Sealkeeper: He Who Binds

Chapter 148-A "Potential"

Patron Release 2021.11.12

The body beneath him relaxed as Sealkeeper went to work, no doubt due to the Chakra being directed to power his father's masterpiece. For Shinobi utilizing small amounts of Chakra to help heat up and relax muscles was hardly worth a thought. It was a basic technique taught back in the academy to help train Chakra usage and soothe aches from the day's work and by the time Shinobi were in the field it was so second nature they didn't even think about it.

For someone who had never experienced it, however, it must have been something closer to a hot stone massage.

It was when 'relaxed' went to 'completely slack' that Naruto became concerned.

"Tsunami?" There was no response. "Tsunami?" He tried again with the same result. Leaning over her he was able to hear her breathing and a quick check at her neck gave him a pulse but she was completely out.

Maybe placing the seal on her hadn't been the greatest idea?

Before he could think more on the matter he heard the bedroom door open and turned in time to see Anko giving him a curious look.

"Naruto-Kun? What are you doing in my-?" Her eyes narrowed. "Is that Tsunami?"

Naruto looked down at the woman and back up to Anko. "Yes."

"And she's naked?"

"Half dressed." He looked back down and reconsidered. "-Ish"

"You and a half-naked Tsunami are in my bed."

"That's an accurate assessment."

She pouted, arms folding as she cocked a hip to the side. "And you didn't invite me?"


Where the hell was she? Tsunami gazed about the pristine white walls and the vibrant blue carpets that now made up her world. There were windows but they were much too high for her to see out of and it seemed their only purpose was to allow light to spill into the hallway.

Or, she thought it was some sort of hallway. There seemed to be arched doorways in either direction- though she didn't see any actual doors- and the only other thing she could see were decorative pots filled with an assortment of flowers.

"Ah! Sorry about that. There's usually a bit more resistance, I guess I pulled too hard." There was that voice again and it was familiar. Not in the sense that she knew the speaker but more like she had overheard them speaking to someone she did know.

A woman stepped out from one of the archways and made her way over to Tsunami, a sheepish grin pulling at her lips. She had been right. Tsunami didn't know the woman but she did know of the woman. She had seen her- actually, at one point she was pretty sure she had seen a dozen of her- around the palace, usually in the presence of Naruto.

Correction- almost exclusively in the presence of Naruto.

"Where am I?"

"Oh, this is my palace!" The woman beamed. "Naruto-Kun made it for me. I'd be happy to show you around later."

"How- how did I get here?" The last thing she remembered was lying on a bed with Naruto behind her.

"I pulled you here, of course." The woman said it like it was obvious and maybe it was. Tsunami hardly knew what was going on or what had happened so maybe everything did make sense and she was just out of it. "I really wanted to see if it would work since you don't normally use Chakra and all."

The woman's head tilted curiously. "Say, what's that like? Not having Chakra?"

Tsunami really didn't know how to respond to that but fortunately she wasn't going to be given an opportunity to anyway as they continued speaking.

"I can't seem to wrap my head around not having it myself but I'm also entirely made from Chakra." She frowned at that. "Oh. I guess that would be like you asking me what it's like to not have real flesh, wouldn't it? But I have flesh. It's just not the same. I guess it's like that with you and Chakra, huh?"

Now the woman paused, awaiting a response, but Tsunami still didn't have much to offer.

"Uh, I guess so? I'm sorry, I never got your name."

"Ah! I'm Karura, the mother of Naruto-Kun's children." Karura smiled.

"You're Gaara-Sama's mother, then?"

"That's me!"

"Well it's a pleasure to meet you. I'm Tsunami, I take care of Naruto-Sama's palace." Things were still weird but Tsunami was starting to feel a bit more comfortable with the situation.

"It's a pleasure to meet you too. I'm sure the others will agree."

"Others?"

"Oh, yes. All the other people in Naruto's head."

Nevermind.


"Still no word on them?" Pein did his best to mask his mounting frustration but it still managed to seep into the undertones of his voice. He may have been a god but gods had always been vexed by the affairs of mortals.

They were such infuriating little creatures.

"Nothing." There was a similar frustration in Zetsu's voice and one didn't need to look at him to know he was frowning deeply. "First Tobi wanders off and now I can't find any sign of Sasori or Deidara." The first one wasn't a problem at the moment, her role came into play later, but the other two were supposed to be tracking down the Ichibi. The Biju didn't have to be sealed in ascending order but from what Zetsu understood it would provide the greatest stability.

Just throwing them in there would put a lot of stress on it and then they risked the Biju managing to escape or- heavens forbid- one of them might manage to take control of the Gedo Mazo which would be an absolute mess. The plan could still be salvaged but it wouldn't be pretty and the delay would probably be measured in decades.

Zetsu was of the opinion that he'd waited quite long enough as it was, thank you.

By capturing the Biju in ascending order the Gedo Mazo had a chance to reacclimate itself with the Biju's chakra and as it did it would grow stronger for the next Biju it needed to contain. At this point, though, Zetsu was wondering if a middle Biju could just be captured and left to sit for a bit longer as they figured out what kept happening to all their organization's members.

Akatsuki had never been large- the main body, anyway, there was a massive team of "Akatsuki" members who oversaw more administrative tasks, a necessity considering Akatsuki's "leader" was also supposed to be running a village- so with three members gods know where, a fourth dead, and a ring in the possession of Orochimaru they were at about half capacity.

"I've had Kukazu and Hidan move to Kaze no Kuni to see if they can find any hint of the Ichibi or our wayward members but considering Sasoru and Deidara had reported no sign of him in Kaze no Kuni before they vanished I'm not holding much hope." Continued the plant-man. His darker half picked it up from there. "We still have the Nibi's location but with Ai and the Eight-Tails sticking close by it's doubtful we can swipe her covertly. It'll probably be an assault on Kumogakure."

Something they'd wish to avoid, honestly. Kumo didn't really have allies but an organization of Nuke-Nin getting bold enough to attack them openly was going to concern the other villages enough that they would focus on Akatsuki. Hell, it might even be enough to bring them together for a time.

That was nearly the peace Pein was after, not that he would see it that way.

"Are we skipping to the Sanbi, then?" Konan asked from her customary spot behind Pein's right shoulder. It made more sense when the man was at his desk, in Zetsu's opinion, but he was rarely there so he had to wonder how Konan had gotten into that habit.

"That's in the possession of the Mizukage," Pein mused. "It's a similar problem as with Kumogakure."

"Actually," Black Zetsu started and White Zetsu proceeded. "Yagura is dead. The rebellion came to an end finally, he was one of the casualties." Black Zetsu pipped back up. "Well, the civil war, I suppose. Since the Bloodline faction won and all."

"Dead?" Konan's surprise spoke for Pein as well and he was glad to not have to voice it. Most of their information for the outside world came from either Zetsu or from Sasori's networks and with Sasori missing, well, they were in the dark about a lot of things beyond Ame's border at the moment.

"Those Wolves joined him." White Zetsu explained.

"And as expected they turned on him in the end." Black Zetsu almost sounded amused. "Kirigakure is nothing but rubble."

"So the Sanbi is going to have to reform." Pein frowned. "This is going to cause further delays." They had teams for a reason, so that they could keep tags on all the hosts and move very close together to capture them and remove the Biju they contained. Preferably they would have them all done in a single two-month window at the absolute max. The less time the better because it would limit responses from the countries long enough for Pein's plans to come into effect. Once they had their weapon it wouldn't matter what any of the countries or villages did because Pein would be able to wipe them out in an instant.

He wouldn't do it to all of them, that was far too much, but one of the major countries- whichever one was more prepared to act against them- should be enough show of force to stay the hands of the others.

And then he just needed to give the weapon to one of the minor villages. It would see more use, then, but that would ensure a substantial enough scar on any survivors that they would never dare wage war again and when that scar started to fade, well, the weapon would be ready to remind them why they were better off keeping to themselves.

"Well," White Zetsu's voice was replaced by his counterpart. "Not exactly."

"Explain."

White Zetsu took over. "Details around Yagura's death are….sketchy, at best. The people of Kirigakure seem to be under the impression that Terumi Mei ended him but none of the higher ranking Shinobi ever seem to talk about that." Black Zetsu's turn. "Personally, we suspect it may have been Tsukuyomi who actually ended him but we're still not sure what method he employed or what was done in those final moments."

"Why does that matter?" Konan asked. "No matter who killed him, if the host is dead the Sanbi will escape and reform."

"Ah," Black Zetsu grinned. "But there were no sightings of the Sanbi's Chakra from what we've gathered. Not a single one. That sort of thing is kind of hard to miss."

"Even if your village is on fire." Added his other side. "Bright green among the flames is going to stand out, especially from the only surviving structure."

"So what do you think happened?" Pein knew Zetsu wouldn't be bringing this up unless he had some sort of idea.

"Well considering that no one in Kirigakure seems at all concerned with tracking down a Sealmaster to take care of the Sanbi when it reforms either they're putting it off, which I find hard to believe considering the rarity of Fuinjutsu users these days, or it's already been sealed."

"By Tsukuyomi."

"Exactly."

"Nami is not a major village," Pein mused. "Even if it is allied with Hi no Kuni. I doubt there would be too much of a response if we were to go collect it."

"Probably not." White Zetsu agreed. "Hi no Kuni is still busy dealing with the annexation of Kaze no Kuni, even with Kirigakure sending their Shinobi to help."

"Still, Tsukuyomi managed to kill Yagura. We don't know how, but we should probably assume he's at least Kage-Level. That's not taking into account the fact that Yagura was a Jinchuriki with perfect control of the Sanbi so he'd be harder than most to slay. He could prove difficult, especially because we don't know where he sealed it. If he knows we're after it he may be able to delay us enough for it to be taken away. I would expect him to do something like that, he strikes me as the spiteful sort." Black Zetsu added. "And because it's one of the lower tails there's a good chance it could have been sealed into an object. That's only ever a temporary solution but it's much easier to hide than a person. An object isn't going to have any needs or a will of its own. It could be locked away anywhere and with evident sealing ability, well, there could be a seal on a rock at the bottom of the ocean containing the object the Sanbi is trapped in for all we know."

"That's the worst case solution." Konan pointed out. "It could just as easily be in one of his Wolves."

Zetsu nodded in agreement. "It could be, we just don't know which one in that case."

"So either way we're delayed on that front. We need to confirm that the Sanbi is sealed and not waiting to reform." Pein was getting real tired of waiting. "Is the Yonbi a viable option? We know he's wandering somewhere in Tsuchi no Kuni so he won't be under as much observation. Having to wait for the others anyway we might want to grab him and hope Iwa doesn't look into it too hard when they eventually learn."

"That should be fine." Assured Black Zetsu. "I can reassign Kakuzu and Hidan again or-"

"I'll see to it myself." Konan and Zetsu were equally surprised at Pein's declaration but neither thought to question it. It did, however, betray just how impatient the man was beginning to get.

"In that case we'll resume our search for our missing members. Kisame came back recently so we can use him to scope out some of the higher tails in the meantime in our place." Zetsu sketched a brief, shallow bow. "We'll be off." He melted back into the shadows and was gone.

Even so, the remaining Akatsuki members in the room waited in silence for a minute more before daring to break it.

"You know," Konan mused gently. "Perhaps having members primarily defined by having gone rogue from their own home villages wasn't the best of choices. We probably should have expected this."

"Ame isn't exactly producing any outstanding Shinobi." Pein reasoned but he agreed completely. He hadn't gathered the most trustworthy of individuals to aid him in his plans. Orochimaru's defection and more recently Itachi's murder were prime examples of it.

"Maybe we should have focused our resources and attention there, then."

"...Maybe we should have." He agreed after a moment. Unfortunately it was too late now and Pein was tired of waiting. He would have his peace and he would have it soon, even if he had to personally collect all the Biju to do so.

Soon the work of decades would finally bear fruit.

Hidden deep within the bowels of Ame, his true body ached with a weariness he could not soothe. He was looking forward to the end of his labors.


"Oh she is so precious." Spinning around the little turtle, Tsunami brought her in for a tight hug.

"Isn't she?" Karura beamed. "Don't be shy, Isobu dear, this is Tsunami. She's the woman who takes care of Tou-Sama's palace."

The Sanbi considered that for a second, wondering what that actually made the woman in relation to her but in the end she couldn't figure it out. Deciding it must be unimportant and with her mother assuring her it was fine Isobu's little arms wrapped around the woman as best they could.

Tsunami practically melted.

Inari was growing up to be a fine young man but maybe she was still young enough for just one or two more. She'd have to let some of the girls start working the upper floor but she was sure Naruto probably wouldn't mind.

All she needed to do was find a father but she had at least one option in mind already.

A little girl with long, silver hair would be just as adorable as the little angel in her arms, she was sure.

Back in Konoha Kakashi felt a shiver of dread shoot down his spine.


The hardest part about trying to determine if one could seal away Kami, it turned out, was not finding mythical artifacts in which to contain them. No, the hardest part ended up being finding lesser Kami to actually test your theories on before moving on to regular or greater Kami.

It wasn't that there weren't Kami but rather that ever since mankind had been gifted Chakra they had done their best to keep from sight. That, upon consideration, was probably the best evidence Orochimaru had that Chakra could be used in some way to affect them. Hopefully it was in one of the ways he was planning to utilize.

Still, just because Kami liked to hide didn't mean they couldn't be found, it was just a pain in the ass. Orochimaru's solution to the problem had been to collect heirlooms from families across the elemental nations and whatever remnants of dilapidated shrines he could get his hands on. The hope was that there would be minor- or even regular- Kami tied to such objects which would allow him to transport them all to a single testing location.

It was much easier than journeying to each location for a single test at a time.

Of course, there was another option too. If the Shinigami could be summoned then it stood to reason that lesser Kami would absolutely be summonable. He just had to figure out how.

There was also the option of bringing up some of the more...mild….denizens of the Deep Cells to try these on too but it was one Orochimaru was very much keeping in reserve. He wasn't that desperate, not now anyway.

Those things weren't even Kami as far as he was aware- not in the traditional sense- but they were similar and the results should be close enough to be workable. Still, it was far too large a risk when he still had other options.

The problem with any Kami tied to objects, unfortunately, was that they still weren't showing themselves. Offerings, commandings, even trying to ward them away from the object so they would be pushed into the physical world had provided few results. The most success they'd had was from an old Hishaku* recovered from one of the shrines. It had been inhabited by a rather energetic water sprite and while they had been unable to contain it to the warehouse they were using it seemed to have taken a shine to Kabuto and enjoyed flitting about his shoulders spraying mist around his head at random intervals.

The young man in question didn't seem overly thrilled by this development but Orochimaru found it amusing enough and it did represent at least some minimal progress in this project.

That progress, in fact, had been enough for Orochimaru to pass that part of the project off to some of his underlings- including Kabuto. Orochimaru hoped the presence of the water sprite might entice some of the other spirits to make appearances- and turned the entirety of his attentions to the next option they had available.

Which is why he had been trying to modify the Shiki Fujin to call something other than the Shinigami. It was not going as well as he'd hoped but he wasn't really surprised. The only real knowledge dealing with the calling of souls he had at his disposal was the Edo Tensei which relied on possessing a sample of the intended target's DNA to draw them back…..

Oh?

They had those heirlooms and what they had taken from shrines, maybe instead of messing with the Shiki Fujin to summon spirits he should modify the Edo Tensei to pull any spirits tied to those objects to the physical world.

But how did he make sure they showed themselves?

...Did they need to?

Normally the target of the Edo Tensei inhabited the sacrifice, maybe the same could be done here. All Orochimaru needed was confirmation that the spirit was there and something to target with the later steps of the experiments. And if it was bound to a physical body, well, that would actually make things a bit easier anyway. The sacrifice could be bound before the Jutsu was performed and then the spirit would already be restrained.

Perfect, he knew exactly what to start with after this test concluded.

Speaking of the test….

Leaning over the large pit he had dug into the warehouse- he might decide to fill it in when he left, it would depend on how he felt- he eyed the naked captive who had been told performing the provided jutsu would secure their release. He wasn't sure where he had grabbed them from, probably some smaller village of no consequence, but he was pretty sure they were only a Genin.

That or a rather poor excuse for a Chunin. Either way, it was taking far longer for them to properly perform the Jutsu than it should have. Unless Orochimaru had utterly failed in his modifications- which he thought was rather unlikely but perhaps he had just the barest of biases- there should have been some sort of result by now.

Then again, he hadn't been taking the best care of these subjects. Maybe that was adding to it. He'd have to add time to his expectations to account for that in the future. If it took too much longer he might just use him as the first sacrifice for the Edo Tensei ide-

Orochimaru leaned back just in time to avoid a shower of blood and melted flesh as the Shinobi suddenly liquified and exploded. When he was sure the coast was clear- he'd already taken a shower this morning and he didn't feel like dealing with Sasuke's hair again so soon. It turns out it was even worse when wet- he leaned back over to scan the bottom of the pit for any signs of summoned spirits.

A pale blue fire flickered happily in the middle of the bloody splatter despite there not being anything present for it to burn. One of Orochimaru's brows raised.

That had potential, then. Excellent.

Orochimaru idly wondered if Orochimaru was having as much luck with his project. He hoped so.


"Yes they're real and no, I'm not sharing the secret with you." Tsunade huffed, crossing her arms across the breasts in question.

"You don't have to share the secret," He protested, though he added a muttered "Though you really should". She pretended not to hear it.

"Just use it on the body we're making and I won't need it ever again."

"I'm not giving you my breasts to do with as you see fit."

"They aren't going to be your breasts, though. They'll be mine. I'm not going to copy them exactly- just mostly."

"The answer is still no, Orochimaru." Tsunade couldn't believe she was actually having this conversation with the Snake Sage. "I'm taking that secret to the grave."

"You wouldn't even share it with poor Shizune?"

"Shizune won't ask me for it."

"That doesn't mean she doesn't want it." He pointed out. "Just that she's either embarrassed to ask, thinks you won't share, or doesn't know she would be able to use it too."

"Well that's between me and Shizune, not you."

"But it could be."

"No, Orochimaru."

The man in someone else's body frowned- though it was more of a pout- and turned away for a second to think, his arms crossed petulantly. "Fine then, keep those wonderful breasts all to yourself."

Tsunade raised a brow. "I share them," She corrected. "But not like that and not with you."

Orochimaru perked up at that, interest piqued. "Oh? Really? So what I hear about you in Naruto's bed-"

"Who told you about that?!" Her crossed arms moved to rest on her hips. "It was Anko wasn't it? That loose-mouthed little slut…."

"It was Tayuya, actually. Anko's still not overly fond of my company."

Tsunade narrowed her eyes. "We'll see if I ever let her watch again." She was shot an amused look from her fellow Sannin.

"From the way I hear it you didn't exactly have much of a choice one way or the other. It would have been Shizune who allowed her to stay and watch."

"Bah," She waved his point off. "Semantics. I won't let Shizune allow her to watch next time."

"Pretty sure Shizune's still in charge…."

"It's mutual!" Was her protest. It was his turn to wave her off.

"Sure, sure. Whatever helps you surrender to her ministrations, I suppose." Before she had a chance to retort- or punch him- he pressed on. "But if you won't share the secret of those breasts give me the one for your ass."

"What the hell are you on about?!"

He gave her a flat look. "Oh, don't give me that Tsunade. Retaining such a perfect shape at that size? That's exactly the same as those breasts of yours, you have to have done something. So what is it? A daily exercise routine? Some sort of cream? A Jutsu?"

"It's always been like that!"

"Really?" Sasuke's face frowned and Orochimaru tilted his head to the side. "I have to admit that I didn't pay that much attention to you back then, so I wouldn't actually know." He went silent for a few seconds. "...So it's just genetics, then?"

Her eyes narrowed suspiciously. "...Why?"

"Well if you have any eggs left I'm sure we could use them as a good base. The mix of Senju and Uzumaki is already promising…"

"I am not about to allow you to use the body of my daughter as your own."

"But would it really be your-"

"Orochimaru." It was practically a growl and he raised his hands up in surrender.

"Fine, fine." He thought a bit more. "I do still have Senju DNA, do you think I could get Kushina to donate an egg or two for the Uzumaki part?"

Tsunade snorted. "I'd like to see you try to convince her. Watching her beat your ass would be nearly as therapeutic as doing it myself."

"So that's a no. Pity. Guess I'll have to see if I can get Mikoto to aid the cause. She looks similar to my last body so that might be for the best anyway."

"I doubt Mikoto would let you do that."

"Then what else am I supposed to do?"

"Make a body from scratch instead of just trying to copy one from someone already in the palace?" She suggested dryly.

"Why on earth would I do the extra work of building it completely from scratch when I can just improve on someone's existing body?"

"Because no one is going to help you make a clone of them to wear around like a summer outfit."

"This is going to be permanent, all of you should be flattered that I'm even considering your bodies." Complained the snake.

"We're not."

"And that's a problem." She rolled her eyes.

"Only for you. The rest of us are just fine keeping our bodies out of your hands."

"You all just know I'd wear them better."

"You keep telling yourself that. Now, don't you have a body to go build?"

"Orochimaru's working on it."

Tsunade opened her mouth to ask and then promptly closed it again, thinking better of it. Orochimaru seemed rather disappointed by that.

Naruto had the right idea with the Kage Bunshin but it wasn't quite as fun if you weren't confusing people with them.

Now, how much was it going to cost him to get some pictures of a naked Tsunade from Shizune so he had a better reference for his new body?


Nervous glances were exchanged, none of them wanting to breath the ever so delicate subject with their Daimyo but they also knew not informing him would only cause more issues in the long run.

The Daimyo in question was sat upon his throne as he watched a handful of performers. Technically he was working at the moment but he rarely did so at a desk and even more rarely was he alone. A scribe stood beside him, eyes fixed on their papers as they completely ignored the colorful dancers, jugglers, and acrobats who were vying for the Daimyo's attention.

Every minute or so Doto would lean over and mutter a few sentences that the scribe dutifully captured and then he would continue watching the performance. His eyes never left the troupe but it was debatable if he was paying attention or simply lost in thought.

More glances were shared and then, with a resigned nod, one of them slipped over to Doto's other side. "Doto-Sama."

There was silence for a long second before the Daimyo responded in a low tone "Speak." His eyes hadn't even glanced at the new interruption.

"There's, uh, there's been an incident with one of the trains."

There was no indication that the man had heard him at all but he didn't dare repeat himself or try to continue until Doto acknowledged him. Two minutes later- after providing his scribe with more to write down- he did. "What sort of incident? How is this important?"

"It's…" He swallowed nervously. "One of the trains has been...stolen."

Doto's head snapped to the side and cold eyes stared directly at the messenger. "...What did you just say?"

"One of- one of the trains has been...stolen, Doto-Sama."

The Daimyo's right hand came up in a fist and the performers came to an immediate halt.

"Leave me."

They didn't question him or offer any protest, just bowing appropriately and leaving the throneroom. The scribe leaned forward with a simple question; "Doto-Sama?"

"Stay."

The scribe nodded and returned to his previous posture, preparing a new page specifically for recording the details of this matter.

"Details. Now." He commanded in a growl.

"Of course, Doto-Sama." The Daimyo was not going to be pleased. He only hoped his ire would be directed towards the unknown thief rather than himself.

With Doto's temperament, however, that seemed far from likely.


Sealkeeper: He Who Binds

Chapter 148-B "Impurities"

Patron Release 2021.11.19

Kabuto did his best to ignore their presence, he really did, but when they were nearly sixteen centimeters tall and riding on your shoulder, well, that became somewhat difficult. Even when he was just looking forward- and despite his glasses not aiding him there- he could still see the lesser Kami out of the corner of his eye with little difficulty.

That did not help him pretend it was not there, no matter how much he wished that was the case.

Of all the people who had been present in that warehouse, why the hell did it have to take an interest in him? He didn't even like water.

Not for the first time he suspected that very fact may have been what attracted the water sprite's attention. Damn the universe and its twisted humours.

It gave an exaggerated sigh as it put its arms behind it and leaned back, glancing sideways towards him when he didn't respond. When it caught the corner of his eye it sighed again leaning back even further to strain its generous chest against the thin blue kimono they wore.

Oh, yes, did he forget to mention the fact that this particular Kami also took the form of a beautiful woman? It did and it was also very much aware of that fact.

"Wore" was also playing quite loosely with the term. Well, calling it a Kimono was probably not entirely correct either. It was closer to a Yukata, a light summer version and even then "light" didn't even begin to describe the thing. It was like a single layer of thin fabric in the general shape of a robe that seemed simultaneously too loose and too tight for her.

Tight in the sense that it hugged her as if it was wet- fortunately it was not, otherwise his shoulder would be perpetually soaked- and loose because the damn thing seemed to always be slipping off of her and only barely managed to hold on by the previously mentioned tightness. Her spilling out of the damn thing seemed to be the only thing keeping it on her body and he couldn't wrap his head around it.

To save himself the trouble- and his sanity- he tried to attribute it to the fact that she - it- was a spirit and thus not bound to the same physical limitations he was used to.

Didn't make it any less distracting.

When his eyes were inevitably drawn to the flesh attempting to spill out of her robe her lips pulled into a satisfied grin for a moment before reducing down to a coy smile. "Like what you see, Kabuto-Kun?"

Her answer was the dusting of red that spread under his glasses as he steadfastly refused to verbally respond to that. She gave a giggle, a melodious thing that sounded like wind chimes in the rain, and began to gently swing her legs from her perch.

"It's okay if you do, Kabuto-Kun. I don't mind at all." Her voice dropped to a husky whisper. "In fact, I like it when you look. Those dark eyes of your roaming across my pale, exposed flesh…." She gave a small shudder. "Oh, it just gives me goosebumps all over." Her smile became wicked. "Wanna see?"

"If your flesh was any more exposed you'd be naked." He continued staring forward. "It's not proper."

"That's not as fun," She frowned. "It's always better to have something to cover the barest amounts. It's more tantalizing, see?" All this flesh that you can see but you can't help follow it to what you can't see. You know it's there, blocked by only the tiniest bit of fabric." Her hand came up to her collarbone and then followed the dip of her robe along her breast, dipping further and further down. "With just the barest slip that part would be exposed to you, it would take so little, you wish with all your might that something would give it…. just…. the…. smallest...tug..."

Her finger hooked around the meeting point of the two sides and made a show of how easy it would be to pull down. Her bust threatened to spill out but by some miracle remained covered- if barely. A low groan escaped her painted lips and her chest heaved with short, excited breaths.

"But wishes are for fools, Kabuto-Kun, nothing ever comes from them. You know what things do come from?" She waited only a second for him to answer before she continued. "Prayer." She practically purred the word. "Will you pray to me, Kabuto-Kun? Will you pray to Jundo-Hime and tell me all your desires so I can fulfil them?"

Kabuto swallowed a lump in his throat, keenly aware of his burning cheeks and the sweat that was starting to build up at the back of his neck. At some point he had turned his head to better face her- though he had no idea when- but while his eyes had originally followed her hands they were now lost in those sparkling blue-green eyes.

Her hand left her chest to hover before her face where she gently kissed her palm and then held it before her as if to blow a kiss-

A sudden spray of mist struck Kabuto in the face, soaking his bangs and clinging to his glasses as her laughter bubbled out like a brook.

"I can't believe you fell for that again, Kabuto-Kun!" She smiled brightly at him, mischievousness sparkling in her eyes.

Sufficiently cooled off, Kabuto returned his gaze straight ahead and she pouted at the loss of his attention. His cheeks were still tinged the slightest of pinks.

"Aw, don't be like that Kabuto-Kun. You know I'm just having a bit of fun, if you really wanted to see you only have to ask…"

"I thought you came from a Hishaku*," He mumbled. "Shouldn't your ties to the Chōzu* lead to you being pure or something?"

"Oh, Kabuto-Kun, you sweet little thing," Ironic considering he was by far the larger of the two. "I'm a water Kami. The water is used to purify during a Chōzu but where do you think all those impure things go?"

He gave a resigned sigh at the realization. "...In the water."

"Exactly." She smirked. "In...side...me! Do you want to be inside me too?"

"I'm not answering that." Her grin stretched from ear to ear.

"I'm wearing you down, Kabuto-Kun, and it's only been a day. You'll be mine inside the week."

"If you say so." Honestly, it wasn't an entirely horrible prospect but why did she have to be a Kami of the water? The universe was laughing at him, amused by its own sick humor. He just knew it.


"Ah, so this is where you all went." Naruto was mainly referring to Tsunami who had fallen unconscious on him in the real world but there seemed to be plenty of visitors to the seal at the moment. Isobu was sat in Tsunami's lap with Gaara nearby, wanting to be close to his beloved sister but not quite close enough with Tsunami to want to be sat pressed against her. Karura was between Tsunami and Gaara while Temari seemed to have stopped by for a visit and was across from the Biju.

Not far away he was pretty sure he saw both Katsuri and Shizune admiring some of the flowers in Karura's garden while Keigo and Sai were quietly discussing something as they leaned against the palace wall. Sai noticed him and gave a quick wave, either unphased by the strangeness of this whole situation or having had enough time to grow accustomed to it.

He wasn't sure how the latter would be possible but it was Sai so he was willing to remain open minded. Considering the trouble the Wolves got into and the fact that he'd been working with Naruto for years, well, perhaps he was just more used to strange than your average Shinobi-

Which was really saying something if you thought about the absolutely stupid shit your everyday Shinobi could pull off without any consideration.

…..Was that Mito and Naruko speaking with Tayuya? Whatever the Oto Kunoichi was saying Mito seemed fairly interested in but Naruko seemed terribly uncomfortable. The cheeks of all three had various degrees of red to them. It was probably safest not to ask what they were talking about.

"Ah, Beloved, isn't it wonderful?!" Karura shot up from her seat and beamed at him. "There are so many people in here now!"

"Yes," He nodded. "I can see that. I didn't expect to see them in here so soon." He'd only just given Tsunami her seal and hadn't expected anything like this but she was the only one here not use to dealing with Chakra so maybe that was to be expected. When it came to the others, however, they hadn't collapsed and seemed just fine when he had left them. He still had more seals to go but at the moment his primary concern had been trying to figure out what had happened to Tsunami.

There had certainly been worse possibilities than her ending up in the seal so this was probably for the best.

"Well I could hardly wait to meet them all," She explained. "So when I was sure you were done I pulled each one in." Her expression turned sheepish. "I guess I got a little too excited when I grabbed Tsunami-Chan but all the others were off exploring."

"I see."He gazed about the palace courtyard. "Are they still here by choice or are they stuck?"

In the corner of his eye Keigo shrugged, obviously having overheard him. "I have absolutely no idea how to get back." Next to him Sai nodded in agreement. Karura looked surprised, as if she hadn't even considered that a possibility.

Hmm, maybe things were going to be a bit more complicated than he thought.


For an exception measure in mere minutes, Naruto had possessed his own seal for the entirety of his life. His Chakra had always flown through it and he'd dealt with that since his earliest experiences with Chakra manipulation. Accessing it- and severing that connection- had come to him as almost second nature and he'd had plenty of practice visiting Mito and now Karura and Isobu.

Naruko, similarly, had always had her part of the seal and had specifically trained in the use of Mito's Chakra. Whenever she needed to leave Mito's seal- or by extension one of the seals on Naruto- she only needed to cut her established connection to her own seal.

Gaara was also someone used to dealing with his seal and after being called and dismissed by Karura almost nightly for a few weeks managed to get a hang of it himself.

The others were a different story.

Temari, the first of them to be connected to the seal, usually came in with either Naruto or Gaara and always left with them too. When they severed their connections she was brought out with them. On the few times she had visited by herself, Karura had been the one to shoo her off- usually because she was expecting a visit from Naruto and wanted to enjoy that time privately. Or as privately as one could when there were other occupants of the seal who came and went as the pleased already- and seeing that it was Karura's seal she was able to expel most visitors at will.

The issue of someone not being able to leave had never occurred to any of them. Well, no, 'not being able to leave' wasn't the issue because they still could leave, just not on their own. They would require Karura or Naruto- or Isobu if they were on her beach or Mito if they were in her little abode- to remove them when they wished to return to the physical world.

That wasn't exactly practical, especially if they needed to get going but Karura was feeling lonely or chatty and didn't want them to leave. Calling for Naruto each time simply wasn't going to work.

To remedy that Naruto had spent what felt like several hours working one by one with the Shinobi in his seal to help them sever the connection themselves. They hadn't exactly been the one to establish it- Karura had done that when she pulled them in, something Naruto hadn't realized she was actually capable of and it turned out she hadn't known until it worked either- so reversing that connection was a bit more challenging but it did ensure they would be able to leave if Karura ever did something like that again.

She promised she wouldn't, of course, but Naruto was also well aware that she could be more than a little impulsive when she got excited so the chances were that she'd end up doing it before she even realized she was breaking that promise. He couldn't exactly hold that against her so it was better to just have contingencies in place in case it did happen.

As an additional contingency, he had managed to obtain agreement from Mito that she would help sever the connection to the seal for anyone who came to her abode for help with it. Because they would be in her seal rather than Karura's and weren't Naruko- the only one she couldn't expel from it- they would be sent back to the physical world immediately.

Naruto didn't think that would ever be necessary but better safe than sorry and "managed" made it seem like an accomplishment when in reality she was more than happy to do something so simple for him.

Well, she seemed more than happy to do anything for him and as genuine as she seemed- and as much as he wanted to believe she could be trusted- he was simply unable to completely set aside the memories of the last time he had given her too much leeway. While he had suffered, ultimately it had been Tatsuki that paid the real price. Not learning his lesson from that would have been an insult to her memory but there was also the chance that Mito had learned a lesson of her own.

Whether that lesson was to not do what she had before or if it had been to simply be more subtle about it, well, that's what made it hardest for him to put his trust back in her.

With all the Shinobi taken care of, however, that still left Tsunami needing a way out. Unlike the others she had absolutely zero experience with Chakra and it generally took the academy two years to get would-be Shinobi to a point where they could be taught E-ranked Jutsu. Granted, eight months of that was theory for Chakra, weapons, taijutsu, and trying to drill both the Shinobi code and some common fucking sense into the brats but still, it took much longer to train someone to use Chakra than Naruto really had time for and that wasn't even taking into account the fact that he would have to artificially increase her Chakra coils in order to be used this far into her life and that was a process that could take years alone to perform safely.

It was also only theoretical, no one had actually ever managed it.

So unless he could just give her a brand new-

Narutro paused. He could, couldn't he? His seal.

He hadn't even tested his seal yet but if it was already doing what he intended without being activated then Tsunami never had to activate it either, right? His original plan had simply been to create a room within Karura's palace that would be tied directly to the seal he'd already placed on Tsunami which, in theory, would send her consciousness back to the seal. Rather than creating a Kage-Bunshin - seeing as she wasn't capable of it- she would instead simply return to her body.

Probably.

A second option had been to essentially create a sub-seal within Karura's that he made exclusively Tsunami's domain, then she could eject herself at will. Seals within seals were supposed to be impossible but so was half the shit he did with Sealkeeper so Naruto was hardly concerned with not being able to pull it off.

Of course, if he was giving her control over a piece of Karura's seal he also wondered if it might not be a good choice to just give her influence over the whole thing. He wouldn't tell her- either of them, at that- but if Karura was going to be pulling Tsunami into the seal it might be nice if some of the things Tsunami wanted to change could be changed without requesting it from Karura or himself. She might not even notice it but that was hardly the point.

She was already in charge of his palace in Nami, why not give her the same sort of authority over Karura's? She was far more likely to identify problems here than either of them were and if she had authority over the seal they could be fixed as soon as she noticed them.

Naruto actually had to wonder- with the whole space-time aspect of seals coming into play- if she would notice the issue before it was changed or if the seal would simply pull the correction from her mind before she had a chance to see it.

The curiosity for that alone was just about enough for him to go through with it.

And with her having authority over the seal she should be able to eject herself at will, too, even while within Karura's domain.

So three potential fixes for Tsunami's situation he could choose from.

But like earlier when he had to decide who to give a seal to- why did he have to choose?

"Uh, Naruto-Sama?" Tsunami looked as unsure as she sounded, though there was also a distinct redness to her cheeks under his gaze. "You've been staring for a while now. Is everything alright?"

"Fine, fine." He waved away her concern and then paused. "Have you ever thought about being able to do some of the things Shinobi can? He asked. "Walking on walls, super fast travel-"

"Having more than one of me?" She asked, interrupting. Her eyes were already sparkling.

"Yes, exactly. Things like that."

"They sound amazing."

Naruto nodded. "Okay then, head to my bedroom when you wake-" The red on her cheeks deepened considerably. "-And we'll get started on something that will help you do those."

She looked embarrassed at her assumption but no less excited.

On his arm Sealkeeper glowed briefly, modifying Karura's seal to add a personal domain for Tsunami and allow her some control over the main seal. "Alright, let's go." With a thought the mistress of the palace was ejected from the seal and back into her body. Naruto stepped to Karura and gave her a quick peck on the cheek. "I'll be back later, love." He promised. "I need to make sure everything's in order before I forget something."

She was, understandably, disappointed but quickly perked up as an idea struck her. "Does that mean I get a reward?" She asked hopefully.

"Are you sure you wouldn't prefer a punishment?" One brow rose.

"The dungeon?" Her eyes sparkled in delight.

"I'll meet you there later, Karura."

He left the seal- and one very happy Tanuki.


"What the hell is that?!" The last Senju exclaimed, a mixture of shock, awe, and absolute disgust. "It's all breast!"

"Too much?" Orochimaru pulled Sasuke's lips into a frown, looking over the created torso critically.

"You could legitimately hide an academy student in one of those things!"

"I think you might be exaggerating just a tad-"

"A graduated academy student." Tsunade shook her head. "What the hell were you thinking?"

Orochimaru shrugged. "I was just playing around a bit. I have the option to do whatever I want so it would be remiss of me not to test out some more extreme possibilities."

A suspicious gaze was sent his way in response. "I thought the idea was to create a body to entice Naruto, shouldn't it be tailored to his taste?"

"They're breasts, Tsunade." Orochimaru defended. "Possibly the most wonderful thing to exist in this world. I can hardly see him complaining about having more of it."

Tsunade crossed her arms and leaned back slightly, her face settling into a challenging expression. "You're the one apparently enamored by breasts. I'd have thought having a regular pair would have made you aware of the associated drawbacks." She relaxed slightly. "Besides, I'm fairly certain Naruto's more of an ass man anyway. The breasts are just a bonus."

Orochimaru waved her off. "I get to build this body from scratch, Tsunade. I can eliminate- or at least greatly reduce- those drawbacks." He paused, frowning. "And you might be right about his tastes." The look became suspicious. "Wait, how do you know that?"

Quickly looking away Tsunade tried to change the subject. "Nevermind that, what was that about negating the drawbacks of large breasts?"

"Just some modifications to increase natural support in the back and spine." Orochimaru waved his hands dismissively, obviously not considering it all that important in the end.

"How?" Hers weren't exactly natural- pretty close, just...encouraged- and they came with all the issues one would expect. If there was a solution she wanted to get her hands on it.

"Oh, no." Orochimaru wagged a finger. "If I can't have the secret to your breasts you can't have my improvement for them."

Raising a brow Tsunade gestured to the torso. "You hardly seem to need it."

"Give them a feel."

"What?"

"Give them a feel and then tell me I've figured it out."

"Oh my god, why does it feel like that?" It was somehow both like sinking your hand into wet dough- and she didn't mean as opposed to dough that had dried out but rather something that had been dropped into a sink full of water- and trying to compress an overly-inflated balloon, giving in to your touch and then suddenly pressing back with a disturbing hardness while almost sticking to your hand. "What the fuck are these things filled with?"

"I modeled them after a pufferfish, actually."

Tsunade's look was absolutely horrified. "Why?" She managed to whisper.

Orochimaru shrugged. "There are no limits to science, Tsunade."

"...If I allow you to model the body after me and give you the secrets to my breasts you have to promise to share your method of strengthening the back and then promise to never, ever, do something like this again."

Orochimaru grinned. "Deal."

For some reason, Tsunade had a feeling he had done this on purpose but at the moment she couldn't bring herself to care. She just wanted this abomination gone.


When Tsunami awoke from...whatever it was that Naruto had done she was feeling a bit sore throughout her body but strangely energetic. It was almost like she was anxious or excited but not quite and she had a hard time trying to understand it herself, let alone explain it. Her whole being seemed to hum with something she should be doing but which she had no idea what or how to do.

To be honest, it was a bit uncomfortable and she hoped she would grow used to it soon.

Rising from the bed- her bed, she realized- she took a glance around her room. Naruto or one of the Wolves must have moved her here after she had lost consciousness. Of course, she hadn't been fully unconscious because unlike an average person her awareness had the opportunity to slip away into...Naruto's head, as Karura had described it...where she had been able to spend some more time with the woman.

It was..nice..to have a friend who seemed to be about her age. Tsunami really didn't have any of those.

Well, she thought Karura was about her age but she wasn't about to ask. That would be rude.

A glance to the clock revealed that it was only mid afternoon which meant most of the day's work should be done but there would still be plenty for her to oversee as the palace started winding down for the evening. The lower floors, at least. Naruto and his Wolves kept strange hours.

It had been her plan to check up on the girls to make sure the regular duties had been completed up to standard and then try to catch up on her own work up here on the top floor but a letter on the floor by her door caught her attention.

Tsunami didn't get mail. Ever.

There had been one letter from her father when he'd reached Konoha to let her know he had made it safely and would be on his way back soon but beyond that nothing ever came addressed to her. Bills and invoices occasionally reached the house but those had always been in her father's name and usually delivered by private courier because Nami didn't exactly have a mail system under Gato's rule.

For some reason Tsunami highly doubted that her father had written to her when she was still here in Nami. It would have been much easier to just stop by and assuming he wanted to keep his distance from the palace it wasn't as if she didn't stop back at the house regularly. In fact, she cooked dinner for them at home four or five days a week on average and on other days sent food made by the palace kitchens to make sure they were well fed in her absence.

If he needed to tell her something he had more than ample opportunity on those evenings.

Sitting back on her bed she opened the envelope and pulled out the letter it contained. The handwriting was lazy and possessed an almost looping quality she initially found a bit difficult to read- as if the writer couldn't be bothered to fully raise their hand after individual strokes and only made it partway up before moving on- but she soon managed to figure it out.

It was from Kakashi.

That alone was surprising. She hadn't heard from him since his team had helped defend her father- despite later learning he'd stopped in Nami for a time after Tsukuyomi and the Wolves had been in Mizu no Kuni. She was still not entirely pleased he hadn't taken the time to stop by- so she had hardly expected him to write to her.

What ended up being more surprising, however, was what he was asking her to do.

She felt her face grow hot. Set up Naruto and Mikoto? As lovers? That was certainly a tall order and considering the woman constantly proclaimed herself to be Naruto's mother something about it seemed decidedly wrong.

...Still, it would put the man in her debt and it would provide an opportunity for Tsunami to make friends with a woman she knew for a fact had to be near her age.

She tried very hard to ignore what that suggested about the difference between her own age and Naruto's.

Besides, she had to be able to talk about her experiences with someone, why not Mikoto?


"I think I'm going to have a look around, Kabuto-Kun. Don't miss me too much while I'm gone, I'll be back before you know it." The lesser Kami stretched from her position on his shoulder before sliding off to stand on the air as if it were solid and a second later she had crossed her ankles together so it looked more like she was floating.

He supposed that either way she had probably been floating but he did find himself more comfortable when it looked that way.

"Take as long as you need." Was his reply. Hopefully it would be long enough that his hair would finally dry. The humidity of Nami was bad enough but Jundo seemed especially partial to soaking his hair.

It was probably for the best, his hair tended to dry faster than his clothes, though not nearly fast enough for his preferences.

"Aw, don't be like that Kabuto-Kun." She pouted. "You know you'll miss me."

"You'll be back." He stated it as a simple fact but it sounded more like he was repeating a death sentence he'd just received.

"You know it." She grinned. Moving to his cheek she planted a brief kiss- as wet as everything else she touched seemed to become- and then gave a fluttering wave before sinking into the moisture in the air like dissipating fog. He couldn't see her but he also didn't really trust she was gone at all.

It wouldn't have been the first time she pretended to leave only to surprise him with his own private rain. He wouldn't believe she was actually gone until he received word of her terrorizing someone else and by the time that reached him, well, she'd probably already be on his shoulder telling him all about it with a giggle.

He would just be grateful it hadn't been him this time.

As he tried to get back to his work- which was a series of papers that had been damp and dried so many times they were now permanently deformed- he kept finding his attention drifting off and came to a realization-

While her presence was irritating, he felt far more comfortable when she was somewhere he could keep an eye on her.

At least then he had a chance at seeing whatever she was going to do coming.

He never really did, but there was still the chance.

Like this, he had absolutely no idea when she would pop up again or what she would be doing when she did.

It made him feel uneasy but perhaps this was also an opportunity.

He needed to find a poncho or something before she got back.

He was probably going to need it.


Hishaku - dipper used during the Chōzu purification rite to bring the waters of a Chōzubachi to the hands and mouth.

Jundo - Purity


Alright, a couple things to mention here before this chapter is done or, more importantly, I forget to mention them again. First, my apologies for the late chapter. I didn't get enough done on my days out and with my current schedule I don't really have the chance to work on them during the rest of the week.

That brings us to the second thing- my work. I went back to security a bit ago so I'm doing twelve hour shifts four on and four off. Two of those days off I'm completely useless- or more useless, as it were- so I usually just have those two days to get a chapter written. I've managed for most of the past weeks- sometimes questionably so- but as you've seen failing to make it pretty much adds another week to it.

Third, I know it's been a while since my last Commentary or Update. The last time I tried to sit down and do a Commentary I got pissed off at the text editor and just went to bed and I haven't tried since. Every time I do think about it I'm either not able to get to it at the moment- usually because I'm at work- or I prioritize the chapter. As I've barely managed to get those out and I had even built up a small stock of ready to go scenes recently, well, managing to pick up reviews from where we left off was never going to happen.

I had been planning on changing the "Commentaries" to "Responses" and turning "Commentaries" into my thoughts while I was writing a chapter. I thought that would be interesting but stopping while writing to jot down notes or going back over and trying to remember probably wasn't going to work. I will, however, try to resume responses to reviews again, though they'll likely be found on my Patron site as publicly available so I don't have to fight with the text editor on my website. Why the enter key completely separates one block of text from the next as an entirely different entity I will never understand.

And finally- Tomorrow marks Sealkeeper's Sixth aniversery! I think there's only one year where I managed to actually post on the anniversary and while I'd like to be able to do so I figure you'd all appreciate the chapter now instead. I am still working on that Tatsuki one-shot- as unbelievable as that may seem to you- and just recently I've reworked things into something more resembling a story. Haven't fully planned out where it would end but knowing myself it's entirely possible it might become more of a short spinoff than an actual one-shot.

We'll see.

That does it for today. Thanks for stopping by and make sure you scroll down to appreciate all my wonderful patrons.


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