(A/N: I am happy to have finally been able to continue on with this story. I apologize for the long wait between chapters of not only this story but my other ones as well. Yet being stuck at home as Covid is still about is making my depression go nuts and writing is next to impossible when that is the case. But while I am here, I would like to address a question that someone asked me about Naruto in this story. He/she, can't really tell by username alone, asked why Naruto was so dense when it came to the obvious attraction shown to him by women when others easily see it. This is a good question, and the answer is that he is simply the product of his upbringing. Mifune was his teacher, he never married or had a family to call his own, and put his all into his training in his youth before putting his all into training his one and only student Naruto. He never taught Naruto about the birds and the bees, so Naruto is going down the same road of training himself as Mifune once did. Naruto had no one to basically love him in his own youth since the people of his village saw him as an abomination given his lack of Chakra since it wasn't normal. So the concept of love was a strange one to him since he never received it before he got the grandfatherly love from Mifune as the elderly man taught him. That is different from the love of a woman so he wouldn't know that. That is the reason he doesn't recognize the signs. True he is dense as all hell, but he is modeled after Yami, who himself was the exact same way in the Black Clover Universe. Hopefully that answers their question. Now I hope you enjoy this next chapter!)
Naruto walked through the village with his sister on his back. The people who saw them smiled since it was a cute scene for them to see. The way she was on his back, she was resting her head on top of his, but what made it cuter was the kitten she adopted was laying on top of her head as well all flat with its legs falling off the edges of her head while purring happily. Naruto smiled back to the various people of Iron Village, all the while mentally dreading the meeting he was about to attend.
"Remember what I said before Naruko," said Naruto as they neared the destination that they were meeting with Minato and Kushina at, "it is your choice whether you wish to go back or not. So feel free to go back home if you wish. You will always be my little sister no matter what you decide."
"Okay," said Naruko with a bit of a sigh. Her mind was a clusterfuck of emotions right now, but the whole situation was strange to say the least and she was only a young child so it made sense that that was the case. But eventually they made it to the place they would meet, which happened to be a cafe that Naruto loves near the center of the village. They made good coffee there as well as muffins that he loved. When they got there, they took a seat at one of the outside tables that they had to sit at on such nice days like this one and then he ordered a coffee for himself and a hot chocolate for Naruko as well as a muffin. She loved her sweets so he wanted her to feel relaxed right now and this was the best means to do so.
There they waited for quite a bit, which made Naruto sigh since it only went to show just how much his former parents cared for their children if they were late to the meeting that they themselve demanded. But knowing them, they were probably scoping the place out so as to seek a means of escape if, and most likely when, they tried to take Naruko by force if she decided not to go back. He had been truthful to her and would still love his little sister no matter the decision, and yet even he had no idea what she wanted right now. If she decided to go back, he could only hope that her home life would improve especially with Menma, which made him wonder just how the psycho was doing nowadays. He called him that since what kind of a person other than that attacks their own little sibling and not even apologize or register it in their head?
And speaking of said psycho…
Menma was in one word, obsessed...
Ever since that day where he was beaten by Naruto, his rage knew no end. He had been in the hospital for a week after that tournament in a comatose-like state, but even in such a state he was training in a way. While he was hospitalized like that, he met with and conversed with Kyubi within his mindscape while he was hospitalized. It was a strange sight to behold to see a Biju, a creature that hated to be sealed up and essentially enslaved as they were, mutually hating someone along with their vessel. Kyubi had been furious that there was something deemed stronger than itself, since it had a reputation as the strongest of its siblings. He shared the same thoughts of someone being weak like Naruto had been with his lack of chakra should remain as so and just deal with it. So since they both hated the same person, they were capable of working in sync. The beast willingly gave Menma its energy, which Menma then trained in its use. He pushed past the intense pain through sheer will laced with hatred and continued to do so to this day.
He forsook his now former friends since he sent them all away. In his eyes they were only getting in his way and he wanted no distractions as he trained. Every morning he woke up pissed since he was forced to see the scarring that Naruto had left on his body in the mirror since it was so blindingly apparent to see, which went from the top of his body all the way towards his taint. The Kyubi had tried numerous times to heal the damage done, but whatever attack Naruto had hit him with was something he was incapable of healing. Then again, dimensional sundering attacks were a bit beyond the capabilities of a creature tethered to one alone. Plus throw on the fact the attack was magical, and even in Yami's universe, the one where the Grimoire that gave Naruto such an ability came from the damage would have been nearly impossible to heal.
But back to Naruto and his little sister, they were still waiting patiently as Minato and Kushina watched them from afar. As Naruto had assumed, they were planning out a means to get Naruko from him if he would not do so willingly. The main thing they needed to know though was where he kept his book on his person, since they knew from Kushina's observations during the tournament that it was the source of his power. Since observing was not showing them just where he kept it, they would have to basically wing it so they finally made their way towards the table Naruto and Naruko were sitting at.
"So you have finally arrived," said Naruto as he sipped his fresh cup of coffee he had been poured about two minutes ago. It wasn't like he needed it but it tasted good and relaxed him a bit. "Did you enjoy the view from where you were?"
"What are you talking about," asked Kushina as the two of them sat down on the opposite side of Naruto. Naruko was too busy petting her pet kitten to really pay much attention, and said kitten was simply purring happily at all the attention she was getting.
"I simply asked if you enjoyed the view," said Naruto calmly as he placed his cup of coffee down onto the plate that came with it. "You two were on that rooftop for quite some time, so either you were just enjoying the view of our village or you were more than likely observing the area as well as plotting a means to defeat me if things didn't go your way here."
Neither Minato or Kushina responded to that statement, but Naruto could easily see from their faces that he had hit the head on the nail of their intentions. They had been caught completely off guard over the fact that Naruto had known that they were on the rooftops observing the area.
"And I am guessing that you were there trying to figure out just where in the world my Grimoire was." This statement made Kushina flinch a bit since Naruto had not only been completely accurate with his assumption, it was the fact that he said it so bluntly that caught her off guard.
"Are you trying to say you are all knowing brat?" growled Minato in anger.
"No," said Naruto simply, "since I am not vain enough to ever claim such a thing even as a joke. I just know you two enough to know how you would act against me. The last time we met Kushina robbed me of my Grimoire so it was a safe bet that she would try again in some attempt to weaken me if our talks here didn't go your way. But I digress, that is impossible to do now anyways."
"And what makes you so sure of that?" asked Kushina, who wanted to hear the answer but was still trying to find it even now.
"Simple really," said Naruto with a chuckle, "the thing was destroyed not too long ago. But the power contained within it merged with me so I don't need it anymore. Thus I no longer have an easily exploitable weakness like I used to."
Naruto's answer made the two of them glare in anger since if he was speaking the truth, which they assumed he was given he had no real reason to lie about something like that plus he didn't have the thing on his person so it made sense in a way, then this whole thing got a whole lot more complicated.
"But enough about myself," said Naruto as he drank the last of the coffee that was in his cup before he placed the cup on the plate and pushed it to the side. The waiter came over to refresh it, but Naruto simply shook his head, to which the waiter slightly bowed and took the cup and plate away to be washed in the kitchen. "Since you stopped caring about that back when I was five. Let's get down to the real reason you are here."
"We are taking Naruko back home to Konoha," stated Kushina in a matter of factly tone of voice. In her mind they would get what they wanted one way or another, and she was not afraid to get violent if things escalated to that point. "End of discussion."
"I said this once already," said Naruto calmly, "that it would be Naruko's decision whether she wanted to go back or not. So instead of stating what you want, allow her to speak her own mind."
The three older members of this four person group then all looked at Naruko, who for the entire time they had been talking had been looking down and petting her kitten, all the while knowing that this point was going to come and it had now arrived. She was young yes, but she was a smart girl for her age given she was the offspring of prodigies. But she looked up and saw both her parents looking at her with a slight glare basically demanding that she return home with them and that it wasn't up for discussion. She felt conflicted right now and it showed since it became too much for her and the tears began to flow from her eyes.
"I want to stay here with big brother," said Naruko through the tears, yet with the utmost sincerity since she meant it when she said so.
"WHAT!" shouted both Minato as well as Kushina in anger that their own daughter was basically disobeying them right now.
"I… I…" blubbered Naruko, whose fear was reaching its peak right now given she felt the rage coming from her own parents and it was not pleasant. "I want to stay with my big brother!"
"This is not up for discussion young lady!" stated Kushina in a pissed off tone of voice, "You are coming home right now!"
"She said she wanted to stay with me," said Naruto calmly, which was strange given the situation that he was the only calm one out of the four of them. "And I would suggest that you leave now while you have the chance to do so peacefully."
"You dare to tell me what to do brat!?" seethed Minato, who at this point had lost it since his ego as well as his pride was getting the best of him, and to be talked to like this from the abomination that they had tried to erase from their families history was the worst thing in his mind. If only he had taken matters into his own hands back then and ended Naruto's life himself things wouldn't have ended like this. He wouldn't have had to even kill him personally, there are plenty of poisons out there that are untraceable. But it was too late for that now. But now he would get what he wanted before things got out of hand and tried to grab ahold of Naruko's hand so as to use the Hiraishin to teleport them home before Naruto could say or do anything. Yet his daughter showed that she was skilled already at her age since she pulled her arm out of his reach faster than he had anticipated.
"Go away," said Naruko, who this time was the one glaring at her own parents.
"Don't you dare talk to your parents like that young lady," said Kushina.
"I… I…" stuttered Naruko as she struggled to find the courage to say the words she wanted to say right now. Eventually she found it…
"I HATE YOU!"
Those three simple words stunned them in place, since never in a million years would they have expected to hear them from their own daughter. They couldn't say anything, but then they looked at Naruto, who was simply looking at them with a look that showed he knew she would say this. While in reality he didn't, it was not unexpected to him really.
"What did you do," was all Kushina was finally able to say to Naruto after the most awkward of silences.
"I did nothing wrong if that is what you are assuming," said Naruto simply. "I did not brainwash her, I did not badmouth you in any sort of way, nor did I fill her head full of lies. I simply told her the truth."
"And what truth are you talking about?"
"She wanted to know why I was no longer a part of your family. So I told her everything. And when I say everything, I mean all the verbal abuse, the neglect, and then wrapped it all up with the story about how you threw me out onto the street when I was seven to die. So add the horrors of hearing about the actions you took against another who was your own flesh and blood, and mix it with the neglect you show for her, and things were bound to end like this given you two are terrible parents."
"How dare you say that to us!" stated Minato angrily.
"I dare since it is the truth," said Naruto, who had still yet to lose his temper or his cool. "You put so much time and effort into your son Menma that you forsook Naruko to the point her life has been in danger countless times. And to make it worse, you pawned the duty of watching out for her towards Menma, who hates his sister since you put him so high on a pedestal that he sees her as nothing more than a nuisance. He literally punched her in the face to the point he drew blood and didn't give a damn about it. She is safer here than she ever was in Konoha since here, she has family that actually cares about her to the point I don't forsake her. So now that you know your own daughter's thoughts about you, I suggest you leave since I promised her that as long as she wished she could remain here and I would keep her safe. You are starting to become a threat given you are trying to force her back."
"We will go to the Daimyo themself if we need to!" shouted Kushina in anger since at this point she was absolutely livid that Naruto had the gall to stand up to her like this.
"I am afraid that that would not help you," said Naruto simply.
"And just why the hell not?!"
"I am not surprised that you are unaware of this given you are a shinobi and thus don't deal with Iron Country until recently given the circumstances. Sure you placed hidden agents within our ranks, but you still don't understand how it works here strangely enough. You see, Iron Country doesn't have a Daimyo of any sort given our neutral status. We never needed one since us samurai defend our country easily enough without the politics behind it. So basically what I am saying is that you are talking to the highest authority in Iron Country right now, so there is no going over my head to overturn my decision like you thought you could."
His response literally stumped the two of them. They had no idea that Iron Country had no Daimyo. All major countries had one, even the smaller ones. So to hear this only shocked them to the point they couldn't speak. To be honest, Naruto had been surprised about it as well when he had been taught this back when he was younger and trained with Mifune. Gramps had explained that Iron country had no need for one given for the most part what this country did was train samurai and then said samurai went out and were employed to various nobles around the Elemental Countries. Sure there were plenty of samurai who remained here and called this place their home instead of moving away to seek employment elsewhere, but the main reason why there were so many samurai was that with shinobi there was so much politics and clan issues while samurai didn't deal with all that.
Many clans hated one another and spent generations trying to kill each other off while samurai trained in the background unopposed since they were neutral with no bloodlines that others saw the need to wipe out for one reason or another. So there was no hindrance to their numbers really, and since there was no Daimyo to rule over them, there was no chance of a corrupt noble ordering Iron Country to fight for whatever dumb ass reason there was at the time. There was far more to the lesson that explained it more, but Naruto couldn't remember on the top of his head and just remembered those specific things at the moment.
But at this point Minato and Kushina had had enough of this. So they flipped the table towards Naruto while Kushina used her chakra chains to try and bind him so they had long enough to get far away from him. But what neither of them knew was that Naruto sensed they would do this given their KI was all but screaming that they would do this. So without missing a beat, Naruto had unsheathed Burakku and sliced the table in half while taking a quick step back so that the chains that were meant to bind him missed since he was no longer in his original spot. He sliced the chains with his blade, which was easy given it was still a chakra leeching blade even after being reforged.
Kushina cried out in pain since her chakra chains were in a way an extension of herself so having them cut like that was like losing a finger just without the physical damage shown on her body.
"So it has come to this has it," said Naruto in a harsh manner as he stood with his blade drawn and Naruko behind him while he stood before her in a protective manner. "Your own daughter tells you she hates you for what you have done, and you immediately attack me to try and force her back to the place she doesn't wish to go. Well allow me to respond appropriately."
Naruto stunned both Kushina as well as Minato since he sheathed his sword after he said that. Now while at first they assumed it was some sort of technique he was going for here, that was not the case since his hand wasn't even on his blade. He simply stood there and began to crack his knuckles as well as his neck. The cracking sound it made as he did unnerved them a bit, but that was only temporary, or at least it was for Minato, since it was almost immediately followed by pain as Naruto had moved faster than he had expected and punched the man right in the gut with enough force to make him cough blood as he was sent back a few yards. Naruto would have hit harder, but he was not trying to kill the man, hence why he had sheathed his blade.
Kushina had tried to use her Chakra chains once more to bind Naruto, but he had seen it coming in his peripheral vision and grabbed ahold of the end of the chain and held onto it tightly. He then whipped it up a bit so you could see the bump in the chain as it traveled towards Kushina. Kushina could really do anything to dodge it since the chains were attached to her person, and so in the end she was flung upwards herself towards Naruto. Naruto then spun and kicked her square in the chest hard enough so that she went flying right into Minato who had just managed to get back to his feet.
While the both of them were down for the moment, Naruto held out his hand and from his shadow came chains made of the Darkness that was his magic and bound them on the ground. Well, they were mostly bound since Minato had somehow managed to get an arm free. It wasn't like he could do anything though since his pouch filled with his gear was under the chains and it was too tight to get anything from it.
"I offer you the chance to leave peacefully," said Naruto with a growl as he looked at the two of them struggling so hard to break free from their binds, "and the first thing you think to do is attack me? How very like a shinobi you are Minato. I at least have honor, so those who I fight see me coming. I don't strike them when their backs are turned."
"And that is why you samurai are considered so weak!" exclaimed Minato in rage that made many of the people who saw this in the immediate area grow pissed at his comment. The samurai themselves who had come by to get a nice cup of coffee themselves were already a second away from pulling their swords out of their scabbards. It was only by Naruto's quick hand motion to not do so that stopped them from doing it.
"I warned you already Minato," said Naruto in cold fury as the top of his head went dark and his eyes glowed white to give them a far more menacing look, "as well as all the other Kages to never insult us samurai. And now that you have seen fit to attack me like you have, I must now make an example of you here and now."
Naruto unsheathed Burakku faster than Minato had expected and had the tip of the blade nearly touching the area right between the eyes.
"While in the rest of the world you might be feared for your past actions, here you are only hated for trying to manipulate us to do your dirty work. For a samurai, the worst thing you can be is a coward, and you Minato Namikaze are the epitome of one. Always remember that."
Minato actually broke out in a bit of a cold sweat to be at the edge of a blade like this, one he felt was slowly sucking his chakra away, but just barely enough to feel it but not enough to do much else. But Naruto lowered his blade for some reason that Minato was not quite sure of until he was able to see Naruko hugging Naruto's leg with tears coming out of her eyes. Even though she might have told them that she hates them, she didn't want to see them hurt like this since they were still her parents.
Naruto simply smiled as he kneeled down and patted her on the head before he rubbed the top of it in an assuring manner to ease her pain. He understood why she was doing this given even though they were terrible at it, they were still her parents. But this was not like when Kakashi had tried to kill him, since then he was no more than a ronin given he was just a wandering samurai looking forward to his next adventure. This was an attack against the leadership of a massive village, and as such he could not be lenient on punishment lest it send a message to others that they could walk all over the citizens of Iron Country without repercussion. But while the right punishment for such actions would be death, he would not order it, but in fact would be far crueler with it…
"Close your eyes Naruko," said Naruto softly to her, "please don't look."
"Please don't kill him big brother," said Naruko sadly.
"I promise you that I won't kill him little sis," said Naruto with a genuine smile. Naruko smiled herself as she saw this and did as he asked and closed her eyes. The very second she did though, he unsheathed his blade without having to look and cut Minato's arm right off at the elbow. Minato opened his mouth to scream in pain, but Naruto's Dark Magic formed another chain to gag him so it was muffled and Naruko wouldn't hear him. He then motioned with his head towards the other samurai to deal with the two of them, which they did as he ordered.
They literally dragged both Kushina and Minato to the front gates and threw them out like a bouncer does a drunkard. But to add salt to the wound, one of them threw a med kit towards Minato, who didn't dodge it in time so it hit him smack in the head. The samurai went back inside the village and closed the gates behind them, and only as the gates closed did the Dark magic binding them disperse. Kushina took the med kit and made a tourniquet to stem the flow of blood so Minato would not bleed out. They knew that they needed to get to Konoha as soon as possible to get the proper medical care he needed. Once Minato was no longer in danger of dying by blood loss, he turned to look at the gates once more with a glare, and was shocked to see Naruto as well as several other samurai on top of it glaring back at him, like they were daring him to just try something stupid right now.
Minato could do nothing more than snarl at Naruto and his men as he grabbed hold of Kushina and used the Hiraishin to return to Konoha so as to get the proper medical attention he needed. Getting to Iron Country took longer given he had no markers to do so, but getting back was different. Minato would never forget this moment of time, the moment where he had been not only humiliated, but forced to retreat out of fear for his own life…
(3 weeks later)
Naruto had heard from his scouts that the rest of those who had come to aid him in his mission were almost in Iron Country. They had come from Kumo and Kiri so it was understandable since they were a bit of a ways away from Iron Country. The others had arrived within the week and were staying at the hotel he paid for so as to await the meeting itself. As soon as he heard word of the last of them arriving in the village, he sent messengers to round up the groups sent from their respective villages and prepared tea for his esteemed guests since he was the host and should provide some refreshments to them.
It didn't take long for them to arrive, but he had to say he was surprised at who came. There was Gaara along with his sister Temari from Suna, but those two he expected since Gaara was all for taking the fight to the Akatsuki and Temari was always there when he went places. He wasn't sure why that was, but there probably was a good reason that he wasn't going to ask. From Kumo came the two Jinchuriki that A had said he would send Killer Bee along with Yugito herself. Naruto was glad to see them, since two Jinchuriki in full control of their Biju would be a massive help. But then the group from Iwa arrived, and his surprise only increased tenfold. First off, he didn't expect Onoki to send anyone really, but he expected even less that the elderly man would send their own Jinchuriki Han and Roshi who were accompanied by his granddaughter Kurotsuchi of all people. Apparently the man had seen wisdom in his words and wanted to throw his hat into the ring so as to eliminate a future threat. Then came the group from Kiri, or really one man since there was only Mei's right hand man Chojuru. While Naruto would complain about this, the man was once a member of the Seven Swordsmen of the Mist, which made him a strong ally, and they already had the aid of five different Jinchuriki so it didn't really hurt them that much.
"Well I welcome back those who were here for the Kage Summit," said Naruto with a smirk, "and welcome for the first time those who weren't."
The various individuals who had shown up all simply nodded their heads since there wasn't really anything that needed to be said yet.
"So I am under the assumption that you have all been told exactly what we would be facing?"
Once again the people all just nodded their heads since there was still no reason to say anything yet.
"So let's take a note of who we have here to aid us," said Naruto as he looked at the group of Shinobi who were all here to aid him in his mission to wipe out the Akatsuki. "We have surprisingly enough 5 Jinchuriki of all things to aid us. That alone is a massive boost in our chances of succeeding given the power you wield is on par with S ranked shinobi alone. Then we have a highly skilled former member of the Seven Swordsmen of the Mist. And to top it all off we also have two highly skilled kunoichi as well to round it all up nicely to go along with myself."
"How do you know if I am highly skilled," asked Kurotsuchi with a raised eyebrow. "You have never met me before today."
"Your grandfather sent you here alongside your village's Jinchuriki to aid in the elimination of destroying a group of S rank missing Nin. If that isn't a clear sign of his confidence in your abilities, then you have a serious self image problem and should work on that."
Kurotsuchi could only sputter since she had no possible retort for that. But she then glared as she heard Temari chuckle at her reaction. But before she could say anything in a bitchy manner, one of Naruto's samurai entered the room and whispered something into his ear. Naruto's reaction made them look at him quizzically since he was groaning at what he had heard.
"Why?" asked Naruto as the samurai left the room, "why now of all times?"
"Is something the matter my friend," asked Gaara with a bit of a smirk on his face. He wasn't sure why, but he had a feeling this was going to be either funny or end up worse than he could imagine. He was hoping it was the former since they could use the humor before they set out to fight the Akatsuki like they planned to do.
"Yes," said Naruto as he rubbed his forehead, "since it appears we have a few surprise additions to our group."
"Isn't that a good thing," asked Han with a neutral face. Which was hard to tell given his face coverings.
"In any other circumstances I would say yes," explained Naruto, "but this one only makes it… what would be a good word to use here… drawing a blank on what to use so I'll just say annoying, but I don't believe that sums it up enough."
"What do you mean?"
"You remember Shizuka?" asked Naruto with a sigh.
"No," said Gaara with a shake of his head since that name did not ring any particular bells in his head.
"She was the kunoichi who I fought in the first round of the tournament at Konoha."
"Oh her," said Gaara as he remembered her. She went down far easier than he had expected, but then again Naruto was full of surprises and they had assumed he was weak given his profession as a samurai. That had been her downfall. "Why do you ask?"
"Well apparently she comes from an all kunoichi village," explained Naruto, "one with the strangest tradition I have ever heard in my life."
"Okay," said Gaara with a smirk, "you have piqued my interest. What is this tradition that has you like this?"
"Apparently anyone who beats a member of their village is automatically betrothed to the one they beat." said Naruto simply. This caused the room to go silent since that was not what they expected to hear. The only sound was Temari spitting out the tea she had been drinking at the moment and then slamming her cup down hard enough to shatter it before she glared at Naruto for some reason. "Why are you mad at me for this time Temari? I don't control their traditions so it's not like I am forcing her to do this. I swear no matter what I do or say you get all red in the face and pissed. I say hello and you get pissed. I offer to buy you lunch and you get pissed. What doesn't piss you off woman?"
The others in the group, especially Kurosutchi herself being a woman, understood Temari's reaction as another woman hitting on someone they saw as theirs. They all looked at Naruto like he was an idiot since it was obvious as to why she was angry like this, but apparently the young man was just that dense, and they all saw Gaara nod his head to let the others know their assumptions were correct. His friend was an idiot when it came to this subject.
"Why is everyone looking at me like that," asked Naruto, who was confused. The group simply sighed and said nothing since this was not their business so they would not say anything on the matter. Seemed to be the running theme on the matter since no one wanted to get involved there.
"But did you agree to the engagement?" asked Gaara, who wanted this awkward situation to end, and it only would once everything was out in the open so it was better to speed it along.
"Hell no," said Naruto with a shake of his head, "first off, what kind of tradition is that!? It is idiotic is what it is. It would make me look like some sort of wife beater if I actually went through with it."
Naruto heard Temari breath a sigh of relief as he said that. Her reactions to things he said confused him greatly and that was concerning. But those were thoughts for later.
"Second, I am not a shinobi. I do not abide by the traditions of a shinobi village like that. I will obey the rules of one if I go there, but traditions are another matter entirely. And since I have never been in their village nor do I have any plans to do so in the future there really is no need to follow their traditions. I swear… if that was the thing for every shinobi village, I would be married to you, Temari, and your brother Kankuro right now! Hell, I would be in a incestual homosexual one with my former brother Menma since I straight up kicked his ass and there is no fucking way that is ever going to happen! It's not my fault I am strong enough to defeat various people in battle! Isn't that how we survive here?"
This comment caused both Gaara as well as Temari to sputter since it had been so random. Gaara was not gay in any sense of the word. His brother Kankuro… Well Gaara had no idea what he was given his wearing of makeup (which he called war paint of all things) and playing with puppets. Sure they were used for battle, but there were other far smaller ones that he had that weren't and Gaara was not going to judge him. Temari's face just lit up red as the thoughts of being married to Naruto simply flooded her mind. Her visions went rapidly from simple hand holding all the way to having children in the future in the span of about three seconds. Her mind could not quite handle it so she fainted in a manner that her body slumped onto the table.
"Will she be alright?" asked Naruto in genuine concern. He had no idea what the hell just happened.
"Pay her no mind," said Gaara as he saw his sister faint like that. It made him smirk a bit though to see her like this. Whenever she was away from Naruto, she was always such a hardass of a kunoichi since she wanted to be seen as a strong independent woman, but the second Naruto came near her that image of her began to crack away until things like this happened and it was humorous to see in a person like this.
Before anyone else could say anything else, the door leading into the meeting room opened up and in walked Shizuka as well as her friend Tokiwa, but Naruto had expected them to arrive. What he hadn't expected was a third woman to show up with them. She had on a typical kunoichi outfit, had red hair that was borderline pink, and had a flute on her side. Naruto for one knew there was more to that random instrument on her side than met the eye, but he would not ask about it.
"Hello Shizuka and guests," said Naruto kindly enough, "but before you ask, or even begin to attempt to ask… No. Just no."
"Wow," said the redhead of the group, "you weren't lying when you called him an asshole."
"So I am an asshole for not agreeing to what is essentially a forced marriage?" asked Naruto with a raised eyebrow, "man… what a world we live in…"
"We have come to offer assistance for this mission you are currently conducting." said Shizuka with an angry scowl on her face as well as closed eyes and a throbbing vein over them. She really hated this guy, but she was being forced to marry him against her will so how was she supposed to feel? Even though the man had clearly said time and time again that he was not interested in marrying her, she was still being told to do all in her power to convince him otherwise due to their traditions. She had been sent to help him do this since it would help him see she was a strong woman and more than qualified as wife material.
"2 questions before I agree to your aid," said Naruto as he held up 2 fingers on his hand, "The first being simply how the hell did you learn about the mission in the first place. You weren't at the Kage Summit given you aren't one of the five major villages."
"Well that was easy," said Tokiwa with a laugh, "since I placed a seal on your lighter back in Spring. It allows us to track you as well as eavesdrop on your conversations. Since you are a heavy smoker, you always have it on you."
"Oh for the love of," said Naruto with a growl as he took out his lighter and broke it in his hand. He didn't know how to counter seals given his limited knowledge on the matter, so he just destroyed it with the thing since it wasn't like he couldn't just get another lighter. "Great… Now I need to purchase another custom made lighter. The blacksmith loves me at this point since I single handedly fund his life with the consistency that I buy these."
"You didn't have to break it," said Tokiwa with a smirk, "you could have just asked me to remove the seal…"
The look on Naruto's face was priceless when he heard that. He then slammed his head against the wall for being so impulsive and stupid. But he then came to his senses and was back standing where he was before.
"As for my second question," said Naruto as he pointed at the redhead, "who are you? I have never seen you before so please give us your name."
"Sure thing asshole," said the woman with a bit of a growl, "but there was a much nicer way to ask for my name."
"You're right," said Naruto with a chuckle, "so what is your name?"
"For the love of…" said the woman under her breath in anger, "My name is Tatuya."
"Thanks for answering the question," said Naruto as he wanted to get the meeting back on track again but was interrupted by Tatuya before he could start.
"I'm not done fucker!" said the woman angrily with a twitching brow and a bulging vein throbbing on her forehead. "I wanted to say thanks. But don't expect me to do anything else!"
"Thanks for what?" asked Naruto since he was understandably confused right now.
"I was once a member of Orochimaru's personal group known as the Sound Four. We didn't really have a choice since he enslaved us with his fucking Cursed Seal he placed on us. But since you killed him, we were free to leave and I found myself a member of Nadeshiko Village. So thanks."
"You're welcome," said Naruto in a more questioning sort of tone since he had no idea he had aided this woman in any way. It wasn't a part of his plan to do so since he had simply wanted to escape with his little sister and Orochimaru just happened to be the final obstacle to escape. But then the fact that she was a kunoichi of Nadeshiko Village fully came to his mind. "Dear Kami, please tell me that you are not here to try and force me to marry you too."
"Wait, what?" asked Tatuya in shock since that came from nowhere. "Hell no asshole!"
"Oh thank Kami," said Naruto with a sigh. Another person trying to force him into marriage would only make the situation worse and he didn't need to add on to that nuisance. "Well then, let us get back to the matter at hand…"
Naruto spent the next hour and a half explaining who their opponents were as well as their plan of attack once they got to their headquarters located in Ame. They all questioned how he knew it was there, but Naruto told him he figured it out via the process of elimination. The various members of the Akatsuki all were seen in most countries at one point or another doing jobs, except for Ame. Now why would members of an organization filled with Missing Nin who are wanted by most villages avoid one specific country unless it was so they didn't draw attention to it. Plus given an organization like theirs needed a strong leader to keep the chaotic members of said organization in check, said leader probably told them to stay away from Ame.
No one there could really argue his logic, and were actually fairly impressed that he figured something like that out from the various rumors and tidbits of information he was able to get from his scouts. But their surprise was not done yet. After the meeting was over and everyone was ready to go and deal with the Akatsuki, Naruto led them to the outskirts of Iron Village to a flat open portion of a large field. There, their eyes bugged out as they laid eyes on an airship for the first time in their lives.
"What the hell is that?" asked Temari, with the others in the group all wanting to hear the answer to that question.
"Oh that," said Naruto as he pointed at the thing, "that is an airship. It allows us to sail through the air like a ship does on water. The name basically says it all."
"Okay," said Temari as she was willing to believe that, "better question then… Just where the hell did you get that!?"
"I got this on loan from the Spring Daimyo Koyuki herself," said Naruto simply, "since I sent a message to her and asked for support. She sent this as well as something else to aid us since she did not have shinobi to aid us."
"And just why in the world would a Daimyo of all people lend out such a marvel of technology like this to you?" asked Temari with the rage within her boiling up a bit. It was bad enough there was a woman already trying to claim Naruto as her own and was not shy about saying it, but now there was yet another potential rival for his affections and what made it worse was it was a woman with money, power, and access to marvels such as this! How could Temari compete with that?!
"I helped her out so she owed me one is all," said Naruto with a shrug since it was as simple as that.
"How did you help a Daimyo?" asked Gaara as he saw his sister about two seconds from blowing a fuse and was hoping for all their sakes that the answer Naruto gave would not send her over the edge. An angry Temari was not a pretty site…
"I helped dethrone her tyrant of an uncle who killed her father to gain the position, and thus put the rightful Daimyo in her place." Naruto couldn't help but smirk a bit as he saw the open jawed looks on most of their faces from what Naruto had told them since they were not expecting that sort of answer. Shizuka and Towika knew about this already since they had been there when he did it so they were not surprised like the others.
"You live an interesting life when not around us," said Gaara who himself began to smirk since this was a bit amusing to hear.
"You think that is impressive?" asked Naruto with a laugh, "shortly after I helped her, I was approached by a priestess who needed help slaying an interdimensional demon in the form of a multi headed dragon. I nearly died killing the thing after it broke my blade Gashi, and had to forge a new one out of the only piece I could salvage."
This floored everyone since they now began to question just who the hell was this young man to do as he said. But those were questions for later since right now there were still a few more pressing ones in their mind they wanted answered right now.
"So this Koyuki you spoke about," asked Gaara in a manner that seemed more like he was joking about it. He already knew his sister was pissed about Shizuka, but if Koyuki was another woman who was after Naruto… well that thought made him slightly shudder at what would happen. True he was at one point an emotionless killing machine who crushed the many people his father sent to kill him, but after meeting Naruto and making his first friend, that changed. It was a small change to start with, but it only grew from there to the point he got to know his siblings better than he had in the past and grew to be a proper family. While he had no love towards his father given the aforementioned attempts on his life, but with Temari and Kankuro he felt the love of a family finally. And that opened up a whole new set of emotions, such as fear from an extremely pissed older sister like right now. "What exactly did you have to do to get her to aid you with this? Are we looking at the future husband of a Daimyo here?"
Naruto had stopped in his tracks as he was asked that and then began to laugh hard. This caused those with him to look at him with confused looks since that was not the response they were expecting from him.
"Oh no," said Naruto as he wiped a tear from his eye, he was laughing so hard, "Koyuki would never be interested in someone like me."
"A samurai?" asked Han. He meant no disrespect when he asked that, it was just he was always taught that samurai were weaker than shinobi and wondered if people elsewhere thought the same way he was taught to think.
"No," said Naruto with a final chuckle, "just men in general. She likes women."
"Well," said Gaara, who saw his sister once again sigh a breath of relief after she heard this, "that answers that question. But now I have to ask just how are we going to eliminate the entire Akatsuki in one go? Like you said before, their members are not in Ame."
"Well that is easy to explain," said Naruto as he started to walk up the ramp to get onto the airship itself and motioned for the rest of them to do the same. "There was a vital piece of evidence that I didn't make known during the Kage Summit."
"And just what didn't you tell us," asked Bee, "since doing such a thing makes you look fairly sus?"
"Bee," groaned Yugito, "can you stop rapping for like… five minutes?"
"I could but I won't pussy cat," rapped Bee with a smile, "and you know this so leave it at that."
"Can I kill him please," asked Yugito.
"Hmm…," hummed Naruto as he stood there looking like he was actually thinking about it for a second, "no… but why are you asking me this? I don't control you." This caused Bee to sweat a bit as Yugito smirked and began to crack her knuckles.
"But getting back to what you were saying before," said Chojuru, who wanted to know what was not said in the Kage Summit. Then again he and his group form Kiri had not been part of that meeting and only met with Naruto himself after it was over.
"During the meeting, I stated that there were no traitors from the Akatsuki in our forces. But that was a lie since we found several. I didn't say anything since I didn't want such information to leak given the Akatsuki seem to have spies everywhere. But from them we got the information we needed, which was that their leader is the leader of Ame itself. So to answer your question as to how we are going to eliminate them all at once? I sent a death threat to the man. Sure enough, my own informats have told me the other members of the organization have made their way towards Ame itself. That was the reason I expressed that time was of the essence since now that they are all there it will be easier to eliminate them all at once."
"But won't we have to deal with the full might of Ame as well," asked Shizuka since the whole picture was starting to make itself known. "So you are basically declaring war on Ame."
"Yes I am," said Naruto simply as he turned around to face them, "and that is why I am glad we have multiple Jinchuriki to help us. Look, I won't lie and say the situation is not bad already, but the fact of the matter is that the leader of the organization that is harboring S rank missing nin is the leader of a village himself. Even if we were to go out and eliminate the various members separately, he could just recruit more while hiding behind his small army as he did this. Mifune always told me to cut the head off the snake to ensure it was dead, and that is exactly what I plan to do here and now. If we don't end this here, this man, who does not care about the safety of your villages with those from Suna knowing this first hand, will continue to attack you until he gets what he wants. And unfortunately for five of the people in this group, what they want are the Jinchuriki. Why that is, I don't know, but it can't be good if they are willing to harm so many people to get to you. So after hearing the truth of the matter, after finally seeing the full picture itself, will you still join me in this matter? Because if you don't wish to do so, then there is the ramp off this airship over there."
The people who had come with him here now all looked at each other as they questioned whether or not they should continue on with this. Naruto had kept quite a bit from them by not saying they would be attacking Ame itself to get to the main targets. In the meeting he had only mentioned the various members he had gotten information on and how to deal with them from the limited information he had. This went far beyond that. But as Naruto said, even if they killed the members of the organization, there would just be others to take the place of those who were killed, so it was better that they deal with this here and now so as to avoid a future problem. Plus they had the help of five Jinchuriki to go against the power of a small shinobi village. So the odds were in their favor as it was.
So one by one, they all began to walk away from the ramp to catch up with Naruto who had begun to walk away from them. They had offered their help to eliminate the Akatsuki, and so they would stay until their mission was over. Naruto then led them to the main area where they would be resting until they got to their destination.
"Before you guys get too comfortable," said Naruto as he came into the room with a large crate in his hands, "Koyuki also sent some more stuff to support us in this mission."
"I would say there is nothing else that could surprise me after seeing this airship," said Tatuya, "but that would just be a fucking lie. So what did the royal lesbian send us?"
"This is known as Chakra Armor," said Naruto, completely ignoring the offending remark towards his friend. Tatuya was a foul mouthed individual, there was no changing that so he wasn't even going to even attempt to. He pulled out a set and handed it to Gaara. "It is a unique type of armour that blocks out opposing ninjutsu and genjutsu while strengthening the user's own chakra and techniques."
The people were fairly impressed as well as surprised about this since such a thing was fairly useful to have. With such armor their chances at succeeding in their mission only went up higher than it was before. Shizuka as well as Tokiwa already knew what this could do given they killed a man who wore it. While Naruto had only seen the aftermath with Nadare being dead, they had struggled a bit to kill the man. Basically they had to distract him and then used kunai when the device was overloaded from dispelling the chakra they used in their jutsu.
"The armor produces an invisible barrier around the user to nullify or deflect most chakra-based techniques," continued Naruto as he wanted to fully explain what the armor would do, "as well as physical projectiles like kunai and fūma shuriken. But be warned, overconfidence in it can be fatal since it does not make you invincible while wearing it. Also be warned that taijutsu can still break through it if the person is strong enough so there is that as well."
Naruto finished passing the armor out and pointed towards the bathroom where they could change into their newly acquired gear. Naruto told them that after this was over he would need them back since they were on loan only, so don't try and run away with it or he would be angry. That last bit made a few of them sweat since they had seen him angry in person and knew what he could do when he was. He didn't even have to threaten them since they knew what he meant by it. Luckily, Naruto had been given extras since he had been unsure of how many people would be joining them in this mission, but even though he had a few left over, he himself didn't wear one.
"Are you not going to change into your Chakra armor?" asked Kurotsuchi as she came out towards the deck where Naruto was looking over the rail into the distance while having a smoke. While Naruto had been explaining the uses of the armor, the airship had taken off and was heading towards their destination. Koyuki had sent a pilot with the thing, since Naruto had no idea how to pilot this thing. He could learn how to fly it himself sure, but the airship itself was being loaned so what would be the point of that really since he had to give it back after this was all over?
"Don't need one," said Naruto simply since it was the truth. The armor was for enhancing Chakra based jutsu. He used magic, not chakra so the armor wouldn't aid him. Sure it could protect him from jutsu, but he already had a means to do so as it was and he didn't need a suit to activate it.
"I'm not sure if that is just overconfidence or arrogance," said Kurotsuchi with a sigh. But while she did that, she smirked since she wanted to say something. "Also I have to ask. Are you just an idiot?"
"Okay," said Naruto with a confused look on his face, "I'm curious as to why you are insulting me out of the blue like this. I barely even know you and already you insult me."
"You know what," said Kurotsuchi as she rubbed her forehead, "I feel like I am going to have to be blunt with you and just come out and say it. You do know that the Kazekage's sister likes you right?"
"Who Temari?" asked Naruto with a raised eyebrow.
"If Temari is her name, then yes!"
Naruto looked at Kurotsuchi for a bit before he began to laugh.
"I didn't know you were a joker," said Naruto as he began to calm himself from laughing.
"I'm being serious here," said Kurotsuchi, who was literally sweat-dropping over this man's stupidity on the subject.
"Temari?" asked Naruto with a chuckle, "The same woman who gets pissed at me for literally no other reason than being near me? Don't you think I would notice a woman showing affection towards me in some way if that was the case?"
"No." said Kurotsuchi since she knew for a fact that he wouldn't know it since she had seen it with her one eyes along with everyone else. "In fact I am a hundred percent positive that you wouldn't see it even when said woman was obvious about it. But I said my piece, so you do what you will with it." She then threw up her hands and walked off towards the main area since she had nothing else to say to this incredibly dense man.
Naruto simply stood there as he continued to look off into the horizon. The view was beautiful from where he was standing, and it gave him a piece of mind over what he was about to do. While Iron village had been neutral in most matters for so long, the times had forced them to change to the point that they were about to get involved in a war itself that had nothing really to do with them. This was for the sake of keeping the peace as well as building good ties with others since there was no other samurai village around so they would have to make allies with shinobi. So much blood was about to be spilled in such a short time, and that was what worried him right now. But this wouldn't be the first time this sort of thing happened, nor would it be the last time either.
So with that last thought, Naruto put out his cigarette butt and flung it over the edge of the airship as he went back inside towards the main area.
Ame was within viewing distance...