuka: I would still have Lee as our Sensei though...
Heihachi: You're just saying that because you have a crush on your teacher...
Asuka: I do not! We're only twelve years old for God's sake, blah! How can you say something like that?!
Heihachi: Fine, I know that the person you really like is Jira-...
Asuka: Shut up you baffon!
Jin: Come on, enough already...
Asuka: Ehehe, you're right, let's just wait and see who it is then...
Heihachi: He's late...
As the three of them were looking around, still waiting for "their to be" sensei, they suddenly spotted two persons approaching them.
Jin: Wait, someone's coming this way!
Jiraiya: Hey, it's you three! What are you doing here??
Jin: Unlike you, we still need a sensei... We weren't lucky enough to be trained by both Gai, Kakashi and Yamato...
Heihachi: Hey, no need to be hostile Jin... So, are you going to train with Konohamaru-San?
Jiraiya: Yeah, my dad let me down so I had no choice...
Konohamaru: What's up with your attitude Jiraiya?? You should be glad that I'm even bothering to do this...
Jiraiya: Yeah, yeah, let's go.
Walking further out on the training field, Jiraiya and Konohamaru disappeared from talking distance.
Heihachi: He's gone now Asuka...
Asuka: What... did... you... say... something?
Jin: I don't understand why you like Jiraiya anyways? His team of Mito and Hiruzen always had the easy way out...
Asuka: But he's so great, and he's already a Jonin... I-...
Heihachi: Someone else is approaching us.. Maybe that's our new Sensei?
Jin: No, that's just Iruka-Sensei...
Iruka: So you are still waiting huh...
Asuka: What are you doing here Iruka-Sensei?
Iruka: There has been some change of plan... You see, originally you were suppose to be trained by... Your sensei was suppose to be...
Jin: Spit it out already...
Iruka: Kiba Inuzuka, but as you know, he died in the war, and because of the war in general, we've had to delay the whole process of appointing Sensei to our graduates...
Asuka: No way...
Iruka: But the one that had been elected as your sensei, has been replaced by the request of the Hokage...
Heihachi: Replaced?? What are you-...
Jin: At the request of the Hokage??
Asuka: Yeah, what's going on??
Iruka: One at a time... Gai was originally suppose to be your sensei, but...
Asuka: What?! Are you for real?? That would have been a dream for me, as that would have helped me grow in my Taijutsu abilities...
Jin: May I ask why he was replaced??
Iruka: He was replaced because...
?: Because I wanted to train you personally...
Suddenly, a voice was heard behind them as a man appeared from nowhere.
Iruka: So you're here... Well then, I'll be taking my leave.
As he say, Iruka continued on his run as he walked over towards Jiraiya and Konohamaru's direction.
Naruto: Yes, I'll be your Sensei... But first, you will have to take these from me...
Jin: I can't believe it... Are we going to be trained by the Hokage himself?!
Reaching his hand out, Naruto was holding onto two bells.
Naruto: You are promising indeed, but promise is not always enough to prosper...
Heihachi: This is awesome! We can't fail team!
As Naruto began to explain the test, Jiraiya looked rather grumpy at the other side of the training field.
Jiraiya: So he's going to train some Genins now huh?!
Konohamaru: Hey, take it easy with that! You might hurt someone!
Snaring Konohamaru, Jiraiya smashed a Rasengan into the ground, creating a massive hole.
Iruka: What's the matter Jiraiya??
Jiraiya: My dad never had time to train me personally, giving Kakashi, Gai and Yamato the responsibility he should have taken himself... Even after I became Jonin, even after he promised me that he was going to change, and care more for my training, he now goes on and take three Genins under his wings?? I can't believe it... Oh well, guess I'll have to show him then!
Forming a large Rasengan in his hand, Jiraiya charged straight for Konohamaru as Konohamaru saw no other choice than to answer with one of his own.
Iruka: Hey watch out!!
A large explosion appeared as the two of them blasted in opposite directions. As the smoke slowly began to clear, Konohamaru removed his arm as he was covering his face with it. As he looked up, he saw Jiraiya standing right above him stretching out his hand.
Jiraiya: You're not yourself this day Konohamaru-San...
Grabbing a hold to Jiraiya's hand, Konohamaru was pulled to his feet again.
Konohamaru: Smart ass... Don't take your rage out on me, besides, you're not thinking clearly. You see, you're actually missing out on what's happening here.
Jiraiya: Am I now?
Reaching for a water bottle, Jiraiya wasn't really convinced by Konohamaru's words...
Iruka: Huff... Make sure you two don't destroy each other now, I got to go anyways.
Jiraiya: Right, later Iruka-Sensei.
Taking his leave, Iruka then headed back to the town as Konohamaru continued.
Konohamaru: It's a long story... So actually, just let me show you instead.
Jiraiya: What do you mean??
Konohamaru: Your dad and I have big plans for you, it's just that he doesn't know himself yet... You've already mastered toad summonings, right?
Jiraiya: Yeah... What about it?
Konohamaru: Let me take you to Mt. Myobokuzan, to take your training to a new level... If I'm right in my suspicion, you might be the next...
Jiraiya: The next what?
Konohamaru: The next Toad Sage...
* 7 Years Later *
Having traveled a long way from Konoha, Naruto found himself in Kumo to visit an old acquaintance.
Guard: Alright, it's right through this way Hokage-Sama.
Heading through several steel doors and layers of barriers, Naruto suddenly found himself in the deepest place of the most secure Shinobi prison of the world as one door remained in front of him.
Guard: Just let me know if you need anything... And in case of emergency, I have Killerbee-Sama two clicks away.
Opening the last door for him, Naruto then proceeded inside as he stepped into a dark room with no light other than what came from the four torches hanging on each side of the room. From the shadow of the dark, a man suddenly stepped forward towards him as a vicious smirk met his sight.
Kabuto: This sure is one interesting visitor to get around this place, Uzumaki Naruto-Kun... *Smirk*
Being restrained by chakra-draining chains to the wall, Kabuto was just out of the reach of Naruto as the light from the torches was reflected in his new glasses.
Kabuto: So may I ask, after seven whole years... What exactly is it that brings you... before me?
Naruto: I'm seeking answers...
Kabuto: Answers?? And what questions, is it that someone like me have the answer to that hasn't already been answered?
Naruto: I came here to ask why...
Kabuto: Why?? Why what exactly?
Naruto: Why you lost on purpose in the past war...
Kabuto: Lost... on... purpose? LOST ON PURPOSE?!!
Pulling his chains as far as he could, Kabuto reached all the way up to Naruto's face, enraged by the statement given before him.
Kabuto: What exactly is it that you're implying here??
Naruto: You easily had many chances to finish me off in our battle, you even gave me time to recharge my chakra, a chance to speak to several important Shinobi from the past, even the Sage himself... Yet, you said you were trying to capture me, for a reason that did not make sense... Then at the end, you decided to surrender... All of this... Why? Not only that, but the way I see it, you could have easily escaped from this prison if you wanted as well... What is it that's holding you here, and more importantly, why...
Kabuto: Kehehehehe, muhahahaha, what bar did you stop at before coming here? Those acclaims of yours are out of this world...
Naruto: Just don't Kabuto... I can see through your lies... Just please, no more lies... the truth for once.
Kabuto: Fine... Everyone has their own purpose I suppose... After our fight, I've-... You know what, what's the point??
Naruto: What do you mean?
Kabuto: Why have you even come all this way for something so ridicules as this, after seven whole years... What's the point? Surely, there is something else you really came for, so just spit it out already...
Naruto: ... Right... Zetsu... You are the one who worked with him and Tobi... If anyone should know what's he's up to, and where he is, it's you...
Kabuto: And what makes you think I would help you? And what makes you think I would have anything to say in the matter?? Just leave me be... My life is already over...
As he said, Kabuto then emerged back into the shadows as the only thing that was seen of him was the reflection of the light in his glasses.
Gaara: Yeah, that's indeed a good move, but...
Killerbee: Damn, that surely was a scam!
Gaara: Haha, you should be more patient with your moves.
Up at the Raikage-Mansion, Gaara and Killerbee were playing a round of Shogi as Naruto came walking into the room.
Gaara: You're back already??
Naruto: Yeah, he...
Killerbee: Anything, nothing that made him sing?
Naruto: Nah, no luck... Besides, I don't think he knows, and even if he did, he wouldn't have any need to tell us...
Gaara: I see... Well then, you traveled here all for nothing Naruto...
Naruto: Nah, I did get to spend some time with you though.
Killerbee: Here's an idea that will make you delay, let's have a sparing match before you're on your way! All three of us.
Naruto: A sparing match eh??
Gaara: Geez, are you for real Bee? Unless we go all out, we won't have a winner...
Naruto: Fine, then let's do go all out!
Killerbee: You better hide you fools, as I'll make you my tools!
Standing up from their chairs, the three of them were ready to go.
Kurotsuchi: Alright, Miyuki are you ready soon?
Miyuki: I'm ready alright, no worries... Itachi!
Itachi: I'm on my way, just relax!
Mu: You guys are too slow...
Miyuki: Says the one who only has Ninja toys to pack...
Mu: Hey, I don't only have toys to pack!
Kurotsuchi: Get your stuff into the stagecoach and get ready to move, your father should be here shortly.
In Iwa, something was definitely going on as the Uchiha family seemed to be on the move. At the Tsuchikage-Mansion, Sasuke was doing some final business.
Sasuke: Well then, thanks for everything Ritschi... I'm sure you will honor your brother's memory to the fullest.
Ritschi: Thanks Sasuke, although I don't have the same stubbornness as Kitsuchi had, haha.
Sasuke: I'm sure you will do great as the 6th Tsuchikage, even though it's only been a week still.
Ritschi: Are you really sure that this is what you and your family wants Sasuke? You will always be welcomed here in Iwa.
Sasuke: Yeah I'm sure... It's been in the plans for a long time, and I've already talked things through with Naruto...
Ritschi: I see... Well then, I guess this is goodbye for now.
Sasuke: Right, take care then.
Saying his goodbyes, Sasuke then proceeded back home where his family was already packed up and ready to go.
Kurotsuchi: You're back...
Sasuke: Yep, I'm sure everything will be fine... Are you really sure you want to leave Kurotsuchi??
Kurotsuchi: I'm sure... Besides, I'm certain uncle Ritschi will do fine... Not only as the new Tsuchikage, but without me too, haha.
As the two of them got into the stagecoach, the Uchiha family then took off as they rolled down the street. On their way over to the gate, a bunch of people had gathered around to bid their 5th Tsuchikage farewell, and one of them was Akatsuchi.
Akatsuchi: I guess this is farewell then... Take care my friends!
Kurotsuchi: See you later, and don't forget to stay fit!
Akatsuchi: I will, don't you worry.
Sasuke: Later then!
As the stagecoach drove out of the main gate, the people that had gathered to say goodbye waved them off as the sun on the sky began to fall behind the mountain-tops.
Jiraiya: You're home early...
Naruto: Yeah, I figured I wouldn't stay for too long... At least not after I whooped Gaara and Killerbee's asses, haha.
Jiraiya: Oh really now...
Naruto: Besides, we should train some more tomorrow, as I'm certain you almost have Sennin Mode mastered any moment now... And when you have, you'll hopefully be able to pull off the Rasenshuriken correctly!
Jiraiya: Yeah, yeah, no problem!
Naruto: Haha, you always were cocky when it came to your own training.
Jiraiya: Yeah, well ever since you and Konohamaru started training me in Sennin Mode, I haven't looked back at all!
Naruto: That's the spirit! I'll tell you what... The day you manage to master Sennin Mode and become an official Sage, then that is the day you will be ready for new challenges, as we discussed...
Jiraiya: Oh?! Really?! Hah, then I guess I'll have to hurry up then! At this rate, I'll become Hokage before you did dad!
Naruto: Haha, well you're nineteen now, so you got about a year to pull it off.
Jiraiya: Hehe, shouldn't be a problem! By the way, weren't you suppose to take your students on a mission soon?
Naruto: Well, they just came home after accompanying me to Kumo, so I figured that they should get some days off, especially after Asuka complained about we hurrying back to Konoha... Jin and Heihachi were really pumped to get back though, as I don't really think they fancied our trip there too much. Asuka is already a Jonin, but Jin and Heihachi are still Chunin... So yeah, I guess they should have learned a lot on this trip.
Jiraiya: I see... Well, they sure had and still have a lot of promise, although they never managed to keep up with my team as both Hiruzen, Mito and myself already passed the Jonin exams.
Naruto: Well, don't forget that you were a special case... You are my son after all. Besides, I never became a Jonin or even a Chunin myself you know.
Jiraiya: Haha, yeah... I guess no one can take the feat of going straight to Kage away from you dad...
Hinata: So why are you home early anyways??
Naruto: Hinata, you're still awake?
Hinata: Yeah, I heard you when you came, so I figured I would greet you before I fell asleep.
Naruto: I see.
Standing in the door-frame of their bedroom, Hinata looked at Naruto with her cute, kind-looking eyes as Naruto smile back at her.
Naruto: Well, the reason I am home early, is because we'll have some new members added to Konoha's citizens, early tomorrow...
Hinata: What do you mean?
Naruto: Sasuke and his family... are finally coming back to Konoha.
Miyuki: *Yawn* Are we there yet?
As the bright sun rose from behind the horizon, Miyuki was yawning deeply as she awoke from her sleep. Behind her in the stagecoach, Itachi, Kurotsuchi and Mu was still fast asleep as Sasuke was steering the ride.
Miyuki: So what does it look like? Konoha I mean... It's not full of rocks and stones like Iwa, is it?
Sasuke: Haha, no it's not... Actually, it's far from it... Just look.
Pointing forward, a new sight came into the view as the forest gave way for a village hidden in the leaf.
Miyuki: Is that Konoha?!
Sasuke: It sure is, and it's also the place I was born-...
Sasuke: ?! Wha-...
Out of the blue, Naruto suddenly sat beside Sasuke on the stagecoach as both he and Miyuki almost jumped into the air in surprise. Halting the horses, Sasuke started yelling at him.
Sasuke: What on earth are you doing?! Trying to give us a heart attack?!
Miyuki: Is this the Hokage?
Naruto: Haha, I sure am! Your father never was the type to like surprises anyhow.
Miyuki: Damn what an awesome technique! What is it called??
Naruto: Oh, you're interested in my teleportation technique??
Sasuke: It's called space-time technique, Naruto...
Naruto: Yeah, yeah, well it's called Flying Thunder God if you must know!
Miyuki: Whoa, that's awesome! Hey dad, how come you don't have such a technique?
Sasuke: I... Let's just get inside the village shall we?
Itachi: *Yawn* What is all this noise?
Mu: Someone's here??
Kurotsuchi: Oh, are we here already?
Naruto: So this is your family I take it...
Sasuke: Yeah, this is Miyuki, and the two boys sleeping back there are Mu and Itachi-...
Itachi: We're not sleeping anymore dad...
Mu: Yep, we're awake already.
Sasuke: And this is my wife, Kurotsuchi... I believe you two have already met?
Naruto: Most certainly have.
Kurotsuchi: Well met, Naruto-San.
Reaching his hand out, Naruto greeted the four of them as he jumped off the stagecoach.
Naruto: Alright, let me lead you inside!
Grabbing on to the horses' reins, Naruto then lead them inside the front gate as three singing birds greeted them at the front gate.
Sasuke: Not a single soul to see huh...
Naruto: Well, it's still only 7 am in the morning though, not that many awake yet.
Sasuke: I see...
Naruto: So how does it feel to be back??
Sasuke: Rather strange actually...
Naruto: Well, I already have your apartment set up and ready for you to move in, just as we discussed.
Naruto: So how old are you anyways kids??
Miyuki: I'm seventeen, so is Itachi.
Itachi: Yeah, we're twins actually...
Mu: And I'm seven years old!
Naruto: I see... Well then, you my young fellow, are at the same age as my daughter Kushina... And not to forget Gaara's son Ebizo...
Mu: Whoa, that's cool!
Naruto: Hehe, while Jiraiya however, is two years older than the two of you.
Itachi: So he's nineteen then... What rank is he??
Miyuki: So you have two children then... I wonder how this Jiraiya person looks like.
Naruto: Hehe, indeed I have... And he's a Jonin actually, how come?
Itachi: Just wondering...
Sasuke: This is it, huh...
Naruto: Yep, this is the place.
Kurotsuchi: Not bad... not bad at all! I think I might like it here.
Jiraiya: Hopefully you will!
Standing on top of the roof on the house in front of them, Jiraiya then jumped down as he landed beside the stagecoach. Reaching his hand out, Jiraiya started greeting them as he kissed Miyuki's hand, before giving her a rose.
Jiraiya: Here, take this miss, consider it a welcome gift.
Miyuki: I... *Blush* Thank you.
Mu: Are you?...
Jiraiya: Yes, allow me to introduce myself, my name is Jira-...
Jiraiya: Yeah, that's right!
Naruto: ... So what are you doing here Jiraiya??
Sasuke: Hehe, he's just too much like you Naruto... *Smirk*
Jiraiya: Well, I got curious after last night, so I thought I would have to see for myself. Besides, we were going to train remember?
Naruto: Oh, yeah I know that! Just give me a second or two...
Jiraiya: Sure, I'll be at the training ground if you need me then, Hiruzen and Mito were suppose to do some training there with Gai, Kakashi and Yamato anyways... See you later then, and nice meeting you all!
As he said, Jiraiya once again kissed Miyuki on her hand as he took off in an instance.
Kurotsuchi: Heh, what a kind fellow... He takes after you I suppose?
Naruto: Haha, not really I suppose, he's more like his mother, but still, Jiraiya always was a showoff.
Itachi: Seems cocky to me...
Itachi: Fine, sorry, or whatever...
Naruto: Haha, no need to apologize...
Miyuki: I think he's cute...
Mu: You think all boys are cute Miyuki...
Miyuki: I do not!
Sasuke: Alright then, maybe we should start packing out??
Kurotsuchi: Yeah, no reason not too. Besides, I guess you must be tired by now Sasuke, you were up all night after all.
Sasuke: I'm fine, no worries.
Naruto: Okay then, knock yourself out... I'll be at the training ground if you need me... Shikamaru and Sakura are at the Hokage-Mansion if feel like taking a stroll there, but other than that, welcome home, Sasuke...
Sasuke: Thanks... Alright, let's get busy.
Jumping out of the stagecoach, the Uchiha family started to settle into their new house. On the training ground, Jiraiya sat by a tree watching Hiruzen and Mito training with Gai, Kakashi and Yamato. On the sideline stood people like Rock Lee, Temari and Konohamaru, and it seemed like something big was going on, like a tournament or something.
Hiruzen: Alright Mito, let's take a break, shall we?
Mito: Right, water would be good anyways now.
Approaching the tree where Jiraiya was seated, the two of them sat down beside him as the rest of the ones gathered on the training ground grouped up out on the field, starting a conversation.
Hiruzen: So, did they appear nice?
Jiraiya: Yeah I suppose...
Mito: And Sasuke's daughter?? I hear rumors about her beauty... eh, eh??
Jiraiya: Oh shut it, haha, though bringing that rose seemed to be a smart move, thanks for that.
Mito: You're welcome.
Hiruzen: Did you kiss her hand like I told you to??
Jiraiya: Yeah, twice actually, haha.
Mito: Twice? Isn't that a little too much??
Hiruzen: So, was she hot??
Hiruzen: I'm sorry Mito, I'm just asking for Jiraiya's sake, you know you are the one for me, right?
Jiraiya: Well, to answer your question... she was the most beautiful girl I've ever seen in my life, except for...
Jiraiya: Except for you of course...
Hiruzen: Hey, knock it off Jiraiya, haha.
As the three of them started laughing, Naruto approached the group out on the training ground as he came towards them from the woods.
Naruto: So what exactly is going on today?? Why are all of you here at this time?
Gai: Naruto! I'm glad you could make it.
Yamato: You know us, nothing better to do, haha.
Kakashi: Heh, yeah...
Konohamaru: Actually, we were having a little tournament...
Naruto: A tournament you say?
Getting fired up by the idea of a tournament, Naruto opted to join in.
Temari: You know that wouldn't be fair, besides we're already at the semi-finals stage...
Rock Lee: Don't you worry though, it would be a dreamers fight to battle with you Naruto-Kun! Remind me to beat your ass later!
Naruto: Ehh?! Like you would be able to do that!! At least see that you win this tournament first then!
Rock Lee: Yeah... actually...
Temari: He's already out of it.
Naruto: Oh... Then who's in the semi-final?
Konohamaru: Me of course! These people are getting to old for me, hah.
Gai: Don't be so sure about that!
Naruto: Ehh?! Kakashi-Sensei, you're out of it??
Kakashi: I wasn't even in it to begin with... I couldn't go all out on these people you know.
Gai: Yeah, blame it on that! You know that I'm in the lead with this win, right?
Naruto: In the lead with what?
Gai: Our rivalry battle! The score is now 503-502!
Kakashi: You actually keep count huh...
Gai: Of course I do! Why wouldn't I?
Rock Lee: That's the spirit Gai-Sensei!!
Kakashi: Yeah, yeah...
Naruto: So who's the remaining two?
Yamato: Hiruzen and Mito... They are taking a break now as we speak... Even Jiraiya came over after the tournament started.
Naruto: Yeah, that reminds me, I'm going to train some Sennin Mode with him today... Good luck with the rest of your tournament.
*Half a year later*
Kurotsuchi: We need to go Sasuke, we can't just sit idle by while his funeral is... while Akatsuchi's funeral is... I
Crying into his arms, Sasuke was trying to comfort her as she let her tears go.
Mu: I really think we should attend the funeral...
Itachi: Then let's go then! I'm sure he would have wanted it so...
Miyuki: Actually, I can't...
Itachi: What do you mean you can't??
Miyuki: I'm going with Jiraiya to the crimson field today... We've been planning it for a week now... Mom, do I have to come? I didn't really know Akatsuchi anyways...
Kurotsuchi: If that is what you feel, then you don't have to go...
Miyuki: Alright, take care then.
Closing the door behind her, Miyuki left the house.
Mu: Today of all days...
Itachi: And so out of the clear sky too! Did they say what it was?
Kurotsuchi: *Sniff* No, I... I think it was some sort of illness, I'm not sure... Sasuke, what do you think? Should we go?
Sasuke: Fine, let's go then... I don't see why not.
As Sasuke, Kurotsuchi, Mu and Itachi arrived at Iwa, they were greeted by Ritschi.
Ritschi: Welcome back, Sasuke-San... How are you holding up Kurotsuchi?
Kurotsuchi: Okay so far uncle...
Ritschi: Come, let me take you there... The funeral is about to take place.
As the sadness and the tears had left its ache, the funeral came to an end as Sasuke and his family followed Ritschi to the Tsuchikage-Mansion. After a couple of hours, they were about to head back home when Mu spoke out.
Mu: Dad, Mom... May I ask you something?
Kurotsuchi: What is it son?
Mu: You know the place Itachi trained when he was younger??
Sasuke: Yeah, what about it??
Mu: Would it be possible for me to go there too?
Kurotsuchi: What?? Where does this come from??
Itachi: You want to go there?? Now why would you want that? That place is no good.
Mu: Because it seems to be the right thing for me to do, and I want to walk in your footsteps brother... You did learn to become a great shinobi there!
Kurotsuchi: But we've just moved to Konoha, don't you like it there?
Mu: Konoha has nothing to do with it at all... Everything is nice and all, but this is something I want to do... Dad, could I please go there?
Sasuke: I... If you go there, you'll be miles away from us, from your family, and you won't have a place to stay during the breaks the camp has every now and then. You would have to travel all the way over to Konoha each time.
Mu: But I could live at Granduncle Ritschi's place...
Kurotsuchi: But you're also younger than what Itachi was when he went there, and even then it took a lot of effort for him to be able to come through with it...
Mu: But this is what I want!
Ritschi: Well, this is up to you, but it's not a problem for Mu to live at our place when the Iwa Rockie training camp is on break... But like I said, it's up to you.
Kurotsuchi: Are you really sure about that uncle?
Ritschi: Yeah, it wouldn't be a problem at all...
Sasuke: Well, if that is what you want son, I don't see no reason to deny it... Just be sure to come visit though!
Mu: Right dad!
Itachi: Well, good luck then little brother, and whatever happens, endure...
Mu: Right, I will not disappoint you brother!
Kurotsuchi: My son...
Kneeling down to him, Kurotsuchi seemed to have a worried look on her face.
Mu: I'll be fine mom, don't worry.
Giving her a hug, the two of them held on to each other for a good time before letting go, as Sasuke and the rest of his family started to prepare for the home-trip back to Konoha. Waving them goodbye at the gates were Ritschi and Mu, as Kurotsuchi couldn't stop herself from crying.