Third Person POV_
Slowly Kiku opened her eyes. The sound of the wagon being pulled woke her up.
She sat up and looked around her.
As the memories from the previous night came back to her she sat up and gripped the bars of the cage.
Tears filled her eyes and she curled into herself.
She missed her mother dearly.
Yuriko was a kind woman that had always treated her as if she was made of glass.
The young mother would come in the morning after breakfast and accompanied her for hours, at times she dressed her up in silky expensive kimonos.
Afterward, Kiku would get up and go play outside. Or at least she had started to play outside now that she was healthier.
The small girl pressed her back on the bars and looked around the wagon. She couldn't hear anyone walking outside. All she could hear was the horse moving and the wagon going down the dirt road.
Her mind wandered 'where the man named Orochimaru was at. '
Although he didn't really listen to her or answer the questions he had yet to hurt her.
And thinking about him kept her from thinking about what had happened in the forest.
Just remembering the excruciating pain of being decapitated caused her body to tremble.
If there was one thing she feared most it was being injured that way again.
Her mind would start trailing back to the fight. The weapons they threw at her and the explosion.
Kiku whimpered as she remembered the amount of pain she had been in.
She looked down at her clothes, the left sleeve of her Kimono had been ripped off when she had lost her arm.
Carefully she touched the bits of burned fabric on her sleeve.
She had lost her shoes and one tabi sock last night. She wrinkled her nose as she turned her foot to see her dirty foot and her remaining sock was stained with blood and dirt.
She sat back and picked at her nails.
The day went by and Kiku found herself bored and picking at the dry blood on her skin.
She couldn't help but imagine herself back at home with her mother and father. She closed her eyes as she thought back to how much fun it had been to be able to run around the estate or play in their garden.
That's when it suddenly became dark. Kiku squealed and held onto the bars in fear.
Outside of the wagon, the shinobi had brought the wagon into the village through a secret passageway.
Orochimaru couldn't help but feel slightly eager at the prospect of studying a new Kekkei Genkai.
Kiku jumped as she saw both Asami and Nao at the entrance of the wagon where she was being kept at.
The small girl curled into herself and away from the two shinobi. Both ninjas glanced at each other and grimaced.
They feared her, the abilities she wielded, and what they had seen.
Even Asami had been thrown off by what she had seen. The sight of a small little five-year-old girl ripping a grown man's ribcage open, and worse of all was that they had watched her eat a man alive.
Carefully they picked up the cage and started to take her out of the wagon.
On the other hand, Kiku was also afraid of them. For the short five years, she had lived, she had been treated with kind and respect. All of her needs had been fulfilled, maids would softly speak to her and they would get her anything she needed. To be honest she couldn't remember the last time she had tripped or gotten hurt at her parent's home.
Sure she had been hurt by a drunk old man when she had been trying to run away. But other than that and the few stray hits from the people she had hunted down.
When the shinobi team had attacked her it had been different. They were faster than her. Possibly even stronger. No pain could compare to the pain she felt when her arm had been ripped off.
They were adults and in her childish mind, she felt she needed to listen. All her life she didn't need to stand up for herself, she was docile and did as she was told.
They placed her cage on a cart. Kiku pushed herself in the corner farthest away from the shinobi.
The halls were lit up in white fluorescence light. The walls were white and the corridor was long. They placed her cage down in a large white room. There was plenty of desk space and there were large cabinets filled with different kinds of bottles.
She only observed the place around her. After a while, she laid her head down and slowly started to drift off. Her body was stiff due to the floor, but she was so tired that she just fell asleep as soon as she laid down and got comfortable.
Orochimaru was already mulling over theories. He would test to see why her skin was so thick that kunai had no effect on her. He wondered how she had the strength and muscle mass to be able to rip open a live adult human male.
How had she done it without hurting herself? Her jaw had been able to stretch itself large enough to allow her to fit large chunks of meat and her teeth strong enough to crush a bone and probably rip off an entire arm.
That's not mentioning the change in visual prowess and the tentacle-like organ that sprouted out of multiple areas on her back.
He also had major concerns about the eating habits though, even to him that was a bit overboard. The question was if the girl ate human flesh out of a sick and twisted taste preference or if it was a vital part of her diet to support her rare abilities.
He planned on finding out by testing her. He had her placed in his lab. While he observed her, he would also continue on his current projects.
He carried a file full of paperwork and carried a plate of delicious Akimichi food. As he walked into his office he noticed that she was startled by his sudden entrance.
Judging by how her eyes were red and how she reacted slower than usual he figured she had just woken up.
He set his folder down and turned to look at her. "You're room has been prepared. I will be moving you there. You will have everything you need, I'll make sure you have food and water. You will remain here while we determine what that strange little ability of yours is. Okay?" He tilts his head slightly, his smile cold and emotionless.
Kiku shifted slightly and meekly nodded. His gaze felt heavy and she didn't know how to deal with it. It made her felt inferior and scared. If she was being honest she felt like a small bunny, the prey, and as if he was a giant snake looking to devour her. She felt watched, and she didn't like it.
He opened the cage and carefully took her by the hand. She was shocked at how gentle he was being. She stood up and followed after him, he was much taller than her. She barely reached his mid-thigh.
From her point of view, all she could see was his long arm holding her hand, and his dark black hair swaying gently as he walked, she could see his sharp jawline and his exposed cheeks. He wasn't wearing the green vest like when she had first met him. She could barely see the purple in his eyelids and those yellow eyes. they seemed hazel in the dark but in the light, they seemed to gleam like freshly polished gold.
Everyone in her village had similar features. Dark eyes and dark hair were quite common, sure there were other features that made people different like nose shapes and the shape of their lips and eye shapes. But she had never seen someone like Orochimaru.
His scent was definitely human, but he also smelled like sandalwood incense, herbs, and someone else's blood.
He was also a very handsome man, he had high cheekbones and the purple around his eyes made his eyes look sultry and accentuated his long lashes. His pale skin made both the Purple and golden color eyes stand out. His lips had the lightest tints of pink and white flesh. He was appealing to the eyes.
She wondered how someone could look like that.
He brought her to a room and she reached down and felt the futon sheets. She smiled as she felt the soft clean fabric beneath her fingertips. "You will shower first. We don't need you getting the futon dirty." Orochimaru stated as he looked down at her.
Kiku pursed her lips but nodded in agreement. She lifted her hands to let him know that he could carry her.
Orochimaru cocked a brow as the small child lifted her arms up so that he could pick her up. She looked tired and the heavy kimono was filthy with blood, piss, and any other bodily fluid since she had been eating a living man.
He carefully picked her up and carried her off to bathe her. When they got to the bathroom he rolled up his sleeves and began undressing the sleepy child. He knew that she wouldn't be able to even undress herself, maids had swaddled her since she was an infant. That and the fact that she had been deathly sick until recently.
Kiku was tired, she hadn't slept comfortably in a while. That and her young child brain didn't know how to deal with everything that had happened. Less than 72 hours ago she had been in her bedroom of her large family estate. She had maids following her to make sure she could play and that she had everything she needed.
Now she was in an underground facility with a very handsome man taking care of her. She was also homesick and wishing she had never gone out, to begin with.
Orochimaru was disgusted by the small chunks of human flesh that had gotten stuck on her Kimono. Some of the cloth was stiff due to the blood. He was going to throw the clothes away immediately.
He took a wet rag and a bar of soap and carefully bathed her. He saw no cuts on her body. Although there was a bit of bruising left from the times that a few hits had slipped through while she had been fighting. But other than that she was fine.
He washed her long soft black hair. The girl quietly relaxed as he rinsed her hair and then dried her and dressed her in a simple shirt with a pair of comfortable pants. He let her sleep and chuckled to himself.
She had been scared out of her mind but was meek enough not to complain about it or the entire ride back to konoha.
Days went by, Orochimaru brought her food but she was not really interested in it. She would avoid the food and follow him around. She had chakra seals on her wrists and a knockout seal on the back of her neck. If she acted out all Orochimaru had to do was the rat hand sign and push out a little bit of chakra and she would be knocked out.
Not that she knew that. Orochimaru did watch her to see if she exhibited any violent or domineering behavior. It seemed that when she was not hunting someone down her personality became more docile.
He was also counting how many calories she was burning through, her heart rate, her brain activity, and the amount of time that passed by without her getting hungry. She hadn't eaten any of the food he brought.
He had placed a few small seals that allowed him to monitor vitals and brain activity. He noticed that she did not like normal food. That and the fact that there was an extra enzyme that he found. Her tongue was also different, he figured that the taste buds she had made her dislike all normal food. He was bringing all kinds of things in to see if there was something other than human flesh that could make her eat but there didn't seem to be any.
One morning he had brought his coffee machine. Usually, he drank tea but he had wanted some coffee because he was tired from staying up late the night before. He quietly set up the coffee machine and started brewing.
The machine hummed quietly and Kiku watched it work with wide eyes. Her family was probably traditionalist and didn't drink any. Even if they did the maids would probably hand brew it.
Orochimaru began serving himself some when he noticed that Kiku was standing right beside him. Her brown doe eyes were wide and fixated on the cup. She was also sniffing the air and pressing herself between him and the counter.
It was odd. The girl usually preferred to watch him at a distance. She would follow behind him like a lost duckling. He noticed her staring at his long black hair most of the time. He figured that it was because it was the same shade as her mother's hair. He had also caught her reaching out to touch it. Although she never noticed that he caught her, she would just get too nervous and go back to following him around his lab.
But here she was, pressed against his legs trying to get a look at what he was doing. "Do you, Perhaps, want some?" He asked and the small girl licked her lips nervously, she then blinked a few times as she looked at the pot before she nodded her head slightly.
He sighed and nodded. He set down his cup and picked up a disposable foam cup and poured some coffee inside. He then handed it to her. "It is very hot." He stated, she was from a rich family, so he had no doubt that she drank all kinds of hot tea.
She backed away and held the cup with both hands. She stared down at the dark liquid in the cup. She then looked down at the floor. She was making sure there was nothing on the floor.
She licked her lips and slowly began to sit down. Her eyes were trained on the cup filled with dark warm liquid.
She settled down in a seiza and set the cup down. With carefully practiced manners she gave her thanks for the drink.
Orochimaru set his cup down and watched her in amusement.
She was definitely an only child raised in a strict traditional home. All she knew was manners and by the looks of it, she was never allowed to develop bad manners. Usually, girls like her ended up being auctioned off in an arranged marriage that would benefit the clan's finances. To be nothing more than a trophy wife of a rich merchant or noble.
She was also very pretty, she had deep-set eyes, they were wide and seemed innocent. She was pale, with small thin wrists and a very meek personality. Had she not been covered in blood and carnage when he had first seen her then he would have a hard time believing she did all of the sick and disgusting things that she did in that village.
Bodies had been stung around the cave where she had been keeping the remains of her prey. According to the shinobi that had been present, she had ripped open a man and bathed in the blood that poured out of his body. Soft warm organs fell out of the body she was ripping open and she ate the man while he screamed, his voice muffled by the dark red tentacles that had stuffed themselves down his throat and into his body.
The Jonin and Chunin had been severely disturbed by the sight. They had requested some time off and a few chats with the Yamanaka specialist. That same ungodly monster was sitting down in perfect seiza bowing thanks for a drink and then picking up a foam cup as if it were fine china and carefully taking a sip.
By how she drank and help her cup, Orochimaru knew that she had been disciplined rigorously in tea ceremonies and informal tea ceremonies.
He could see her swish the hot coffee in her mouth, her face scrunched up together as she tasted the liquid before settling into a pleased smile. She carefully wiped the sides of her mouth before taking another drink.
Orochimaru grabbed his drink and sipped on it as well. Unlike Kiku, he had put sugar and creamers in his coffee.
He watched her drink from the corner of his eye. He deduced that she wasn't a mindless beast. She was someone that always over thought everything, she was observant and she was smart.
How else had she slipped passed the guards that patrolled the Iwari main house? She had hidden her traces well enough that the samurai from the area could not find any leads. But she hadn't been clever enough to hide from shinobi. She had done this without even being taught how to.
A fresh Konoha Genin could possibly trick a group of samurai, and that was with a few years of academy training and instruction of a jonin. But this little five-year-old child was able to commit horrendous crimes against villagers in a city full of samurai. This child was hunting down full-grown adults for a midnight snack and then leaving half-eaten corpses in a cave outside of the village. And she did this for a few months. She had even met some of the city officials and no one could connect her to the crime.
The worst part was that they had no clues. She didn't even seem to try and hide the fact that she was hunting people down. Half-eaten corpses had also been left in the streets, they terrorized the villagers, and people started to take the missing peoples list more seriously. Maybe some people hadn't gotten up and simply vanished. Maybe they were killed like the people who were out in the streets. What if their bodies are out in the forests rotting away.
It had alarmed everyone and there were no clues. No eyewitnesses, Some people had heard it and were paralyzed with fear of a dying human. The gurgling sound of someone choking and screaming in pain at the same time.
It was pure coincidence that the Konoha team had spotted her. And it wasn't like she was hiding herself or her appearance.
They had managed to track one of the missing people all the way back to the cave. They figured that they were dealing with a serial killer or maybe a deranged nuke nin. But instead, they were met with the meek daughter of the Iwari family outside of her home. From there it had all gone downhill.
But at the moment she looked so normal. But he figured that looks were deceiving. He hadn't been able to gather blood samples when she was sleeping.
The needles couldn't pierce her, the needle bent until it crumbled. Her skin had been left only slightly red from it rubbing against the metal but it was perfectly fine.
He then tried cutting her with a kunai and that also seemed fruitless. He even added wind chakra and it was completely useless. As a final attempt he had used chakra scalpel, the chakra seemed to start cutting the flesh a bit open.
He was impressed by the fact that even chakra scalpels were barely damaging her. He figured that the only reason that the Chunin was able to slice her in half was that his primary element was wind, the speed he was running, and that he reinforced his blade and muscles with chakra. Even the sword was ruined from the attack.
Either way, she had recovered from being practically beheaded. He didn't doubt that it had been traumatizing. It could also explain her quiet nature. Many servants had mentioned that although she was soft-spoken she loved to chatter with those around her. Especially after she started walking around and was healthy.
But she was always formal. Even when she was rejecting food. She would rearrange the plate so it looked like she had eaten a little bit and thanked him for the meal. But she hadn't eaten anything since she arrived. This was the first time she asked for something and ate/drank it that wasn't water.
A change in diet, Orochimaru was quick to note this. He was eager to see the chemicals that had been released in her brain for drinking. With normal food it clear to see it was disgust and there was a lack of anything but boredom in the brainwaves.
She finished the coffee and continued to ask for more throughout the day.
Kiku was also not asking for anything, she didn't trust herself to speak much in front of Orochimaru. So she didn't ask for people.
She didn't know how to feel about eating people. She wouldn't have liked to kill someone home. The maids were all very kind to her and so were the male servants and guests. As for the people of the village, she didn't know them so she didn't feel any guilt in hunting and killing them.
It was a twisted sense of entitlement. As if those outside of her small circle of acquaintances were all exempt from her search for something that didn't taste disgusting in her mouth, or make her stomach hurt for hours while digesting it.
He said nothing as he served her another cup and told her to drink all of the coffee that she wanted.
He waited for about an hour or to check on the report on her brainwaves and the chemicals being released in her brain. That's how he discovered the extra enzyme.
It took a few tries but he was finally able to collect blood samples from her and he came to realize that because she consumed so much iron and most of her nutrients were coming from human flesh, that it caused her skin cells to be sturdier and to heal the body faster than average or normal.
From the X-rays, he found that there were a few extra organs on certain large chakra points on her back. The skin was the toughest there.
From what the Byakugan could see and an X-ray machine he concluded that they were organs that filtered out the heavy amounts of iron that an all human diet would create.
That's why the veins under her eyes bulged and turned black when she changed her vision was because it was red blood so dark it looked black.
Orochimaru was fascinated by how her body was adapted for the consumption of eating flesh.
He had also found that it was probable that her stomach was different. Kind of how a snake will take a few days to digest its food. He estimated that she would have only needed to survive was at least one human body. But she had been indulging in more than one person a week, she had killed multiple people. To the point that the people noticed and they had demanded that the law do something about it.
She wasn't eating to survive, but instead, it was to indulge in the pleasure of eating. In some bodies, she had eaten only certain parts of the body. He guessed he could consider her a monster, she most certainly looked like that when her instincts kicked in. She moved like an apex predator. Her eyes were steady and cold. She hyper-focused on her prey and stalked it carefully. She waited until their guard is down and then she takes them down in one strike. She silences most of them in time for no one to go check it out.
Then she either dragged the body away or ate it there and left the remains behind with no worries.
At least that is what Orochimaru had gathered from watching over her and the circumstances of all of the missing person reports and the bodies that had been found before the case had been commissioned.
He made sure to not neglect her, he could tell by the way she spoke and acted that she trusted him more than other ninjas.
Kids were like that, they'd get attached to people especially after experiencing something traumatic. (Her brain nearly dying from being decapitated for instance)
She always asked to touch his hair and he would ignore her but let her run her chubby fingers through the ends of his hair as he worked on a project. She would either sit beside him in seiza or she sat in one of the stools close to him.
He figured it was because it reminded her of her mother, and she probably found comfort in something that reminded her of her mother. The two of them had also been close.
Orochimaru figured that if she developed an emotional bond with him she wouldn't be able to kill and eat him. And it was working, she seemed to lose all interest in eating him or trying to bite him after spending time with him.
Orochimaru wanted to train her. He wanted to see her kekkei genkai at full power. He wanted to test the limits of her abilities.
The Hokage had already greenlit the training part. They were a shinobi, a few hundred ninjas died every month. There were enough dead bodies to fill her up. So if that was something required in her diet then they could provide it. They could keep her safe and train her to be Konoha's weapon. The problem was making sure that she didn't turn on them.
Hiruzen had already told Orochimaru that he had an idea on how to handle it. That for now, he should make the small girl trust him. He made it so that she was the one reaching out to him. That way she didn't feel forced into complying with him.
Unknown to Orochimaru the elder council of shinobi had already discussed Iwari Kiku. Another set of ninja had been sent to trail Kiku's parents. They didn't find anything unusual about them. They were completely normal.
The girl could barely be considered human. She ate human flesh, her brain, organs, and body were all a bit different. Down to her genes, she was different. She looked human and acted human but she wasn't completely human, so she would be treated as sub-human.
Hiruzen Sarutobi had spoken to Kushina Uzumaki about slave seals.
At first, Kushina had been shocked that the Hokage even considered discussing slave seals, those seals were forbidden for many reasons. When the clan still stood tall in Uzushiogakure, it had been illegal to use that kind of seal unless every head of household in Uzushiogakure agreed to have someone branded with it.
Meaning that in the Uzumaki's history those kinds of seals were barely used or made. They were the ones that sold the Hyuga their branch seal a few centuries back but in their records that had been the only seal similar to a slave seal that had ever been sold
Once a slave seal had been placed it was hereditary, meaning that every one born from their bloodline would have the seal. They would have to follow the orders of the person who was the owner of the seal. Meaning Kushina would make the Hokage the owner of the person, and all of the people with Hiruzens bloodline would be the rulers of the people born with the seal.
That's why it had been forbidden and illegal. Because the Uzumaki believed that no one should have absolute power over someone like that.
That's why Kushina had been repulsed. Kushina was also unaware of the things Kiku was capable of. So in her point, a view Kiku was a small defenseless child, maybe she was dangerous because of her kekkei genkai but they were shinobi, and they dealt with death and deadliness on the daily so to her they could just deal with it.
But the Hokage had insisted and order for her to brand the girl as a slave to himself.
Kiku was starting to find her place in Orochimaru's lab. She wasn't energetic so she could spend her time watching Orochimaru work meticulously. A radio was always on in the background, filling the lab with the sound of traditional songs all throughout the day.
She liked listening to music, she would sip coffee all day. Orochimaru has started to test her by bringing her food with real human flesh. It had been a chunk of meat that he had taken from a dead shinobi in the morgue.
She had instantly noticed. He noticed that she felt embarrassed and would hide as she devoured the meat. He figured she had realized that she looked unsightly and it had made her bashful.
She had also unconsciously always seeking his approval. He from the intel gathered on her he knew she strived to please her parents and since her parents weren't here she was lost. So she had latched onto him since he was a constant presence in her lonely time in the lab. He had let her keep a few pots of plants to keep her entertained. So she sought for his approval.
It was a good thing since it would be easier to turn her into an asset to the village.
There was no Uzumaki clan since there was no head of households present then it was only Kushina's judgment and her Hokage had ordered her to. So she dug through old clan records and found the slave seals.
Kushina studied the old scripts and made her notes and the manuscript for the seals that she was going to make. She had to understand the entirety of the seal otherwise she would not be able to apply it.
The seal would connect the person that was branded by it. The seal would have the Maker and Master function. The Maker was the person who created the seal, they would also be able to control the person. The Master would also be able to control the person, but they would be able to have more control than the maker.
She was disgusted with herself as she studied it. She could understand why her ancestors had made it forbidden.
Uzumaki sealing could be traced back thousands of years back. Their ancestor had been a smart red-haired woman, she had been a Senju and was to marry a man. She was a master at calligraphy, loud and boisterous she hadn't wanted to marry at all.
Legend had it that her chakra reserves were so large that sometimes chakra would leak into her calligraphy and that she was able to create words that changed the essence of nature.
Kanji would make things disappear in a poof, simple brush strokes bent time and reality itself. With her larger than life chakra reserves, bright red hair, and lively personality she decided that she would never wed a man she did not love. She left the mainland and found an island.
She had been related to the Senju Clan head and he was so angry that she, Kiyo Senju had run away, and that she had cost the clan a large sum of money. He sent their clansmen out to kill her but she simply created massive whirlpools around the island that she was hiding in.
They had been unable to cross the malestorms so they returned home. They weren't aware that she had been the one that created them. They assumed she was lost at sea and died.
There were people on the island, they saw what she did and asked her to teach her as well. She taught them all how to make seals. She changed her name to Kiyo Uzumaki and people would come to her to purchase her seals.
Kiyo Uzumaki became so rich and popular amongst the islanders that they elected her as the chief and leader of the island. She had married and she taught her children how to be shinobi. But the thing is that before she had children she etched Fuinjutsu onto herself.
She experimented on her own body and drew the fuinjustu into her very cells, that is where the ability to create seals that could be passed down as a bloodline was created.
The Uzumaki clan was a matriarch clan because of this. Men and women had equal rights, they did what they were best at. There were no feminine rolls so in the end the entire island was influenced by them. Compared to the mainland, they were open-minded and the women of the clan were all just as well versed in everything. Just like the men.
Every Uzumaki was born with the ability to create the best and strongest Fuinjutsu. They had all inherited Kiyo's Fuinjutsu. Even future generations of Uzumaki etched seals onto their bloodline. That was something encouraged in the clan, to spend your life trying to etch a kekkei genaki into your family. Some had succeeded, that's why some Uzumaki could heal people when they were bit. Also why Kushina was able to use large chakra chains and her massive chakra reserves. There used to be more abilities but nearly all bloodlines had been wiped out and most records that hadn't been sealed in the attack of uzushio at the end of the second war.
Knowing this, Kushina knew that the poor child that would get the slave seal would be doomed.
Setting up the feel of this book which is world-building.