A/N: Before anyone goes on to read this I want you to jump to the last chapter and look at the author's note I left there.
There's quite a few things that I got wrong, story-telling wise with my first fanfic and it's my goal to go back and fix it. So, just know, if there's something about this story that you don't like then chances are I'll be removing it or changing it during the revision I've started.
It was a pleasantly beautiful day in the Land of Fire, and like every nice(and even not so nice) day, there was a mission being undertaken by ninja's from the Hidden Leaf village. There were four ninja in total on this mission. The oldest, and commander of this group, was a woman of exceptional beauty.
She was dressed in a red, mesh-armor blouse with what seemed to be white medical tape over-top of it. The blouse had only one sleeve on the right side, and her arms and legs were wrapped in white medical tape. Her black,unruly, shoulder-length hair was kept out of her eyes by her hitai-ate which allowed others to see her unusual, but still beautiful, red eyes. This ninja's name was Kurenai Yuhi, Jounin and genjutsu specialist of Konoha.
"How much loooongeeer!?" A young female voice rang out, shattering the peace and quiet of the forest.
Kurenai looked over at the young girl and had to hold back a laugh at her fellow kunoichi's tone. "We're almost there Ino, just another hour or so and we'll be at the bridge to Wave country."
Ino Yamanaka was the second member of this unusual quartet. She was a fair-skinned girl with shoulder-length, platinum-blonde hair that was tied back in a ponytail, however a single bang stuck out and shadowed one of her deep, blue eyes. She wore a purple, vest-like blouse with a raised collar that stopped above her belly button. She also wore a purple, apron-skirt with slits down the sides. Her stomach and legs were wrapped in white medical tape while her arms were sheathed in purple and white elbow warmers. Her hitai-ate was worn like a belt.
"But I'm getting bored Sensei, I still don't see why we couldn't just run there." Ino stated before crossing her arms and pouting.
This brought a tired sigh to Kurenai's lips, but before she could voice the reasoning behind her decision AGAIN, the third member of their squad spoke out. "W-we're walking b-because this is just a diplomatic v-visit to Wave country Ino, and t-there's no real rush to complete it o-okay?"
"That's right Hinata, there's no actual hurry to complete this mission so we're taking it slow and giving ourselves time to relax." With that being said Kurenai turned to her surrogate younger sister and smiled, happy that at least one member of the team paid attention to her instructions.
Hinata Hyuga was the third member of this team. She had short, dark-blue hair in a hime-cut style and two chin-length strands framing her face. Her skin was the fairest of all three kunoichi on the team and held an almost ethereal glow to it. She was dressed in a baggy, cream-colored coat with fur lining the waist. She also wore plum colored pants that reached to below her knees. Her most prominent feature were her eyes. Like her commanding officer they too were an unusual color. They were lavender, like a set of pearls. This was because she came from the Hyuga clan, which was home to the famous bloodline the Byakugan. Her hitai-ate was worn around her neck.
"Well of course Hinata has no problem taking her time," Ino began in a teasing tone of voice, "she'd do ANYTHING to make this mission last as looong as possible hahaha." Ino giggled quietly behind her hand at Hinata's mortified look. She couldn't believe her friend would be so careless with her secret. Especially with said secret walking just twenty steps ahead of them. Hinata quickly looked ahead of her, and then sighed in relief when she saw that her not-so-secret love had remained in deep thought and hadn't heard Ino's teasing.
This fourth and final member of the team was the lone male of the squad; his name was Naruto Uzumaki. This young boy had a head of wild, spiky blond hair and a pair of deep, ocean-blue eyes. His hair was also kept out of his eyes by his hitai-ate. He wore an orange jumpsuit, with blue trim around the shoulders and waist, and a raised collar. His most prominent feature known to most were his six whisker marks; three on each cheek. Right now Naruto had his arms crossed behind his head and his eyes turned to the sky in deep thought. Ever since the Hokage had assigned this mission the young Uzumaki had felt a sense of...anxiousness? He had a feeling that this trip would lead to something life changing for him and, quite possibly, even the Elemental Nations themselves.
He had no idea just how right he was.
Like Kurenai said, they arrived at the bridge within the hour and were greeted by a shocking discovery. The bridge was a magnificent structure, a true testament to mans ability to sculpt something out of seemingly nothing. It's size alone baffled the three kunoichi's minds, but add to it the archways that had been built across the tops at 50 yard intervals, and were managing to keep themselves from collapsing under their own weight despite the distance between the left and right sides of the bridge. The Great Naruto Bridge was a masterpiece.
Naruto, who had been present for the bridges completion, wasn't blown away by its splendor, but WAS shocked when he noticed the new additions to the bridge. There, on either side of the entrance, stood two generously sized statues of Naruto. The statues depicted the young blonde with his arms crossed in front of his chest and a cocky smirk on his lips, the same smirk he gave when he'd battled Zabuza the first time around. The likeness was uncanny, almost as if the statues were about to breathe life and step off their pedestals; which Naruto realized had an engraving on them, in language he'd never seen before.
It read "Vicimus".
Once the other three members of his diplomatic envoy were able to draw their eyes away from the site of the bridge, they were once again stunned at the site of the statues that greeted all who passed by this way. One member in particular's shock swiftly turned to joy.
Hinata had been left in awe of The Great Naruto Bridge. When she'd first learned that her Naruto-kun had gotten a bridge named after him she'd been so proud of him, as well as elated that there was an entire country that recognized what a special person her love was. And now, that she got to see the bridge in person, she felt her heart swell once again with pride and happiness for her Naruto-kun. When she finally managed to pull her eyes away from the bridge, and was about to congratulate him on his tremendous accomplishment, she noticed that he was staring at something. A statue of himself.
Hinata once again marveled at the people of Waves crafting ability, but before she could lose herself in the beauty of the work, she heard Naruto say the word 'Vicimus' in a curious tone. Deciding to, hopefully, score some points with him Hinata answered Naruto's unspoken question.
"V-vicimus means 'victory is ours', Naruto-kun. Y-your having t-trouble reading and u-understanding it because it's in a d-different language; L-latin to be exact."
"Latin? How come I've never heard of it before?" Naruto asked curiously. He hoped it wasn't one of the lessons he was forced to miss due to teachers kicking him out of class, he didn't want to look stupid in front of either Hinata or Ino. After the the incident at the hospital, when he brought Tsunade back to heal Sasuke and Kakashi-sensei, Naruto's feelings for Sakura had begun to lose their intensity.
He was looking to other girls to find a love interest and these two girls were at the top of his list.
He'd always considered Ino to be a beautiful girl, more so than Sakura if he were being true to himself, she could be just as smart as her at times too. Hinata was a girl he'd never really noticed at the academy, but that didn't mean he didn't know she existed. He knew she was just as smart as Sakura and she was also the nicest person he'd ever met. She had a way about her, something Naruto had been noticing the past month, that just made him want to hold her close to him and not let go. He chalked it up to her, admittedly, adorable innocence and partial naivety.
Thankfully, his fears were quickly laid to rest.
"Come to think of it, I've never heard of it either Hinata, how come you know about this language but we don't?" Ino asked in surprise. Hinata, now with three sets of eyes on her, with the inclusion of her sensei, began to feel the heat rise in her cheeks and her hands subconsciously coming up to push her index fingers together out of habit,
"W-well, Ino-chan, the r-reason I know about it is b-because as daughter to the head of the Hyuga clan I'm supposed t-to be well versed in a-all things, including h-history. I learned about w-what the world was like b-before ninjas existed and learned that m-many people spoke the language of L-latin for a time before it d-died out."
All three of her companions were impressed with the young girls ability to memorize the many things she was tasked with learning, and then being able to just pull that knowledge out at random. It was an invaluable skill for a ninja to have.
"Thanks Hinata, I wasn't sure if they'd covered that in the academy or not, now I don't feel as dumb, knowing that it was something most people don't know. You must be smart to be able to remember all of the things those tutors you had taught you." Naruto exclaimed with gratitude that turned to impressed awe near the end.
Naruto's compliment caused the young heiress to duck her head so as not to show off her reddening face. Luckily, Hinata was saved from a possible fainting spell by her sensei,
"Yes thank you Hinata, now if we're all done asking questions lets continue on to the town and find a place to stay for the trip, then, we'll begin conducting our business." And with that the quartet began it's trek towards the village. But with every step he took, Naruto could feel the knot in his stomach grow tighter and tighter, and all he could think was:
'Why do I get the feeling that after this trip, nothing will ever be the same?'
It didn't take them long to make it across the bridge and into the village, and once there they made it a point to find a place to stay for there trip.
As they waked through the town the females of the team noticed all the different looks Naruto seemed to be getting. They ranged from pleasant smiles to flirtatious looks; these Hinata didn't appreciate and the young Uzumaki seemed oblivious too. Just as they had found a suitable hotel to stay in they heard a voice call out to them: "Hey Naruto, is that you?"
At the sound of his name the blond turned his head and was met with the sight of Tazuna, the master bridge builder. "Hey old man, whoa, what's with the nice clothes?"
Naruto had noticed that Tazuna was dressed in a fairly nice, royal-purple Pallium draped over pristine, white robes. "Hahah, Naruto my boy, it's great to see you again. As for the clothes, they were given to me after I was elected as a member of our senate."
Naruto threw a confused look at the man and asked, "What's a senate?" Before Tazuna could answer Hinata once again stepped forward with her knowledge of ancient times.
"T-The senate is much like o-our government Naruto-kun, they oversee the r-rules and regulations of the land they govern."
Tazuna looked to the young Hyuga with a gleam of respect in his eye as he rebutted: "It's nice to meet someone with knowledge of the ancient customs; but you're only partially correct. The senate technically has no official say in how the city-state or country is run, that's actually left up to the Councils, we just get to give advice." Naruto nodded his head in understanding before asking:
"Did they have a Hokage then too? I mean, since they seemed to have a multilevel government like us did they have a single leader at the top of it all?" This time it was Tazuna who spoke first.
"As a matter of fact, there were times where the senate would grant a single man the title of Dictator and give him, essentially, total control over the city. In fact, this reminds me of what I was searching for you for, Naruto." Before Naruto could ask why he was being sought out, his fellow blond decided to voice her displeasure at being forced to stay on her feet, after being promised time to rest.
"Yeah, yeah ,yeah, can the two of you wait until we all get a chance to settle down before continuing this fascinating conversation? I'm tired!" It was after this that the fourth, and leader of their little group, decided that her young charge was correct.
"Ino makes a valid point Naruto, you'll have all the time you want on this mission to ask Tazuna questions, for now the rest of us would like to relax after that long walk." Naruto balked at this.
"But Kurenai-sensei, YOU were the one who said that walking here would be relaxing for us, why are you complaining about being tired now?"
Kurenai felt the heat crawling up her neck at the genin's true words and thought, 'Damn it Kakashi, you told me that Naruto was oblivious, so what's with this?' Quickly trying to save face, the Jounin quickly cleared her throat before speaking.
"Ahem, well, Naruto, I was speaking for Hinata and Ino's sakes. They're probably sore from all the walking and wish to sit down at the very least, don't you think?" Naruto's eyes gained a disbelieving light to them but was kept from responding again, this time by Tazuna.
"Well there's no problem with that, why don't the four of you come back with me to my home and my daughter Tsunami can cook us up something to eat while Naruto and I continue our, how did you put it Blondie, fascinating conversation hahaha."
Seeing no reason to decline, Kurenai quickly thanked the man for his offer and then she and her team followed behind the man back to his home.
It took them about another half-hour to reach Tazuna's home, and when they did, it wasn't the same house Naruto remembered from his last visit.
Instead of a shoddy, wooden two-story home they were met with a building made of stone. It was a two-story building like its predecessor, but this new house was equipped with a burnt red-orange awning in the front that was being held up by red-and-white columns. The door ways were made from a rich, heavy, dark-brown oak wood. The second story had a balcony that was surrounded by a wooden fence, no doubt the same strong wood the doors were made of. They could tell that the floor of the balcony was a system of large decorative stones spaced out through the cement binding. Windows were placed at the front, they could see at least one on the left side of the home, as well as two on the the second story that they could see. The base of the home also had a red trim around it.
"Welcome to my home, it's gotten an upgrade since you've last seen it, huh, Naruto?" Said blond could only nod his head in agreement. "Well enough standing around, lets get inside so your friends can rest and I can tell you what I wanted to talk to you about.
Once inside they were greeted by Tsunami who was already in the process of making dinner.
"It'll take a little more time now since I have to make more food for the rest of you, I hope you don't mind waiting, I just wasn't aware you'd be arriving today." Hinata quickly volunteered to help with the meal, her mind once again set on gaining a positive reaction from Naruto, while Ino let everyone know she was going to lay down on the couch and take a nap.
"So, Naruto, how about we go into my study so I can explain why I asked for you specifically on this mission, and why I was searching for you in the village earlier.", Naruto looked over to the old bridge builder and he once again felt that feeling of anxiousness well up in the pit of his stomach.
'What's the big deal, he's probably just gonna tell me about how much better off Wave's been since Gato was taken out.' With that thought in mind he nodded his head and followed Tazuna to his study.
Kurenai watched the two males walk off with a calculating stare. She couldn't help the curiosity that stemmed from wanting to know what Tazuna had wanted to share with JUST Naruto specifically. But before she could ponder it any further, Hinata called her over to taste test the soup she'd made. Knowing how badly Hinata wanted dinner to turn out perfect, Kurenai pushed Tazuna and his strange request to the back of her mind and went to assist her lovesick, though sometimes overly-devoted, student.
'I just hope it doesn't become a problem'
Naruto sat, listening intently as Tazuna regaled him with stories of the world before there were ninja. So entranced was he, that he almost missed when the master bridge builder began to speak about the history of Wave specifically.
"Wave country was once part of a vast empire that stretched across much of the Elemental Nations and even lands to the west of them. That wall that separates the East and West continents was built by one of the last rulers of that empire; his name was Hadrian. He built it because he felt that the empire had increased to an almost unmanageable size, and to extend it any further would lead to its collapse. Unfortunately, the collapse was inevitable as all the truly great leaders of the empire had already passed on. Their greatest having been assassinated actually." At this Naruto had to stop and ask:
"But if he was their greatest leader why did they assassinate him?"
Tazuna looked the young shinobi right in the eyes, and spoke only one word: "Fear."
This only confused Naruto more.
"What do you mean fear old man? The people loved him, so what did they have to be afraid of?" The older man couldn't help but chuckle before answering:
"It wasn't the people that feared him Naruto, it was his comrades in office that feared and despised him. They felt this way because of his position as Dictator. The senators believed that he had taken their power away from them; power the senate felt rightly belonged to them."
Naruto's mind was a whirlwind of thoughts, as he thought about how the same thing that happened to this ancient Dictator could happen to him if he were to become Hokage of the Leaf Village.
He lifted his head and looked Tazuna in the eye before asking. "What was the mans name Tazuna?"
The blonde couldn't fail to notice to smile that made its way onto the older mans face, nor the spark in his eye as he said:
"Now Naruto, that's just the question I was waiting to hear from you. Tell me, have you ever heard the name- Julius Caesar?"
The knot that had been forming in Naruto's stomach pulled even tighter at the sound of that name;