Author's Note (A/N): Hello again everyone! This chapter has my first time writing an actual fight scene. So yeah, I'm pretty nervous how it turned out. Please give me your opinion on it later.
Foreword: This chapter focuses solely on Yui and events regarding her. The beginning is extremely slow-paced but then picks up. Please try and read the whole chapter.
Also, I'm sorry for adding in random comments in middle of the story. I just have to satisfy my desire! Mainly because many people skip reading the author's notes at the top and bottom.
Now, on to the story!
Disclaimer: If I owned Naruto, it would have been off the books ages ago. Now considering that such a thing didn't happen, I can only conclude that I don't own it.
Chapter 3: Rescues and Revelations
A normal dawn on a normal Konoha. The giant faraway ball of fire that was the sun was slowly making its way above the horizon, warming the lands and awakening them from a night of silent rest. It was nearing six in the morning while the environment began coming to life.
Yui's eyes fluttered open as she took in the obvious signs of waking up from sleep in the morning.
Chirping sounds, check. Rays of light, check. Hazy eyes, check. Moving snoring teddy bear in her arms... check?
Yui looked down to her arms to see that they were wrapped around a young boy with sun-kissed blond hair and three whisker marks on each cheek, who was snuggling himself in her arms, unconsciously enjoying the warmth from the girl and the long-missed soft mattress.
The girl froze as the memories and events from the previous day came rushing to her head. She stared at the peaceful sleeping face of her new otōto with her red face while a smile etched its way onto her face. Slowly, she released him and got up from bed, taking care not to wake up the boy so early in the morning for no reason. She stood on her feet and stretched her arms. The girl took one more glance at the young blond, and went to start the morning rituals.
Yui brushed her teeth, while gazing into her face in the mirror. She noticed the dullness in her own eyes, but ignored it. She then saw the reflection of a rather chubby man walk across behind her while yawning. Yui widened her eyes and snapped her head backwards to see...
The emerald-haired girl stared at the blank wall behind her, then sighed through her nostrils and turned around, spit into the sink and cleaned herself up, then proceeded into the shower. She imagined the face of the blond boy she knew and smiled unknowingly. But the more she thought of her very few memories with him, the more she remembered the face of the person who came to be the cause of him living with her.
Deburo. The girl thought of him as her own father. She thought it weird that he didn't have any surname while she did. Deburo had told Yui a few years ago that he had adopted her as his own daughter when he had found her as a 3-year old, unconscious outside of a wrecked building. He had told her that he knew her parents from a few meetings with them, but never went into detail. Yui, being the innocent child that she was, never questioned him further since she didn't need to know about them back then because she had Deburo already.
Her memories with him were all happy ones, with the both of them smiling and laughing without a care in the world. Though she had some memories that she didn't understand too well. Mainly the times when her father was sometimes on edge and the both of them relocated somewhere else shortly afterwards. One year ago, he was significantly nervous and fidgety, before he suddenly decided that they would migrate to Konoha. The months thereafter were some of the best times of her life as she got to work alongside her father, met many new people, made lots of friends with the people around their vegetable shop and such.
Then came the memory of him leaving her without even telling her that he was going somewhere. She was... shocked, to say the least, when the people told her that he had abandoned her for some money he won from a card game. Afterwards she had a near mental breakdown and descended into a sobbing fit in front of the shop, when the boy from the previous day came and tried to cheer her up which led to him agreeing to become her younger brother and live with her for her own selfishness.
Yui sighed as she felt the warm water hit her skin one last time, before turning off the shower and grabbing a towel. She shook her head clear of any depressing thoughts and focused on what to do from now on. She now had a new member in her house and she had to work twice as hard to sustain her family without her father around anymore. She got dressed quickly and put on the locket her father had bought for himself and her. And with fire in her eyes, she set off to work.
Naruto slowly opened his eyes and blinked at the unfamiliar ceiling. It was eight in the morning with the sounds of a few people going on about their businesses reaching Naruto's ears. Immediately recalling the past events, he turned to the side only to see an empty spot on the white mattress. He sprawled on the bed, stretching his limbs, then got up. He went out of the room and into the main hall. He looked around but could not find his new elder sister. He closed his eyes and formed an unnoticeable chakra field of around a 50 meter radius.
Naruto, the former Seventh Hokage, had a very wide range of skills which also included sensory abilities. He wasn't exactly a prodigy in the art but he was among the upper ranks of sensors on his own. With a tiny bit of Kurama's chakra, he was easily the best sensor in the village with a range equivalent to one and a half of Konoha. The only one who could possibly match him would have been Karin with her godly range of 10 kilometers or more. Granted, Naruto could still improve his own with more chakra and concentration.
Back to the point, Naruto only made a small search field because he somewhat had an idea of where Yui would be and he didn't want to strain his body first thing in the morning. In a few seconds, he locked on to the faint but familiar chakra signature he was looking for. He just stayed like that sensing it go back and forth between a cart like object and the store. He guessed that she was restocking the shop with fresh vegetables and opened his eyes. He walked out of the door and down the stairs, cracking his knuckles for a workout.
Coming down the stairs, he walked right up to Yui who put down a box of cabbages in the shop. She saw him coming and formed a smile.
"Good morning, Naruto-kun/Yui-neechan." they both blinked at each other and chuckled. Yui got ready to head out to the cart again when Naruto grabbed her hand. She turned to him with a curious glance.
"Let me help you, neechan." said the boy while the girl just smiled and shook her head.
"I appreciate the thought, Naruto-kun. But these may be a bit too heavy for you." she said gesturing towards the cart.
Naruto smirked and ran to the cart. He grabbed and lifted a relatively smaller box of carrots with a huff. Yui just stared wide eyed as she watched her 5-year old brother carry the box slowly to the shop and put it down. Naruto wiped some sweat from his forehead and grinned at her before running back to the cart. Yui wasn't about to let her otōto outshine her, so she also got to work. What the girl didn't know was that Naruto was reinforcing his muscles with chakra to be able to lift the boxes.
Five minutes later, both of them set down the last box of onions and stood up. They glanced at each other, panting heavily after the box relocation event.
"Well... that was... a good morning exercise." Naruto breathed out as he took a deep breath and straightened up, almost instantly.
"I'm... impressed that you were able to lift those, Naruto-kun." Yui said, not as exhausted as her brother but tired nonetheless.
Naruto gave her his trademark foxy grin as he sniffed himself. He grimaced at his body odor as he started walking back up the stairs. Yui shook her head with a smile and got to work on arranging the vegetables on the shelves.
After a shower and dressing himself in his usual white t-shirt and black shorts, Naruto came to the dining room just as he saw Yui enter. Yui just smiled at him while she washed her hands and then began making some egg and bread toast. Naruto gave her some minor help in between, which didn't surprise her that much since he had told her that he lived alone and she had assumed he knew some basic dishes... as strange as that would be for a 5-year old.
During the meal at the dining table, Yui turned to Naruto and asked him a certain thing that was on her mind.
"Ne Naruto-kun, what did you used to do all day when you were living alone?"
Naruto swallowed a piece and went for some water "Not much really. Since I want to be Hokage, I just spend my time training. If not, then I spend time with jii-chan and my other friends."
Yui nodded at that while taking another bite then put on a confused face "But then, what did you do for the bills and food?"
"Jii-chan gives me an allowance every week. About 6000 to 8000 ryo and I use that to pay the monthly bills and for food."
Yui finished her meal just as Naruto finished his and she asked him "So what are you going to do today?"
Naruto chugged down a glass of water and slammed it down on the table as he raised his arms into the air "Training!" he shouted before running to the door and put on his sandals. He ran out the door shouting 'Bye neechan!' while Yui giggled at his antics and set to cleaning the table before going to work herself.
Naruto reached his private training ground as he quickly created 50 shadow clones and put them to work. His control had gotten much better than before and coupled with the morning's exercise, made for an extra 10 clones. But it was still a speck of dust compared to his record of 5000 clones but it was slowly but surely improving. He put 15 clones on chakra control, 10 on taijutsu adjustment, 15 on kunai and shuriken adjustment, 8 on calligraphy and 2 on food retrieval. He told the last two to plant the seeds in the garden first then go find some wild fruits for lunch.
And before long, he realized that he had left the seeds, practice weapons and fūinjutsu equipment back at the house. He facepalmed himself then instructed the last 25 to split between the other exercises, while he got ready to make a marathon sprint to the house, then dashed out of the training ground at speeds that would put a normal cat to shame. (Note: Tora is not a normal cat)
Zipping past the crowd, he reached the shop/house and was about to go up the stairs when he noticed a merchant talking to Yui inside the shop. Normally, this wouldn't be that unusual and people would ignore it. But Naruto observed his body language and his tense stance, and couldn't help but be suspicious. Light paranoia is a ninja's friend in this world after all. Heightening his hearing with some chakra, he shamelessly eavesdropped on the conversation.
"So, how about it, miss?"
"I'm... not sure, sir. I mean we already have the usual supply for us so we don't really need new stock."
"Please don't say such things, miss. Our products are all imported from other countries. You need only come to our caravan near the village gates and pick out the stock."
"You can come whenever you're free, miss. It's rather crowded there during the day as well. I'll be waiting there for you." he bowed to her and walked out of the shop. Naruto narrowed his eyes at the man and made two shadow clones. One Henge'd into a random villager while the other climbed up to the roof. Both of them followed the man quietly as he went off. It wasn't bad for him to ever be too careful.
Naruto looked at Yui to see that she went back to work with the other customers. He figured that it's better safe than sorry, so he made another shadow clone who hid himself with a good view of both the shop and the stairs to the house. The original went up to the house and quickly grabbed his equipment, and dashed off with one last glance at his sister.
Quite pissed off that he's not getting the right mood to be able to make the gravity seal, he was a bit reckless in the day's physical training. He pushed himself beyond his limits and ultimately ended up with a totally exhausted body by two in the afternoon. He tiredly ate some fruits and walked off lazily. The clones looked at the original go off and talked with each other.
"Man, the boss is pretty stupid to use up all his energy in the morning."
"You know, you just called all of us stupid, including yourself."
"No, he called him stupid. Not all of you."
"Huh? So you're telling us all of us are stupid except you? You bastards."
"No dammit! I- … Ah damn fine! You're all stupid."
"WHAT? Come here!" and so, a brawl fest erupted in the training ground for no apparent reason. Naruto gained the memories from a dispelled clone and sweat-dropped.
'What are those idiots doing?'
"Naruto-kun, you do know that you just called yourself an idiot right?"
'No, I-... Bah, screw it.' the goddess just chuckled at her host's actions.
"Yo guys. Long time no see." Naruto said as he walked into the park as Ino, Shikamaru, Chōji and Sakura looked towards the incoming blond.
"Naruto!" Ino said as she got up excitedly, but then folded her arms and pouted childishly "Where have you been the last few days?"
Naruto sat next to Shikamaru who was on the ground watching the clouds and nodded his head in greeting to him and Chōji, who also nodded back. He waved to Sakura who did the same. He looked back to Ino and rubbed the back of his head, grinning sheepishly "Well you see, I was busy with some work for the past two days and some... family problems." The others looked to each other and shrugged, then turned back to the blond. "Okay. Now that you're here, let's play!"
Naruto looked at the sky and sighed, while laying down next to Shikamaru "I'm sorry, Ino-chan. I just came here today to see you guys. Right now, playing is just too... troublesome." he said while Ino gaped at him and Shikamaru smirked "I think I should sue you for that." he said while the blond snorted.
After half an hour of watching clouds of various shapes and sizes move lazily across the sky without a care in the world, Naruto and Shika opted to play their daily match of shōgi which ended in Naruto's victory as usual with their game time bumped up to 40 minutes. Next he played against Sakura, who desperately wanted a match with him. Naruto agreed with a shrug and played. They finished in 15 minutes with his victory while Sakura gaped at the board. She demanded another match which Naruto didn't care about, so accepted... and he obviously won as well, which led to her demanding more rematches every time she lost.
Right when they were about to rearrange the pieces for another match, Naruto received the memories of one of the clones from the merchant spy team. Upon processing them, he sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose.
'Why does trouble follow me wherever I go? Makes me wonder how we went through a decade without any major problems.'
"That's a mystery for the ages." replied his inner goddess.
'Kami... -chan. I'm too old for this crap.'
"Naruto-kun, you're 5-years old."
'Then I'm too young for this crap.' the goddess shook her head with a smile while Kurama snorted.
"Kid, half of your life was crap. The other half was boring as hell."
'No comment. Man, I can't even spend time with my friends.' he said mentally and got up.
"Sorry guys, I have some more work to do at my house so I'll see you tomorrow." he said tiredly and went off waving goodbye. The four watched him go with some of them feeling confused and some feeling pity.
"Naruto kind of looks like an old man who's really tired. I wonder what happened to him." Ino wondered aloud while Shika just shrugged and went back to his usual hobby.
As soon as the park was out of sight, Naruto kicked the ground and dashed full speed back to the shop. On the way, he received the memory of the clone guarding Yui. He learned that she closed the shop early and was walking towards the gate to meet the trader. He grit his teeth and pushed himself to run faster. While running, he got an idea and quickly cut through an empty alley and continued running. A second later, another Naruto emerged from the alley and went towards the Hokage tower.
The two shadow clones, one on the ground as a random villager and one on the rooftops, followed the trader through the streets as he came to a restaurant. The two just observed him from outside stealthily until he came back out after a while and started walking again. They finally reached the caravan he had mentioned just within the south gate. The two kept watch on him for a few hours and noticed that the place was not very crowded as the trader had made it out to be. A few people would glance at them, but a only rare few went and actually bought anything.
Around four in the afternoon, they noticed that the trader seemed to be very... impatient. He was either pacing back and forth, or tapping his foot. The clones decided to go take a closer look. When the trader was in range, both of them enhanced their hearing and listened to him.
"That brat! How long is it going to take her to come? Be it her father or her, they just keep people waiting. Heh. I'm glad the idiot got killed. He dared to keep me waiting, he had it coming for him. But I wish I'd gotten the money from him instead of those stupid thugs. I'd have put it to much better use. Did I at least get the payment? No~, 'you bring the girl and then you get payment' he says. The bastard. Acting like he's all that just because he had a sword in his hands. What's the big deal with that 'ability' he says the girl has anyway? DAMN IT! Where's that brat already?! I hate waiting!"
The two clones widened their eyes and glanced to each other. The villager clone nodded and quickly slipped from the crowd. The roof clone continued to keep watch on the situation, hoping to learn more. The other went into an alley and immediately dispelled himself, sending his memories to the original.
Clouds were beginning to move in and the sky was darkening. At around five, Naruto reached the south gate where he knew the caravan was. Just as he reached there, he quickly and stealthily jumped into one of the carts and hid behind some crates. He hurried to silence his heavy breaths and channeled chakra to his ears, while creating a sensor field along the length of the caravan.
Naruto sensed and heard his sister with the trader talking business while walking towards the same cart he was in, which also happened to be the last of the 3 carts. Upon reaching, the people around her gagged her mouth and tied her up while pushing her into the cart. He sensed them hurry off back to the front while one of them climbed into the cart to watch the girl.
But before the caravan could start moving, Naruto made his move as he strangled the man's neck from behind him with a nearby rope. The man was knocked out relatively fast since he wasn't a ninja. Naruto wondered about his chakra levels but then found a memory of his clones dispelling the moment the spy clone dispelled, sending some chakra back to the original. So with no hesitation, he made a shadow clone who quickly grabbed Yui and jumped out of the cart. The clone from earlier that was keeping watch over the operation from the rooftop, nodded and dispelled. The Naruto holding Yui hurried back to the house.
Meanwhile inside the cart, Naruto was looking around for something to write with, as the caravan started to move out of the village at a not-so-normal pace. Not finding anything he could use, he crushed a tomato from one of the crates and used its liquid to quickly draw a chakra pulse seal at a concealed position and channeled an insignificant amount of chakra into it.
(A/N: A single paragraph description of the chakra pulse seal below. Skip if not interested.)
The chakra pulse seal simply lets out a barely noticeable short chakra wave periodically which lingers at the spot for a few minutes. With a catalyst like tomato liquid, the strength of the wave is horribly low but it gets the job done. This seal would have been useful in throwing off pursuers, if only it didn't take super high grade ink to even be able to near the level of an actual distraction. As it is, it's better used to create a trail for an ally to pick up on and follow. This is because not many people are talented enough to sense actual movement of chakra instead of residue. So far, Naruto only knew Karin to be able to do that.
Naruto could have used his own blood to do the seal, but it would be unstable right now. He was also taking precautions to not alert the possible rescue team to his fūinjutsu skills. Though with the situation he was currently in, he could care less.
Once the caravan went out of sight of the village gate, it picked up the pace drastically and was going pretty fast now. The reason why Naruto was even in the caravan was because he wanted to find the root of this issue and end it, to make sure they wouldn't come for Yui again.
Naruto noticed the man from earlier groan and start to wake up. So the boy quickly made another clone who Henge'd himself into the tied up form of an unconscious Yui while Naruto hid himself. The man woke up and noticed the girl still tied up and asleep. He rubbed his neck which was oddly itchy and scratched his head, seemingly having forgotten something, but then shrugged and leaned onto the cart wall.
Meanwhile, Hokage Tower
The Third Hokage paced around the room with worry obvious on his face as he heard a knock from the door. He went back to his seat and allowed them to enter. Two people came into the office and bowed respectfully to their village leader. The old Hokage nodded and started.
"I believe the both of you know about Uzumaki Naruto-kun, yes?" he asked them as both nodded.
"Have you heard about his new abode as well then?" he asked and they nodded again.
"Then I will get straight to the point. His sister Manami Yui had been kidnapped by some men posing as a trade caravan near the south gate. But luckily, Naruto-kun managed to get her out before they left the village." he said as he noticed one of the men's shoulder slump slightly in relief.
"However, my informant told me that the boy himself took her place by disguising himself as his sister, in order to get to the root of the situation and take care of it." he continued as both of the men widened their eyes.
"Now, your mission is to find this caravan and rescue Uzumaki Naruto from them. Once that is done, you will learn more about the situation and find a way around it, while eliminating any threats to the boy as well as any other citizen of this village. Is that understood?" he said in an authoritative voice to which both of them nodded in seriousness.
"This is an A-rank mission due to the possible threat to the village and also because of the importance of the boy to this village. Once accomplished, bring the boy with you to my office. Dismissed!" he said, and the two men bowed to him once more before disappearing in puffs of smoke. The old Hokage went to the window and looked towards the south gate as he noticed the two men from before racing across the rooftops at high speeds.
'Stay safe, Naruto-kun. You are not in the future right now, so you are not as strong. I trust that you will not do anything more foolish than what you already have and take steps not to get yourself killed. Help is coming, Naruto-kun. You need only wait.' the Third Hokage thought to himself as he went back to his work.
Outside Konoha South Gate
The two men were racing beside the road looking for any clue of the caravan. Then they stopped as both of them glanced at each other.
"Do you feel that as well?" one of them asked while the other nodded.
"A faint chakra presence going along the road. It's getting weaker by the second." the other said.
"The boy must have either been scared or was purposefully flaring his chakra intensely along the path." the first said.
"Doesn't matter. Let's follow it quickly before it disappears... Well, even if it does disappear, there are some tracks on the road anyways."
Both of them nodded and continued dashing along the faint trail of chakra.
The caravan had stopped after two hours of travel and the trader from before had pulled Yui/Naruto-clone out of the cart. The two of them walked through the forest while Naruto erased the chakra pulse seal and followed them from above via tree branches. He watched his clone put up mock struggles every now and then, to create more trail clues. Finally they reached a clearing where three people who seemed to be bandits were waiting.
The trader pushed Yui to the middle one of the three who smirked and tossed him a pouch, presumably full of money. The trader caught it and examined its contents before smiling. He and the bandit leader made small talk for a minute then both of them left their own ways. Naruto followed the bandits as they crossed a narrow stream and continued through the forest.
It was half past seven with dark skies and occasional drops of rain, when they reached a cave entrance which was hard to notice because of the shape of the cliff face. They all continued inside while Naruto decided to put more distance between them and followed inside. The cave was around 10 feet wide and the ceiling was high enough to stack two people vertically. The walls were of plain rock and the tunnel was fairly dark as well. But besides that, it looked like a completely normal cave with wouldn't arouse any suspicion.
After a few twists and turns, the cave opened up to a bigger and... more populated area. There were lots of crates and bags around, seemingly making counter high walls between compartment like spaces. There were also some tents with beds and futon in them. A few campfire like flames were around but most were unlit. There was a makeshift bar at a spot surrounded by more crates which served as tables and chairs. There was a torch in each space and people were either sleeping, drinking, chatting, arguing or playing cards.
(A/N: Stereotype warning!... and maybe pedophile warning... maybe :P)
Naruto quickly took to sticking to the high ceiling of the cave rather than the ground, since the ceiling was not well-lit like below and was pretty dark. He watched the four from earlier cut through the path and go to the more open back space. The men around them were grinning lecherously at the girl and some were even drooling. 'Yui' herself was disgusted by the environment and silently cursed her boss for making her go through this. She was a nine-year old, damn it!
They went up to a man who was laying with his legs propped up on a crate until he saw the three men and one girl come, which prompted him to put down his legs and sit up in a hunched fashion.
The probable boss of the bandit group was wearing a mesh shirt below a half-torn, ragged and open Konoha chūnin vest. He was wearing black ragged pants and boots. He had a bandana tied to his head and covering his hair. There was a dirty pouch tied to the right of the waist with some kunai poking out of it. The man was around 5'10, moderately fit and in his thirties. Finally, he had a hitai-ate with a slashed Konoha symbol around his left bicep. At the moment, he also had a smug grin on his face.
"Here's the girl, boss. We paid the guy his money since I thought he might be useful to us in the future." the bandit in the middle said, pushing Yui forward while the leader grinned more and got up from his seat.
"Good job." he said simply and stood in front of the trembling girl. He looked down at her and smirked "Nice to meet ya, girlie. Manami Yui, is it?" he asked while the girl nodded shakily.
"Let me tell you the name of your new owner. My name is Kurokage Hotoshi. I'm a C-rank missing nin from Konoha. Do you know why I've had you brought here?" he asked to which the girl shook her head slowly. Naruto widened his eyes and quickly set up a sensor field excluding the missing nin. He didn't want to take any risks right now. He counted about 26 bandits in the cave excluding the leader. He gulped and looked back at the man.
"It's because, you have a very unique condition in your body." he said in a lower voice and continued "You, girlie, have a weird condition where you have near godly chakra control. You can do anything related to chakra perfectly. But, you can only do that for a few seconds. It ain't that you have less chakra. This is because you don't actually use chakra. Instead you use your own body energy. Taking all the energy from your c-celk... cells... whatever they're called. They suck you dry in a matter of seconds." he said while Yui looked at him confused.
"Did you know that your own parents are the people who did this to you?" he asked as the girl widened her eyes while the man smirked. He paced around her slowly taking a good look at her from all angles.
"The both of them were... scientists, of a kind. After you were born, they used you as a test subject. But you know that guy, Deburo? Yeah, your 'father' as you call him. He used to be your caretaker. But three years after your birth, he became 'upset' that you weren't even treated as a human. So... he blew up the place. Everything, along with your 'parents'. Then he adopted you and gave you the surname Manami, in respect to his dead lover or something, I don't really care." he said, and looked amused at the girl whose lower lip was quivering and eyes wide.
"When I found out about your existence, I did everything I could to find you and make you mine. But the bastard Deburo was the most slippery guy I've ever met. He avoided me for six years! Ha! Bravo to him! But then I came particularly close to getting you one year ago. But he again slipped away with you. I looked around for nine months, then I found out you were in Konoha." the man told the girl, who was sniffling lightly.
"But do you know what he did after that? He gave up! Yesterday, he came to my boys and tried to pay them to stay away from him and you. Of course, I wouldn't do that and neither would my boys, so he got a blade to his chest instead. We still kept the money though. Haahahahaha!" he laughed at the slowly sobbing girl.
"Now do you know why I wanted you? It's because with godly chakra control such as yours, you can serve me two purposes. One – you can become the equivalent of a first aid kit for our group. Two – I can use you to improve my own power. You can just tune up my entire system and make me as strong as the Hokage in only a few hours. Your stupid energy problem can be solved with a few drugs. Though I can't say you'll be alive at the end of it. Heh." the man said with a smirk.
"So... let's get you all settled in, shall we?" he said in his normal loud voice, and made to stand tall in front of her with a smug grin on his face.
Suddenly, 'Yui' stopped crying and trembling, while her eyes were shadowed by her bangs. The man raised an eyebrow at her before she raised her head to show her face to him. The man scowled at the sight in front of him. Before him was a tied up emerald-haired girl with a pretty smile on her face looking at him.
"Zan'nen (Too bad)" she said cutely before she started to glow. The man widened his eyes and jumped back quickly, just as the 'girl' exploded violently, throwing the three bandits around her away from her. Then just as sudden, five small puffs of smoke appeared in separate parts of the cave and five more smaller explosions rocked the cave. (A/N: Regarding that Japanese word, I only put it there for some people to imagine her in a cute way. Meh, just ignore it.)
The bandit leader, sensing some movement, immediately threw a kunai at a part of the ceiling, but the person dodged and dropped to the ground a few feet in front of him.
Hotoshi got a good look at the figure in front of him. He was a child who was more or less 5 years old, had blond hair and three whisker marks on each cheek. Simply said, he was a runt who didn't look the least bit dangerous, excluding the glare the boy held towards him. Hotoshi then smirked at the blond.
"So... All the stuff I said earlier was me talking to you, huh?" he asked amused, while the blond kept up his glare "Looks like you're pretty good, kid. Apparently you know Bunshin Daibakuha (Clone Great Explosion). Pretty damn good for a 5-year old. But you ain't beating me with just that, brat." he said and dashed towards the boy.
Hotoshi tried to punch the runt's face but the blond jumped and landed on his outstretched arm. Naruto kicked at the man's face who grabbed it with his free arm before it hit and threw the blond down to the ground. Naruto grunted and immediately rolled away from a stomp. He thrust his leg out at the man's shin but said man kicked back, pushing away the blond's kick with his superior physical strength.
Naruto flied away, but flipped and landed safely. He quickly ducked down, barely missing the kunai to his face before he was sent flying away again by a leg to his side which he only just blocked with his arms. He skidded on his feet across the ground then held up a cross seal, making two shadow clones.
'Dammit! I'm beginning to hate being a kid.' Naruto thought as he took a second to heal his bruises, while sending the clones ahead.
Hotoshi raised an amused eyebrow before blocking a punch to his face from a jumping clone while sidestepping to avoid the other. He back kicked the clone, dispelling it as he grabbed the other and threw it towards the original. The clone dispelled itself in a puff of smoke just before it collided as a bottle came flying towards Hotoshi through the smoke. The man caught it and threw it back at the smoke and heard it shatter on the ground.
Naruto jumped out of the smoke with his right hand cocked back. Hotoshi moved to intercept it before he noticed the slight blue glow on the boy's palm. The man widened his eyes while he crossed his arms in defense as the boy thrust his palm out.
"Fūton: Reppūshō (Wind Release: Gale Palm)" A strong wind erupted from Naruto's palm and sent the man flying. Hotoshi grunted as he crashed through a crate and skidded on the ground on his back before he quickly rolled back into a standing position. He spit out some saliva with a tinge of red as he glared at the blond, but then smirked.
"You're good, kid. Far better than any damn five year old I know. But not good enough. Damn. I can't believe I have to stay on guard against a brat. Now, while I want to kick the snot out of you, my buddies here want to do the same thing." he said as the other bandits came between the two. One of them smirked and ran towards the boy with his sword raised high.
Naruto narrowed his eyes and sidestepped the sloppy move while he jumped up and spun around, back-heeling the man's face and sending him tumbling along the ground. The moment he landed, a kunai rushed through and struck his left shoulder. Naruto cursed his carelessness as he pulled out the kunai and gripped his shoulder, while Kurama's chakra already started healing the wound. He glared at the smirking bandits as they walked towards him while Hotoshi patted his kunai pouch and folded his arms, his usual smug grin back on his face.
Naruto was in no position to fight right now. He may be strong and have super-regeneration, but he was still a 5-year old and was quickly running out of energy. He was panting heavily already and could only barely stand.
'Kurama. How long can my body sustain a tail-less cloak?'
The fox frowned and replied to the blond "Five seconds. Ten seconds at the most. Then you'd probably go into a coma for a short while. Your physical body is still weak and can't handle that much power."
'Damn it! What do I do? Come on, come on, come on! What do I-' Naruto stopped as he sensed a very familiar chakra enter his field.
One of the bandits walked up to him as he held his axe high. "Game over, brat." he said as he swung it down.
"Raikiri (Lightning Cutter)" Naruto's super-enhanced hearing, further enhanced by the current adrenaline in his body, barely heard the angry whisper that came from the entrance of the cave. In an instant of hearing it, a familiar loud crackling noise sounded throughout the cave as the bandit's weapon arm was ripped off by a bright bluish white light and the bandit was sent flying into the cave wall by a leg. Naruto widened his eyes and looked in awe at the figure in front of him.
Gray body armor, black ANBU pants and black shinobi sandals, with a tantō strapped to the back. But most of all, two features immediately caught his eye. A dog mask and gravity defying silver hair. No doubt about it. This was...
Hatake Kakashi. His old teacher and the man who became the Sixth Hokage. His father's disciple and one of his most favored people. The man who took him and two others he knew very well as his students. This was... 'Sharingan no Kakashi' (Kakashi of the Sharingan).
The dog masked ANBU stood in front of the barely standing boy, facing to the side. He turned to the blond and frowned at the blood from his shoulder.
"You alright, Naruto?" he asked with a neutral voice, masking his worry. But the blond knew that he was worried and was trying to hide it. He smiled inwardly at his actions. It made him happy to know that Kakashi was worried about him even if he was trying to hide it, but still slipped it by calling by his first name. But he pushed aside the thought and replied to the man.
"Y-Yes, Dog-san. A kunai... hit my shoulder and it bled out a little... But it's getting better, kind of." Naruto said in between quick breaths, being careful not to reveal that he already knew about his tenant and his powers.
The man nodded and turned to the crowd, while another man dropped down beside the two. Naruto turned his head and looked at the second arrival. The same ANBU armor with black pants and sandals, but with a weasel mask and black hair tied into a small ponytail. Naruto easily recognized him and was inwardly shocked to see him again... alive. It was obvious but it was still somewhat shocking.
Uchiha Itachi. The famed murderer of his own clan in the future and the prodigy of the clan in the present. Brother of Uchiha Sasuke and son of the current clan head, Uchiha Fugaku and Uchiha Mikoto. The second sharingan user in the Akatsuki and once the object of his brother's hatred.
The weasel-masked ANBU looked significantly younger than the one Naruto had seen in his time. Right now, he looked around 12 years old.
He turned to the blond and looked at the shoulder injury. He just stared at the boy's panting form from behind his mask. He then put his hand to his pouch and fished out a small pouch. He opened it and took out a pill and put away his pouch. He handed the pill to the blond, who was just looking at him.
"Soldier pill. Eat it. You'll feel a little less tired." he said to the boy. Naruto knew what it was already, though he just nodded and took it, then ate it. Naruto was channeling chakra through his entire body through the whole fight and hence he had lost quite a bit of chakra. Add a few flashy jutsu into the mix and you get an exhausted child as a result. In a few seconds, he felt a lot less tired and was at least in a position to run away now. Not that he would ever do that.
The black haired young man nodded to him, then turned to the bandit threat. Both of the ANBU were ready to engage before Naruto called out to them.
"ANBU-san..." he called out to them together as they turned to look at the blond "The leader of those bandits is a guy named Kurokage Hotoshi. He said he's a C-rank missing nin from Konoha, and he's the guy that threw the kunai to my shoulder." Naruto said pointing to the far back of the bandits. The two ANBU looked towards the back of the crowd and indeed saw the wanted bingo book bounty head, glaring at the trio.
"Itachi..." the dog-masked ANBU started but was cut off by the weasel-masked ANBU.
"I know, taichō (captain). I'll take out the legs, you go for the head." he said while the other nodded.
The silver-haired man turned to the young blond "Stay here, kid." he said while the blond nodded, then went and took cover behind a crate wall.
The two ANBU turned back to the bandit crowd and released their pent-up killing intent. The bandits all widened their eyes and started to tremble, and even Hotoshi had a drop of sweat sliding down the side of his face at the intensity of the two.
"Don't think you're getting out of this alive." both of them said in unison, as Itachi dashed forward and punched the bandit nearest to him in the face as he jumped onto the shoulder of another and leaped into the air. He quickly formed some hand seals and took a deep breath.
"Katon: Gokakyū no Jutsu (Fire Release: Great Fireball Technique)" Barely a moment later, a giant fireball came rushing down towards the bandits. All of them panicked and tried to run away but couldn't do that because of crowding the area so much. The fireball fell and devastated the majority of them while a few were lucky enough to be on the edges of the crowd. Ultimately, more than half of them were burned alive while the others got away with a few minor burns.
With the way clear, Kakashi rushed into the fray, jumping over the burnt bodies as he went straight for the missing nin. Hotoshi hastily threw a kunai at him and rushed forward behind it with another kunai in hand. Kakashi bent slightly to the side to avoid it then locked blades with the bandit leader.
"Kurokage Hotoshi. C-rank missing nin of Konoha. Wanted for attempted theft of secret clan techniques. You are not going to live to see another day." the dog-masked ANBU said ominously as both of them jumped back.
Kakashi dashed forward the instant he touched the ground. Hotoshi ducked and barely dodged his tantō over his head but was unable to dodge the fast knee to his face. He stumbled backwards and hurriedly sidestepped the incoming thrust kick and threw his own high kick. Kakashi grabbed it with his free left arm and quickly stabbed it with his tantō. Hotoshi gave a small shout and threw his kunai at the ANBU's left arm as Kakashi released the leg and jumped to the side while Hotoshi jumped back. The bandit leader crouched down and held his leg while glaring at his opponent.
Meanwhile, Itachi was zipping across the space slashing and stabbing the remaining bandits, leaving none alive. Naruto almost gagged at the sight of burnt bodies and blood flying everywhere but covered his mouth and focused on the silver-haired man's fight instead.
Hotoshi tried to reach for a nearby sword but had to withdraw his hand to avoid a shuriken that came flying to it. He fell to the ground on his back to avoid another tantō slash to his neck and thrust his leg towards his opponent's stomach. Kakashi blocked it with his left arm as he kicked it away with his right leg. Hotoshi rotated on the ground due to the force and Kakashi stabbed his left shoulder with his tantō. The victim screamed in pain as he thrashed around... or tried to. He saw that his hands and legs were pinned to the ground by kunai, and he screamed again from the collective pain.
Kakashi looked at the bleeding shoulder and narrowed his eyes behind his mask. 'Shoulder...' He twisted his blade in it and listened to the bandit leader's shouts. Kakashi stomped on his chest and silenced his screams. The dog-masked ANBU turned his head to look at the missing nin's face and shifted the blade from the shoulder to his neck.
"Any last words?" he asked ominously.
Hotoshi coughed and spit out some blood. He stopped his struggles and looked at his opponent, then turned to look at the blond who was coming towards the two. Naruto stopped a small distance from them and looked at the bandit leader. Hotoshi stared at him for a few seconds, then turned his head to look straight at the ceiling of the cave.
"I've been chasing that girl for six years. Her dad was always on edge and the both of them couldn't ever live normally thanks to me." he said and noticed the boy clenching his fist.
"Kid... If you meet the girl... tell her this..." he closed his eyes and spoke in a soft voice "You're free."
Naruto stared at the man, loosening his fist then took a deep breath "I will."
Kakashi glanced at the blond and saw that he was watching the scene intently. He breathed out and then cut through the man's neck. Naruto grimaced at the sight, then closed his eyes and turned away with a gulp. He turned around and walked towards Itachi who had finished gathering all the valuables in the cave in storage scrolls and was preparing to leave. The silver-haired man cauterized the bleeding neck and quickly stored the head in a storage scroll. He used a small fire jutsu to burn the body and walked back to the other two.
Coming out of the cave, they saw that it was now raining heavily. They decided to wait until the rain lessened a bit. Naruto asked the two ANBU on what happened to the trade caravan, to which they told him that they were already gone by the time the two arrived. They had noticed a sudden stop in the chakra trail and found evidence of a struggle leading through the forest instead. So they had followed the trail to the cave where they arrived just in time to help him.
Nearly an hour later, the rain turned into a drizzle so they decided to head back. Though when they turned to the boy, they found him asleep leaning to the wall. Both of them glanced at each other and Itachi asked Kakashi to do the honors to which he snorted and walked to the boy and kneeled down.
Kakashi realized then that he could finally do one of the things he wanted to do for five years. He removed his mask and pulled up his headband to reveal his blood red eye with three black tomoe surrounding a black pupil.
He extended his hand towards the boy and... patted the boy's head gently. Kakashi never had the time to spend time with his sensei's son ever since his death and the boy's birth. So now that he had the chance to do so, he wanted to make the most of it without disturbing the boy from his sleep, and burn the moment into his memory with his sharingan. His hand slid down the young blond's face and caressed his cheek as his expression softened. Naruto unconsciously leaned into the touch and smiled slightly in his sleep.
A lone tear went down Kakashi's cheek from his own eye as he rubbed it away and pulled down his headband over his left eye. He put on his mask again and gently picked the boy up and put him to his back, wrapping his arms and legs around his own body. He took out and put on his white cloak over the boy, as Itachi put on his own.
Unknown to the two ANBU, Naruto and his goddess were observing the entire thing from the mindscape, sitting on the grass with their legs outstretched and hands beside them on the grass. Naruto looked up to the starry sky and closed his eyes with a smile on his face. The goddess was right beside him as she also smiled and brought him into a hug.
The trip back home was fairly uneventful as they skipped across the trees, on their way straight to Konoha. Once they reached the village and subsequently the Hokage tower just past midnight, Kakashi let the boy down who woke up shortly afterwards. Naruto looked at him as he just pointed to the stairs leading to the Hokage office. Naruto nodded and followed the two ANBU up the stairs and into the office.
But before they could reach there, the silver-haired ANBU put a hand into his pocket and pulled out a plain silver locket, and handed it to the boy. Naruto looked at it in curiously before opening it, and saw the photo of a rather chubby man in his thirties and a young emerald-haired girl. Naruto widened his eyes and snapped his head at Kakashi who was already walking again. The blond smiled and pocketed the accessory before following the two again.
"Reporting the mission as a success, Hokage-sama." the dog-masked ANBU stated to their village leader. The Hokage nodded and asked for the details. So they spent the next few minutes reporting the details and the actions they took with regards to the mission, also giving him the scrolls containing the cave's treasures. The old Hokage glanced at the boy at the mention of the chakra trail, but both of them didn't say anything. In the end, the Hokage simply nodded and gave them an acknowledgment document.
"You have indeed successfully completed the given A-rank mission. You may receive your payment by presenting that document at the mission counter below. Though I suggest that you do so tomorrow. It would be rude to wake someone up just to ask for money." he said while the two ANBU chuckled somewhat formally.
"You may avail the bounty on Kurokage Hotoshi at your own leisure. For now, you are dismissed." the two of them bowed to the Hokage then walked towards the door. They took one last glance at the blond boy who wished them a good night, as they nodded in reply and went out. But the silver-haired ANBU stared at the Hokage from the door, who nodded and gestured his hands in a way that said to come the next day.
The Hokage then turned to the boy who shook his head slightly and quickly turned his eyes to three positions in the room. The older man took the hint and gestured his personal ANBU to leave the room, which they did, as he quickly activated the privacy seal.
Naruto then told his jii-chan his version of the mission, which basically meant retelling all the events of the entire day. Him discovering about the kidnapping, taking his sister's place, leaving the chakra trail, going to the bandit hideout, facing the missing nin, the story about his sister's past, all the way until the part where Kakashi and Itachi had arrived, not leaving out a single detail.
"Yes, Naruto-kun. I have heard of that lab explosion incident as well. I will ask the best doctors in Konoha to check up on her, though I have a feeling that the damage is already done. Still, I congratulate you on a job well done, Naruto-kun. You were a quite a bit reckless in your endeavor, but still did a good job. I will reward you with a B-rank mission payment for your services unofficially. You may come and collect it tomorrow from me personally." he said while Naruto nodded, with a grin on his face.
"Also Naruto-kun, I have a question for you. Keep in mind that this is only a question." he said in a serious tone to which Naruto nodded "After hearing about and myself seeing some of your abilities, what would you say if I were to offer you a chance to take the genin test and let you become a genin right now?"
"I'd refuse it immediately." Naruto replied instantly with no hesitation. The old Hokage blinked at the boy who then continued "There are three reasons that I say this. One – If I decide to take you up on that offer, the idiots from the council would eat your head over your decision." he said as the Hokage rubbed his temples in irritation at the very thought.
"Two – If I wait and become a genin the usual way, I'd have more time to train and make myself stronger before going out into that world. In other words, I'd be safer." he said and the Hokage nodded again, pleased with his forethought.
"Three – I want to spend more time with my friends while I'm still young." he said as both his and his jii-chan's face softened. The Hokage nodded and smiled, very pleased with his surrogate grandson's thoughts. He got up and went around the desk. He grabbed Naruto into a small hug which the boy returned with full force. After releasing each other, Hiruzen gave the boy a piece of information.
"You better go home now, Naruto-kun. I am sure that your sister is worried sick about you. I paid her a visit earlier and told her you'd come home soon. I believe it is best if you do just that." he told the boy who instantly perked up and looked at the wall clock which showed a half past midnight. He hurriedly said his good byes and good nights, and ran out of the office disabling the privacy barrier in the process.
The Hokage watched the boy go, then sighed and went out himself. He locked the door and activated the security seals before leaving.
"Neko (Cat)" the Hokage called out suddenly as an ANBU with a cat-mask and long silky purple hair appeared. She seemed to be about 11-12 years old and was rather... curvaceous as well. Despite being so young, she had the body of a person 2 or 3 years older.
"Make sure Naruto-kun gets home safely." he said and walked off. Neko or Uzuki Yūgao's face softened behind her mask as she headed out onto the rooftops to secretly ensure the boy's safe arrival to his home.
Naruto reached the closed vegetable shop and made his way up the stairs. He stood in front of the door and took a deep breath. He prepared himself and... was tackled to the ground in a bone-crushing hug.
"Naru-kun! You're back! You're really back!" Yui exclaimed while hugging the life out of Naruto.
"Y-Yeah Yui-neechan. I'm back. Now... could you please stop hugging me to death?" he managed to say as she loosened her grip but didn't bother letting go. Yūgao looked at the scene and couldn't help but smile, before disappearing in a swirl of leaves.
"I'm sorry. I was scared that you were gone... that you abandoned me too, Naru-kun." she said softly. The boy noticed her altered use of his name but decided to not comment on it at the moment.
Naruto shook his head and hugged her back before getting her to stand up, but she still wouldn't let go of him but was now hugging him from behind "I'd never do that, neechan. Never ever. On that note, your father didn't do that either." he said as she looked at him in shock. Naruto sighed and led her inside the house to the living room where they sat on the couch, with Yui still holding him on her lap.
Naruto then proceeded to recite to her a very dumbed down version of his day's activities. Mainly, he told her about her ability, her past and her father. Needless to say, she was shocked beyond belief and supremely angry towards her biological parents. Naruto calmed her down then finally told her the bandit leader's final words. At the end of it all, she was sobbing hard, but Naruto took out and handed to her the locket that Kakashi gave him. Yui widened her eyes and instantly snatched from him and opened it. She sobbed even harder while apologizing to her dead father for ever doubting him as she hugged the locket in her hands.
While that was going on, the locket that Yui was wearing from the morning glowed briefly. In a while, Yui's sobs turned into sniffles as they both went to bed. Both of them had enough for the day, and all they wanted was a good night of sleep.
Yui had placed her father's locket on the table in front of a small framed photo of him. As they both went to bed, neither of them noticed the slight glow from the locket on the table. If one were to observe both the lockets now, they would find that the people in the photo were smiling even happier than before.
A/N: And that's a wrap.
This is my very first time writing a fight scene and I tried to make it seem okay. I know it needs some work and I'll do my best with that. Also note that here, Kakashi was overpowering him simply because he was faster than the bandit. And he was still holding back. He hadn't used his sharingan either. Just goes to show you the power of an enraged Kakashi. On the other hand, I intended Hotoshi to be a weak-ass and just get steamrolled. The only reason he was even remotely deserving of his rank was because of his attempted crime.
In the end, Hotoshi was a just a stereotypical bad guy but with a soft...er heart upon his death.
EDIT (21/10/2016): A reviewer pointed out my use of the words 'shout', 'yell', etc... when mentioning jutsu names. Honestly, I actually didn't notice that I'd typed that. I myself don't like illogical things like shouting out names, so I fixed that to a level that I hope is acceptable.
Anyway, leave a REVIEW below, with your opinion of events. Blaze out!