Disclaimer: I make no claims of ownership of Naruto….it belongs to Masashi Kishimoto
[Kyuubi Speaking Telepathically/Thinking]
Chapter 9: The plans of Mice and Men
Temari and Kankurou were trembling in fear as they stared at the monster that had just brutalised their younger brother. Baki wasn't faring much better in that regard. The potent bloodlust that Naruto was directing at them only further compounded their fear. It made Gaara's bloodlust seem like a passing breeze in comparison. They wanted to retrieve Gaara from his position next to the blonde, hoping that he can still fulfil his role in the invasion. But they were terrified that any overture they make would result in Naruto tearing bloody chunks out of them.
Naruto, sensing their fear and hesitation, gave them a challenging smirk. Almost daring them to make a move. The sounds of kunai clashing and explosions rocking the village provided the background soundtrack for the stare down. Naruto had no intention of letting them have their way though. Faster than they could react, he went through a series of three hand seals before slamming his palm on the ground in front of him.
"Gyaku Kuchiyose no Jutsu"
A spider-web pattern of kanji spread across Gaara's body before he vanished in a poof of smoke, Naruto's reverse summoning taking effect.
"Gaara!" Temari shouted in distress at seeing her little brother vanishing to who knows where.
"Sorry, Gaara can't come to the phone right now. Can I take a message?" Naruto taunted with an amused smile on his face.
Temari's body shook in fear and anger, both emotions warring inside of her. She wanted so badly to tear the bastard in front of her to ribbons, but she knew that she couldn't lose her cool right now. Gaara's safety was on the line. Nothing in this damn invasion of theirs was going to plan. Their moves were being read and they were being perfectly countered. It seemed as though Konoha found out about their plans and put measures in place to foil them. So while she may want revenge on Naruto, she knew that they needed to find Gaara first. She wasn't sure where the blonde sent him, but their survival in this war depended on his participation. She silently motioned towards Kankurou and Baki, signalling their need to retreat. Without ever taking their eyes off the blonde before them, who was still looking at them as if they were a particularly amusing side-show, the three of them rapidly retreated.
Naruto was highly amused as he watched them retreat. He knew what they were trying to achieve which was what made it funnier as he had sent Gaara to the summoning realm, more specifically, the territory of the Kitsune Clan. They could spend the rest of their lives looking and they would never find him. Not unless Naruto wanted them to find him.
Now that the biggest problem was taken care of, Naruto allowed his gaze to wonder, taking in the various scenes that were playing out throughout the stadium. The Jounin were holding their own against the flood of Oto-nin and Suna-nin. Most of the rookies seemed to have been ensnared by the Genjutsu, the exceptions being Sakura, Sasuke and Hinata. He wasn't too worried about the previous two as Kakashi and Gai were in the immediate vicinity, but the latter was in a bad way. She was still injured from her fight with Neji and she had no protection as Kiba was knocked out. Naruto wouldn't let anything to happen to her though. He had an invested interest in the young heiress and he would make sure she survives his war.
"Kage Bunshin no Jutsu"
A large plume of smoke erupted from his position as hundreds of Naruto clones were created, each one itching for some action. He directed three of them to watch over and protect Hinata and Kiba. The rest knew what they had to do as they broke off, each going in different directions to different points in the village.
The original Naruto remained in his spot as he gazed up at the translucent violet box that appeared on the roof of one of the buildings. He recognised the technique as the Shishi Enjin. Quite the tricky bit of barrier work. He was impressed that Orochimaru had the personnel to actually pull that off. He wondered whether he should go help the old monkey, but he decided against it. He was the Hokage for a reason, regardless of his age. He knew the man could take his former student on with no problems. The fact that Naruto left a nasty little surprise for Orochimaru also helped his decision. The old man would be fine.
For now though, there were a lot of moving targets here. Each one begging out to be eviscerated. A bloodthirsty smirk spread across his normally serenely smiling face. Some of the nearby Shinobi jerked back in fear at his expression and the accompanying bloodlust.
'Well Kyu-chan. There's a lot of fresh meat on offer. What's say we partake in this 'meal' and hopefully satisfy that enormous bloodlust of yours' Naruto quipped.
[Hmph, don't make it sound like I'm the only one who's getting excited at the prospect of shedding some blood. You're even worse than I am in that regard]. She shot back.
Naruto's grin widened at that, not disagreeing with her. He decided that he spent enough time giving the enemy a head start. It was time to hunt down his prey.
Hinata wasn't having a very fun time right now. Having been sharp enough to break out of the Genjutsu that tried to take a hold of her, she now wondered if she would have been better off allowing it to put her to sleep. She was currently surrounded by five Oto-nin, each leering at her perversely. Kiba was of no use as he had succumb to the Genjutsu and was knocked out beside her. Akamaru was much the same as his owner. There were no Konoho-nin near her position and her father and the rest of the Hyuuga Clan had disappeared, leaving her on her own. She would like to say that she was surprised, but this was expected. It just further solidified her resolve to follow the path she intended. That was for the future though, if she even made it that far. Currently, her options were not looking good.
She could try to fight them off, but her body was still wracked with pain from her fight with Neji. A toddler could probably put up a better resistance than she could in her current condition. She could try and hold out for help to arrive but she had no weapons on her, having come from the hospital where no such things were allowed. There didn't look to be anybody who could get to her either. The other option, and most preferable one at this point, was to take her own life. It may seem a bit extreme, but the way these men were eyeing her made her sure that she would prefer death over what they had planned. Not to mention that she refused to allow her purity to be sullied by such filth. Her body belonged to her Naruto-sama. He was the only one allowed to have his way with her, as such, she would rather die than allow these pieces of trash to violate what belonged to him.
She raised her hand toward her temple, intent on using a Jyūken strike to shut down her brain, when one of the Oto-nin's head slid off his shoulders. The other four looked on in shock at the occurrence and didn't have much time to launch a counter attack as they were picked off. One of them was split in half, right down the middle. The other had his neck snapped. The fourth member had a kunai plunged into his brain and the final member felt an arm rip through his chest from behind. He remained alive for a few seconds, enough to see his beating heart in the hand that tore through his chest.
Hinata looked on in rapture as the three Naruto clones wiped off the blood they got in themselves. She felt herself shiver a little in pleasure at the lengths he went to…just to protect her. She was important to him. He cared for her. He wanted to protect her. She felt her body heating up at those thoughts.
"N-Naruto-sama." She said softly, with a giddy look on her blushing face.
"Yo, Hinata-chan. The boss sent us to take care of you and make sure nothing happens." One of the clones said, confirming Hinata's hopes. She closed her eyes as her body shivered in pleasure just hearing his clone say the words. The clones looked at each other dubiously, confused at the strange behaviour of the weird girl. "He also wanted us to make sure the flea-ridden mutt didn't get killed." The same clone said, before he shrugged. "Of course, we'll take care of Akamaru as well."
Hinata just giggled at his jibe at Kiba. That seemed to be a common argument between the two of them. Hinata found it to be quite amusing. Especially how Akamaru would often agree with Naruto, who would complement him and buy him off with snacks, much to the vexation of Kiba.
"We should probably get moving. Do you want us to escort you to the Hyuuga compound, Hime?" The second clone asked. Hinata blushed at being addressed in such a way.
"Um…I would prefer not to. They sort of left me here and I'm not in the mood to be around them right now." Hinata answered, her eyes darkening as she spoke. She knew the consequences of saying that to Naruto, even if it was just his clones. It was a deliberate move on her part. The way all three of them narrowed their eyes dangerously confirmed that they were displeased by the actions of her Clan. She knew that there was a good chance of him getting some silent and humiliating retribution for her. That thought alone filled her with untold bliss. She wondered if there was something seriously wrong with her…but looking at the handsome face of Naruto, all three of them, she decided that if feeling this way about him was wrong…then she didn't want to be right. The clones gave each other a look before nodding.
"No problem. We'll take you to the boss's private training ground till the little temper tantrum from Suna is over. However, you have to promise not to reveal it to anyone. We are trusting you with this." The first Naruto clone said sternly.
The glassy look in her eyes and the way her body shuddered violently should have been an indication to the three that something wasn't right with her, but they decided that it wasn't their problem. They would leave it to the original to deal with her weirdness.
Seeing that all three of their targets weren't particularly mobile, they decided to swoop in. The third clone picked up Akamaru and gently cradled him in his arms. The second clone slung Kiba over his shoulders, intent on dropping the both of them off at the Inuzuka compound on the way. The final clone swept Hinata off her feet, causing her to let out a cute 'eep', and held her bridal style, much to the girl's embarrassment and happiness.
"Okay, let's move out." He ordered as all three of them made their way to the main districts of Konoha.
Iruka panted for breath as he looked at the opponents before him. It all happened so suddenly that he and his comrades barely had the time to react. He was in the middle of a lesson when explosions rocked the village and the Academy was put under siege. Oto-nin came flooding in. It was only the quick thinking of the Chuunin staff that were able to protect the kids from danger. Four of the Chuunin quickly surrounded the children with a barrier, but it wasn't the sturdiest. A few good hits and it would crumble. It was their job to hold out as long as possible. He could hear the sounds of the numerous battles occurring and knew that a lot of the Shinobi were being bogged down by the sheer number the enemy had on their side along. That meant that they couldn't really count on a lot of reinforcements coming to their aid.
He knew what he had to do, but he also knew that they, the teachers, were fighting a losing battle. Unfortunately, as teachers, they had allowed their skills to rust a bit. He wasn't in the greatest fighting condition that he could be and he knew it was much the same for his colleagues. If he survived this war…he was definitely going to start intensely training again. Maybe he could join his favourite student. He heard that Naruto had some crazy training regiments.
They had already suffered a few casualties on their side but were barely able to dent the enemy. There were a few good hits here and there but there were too many of them and they covered each other well. He was honestly starting to lose hope. It was only the thought of what would happen to his beloved students if he failed that kept him moving. His body was starting to wear down and his mind was working overtime just to stay coherent. His chakra reserves were almost depleted and if something didn't happen soon…it would be the end of them all. As that thought passed through his mind, he heard a very familiar voice. He couldn't help but smile as he felt his body relax.
"Fuuton: Kami Oroshi"
A furious torrent of razor sharp winds tore through a large chunk of the Oto-nin as four Naruto clones landed in front of Iruka and the rest of the teachers. Iruka let out a sigh of relief as he looked at his favourite student, not that you'll ever hear him admit that out loud. He could hear the Konohamaru Corps cheering loudly from within the barrier at the appearance of their 'boss'.
"Iruka-sensei…You look like shit. This is what happens when you sit in your ass all day and neglect your training." The lead Naruto clone said to him with a laid-back smile on his face. Iruka felt his forehead throb violently at the cheek of this little bastard. He spent so much time away from Naruto these last few months that he forgot what an impudent brat he could be. He still smiled though, as he wouldn't have him any other way. "Okay boys, we've got a bunch of Oto dumbasses who thought it was a good idea to attack our Academy. Take them out with extreme prejudice." He ordered before vanishing from his spot and appearing next to the barrier. He pumped more chakra into it and solidified it further. It also had the effect of blocking the vision from outside and inside the barrier completely as he didn't want the kids to see what was about to happen.
"You brat!" One of the Oto-nin shouted at seeing the damage Naruto managed to do with his Jutsu. That was the signal for the renewed attack as the Oto-nin pressed on even harder, not caring for their losses as they tried to inflict as much damage as possible. They were doomed to failure though as each Naruto clone activated the storage seal on the side of their kimono and unsealed their sword, brandishing Benihime in all her glory.
All four of them said, coating the already frighteningly sharp blade with a razor sharp coating of Fuuton chakra. Increasing Benihime's cutting power to godly levels. All four of them grinned evilly, spiking their killing intent to the max as they burst into action.
They literally tore through the ranks of the enemy with frightening ease. Their blades cut through flesh and bone as easy as a hot knife would cut through butter. Blood coated the courtyard as body parts were flying through the air, littering the ground as all four Naruto clones moved with perfect synchronicity in absolutely massacring their enemies. There was some resistance from the Oto-nin, but they were too shocked by the casual violence and disregard for life as their comrades met swift and brutal ends. Hack and slash. That was all that was happening as heads were rolling and limbs were being separated from their bodies. There was a morbid beauty to the sight that those witnessing it could attest to. Those that could hold their stomach that is.
Iruka had to work hard to keep himself from vomiting as the sight he was witnessing. While he was no stranger to death and violence, seeing the friendly blonde perpetuate such a ruthless bloodbath was a bit of an eye-opener. It was difficult to reconcile the silly prankster that was always ditching his class to the brutally efficient killer he was witnessing. And these were just his clones. While a part of him was horrified, another part couldn't help but be a bit proud. It was bittersweet to know that he had seemingly done a good job as he watched as Naruto bifurcated another Oto-nin. This was what he had trained Naruto, and all his students, to be. Efficient killers for the protection of their village. It was one thing to know about it theoretically, it was another thing to see it in action. He made a note to speak to Naruto about it later. He didn't want the boy to become some emotionless killer.
Once the last of the enemies fell, each clone wiped their blades off on their victims clothing until it was blood free again. Three of them kept a vigilant eye for any more possible enemies as the fourth mode his way to Iruka.
"Isn't there some sort of evacuation drill that the Academy usually initiates once a week? I'm pretty sure that there is a bunker nearby for these very situations." He asked. Iruka gave him an affirmative nod.
"Hai. We were on our way there before we were ambushed. We couldn't take the chance of moving the kids and fighting off the enemy at the same time as we were severely outnumbered." He explained. The Naruto clone gave him a small smile in return.
"Okay, continue the evacuation. We will watch your backs and make sure nothing gets in your way. Just focus on getting those snot-nosed brats to safety and leave the enemy to us." He said with a smirk as he pointed his thumb towards the barrier. Iruka shook his head in exasperation at the blonde but was glad to see that some of the old bite that made him such a troublemaker was still there.
He followed Naruto's orders, despite being of higher rank and experience. His eyes were clear enough to see that his old student had seemingly surpassed him. It was something that made his chest blossom with pride. He was definitely going to take the prankster out for some ramen after this is over to hear his story.
Similar scenes were witnessed all over Konoha. Naruto clones were laying waste to the enemy with overwhelming force on most occasions and at times subtle traps were laid and at other times with kamikaze attacks. Regardless, it helped trim down the enemy numbers and allow the villages Jounin and ANBU to systematically pick off the Oto and Suna-nin. Without their advantage in numbers, they were nothing but sitting ducks in enemy territory.
It wasn't just Naruto either. The various Clan Heads were leading from the front and taking out enemies left and right. Senior Jounin like Gai and Kakashi were doing their best to decimate the enemy ranks along with the likes of Asuma, Kurenai and Anko.
The Sandaime had the full view of this happening from his position on the roof. He couldn't stop the pride that shone in his eyes as he watched his favourite blonde (don't tell Tsunade he said that!) turn the tide of this war. Naruto really had grown up these last few months. He felt a little sad, knowing that he probably wouldn't see him grow to be the man he knew he would be and eventually take his place as the Hokage. Sarutobi Hiruzen had resigned himself to die in this battle. He knew he wasn't as young as he used to be and that he had lost a bit of his power over the years. It would take everything that he had to put his student down. Something that he was more than prepared to do. He would correct the mistake that he had made all those years ago.
"Tch. That insufferable brat is ruining everything." Orochimaru cursed as he watched the Naruto clones go to work. Orochimaru cursed himself for allowing that match with Gaara to go on as long as it did. He never expected the brat to know such high level Fūinjutsu. He had gone and completely taken their secret weapon out of the equation. He cursed for losing himself in his scientific curiosity. Now, once again, an insufferable blonde stood in the way of his ambitions.
"Hahaha! Naruto-kun has a terrible habit of completely derailing the plans of people in the worst way possible. It's a special talent of his. One that has given me endless headaches but now that I'm not on the end of it…I can see how amusing it can be." The Sandaime chortled.
Orochimaru frowned at his words before he composed himself. He had more up his sleeve and as long as he killed his old sensei here, then his objectives will have been completed.
"Kukuku…That's all well and good, sensei. But you have bigger problems to worry about." Orochiumaru taunted before going through a series of hand-seals.
Hiruzen, seeing the initiative taken, flung a handful of kunai at Orochimaru before going through hand-seals of his own. His chain was shorter though, so he finished first.
"Shuriken Kage Bunshin no Jutsu"
The shuriken multiplied, heading straight for Orochimaru who had finished his chain of hand-seals and clapped his hands together.
"Kuchiyose: Edo Tensei"
The Sandaime's faced morphed into one of horror as he watched three coffins rise of from the ground to block the shuriken. He knew he had to at least stop the third. He concentrated and pushed back as best as he could and, to his relief, the third coffin sank back into the ground.
"Orochimaru! What have you done?!" He shouted in disgust.
"Kukuku...I simply thought a reunion with your old teachers would make you happy, Sarutobi-sensei." He taunted.
As the coffin lids dropped, the Shodaime Hokage, Senju Hashirama and the Nidaime Hokage, Senju Tobirama stepped out.
"It's been a long time, Saru." Hashirama said.
"Oh? It's you? You've aged, Sarutobi." Tobirama added.
"I didn't expect to see you two in a form like this…I am mortified." Hiruzen said, before narrowing his eyes. "Please prepare yourselves, Shodaime, Nidaime."
Tobirama looked around before spotting Orochimaru behind them.
"Edo Tensei, eh? So this kid summoned us with a forbidden technique? Quite a guy." He said.
"If that's the case, Sarutobi, we must fight you." Hashirama warned.
"Let's cut the chitchat, old men…And let's get this started." Orochimaru said as he approached the Shodaime and Nidaime with a kunai in each hand with a strange tag on the rings. He was preparing to insert the command kunai into their heads when the bodies of both the former Hokage's burst into little scraps of paper. There was nothing left behind but a few clouds of smoke. "What!" Orochimaru raged.
The Sandaime, who saw the residual smoke, knew exactly what happened and who had done it. He couldn't stop himself from laughing uproariously, much to the fury of his former student.
'It's seems I owe you once again, Naruto-kun. You really know how to come through for this old man when it counts. I think I may actually be able to survive this now. Thank you, Naruto-kun.' Hiruzen thought as he charged at his still seething former student, intent on taking advantage of the opening afforded to him.
And so, the battle between the leaders of the respective armies started their titanic battle.
While this was happening, Naruto, the original one, was heading to a much more interesting place. It was a small clearing just outside Konoha. Here he could see the enemy's intelligence officers bustling around and commanding officers in charge of directing traffic for the foot soldiers. These were the men in charge of providing crucial information to their Shinobi as well as the ones who pick the priority targets. He also spotted a few Konoha ANBU with blank masks amongst them. He smirked when he saw that, knowing exactly what division they were a part of and who ordered them here.
'It seems that old war hawk is getting impatient in his old age. I didn't think he would overplay his hand by his much. The old man will have a field day with this.' Naruto thought as he discreetly took a few photographs of the scene with the camera he kept on hand to record his glorious pranks. He made sure to include the Konoha-nin in the picture with the enemy commanders.
All in all, there were about 20 of them, including the ROOT agents. Six of them were Suna-nin with the remaining ten being Oto-nin. A normal person would have walked away from the scene and called a superior officer. Not to mention, the political power of the one in charge of the traitors was nothing to sneeze at either. But Naruto was the furthest thing from normal. He wasn't afraid of fighting the odds nor was he afraid of some old prune who probably couldn't even get it up anymore. He knew that if, no, when he cut off communications with the rest of the invading army, they would run around like headless chickens. Making the jobs of the rest of the Konoha-nin a lot easier.
He knew he couldn't allow any of them to leave, especially the ROOT agents. This was a golden opportunity for him to get a peek at the infamous seal that is said to be on the tongues of all ROOT agents that apparently prevent them from divulging information about their organisation as well as their leader. Through his own little spy network, he picked up a few titbits here and there regarding the seal and he has been curious ever since. The Uzumaki blood in his wouldn't allow him to let it go. Not to mention, Danzo has been a thorn in the side of the Sandaime for a long time, which translates to being a thorn in Naruto's side going into the future. The man was an instigator with a superiority and inferiority complex towards the old man. He was a lot like Sasuke in that regard. Which was enough to put the guy on the top of Naruto's shit list. But the guy was apparently the one behind the civilian portion of the Konoha council thinking they actually have the power to run things as he has been rallying them from the shadows. Which was even more motivation to try and crack this seal. He wasn't sure if he could actually get something concrete on the old bastard to have him executed, but if he could make his life even a little more difficult than it was a win in Naruto's books.
With nary a thought, four shadow clones silently popped into existence. He gave them each a nod and they vanished from the spot. He hid a smirk to himself. It was a bit of karmic justice for him as he would use the very same technique that they did in their quest to destabilise the village. He knew he could have stealthily killed them if he wanted to. But he was in the mood to have a little fun today. Not to mention, most of these cocky assholes looked likely to brag about their objectives if he egged them on enough. So he would forgo any stealth and he would do what he always did. Kick down their front door and cause as much anarchy as humanly possible.
"Ninpo: Shishi Enjin"
A translucent violet box encased the clearing, same as the one that the Hokage was currently trapped in.
"What's going on?!"
"Check the perimeter! Find out the source! If we take out at least one of the casters, the Jutsu will fail." One of the more level headed commanders belted out.
"Ara ara that was impressive thinking under such a stressful condition. I must say, I'm impressed with your fortitude Hiroshi-san." Naruto drawled out as he made his position known. He was casually sitting on a tree branch with his right leg crossed over his left and his chin resting on his palm, the arm of which was being supported by his leg. There was a half-lidded look in his eyes as he gazed down at the tense enemy Shinobi.
"Who the hell is Hiroshi?!" The once level headed commander retorted.
"Eh? You're not Hiroshi-san who used to run the local pet shop?" Naruto asked. He cupped his chin and adopted a thinking pose as he squinted his eyes a little and stared at the man. "Sure, you lost a lot of hair, your stomach looks a lot bigger that before and your face looks a little more deformed. But I'm sure you're the real Hiroshi-san." He finished, nodding his head sagely like it was a forgone conclusion.
"You little bastard! You dare to make fun of me?!"
"Calm down, Hiroshi-san. I just came here to return this collar and leash I bought from you. It was bad stock and my girlfriend said it makes her neck itch. Could I get a refund?" Naruto questioned as he held up a dog collar with a leash attached to it.
"You!" The enemy commander gritted out, clearly recognising that Naruto was mocking them. He eventually got himself under control though as he smirked at Naruto. "You made a mistake coming here boy. You trapped yourself in a box with us. There is no escape for you now. Men, teach our little friend a lesson in respect. Keep him alive though, I want to be the one to end him." The man ordered with a cruel smirk on his face.
Naruto continued to look bored at the proceedings, further unnerving the men in the clearing. He was keeping a careful eye on the four ROOT agents though. He knew what they were most likely to do in this situation. They couldn't afford to let their involvement in the invasion become known to the public and by extension implicate their leader. Even though there will be no solid proof to incriminate Danzo, the Sandaime is smart enough to know that he had his hands in it. They also couldn't afford to kill Naruto as he was too high a priority for the village, not to mention that their leader probably had his own plans for him as the village Jinchuuriki. The only option they had here was to incapacitate him and take him back to their base to be 're-educated' in a way that would benefit their leader, passing it off as him being a casualty of war. Naruto gave them a calm smile as he eyed them predatorily. They assumed him to be easy picking because he was a kid…they were sorely mistaken.
Before they could even react, Naruto flung a handful of shuriken at five of them before going through rapid hand-seals.
"Shuriken Kage Bunshin No Jutsu"
The handful of shuriken multiplied into hundreds of them. There were far too many for the men to effectively dodge successfully as such many of the shuriken embedded themselves in their bodies. It wasn't anything fatal, but it was sure to be painful. He was doubtful they would be able to fight at full capacity, which was the point of the attack.
"What are you idiots looking around for?! Attack him!" The leader urged.
They sprang into action with two Oto-nin and one Suna-nin charging at him with kunai at hand. Four others stationed themselves just behind the charging group, going through hand-seals. Naruto gave a languid smile as he blurred from his position, coming to a crouch a few metres in front of the charging Shinobi. He lashed out with a thrust kick to the stomach at the closest one, sending him flying into a tree. The second one received an uppercut that caused him to bite his tongue as well as lifting him off the ground. As he hung in the air for a few seconds, his mouth filling with blood, Naruto delivered a brutal roundhouse kick to his side. You could hear the crunch of bones as a few of his ribs shattered under the force of the kick and his body went skidding along the ground. The final Shinobi tried to take advantage of Naruto's focus on the other two and slip a kunai into Naruto's unguarded back. Unfortunately it didn't work out that well for him as Naruto twizzled his body at the last second, allowing the arm to pass through nothing but air. Naruto then caught the arm, his back still facing the man, and casually snapped it at the forearm. The man's scream pierced the clearing. Naruto then spun him around and clapped him hard on his ears, further disorientating him.
""Katon: Gokakyu no Jutsu""
Naruto heard as the four from before unleashed their Jutsu. Two of them used the Gokakyu no Jutsu, which melded as they flew through the air. The other two augmented the already impressive fireball with the Daitoppa no Jutsu. Naruto actually took a moment to admire the seamless collaboration Jutsu. It was a pretty impressive sight. He didn't think the cannon fodder could produce something so good. He wasn't too worried though as he used the still groggy Shinobi that he had just incapacitated as a meat shield. His screams once again echoing throughout the clearing as the sizzling of his flesh could be heard along with the putrid smell of it.
Naruto, not waiting around to admire his handiwork, used a Shunshin to appear in the immediate vicinity of the Jutsu casters. They were still a little disturbed by their comrade being roasted alive by their Jutsu that they were a little slow to react as Naruto enhanced his kunai with Fuuton chakra before throwing it at one of them, piercing his brain. The other three quickly snapped out of their shock and charged him, intent on engaging in a Taijutsu battle. He was happy to oblige them as his fists and feet danced through the air as he took all three of them on. Blocking and dodging. He would strike out every so often when he found an opening in their guard. He used his superior strength and agility to evade most of their hits as well as landing his own. He could tell they were tiring a little. The drain from those large Jutsu they used earlier along with trying to match his stamina was always a battle that they had no hope in winning. Just as he was about to finish them off, he was grabbed from the back and held in a full nelson position. From the corner of his eye, he could see it was the guy that he first kicked away.
"Excellent men! Cut him up a little. This little brat needs to be taught a lesson in respect." The leader ordered. He had yet to move from his position as he stood with the ROOT Shinobi just watching.
The three he was fighting each took out a kunai, intent on carrying out their orders as the one holding him tightened his hold. As they got within range, Naruto gave them an indulgent smile as he uttered two words.
His body glowed white before he exploded violently. The Shinobi that was holding him took the brunt of the attack as his body exploded in a shower of bloody chunks. The other three took quite a bit of concussive damage from the attack but managed to escape the more fatal effects. Their good luck didn't last long however as three Fuuton enhanced kunai penetrated their skulls.
The leader looked around the clearing to see Naruto still sitting in the same position, only on a different tree. He was casually tossing a kunai in the air with that same placid expression on his face. Before the leader could say anything, Naruto flicked the kunai he was tossing to his left, killing the Shinobi that was curled up on the ground. It was the same one whose ribs he broke.
Naruto turned his attention back to the leader. There were only 13 of them left now. It didn't look like the leader or the ROOT agents were planning on moving anytime soon so that just left 8 more till he got to them.
"You!" The leader growled, the vein on his forehead throbbing violently.
"Oi oi…you might want to calm down, Hiroshi-san. It's not healthy for a man of your age to be under so much stress. You might have a brain aneurism. Shizuka-chan will be sad if anything happened to her Tou-chan." Naruto warned, though there was no sincerity in his voice.
The leader wanted to react, he wanted to shout at the annoying brat. But he knew that was exactly what Naruto wanted. He wanted a reaction from him. He wanted to rile him up. Even though he knew it was happening, it was hard to fight its effects. He signalled for the remainder of his men to attack, hoping they could remove the annoying shit stain in front of him.
Naruto saw the eight of them charging him and decided to take them all out at once. He would pick off any stragglers if they managed to survive. He spotted the clear lake beside them and decided to use it to his advantage. As the men ran towards him, he went through a chain of 23 hand-seals faster than their eyes could follow. A feeling of dread well up in them, which only solidified when they heard the Jutsu being used.
"Suiton: Daibakufu no Jutsu"
An enormous, violently swirling torrent of water crashed into them. Bones were broken and lungs were filled with water as they struggled in the nature of the Jutsu. Due to his large chakra reserves, Naruto could hold the technique far longer than normal, or was thought possible, without too much of a drain on his reserves. He held it for a few more seconds before releasing it, allowing the torrent of water to calm. Using his heightened senses, he could make out the faint heartbeats of at least three of them. He was surprised that they had actually managed to survive that. He put that to rest though as they each received a kunai to the skull. Naruto once again turned his attention to the leader, still sitting on the tree branch.
"And then there were five." Naruto drawled.
The leader started sweating badly at what just happened. He didn't think the kid would be this dangerous. It was just one boy against twenty of them. This should have been easy. He was seriously re-thinking his life decisions at this point.
"You! What kind of monster are you?!" He gritted out. Naruto gave him an indulgent smile in return.
"The best kind."
Those were the final word the man heard as his head was separated from his shoulders. Naruto simply raised an eyebrow as one of the ROOT agents, Naruto decided to refer to him as Dickface #1, wiped the blood of his tanto.
"That wasn't a very nice thing to do. Hiroshi-san and I were having a nice conversation." He scolded, getting absolutely zero reaction out of his opponents who just stared at him with their blank masks. Naruto sighed in annoyance. "You guys are no fun. It's no wonder Danzo is a senile old goat if he's surrounded by colourful personalities like you three clowns all day."
That got a reaction as the four of them twitched before composing themselves. That was enough to make Naruto smirk. He gently kicked off the tree, silently landing on his feet as he made his way towards the middle of the clearing.
"Let's get this over with. You three are probably going to try and capture me so your precious 'Danzo-sama' can mould me into a perfect weapon that will allow him to take over Konoha and conquer the Elemental Nations…or some crap like that, right?" He drawled out. Their bodies twitched once again, this time a little more violently. "I was told to stay away from creepy old men who had an unhealthy interest in me…so I'm going to have to pass on that. I doubt that will be enough to stop you though. Unfortunately for you, I've got places to go and people to see. So let's get this show on the road." Naruto said before flinging three kunai at them. All four of them broke away from each other as they circled him. Each with a tanto in hand. Naruto unsealed Benihime and took a ready stance.
He swiftly brought his sword up to block that slash aimed at his back. Using his strength, he pushed his attacker away while he simultaneously lashed out with a kick at the other one trying to flank him. The other two brought their blade down on him simultaneously, intending to cut him down. There was no space for him to manoeuvre so he jumped into the air while simultaneously twisting his body at just the right angle as to allow the blades to lightly brush his kimono. He didn't stop there though. While falling from his position in the air, he planted a single hand onto the ground as a fulcrum and kicked upwards, the soles of his boot catching both attackers in the chin, sending them both flying backwards. He didn't have time to dwell on that though as he used his arm to push himself off the ground, just as a blade passed the space it was occupying previously. He landed on his feet and deftly swerved before slicing the space to his left, drawing blood from the attacker that tried to sneak up on him. There was a large cut going down his side. He kicked the man away, making sure to plant his boot on the cut as he did so.
As the man flew back, another came in swinging. Naruto recognised this one as Dickface #1. Naruto used his inhuman reflexes and dodged the swing before delivering a palm thrust to the man's chest, forcing a hacking cough out of him as he lost his balance.
Naruto didn't get time to dwell on that though as he spied a large fireball speeding towards him. He coated his blade in a thin layer of Suiton chakra and sliced the fireball in half, the reaction between the fire and water causing steam to sizzle through the air.
All four got up and regrouped, silently stalking Naruto. He could see this was going nowhere as while they certainly were skilled…their movement were far too robotic and predictable. He could read them from miles away. There was no creativity or improvisation from them. They moved in predictable attack patterns and used simple tactics. This was further proof in Naruto's mind that Danzo was a fucking moron. If he wanted Konoha to be comprised solely of Shinobi like this…then Iwa and Kumo would kicked the shit out of them. Konoha was successful in so many wars not because of quantity, but because of quality. The quality and ingenuity of their individual Shinobi was enough to outstrip battalions of Shinobi from enemy villages. If Danzo though that these emotionless robots could replace people like Hatake Sakumo, The Sannin or Namikaze Minato…then the guy needed to desperately see a therapist.
Naruto decided that this had gone on long enough. He held up a single one-handed seal.
"Ninpo: Kirigakure no Jutsu"
A thick mist filled the clearing, completely concealing Naruto from view. His enhanced sensory abilities allowing him to pierce the mist. He could see the ROOT agents looking around unsurely. He spiked his killing intent, allowing it to flood the clearing, causing the four of them to flinch at the sensation. He moved silently and swiftly behind his first target before plunging his kunai into his jugular. The man gurgled his own blood before drooping to the ground, dead.
The sound of a body dropping drew the attention of the other three. As they looked toward the sound, Naruto snuck up behind one of them and caught her in a choke hold. She struggled against the hold but Naruto didn't give her much of a chance as he effortlessly snapped her neck.
Once again, the remaining two turned towards where they heard the sound of a body dropping. They tensed themselves, knowing that Naruto could be sneaking up on them at any moment. Apprehension started to slowly set in. They were being stalked like animals and their stunted emotional growth left them unsure as to how to feel about that.
A minute passed and still nothing happened. Fear was starting to set in as that was the only thing that made sense to the two right now. No other emotion could describe what they were feeling from this monster.
Without warning, a wind blade bisected one of them right down the middle, causing both halves of his body to hit the ground. The wind blade also blew away the mist, allowing the final member to see Naruto standing a few metres in front of him. He jumped back on instinct at the close proximity of his enemy. He brandished his tanto, intent on at least going down with a fight.
Naruto held up a single one-handed seal once again. The man wasn't going to allow him to activate the Kirigakure no Jutsu again and made to charge forward. That didn't go according to plan though as he found himself rooted to the spot, unable to move a single muscle in his body. He focused his gaze on Naruto, who was in front of him, as he was simply unable to look elsewhere.
"Paralysis Seal." Naruto explained with a placid smile. "You made a grave mistake, Mr ROOT ANBU. You allowed an Uzumaki to touch you. I would have thought that Danzo would have taught you better." Naruto said, the same infuriating smile on his face.
Even though he wasn't supposed to have any emotions…the man was really starting to hate this kid. He thought back to when he allowed the blonde to touch him…he remembered when he hit him with a palm thrust to his chest. He didn't think much of it and just shook off the attack. He didn't even feel the seal being placed on him.
Naruto came forward and placed more Paralysis Seals on the man's body, just in case. He reached up and took off the man's mask, revealing an ordinary nondescript face. Brown hair, brown eyes. No distinguishing features.
Once again, even though he wasn't meant to feel emotions, the blonde before him seemed to have the ability to evoke the most primal emotions within him. Which was why he felt nothing but pure terror at the chilling smirk on the normally placid face of his enemy as he forced his mouth open and pulled his tongue forward.
"Now, let's take a peek under the hood."
All that could be heard in the silence of the clearing…were the agonising screams of a man wishing for death.
As the furious battle between the Hokage and Orochimaru waged on, the aged leader knew that he was losing. It was slowly becoming a battle of attrition and his tired old body was starting to give up on him. He knew he had to do something. He had just the solution. He was hoping he didn't have to use it but it looked like he had no choice in the matter. If it meant erasing his mistake, he would gladly pay the price. As she stood there, taking in deep breaths and listening to Orochimaru taunt him, the Hokage started going through hand-seals.
"Fūinjutsu: Shiki Fuujin"
The ghastly apparition of the Shinigami appeared behind Hiruzen, before sinking its arm into him…allowing it to pass through his body and impale the panicking Orochimaru who could now see the Shinigami since his arm was buried in his abdomen.
"You insufferable old monkey! Why won't you just die?!" Orochimaru raged as he tried to use whatever remaining strength he could muster to impale the Sandaime with the Kusanagi. He couldn't manage it though as he had to focus every ounce of his chakra and his concentration to keep the Shinigami at bay. He was struggling though. The pain he was experiencing was unimaginable. He had to do his best to hold out though, as he could see the Sandaime's strength fading. He couldn't keep this up much longer.
"It looks like I don't have the power to drag out all of your soul. However, your ambition ends here! I will hand down your punishment for drowning yourself in Jutsu! I will take away all the Jutsu you have!" The Sandaime shouted as he used whatever strength he had to pull out a small portion of Orochimaru's soul before the Shinigami cut it off with his blade.
Hiruzen completed the technique, sealing that portion of Orochimaru's soul within himself, forever robbing him of his ability to use his arms.
Orochimaru looked on in horror as his arms turned grey and he lost all feeling in them. He saw the same thing happening to the Sandaime who had passed out from exhaustion. His own mortality never felt so near as the implications of what his former sensei had done to him had set in. He needed to get out of here fast. He signalled for his bodyguards who dropped the barrier and whisked him away, just before the Konoho-nin could intercept them.
The Konoha Shinobi surveyed the destruction on the roof before kneeling next to the Sandaime, fearing the worst. He tentatively put his finger to his leader's neck. He felt around for a while before his head shot up.
"He has a pulse! It's faint but it's there! Get him to the hospital!" The man ordered as the rest of them burst into action.
And so, the Suna-Oto invasion came to a screeching halt. With their leader abandoning them, the enemy forces had no choice but to surrender. There was a lot of casualties and a lot of damage done. But in the end, the great tree of Konoha stood strong against the fierce wind.
That's it for the invasion arc. I'll be moving on to the Tsunade Retrieval arc next.
As you can see, Naruto kicked some major ass in this one. Hinata also fell further down the rabbit hole.
Thanks for taking the time to read this. Your reviews are much appreciated.