I know, I know. It's been a while. This chapter doesn't have a lot action and it's not as long as normal. I just couldn't get it up to my standards, but I didn't want to keep you all waiting. Thank you to everyone who Followed, Favorited, and/or Reviewed. And now, for Anko's initial reaction to Naruto's status as the Red Dragon Emperor!
The Secret is Out
Things were usually calm in the Jonin Lounge, only the presence of two specific people shattering that peace, so when Anko Mitarashi quietly walked into the lounge one evening, everyone was set on edge. She and Might Gai were the two expected to cause a ruckus. No one was more edgy than the head of the T&I Department, Morino Ibiki, who had only seen the Snake Mistress quiet when she wanted to play the Silent Intimidator role while torturing a prisoner. Oblivious to the confused stares she was getting, Anko wandered over to the coffee pot in the corner and poured herself a cup.
After the big revelation, Anko had waved her brats off, telling them that training was over for the day.
She was still trying to wrap her head around the fact that one of her students had the potential to be the strongest person to ever live. Uzumaki's were notoriously strong as a small group was able to restrain a Tailed Beast, Jinchuuriki were nearly unbeatable if they controlled their Bijuu, and the Dragons were said to be as strong as the Kyuubi itself. And then he was the offspring of the Fourth, a fact told only to those who knew Minato Namekaze and his wife or who the Third trusted to protect the kid after he was kicked out of the orphanage. Hell, Anko had wanted to adopt the kid because she'd known Kushina so well, but the damn council wouldn't let her.
The fact that all of these mixed: two strong gene pools, the world's strongest demon, and one of the world's two most powerful anomalies all rolled up into one 12-year-old? A brat? One of her brats?
One of her brats?
"HOLY FUCK!" Anko yelled causing every other person in the room to jump and reach for their weapons. The woman's coffee cup shattered as her hand clenched, spilling its contents on the lounge rug. "Holy fuck, holy shit, holy fuck."
"What is it, Anko?" Ibiki asked as he strode over. "What's wrong?"
"My... One of... Dragons... Brats..." the woman muttered incoherently.
"Snap out of it!" Ibiki ordered. "Tell us what's wrong!" Anko's muttering ceased, her mind shutting down to try to process the sudden understanding. "Dammit. Is there a Yamanaka in here?" The Jonin in the lounge checked fervently, but no head of that Yamanaka-shade of blond presented itself.
"Well someone go get one!" Ibiki yelled. One of the Jonin was about to dash out the door when Anko came to, bringing village-shaking news with her.
"ONE OF MY BRATS IS THE RED DRAGON EMPEROR?!"
Danzo was furious. He had no idea how that brat had evaded him. All this time, Hiruzen had prevented him from recruiting Naruto Uzumaki into ROOT and now Danzo had a feeling that the old coot had known about the blond's status as not just the Jinchuuriki of the world's most powerful embodiment of chakra, but also as one of the fabled Dragon Emperors.
If Danzo had learned while the brat was in the orphanage, he could had abducted him and paid off the attendants there.
If Danzo had learned while the kid was in the Academy, he could have taken him, bribed him with enough power to become Hokage.
If Danzo had learned before the rest of the world, he could have faked the boy's untimely death by accident and brainwashed him.
But now it was too late; it would cause too much of a stir if Naruto Uzumaki vanished. Now, he'd have to watch and wait for an opportunity to strike.
Naruto Uzumaki, the Kyuubi, and the Welsh Dragon would all be his. All in due time.
Anko's declaration spread through the village's rumor mill like wildfire, most civilians who hated Naruto coming to the conclusion that the heir of the Aburame clan was the newest vessel of the dragon. Complains flew to the Hokage, demanding that the "traitor's apprentice" have her team stripped from her to "protect the children's fragile minds". Hiruzen, of course, denied every attempt made. The children were shinobi; they would be expected to kill eventually, so they couldn't afford to coddle them.
Currently, Anko was sitting in a booth in the dango restaurant, uncharacteristically staring at her food while lost in thought. She'd already decided that she wanted her team to be more famous than even the Sannin in their prime as a round-about way of stabbing her teacher's ego, but with all of Naruto's potential it would take a lot more work on Hinata's and Shino's parts just to keep up.
And now that she thought about it, Blondie sacrificing his arms was unnecessary. He could have just picked the locks like he did afterward, so why? She couldn't see a reason for it. Was he just the sort of person to take unnecessary risks? Anko doubted it. If he'd failed, he would have been crippled for life and his teammates would have been sent back to the Academy.
Would she have passed them even if he hadn't sacrificed his arms? Probably. None of the other Genin-hopefuls had gotten out of the cuffs. All they'd had to do was free themselves.
Had the boy sacrificed his arms on the bet that both beasts inside him would help while the over-the-top act itself secure her approval? Whatever the case, it had worked. The Snake Mistress was pulled from her thoughts as another person slid into the seat across from her and only reflexes caught the hand that reached for her dango.
"It's good to see you're at least partially aware of your surroundings," a female voice lightly chuckled. Glancing upward, Anko caught the gaze of Kurenai Yuuhi, her best friend. The black-haired woman's red eyes shown with a mix of worry and curiosity.
"Hey, Kurenai," Anko greeted. "It's been a while, hasn't it?"
"Yes it has," the woman answered. "How is Hinata doing?"
"Oh, that's right," Anko remembered. "You wanted her on your team, didn't you? It seems I upset more than a couple of people with my team assignment."
"Kakashi was whining about something the other day. Do you want to talk about what's bothering you?"
"It's..." Anko sighed. She was going to say it was nothing, but thought better. Kurenai could always see through her. "I'm still trying to wrap my head around the fact that Kushina-chan's son has two burdens rather than one," she finally whispered just loud enough to be heard.
"Be careful what you say in public," the Genjustu Mistress warned.
"You and I both know who the brat's parents were," Anko responded. "I may have known her better than you did, but that doesn't change anything."
"So Naruto is the new Red Dragon Emperor like the rumors say, not Shino?"
"Yeah. And I don't know what to do about it. He's just a big ball of energy and I don't know if I'll be able to get my other two brats to keep up with him. I'm not even sure if I can keep up with him."
"My, my," the red-eyed woman chuckled. "Could it be that you're taking a liking to your little Genin?"
"No," Anko huffed, not wanting to admit that they were growing on her. She was one of the most sadistic people in Konoha, dammit! A trio of brats couldn't worm their way into her heart or she'd turn soft. "What about your brats, huh?"
"They are, as the Nara would put it, troublesome. Both Sauske and Sakura seem to have the potential to be Genjustu masters, but that's if I can get the girl to stop fawning over him. And Kiba's, well, Kiba. He's been trying to assert his dominance over Sasuke and it's not working out too well for him."
"I guess it wouldn't," Anko chucked. "Sasuke was the Rookie-of-the-year while Kiba was the Dead-Last."
"Physically, he's the strongest of the three of them," Kurenai added, "but he's hard-headded, too."
"You'll figure it out," Anko smiled. "You always do."
"Alright, brats," Anko growled the next day. She'd gotten over the shock of Naruto's news and decided that she'd need to reevaluate his strength. "Since one of you decided to hold back some information, I'm going to need to test him again. White-Eyes, Buggy, go practice tree walking or tree hopping. And if you hear any screams from this direction, don't worry about it." Hinata and Shino nodded, the former sending a worried glance toward the third member of their team. As they moved off into the forest, Anko's gaze centered back on the blond.
"Alright, Whiskers," the woman began. "Bring out your armor." Silently, Naruto did as bid, his chest plate materializing in a flash of red light. A second later, Ddrag's voice called out "BOOST". Without warning, the Snake Mistress threw a kunai at the blond who was too weighted down to dodge in time. The weapon pinged off the red armor and stuck in the ground with no damage done to the target.
"Hey!" the boy shouted. "At least give me a warning!"
"We're just getting started, Brat."
"This sucks," Naruto whined. He, Hinata, and Shino were painting a house as part of a D-rank mission, the most recent of many, but Anko had decided that the normal way of painting houses was boring. All three Genin had their wrists tied together and had been ordered to start at the top of the building and work their way down... while looking down. They were also told that they had to use the tree-walking exercise to not only keep themselves on the wall, but to also prevent putting footprints in the wet paint. The paint supply was on the roof.
"Keep going, Maggots!" Anko ordered, sitting in a lawn chair with dango. Next to her was Morino Ibiki, the man whose house they were painting a blood red.
"I think this just might be the worst thing you've ever done," the man commented. "I approve. As long as there aren't any footprints."
"The won't leave any," the woman waved off. "I've warned them about what would happen if they do." The three Genin shivered. For each footprint they left, all three of them would have to bear a minute of target practice as the target.
"You are evil," Ibiki laughed.
"I try," Anko smirked through a stick of dango.
"Bitch," Naruto grumbled.
"No," Hinata whispered next to him. "Don't say-!"
"I heard that! You earned yourself five minutes, Whiskers!"
"... that," the girl finished sadly.
"Dammit," the Emperor swore.
"I am beginning to believe that you are a masochist," Shino commented in a flat tone even though he was making one of his rare jokes. "I wonder if the person you marry will be as sadistic as Anko-Sensei."
"I doubt it!" the woman in question called. "Even those with hidden kinks aren't as sadistic as I am!" Losing her grip on her chakra as the blood rushed to her head, Hinata passed out.
"Oh, not again!"
End of Chapter 5
Read and Review!