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Chapter 3

The Plan

Ino couldn't help but smile as she watched the Mizukage dressed in his traditional uniform step forward towards a young man with hair as bright as the sun.

For once, Kiri was not shrouded in mist or fog but the sunlight now graced the mysterious land bringing with it hopes for a new future.

She could hear the cries of the entire village that had gathered around the Kage tower.

History was being written right in front of her eyes, one for which she and her husband had fought so long for.

Already the other great swordsmen had been given their honors and now it was time for the newest and last member of their group to receive his own.

She was quite surprised when the Mizukage presented a stark white colored haori to Naruto. The former Anbu officer was still wearing his facemask but his eyes betrayed his own curiosity at the gift. His new greatsword rested inside the scabbard hanging from his hip whereas a smaller tanto like version of the same blade rested perfectly on Naruto's back.

Originally, Muramasa was supposed to be twin greatswords but the blacksmiths had recommended against it. Many believed that the blacksmiths wanted that greatsword to be unique and not be compared against another weapon of the same make, on the other hand they couldn't directly disobey their Kage's wishes so instead they compromised by developing a shorter tanto like version of Muramasa made from the same metal and mysterious jutsu that made these blades so powerful.

In a way that worked out better for Naruto as he now had one greatsword to wield in open combat and another shorter weapon of the same caliber to help him in close quarter combat in tight spaces.

She was brought out of her thoughts as her husband started to look at the gift given to him by their supreme leader.

Unlike in the past where he was always dressed in Anbu gear, this time the blonde officer had finally changed his appearance as an acceptance of his new way of life and responsibilities.

He was wearing a plain full sleeved black shirt covered by blue pants and a pair of combat boots. On top of them, he was wearing a grey-colored flak jacket commonly worn by almost every Kiri shinobi. On his forehead was a similar grey-colored headband that proudly displayed their village's symbol. The only difference between him and one of the thousands of shinobi currently standing in the streets watching the ceremony was his facemask and combat boots.

But it all changed when Naruto allowed the haori to fall to its full length before passing his right arm through the shoulder opening. Many in the crowd gasped in surprise and curiosity when they saw two distinct things on the haori's back.

The first part was the coloring at the lower edge of the haori being filled with the same color as the flag of the Anbu blackops. To top it off, even a minor symbol of the special ops unit was engraved among those colors, a special tribute from the Mizukage towards the unit who had always protected the village from the shadows.

Ino didn't miss the subtle change in the body language of the Anbu squads guarding the ceremony from various rooftops. For just a moment, their shoulders swelled with pride before they went back into the shadows to carry out their duty as they always had.

Ino couldn't help but acknowledge Gengetsu Hozuki's smart decision. With such a subtle gesture, he had managed to reaffirm the complete loyalty of the Anbu Blackops to himself.

A powerful gust of wind blew across the village making her raise a hand to shield her eyes and it was then that she noticed the other noticeable thing on the back of the haori now fully worn by her husband.

The Seventh.

Those words were clearly engraved in dark red kanji visible for even the weakest civilians to see.

The village erupted with cheers never before seen with any of the other swordsmen when they had received their own gifts.

Ino couldn't help but smirk when she saw her husband give a subtle bow towards the people which brought about another wave of cheers. He was already a hero in many eyes and young hearts, but she also saw quite a few who glared.

They were easy to spot since they proudly flaunted their family lineage in their attire and by their appearance.

The Kaguya and Hagoromo clans.

They were the two founding clans behind Kiri and were almost feared and respected in the same manner as the Uchiha and Senju were in Konoha. Even the Mizukage couldn't ignore their opinions and Gengetsu had clearly despised them by filling the ranks of the Great Swordsmen with so many commoners.

Only Mangetsu, Haku and Kisame were affiliated to the dozens of prominent ninja clans that played an important part in Kiri's rule.

The remaining four including Ino's husband who was the last and newest member were just commoners who had rose through the ranks on their own merit.

Even so, many ninja clans saw this move by the Mizukage as an attempt to discredit their importance. What the fools didn't understand that while the great clans did make up almost 50% of Kiri's forces, the other half was made up of ninjas from common families including civilians.

Most of all in broader comparison, the ninja population made up of only 40% of the entire population of the Land of Water.

It was vital for Gengetsu to reaffirm the faith of both sides in himself after quite a few previous failures made by him.

Naruto with his striking new uniform and spiky blonde hair with two large bangs covering his face was the perfect picture of a commoner rising to one of the highest positions in the village. An example that hardwork, skill and dedication to one's village eventually led to such honor.

If only these simple people knew the games being played by their leadership or if they knew what she knew about their newest hero.

Ino was standing in the balcony of their apartment, her amused eyes curiously watching her husband who was trying to make his way inside their society compound but was currently stalled by a few young genin.

Unlike the other swordsmen, Naruto didn't brush the young generation off with a menacing glare even if they were being impolite. Only Mangetsu and Haku were similar to him in that way and always tried to address the queries of their fellow comrades as they did today at the ceremony.

The other swordsmen clearly didn't like it and Ino knew that in their heads they believed that such actions would erode some of the fear the world including Kiri's own people had of the Seven Great Swordsmen if anybody from their village could just approach them randomly for anything.

So far such differing ideologies had not led to any conflict within the group but they were a dangerous bunch of men and women with ambitions of their own.

I hope you know what you are doing, Naruto.

"He's a good at this"

Ino didn't blink when another man dressed in Anbu uniform appeared beside her. She had felt his presence approaching, a courtesy which he never bestowed upon most people.

"Hello, Sakumo"

She heard the white haired man sigh at her use of his real name but chose to let it go and instead laid against the wall.

Ino erected a powerful genjutsu and activated the army of sealing jutsu that Naruto had created around their apartment that effectively prevented anyone from seeing or listening under any circumstances, something which didn't go unnoticed by Sakumo who was still not used to the level of secrecy maintained by the couple.

Knowing they were secure, the White Fang of the Leaf removed his Anbu mask and wearily sat at the chair of the dining table while Ino took up an adjacent seat beside him.

"The highers ups are pleased with your progress and have assigned new directives" he began, as a scroll was passed down to her.

Ino bit her own thumb and smeared her blood on the scroll allowing it to open. It took her a few seconds to read their new orders leaving her completely speechless making her stare at Sakumo in disbelief.

"You can't be serious" she whispered, a hint of anxiety visible in her eyes.

"Unfortunately, I am. We are losing badly on all fronts. Lord Tobirama is dead and Lord Hiruzen is young and yet to adjust to his position as Hokage. We are fighting a three way war against Kumo, Iwa and Suna. 30% of our forces have been killed in action and another 15% have been left in various states of injuries. The only reason we are still in the fight despite such losses is because of the might of the Uchiha and Senju clans. The Uchiha are engaged in a bitter war with Iwa and Suna with many clans like the Inuzuka, Sarutobi, Aburame, and Yamanka clans supporting them with other shinobi and men from the Daimyo. While the Senju clan is trying its best to hold off Kumogakure's might with the help of the Hatake, Nara, Hyuga, Akimichi, and Shimura clan. Even as we speak, our people are dying by the hundreds" explained Sakumo bitterly, his own helplessness at being unable to aid their people in such dire times clearly visible on his anguished face.

After all, he was the leader of all the Operatives of their nation currently active within Kirigakure.

"What about Uzushiogakure?'' asked Ino hesitantly, earning a nod from the older man.

"They are the only allies we have left and are the only force standing in the way between us and the Kinkaku force, not to forget Kumo's deadly twin Jinchuuriki and the Gold and Sliver Brothers" said Sakumo worriedly,

Ino bit her lip in frustration.

The Gold and Silver Brothers were as much responsible for starting this entire war alongwith the Third Raikage whose ambition was to conquer the whole world. Those brothers alongwith the now Third Raikage had ambushed the Kage peace summit and brutally assassinated the Second Raikage and his entourage.

Kumogakure underwent a coup under a single night, where the elite Kinkaku Blackops forces murdered any shinobi supporting the peace, not that there were many to begin with.

The flames of the First Great Shinobi War were yet to die down and another war had been started to avenge the grudges of the recent past.

The Second Raikage and The Second Hokage were the only Kages insisting on peace, a desire for which they both paid in blood for as after killing the Second Raikage, the Gold and Silver brothers alongwith the Kinkaku Blackops unit ambushed and murdered the fleeing Second Hokage.

With Hashirama's death in the First War, and Tobirama's in this war the pillars holding the Senju clan together had shattered.

The Uchiha were undergoing their own turmoil after the loss of Madara and Izuna, and shinobi of the same caliber were yet to emerge again in this dire hour.

With two Kages dead, the rest didn't take much time to endorse their own agenda.

The Third Raikage started a conflict with the Land of Fire with the help of the Lightning Daimyo who had his eyes set on the fertile lands of the South. He was joined in by the Land of Earth and the Tsuchikage, eventually both of these factions managed to pursue the Land of Wind and the Kazekage to join their crusade with the promise of water which was desperately needed in the desert nation.

All of these harsh facts made one thing absolutely clear for Ino.

Her people were dying.

"I'll do it" promised Ino, as her fists clenched in fury on imagining all the people back home whom she had once known. Were they even alive or would they even recognize her when she returned home?

If she returned home...

"Good. You are our highest ranked operative in the Hunter Corps, their opinion are greatly taken into account by the Kiri leadership. Pursue your group leader with this intel and let Naruto take care of the rest, he is the only one who can convince the Mizukage. I heard the man has taken a liking to our boy" said Sakumo with a smile as he passed her another scroll which she decided to open later, instead she looked at Sakumo and it was clear for her to see that he was impressed with Naruto's progress.

"Naruto will follow orders but I am doubtful if the Mizukage will listen to him. He's still new to the group" warned Ino, only to have a dark but fleeting look cross Sakumo's face.

"Once Naruto knows that we plan to involve Kirigakure against Kumo, he will sell his very soul if that's what it takes to get it done" promised Sakumo without any doubt or hesitation,

"Why?" asked Ino worriedly, she liked to think that she knew most of the things about her husband but the way Sakumo said that implied another darker aspect of Naruto that she didn't know.

"If he hasn't told you then it is not my place to disclose his past. But let's just say that Kumogakure and the Kinkaku Blackops Unit are the ones Naruto hates most in this world. They are the reason he accepted this mission with you from his village. Ino, be careful around him. He's a veteran of the First Shinobi World War and the last surviving member of the S-Program" explained Sakumo gravely,

Ino's face lost all color as the implications of these revelations dawned on her.

"But the S-Unit was annihilated in the ending days of the First Great Ninja War. They were the special forces Uzu had dispatched to rescue Hashirama Senju after he was surrounded deep behind enemy lines in the Land of Lightning. In their attempt to save the First Hokage, they went up against the newly formed Kinkaku Blackops forces and Kumo's two tailed beasts. Their intervention helped Hashirama escape but later on he succumbed to his wounds, but in order for that to happen the S-Unit stayed behind as decoys and were eventually annihilated to the last man" recited Ino perfectly,

After that event, Tobirama Senju had realized the need for Konoha to have its own Blackops Unit who could perform such dangerous missions. That had laid the foundation for Konoha's own Anbu Blackops which was still a young but very quickly growing special forces unit.

In order to become a successful operative, each and every history of every village had been ingrained in her mind including many of the missions which were classified for the common shinobi.

But the S-Unit was killed nearly a decade ago, if Naruto had been one of them then that would mean...

Sakumo gave her a knowing nod as she stumbled upon the unsaid conclusion.

"Naruto has seen more war than the both of us combined. He has been at the frontlines ever since he was a child and this is just the tip of the iceberg as to why he hates Kumogakure and the Kinkaku Blackops. His superiors in Uzu had warned me that there were much more deeper reasons behind Naruto's hatred. Reasons which are personal to him and for which Naruto has sought the death of Kumogakure his entire life. Now he has that chance and trust me, he will make sure they paid in blood for all the pain they caused him" explained Sakumo seriously,

"Then our two villages are using his hatred" said Ino sadly, to think her kind and caring friend had such a dark past.

Sakumo gave her a pained smile at her statement as he picked up his Anbu mask and got up from his chair.

"All shinobi are tools, Ino. We are the ones who protect from shadows, to fight and die for one's motherland without receiving anything in return. That is what it means to be a ninja; Naruto knows it and so do you" whispered Sakumo, as he vanished out of the apartment.

Ino stared at the other scroll which she was yet to open and it filled her with dread.

They were playing a dangerous game till this day and now it was going to get even more deadlier. Out of all the villages, Kirigakure had the worst reputation when it came to treating enemy prisoners.

It was better to take your own life than to risk getting exposed to the Mist's hospitality which drove most people mad or to their gruesome and painful deaths.

But they had their orders and it was just like Sakumo said...

"We are the Root that protects the tree from the shadows"

Ino watched him silently go through their new orders imprinted in the two scrolls before he set them on fire in his own hands and reduced them to ash which soon disappeared inside his own skin.

She was still not used to the sight of him exercising that mysterious power.

For years, she had wondered how he had mastered such a power. But now that she knew he had been a part of the infamous S-Unit, a few things started to make sense to her.

"What do you think?" she asked hesitantly, and saw him aimlessly staring at the ceiling of their apartment.

"I will never forget their pain" he whispered,


He blinked on hearing her voice and a soft hand landing on his shoulder. Just for a moment, he had seen them all again just before they vanished once again.

"Kumogakure took everything from me. My family, my friends, my's time they feel the same pain" said Naruto bitterly,

"They are asking you to attack that place. You know that's suicide" she warned him, but he had already made up his mind.

"I won't be alone. I don't know how but I will make the Mizukage see reason. And then, I will bring pain to the Land of Lightning. I don't care how dangerous or suicidal it is for this is the path I have chosen" he decided,

"I just don't want you to take unnecessary risks. You fight for your country just like I fight for mine but don't think your life is worthless. The higher-ups may feel that way towards you but not me. I care about you as your ally, your friend and your fake wife" she said with a bittersweet smile, which made him smile as well as he placed a tender kiss on her forehead.

"Don't worry about me. Once this war is over and our nations are safe once more, we shall return home no matter what" said Naruto with a gentle smile,

"You promise?" she asked, daring him to say otherwise but he never did.

"I never go back on my word. You know that" said Naruto shyly, as she hugged him and allowed him to wrap his strong arms around her.

"You did well today. The people certainly loved their new hero" teased Ino, which earned a half hearted chuckle from him.

If only she could see the way his face fell on remembering all the people he had fooled today.

In the ninja world, you either die a hero or live long enough to become the very thing you hated.

He could still hear his old man's words ringing in his ears, he could still remember it all.

I wonder what you'll think of me now, Father? Of what I have become?

What you all would think of me now?

If he closed his eyes, he could still see the tall and broad shouldered red head man with pale skin. Beside him was a striking woman with fair skin and long blonde hair that reached her waist. Her blue eyes were so full of love and warmth as she and the man laid their hands on the shoulders of two young boys in front of them.

One was older than the other with beautiful blonde hair and happy blue eyes. He was holding the hand of the tiny younger boy with dark red hair that covered half his face.

I will see you one day...once I get justice.

It was that promise made years ago that drove him even today. The power of that resolve that made him betray and lie to every person who had believed in him and trusted him. The pain in his heart making him able to bear fooling all the people around him, lying to them all including the woman in his arms.

"What about the food situation?"

Naruto and the other swordsmen listened silently as their Kage and the various clan heads alongwith high ranked officers discussed about their nation's future course of action in this war. Having already suffered losses without much gains, the Kiri leadership was determined to make correct decisions going forward.

But his focus was only partly on the discussion going on and relied more upon watching quite a few clan heads that shot him hostile or distrustful looks every now and then.

"The Daimyo has agreed to extend his full support in terms of men, supplies and money provided that we are able to show him considerable gains in return. If not, he has warned that Kiri's leadership will undergo a massive change" announced Gengetsu,

"How dare that civilian say such a thing!'' fumed Lord Hiro Hagoromo,

"We are doing all in our power to further Kiri's future. If the civilian thinks he can threaten his betters then it's time we paid him a short visit" challenged Lady Reika Kaguya, the heavenly beautiful but equally deadly leader of the Kaguya clan.

She had long flowing silver hair and equally mesmerizing white pearl colored eyes, her skin itself was more brighter than the moon's light and her chakra was more dark and fierce than most people in the room.

When her mischievous eyes landed on Naruto, he felt the hair on the back of his neck rise in alarm.

"Now that we have such fine new shinobi as our famous Swordsmen, I say we put their abilities to good use" she suggested with a smirk, earning swift nods from the clan leader of the Hagoromo.

Her smirk vanished when a cold aura descended upon the meeting hall.

Its weight was more than that of several mountains combined and it smelled like the scent of death itself. If she focused hard, she could actually hear painful scream of hundreds moaning around her.

Her gaze then connected with the man that had unleashed this power just like everyone else was now looking at him.

"If you think it is so easy to raise one's hand against our own countrymen then perhaps I should extend this courtesy to a select few people first" warned Naruto, his voice as cold as ice.

"Oh, you've got some balls. And here I thought you were just a pretty face" Reika teased,

Naruto placed his hand upon the hilt of his sword and inched it slightly outwards unleashing an unearthly scream that terrified each and every person in the room. It reached a point where the Mizukage gave him a sharp glare that made him re-sheath his sword much to the relief of everyone else.

"No one is going to raise any weapon against their comrades anymore. Those who do shall be executed right away" thundered Gengetsu, glaring straight at the Kaguya matriarch.

"Of course, Lord Second. We only desire to support your rule and avoid any unnecessary meddling from the Daimyo" soothed Reika, receiving a suspicious glare from the Kage.

Naruto didn't miss how tense a few Hozuki clan members were and the same was the case with a few Kaguya and Hagoromo clansmen in the room.

"Lord Second, let us discuss how we can make Iwagakure pay for its crimes" suggested Lord Yamato Yuki, the leader of the Yuki clan and the father of Haku who was now one of the newest members of the Seven Great Swordsmen.

Gengetsu nodded at the request looking quite grateful as he gestured to the Anbu commander who stepped forward while another two Anbu lowered the ninja world map in the center of the room for everyone to see. The fact that it was transparent made it possible for each person to see every detail no matter their position in the room.

At the start of this war, Kirigakure had close to 30,000 shinobi and the same number of civilian fighters from the Daimyo.

Now that count was down to 25,000 shinobi and roughly 20,000 civilian fighters. Gengetsu had the grace to grimace as he was again reminded of his failed expedition against Iwagakure that costed him not just members of the Seven Ninja Swordsmen, but nearly 3000 shinobi dead and another 2000 in various states of injury.

The Daimyo had rushed in several regiments of his personal guard when the news reached him but unfortunately that entire fleet never even reached Iwagakure's shores and was instead wiped out in violent sea storms.

And they were not even taking into account the financial and logistical cost of these failures or the effect it had on the morale of their forces.

All in all, Kirigakure was in a mess of their own doing. Or specifically on account of their Kage's hasty decisions.

Gengetsu listened as quite a few of his officers suggested launching a naval invasion by using their entire fleet of ships. Only this time around civilian fighters would not drown during storms as they would have shinobi protecting them from the elements.

"The plan is too risky. Plus, have we even thought about supplying our troops once they land on Iwa's shores? The entire voyage would take six weeks at minimum. If our troops are in danger of any kind, it will be too late when help reaches them. Lord Second, the Karatachi clan cannot in good conscience allow our shinobi to die pointless deaths" objected Yagura Karatachi, the new and young leader of the small but dangerous Karatachi clan.

Naruto was surprised when the same 14 year old boy gave him a respectful nod and even a faint smile for earlier standing against the Kaguya leader's dangerous suggestion.

"I agree with Lord Yagura. We should think of an alternative plan where we have the chance of reaching our troops as quickly as possible under any circumstances" voiced Lord Minase Terumi, the leader of the famed Kekkai Genkai warriors who could manipulate three elements to create something more dangerous.

"The Anbu Blackops also agree with your decision, my lords. What should we do, Lord Second?" asked the Anbu Commander devotedly, as he stared at their Kage.

Naruto tensed when he saw his now masked wife dressed in her Hunter Ninja outfit make a small cough drawing the attention of everyone. She received a short nod from her superior and a similar one from Gengetsu which made Ino step in the middle of the room near the ninja map.

"There is another way" she suggested, gauging everyone's reaction.

While the Hozuki, Yuki, Karatachi, and Terumi clan heads looked open to suggestion; the Anbu Commander and the Kaguya clan leader didn't seem happy for various reasons. One hated the Hunter corps while the other loathed a common born receiving such a chance to speak amongst their betters.

Gengetsu picked up a report laid on his desk by a Hunter ninja even as he saw the other leaders do the same when they were given similar reports of their own.

"Our Intel suggests that an invasion by sea is not possible, neither is one from air given our lack of technological advance in that area. That leaves us with a land invasion" suggested Ino,

"The only way for such an invasion to happen is for our forces to cut through Kumogakure and reach Iwagakure; however we neither have a pact granting military access with Kumo nor are we their allies. This would be an Act of War against a very powerful nation, is this what the Hunter Corps is favoring now?" asked Gengetsu sharply, looking not at Ino but her superior who fidgeted when a small portion of their Kage's killing aura landed on him.

"Like it or not but this is the only choice we have, Lord Second. Kumogakure has formed a military alliance with Iwagkure, if we attack the Stone again then we are bound to face Kumo shinobi coming to their aid in which case the Hunter Corps believes in striking them first and wiping them out before bringing our nation's might upon Stone" explained Ino,

"And how do you plan to make that happen?" questioned Mangetsu calmly,

"Our shinobi have fared poorly in Kumo's mountainous regions in the last war" protested another minor lord,

"We don't have any nearby base of operations that could supply our troops when they start invading the entire coastal line of the Land of Lightning. It is not feasible" warned Haku, earning a surprising nod from Ameyuri Ringo of all people.

"We'll just have to cut through them, I suppose" said Kisame, earning a dark smirk from Zabuza and a similar grin from Jinpachi Munashi.

Gengetsu had seen and listened to all the arguments only then his gaze landed upon one of the few who was yet to speak.

"What do you think, Lord Seventh?" asked Gengetsu amusedly, enjoying the surprised reaction it gained from Naruto on his new title and earning stern glare in return from the Kaguya leader.

Now that he was put into the spotlight, he had no chance but to voice his opinion which was what he had been patiently waiting for. As he walked towards the map, he gave a hidden smile to his wife who bowed and allowed him the space just like they had planned to do.

"If we are to win this war, we will need allies. Any ally of Iwagakure is our enemy, am I right, Lord Second?" asked Naruto seriously, earning a firm nod from Gengetsu.

"Then that greatly limits our choices for only two notable powers are currently engaged in open conflict with our enemies and their comrades" suggested Naruto,

In an instant, Reika Kaguya was on her feet and the bloodlust in her eyes made Naruto tense.

"You mean to ally us with Konoha and their lap-dogs, the redhead bastards!" she yelled furiously,

"We spit on the tree huggers and their pacifist ways. They deserve to get wiped out and are not even worthy of any aid from us" agreed Lord Hiro Hagoromo,

Ino clenched her jaw at that outburst and blatant insult thrown at her people, her husband on the other hand was as calm as still water and looked at both the clan heads before glancing at the Mizukage.

"Lord Second, the Land of Fire has quite a lot to offer us. They have money, minerals and rich lands; it is the perfect time to ally with them when they are currently in need of aid. Like it or not, Konoha and Uzushiogakure are strong enough to face three great nations and their supporters on their own. We need allies like them if we are to win this war, I am not asking you to like it but if it saves the lives of our people then we should set our pride aside" argued Naruto fiercely,

"The wounds of the last war are yet to heal, Naruto. Moreover, our nation does not have a trustworthy reputation in the world. If we approach them for an alliance, we look weak and they gain even the tiniest upperhand in negotiations which is something that I cannot allow. I understand and even agree with your suggestion that allying with them is in our interest, but I will not let Kiri appear weak" decided Gengetsu,

Naruto was quite impressed again with the Mizukage when he saw how that decision instantly made the hardcore Kaguya and Hagoromo clans back down while the other more liberal clans pondered over it.

"Then what do you suggest we do, Lord Second? All the facts alongwith their pros and cons are before you. My sword is yours to command" promised Naruto,

Gengetsu got up from his chair making everyone else follow suit but the Mizukage didn't say anything as he approached towards Naruto and the map. His veteran gaze stared at it for several long moments before landing on his swordsman.

"Let us show the world the power that Kirigakure holds. It shall strike fear in the hearts of our enemies and hope in the minds of potential allies. We shall attack Kumogakure with our entire might and destroy them for allying themselves with Iwagakure. If the Land of Fire and its allies see sense, then they can approach us requesting for an Alliance and we may consider" declared Gengetsu, earning predatory smiles from the Kaguya and Hagoromo leaders whereas the other lords and commanders bowed their heads in submission.

Naruto conceded knowing that the Mizukage had made up his mind and trying to make him change his decision in public would only draw unwanted attention upon him.

"I have made my decision. Now tell me where we can launch such an attack that will make sure my message is delivered to the world?" asked Gengetsu seriously, his gaze specifically looking at Naruto.

Without hesitation, Naruto placed his finger upon Osaka which was a rich and important coastal city in the Land of Lightning.

More importantly, it was the Headquarters of the Kinkaku Blackops Forces and an entire regiment of special ops shinobi.

Gengetsu gave a predatory smile as he placed his hand upon Naruto's shoulders.

"Show them what it feels to lose what they love"

Author's Notes: End of chapter.

Hope you guys liked it.

Sorry for the slightly delayed update, work is keeping me very busy these days leading to slow updates across all my stories but I remain committed to my works and their readers.

I chose this setting because it allows for many options in terms of diversity and creativity. I intend to build on those points and have already taken the first step if you have read this chapter more carefully.

This is going to be a long story (Around 50-60 chapters, I think) so we have a long way to go.

There are tons of twists, cliffhangers and secrets yet to be revealed which you guys will enjoy.

This arc has two more chapters left including the finale which I hope you guys will enjoy.

Next chapter is where the action starts and all your unanswered questions will start to get answered with each chapter.

In the meantime, if you have any suggestions I'm happy to listen.

I'm also grateful to all the reviewers whose insights keep me motivated to update this story. Keep em coming!

Until Next Time,