A/N: I own nothing but my stupid ideas. more at the bottom. .

Re-edited 7/18

He did not notice the boy until said boy was halfway done vandalizing the Hokage monument. That, in itself, impressed him, more so was that NO ONE else noticed till after the boy was done AND set off a small smoke bomb just to get the village's attention. What followed was a run the likes of which the man had not seen in years. Part of him was greatly impressed as the boy outran, dodged, maneuvered and outthought the elite ANBU, skilled and seasoned Jōnin, and many, many Chūnin...

Of course, the other part of him was enraged. Not at the boy, but at the ANBU. How could HIS elite ANBU, many he trained personally, have let themselves get so sloppy as to let the boy outwit them so easily? The boy had a skill, there was no doubt, and the observer would not take it away from him. But the Elite Shinobi should not be outsmarted THAT easily.

He watched the Blonde and knew who the kid was the moment he saw that shade of blonde hair. He watched as the boy ducked down an alleyway. He saw that the kid let the Chūnin academy instructor catch him, and he watched as the boy smiled and laughed and joined said instructor for a bowl of ramen.

The observer then went to the records room at the academy and looked up the boy's records. What he found made no sense, on paper the boy was less than useless. He made copies of all the graduating student's records and quickly snuck into the teacher's lounge. He observed the teachers talk, and what he learned tempted him to break his cover as well as their necks. Decades of training in the art of infiltration taught him enough self-control not to do either...but he was severely tested.

His next stop was a lone teacher squirreled away in his private office.

The teacher Mizuki was asleep, his head was resting on his desk. The observer performed a mind-reading Jutsu that the Yamanaka's taught him. What he learned tempted him to kill...again. This creep planned to use Naruto to steal a scroll from the Hokage's tower and then frame the boy for treason or outright kill him. Instead of killing the traitor, the observer came up with a plan on the spot.

This village would not know what hit them.

"You passed him?" a councilor asked shocked. "Even after he stole a scroll from your personal quarters?"

"Yes, impressive don't you think?" the Hokage asked as he took a few 'victory' puffs from his pipe.

"Lord Hokage, you can't be serious! We can't let him represent Konoha as a shinobi, he will be an embarrassment! The boy could barely pass, and he shows no outright skill other than making trouble..."

The counselor had taken a different approach to attacking Naruto, knowing how the Hokage favored the boy. The Hokage sat there and frowned. He opened his mouth was about to reply...

"One-hundred-sixty-eight," a voice broke the silence.

Everyone froze. Although they couldn't describe the person who spoke – some sort of Jutsu or Genjutsu hid him – they knew that voice. Hiruzen reached into his desk and pulled out an old dusty calendar where he checked the date.

"You're late, your banishment ended seven days ago," the old man spoke.

"I have been here, I was taking care of the paperwork for the last ten years."

The Sandaime Hokage just nodded. "Welcome home Kuzai. 168?"

"The number of ANBU, Jōnin, and Chūnin the boy was able to outsmart and outrun, not to mention the fact that NO ONE saw him paint the monument until after he was done. You say he has no skills but causing trouble?" Kuzai said as he looked at the still silent men.

"How many missions have we done that involved sabotage? You know, sneak in raise hell sneak out without getting caught. The boy is a natural." He continued.

"Regardless, his grades in the academy were the lowest, he is the dead last! He can't even perform a simple clone Jutsu..."

"No Uzumaki will ever be able to perform the simple clone. It's written in the academy teachers guide, their chakra reserves are too large." Everyone saw the Sandaime blush before clearing his throat.

"That is correct since he is an Uzumaki, then by the rules, I should have checked his chakra reserves..."

"And if they were found to be at a certain level, he was supposed to be given access to one of his family Jutsu." Kuzai finished and stared down the men and women in the room.

"Family Jutsu's?" a woman Chūnin asked confused.

"Yes, a Jutsu invent by the Uzumaki clan as their primary training tool, the reason they are...were so powerful."

"Which Jutsu?" said a Chūnin with a scar on his nose. Kuzai recognized the Chūnin as the only academy instructor worth his rank and pay - Iruka Umino.

"Shadow Clone Jutsu, it was customary for young students between eight and ten to start training with the clones in Uzu..."

"Tobirama Senju the Nidaime invented the Shadow Clone Jutsu."

Kuzai just stared at the Chūnin ... "says who?"

Before the Chūnin could reply, the Hokage cleared his throat.

"The Nidaime did not invent the Jutsu, but he did convince Mito Senju, born Mito Uzumaki, to share the Jutsu with Konohagakure."

They were silent for a few minutes as Kuzai just smirked at the old man.

"So that is why" Iruka started and when most looked at him. "The Shadow Clone Jutsu was what he used to beat Mizuki..."

Yes," Kuzai interrupted, "that was how he could learn and use the skill so quickly. And with such power - that Jutsu is literally in his blood."

"Wait a minute," The Hokage spoke, "did you know about Mizuki's plan beforehand?"

Kuzai just smiled, "Of course. I wanted to see what the kid could do, especially with all the sabotage to his training at the academy,"

"THERE WAS NO SABOTAGE, THE DEMON BRAT..." the head academy instructor started to yell when he was silenced by the massive killing intent that radiated from the Hokage.

"What kind of sabotage?" the Hokage asked calmly as he stared at his soon to be the former head instructor.

Kuzai just stood and waited, smirking, but said nothing. He noticed Iruka was blushing in shame and anger. Shame that he did not notice Naruto's need for extra chakra control lessons, and anger that anyone would abuse their duty as a teacher. Many of the other instructors were starting to sweat. Some knew about the sabotage and were worried that they would also be punished. The head instructor wanted to quietly slip away but couldn't, as Kuzai never took his eye off of him

"That place is a mess," a new voice rang out as someone else walked into the room.

Most of the people in the room including Iruka really started to sweat when they noticed the scarred face of Ibiki Morino.

"Was I right?" Kuzai asked calmly.

"More than I thought possible, the bastard was working for and planned to give the scroll to Orochimaru," Ibiki replied. "Iruka is also cleared."

At the mention of his name, the Chūnin looked up,

"Iruka stay, Hiruzen spoke calmly, the rest of you will head to T and I. Ibiki will be there to speak with you, and if any of you try to resist, I will send Kuzai for you. Note that he has been our chief assassin for close to forty years. Dismissed."

As the group stood and left, fearful of what was in store for them Kuzai, Ibiki and the Hokage just waited. Iruka was the one sweating. When the last person left Kuzai performed a hand sign and the obscuring Jutsu was broken.

Now that Iruka had a good view, he saw a man who initially appeared in his forties, though Iruka could tell by Kuzai's body language that he had far more experience and wisdom then his appearance showed. Kuzai had the look of the traders from the west - short hair, a long black leather coat and round glasses with side covers. Iruka could not see his eyes but the overall impression was of an average man. So, average that Kuzai could probably blend into any crowd and no one would notice him.

"Uzumaki," Ibiki handed a folder to the Hokage "Was not the only one affected by tampering."

The Hokage took a long look at the file before handing it to Iruka, who paled at the information.

"What...how can we fix this...did any of the students know?" the Chūnin asked as he read.

"No, they appear to be innocent. I will know for sure after I speak with the rest of the teachers," Ibiki replied calmly.

"So what...do we hold them back, re-test them...punish them for their teachers?" Iruka asked not sure how he felt about that.

"No," Kuzai replied. "But we can fix this problem, or rather I can fix this...if you agree to it, Lord Hokage."

"Kuzai, you have been an ANBU instructor for many years, the Chief Instructor for the ANBU training camp," Hiruzen started. "But we are at peacetime, when was the last time you trained students this young?"

"Itachi," was the elite's reply. "But I do understand your concern, a fool I am not. I can train them to match their skills and age, and I will have Mai with me to make sure I do not cross the line."

The Hokage just nodded, "What do you need?"

"Delay the team selection an extra week," he replied. Kuzai looked at his watch and glanced at Iruka. "Send out a notice to all who passed. Two days from now is a mandatory training day for all students, ten in the morning will be fine."

The Hokage and Iruka both nodded, "anything else?"

"I want Neko to help, without her mask. Also," Kuzai looked at the silent Ibiki. "I want Anko."

Hiruzen was concerned, "Anko is not the best with children. Are you sure?"

"You have a lot of fangirls pretending to be Kunoichi, Anko can and will weed them out. We can not punish them for their teachers...but we can wake them up to the truth."

No one spoke. Kuzai grabbed the list of students that 'passed' and started writing as he waited. Iruka returned to reading the report while Hiruzen smoked his pipe and stared at his elite assassin and ANBU instructor.

"How long will you need Anko for your 'training camp'" Ibiki asked calmly.

"About a week, that should weed out the weak and give those that pass time to rest," Kuzai replied calmly "and for the record, I believe only these nine will make it. The rest couldn't possibly pass due to either lack of skill, desire, or just plain stupidity." handing the list to the Hokage.

The Hokage just nodded, "Are we done?"

"For tonight, but know this boy," as he 'looked' at the aged Hokage. "You made a lot of mistakes while I was gone I can fix most of them, but I am not done busting your balls."

It was six the morning, the day after his fight with Mizuki and Naruto woke up groggy and tired. Just as he finished his morning routine a knock came from the door. Quickly moving to check the peephole he smiled as he opened the door, "Jiji?"

"Naruto, this is Jōnin Kuzai," the old man. "He wishes to speak with you. May we come in?"

Naruto nodded as he watched the new man. Kuzai wore a long black trench coat, buttoned closed., His face and hair seemed plain yet neat. His glasses were round, dark and had side guards that made it impossible for anyone to see his eyes. It reminded Naruto a lot of Shino and the Aburame clan.

"So," Naruto started looking between the two. "What did you..."

"Kushina Uzumaki," the man started. "That was your mother's name. She was a hell of a powerful Shinobi and one of the best-barehanded fighters I had seen in a long time."

Naruto was shocked. No one, not even the old man, had actually told him about his parents. Either of them.

"Her name was kept from you due to her enemies. As an Uzumaki, she was wanted dead by many in Kumo, Iwa, and Kiri. For the record, I understand the need to secrecy, but I did not agree with the plan to keep this information away from you. As a Shinobi of the Leaf, understand that you can't tell anyone about her yet."

Naruto stared at the man, then at his adopted grandfather, then back at the man and nodded.

"Your father had more enemies then your mother, so no, I cannot tell you about him yet. Know that he was a damn strong ninja and a good man. Never let anyone speak badly about him."

Again, Naruto nodded. As much as he wanted to know, something told him that the info could and probably would kill him if he knew now. the Jōnin admitted to knowing who his father was. He hadn't tried to lie and pretend he didn't know. The strange Jōnin had also made it clear that Naruto's father had a ton of enemies. For now, the lack of a name did not bother him.

"Naruto," the Hokage started. "After the incident with Mizuki, we looked more closely at all of the instructors at the academy..."

"You and many other students were cheated in your training," The man interrupted. "None of you should have passed. However, we cannot punish you for your teacher's failures. In order to make sure everyone is trained correctly, you and your class will be put through a special training camp the day after tomorrow at 10 A.M. This camp will help you prepare for your team selection and final test."

"What test?" Naruto replied as he picked up that detail.

"You're not a ninja yet, no one is a Ninja until they have passed a final test set by their Jōnin instructor" Although nobody could see Kuzai's eyes, Naruto got the distinct impression he was glaring at the Hokage. "Telling you that you are a Ninja of the village after passing the Academy tests is something I never agreed with."

"So, is that why you are here? You wanted to tell me about this training camp?" Naruto asked.

"No, an official letter will be sent to all the students," The Hokage replied. "We are here because Kuzai plans to give you a jumpstart to your training. Since your education was sabotaged the most we decided that you need some extra help." Naruto looked half thrilled at extra training and half skeptical as he stared at the Jōnin. "He was the head instructor for the ANBU for many years, he has been out of the village for over ten years." Hiruzen began to say.

"My training will make you stronger," the Kuzai bluntly interrupted.

Naruto began to smile his trademark grin but then stopped. That was the second time that the Jōnin had interrupted the Hokage. Despite the fact that he was getting answers Naruto did not like ANYONE disrespecting his Jiji.

"Is it not rude to disrespect the Hokage like that? Sure I tease and prank him constantly, but he knows I do it with total respect despite what anyone else sees. You..."

"Naruto, Kuzai is older than me," the Hokage spoke up. "He is one of my former teachers and has been one of my biggest critics for longer then you have been alive. He knows when to respect me. To be a good Hokage you will need a friend and an adviser that has the ability to speak to you as an equal, and Kuzai is one of mine.

Naruto was not sure how to respond, so he just growled and went to get dressed.

"Meet at training ground 93, I will be there soon." The Jōnin said as Naruto nodded again and headed out the door.

The two older men followed him at a slow pace as they walked down the hall,

"I guess we are done for this morning?" the Hokage asked.

"No, I have one more thing to tell you."

With a sigh the old ninja turned to face Kuzai, only to see a fist at the last second. The punch dropped Hiruzen hard and he felt the bones of his nose breaking, Kuzai stood over the Hokage...

"That, Lord Hokage, was for disregarding my warning and giving that damn snake a Genin team. You better think real hard starting now. I can fix most of your past mistakes, but if you make any more I won't wait for your enemies to deal with you...I will kill you myself."

Naruto watched his strange new teacher walk into the clearing; the man watched the boy calmly as he unbuttoned a few buttons on his coat in order to give himself more room for his legs to move.

"We will spar now, Taijutsu only. Give me everything you have...if you can knock me off my feet, I will pay for all your ramen for the next thirty days."

Naruto attacked hard...but Kuzai easily blocked his first punch and threw him away. Naruto managed to flip around and land feet first on a tree, which he used to launch another attack. That set the pattern for the sparring session. The Jōnin noticed that Naruto could take a hit and get right back up, so he started to hit harder and harder each time. The boy just would not stay down. Naruto's forms were so sloppy it was almost embarrassing, but Kuzai was impressed with his talent for improvisation, not that Naruto ever came close to actually landing a hit.

Naruto was only a little upset. He realized that this was his first time sparring with someone outside of class and if he was honest he was enjoying it. It was fun, even when he missed a punch and Kuzai punched him in the back of the head, driving his face down into the grass.

Soon there was a 'ding' and Kuzai motioned for a stop.

"What? why?" Naruto asked breathing a little hard but still able to go.

"We have just sparred for one hour, I have learned what I needed," Kuzai replied shocking Naruto with the time. "Now it is time to improve on what you can do. Show me your Shadow Clone Jutsu and make ten clones."

Making the hand sign he shouted the words. Twelve clones appeared. Kuzai did not say anything, he just made the same sign and three of his own clones appeared without a sound or smoke.

He looked at the clones, "You five with him, you three with him and you four with him," he told Naruto's clones. He told his own. "You know your orders."

Kuzai's clones nodded and took their assigned clones into the woods.

"Now, that clone Jutsu is special. Everything they learn you will learn when they dispel. Shadow Clones have been a primary teaching tool for many years. Yes, they are good in combat since they know everything you know and can fight as well as you do, but your clan primarily used them for their ability in training."

"I have a clan?" Naruto asked shocked.

"Had. You had a clan, though they were wiped out many years ago. As far as we know you are the last, but now is not history class. I will make sure you learn the truth soon."

Naruto wanted to ask more questions but stopped and waited.

"Now of all the things your clones can do, one thing you and only you can improve on is your physical conditioning. " here the man got an evil smile. "Sit-ups start."

Naruto got down and started, he was slow and sluggish and...

"How many?" Naruto asked after a few minutes.

The man took a meditative seat and breathed out to relax, "Till I'm tired."

He was not joking. Naruto continued to do sit-ups for what felt like hours. He was panting grunting groaning and hurting. He even stopped twice to throw up. Kuzai only asked if he had got it all up and told him to continue. Then the 'ding' interrupted them both.

"That's two hours, switch to push-ups, when it dings again start jumping squats," Kuzai ordered.

Naruto obeyed. Although he was sore and hurting, he really wasn't tired. He also felt the pride that comes from was getting a good workout.

After the final ding, Naruto stopped and was almost ready to collapse to the ground.

"Stretch out so you don't cramp up," Kuzai spoke as he handed a water bottle to the boy.

Naruto just nodded as he took a drink and stretched. The silence was starting to grow. He had been silent for hours, and anyone that knew the blonde knew it would not last.

"You know a lot about me," Naruto started "Do you know about..." and the boy trailed off not sure how to mention it.

"The Fox?" Kuzai asked. When Naruto nodded he continued "I know more about that fox then anyone alive at the moment."

Naruto looked at him waiting.

"I am old enough that I was there during the battle between Madara Uchiha and Hashirama Senju at the Valley of the End. I watched as the Fox was sealed into a person, called a Jinchūriki. That person was Mito Senju, who was born Mito Uzumaki."

Naruto was shocked by that.

"What I am telling you can't be bragged about or boasted about, there are people in this village that would either try to use you for their schemes or outright kill you. That's another reason the knowledge of your family was kept secret."

Naruto stopped again, "I understand, and if people knew I'm sure they would treat me better only because of my ancestor, and not because I had earned their respect. I want to be respected for my own achievements, not theirs."

"Good, now back to the fox, I have spent a lot of my life studying demons and the Fox is probably the most powerful and most corrupted of them all. Hatred and cruelty have warped his mind," here Kuzai stopped and looked out into the woods as if he was remembering something.

He remembered what it was like before Madara showed the world just how big of an ass he truly was. He was thinking about how the Fox used to search out evil and hate-filled humans. The Fox attacked them, as he tried to preserve its father's dream..."

"Kuzai-sensei?" Naruto asked concerned.

"Chief. Call me Chief." he replied "I am the Chief Instructor for the ANBU training camp.

"Are you ok Chief? You went quiet," Naruto asked.

"The Nine-tails, who has a name though I will not tell it to you, has been abused and hunted and harmed by humans for many years. His outlook seems to have turned dark. The best thing you can do is be respectful of him. He is not a mindless killing machine but a creature of the world, with dreams and feeling and desires just like you.

That is not to say he won't try to hurt you. He is a prisoner and no prisoner likes their cage. He will try to trick you so he can escape. It is not the time for that yet, just remember that no prisoner likes their cage." here Kuzai stopped, shifting his head to the side.

"Ok, the first of your clones are about to dissipate, get ready."

Naruto nodded and stood up. It did not take long before he felt a rush of information. Next, he walked over to a tree and started to walk up to it slowly. Once he was certain of his footing he began to go faster.

"COOL, THIS IS AWESOME," he shouted as he ran up the tree and along the underside of a branch before jumping and flipping to land on his feet.

Then a second rush hit him. When he looked around he could not find any water, but that was okay since he had not yet mastered that training.

"We can walk on water?" he asked, shocked.

"Yes, it is a basic but very important skill. Once you have learned both tree and water walking I will teach you how to fight using both.

"WOO HOO I will be stronger the Sasuke-Teme in no..."

Naruto was quickly silenced by a slap to the back of his head. He glared up at the man, only to be frozen by a glance.

"Focus! You are a Shinobi of the Leaf, there are more important things then who is stronger. In fact, 'Who is stronger' is a playground game that has no place anywhere but the playground. You have a long way to go and much to learn as you grow. That game is over starting now." The growl in his voice made it clear that Kuzai was serious about this and even the somewhat stupid blonde knew not to argue it.

"Ok, the third group should be about ready."

Again, Naruto got ready. This time the rush came harder and he stared out into the woods for a moment. He started to perform a kata, working through each step slowly. When he made a mistake Naruto would stop, correct his position, and then continue. He did not master it right away, but now he could see his mistakes and how to correct them. It made Naruto realize, without a doubt, that the Chief could and would make him a better ninja.

"Go to the bathhouse. I want you to soak good and long. Your body will be sore, and tomorrow we will do this again. Meet me here at the same time."

And with that Kuzai vanished. Naruto did not know what to think so he just followed his orders

Kakashi Hatake sat on the memorial stone as he read his book. He was reading it to all the friends he had lost so they would not miss out on the golden literature. As he turned a page he realized that someone was squatting down on the rock behind him. The copy ninja closed his book and put it in his vest. He drew a kunai and the fight was on.

It was the most one-sided fight the ANBU captain had ever been in. He could not hit the person. Hell, he couldn't even see him. Yet this guy, and he was sure it was male, would hit him. Hard...over and over and over again. After the third time his face was planted into the large rock Kakashi lifted his hitai-ate and revealed his three tomoe Sharingan. That only made the attacks come harder, faster, and nastier.

He could not move, attack, defend or even breathe. What was worse was that he could not track his attacker...

'Wait, there is no intent.' Kakashi thought to himself. There was only one time anyone had ever handed him his ass this badly without any malicious intent. His face was again slammed into the rock.

"Greetings Chief, welcome back," Kakashi spoke as he slowly stood and re-hid his eye.

The man just stared at the Copy Ninja as he waited.

"When did you return?" Kakashi asked reaching his feet.

"My banishment ended seven days ago. I am not happy with what I learned in those seven days."

Kakashi did not reply, he knew better. This man was not one to piss off and if you somehow managed to do that...Kami have mercy because Kuzai wouldn't.

"Naruto Uzumaki is Kushina's son," Kuzai started to speak. "The day you die I have no doubt the first people you will meet will be his parents...both of them."

Kakashi did not speak. He knew he was in trouble, his inability to care for the boy, even from the shadows, warranted whatever beating the boy's parents would deliver. At that moment the Copy Ninja felt the first drops of rain start and heard a rolling of thunder.

"One-hour, full assembly," Kuzai said as he vanished. The storm started to fall into a fury.

Naruto was almost to his apartment when the rain hit. It came down in sheets as the lightning flashed and thunder rolled. In seconds he was soaked All he cared about was getting someplace with four walls and a roof. He was just getting to the door of his apartment building...

"choo," came a very soft sneeze, as though whoever did it was doing their best not to be heard.

Naruto found a girl with indigo hair trying to hide in a small badly covered porch. He knew who she was- Hinata Hyuga - the cute girl that he had a crush on since the day he saved her from three bullies. She was soaked in her oversized coat and starting to shiver.

"Hinata? Hinata-Chan?" Naruto spoke out just loud enough to be heard over the rain.

She looked up as he got close, her face inches from his. She could not help it, she blushed a deep red and was only seconds away from...

"If you faint it will be much harder," Naruto whispered. "Stay awake for me."

She looked into his eyes and somehow, she was able to regain her footing. She gave a soft nod. Naruto did the only thing he could, he took her arm and led her up to his apartment. Once inside he handed her a clean towel and robe, then quickly showed her to the bathroom. Once she went in he turned around and looked at the mess that was his apartment. He quickly he made a large group of clones and set them to cleaning, sending two more out on errands.

It was barely three in the afternoon, but the storm raged and blocked out any light. So, it was dark when every ANBU and elite Jōnin of the Leaf village stood in formation. Everyone in formation stared at the man at the front. He stood, back straight, feet apart, hands clasped at the small of his back.

No one knew what to think when they heard the call. Much less why it was the Copy Ninja that called the assembly. A flash of lightning came and everyone felt his presence. There was no mistaking that aura, he had returned.

Kakashi snapped to attention without a sound. Those that weren't already at attention quickly followed him. Two people started to walk up the center of the formation. One was the Sandaime Hokage, dressed in his formal Hokage robes, though his robes were open to reveal his Battle Gear. He was carrying his legendary staff. The second man wore a long black leather trench coat that and a pair of dark circle-rimmed glasses with side guards. Other than that, he appeared average and easily overlooked. The two walked up and stood before Kakashi The Copy Ninja to stepped back and the two men turned to face the mass.

"You know who I am, what I am and what I have done. I know who each and every one of you is, what you can do and what you have not done." Kuzai spoke calmly as he looked around. "I am not impressed. In fact, I am completely pissed off."

A shiver went up the spines of every ANBU and Jōnin. Only their training kept them from running from this one man's Intent.

"I am thinking about stripping you all of your ranks, cutting your pay and making you re-run the gauntlet."

No one spoke, though a shiver went through the formation.

"You all owe your Hokage for preventing that, I trained you better than this." Kuzai finished.

An ANBU, Boar, stepped forward. "Chief, I and many others are not...we do not understand."

"The boy," Kuzai replied. "Is skilled and clever, I am impressed. BUT none of you saw him painting the monument till after he was done. Most of you did not see him until he set off a smoke bomb. And then he outran all of you. He is skilled yes. He did it with piss poor training yes. He impressed me, yes. But you ALL let your selves get sloppy."

The group started to look around. Some ashamed to admit he was right. Some wondered about the 'poor training'. Another person stepped up, she had purple hair and a cat mask.

"Chief, there is something else isn't there? Something you have not told us yet." Neko asked.

"War," Kuzai replied. "There is a war coming, at best in less than five years, and there is no stopping it."

That silenced everyone, even the Hokage.

"That is all. Dismissed." Kuzai barked and turned his back to them. Most started to leave in quiet groups. Soon it was just the Hokage, Copy Ninja, Kuzai and one other person.

"Hello asshole," Kuzai called out as the fourth person stepped up., A lightning flash illuminated the face of Hiashi Hyuga.

The elite Jōnin and Head of the strongest clan hesitated at the insult but did not let it stop him.

"Chief Kuzai, I do not appreciate being dragged out in the rain. I am no longer an active Shinobi and am no longer under your control."

"I heard you had retired," Kuzai stated as he turned to face the Jōnin. "Strange thing is, I did not have your paperwork on my desk. Even with my banishment, it was a simple rule. Once your paperwork goes through the chain of command and lands on my desk- not the Hokage, not the Jōnin Commanders - MY desk. Then it is official."

Hiashi knew to tread carefully. This Shinobi was not one to be arrogant with, "Are you sure you did not misplace it? Ten years is a long time."

Kuzai gave a smile that put Hiashi on alert, "True, very true. That document could have easily gotten lost, stolen…there are a million different reasons why I did not find it."

Hiashi was starting to get ready for a fight. He knew this man better than most and he realized then and there he was being set up.

"But, you have still received your monthly pay, every month on time. And you have never put in the paperwork to stop payment." Kuzai smiled as Hiashi paled.

"Now when a clan head goes on long-term sabbatical in order to run their clan, which I might add is perfectly legal, they can keep their pay. Otherwise, you are guilty of stealing from the village. Thief, or sabbatical?"

"Sabbatical, Chief," Hiashi replied quickly standing at attention.

"Hokage, Kakashi, I will speak with you soon. Walk with me Hyuga." and Kuzai led the clan leader away while Kakashi looked at the Hokage.

"He is very pissed," the Copy Ninja asked concerned.

"Our time of peace is over," Hiruzen replied as his shoulders sagged. "I just hope our Will of Fire will be strong enough."

Longest single chapter I have ever written for any story over 6k words.

regarding other stories... I am trying been sick new meds and I just got caught reading other stories as you can see, Naruto was one of the titles.

Ok, let's get with the rat killing:

1: I hated Shippo because no one spends two and a half years with a master without getting the stupid beat out of you,

I gave up on shippo when I learned Kishimoto planned to keep Naruto stupid.

2: I have no problem with overpowered characters.

3: this is AU expect me to f*ck with the story a bit.

4: regarding how Kuzai treats the Hokage and why everyone seems to just obey him regardless of rank...if you're a soldier/sailor you will always remember the instructor that helped make you who you are. Many navy seals and army rangers have told me, they remember the person that beat them to death regularly and turned them into that seal or ranger and hold them in very high regard (not always but normally)

Or if you want to go real old school, Centurion a roman officer that was a lifer that could and would speak to their general as an equal. only the general could stop him and said general would often side with said Centurion based simply on his history