The Legendary Sage of Konoha's Legacy 3 
An old Naruto artifact returns for some lost glory!!
The Legendary Sage of Konoha Series, All Previous Chapters [In Chronological Reading Order]:
The Legendary Sage of Konoha's Legacy, Chapter 3;
The Sword of the Thunder God:
Tadakatsu: Sasuke and Mugiwara huh... Sasuke!! Don't you do anything less than winning this, you hear me?!
Reaching his hand out and shouting out to him from behind the fence on the second floor, Tadakatsu seemed to actually be rooting for Sasuke for once, as his fight with Mugiwara was just about to begin. Retracting his right arm, Tadakatsu then crossed his arms together as he was standing there like a boss. Beside him on the right stood Magoichi, and on his left Noh. Beside Noh again stood Naruto, and lastly, on Naruto's left, Sakura. To their right a little further away stood Kenshin and Shingen, as their Sensei arrived and approached them. Below, the battle between Sasuke and Mugiwara had already begun as the Exam Master was watching them closely, just a few yards in front of Minato, Hiruzen and Mito.
Magoichi: Well, if Sasuke can win this, we'll have even more Konoha Shinobi in the Chunin Exam Finals... I guess that would be an advantage. Too bad that Nene, Musashi and Oichi didn't make it to the final stage though, just like Sakon, Leyasu and Ginchiyo didn't make it passed the first one...
Tadakatsu: Hah, it doesn't matter much though as in the end, it's every man for himself.
Magoichi: Tch... Ehm, yeah.
Watching the fight closely, Tadakatsu was finally able to measure Sasuke's skills as he was anticipating their fight highly. Still pretty shy and nervous, Noh tried to get Naruto's attention by gently poking him with her left hand as Naruto finally turned his attention towards her.
Naruto: Noh, what is it? I'm trying to watch my brother fight here...
Noh: I'm sorry Naruto-Kun, but, but...
Not sure whether or not to be confused at her shy attitude, Naruto had a happy and excited look on his face as her gentle tone and pretty looks made him smile.
Noh: I feel... Like I have to talk to you... I mean, in the last few days, ever since-... I haven't had the opportunity to do so.
Naruto: Sigh, fine, what is it?
Laying his right hand on her shoulder, Naruto then escorted her a few yards away as the two of them began talking.
Magoichi: Oh, I wonder what that's all about...
Tadakatsu: You wonder what's what abou-...
Still pretty focused on the fight, Tadakatsu finally turned his attention to his left as he saw Naruto and Noh talking privately some yards away from them.
Sakura: Who knows...
Magoichi: Probably nothing serious...
Turning their attention back towards the fight, the three of them didn't bother much.
Noh: Naruto-Kun... I...
Naruto: Don't be shy, you know you can tell me anything alright?
Laying his left hand on her shoulder, Naruto seemed very calm and reassuring.
Noh: It's just that... I've never... You know... Before... And I feel like... We haven't had the time nor chance to talk about what happened... I mean... I don't even know what you're thinking and...
Naruto: It's fine, I understand what you mean... Though the truth is that I haven't had much time to think about this myself yet... Can't we just... Wait until this fight is over, and then meet up and talk about it?
Noh: Yeah, I... Suppose...
Gently brushing his left hand up and down her cheek, Naruto gave of a comfortable smile. It was then that the two Konoha team's Sensei arrived as well, one being Jiraiya, Naruto, Sasuke and Sakura's grandfather, and Sensei of course, and the other, being Tadakatsu, Magoichi and Noh's Sensei. Someone which Jiraiya had a lot of history with.
Jiraiya: Damn, looks like we're late to the party...
Jin: Heh, you were always late Jiraiya...
Jiraiya: I was not?! It's you and your wife Asuka that's considered the late ones of our generations. In fact, Heihachi was the only one of the three of you that always was right on time.
Jin: Yeah, yeah, whatever...
Approaching the rest from the side, Naruto and Noh temporary halted their private talk as they too went with them over to the rest.
Sakura: Jiraiya-Sensei? Why are you here?
Naruto: It's not why he's here, it's why he's late!
Jiraiya: Haha, I'm here now nonetheless... Ah, I see Sasuke was picked for the first preliminary match against that Sand Shinobi.
Magoichi: The only Preliminary match actually...
Jiraiya: Oh? Only nine passed then?
Noh: Yes, that is correct...
Tadakatsu: Dad, what are you doing here?
Jin: Don't dad me, Tadakatsu, I'm your Sensei too you know!
Tadakatsu: You were always late as well, just like mom...
Jin: What did you say?
Together with Asuka and Heihachi, Jin was the final member of the team personally trained by Naruto himself in their younger days, and one of the few teams in Konoha of Jiraiya's generation that could match Mito, Hiruzen and his team in terms of strength and skills. Together with Asuka, they had three children, one of them whom also happened to be Jin's own student. Taking most traits after his father, Tadakatsu was already a man in his eyes. Although several years younger than his two older brothers, whom were both born eighteen whole years before him, Tadakatsu didn't let them mess around with him as he was already rivaling them in terms of raw strength.
Sakura: Well now that you're here, let's turn our attention towards the fight, shall we?
Jiraiya: Yes, great idea.
Looking down on the field, Jiraiya's eyes met with Minato as they both nodded formally at each other. On the field however, the fight was starting to heathen itself up.
Mugiwara: You're not bad, I'll give you that, but, I'm still going to win this fight!
Sasuke: You will try... But you will fail!
Mugiwara: Earth Style: Crushing Boulders of Pain!
Sasuke: Katon: Goukakyuu no Jutsu (Fire Style: Grand Fireball Technique)!
Releasing the trademark Uchiha technique, Sasuke's fireball went straight for the massive rocks as the two attack crashed head on between them, causing a massive smokescreen to deploy in the air. Still covering for his eyes, Mugiwara failed to spot Sasuke who was heading straight for him as he punched him straight across the face, sending him flying over.
Sasuke: You wont's be able to win! With these eyes, I can track your every movement! And now, to end this!
Focusing chakra in his hand, Sasuke was tempted to end it fast and efficiently.
Mugiwara: I won't let you! Doton: Doryūheki (Earth Style: Mud Wall)!
Smashing both his arms to the ground, four massive walls erupted from it, surrounding Sasuke on all sides, high up in the air.
Mugiwara: And now, I will end this!
Just as Mugiwara prepared another technique, Sasuke came smashing through the wall as he headed straight for him.
Sasuke: This is it!
Up on the second floor, the rest watched closely as memories from the past triggered in Jiraiya's mind.
'Jiraiya: So, are you ready for today? If you're going to take part in the upcoming Chunin Exam, I better try and learn you some real stuff, bwuahahaha!
Naruto: We sure are!
Sasuke: You bet!
Sakura: Well I suppose...
Jiraiya: These techniques I'm about to show you are extremely powerful and deadly, so they are only to be used in serious situations, got it?
Sasuke: Yeah, yeah, show us already!
As he said, chakra began forming in each his hands, one in the shape of a ball, and the other more complexed as lightning element was added to it.
Jiraiya: On my right is the Rasengan... And on my left, the Raikiri, or Chidori if you'd like...
Sasuke: Whoa, you know how to use both??
Sakura: The Rasengan and the Chidori... Two different types of attacks, but both with the same objective... The Chidori was invented by one of the Two Fangs of Konoha, Hatake Kakashi himself, and later passed on to his student and our great grandfather, Sasuke, whom you brother, are named after.
Jiraiya: That is correct. Kakashi actually taught me personally this technique as I was training for the Quarter-Finals of the Chunin Exam ages ago...
Sakura: And then there's the Rasengan, the trademark technique of our family, invented by the 4th Hokage Namikaze Minato himself, our great great grandfather, whom our father is named after... Hatake Kakashi also learned this technique, but he rarely used it as he preferred the Raikiri... Then, the 4th's Sensei, Jiraiya, whom you are named after Sensei, also learned the Rasengan before passing it on to Minato's son, Uzumaki Naruto, the 6th Hokage, whom you are named after brother.
Sakura: If I'm not mistaken, Naruto taught the Anbu Leader, Sarutobi Konohamaru, that technique, as well as you grandfather, or?
Jiraiya: Close, but that is not entirely true... Yes, Naruto was indeed suppose to teach me the Rasengan as a birthday gift for my 12th birthday, but due to time restrain, he never got time... In fact, Hatake Kakashi was the one to teach it to me, so I learned both to use the Rasengan and the Raikiri from him...
Sakura: Oh, I see... And you also taught your son, our father, the Rasengan as well?
Jiraiya: That is correct... Konohamaru-Sensei, your father and I... The three of us were all able to learn the next stage of the RasenShuriken later on as well, but that is a story for another time. So, what I'll be teaching you today, or at least, giving you the initial instruction to start out with, is to either learn the Rasengan or the Raikiri.
Naruto: We can only pick one??
Sasuke: Yeah, why do we have to choose?
Jiraiya: Haha, you can't expect me to teach you both at the same time now can you? At least not in a month's time, gwuhahaha, that would be impossible! It takes time to adapt to and learn only one of them, and besides, you need the lightning element to be able to pull off the Raikiri to begin with. If you can learn both over time however, you may be able to accomplish a lot, like combining the two.
Sakura: Hmm... I don't think I have the lightning element actually...
Naruto: I do, but regardless, I'll definitely be choosing the Rasengan!
Sasuke: Well then brother, I'll be taking the Chidori then!
Jiraiya: Both great choices... And what about you Sakura?
Sakura: Ehm, I need some thinking time before I can make up my mind...
Jiraiya: I see, that's alright.
Sasuke: What's there to think about if you don't have lightning affinity??
Naruto: If you can pull off the Chidori brother, while I'll be able to pull off the Rasengan, our team's strength will be even stronger!
Sasuke: Yosh! My blood is pumping already!
Jiraiya: Hehe, well then, let's get started, shall we?'
Jin: That is the Chidori, isn't it?
Sakura: The sound of a thousand birds...
Sasuke: Arrrrrrgh! Take this!
Almost taking a direct hit, Mugiwara only managed to slightly deflect the attack as it hit him in his right shoulder, sending him toppling over. Standing right above him, Sasuke was just about to prepare another one when a white towel came flying down from the second floor. Surprised to see this, the rest turned their attention upwards as Mugiwara's Sensei had decided to end the battle.
Mugiwara: What are you doing Sensei, I can still fight!!
Nobutada: There's no use getting yourself killed, consider that your lesson today.
Kenshin: What a pity Sensei...
Shingen: Guess we will have to continue on our own then...
Clutching his shoulder, Mugiwara forced himself up as the Exam Master pulled forth a flag and raised it in the air.
Exam Master: Mugiwara's Sensei has called the match off, the winner, Uchiha Sasuke!
A smile formed on Sasuke's face as he knew he had just been able to do enough without using too much strength as the rest of the Konoha Shinobi came down and over to them. Kenshin, Shingen and Mugiwara however, left the scene with their Sensei.
Tadakatsu: Not bad I suppose, but you need to do better than that to impress me... With such skills, you won't even touch a hair on my body, and yet alone be able to defeat me, Sasuke!
Sasuke: What did you say?!
Breaking his mood of confidence, Sasuke was enraged by Tadakatsu's comment as Jiraiya and Jin had to split them apart.
Jin: How arrogant are you my son?! There was no need for that!
Jiraiya: Heh, he's too much like you, haha!
Naruto: Well done Sasuke, I knew you could do it brother.
Sakura: Hehe, keep up the good work!
Giving him a pat on his shoulders, the two of them were proud to call him his brother as Minato came over to them while Mito, Hiruzen and the Exam Master left as well.
Minato: Sasuke, good job. In fact, everyone, you've done great. However, this is where the real challenge starts as the Quarter-Finals and the final stage of the Chunin Exam is upon us.
Magoichi: This will be interesting...
Tadakatsu: I can't wait to begin! When do we start?
Minato: Ehm, the actual finals doesn't begin before a month's time actually.
Tadakatsu: What?! But I want to fight now!
Sasuke: A month you say...
Clearly being upset having to wait a month, Tadakatsu then signaled his team to take their leave as the three of them left the arena together with their Sensei. Turning around as they were leaving, Noh gave off a smile to Naruto as he smiled back to her. Easily noticing this however, Sakura gave Naruto a serious look as if telling him not to do something stupid as he took a step back from her.
Jiraiya: What did I tell you son? I knew they were ready to participate in the Chunin Exam!
Minato: Well, there's still more to come, and we've only just begun... Father.
Sakura: So who will fight each other in the next round??
Minato: Haha, you will find out soon enough. For now, let's head home.
Taking their leave as well, the five of them were the last to leave the Tower of Death.
Ikari: Hehe, that Mugiwara kid was no match for your brother was he? I wonder what really happened to him afterwards...
Naruto: Well, there's more to come still so just hang on tight.
*One Month Later*
The day of the Chunin Exam Quarter-Finals had finally arrived. Sitting on a bench by some small trees in the middle of Konoha, early in the morning, Naruto and Noh were anticipating the events that would take place later in the day. The sun had barely woken up as the warm rays from it, shone through the leaves of the trees behind them, breaking the shades they had by their side into small pieces.
Naruto: So, the day has come huh... And I'm... I'm going to face off against that Sand Shinobi... What was his name again, hmm...
Noh: Shi-gen... Shingen you mean?
Naruto: That's his name!
Naruto: Oh, something the matter Noh? You seem a bit...
Noh: Seem a bit what? Naruto-Kun...
Naruto: I don't know... You're not worried are you?
Noh: No, I...
Naruto: Don't you worry though, I'll be rooting for you all the way Noh.
Giving her a reassuring smile, Noh was rather surprised by his faith in her.
Noh: But, but, your sister...
Naruto: Oh I'm sure she won't mind me rooting for you though, haha!
Noh: Ahh... Well yeah, I'll give it my best.
Naruto: Hehe, and so will I! I'm more worried about Sasuke and Magoichi's battle though, that one will sure be interesting!
Noh: Yeah, and... Tadakatsu and Kenshin...
Naruto: Hmm... Speaking of Tadakatsu, does he know, or does he...
Noh: ?? Does he what?
Naruto: You know, about...
Noh: No Naruto, I don't...
Leaning herself closer to him, she gently laid her hand his shoulder as she looked him into his eyes.
Noh: You can't expect me to read your mind you know...
Almost being taken back by her incredible beauty, Naruto lost his ground and completely forgot what he was suppose to say, so instead, he said something entirely else.
Naruto: Damn... You are beautiful...
Making the situation a bit awkward by losing his ground and saying such sudden words, Noh didn't know what to say as she was about to withdraw herself a bit away from him again when he suddenly reached out for her and kissed her.
It was as if time stopped still and that they both were transported back to that day in the Forest of Death. Not since that day had their lips met, and even if they hadn't slipped away from each other, they had previously agreed upon that they were just caught up in the moment. That was of course, until Naruto broke that agreement and went out to kiss her out of the blue. Their lips did not meet for long before she broke off from him, something which he again found surprising.
Naruto: Noh, I didn't mean to, I-...
Noh: Naruto-Kun... I thought we...
Turning away from each other for a bit, none of them were sure what to say as two familiar faces came by them.
Magoichi: Oh, you two are up early...
Tadakatsu: Noh?! What are... You and Naruto... What's going on really?
Still secretly in love with Noh, Tadakatsu, her teammate through the last two years, had never thought that she could get interested in someone else than himself, and seeing Naruto and her like this made him think that maybe, just maybe, she was beginning to slip from his grasp. Had he treated her the wrong way? Had he not done everything in his power to protect her, making her feel safe? Could Naruto be a possible rival that he had no idea he could have? All these questions began to flow through his head as his right hand formed into a fist.
Noh: What... are you.. implying? We're just... talk-...
Naruto: And what if something is going on??
Puzzled by Tadakatsu's sudden change of mood, Naruto got up to his feet, something in which Tadakatsu mistook for intent as he almost charged at him. Understanding Tadakatsu's feelings all too well, Magoichi knew how he would react as he reacted lightning fast and stepped in front of Tadakatsu to prevent a fight from breaking out, before he managed to.
Magoichi: Ehehehe, well now, let's not draw any hastened conclusions here Tadakatsu, ehehe.
Noh: What do you mean Magoichi??
Also getting up to her feet, Noh seemed to also be puzzled over his rapid change of mood as she was completely clueless to how he felt for her. The love triangle between the three and the soon to be rivalry between Naruto and Tadakatsu, were just now laying its founding blocks, as up until this point, Tadakatsu and Naruto's brother, Sasuke, were looked at as the two rivals of their generation. However, as from this day forward, the flute was about to play a different tune. As if the fact that Tadakatsu only had told his close friend Magoichi how he truly felt for her and not Noh herself, was not problematic enough to begin with, Noh had been secretly in love with Naruto for the last year without telling anyone, not even Naruto himself, not even when they seemed to be hooking up. And then, she agreed on the two of them just being caught up in the moment when they first kissed on their own will, and all this, made the whole scenario rather... Complicated.
Tadakatsu: Naruto... You... Are you trying to??
Tadakatsu: ARE YOU TRYING TO TAKE NOH AWAY FROM ME?!!
Drawing one of the swords from his back, Tadakatsu seemed raged as if he was going to try and kill Naruto. Knowing how bad this could turn out, Magoichi tried to push him away, but Tadakatsu quickly grabbed a hold onto him and tossed him several yards away as he went straight towards Naruto. Not really sure how to read his intent, Naruto refused to draw his sword as Tadakatsu was just about to reach over to him when Noh stepped in between them and slapped him across the face.
Noh: Tadakatsu!!! Have you completely lost it?!?!
Almost tumbling over on his back from the impact, Tadakatsu quickly regained his balance as he realized that it was her who had slapped him.
Tadakatsu: Noh, I...
Noh: What is going on?! What do you mean by take me away from you?!
Shocked by her sudden strong will to stand by her words, Tadakatsu began to take some steps backwards as she followed him.
Noh: No, you don't get to walk away from this, tell me!
Tadakatsu: Lady Noh, I...
Losing his balance, Tadakatsu fell over on his back as he lost his sword in the process.
Noh: Now you tell me you damn coward! At least give me that!
Tadakatsu: I, I... Forgive me, I...
He had never seen Noh act so strong minded before, he had never been so confused and lost in his entire life. It was as if they swapped characters as the big strong Tadakatsu suddenly became tiny in comparison to the lovely Noh.
Noh: Have you lost your tongue?! Speak up or remain silent!
Naruto: Noh, you shouldn't be so-...
Noh: Back off Naruto, this is between me and him.
Trying to calm her down, Naruto immediately realized that he was not to get involved as she turned her attention towards him, telling him to step away. Although appearing mad, Naruto could sense that she wasn't mad at him and that she was only telling him in a friendly tone, before she turned her attention back to Tadakatsu again.
Tadakatsu: There's nothing... To tell...
Getting back on his feet, Magoichi went over to him as he helped Tadakatsu up on his feet again. Grabbing his sword and holstering it on his back again, Tadakatsu seemed to have a weary look on his face.
Noh: Sigh, I just don't understand you, you-...
Turning around, she quickly realized what he meant as Sasuke and Sakura came walking towards them.
Sakura: Oh, something going on?
Tadakatsu: No, nothing at all, humph.
Taking a step to the side, Tadakatsu quickly regained his attitude as he turned his attention towards Sasuke.
Tadakatsu: You better not lose today Sasuke...
Sasuke: Heh, the same could be said about y-...
Tadakatsu: I never lose.
Bold, yet replied in a cold tone, Tadakatsu seemed more determined than ever before.
Sasuke: Heh, still as arro-...
Tadakatsu: And that, goes for you too, Naruto!
Pointing his finger at Naruto, Tadakatsu had a dead serious look on his face, as if signaling that he was after him. Not sure what to reply, Naruto stood idle by looking at him as Tadakatsu grabbed on to Magoichi, as if telling him that it was time to go.
Tadakatsu: Humph, I'll be seeing you two later today then... Noh, are you coming?
Turning around, he was as if expecting her to come along with Magoichi and himself, but to his annoyance, she did not tag along.
Noh: No, I'll stay behind a bit longer, if you don't mind...
Tadakatsu: Heh, fine then, do as you like... Not that I care.
Marching off, Tadakatsu seemed very mad and quite angry. Not daring to say anything else, Magoichi quickly followed as the two of them disappeared from view.
Sasuke: What was that all about?
Knowing Tadakatsu's attitude, Sasuke seemed a bit surprised by his increased arrogance and cold-hearted attitude.
Sakura: Ehm, so here you are Naruto, we've been looking for you.
Naruto: Oh? Why?
Sasuke: Oh, ehm... Father wants to see us at the Hokage-Mansion, something he wanted to tell us he said.
Naruto: I see... Well then, I'll catch up to you guys in a moment.
Sasuke: Geez, don't take too long then. Sakura, let's go.
Leaving the scene, Naruto and Noh watched as the two of them walked down the street. Guiding her back to the bench again, Naruto, indicating gently for her to sit down with him, watched as she hesitated for a bit before following him.
Naruto: So... I had a feeling Tadakatsu was...
Noh: What do you mean?
Naruto: What do I mean? Isn't it obvious?
Noh: No, I...
Naruto: The way he looks at you, the way he gets enraged when other does the same, the way he always feel like he has to protect you, the way he-...
Noh: Just stop it...
Naruto: What? It's the truth, didn't you-...
Noh: Naruto! Stop it please...
Naruto: No need to get upset, I just-...
Noh: I'm warning you.
Even with Noh having a mean look on her face, Naruto still pressed on.
But before he managed to finish his sentence, she suddenly jumped him as the bench they were seated on tumbled backwards, sending them flying into some bushes behind it as they landed in the middle of the spot surrounded by three small trees. Landing on top of him, she quickly laid her hand over his mouth as he was still trying to talk.
Noh: Are you going to be quiet?
Noh: Be quiet silly you, just... Sigh...
Gently letting her hand go off his mouth, she gazed at him as she almost got lost in his handsome eyes.
Noh: Don't talk...
Naruto: Hehe, are you going to let me go or what?
Noh: What if I don't want to?
Naruto: Huh, what do you mean?
Noh: This... I'm in power right now, I'm the one on top.
Naruto: Ehm, I could simply toss you off if I felt like you know.
Noh: Naruto... I would like to see you try, *Giggle.*
Grabbing a hold onto his hands, she pulled them behind his head as if signaling that she was in total control.
Naruto: Heh, you are one of a kind, aren't you... What if I like you on top?
Noh: Heh, Naruto you...
Noh: What was it that you said earlier to me?
Naruto: Earlier?? When?
Noh: Don't be silly, you know what I'm referring to...
A smile formed on her face as her face got even closer to his.
Naruto: I... I just said that...
Noh: Yeah? I'm waiting...
Just inches from his lips, Naruto almost felt like he started to have trouble breathing as he uttered his words one more time.
Naruto: Damn... You really are beauti-...
Already knowing what he was going to say, their lips then met as she kissed him passionately and to her heart's content. It was then that he finally understood his feeling as it surely was not something that was just passing by, but something that was meant to stay. Briefly halting their kissing, Noh then followed up by saying something she had been meaning to for a long time.
Noh: *Pant* Naruto... Earlier I called Tadakatsu a coward... But the truth is...
Naruto: The truth?
Noh: I'm not really any better...
As she continued to explain how she'd had feelings for him for the past year, Naruto was shocked to hear this as he started questioning why she then agreed that they were just caught in the moment before, and why she didn't tell him, something in which she simply replied that she was scared.
Naruto: I... I'm not sure what to say... Now what?
Noh: Now... Both of us have a Chunin Exam Quarter-Final to fight in.
Naruto: Yeah.. Guess I better get going before my brother and sister scolds me for being late.
Trying to get up, Naruto quickly got pushed back towards the ground again as she was almost refusing to let go of him.
Noh: No, I'm not done with you yet. Like I said, if you want me off you, you'll have to push me aside.
Still laying on top of him, holding his hands behind his head, Noh then bent her face down towards him again as she kissed him once more.
Ikari: You know, you don't have to... Tell me all the details.
Naruto: Bwuahaha, believe me, I'm not! You're too young for that just yet.
Ikari: Sigh... Just get back to the important parts please.
Sasuke: Damn, he's late again isn't he.
Sakura: Sigh, well that's our brother alright.
Minato: He's one his way, I can feel it.
Waiting in the Hokage Mansion, Naruto had still not appeared as it already had gone an hour since Sasuke and Sakura told him to meet them there. The clock was ticking towards 9 am, and the Chunin Exam Quarter-Finals were just six hours away. Writing down on some papers, Minato seemed to have a carefree attitude, when Naruto suddenly came through the door.
Naruto: *Pant* I'm here...
Minato: Like I predicted... Now, to move concern towards pressing matters.
Sasuke: Pressing matters?
Sakura: Sounds serious...
Minato: Well, it's actually not... That's why I want you three to handle it.
Naruto: Handle what exactly? You do know the three of us have Quarter-Finals of the Chunin Exam coming up later today to prepare for, right?
Minato: Yes, yes, this will only take a second. Shouldn't offer too much trouble for you, in fact...
Looking through his papers, Minato finally found what he was looking for.
Minato: Ahh, here it is.
Minato: In fact, it's just an easy mission.
Sasuke: A mission? I agree with brother, we don't have time for any mission right now, we need to start prepa-...
Minato: The Quarter-Finals doesn't start before six hours still...
Sakura: What's the matter with you two? What, you can't deal with a simple mission now?
Sasuke: Fine, we'll do it then.
As Sakura was shaking her head restlessly back and forth, Minato proceeded to lay out the details of the mission.
Minato: It's a delivery mission... An important document needs to be delivered to a small town further up north, and it needs to be delivered today. I'll assign a Jonin to your team as its leader for this mission.
Sasuke: What, grandpa Jiraiya couldn't make it?
Naruto: Oh, someone we know?
Minato: He's taking care of something else for me right now actually. Shigeru Takeshide, you may step forth.
From behind the door leading out to the corridor came a young man in his late 20s. He wasn't a famous lad of Konoha, but he was known for his passion of justice and honor. He was actually the son of Heihachi Takeshide himself, the teammate of Jin and Asuka.
Shigeru: At your service Hokage-Sama.
Minato: Much like your father Heihachi, you were always right on time Shigeru. I like that! Now, to meet and greet as you head out for this mission. I'll leave my kids in your capable hands, that will be all.
Shigeru: I won't fail, Hokage-Sama! Come, I'll debrief you three as we go.
Sasuke: I guess... that will do...
Leading out the door, Shigeru was quickly followed by Naruto, Sasuke and Sakura as they bid their father goodbye. A little while after in the outskirt of Konoha, Shigeru began mapping out the mission for the three of them.
Sakura: I see, well it should be a pretty standard and easy mission then.
Naruto: Blah, it's a boring one if you ask me.
Sasuke: Well, guess we can save our energy for the Quarter-Finals later today then.
Shigeru: Well it shall not be taken for granted nonetheless. So anyways, you three are the kids of Lord Hokage-Sama, and you've all made it to the Quarter-Finals of the Chunin Exam? That's not bad.
Sasuke: I hope this is not the part where you're going to say something like... What's to be expected of his kids, it must run in the family, all that crap, right?
Shigeru: Ehe, well, bloodline is not to be denied I suppose, but... Yeah. You know, it actually took me five tries before I was promoted Chunin.
Sakura: Five tries? You mean you've been in the Chunin Exam five times?!
Shigeru: That is correct... The four first times, I made it to the Quarter-Finals, where you three are now, but... Well, I needed a fifth try to make it to the Semi-Finals, and even then I... It didn't matter though, as all four Semi-Finalists got promoted that day so I finally made the cut... Nothing like my father who made it on his second try though...
Naruto: Five times you say?! How... Damn...
Sasuke: What? You suddenly start to doubt your own ability brother??
Naruto: Heh, hardly, but still... If the son of Heihachi Takeshide needed five tries...
Shigeru: Now, now, I never was a genius to begin with. In fact, I just recently became a Jonin. And Sasuke just said not to judge by family bloodline, so.
Sakura: Really now... By the way, I'm sorry for the lost of your father, he really was one of the strong figures of Konoha.
Shigeru: Yeah well thanks, it's still only two years since... The accident.
Shigeru: Anyways, we should get moving, no time to weep about the past, wouldn't you say?
Shigeru came off as a rather gentle and lenient guy. Unlike his late father who was very tall and muscular, Shigeru was a rather short and thin guy. He still possessed some strategies to make up for it, but his fighting skills could never be compared of that of his father. After his father died two years ago, Shigeru had become more dedicated to life itself and teachings on how to live it to the fullest, with every aspect that came with it. At the funeral, Jin and Asuka's two oldest sons, whom were trained by Heihachi, had made record long speeches as even Jiraiya, Hiruzen, Mito and Minato were present. To most people, the origin of the accident and the events surrounding Heihachi's death was a mystery, and Shigeru never really talked much about that fateful day, as he could not avoid feeling guilty, that he could have done more to help him. Even Jin and Asuka didn't talk much about Heihachi's death these days, as, as much as they were impacted by losing their long fateful friend and teammate, the whole deal around his death made them go pale whenever brought up. It was only the three of them and Minato, Jiraiya, Mito and Hiruzen who knew how it really happened, as they had decided to spare the details to avoid staining Heihachi's name.
Naruto: Yeah sure, shouldn't be too long to get there.
Shigeru: About an hour's walk each way...
Sasuke: Well then, I suggest we get going again.
Shigeru: Alright, follow me then and I'll lead the way.
About a half an hour later, the four of them had progressed close to their destination, though the mission they were on, would very soon take a different route than what they could ever have planned for. Halting his movement, Shigeru quickly realized that something was wrong.
Shigeru: Wait up a moment, something is off.
Halting abruptly, Shigeru seemed as if alert as Naruto quickly drew the Short Sword from his back.
Sasuke: What? It can't be enemies, right?
Activating his Sharingan, Sasuke also prepared himself.
Shigeru: I'm not quite sure, but there is something present here...
Naruto: Well if someone is looking for a fight, then bring it on.
Shigeru: It is not that... There is no one from the Alliance that would... And not any other groups that could...
Sakura: I'll use the Byakugan, to see if I c-..Ugh!
Out of nowhere, a masked man suddenly appeared behind her as he knocked her out unconscious, before grabbing a hold onto her and leaping off.
Sasuke: What the?! He got our sister!
Shigeru: You two, wait up!!
Leaping away, the two of them were already out of Shigeru's reach before he managed to stop them as four more masked men appeared around him.
Shigeru: Who are you people? What village would possibly revolt?
At this response, one of them stepped forward as he spoke out to him.
Masked Leader: We do not follow the Code of Shinobi, the Village System... That is why... We don't have any headbands you see, kehehe.
Shigeru: Then who are you, and what do you want?
Masked Leader: I'm afraid I can't tell you that... However.
Reaching for his back, the Masked Leader pulled forth a mystical sword that Shigeru immediately recognized.
Shigeru: That's...?! No, it can't be...
Masked Leader: You are right, this is indeed the Sword of the Thunder God... Once owned by the 2nd Hokage of Konoha.
Shigeru: But that is impossible! It was destroyed ages ago by the 6th Hokage and the 5th Tsuchikage?!
Masked Leader: It was, yes... But it's not destroyed anymore as you can see... It has been rebuilt! Or reconstructed you could say... As long as I have it, you won't be able to defeat me... You three, chase after those two kids and help out our comrade.
Signaling the three others to go, the Leader then readied himself for battle. Knowing that he couldn't let everyone down, Shigeru quickly prepared a strategy in his mind as he too readied himself.
Shigeru: I won't let you do harm to those I've been trusted protecting!!
Charging at him, the two of them clashed for several rounds, exchanging attacks and techniques, before the Leader suddenly got Shigeru's blindside, wounding him in the process. Not seeing any reason to finish him off, the Leader then retreated as Shigeru forced himself back on his feet.
Shigeru: I must warn Lord Hokage-Sama, I must get help!
Naruto: You bastard, get back here!
Sasuke: You can only run so far with her on your back!
Still chasing after the offender that knocked Sakura out, Sasuke and Naruto began to close in on him as the three other members suddenly caught up with them. In the chaos that followed, both Naruto and Sasuke lost tract of the one taking Sakura away, as the three others left a smoke-bomb, blinding them completely.
Naruto: Damn! They can't be gone?!
As the smoke cleared, the two of them quickly realized that they all had disappeared.
Sasuke: Don't panic just yet, look, they left a trail...
Looking down on the ground, Sasuke spotted their footsteps leading away as he scanned the area with his Sharingan.
Naruto: Sasuke wait up, it might be a trap.
Sasuke: Regardless of what they're up to, we still need to stop them!
Naruto: We are the kids of Minato the 8th Hokage, they might actually be planning to-...
Sasuke: Doesn't matter, let's go!
Leaping ahead in the direction of the tracks, Naruto had little choice than to follow his brother. Just a few minutes later, they arrived at an underground hideout as they snuck inside and took cover behind some rocks. Peeking forward, they then spotted Sakura being tied up just ahead, guarded by the four Masked Men. But before they managed to lay out a plan, Sasuke leaped out from the cover as Naruto tried to hold him back.
Sasuke: You bastards, you will pay for this!!
Masked Leader: Oh, so you followed us huh...
Not sure what to do, Naruto was just about to leap out as well to help his brother, when their Leader suddenly returned and appeared from behind Sasuke, knocking him out unconscious as well.
Naruto (In Thoughts): Shit, damn your irrational thinking Sasuke!
Realizing that it meant that their appointed Jonin, Shigeru, was beaten, Naruto had a worried look on his face, trying to figure out what do do with the situation as he took cover behind the rocks once more. The four other Masked Men then tied Sasuke up as well, as Sakura and him was still out cold.
Shigeru: This is bad, this is really bad!
Leaping through the trees, Shigeru was heading straight back for Konoha to warn the Hokage, while holding onto his left arm that was wounded in the fight with the Leader of the masked men. But before he managed to get too far though, he stumbled over a large toad as he fell flat on his stomach. Thinking that it was the enemy again, Shigeru quickly got back up on his feet, readying himself for what he thought was his doom, but luckily to his pleasant surprise, a familiar face came over to him.
Jiraiya: Who are you and why are you harassing my companion toad?
Getting even closer to him, Jiraiya suddenly realized who it was as he saw that Shigeru was wounded.
Shigeru: Jiraiya-Sama?! How glad I am that I found you here! It's bad, it's really bad-...Ugh...
Grabbing his wound, Shigeru seemed to be in pain as he was stressed to the limit.
Jiraiya: Calm down, here, have a seat.
Telling him to sit down, Jiraiya then continued.
Jiraiya: Now, what happened to you, and why is your arm wounded?
Taking a look at it, Jiraiya prepared some medical techniques as he began healing Shigeru's arm. While he was doing so, Shigeru began to explain the events of what had happened. Alarmed at this, Jiraiya asked him the only question he could think of as important for the moment being.
Jiraiya: No time to waste, can you make it back to Konoha by yourself?
Shigeru: Yeah I suppose, but-...
Jiraiya: Good, I'll help the kids out and find out what the heck is going on.
Shigeru: I'll help you out th-...
Jiraiya: No, it's too dangerous. What seals do they have on them right now?
Shigeru: What seals?
Jiraiya: Yes! What seals does Naruto, Sasuke and Sakura have on them right now?!
Shigeru: Oh, ehm... 67, 63 and 65, in that ord-...
But before he managed to finish his sentence, Jiraiya suddenly clapped his hands together as he disappeared in thin air.
Shigeru: The Flying Thunder God... Jiraiya-Sama sure is amazing. Oh, I need to head back to Konoha for heaven's sake!
Taking off in an instant, Shigeru was then on the move again.
Naruto (In Thoughts): What do I do? Think, think! This just can't be, not on this important day! I need to do something, and that fast!
Stressed to the breaking point, Naruto had no idea what to do as he watched the Masked Leader walking back and forth on the ground below him from a far. Peeking out from the rocks, Naruto felt like he had to do something, but if he didn't make up a plan, he would just get overwhelmed by the five masked men that had already taken Sasuke and Sakura captivated. As he was crouched down behind the rocks peeking out, he noticed that both Sasuke and Sakura slowly began to regain consciousness.
Sakura: Eh... What... just...
Sasuke: Uhm... ?!
Masked Leader: Oh, so the both of you finally decided to come back to us huh...
Sakura: What's the meaning of this? Who are you guys? And why have you tied us up like th-...
Sasuke: You damn bastards!!! Do you have any idea who we are?!
Trying to force himself out of the ropes that had been tied around him, Sasuke was furious to find out that he had been captivated.
Masked Leader: Hahaha, just as loud-mouthed as they say, your reputation precedes yourself young man. But yeah, I do know exactly who you are! Or rather, who's kids you are...
Sasuke: Just wait until I get out of these ropes!!!
Masked Leader: Oh, so you can do what exactly??
Drawing the Sword of the Thunder God, holstered on his side, the Masked Leader pointed it at Sasuke, who immediately stopped moving.
Sasuke: Wait, just...
Masked Leader: Hah, you fool... If I wanted to kill you I would have done so already... No, I have bigger plans for you. Although I do regret not being able to capture the last one of you...
Masked Leader: Oh yeah, that is his name! I wonder where he went...
Sakura: What did you do to our Sensei?!
Masked Leader: Oh him? Well I suppose he's heading back to Konoha now, but with that wound I left him with, he'll bleed out before he gets there...
Sakura: It can't be...
Sasuke: Just you wait you bastard, just you wait!!
Masked Leader: Easy, try to relax for a bit... Now, let's see what our next step should be...
Standing in front of Sasuke and Sakura who were tied up in front of him at the end of the underground cave, the Masked Leader seemed to be a determined, yet carefree guy. His four companions had seated themselves around a small table in the cave as they began to play some game of cards.
Sasuke: You can't seriously expect to get away with this! Especially trying to do a ransom with our father, that wou-...
Masked Leader: Ransom?? Heh, you mistake intent young one... Our plan is not to do a ransom...
Sakura: Then what on earth are you hoping to achieve?!
Masked Leader: Patience, I'm not ready to reveal anything yet...
Resting the sword on his right shoulder, the Masked Leader started to walk back and forth in front of them again as he pondered in his own thoughts for a bit.
Masked Leader: Our goal... Is to use the ongoing Chunin Exam as a decoy for an attack that will cause dispute between the five Kages of the Joint Shinobi Alliance, to start a war...
Sakura: There's no way you'll be able to pull that off, the Kages are too closely linked to each other to fall for such trickery!
Sasuke: Why would you try to do such a thing?! Why would you disturb the peace?!!
Masked Leader: I'm not done talking yet!
Pointing his sword at them again, Sasuke and Sakura went silent as he placed it back on his shoulder and continued revealing his plan.
Masked Leader: My reason... Our reason is simple... The five villages of the Joint Shinobi Alliance have too much power together, and like everything else of the past, it has to come to an end eventually. Even if the Alliance is extending itself slowly, but efficiently, the five villages will always be the true masters of this alliance, the super powers... And no one else that joins in will have a thing to say. They will be suppressed, they will be forced... They will be put in the shadow of the big five, taking away their potential to grow in size and strength.
Sasuke: How on earth are you going to pull this off if I may ask?
Masked Leader: I was just getting to that! You see...
Gathering himself for a bit, the Masked Leader broke out in an evil laughter as he once more pointed his sword at them.
Masked Leader: With the Sword of the Thunder God of course!! With it, I'll be able to turn the blame towards Konoha, due to it being a treasure of the ancient 2nd Hokage and of Konoha... With all of the Kages gathered there, I'll be able to plant the seed of hatred, making them believe that Konoha is planning a coup d'etat, to finish them all off in one swoop!
Not believing what he heard, Sasuke retorted back at him with an aggressive tone.
Sasuke: Hahaha! Don't make me laugh! That's the stupidest idea I've ever heard! Your plan will fail! It's way too hollow to work! The Joint Shinobi Alliance is too strong to be broken into pieces by something crazy as that! Not to forget, what can only five guys like you achieve with just a stupid sword that no one cares for?!
Masked Leader: Humph, don't think you've heard it all just yet... If you knew how it's going down, you wouldn't utter such foolish words. You are still young! And you are guided by the pathetic peace that has been established by the Alliance. You know nothing of history and of war! And when you see the chaos your precious home village will be thrown in, you will understand what I mean.
Sakura: And what are you planning to do with us?
Masked Leader: Excellent question! You see, Konoha would need a reason to do this... And that is where you two come in! By making them believe you were kidnapped by the other villages of the alliance, I will raise a motive of suspicion, of accusations, and while they're trying to figure out what happened, we will strike under the banner of Konoha, using the Sword of the thunder God. People are easily misguided you see, and it doesn't take much to convince them that they are being deceived!
Still watching from a distance, over-hearing the whole plan, Naruto had no idea what to make of it. He knew he had to warn his father, but at the same time, he couldn't just bail and leave his brother and sister behind. But, if he tried to save them and got caught instead, who would warn his father and the Alliance before it was too late? Would he honor the Code of Shinobi, to the best interest of the Alliance, or would he risk it all to save his family? It was then, as he was trying to make up his mind, that he suddenly felt a presence from behind as it grabbed onto him before he managed to react, dragging him backwards while covering over his mouth.
Thinking that it was the enemy that had got the drop on him, Naruto was however quickly relieved when he turned around to see a familiar face.
Standing behind him was suddenly Jiraiya, as Naruto knew right then that he had used the Flying Thunder God to warp to his seal. Laying his right index finger across his mouth, Jiraiya signaled that Naruto had to keep his voice down as he too peeked out of the rocks. After a brief moment, Jiraiya sat down behind the rocks again as he dragged Naruto close to him and whispered something into his ears.
Jiraiya: Naruto, you will go untie your brother and sister, while I'll deal with the Leader of this gang. As soon as I've drawn their attention, you'll move, got that?
Getting an affirmative nod back at him, Jiraiya then rose to his feet as he jumped out from the rocks and landed right beside the Masked Leader, who in response, jumped to the side at the realization of this.
Masked Leader: ?! Who are you and where did you come from?!
Jiraiya: The question you should be asking is this... How do I get away from here alive!...
With a serious tone, Jiraiya looked at him as the other members of the gang ran over to him as they surrounded Jiraiya.
Relieved to see him there, the two of them tried to break free once more as the Masked Leader analyzed this new information before making his reply.
Masked Leader: Jiraiya-Sensei... Grandpa... You must be the 7th Hokage of Konoha then...
With a stern look on his face, the Masked Leader refused to lose his ground as he reached his sword out and pointed it at him.
Jiraiya: So Shigeru was indeed correct then, the infamous Sword of the Thunder God still exists...
Masked Leader: He ran into you then... I can't let the mistake of letting him live be the end of this plan!
Charging in at Jiraiya with his sword, the Masked Leader intended to use the moment of surprise to regain the foothold in this unfortunate change of events, as he swung it right at him. Jiraiya however simply dodged to the side as he drew the attention of the Masked Leader and his gang with him. In the background, Naruto ran over to Sasuke and Sakura as he rapidly freed them both before anyone else noticed. Quickly forming up a plan as if reading each others minds, Naruto and Sasuke fired up a Rasengan and a Chidori respectively as they clashed their hands together and headed straight for one of the masked men from behind, hitting him straight on before he even noticed that they were there. Flying past the rest, the Masked Leader and the other masked men quickly realized that Jiraiya wasn't alone and that he had some help as the Masked Leader gave off a sound remark.
Masked Leader: So that must be the third of the 8th Hokage's children... Regardless, this battle is not over yet!
Swinging his sword at Jiraiya once more, Jiraiya quickly bit his thumb as he smashed his right hand towards the ground. In front of him appeared a medium sized toad, about the same height as Jiraiya himself, as he stopped the sword from hitting Jiraiya by slamming his hands together, catching the sword in between them.
Masked Leader: ?!
Jiraiya: Now! Suiton: Mizudeppō (Water Release: Water Gun)!
Laying his right hand on the back of the toad, Jiraiya then channeled chakra through him as the toad fired off a technique, hitting the Masked Leader head on, forcing him to lose grip of the sword as he flew on his back. Reaching out for the sword that the toad had snatched from the Masked Leader's grasp, Jiraiya then got a hold of it as the toad disappeared in smoke.
Jiraiya: I'll be taking care of this sword from now on.
Seeing this, the other masked men tried to flee the scene, but Jiraiya quickly utilized his Flying Thunder God efficiently as he knocked them all out in one go.
Masked Leader: Ugh... ?!
Trying to get back up on his feet, the Masked Leader suddenly felt an elbow to the back of his head as he too was knocked out cold, just like the rest of them.
Jiraiya: That should take care off them I suppose.
Sakura: What speed...
Sasuke: Hehe, they were doomed the moment you stepped in here grandpa.
Naruto: You are amazing!
Jiraiya: Ehehehe, only doing my duty... I'm glad to see that you are safe!
Naruto: So what now?
Jiraiya: I'll deal with these five... You three should head back to Konoha. Once we all get back there, you may give us your report while we interrogate these fives.
Sakura: But what about our mission?
Jiraiya: Mission canceled, this takes first priority right now.
Sasuke: And what about Shigeru??
Jiraiya: He's fine, and he's on his way back to give out his report as well.
Naruto: Alright then...
Back in Konoha, the arena where the Chunin Exam where going to be held, had already opened its gates as people had started to find their seats. In the locker rooms, everyone except for Naruto, Sasuke and Sakura had arrived. Not being separated by villages, the five contestants of the eight, were already preparing themselves as an awkward silence had filled the air, before Kenshin finally spoke out.
Kenshin: So, where are your other friends if I may ask?
Shingen: Yeah, those other three Konoha Shinobi should have been here by now!
Tadakatsu: Humph, mind your own business, we are not here to emerge ourselves in useless chit-chat.
Kenshin: Ignore that brute, let's go Shingen.
Leaving the locker room, the two of them headed up to the balcony where their Sensei and their other teammates from the Sand where seated.
Magoichi: You didn't hold anything back, did you Tadakatsu?
Tadakatsu: We are not here to talk to our opponents, at least not those smart faces.
Tadakatsu: Come, we should head upstairs to our Sensei, as we wait for the first match to start...
Noh: When is that and who's out first?
Magoichi: It should start out in 25 minutes' time, and I believe that Naruto is going to fight that Shingen guy first. They usually announce the first battle as we draw nearer... But I do find it odd that none of them have showed up yet...
Noh: Yeah, they should have been here by now...
Tadakatsu: They'll be here, don't worry. Let's go.
Leading the way, the three of them left the locker room as well. People had already began to seat themselves as half of the stadium had already been filled up. On one row sat the Konoha Shinobi that were knocked out in previous rounds, while on another, the Kages.
Minato: Looks like you are the first other Kage to arrive, uncle, welcome to our humble estate.
Mu: Sure is, haha, but Saria was right behind me a second ago...
Minato: Ahh, there she is, welcome my friend.
Saria: Damn, you almost ran up those stairs Mu, why are you so excited? And yeah, thanks Minato, glad to be here.
Mu: Well, I figured I would have a talk with Minato and the rest before the first fight begins, and secondly, considering that our very own daughter-...
Ebizo: Oh, here you are!
Minato: Ebizo, you made it! And aunt Kushina too!
Kushina: Hey Minato. I was actually just following Ebizo up here as my seat is some place else...
Minato: Ahh, I see... Well, be sure to take contact afterwards then!
Kushina: I will! I can't leave Konoha without saying hey to my brother Jiraiya either!
Taking her leave, Kushina disappeared down the stairs again as Ebizo spoke out.
Ebizo: So, are you two advisers here as well Minato?
Minato: Sure they are, why?
Ebizo: What do you mean why? You do know that Mito is my cousin, right?
Minato: Haha, of course I do!
Standing up from his chair, Minato looked over at one of the balconies to their left. Seeing him pointing over at her, Mito got up as well from her chair as she quickly realized why he had drawn her attention towards him as she waved back at Ebizo before taking her seat again.
Ebizo: I'll have to make sure to talk to her when all this is over, maybe I'll even get to see aunt Temari.
Minato: Hehe, these Chunin Exams sure gives us the benefit of seeing family members again.
Mu: Speaking of which...
Mu, who had stayed silent for bit, quickly sparked again hearing Minato talking about family.
Mu: I'll have to try and see my brother Itachi and my sister Miyuki while I'm here... Everything is alright with your mom I hope?
Minato: Haha, don't you worry uncle, dad is sure taking good care of her, even to this date.
Mu: Haha, I would never question Jiraiya's affection for Miyuki.
Leaving a reassuring hand on his shoulder, the two of them began to laugh.
Mu: So are the two of them here?
Minato: Yeah, I do believe they were going to watch the fights, but I have no idea where they are seated. You could always draw the attention of the crowd to point them out I suppose, haha.
Mu: Hah, nah I'll wait until after we're done here I suppose.
As the two of them were chatting with each other, a woman, the same age as Minato, came up the stairs and over to them as she didn't think twice about going over to Minato.
Aiko: What? Surprised to see me or something?
Laying her arms around him from behind, Aiko carefully kissed him on the chin.
Minato: No, I... Of course not, our children are to partake so of course you would be here, just that I didn't think you would come over here before the first match started...
Aiko: Well, I thought it would be natural for me to at least say hello, or?
Minato: Of course.
Ebizo: Ahh, so this is the lovely wife of the Hokage that I've heard so much about. You are Mito and Hiruzen's daughter, aren't you?
Aiko: Yes, yes indeed I am, together with my sister Ami.
Ebizo: I see, I see, so good to finally meet you, although it really is long overdue. Your mother Mito, is actually my cousin you know.
Aiko: Yeah, I've heard mom talking about you, nice to meet you as well, Kazekage-Sama.
Taking a polite curtsey before him, Aiko was then about to address Minato again.
Ebizo: Haha, call me Ebizo please.
Aiko: Hehe, alright then. Minato, I'll be seated over by my father and mother's place, but don't hesitate to call me over if you want to.
Minato: I'll keep that in mind, don't you worry my dear.
Giving her a kiss on the mouth, the rest of the Kages gave off noise of satisfaction as Aiko left for the stairs.
Saria: You have a beautiful wife Minato.
Minato: Thanks, I must say I scored good with her, haha.
Mu: Hah, you shouldn't undermine yourself like that Minato.
Minato: Heh, I suppose not...
Ebizo: So where is Okuni? It is not like her to run late...
Minato: I'm sure she'll be here in any moment now.
Gathering the five unconscious masked men, that he had taken care of, together, Jiraiya then signaled the three of them to go as he then disappeared with the thugs through his Flying Thunder God.
Sasuke: I suppose we'll head back then.
Naruto: Geez, it would be so much easier for grandpa to do these kinds of mission with his Flying Thunder God technique, he could just teleport to that village and deliver the letter himself.
Sakura: Actually, his Flying Thunder God is not as complexed as our great grandfather, grandpa Jiraiya can't just teleport anywhere without seals or seeing the place he's going...
Naruto: Oh right, stage two out of three...
Sasuke: At least he doesn't need to use kunai combined with seals, that would be... Complicated.
Sakura: Anyways, we should head back now.
Naruto: Right, let's go.
Leaping off, the three of them then left the underground cave as they started to head back home. From the ground where they stood earlier though, someone suddenly emerged from it.
White Zetsu: Those kids again huh...
Black Zetsu: Hmm... What a pity.
White Zetsu: Now what?
Black Zetsu: Come, much is still to be done.
Merging back into the ground again, Zetsu was gone.
In Konoha, at the Chunin Exam Arena, people had already begun to gather as the last of the five Kages had arrived and taken her seat.
Saria: Ahh, you made it Okuni.
Okuni: Why wouldn't it??
Mu: You missed the announcement of the first two contestants though.
Okuni: Oh really now... Who are they?
Mu: They are my son Shingen, and Minato's son Naruto.
Okuni: I see...
Ebizo: So, now that we're all here and the crowd seems to have taken its place, shouldn't we begin the first match soon?
Minato: I'm glad all of you could make it, but it seems like there's something wrong here...
Mu: Oh, what do you mean Minato?
Minato: You see uncle, I sent my three children on an easy mission six hours ago... A delivery mission together with an appointed Jonin. The walk should take max two hours back and forth, and perhaps a third hour with the process they would have to go through over there in that village, but, they still haven't returned yet it seems, well aware that they have fights to partake in...
Having a worried look on his face, Minato began to fear that something might have happened as the other Kages were surprised to hear this.
Okuni: Oh, are you saying that they haven't made it back home yet?
Saria: You think something has gone wrong??
Mu: Why would you say that they haven't returned yet?
Minato: Because the Jonin, named Shigeru, was suppose to report back to me as soon as they got home...
Mu: Hmm... Then why would you send them on a mission, well aware that they have fights to partake in, in the first place?
Minato: They... It wasn't suppose to...
Ebizo: And your son's fight against my son is up first as well...
Minato: Yeah I know...
Saria: Well, we can't stall forever, the crowd will get impatient.
On the ground below them, Shingen was seen entering the stage from one of the tunnels as his two teammates, Kenshin and Mugiwara, and their Sensei, were watching him closely from the second row, just behind him. Although knocked out in the preliminary round, Mugiwara still felt like he had to support his two teammates as Kenshin was on his feet cheering for Shingen.
Kenshin: Don't you lose Shingen!
Turning around to face them, Shingen raised his thumb up in the air as he turned his attention towards the judge who was standing on his left.
Shingen: So ref, where is my opponent? He should be here by now, right?
Referee: Yes, you are correct. I'm sure he's just a little delayed.
Seeing how only Shingen had appeared, the crowd began to get impatient as they turned their attention towards the VIP seats where the Kages were seated.
Minato: Where on earth can they be??
Standing up from his seat, Minato went over to the fence protecting them from falling out of their balcony as he looked rather weary where he stood. Looking over at Aiko some rows to his side, she too had a confused look on her face.
Saria: I thought the contestants had to at least be ready half an hour beforehand, and now with that Sand Shinobi already in place...
Ebizo: I'm sure they haven't lost track of time, but I'm sure nothing has happened either.
Mu: ... Well nephew, the crowd seems to be getting impatient for sure...
Okuni: We can't let them wait much longer, Hokage-Sama...
Minato: Argh, I know... Isn't there a way to... Can't we push one of the fights that my kids are not partaking in, up the list and do them first?
Mu: That would be Tadakatsu and Kenshin's match only, as Sasuke is facing Magoichi, Sakura is facing Noh, and Naruto is facing Shingen...
Ebizo: Ehm, I'm not sure...
Okuni: We can't go soft-hearted now, the rules clearly state that the moment the referee and one of the contestants are in place, the fight will have to roll on. If the other contestant don't show, we'll have to disqualify him or her...
Turning around to face her, Minato seemed rather surprised at her choice of words.
Mu: Maybe we shouldn't jump to any conc-...
Saria: Mu, Okuni is right, rules are rules, and the crowd is getting impatient already.
Minato: Just wait a moment now, I'm sure they'll be here any seconds now, just please, wait a little more.
Almost having to plea for their consent, Minato seemed as in despair, as if it was his fault that they were late to begin with.
Minato: Uncle Mu, uncle Ebizo, aunt Saria, please?
Mu: Minato, I...
Saria: Minato, you can't use that against us...
Ebizo: Well, I suppose we could wait a little while longer, but someone has to address the crowd.
Getting up on his feet, Ebizo then spoke out to the crowd, telling them that the fight was a little off schedule, but that it would commence shortly. At this, chattering spread amongst them as some even started booing to show their discontent. Down on the field, Shingen couldn't help laugh at this as he caught the ref's attention.
Shingen: What? Haha, what are you looking at?
Shingen: Humph, Naruto is probably too scared to face me after what we did to that poor girl.
Not far from the right of the Kages were Tadakatsu, Magoichi, Noh and their Sensei Jin, as they too were clueless on where Naruto, Sasuke and Sakura could be.
Noh: Naruto-Kun... Where are you...
Magoichi: How can they be late like this?! Especially when Naruto is fighting the first fight! It's unheard off.
Tadakatsu: ... Bah! He can't get his ass disqualified now, that would be such a waste...
Jin: Something sure is off here... Not only are the three of them late, but Jiraiya, their Sensei, should have been back from his research to see the fights by now as well... Maybe something has happened??
Also puzzled by this whole deal, Jin had a confused look on his face.
Jiraiya: Alright then, I'll leave these to you now. Make sure to keep them under close guard and start the interrogation as soon as they wake up again.
Konoha Shinobi: Right, Hokage-Sama!
Dropping the five masked men off at Konoha, Jiraiya had already instructed the Shinobi what to do as Shigeru suddenly came by.
Shigeru: *Pant, pant* You're already back Jiraiya-Sensei??
Having just arrived, Shigeru was still trying to draw his breath as Jiraiya laid his hand on his shoulder.
Jiraiya: You did good Shigeru. If you hadn't been able to notify me of what was going on, we might have had a serious situation on our hands...
Shigeru: ?! You mean you already took care of it?!
Jiraiya: Hah, I'm not the 7th Hokage of Konoha for no reason you know son!
Shigeru: Ahh, I see... Well I guess there's no rush to tell Hokage-Sama Minato then.
Jiraiya: I guess not. Though you should draw up a report on this whole thing and hand it over to me when you can. I already told Naruto, Sasuke and Sakura to do the same when they get back. I'll then have a talk to Minato about it, but for now, now that everything is under control, you should head to the hospital to have a closer look on that wound of yours.
Shigeru: Right, I will... ?! Wait just a moment! Did you just say when Naruto, Sasuke and Sakura make it back here?!
Jiraiya: Yeah, what about it??
Shigeru: They have a Chunin Exam to take part in!! And it should start any moment now by my calculations!
Jiraiya: What?! Damn I completely forgot about that!
Before Shigeru managed to reply, Jiraiya was gone in a flash.
Naruto: Damn, we're never going to make it in time! This whole ordeal got us completely derailed!
Sasuke: Damn it all! We can't be late, we have to make it, we just have to!
Naruto: And I think my fight is up first! If we don't make it, I'll get disqualified!!!
Running through the forest, back towards Konoha, as fast as they could, the three of them were stressed like never before as Sakura suddenly had realized that the clock was way more than they had thought it was and that they were in a hurry to make it back home in time.
Sakura: If I only had remembered it sooner, we could have let grandpa Jiraiya take us there with his Flying Thunder God!
Naruto: At this rate, even if we'll make it, I'm going to be completely exhausted before my fight even begins!
Sasuke: We should never have accepted this stupid mission, never!
Naruto: Damn it, damn it all!
Sasuke: We don't have time to talk, we need to move!
As they were hurrying through the tree-tops, someone suddenly appeared beside the three of them.
Jiraiya: You three will never make it at this rate!
Sasuke: Thank the heavens you're here!
Sakura: Yes! Maybe we'll be able make it now! How did you know?
Jiraiya: I had completely lost track of time, and as soon as I realized, I just had to come and get you. The prisoners have been dealt with, so now, we'll have to hurry back. The only way you'll make it in time is through the Flying Thunder God. Quickly grab onto me!
Not hesitating for even a bit, the three of them did as they were told as they all were gone in the blink of the eye.
Ebizo: I don't want to say this Minato, but I think we have to call it...
Mu: Yeah, we can't delay much longer now...
Saria: Are you alright with this?
Okuni: I know how you feel, you just have to-...
Minato: But it is my fault! I should never have sent them on that stupid mission!
Still standing up from his chair in front of the rest of the Kages, Minato was almost frustrated at himself as he almost yelled out at them.
Minato: But, I understand... And I'll have to take full responsibility as the Hokage of Konoha, and as Naruto's father.
Mu: Luckily, Tadakatsu and Kenshin's match is up next, so maybe Sakura and Sasuke might still make it, if that is any sort of relief...
Not sure what to say, Minato had a sad look on his face. As much as he wanted to believe that nothing bad had happened, he couldn't help feel that maybe he misjudged the importance of the mission and the time lapse of it. He wanted to go and find out, but at the same time, he was convinced that they were alright and that he had nothing to worry about. After all, he couldn't leave his seat as he had to make appearance, and it would also provoke a reaction if he sent some Shinobi to go look after them. People in this Alliance hadn't had a single incident in several years, so just the idea of something bad happening was almost out of their thought-process entirely.
Ebizo: Well then, I guess I'll have to signal the judge then...
Standing up on his feet, Ebizo walked passed Minato as he gave the judge a signal. Reading it clearly, the judge then took a deep breath as he reached for a green flag, hanging by a snore on the side of his right pocket.
Shingen: What, what did father mean by that?
Referee: It means that the Kages have called it.
Shingen: Called it?
Referee: Yes... Your opponent has not shown up yet, and this fight was suppose to start 20 minutes ago. By standard rules, a winner has to be declared if both opponents does not show after ten minutes from agreed starting point.
Shingen: No way... So this mean...
Referee: It sure means so.
Shingen: Damn, I'm not sure whether to be happy or sad about this really. Oh well, it's his fault for not showing up I suppose.
Starting to tie up the snore that was tied around his flag, the ref seemed to have some trouble as Shingen looked at him, waiting for him to call him out as winner.
Magoichi: The ref is going to call it, isn't he...
Noh: No, no he can't, Naruto-Kun can't... It's not fair.
Jin: It's not fair to let the crowd wait like this either. The Kages have signaled the winner to be called.
Noh: But, but, something has to be done, it can't end like this...
Magoichi: Well, If they don't appear soon Noh, both you and I will make it to the next round by disqualification as well.
Tadakatsu: Huff... If so, then this Chunin Exam will surely be remembered as a disappointing one. I was looking forward to some challenge in the two next rounds, but I guess I'll just have to show off my abilities regardless.
Jin: Yes, you are indeed next up my son.
As Tadakatsu left their balcony, he began to walk down the tunnel as he was about to prepare himself for battle.
Aiko: No, does this really mean?!
Hiruzen: Damn, it seems like it...
Mito: I don't understand why? Why would Naruto not appear?
Down on the ground below them, the ref had still not been able to loosen his flag, as the crowd was whistling to show that they were displeased of having to wait.
Shingen: Ah come on! Do you need a hand or?
Referee: No, just got it...
Loosening it from the snore, the ref then grabbed a hold onto the flag as he raised it up in the air, just as a smokescreen deployed around them and four people suddenly appeared right beside the ref, tumbling him over to the ground. Getting up from their chairs, the Kages were alerted as the whole crowd got silent. As the smoke slowly cleared, Jiraiya, together with Naruto, Sasuke and Sakura were suddenly standing there, all in some weird pose.
Referee: Oh... 7th Hokage-Sama...
Just as they arrived, Jiraiya then disappeared again as he reappeared on the balcony where the Kages were seated.
Saria: What techniques is that?!
Mu: The Flying Thunder God...
Ebizo: Oh, so Naruto did indeed teach his son that technique at one point...
Minato: Dad?! What are you doing here all of a sudden, and why are you with-...
Jiraiya: Hold that thought, let me explain.
As Jiraiya began explaining the events that had occurred, the five Kages were shocked to hear this as the crowd began talking indistinctly with each other on the latest events as they caught scent of it.
Ebizo: How could someone try... And more importantly, who?
Mu: Damn, I had no idea anyone would...
Saria: So you managed to deal with it, well done Jiraiya.
Jiraiya: I wouldn't have been able to do so if Heihachi's son, Shigeru, hadn't run into me.
Minato: I knew something was up when he hadn't reported back to me yet! Is he alright?
Jiraiya: Yeah I suppose, he's at the hospital now and the five masked men has been dropped off at the interrogation center.
Okuni: So, with that out of the way, maybe we should continue the Exam?
Saria: Yeah, but didn't the ref already call it?
Minato: ?! You can't mean that, they're here now!
Mu: Hmm... I'm not really sure, they did appear just as he was raising his flag... What do you think Ebizo?
Ebizo: If he really raised his flag, then the match is already over, but I can't honestly say...
Saria: I believe he raised it in time, or?
Jiraiya: Well, if you're not sure, and taking what happened into consideration...
Ebizo: You are right, they did indeed help out preventing this. I say let the fight go on. I can't just let my son get a free pass either.
Mu: Huff, what the heck, let them fight. That's what the crowd is here to see after all...
Saria: Hmmm... I suppose it doesn't matter now that they're here.
Okuni: All right then.
Jiraiya: I knew I could count on you Kages!
Standing up on his feet, Minato gave the ref a new signal as he turned his attention towards the rest.
Shingen: What?! No way, you already called it!
Naruto: *Pant, pant* What a relief! I thought for a second that we didn't make it there...
Shingen: I protest! The flag was clearly raised!
Referee: The Kages have made their decision, the fight will go on.
Shingen: Grrrr... It's my cousin's influence over his uncle and my father that probably talked them into this. The fact that my uncle appeared just now didn't really improve things.
Naruto: What, you don't want to fight me?
Shingen: Heh, of course I will!
Naruto: And what do you mean by your father, your uncle and your cousin?
Shingen: What kind of question is that? The Kazekage, Ebizo, is my father, Minato, the 8th Hokage, is my cousin and Jiraiya, the 7th Hokage, is my uncle.
Shingen: ?? Why so surprised??
Naruto: Do you... Do you understand what this means?!
Shingen: No?? What?
Naruto: We are related!!!!
Shingen: Huh?! What are you talking about?!
Naruto: Minato... Is our father!! And Jiraiya is our grandfather!
At the realization of this, Shingen almost had to take a step back as he knew from that moment that he almost took part killing a relative during the second part of the Chunin Exam. Sasuke and Sakura was also drawn back by this, as they were too shocked to speak.
Shingen: No... You guys... No!
Naruto: You damn bastard! You tried to kill me in the past stage!!
Raising his fist towards him, the four of them were both as shocked to find out as Shingen took a deep breath.
Shingen: Heck Naruto, let's just get this under way, shall we? The crowd has waited long enough as it is...
Sasuke: So he was one of those guys... And, we're related to him through our grandaunt Kushina? Tch... anyways Sakura, let's head up with the rest, so that they can fight.
Sakura: Damn... Right.
Taking their leave, the two of them met Tadakatsu coming out of the tunnel as he had a puzzled look on his face. Guiding him back up, the two of them began to explain what he missed as the Ref told Naruto and Shingen to ready themselves.
Jin: Jiraiya, you finally made it...
Teleporting over to where Jin and the rest stood, Jiraiya had a relieved look on his face.
Jiraiya: Just barely I might add.
Noh: Heh... This means the fight will go on, I'm glad!
Magoichi: That was just by the hair it seemed... Luckily, the Kages were lenient on Naruto.
Jiraiya: Yeah, going to be interesting to watch my grandson face of against my nephew.
Tadakatsu: This shall be interesting!
Sasuke: What are you so pumped up for?
Tadakatsu: If you guys hadn't made it in time, I would have won this whole damn thing by walkover!
Sasuke: Heh, you're confident...
Sakura: How come you never told us this grandpa?
Jiraiya: I guess it must have slipped my mind.
As the three of them joined the rest, Minato had taken his seat over at the Kage balcony as he signaled the ref to start the battle.
Mugiwara: Guess Shingen will have to prove his worth after all...
Kenshin: Heh, fitting for him or else he would have taken the win for granted, bragging about it...
Referee: Alright, are you two ready?
Naruto: Bring it!
Referee: Then, let the fight begin!
*Naruto and the rest makes it just in time as the final stage of the Chunin Exam is just about to begin!!*
~ End Chapter 3
* Will Naruto be able to defeat his relative Shingen? And what about his brother and sister and the rest of the Konoha Shinobi? This sequel goes into climax point, next time! *
Fun Facts & Author's Note:
1: Damn, another long chapter... In fact, I knew it would end up as one even before I started writing it. There was simply no way to avoid it I suppose, if I wanted to showcase all my points =p Nevertheless, I still have no idea what to say this time around xP I had some points to talk about here before, but guess I must have forgot, haha xD But yeah, deciding that Heihachi was dead and that his son was the appointed Jonin, now that was something I drew from the back-pocket really, as I only knew forehand that it was going to be an unknown Jonin, someone who hadn't made an appearance in this series yet, and that is when I figured out I would play with the idea. Though, even I'm unsure how and why Heihachi died though, but I guess I left some points to speculate through this chapter.
2: The slow change of rivalry between Tadakatsu and Sasuke, to Tadakatsu and Naruto. I guess not too many saw this coming? This chapter is actually part of a build up to something that I can't reveal right now xP All I can say is that Naruto the 2nd, in the end was more of a natural rival to Tadakatsu than Sasuke, and you will see why later on.
3: The Sword of the Thunder God... Yes, this was indeed inspired by that ages old filler arc. The fact that I barely remembered anything from it didn't help either, but I still think bringing it back was a good addition to what to come. I say what to come, because the Sword will play a role later on ;D But yeah, I had already noted down the Sword making an appearance in my series a very long time ago, so I basically had to make the Sword my own for most parts, as I didn't have space/need to go into background story for it.
4: Naruto can do Rasengan, Sasuke can do Chidori... But what about Sakura? That will be revealed next chapter actually, so stay tuned for that!
5: This was the perfect, or should I perhaps say, the only chapter where I could play around with as many different characters as possible, and it was perhaps the only chapters where I could make room for them (both by dialogue and reference). The thing was that I felt I had to give out some information on some of them, and this chapter was perhaps the only one I could do that.
6: All in all, this chapter felt like a massive build up, but even so, I do hope you found it enjoyable. Tadakatsu being Jin and Asuka's kid, Naruto and Noh slowly hooking up (despite their age, haha), the Kages connection with each other, and what is slowly beginning to become the turning point in this final sequel, is just on the horizon. With all this, I felt this chapter managed to establish and enchant the story to a further degree, as well as to flesh out some of the characters and to give them deeper meaning. Hope you all agree with me, and are looking forward to the next one named; "The Quarter-Finals"
7: Believe it or not, but there is sort of a foreshadowing in this chapter, although perhaps impossible to spot. All I can say is that it is related to something Shigeru says regarding the Chunin Exams.
8: That's all I have for now, hope you liked this chapter, thank me thumbs up if you did, and as always people, have an awesome day! ;D