(A/N: Well damn… I was not expecting so many positive reviews for the first chapter of this story. So because of all the positivity, mixed with the inability to really go anywhere else for the unknown foreseeable future while this whole Coronavirus thing continues, I will continue on with this story. I just hope by any gods that be that it is over and places open back up by the twenty eighth of April since that is my birthday and I want to go out and eat on it. But all in all, I hope you enjoy this latest chapter!)
Naruto walked alongside a merchant group as they were traveling to town. He had been hired by them since the shinobi they had hired at first had been killed by a few missing Nin mixed in with bandits. The merchants had nearly been robbed since they had no one to protect them, but Naruto had appeared and took them all on singlehandedly. The shinobi in the group had laughed at him due to the fact that many shinobi saw samurai as inferior, hence why there was only one major village for hem in all the Elemental Countries. Naruto had laughed along with them, which both pissed them off as well as unsettled them immensely to hear it. The next thing they heard was a simple click…
Naruto stood there smoking his last cigarette as three of the shinobi's heads fell off, followed by their bodies as the blood gushed out of their now vacant necks. This caused the others to take a quick step back in fear, since here was a young man who had killed three of them without moving, or at least that was what it's seemed like. Naruto finished up his cigarette before he flicked it to the ground and stomped on it to put it out. Once he did, he vanished from sight, which caused a few of the bandits to try and run for their lives, but they were the first to die. One by one Naruto killed them all, with the last one begging for mercy as he tried and failed to slash Naruto with a kunai when he got close.
Naruto didn't even look bothered by the attempt in the slightest, if his face was to go on at all. He had a look like this was so very boring, which to Naruto it was very much was since these men had not provided any sort of challenge to him. He had easily decimated them with his enhanced speed that his magical power granted him, as well as the element of surprise since they had underestimated him for his age as well as his profession as a samurai. He simply crushed the man's arm with as he tightened his grip and then punched the man hard enough in the face to the point his neck snapped and he died.
The merchants had been grateful for the aid and offered to pay him the entire sum they would have paid the other shinobi if they had still been alive. Naruto told them to throw in some cigarettes and he would do it. Luckily for the merchants, one of them was a smoker and parted with his unopened pack. Hell, after what happened today he decided to quit.
So Naruto traveled alongside the group for the next several days, with no new attacks on the caravan as they made their way. Once they made it to the town they were selling their wares, they handed Naruto the money that they promised him, which he thanked them for before he set out to do his own thing. As he walked around for a bit, he bumped into a blonde haired woman who was followed by a black haired one who was holding a pig in a dress.
"You going to apologize for that brat," demanded the woman as Naruto had continued to walk without a second thought. "Hey I'm talking to you!"
"So?" asked Naruto as he continued to keep walking. He had no idea as to who exactly he had bumped into, yet he didn't care to be honest.
"SO!? SO!?" Shouted the woman in fury of the disrespect she was getting, and from a brat of all things! "Do you have any idea as to who the hell I am!?"
"Look at my face," said Naruto as he finally stopped and turned around to look at this annoying woman who was yelling at him. What she saw was a face of someone who couldn't care less, yet for some reason he looked familiar. She couldn't quite place where she saw his face before, but she had a habit of going out a gambling in various towns so maybe she passed by him in one of those places. "Does it look like I care about who the hell you are?"
"You should apologize," said the black haired woman as she came near him. He could see that she was sweating out of fear for his safety. "Lady Tsunade is not the nicest person after she has had a bit to drink."
"Tsunade huh," said Naruto plainly. Yet while he looked like he didn't care, he was more pissed than he let on in his mind. This woman was the godmother of his brother and himself, yet she never acknowledged his existence like the rest of them other than to state hurtful things as a means to put him down. He was surprised that she didn't recognize him, but he had a feeling that she as well as the rest of them had forgotten him years ago when he was thrown out. It would make sense, but it didn't matter since he didn't care about that anymore. While he had hated them for years after he had left the village, his rigorous training under Mifune had channeled that anger and rage in a far more productive manner, and he had the body to prove that it did. "This old hag is the infamous Legendary Sucker I hear about from various people? With looks like hers I can see why she is called that. You must have had tons of practice to gain such a title."
"Are you insinuating…" seethed Tsunade as she was seeing red at the implications being made by Naruto. Her assistant Shizune lost all the color in her face as she backed away from the two of them. She knew better than to get between Tsunade and a man who pissed her off like this. Mainly from all the times she had attacked Jiraiya in the past.
"Oh no," said Naruto with a grin as he waved his hand a bit, "I'm not insinuating a thing. I am calling you a cock sucking whore."
Tsunade had literal steam coming out of her body as her rage capped off at its peak at this point. She punched the ground in rage, causing the ground to split in between her and Naruto. Naruto was not fazed by it at all since part of his training had been to keep balance on a violently moving platform. This was no different.
"Tell me your name so I know where to send your fucking remains!" She shouted.
"Why don't you try and beat it out of me you fake breasted cock sucker," said Naruto simply as he stood there with his arms crossed. One of the many lessons he had been taught by Mifune had been about how to fight someone using their own anger against them. His ability to read KI only made the lesson easier for him to master since the angrier the opponent was, the easier their KI was able to be read since it was like they were shouting their attacks as they performed them. Naruto thought of himself as a good judge of character, with the ability to know how to push people's buttons like he was doing now. Many a large breasted woman had been more flat in the past and had tried to enhance themselves in one way or another either naturally or surgical, but either way it was a tender subject and many woman would get pissed being asked about it. So that was why Naruto insulted her as such, since he knew she would attack.
And she did not disappoint him since she charged forward with enough power in her fist to blast his head off if it connected with it, but Naruto wouldn't let that happen and simply leaned his head to the left. He tried to jab him again, yet he still dodged her easily. Naruto chuckled as he dodged all her attacks, since he had always heard about how powerful she was growing up. But all the power in the world didn't really help someone who couldn't land a punch. But eventually he grew tired of this and grabbed her hand. He had to admit it stung his hand as he did, but he had felt worse while training.
"You should know you whore of a Sannin," said Naruto as he held her fist in place. She struggled to get it out of his grip, but he was surprisingly stronger than she thought possible, "that when you mess with the Black Bull, you get the horns." Naruto then crushed her hand to the point that the bone could be heard crunching. Before she could scream in pain, he kneed her in the stomach causing her to cough up blood from the power of the blow. He then grabbed her by the head and slammed her into the ground hard, leaving a small crater where he slammed her. He sensed as several senbon had been launched at him, but he used his blade to deflect them all before he held it out towards Shizune, who stopped midstep since if she had taken that last one it would have pierced her throat. "No need for that. I'm not going to kill her, just making a point to not expect people to bow to you because you are famous."
Naruto then sheathed Gashi back into its scabbard before he once more began to walk away, this time with a grin on his face since he had answered one of the questions he had asked himself in the past. When he had begun to train his body into what it was today, he had set goals for himself with one of them being to have a body capable of taking one of Tsunade's infamous blows and not only survive it, but to overpower it as well. That was the whole reason why he did all that, since it was if the gods themselves wanted to know the answer to that question and was making bets on it while they did. He could only hope he made one of them rich by literally crushing the Sannin, but he was happier to know that he had achieved his own personal goal in the end.
The day was still quite early, but then again the caravan had arrived in the dawning hours of the day so it made sense. His stomach began to rumble as he walked around the town, and it was then that he decided to get some food to settle it…
(Outskirts of Town)
As Naruto had made his way to a place to eat breakfast, a young kunoichi was running through the forest at the moment, all the while fighting off others who had been sent to capture her and bring her home. This young kunoichi's name was Shizuka, and as to why she was running, it was a bit of a story:
Shizuka was a kunoichi as well as the future leader of the Nadeshiko Village, a village that didn't allow men within so that it was all kunoichi. She was currently running away due to the fact that she had been told by the current leader that she was destined to marry a student of Jiraiya that can defeat her because of a law from her village. She did not want to marry someone who she not only didn't know in person, but from all the information she had heard about the young man, he was an arrogant asshole who thought so highly of himself to the point it was sickening. She had been told that she was going to be sent alongside her mentor to visit Konoha by the end of the week, but she wouldn't have it and made her escape from the village in the dead of the night.
She had not left as stealthily as she had thought she had since she had Hunter Nin from her village on her tail quite early on. So now here she was running from them since she refused to marry a brat that she could not love. There had only ever been one she would have.
While she had been a few years into training under her mentor, Shizuka had met and developed a relationship with a merchant named Sagiri, despite the law of her village forbidding such a thing. While they hoped to one day change that law so that they could finally be together as they wanted, Sagiri was one day killed by bandits enroute to see her at their usual meeting place, prompting Shizuka to live solely for her training and duties to the village, resigned to never love again. In the end, she said that she was going to become stronger one day to become the proper leader that their village would need to survive in this world.
Yet in her past there had been a man known as Kokuyo who had been a nuisance to her as well that she had to deal with. Kokuyo was a puppeteer who violently sought the hand of Shizuka in marriage, even though she spurned his advances multiple times in order to rule the Nadeshiko Village through marriage. Wanting to rule over the Nadeshiko Village, Kokuyo challenged the Shizuka again and again through the years in an attempt to defeat her so she would be forced to marry him per the village's rules of marrying a man who beats them in a fight. Because of his ambition, Kokuyo ended up challenging Shizuka ninety-eight times with his various puppets, but each one had been easily destroyed by the latter. Yet he refused to stop and was just biding his time, like right now for instance.
Kokuyo appeared with a new puppet that looked like a mech of some sort, and with the push of a button he launched several rockets that exploded near the kunoichi who were chasing his much desired woman. The rockets were not deadly, but the explosion let out a paralyzing gas that caused them all to fall over since their bodies became weak and unable to move on their own. With them out of the way, Kokuyo made to attack Shizuka, yet she had disappeared from sight in the gas cloud. She reappeared from above, blowing up his newest puppet by kicking it in the center, breaking a hole in it, then throwing a powerful explosive kunai into its hollow chest before she jumped away and made the hand sign to blow it up. She hoped Kokuyo would die with it, but those hopes were dashed when she saw him being launched into the air far into the distance. She breathed a sigh of relief and began to run off to find a place to catch her breath since she had been running and fighting for hours without rest…
As she did that, Naruto had finished up his meal and went to a general store to pick up some things including a few packs of smokes as well as a new lighter since the one he had had broken from overuse. They were cheap so it was not too much of a loss since he easily replaced it. He wanted to get one of those fancy metallic ones with the pictures engraved into it, but he had not found a place that sold them yet. But then again he had only been to two towns in the whole time he had left home so it was understandable. So he asked for directions towards Suna, which was the destination he had in mind to go first. It had been a while since he had seen his friends from there so he thought to go to them instead of the other way around.
So with the new found directions he had acquired, he made it out of the town in one piece and into the forest. He traveled for about twenty minutes before he came to what appeared to be the sight of a major battle of some kind. He saw what he thought was the bodies of about a dozen kunoichi, but he looked closer and saw that they were still breathing. He turned them over so that they were on their backs.
"What the hell happened here?" asked Naruto in genuine curiosity. What kind of battle left apparently no casualties of any sort? These women had not a single wound on them.
"We were ambushed," said one of them weakly as she struggled to even say that. The drug that made her unable to do so was very strong.
"Do you need medical assistance," asked Naruto, "there is a town not too far from here. I can carry a few of you, but it would take multiple trips if I did that."
"Don't need help," said the woman angrily. She had been trained to be a strong independent woman most of her life along with the others in her village, so to hear a man offer her help out of the blue made her not trust his motives and expected he would try and sexual assault her in some manner if given the chance.
"Okay," said Naruto as he began to walk away from the glaring woman, not sure as to why she was doing so. He had only offered to help her so where the hell was this hostility coming from? "Was just trying to be helpful. But if you don't want it it's no skin off my bone."
Naruto continued to walk along until he came to a clearing. In the center of the clearing were a few boulders, with another woman sitting on one of them. She was resting, yet was still alert as she was. Naruto thought to talk to the woman, since he was curious as to why she was out here alone and wanted to see if she knew why there were so many paralyzed women not too far away from there. He walked up to her with no hassles of any sort, yet the fact he did so shocked her in a manner that matched Mifune's when he had picked up Gashi in the first place.
"How the hell did you walk past all my trap seals I set up like that?" she asked as she got a kunai ready to use if she needed to. She was unsure as to whom he was, but the fact he was a man as well as not Kokuyo made her not attack him immediately.
"What trap seals?" asked Naruto as he looked behind him. It was only the fact that she pointed them out that he saw them in the first place. "Well how about that, didn't know I could do that really."
"Do what," asked the woman, who was even more confused about this whole thing.
"Well before I answer your question," said Naruto as he took a seat on one of the other rocks. He was not sensing any desire of attacks on his person from her so he was not in a defensive mood. She had a kunai true, but it was out of her own defense than anything else so he was not going to attack her for that. "Can I get your name at least so I know what to call you?"
"My name is Shizuka," said the now named Shizuka as she stood her ground. Sure the man in front of her was sitting with his sword still in its scabbard, but she knew to never underestimate her opponent no matter the situation. "Yours?"
"The name is Naruto."
"So then why are you here Naruto? Here to hunt me?"
"Hunt you?" asked Naruto in a confused tone, "woman I just left my home about a week and a half ago with no set destination and the desire for adventure. Just why would I be hunting you?"
"So you are not a Hunter nin?" she asked as she lowered her kunai. For some reason she believed him when he said he was here for her.
"Nope," Said Naruto as he pulled out a cigarette and lit it up. He took a few puffs before he continued, "I'm a samurai, not a shinobi."
"Okay," she said as she looked him over. She saw that he didn't have anything on his person that said otherwise other than his sword and a book that he had in a pouch that was on his side, but samurai used them exclusively so it was expected to be on his person. She was unsure of why the book was there, but it was probably one he was reading to pass the time or full of samurai techniques he was learning since he was young looking. "So back to my first question…"
"Before I answer yours," said Naruto as he held up his hand to stop her before she said more, "do you have any clue as to why there is about a dozen paralyzed women back the way I came from?"
"Those kunoichi were chasing me," said Shizuka simply.
"And you decided to stop and rest about twenty minutes way from where they are? Woman, I got to say you are crazy if you thought that this was a good idea."
"I was resting since they have been chasing me for the past several hours." Said Shizuka with a sigh, "So I took the time to prepare for when they eventually arrived and set up traps. So once again, back to my first question as to how you were able to walk right by them like you did."
"Oh well that was a surprise to me as well," said Naruto. In all the years he had been trained, he had never thought to test with seals or the like since he was unable to use such a thing. So apparently he was able to walk past seals with a sensor in them so they wouldn't activate. This was good news for him that he filed away for later since he had a feeling that it would prove useful later down the line. "But to make a short story short, I was born without chakra in my body, so apparently your seals don't sense me and so didn't activate like they were supposed to."
"And this is surprising to you!?" asked Shizuka in shock that such a man existed. "How are you alive if you have no chakra? All living things have it in their bodies!"
"Well I don't," said Naruto as he finished up his cigarette and put it out with his foot. "And because of that fact I am able to walk around without people or seals apparently, sensing me as I do so. Comes in handy from time to time."
"Oh yeah, like how?"
"Like when your sensei is trying to find you after pranking him by replacing his sake he stores away with something else," said Naruto with a chuckle as he remembered Mifune hunting him for quite a bit with the declaration that he would make Naruto's next few days training a living hell for that. He had been true to his word, but Naruto still found it funny along with many other samurai who heard what he had done.
"I don't even want to know…" said Shizuka as she held her head in her hand.
"You asked," pointed out Naruto with a laugh.
"Don't remind me."
More would have been said, but it was then that the two of them felt the ground rumble beneath their feet. Naruto was quicker on his feet and jumped out of the way of the metallic hand that popped out of the ground and grabbed ahold of Shizuka. The rest of the massive puppet appeared shortly afterwards, but Naruto stood there and observed what was happening with a hint of amusement since this was not something you saw every day, even in this crazy world of shinobi controlling the elements. He saw a man with a purple shirt in the distance with his hand out in front of him, showing that he was the one who was controlling the puppet.
"Do you require assistance?" asked Naruto with a shout so that she would hear him.
"No I do not," she shouted back as she slipped out of the puppets grasp and stabbed the hand with another explosive kunai she had on her person. She jumped away right as the hand exploded; destroying the puppet it was attached to as it did.
Naruto simply smirked since it appeared that she had everything here handled, but it was then that he felt such ominous KI coming from the purple shirted man. Naruto could see that he was smirking to himself, which was an odd thing to do when your property was blown up like his just was.
"My technique drives a wedge through the target's body when they defeat a hundred of my puppets," said the man as he began to cackle. Naruto heard him say this, and he sweat dropped as he heard him say it. It was as if the man was trying so very hard to paint himself as a creepy villain of sorts, which Naruto had to admit he was pulling off so very well right now. Naruto then looked over to see how Shizuka was doing, and it was then that he noticed she was suspended in midair, unable to move her body of her own will.
"How about now," asked Naruto with a raised eyebrow, "do you need my help now?"
"I don't need your damn help!" Shizuka shouted in rage as she was trying in vain to break free from the chakra strings that bound her.
"You sure about that," asked Naruto with a hint of mock worry in his voice, knowing full well that she needed help, he just wanted to hear her ask for it.
She wasn't able to answer as the man pulled her in towards him, shocking her through the strings so she could not speak. It was only as she neared Kokuyo that she knew she had to swallow her pride and ask for assistance.
"For the love of Kami, FUCKING HELP ME!" she shouted to Naruto.
"All you had to say," said Naruto with a chuckle. He then walked towards the man holding her prisoner.
"Stay away from me!" Kokuyo shouted towards him, "This has nothing to do with you!"
"At first it didn't," said Naruto with a shrug of his shoulders, "but the lady asked for help. And what kind of a man would I be if I walked away from a damsel in distress?"
"Stay back!" shouted Kokuyo in fear that the man would do something. Both his hands had to be used for his technique to remain active and his puppets had all been destroyed. True that had been the plan since it was the way his technique worked, but still it was that fact that left him at a serious disadvantage right now.
"Sure thing," said Naruto as he stopped about a yard away from him, "but while I am here, I got to ask. On a scale of one to ten, just how attached are you to your hands?"
"What," asked Kokuyo in confusion since that was quite literally the strangest question to ask not just him, but anyone in general really. "Ten, I guess." It was as he said that that he felt a massive amount of pain in his arms as his hands had been clearly severed at the wrist. It was only then that he saw that Naruto had his blade out and that it was dripping with his blood from just cutting his hands off. The shock of the whole thing made the man fall to his knees in terror as well as pain as the blood began to gush out of his newly acquired wounds. How had the brat cut his hands off like that? Who had trained him to do such a thing!?
"Not anymore you're not," said Naruto as he held his hand to help Shizuka up to her feet. She looked at it, but then she slapped it away as she got back on her own feet. The whole time her face was looking down as she blushed in embarrassment since she had been saved by a man of all people. But the moment she got to her feet, she whipped out her kunai and slit Kokuyo's throat so as to make sure he was dead this time. No sense leaving it to chance. It was only as she finished the deed that she fell over in exhaustion.
"Damn it," she seethed in anger about her predicament.
"You okay?" asked Naruto as he stood there.
"Oh yeah," Shizuka said sarcastically, "I'm just doing great. I just thought I would take a nap here in the middle of this field since it is such a nice fucking day!"
"You know, you don't have to be such a bitch about it," said Naruto simply. His response surprised her since she had not expected it. "You heard me."
"How dare you call me that?!"
"How dare I, the man who saved you from Mr. 'I'm gonna molest you with my creepy ass hands', call you a bitch for asking you if you were okay. Well by that logic I must be sentenced to death since I made a living as a courier for years before I left home, which meant helping so many people. Damn it, how can I do such horrific things as helping or caring. I'm scum!"
"Are you done being an asshole yet?" asked Shizuka with a glare. She really hated smartasses…
"One more," said Naruto as he held up a finger, "man with such a reputation such as mine I am going straight to hell when I die. No judgment, just an all-out express trip right through the fiery gates that separate the world of the living."
"I get it!" said Shizuka as she managed to get to a sitting position, "you made your point!"
"Are you sure," asked Naruto with a smirk, "I got more…"
"Yes I'm sure!"
"Are you done being too much of a bitch to accept help of any kind?"
"I'm fine," she said as she took a deep breath, "I just need a minute to readjust. That technique Kokuyo used sapped my strength a bit. I feel it coming back slowly."
"Well that is good to know," said Naruto as he stretched a bit. He then took out his blood cloth that he used to wipe his blade clean of the stuff before he sheathed it back up. He may have to wipe it clean from use, but he learned that he didn't need to sharpen it though. Apparently it was a self-sharpening blade that used the chakra is sucked out of people to stay pristine. Naruto was not one to question that explanation since it worked for him, plus it save his the time of sharpening it with a whetstone from time to time. "So are you good to head out on your own?"
"Ah," said Shizuka with mock hurt as well as a sarcastic tone of voice, "and here I thought you cared about me."
"I barely know you," said Naruto with a raised eyebrow, "so why would I care about you?"
"I swear to Kami," Shizuka said under her breath, "my mentor was right to say that men can be such idiots at times."
"Men can also hear clearly," said Naruto as he began to walk away. "Good luck Shizuka with whatever it is that you are doing."
"Fucking asshole," she said to herself as she tried to get to her feet, but she fell back down since it hurt quite a bit to try to change positions. "Well at least I have time to get away from the area before the Hunter Nin arrives." As soon as she said that, the twelve kunoichi she had mentioned arrived as well as surrounded her. "Sweet Kami, why?"
"It is time to stop running Shizuka," said Tokiwa, her friend from the village. "We are taking you back to the village."
"I refuse to be married off like they plan for me!" Shizuka shouted in rage, but that wall she was able to do since in her weakened state she could not do much else. A few of the kunoichi stepped forward and picked her up to begin the process of transporting her back home, but they all stopped when they heard someone whistle behind them.
"Sorry to bother you ladies," said Naruto as he walked forward, "I'm not here to interrupt you in any way, but have you seen my lighter. I dropped it here and I could really use a smoke right about now."
"You have a problem," said Shizuka with a glare. This man had left her to fend for herself when she clearly needed assistance, and had walked away from her. Sure she had been cold towards his offers of help, but he should have stayed anyway since it was the right thing to do damn it! Plus to hear he only came back for his fucking lighter was the icing on the cake since she was even more clearly in need of assistance and yet he was not making any move to help her in some way.
"Yeah I know that," said Naruto simply as he looked at the woman, "I need a smoke and I don't have my damn lighter."
"Is this it?" asked one of the kunoichi who saw it and showed his red plastic lighter.
"Yes it is," said Naruto with a sigh, "thank you so mu…" Before he could finish his thanks, the kunoichi crushed it with her hand as a smirk plastered itself on her face.
"Oops," was all she said as she and the rest of the kunoichi laughed at the loss of his lighter.
"Man," said Naruto as he held his head in his hand "is everyone from your village a bitch? Cause it seems like they are."
As he expected, they became enraged that he insulted them as such, and it was because of that that he felt their KI clearly and knew exactly how they were going to attack him. He dodged the kunai launched at his person by spinning his blade, the few kunoichi who charged forward by punching them with enough force to knock them out, and the one who blew a large fireball towards him by cutting it in half with Gashi. The blade glowed as it cut through the jutsu as one does butter with a heated blade, which was to say very easily.
To say the rest of the kunoichi were surprised was a bit of an understatement. But the fact that a man was standing his ground against them was unacceptable. Sure there were plenty of them who could, but this boy was far too young and green looking to be able to. It was an insult to their profession and they would correct it here and now. They surrounded him so that retreat was not an option for him, yet he made no attempt to. This was not the first time he had trained in this exact type of situation, and he was grateful for those sessions since it made this whole thing easier for him since he got it down instinct at this point.
They all attacked as one, and using his blade he took each and every one of them down one by one with skills that showed off his mastery of the samurai arts. Now while he used Gashi to strike them down, he kept it sheathed as he did. He learned that he could still use it like this since the straps on the end to keep it in its scabbard did just that perfectly. Plus while the blade was sheathed, its draining effect was still active, but at a far less rate as he used it this way. These women were attacking him, this was true, but he wasn't going to kill them without just cause. He had no idea as to what was happening right now other than Shizuka being captured, as well as the destruction of his lighter. Sure he was pissed that he would have to go and buy another one, but it was cheap and he was not going to murder people over it.
Once they were all down except for Tokiwa, who was more shocked that Naruto had effortlessly beaten them than anything else, Naruto simply sighed.
"So can you explain what the hell is going on here?" he asked hoping she would answer so as to clear this whole thing up for him.
"After you just killed my kunoichi," growled Tokiwa, "you can go to hell!"
"Killed them?" said Naruto with a raised eyebrow, "lady, my blade was sheathed the whole time. They aren't dead, just knocked out. I don't kill without just cause."
"Oh how noble of you," Tokiwa responded sarcastically.
"Well I am a samurai, so I would think so," said Naruto in retort.
"Wait a minute, you are a samurai?"
"Last time I checked," said Naruto as he crossed his arms.
"So why is a samurai involved in shinobi matters like this?"
"Because shinobi or not," said Naruto with a wave of his hand, "I help those who ask for it. At least as long as they are in the right."
"I didn't ask for your help though," said Tokiwa confused.
"True," said Naruto with a shrug of his shoulders before he pointed at Shizuka, who had been placed onto her knees, "but she did, and so I helped her."
"Is this true," asked Tokiwa to Shizuka.
"Yes," said Shizuka with a growl. She didn't want to admit it since it made her appear weak to others in her village. "He saved me from a technique that Kokuyo used to control my body."
"Well our leader will be told about this upon our return," said Tokiwa.
"Why are you dragging the young lady back," asked Naruto since he was curious as to the reason this was all happening in the first place. "It's obvious that she doesn't want to go."
"She has been destined to marry the student of the Toad Sage Jiraiya," said Tokiwa, "and in doing so will help our village since it will ally ourselves with the strongest village in the Elemental Countries."
"Student of Jiraiya huh," said Naruto with a shake of his head, "well that leaves only three people to choose from. Not a lot of options really if you think about it."
"Wait," said Tokiwa since she was confused from him saying that, "three? There were only two."
"No there were three," said Naruto. When he had been young, both Tsunade and Jiraiya had tried to teach him something, anything really, yet without chakra he could not learn via their methods. So after a week of trying they had just up and left him to train himself like his own parents had. "But since one of them is a married man and that only leaves two. So I guess you are right after all."
"I'm confused here," said Tokiwa as she took in what had been told to her, "who is this other person?"
"You are looking at him," said Naruto simply.
"I thought you said you were a samurai."
"And I am," said Naruto with a shrug of his shoulders, "but I was trained into one for the past nine years. I was trained by Jiraiya for about a week before he just stopped."
"And why would he do that?"
"Because like many, he could not see my true potential and just took me at face value. His loss really, since Mifune saw it and trained me instead."
"You were trained by the Samurai General Mifune himself," asked Tokiwa. She was impressed since the man had never trained anyone. To hear of a student he had was quite a thing indeed.
"He sure did," said Naruto with a grin, "Gramps trained me into the ground day in and day out. But after nine years I came out alright."
"So are you going to fight me to free Shizuka?" asked Tokiwa, who had one hand on her own blade in preparation of such a thing.
"What?" No," said Naruto. His response shocked the hell out of the both of them.
"So you are not here to break her free? Then why the hell are you here?"
"I came back to get my lighter," said Naruto simply. "But then that bitch broke it and they attacked me when I insulted them. What else was I supposed to do? Just stand there like some sort of idiot and let them kill me?"
"My head hurts," said Shizuka. This was all screwing with her mind quite a bit to the point of it escalating into a massive headache.
"So what now?" asked Tokiwa, who wanted to make sure the young man was not going to attack her out of the blue.
"Why are you asking me?" asked Naruto, "I'm heading back into town to get a new lighter, than heading to Suna to see an old friend of mine. You do what you want, since I don't control you." Naruto then waved goodbye as he walked past them in the direction of the town. It wasn't even noon yet so the shop would still be open right now. As he disappeared into the distance, the two kunoichi could only stare at his back in befuddlement since he was a strange man indeed…
(1 week later)
Naruto had made it to the edge of the desert region that was a major portion of Wind Country and stocked up on essentials before he had set foot in the desert. He had to admit it, but he fucking hated the desert since it was too damn hot for him. Yet in his mind this was just another form of training for him to power through and he would just have to learn to adapt on the fly.
It took him a week, but he had finally reached Suna itself. He had not known what to expect, but to see a massive circular wall surrounding a village was the last thing he had expected. It made sense in a strategic sense, but that was not really his problem since he had come to see his friends. He was able to walk through the front open part without much hassle, and once inside he began to walk around since seeing a new place was a fascinating thing for him. All his life he had only either been in either Konoha or Iron Village. This place amazed him with its design, but that fascination was soon replaced with the desire to check up and find his friends. This place was big, so finding them would take a while.
"What do you mean you sold the last one!" shouted a pissed off man from a store to Naruto's left. It was a puppet store where shinobi who specialized in the art could buy the raw materials to make their own as well as the tools to do so. Out of curiosity, Naruto decided to investigate since he was curious as to how this would all play out. What Naruto saw made him chuckle a bit since he knew how it would end. Inside the store was Kankuro, in his usual garb and his face painted up.
"I'm sorry sir," said the shop keep who was afraid of the pissed off brother of Gaara, "but someone came in to buy all the parts you were looking for. We should have a new shipment of them in a week or two."
"Damn it! I need them now!"
It was at this point that Naruto decided to intervene to aid the poor man and placed his hand on Kankuro's shoulder with a bit of a tight grip.
"Why don't you let the poor man do his job Kankuro," said Naruto, "From what I heard it is not his fault."
"And just who the hel… oh fuck…" said Kankuro as he turned around to see the first of the person who dared try and tell him what to do. He was about to give said person a piece of his mind, but the second he saw Naruto's face, all the color in his own disappeared as the memories of what happened last time came flooding back.
"What did I say about what would next time you pissed me off," said Naruto as the top half of his head became black with his eyes glowing white, giving him a very intimidating look that made Kankuro break out into a heavy sweat since he feared that Naruto would kill him. He was fairly certain that Temari and Gaara wouldn't even care since they threatened to kill him all the time. Plus Naruto was Gaara's only friend only made it worse.
"I'm sorry," said Kankuro weakly.
"Don't apologize to me, apologize to him," said Naruto as he pointed at the shop keep. Kankuro did as Naruto said and said he would come back when the new shipment came in, but to please reserve at least one of the parts he needed for him. The shop keep agreed to this and then the two of them left the store. Naruto followed Kankuro as he led the way to the Kazekage tower and made his way up the several flights of stairs to reach the main office. He wondered why the hell Kankuro brought him here, but Kankuro was too scared of him to even talk and simply opened the door for him and gestured for him to enter. He did so, which once he was inside Kankuro closed the door and left as quickly as he could to find some means to relax and calm his heart down before he had a heart attack from how fast it was pumping from the fear.
Naruto had entered the room and was genuinely surprised to see his friend Gaara behind the desk talking to his sister Temari about something. It had been about five years since they had seen each other, but Naruto still recognized the two of them fairly well. Then again it was hard to forget Gaara, since he had a face capable of killing with his blank emotionless stare. As he entered, the two of them looked up to see who had entered the room unexpectedly, and they were surprised to see just who it was.
"Hello old friend," said Naruto as he walked forward to speak with the two of them, "it's been a while hasn't it Gaara?"
"That it has indeed," said Gaara with a smirk. Naruto had to admit to himself that it looked good on him, mainly since the last time they met Gaara was incapable of showing emotions like he was now. He wondered what had happened since they last met, but it was apparently good if his ability to emote was a clear indication. "So what brings you here to Suna?"
"Honestly," said Naruto as he took a seat and got comfortable in it, "I am seeking adventure and thought to visit my friends I hadn't seen in years. So I decided to make this place my first destination as I began my travels."
"Well I am happy that you are here," said Gaara, as he asked Temari to get something to drink for him as well as their guest. Temari left the room, all the while blushing as she did. She had remembered Naruto over the years and had fallen in love with the young man in the days he got to know them. She was attracted to strong men, and to hear about a person with the world's cruelest handicap in the form of no chakra overcoming such odds to become stronger proved how strong he really was. Plus since the five years she had last seen him he had a more muscular body only made her blush as she saw it with her own eyes.
As she went to go get those drinks, which she would usually be against since she was not a maid, but she was just happy to see Naruto again, Gaara filled in Naruto with all that had happened in the past few years. He told him that his village had been part of a plot to attack Konoha with the aid of Sound village since their Daimyo had been bleeding them dry for years financially by sending missions to Konoha instead of them. His father had allied with Orochimaru in hopes to knock Konoha down a peg and show that their village was not the weakest one. But their plan failed horribly, with Gaara's father being killed by Orochimaru so that the man could impersonate him and try and assassinate Minato in a trap that backfired. They had fought, and the only reason Orochimaru had survived was the use of the Edo Tensei that he used to summon all three of the past Hokages to fight the current one. Minato had been able to defeat them in the end, but it had been a bit too much for him and had only survived with the combined might of Kushina as well as Jiraiya using seals to break through the barrier he had set up. Orochimaru had escaped with his subordinates as they went to take Minato to receive the medical aid he needed.
Gaara had been instrumental to the main plan, but he had been soundly beaten by Menma, who had access to his Biju's full power, as well as the Toad summoning contract and chakra chains that he had used to bind Gaara in his unleashed form before he hit Gaara with a non-lethal form of his father's signature jutsu the Rasengan to knock him out of the fight. In the aftermath, the truth of Suna's betrayal had been made known to Konoha, but even with that knowledge being stated, nothing had changed. Their village was still suffering financially and Gaara, who had been elected as the Kazekage was struggling to find the means to fix it.
"So that is where we are right now," said Gaara as he sipped the water that Temari had brought for them while he had explained the story. Temari had taken a seat away from Naruto since being too close to him caused her to blush from the close proximity.
"Well that sucks," said Naruto as he heard about the struggles his friend was forced to go through in the past several years.
"Yes it is," said Gaara with a sigh, "but there is one slim hope out of all this."
"I'm all ears my friend." Said Naruto as he listened closely.
Gaara pulled out a scroll that had been sent to him as well as the other major and minor villages that were on friendly, or at least not full on hostile terms with Konoha like Iwa was since the last Shinobi War. The scroll was an invitation to a major tournament with a literal fortune for a cash prize. Apparently the sheer amount of missions that had been sent to Konoha because of their ability to drive back two attacking villages caused a surplus in their funds. This was a means to gloat about such things while showing off that they were more powerful as they did it. The scroll stated that the villages could send up to two contestants for it, and that the tournament was going to take place in the next two weeks.
"I am planning to send two of my own," said Gaara, "but I can't think of anyone to send to fight. Sure there are plenty who could, but I know Minato will use his own son for this tournament and that puts us at a major disadvantage already. I'm in a bind here since if I send someone they have to face the near impossible chances of winning, which makes it seem as though it would be the smarter decision to just not participate."
"Well you could always send me to fight for you," said Naruto as though it was the simplest answer to his dilemma. His response made Gaara spit his water out.
"Are you joking," asked Gaara with a serious look on his face, "did you listen to me when I said that Menma, the Jinchuriki of the Kyubi, and son of Minato Namikaze would be fighting in this tournament."
"Oh I heard you," said Naruto with a grin, "and I relish the challenge. So how about it Gaara?"
"I can't in good faith send you to do such a thing. While you are physically strong, this I know, you have no chance to beat him. I tried with my most powerful form and still lost. He wasn't even using his and he still won against me!"
"And so what?" asked Naruto with a raised eyebrow, "is that supposed to deter me in any way? I said I would fight, so why not send me since you can't decide on anyone else. What do you have to lose? You are sending someone, who is not of your village, to fight what you already deemed impossible. So what is the downside here? Either you are right and I lose as you expected, or I shatter your preconceived thoughts of my assured failure and win you a shit load of money."
"Look me in the eye and tell me with one hundred percent certainty that you wish to enter this tournament." Said Gaara as he looked at Naruto with all seriousness.
"I want to participate in this tournament," said Naruto as he looked Gaara directly in the eyes as he said it. "So are you going to let me help you or not?"
Gaara looked him back in the eye for about a minute, seeing that Naruto was deadly serious in his conviction. He then began to laugh since the whole thing was humorous to him. He couldn't remember the last time he had ever laughed, nor could Temari for that matter, but he just couldn't help himself.
"Before I agree to this," said Gaara as he calmed himself enough to speak clearly, "just answer me one question. Why?"
"Why?" said Naruto as he thought about it. He used his fingers to count out all the reasons. "Well there is the fact that I am an unknown samurai in a world of shinobi, so this is the perfect way to show that samurai are not inferior as many shinobi say. The fact that if I win, my name will be known, and if there is one thing I have learned is that being well known helps in many situations. Sure there are those who try to kill you, but what is life without the danger? Plus the last thing I will say is that I want the chance to fight Menma, and before you ask as to why I wish to do that, I have a score to settle with the man and I aim to settle it one way or another. So how about it?"
Gaara took in all that he said, and in all reality what was the risk? He was honestly two seconds away from declining the invitation in the first place, but low and behold the gods had answered his prayers and sent someone crazy enough to fight the son of Minato in the name of their village. Even if he didn't win, the fight should prove entertaining since it wasn't everyday one saw a full trained samurai fight against a shinobi in a grand spectacle like a tournament.
So with a smirk of his own plastered onto his face, Gaara stood up alongside Naruto and shook his hand in agreement…
(A/O: I am gonna be honest and say when I wrote out the first chapter, my initial plan was to have Naruto do the usual entering of Wave Country to save them and then the Chunin Exams later on, but one reviewer made a point. They asked for me not to do that, and while at first I was gonna say screw it and do it anyway, it made me think about it. Many a good Naruto fanfic has gone that route, and so I decided to go a different one this time. So while the main Naruto storyline happened with Menma taking the place of Naruto with the exception of Spring, Naruto trained himself in the samurai arts and mastered them under the tutelage of Mifune. So now I set it up so there is a tournament to show off his skills to the world. So until next time, stay safe and healthy!)