Naruto: Wind Monk Banishment
It had been over four years since Sasuke's attempted defection to Orochimaru, and his subsequent return.
It had also been over four years since Naruto had been cast out of the Land of Fire.
It may have been a mistake on Tsunade's part, she was drunk and angry at the time, but she placed the final nail in the coffin when she stamped the paper with a chakra-laced seal.
She took away his jutsu, his summoning contract with the toads, and the secrecy that protected him by the Third's law.
He left, fearing that several of those he considered friends would become too blinded to see past the fox inside of him…and his fears were well founded.
Casting aside his name, he left the village without his necklace or forehead protector, heartbroken and disappointed, never to be seen again…
Land of Waves
The Land of Waves prospered under the freedom they acquired with the death of the tycoon Gato. Hoping to encourage more business and prosperity, the Wave Daimyo requested the Daimyos of the Five Great Nations hold their meeting in his small nation, to which they agreed. Among the Daimyos, the youngest was the Wind Daimyo, ruler of the Land of Wind. Her father had passed away in his sleep recently, and she had received the education necessary to take his place.
Each Daimyo was accompanied by select guards, most from the guardians of their nation, such as the once renowned Twelve Guardian Ninjas in the Land of Fire. The young Wind Daimyo had been accompanied by a single, private bodyguard, who she sought out for this assignment shortly after her father's passing. He accompanied her to the meeting, which was finally beginning to wrap up…
A figure wrapped in a tanned cloak with torn and frayed edges sighed quietly. The cowl he wore kept his face concealed in a shadow, hidden from view. Beneath the cloak was an orange, long-sleeved shirt made of highly breathable fabric, and a pair of long black pants. He wore combat sandals that were common among ninja, on his hands were fingerless gloves, and on his arms were bracers made from chakra-conductive steel and laced with various seals.
"—thank you all for attending," snapped the cloaked figure out of his idle thoughts. The meeting was over, and now the Wind Daimyo was walking over to him.
She wore a formal dress that was laced in two shades of purple, and her long, black hair had been rolled up. Her lips were cherry colored, a sign that she used a brand of lipstick made from desert berries commonly found in her nation, and her eyes were purple pools that made finely cut amethyst diamonds look flawed. When her eyes met his sapphire colored eyes, she smiled.
"The Fire Daimyo wants to discuss business with me, so we'll be traveling to his estate and then from there to the Land of Wind," she told him. "I know you aren't comfortable there, but will you stay with me?"
He hesitated for a moment, but nodded, and the pair left.
Land of Fire / Land of Wind Border
Two weeks after the meeting in the Land of Waves, the Wind Daimyo and her bodyguard had begun to make their way towards the border between the Land of Fire and Land of Wind. While the Fire Daimyo offered to enlist ninja to escort her, she insisted that her bodyguard was enough to protect her. It was truly risky, considering that she would make an excellent target for bandits, traveling in a coach with only him as protection, but she had absolute faith in him.
While she would admit it was a bit foolish, she wanted to spend time with him. It was only by chance that she ran into him that day at the temple, when she was preparing to enlist a few of the men there to protect her for the journey. He had only returned for a moment of rest, planning to continue his plans to explore the world.
Her emotions guided her, as she recalled her memories of the six months they spent together, as he worked under her father, who replaced the previous Wind Daimyo, whose greed had been a primary cause of invasion attempt in Konoha. He had entered the care of the Wind Temple a little over two years ago, casting aside his past life and the cheerfulness he once held. It was during those six months they grew closer as he protected her, and she learned all of his secrets…and they shared a few passionate nights, but they knew that wouldn't last.
He started traveling around after those six months were over, leaving her unable to find him until he recently returned to the Wind Temple for a few days. She wanted to appoint him as a permanent bodyguard, but he refused on the grounds that staying in one place too long would end badly. He could only accompany her briefly, and she accepted that.
As the coach that the Wind Daimyo rode in made its way closer to the border, its protector held out his hand and halted them. Pulling out sealing tags, he threw them into the air, and the slips shot to the ground around the coach and formed a protective wall…
And kunai with explosive tags rained down, impacting the wall and detonating with more force that heat, not really designed to kill outright, but still cause damage. The constant explosions caused smoke to cover the coach and the cloaked man, leaving no visibility, as four missing-nins rushed towards the scene, with intent to capture the injured Wind Daimyo for ransom.
"…Attacking her was a mistake," a voice carried itself on the wind and reached their ears. From out of the smoke, the cloaked figure dashed towards them, in his right hand was a small rod, roughly a foot long, engraved with seals. Pushing chakra into the seals on the end points, and visualizing a Monk's Spade in his mind, the seal created a solid chakra version, while running wind chakra through the blade ends to make them razor sharp.
He gripped the pole portion with both hands and bought the crescent blade around, leaving a greenish arc in the air, as it decapitated one of the missing-nins. Two others positioned themselves to the left and right of the cloaked figure, and threw a handful of kunai. A sweep of the weapon and they were batted out of the sky, before he pushed chakra out of his feet in a quick burst, rocketing forward towards the missing-nin to his left and planting the spade horizontally into the missing-nin's ribcage, bisecting his heart.
The missing-nin on his rear hesitated for a brief moment, weighing the option of fighting or fleeing, so that cloaked figure gave him some advice. "Flee. My only duty is to protect the Wind Daimyo. I won't chase you."
The man swallowed deeply and decided to take his advice, but a kunai with an exploding tag embedded itself into the back of his skull before detonating, leaving the majority of his body scattered into bits across the grass and painting the field the color of battle. The cloaked figure glared at the remaining missing-nin, who had just killed one of his own comrades.
"Why?" he simply asked.
"Why not?" the missing-nin shrugged. "We're only in this to get the payday from capturing the Wind Daimyo. These guys were just genin, and by extension, cannon fodder. That comrade crap isn't useful in this type of life."
"I see…" the cloaked figure pointed the spade end of the pole at the missing-nin, taking careful aim at the man, who went through a series of hand seals for a Wind Release Jutsu. "You should have just retreated."
Pumping chakra into seal on the spade end of the original rod, the pole extended as the man spit out a ball of compressed air. The spade cut it in half and kept going, as the ruptured ball released the compressed pressure, resulting in a shockwave that knocked the cloaked figure's hood back. Two thuds were heard, as the missing-nin's head fell to the ground and was accompanied a split second later by his body.
Several Meters Away
A Konoha jounin with long black hair and white eyes watched from the treetops and suppressed his chakra as best he could, not needing to use his Byakugan at this distance. He came over when he felt the chakra spike from what looked like a barrier around a Daimyo's Carriage. It wasn't his place to interfere, but he recognized the chakra signature of the cloaked warrior and had to see if it was who he thought it was.
When the hood fell, it revealed a blonde-haired young man, with six whisker marks on his cheeks and cold, blue eyes that had been tempered with experience. While those eyes were colder than before, he had no doubt who they belonged to. A former Konoha-nin who had been banished four years ago…
Naruto Uzumaki, the jinchuuriki of the Nine-Tailed Demon Fox.
Uzumaki protected the Wind Daimyo…his thought I try to bring him back to the village…but the Daimyo has no other guards, which could cause a problem if I left her stranded without protection. Then should I escort them both to the village?
"Neji…" Naruto called, causing Neji's heart to skip a beat. "You can try to suppress your chakra but I can recognize it while you're in my…territory. I'm telling you right now, if you try to force me back to the village, I'll retaliate in full force."
Neji hesitated before completely stepping from behind the tree trunk and meeting Naruto's gaze head on. "Your banishment ended last year. The Hokage has been searching for you since you left."
"I'm not going back to that hell-hole again." Naruto stated plainly, before turning his back on the jounin and proceeding back to his charge sealed in a barrier. "Tell the old lady that I'm never returning to Konoha after what she did. Can you honestly say it would be safe for me there?"
Neji couldn't, so he kept his mouth shut. It wasn't exactly funny that a good deal of his old comrades called for his death on the revelation of his tenant. Shikamaru already put two and two together and was fine with it, and since he was cool with it, Choji was cool with it. Tenten didn't really see anything that screamed demon fox in him, while Shino and Neji could relate.
Sasuke was…neutral about it, having been in shock due to the effects of the reinforced sealing on the cursed mark.
Unfortunately, several of the rest of the rookies had stupid reasons for hating him, even when most of their parents told them better. Ino and Sakura were still Sasuke fangirls and angry that he was hurt, Kiba was jealous of his power and angry at their defeats by his hands, and Lee joined in whenever Sakura was around because he wanted Sakura's approval. They were too easily swayed by the public.
Hinata though…she had it the worst.
The Hyuuga Elders systematically broke her meek personality down, telling them a twisted tale of how the fox manipulated her. They said that everyone in the village knew of her crush and pitied her because they could see he was just playing with her. They said there was no man possibly dense enough not to notice after several years and that he strung her along…okay,theyknew he was, but why tell the truth?
She put up a fight for a few months, which was actually surprising, but being around the other rookies fueled the pressure and…she snapped. The girl was basically now how Sasuke was when it came to Itachi, but with the mention of Naruto. Her father thought about telling her Naruto wasn't that bad, but she was showing promise now.
While he didn't hate the boy, if hatred made her stronger, he could just apologize on her mother's grave that it was best for the clan. A small portion of himself hated him for it, but then he pushed that portion away and started grooming her into an appropriate heiress.
"I thought so," Naruto muttered. And to make his point, he flared his chakra outward in a pulse that nearly pushed Neji off the tree trunk, blowing his hair back and breaking the tie that held it together at the end. The message was clear:Don't come after me.
Neji sighed and made his way back to Konoha. It would be roughly a half-day's trip to get back, and by then they'd have crossed the border into the Land of Wind. At least they knew where to look for now…
With Naruto and the Wind Daimyo
"Naruto," the Wind Daimyo addressed him without a suffix, indicating how close they were. "They'll come for you now…you know that right?"
"I know…Kanna." Naruto stated emotionlessly, eyes closed.
"You aren't a member of the Eight Wind Spades since you retired to travel, but if we hurry back, we can have you reinstated as one of my—" she started, before he cut her off.
"No." he said without raising his voice. "I can't stay in one place for too long. As soon as you are safe, I'll leave the nation and head to Taki to seeher…although I'll probably stop at Suna for a brief visit. Gaara won't be happy that I was in the Land of Wind and didn't tell him…"
The Eight Wind Spades were the Wind Daimyo's answer to the Fire Daimyo's former Twelve Guardian Ninjas. Skilled warriors and ninja monks from the Wind Temple, who directly served the Wind Daimyo should she choose them to. The Wind Temple wasn't as well-known as the Fire Temple, being located deep in the large deserts of the Land of Wind, which was why he sought them out in the first place.
She stared at him sadly for a moment and then nodded. "I'll have the guards at the border escort us to Suna instead of straight home. I haven't been to Suna since I took my father's place anyway."
"…Thank you." Naruto said softly.
"It's no problem at all…" she fidgeted before continuing. "Actually…if I could make one selfish request…"
He opened his eyes and raised an eyebrow, remembering her last selfish request…which led to…things. "I don't know…it has been awhile, but we're close to the border and we both know that the other bodyguards will come into view well before…"
"No, not that!" she blushed slightly, before shaking her head to clear her mind of those thoughts. "Do you remember the Summoning Contract we discussed before the trip?"
He nodded. "Will you sign it? Just so I could feel a little more…comfortable?"
"…Sure…" he smiled softly.
Konoha – Hokage's Office
Jounin Neji Hyuuga had just departed from the office of Tsunade Senju, the 5th Hokage of the Village Hidden in the Leaves. Before he entered, she hadn't even opened the bottle of Fire Temple Sake she had hidden away, vowing to never drink again on the job over minor problems like paperwork. After he left…the bottle was empty, and Tsunade was silently crying upon hearing how someone she saw as a little brother no longer wanted to return to his home.
The good news was that they finally found him and he appeared to still be capable of taking care of himself and could now use some kind of sensory techniques and seals. The bad news was now she had to retrieve him, and he would put up a fight, more than likely giving his captors a reason to use lethal force.
All because of her mistake…Four years ago…
The Uchiha Retrieval Mission went to hell and back and the civilian portion council was livid that the Uchiha was hurt. Once some of the sensors reported traces of the fox's chakra were found on the battlefield, they exploded, ordering Naruto's death. Naturally, neither the Elders, Danzo, or Tsunade would give that a second thought, but a dark idea did creep into her head.
Not having much political pull with being the newly appointed Hokage on civil matters, Tsunade admitted to herself she needed more support since the number of civilians surpassed the ninjas on the council. So, in order to make things…calm, she offered to exile him for three years, secretly planning to have Jiraiya take him, in order to train the power he wielded. The ninjas were disapproving, but the civilians were happy enough, and Danzo saw it as a chance to grab the boy and have him…join his ROOT operatives.
Still feeling somewhat dirty over her decision and the nightmares of politics, which compared to Jiraiya she wasn't as proficient, in addition to concern over his injuries and the freaking paperwork involved in the botched mission…she drank. A lot.
Shizune was still tired from trying to save Neji Hyuuga's life, so she didn't review the paperwork like she normally did, and a certain civilian merchant who had some connections slipped in certain clauses to the simple exile contract that basically said, "Stay out of Konoha until the time period is up".
When she stamped it with him and Sakura, who wasn't exactly happy, as witnesses he glanced over it and asked her if she was really doing this. Her answer was basically: "Yes, now get out so I can deal with this headache."
He left heartbroken, but didn't say another word.
What she didn't realize at the time was what those new clauses stated. They essentially booted him out of the Land of Fire with the backing of the Daimyo (who didn't read it but signed it since he owed the merchant), stripped him of the right to use genjutsu or ninjutsu through pain compliance with seals, broke off his summon contracts, and essentially screwed him over multiple times.
Not a day later, he left the village gates at night, showing the guards the banishment papers and asking them to keep it secret from everyone. They thought it was a bit harsh, but since it had her seal on it, they couldn't question it. Naruto Uzumaki had left the village in the rain, with only two people knowing it.
The next day things came to light.
"Princess," a voice called from the window, revealing a certain super pervert. He did not look amused. "We need to talk."
"Jiraiya?" she squinted her eyes, having been doing paperwork for the last twelve hours without rest and semi-drunk, while somehow nursing a hang-over at the same time. "What's wrong?"
"The Toads contacted me and told me Naruto broke the contract 'On orders of the Hokage' according to the elders."
"I didn't tell him to break his contracts," she shook her head. "I sent you a scroll about his banishment and the training plan once he left the hospital in a few days, didn't I?"
"I thought it was strange, so I rushed back, but that's not the worst thing…" he sat down in a chair. "They're talking about the Kyuubi…in public!"
"That's a violation of sensei's law, they'll—" she began, only to be cut off by him slamming a paper on the desk. When she read it her eyes widened. "Oh no…"
It was a decree that the Third's Law was null and voided. On her orders.
"Tsunade," Jiraiya's eyes narrowed. "Please tell me you actually read what you stamped…"
She shuffled through the desk drawers to find the copy of the banishment orders and reviewed it…and her heart broke the moment she saw what she conscripted him to. "Oh dear god…"
Jiraiya snatched the paper and reviewed it before chewing her out in anger not seen since she had nearly followed through with Orochimaru's offer. "I warned you not to underestimate the council! You have to read what you sign!"
"W-we have to get him in here and get the council…retract it…" she realized just why he had that look on his face before he left. They rushed to the Hospital to learn he never returned, and after visiting his home and retrieving the two things he left behind, they asked the gate guards who were active that night.
After sending out repair orders from her smashing the gate in rage, she convened the council and demanded whoever added the clauses come clean; otherwise she would have Inoichi search all their memories. After the argument that such an action was illegal, the pompous man revealed himself, pointing out that once she stamped it and with the Fire Daimyo's backing, they couldn't go back on the orders. He reasoned that the demon was hurting his sales or some other non-sense.
He apparently forgot that no amount of money will save you from trained assassins and was killed later that day. No one was sure who did it. Danzo could have ordered ROOT operatives to do it, since having your weapon not being able to use ninjutsu and genjutsu was a hindrance, Jiraiya could have done it, or a few dozen others, but no one really looked into it.
Either way, the damage was done and he was gone.
Jiraiya set out to find Naruto after telling her that he couldn't be angry at her since he neglected the boy for 12 years and things got bad enough that he would leave in silence once he knew the law was rescinded, but he was disappointed at the fact that this could have been avoided by her not hitting the bottle so often. She eased up on her drinking after that and brushed up on politics while working towards weakening the civilian's power in the council. The nations Naruto helped in the past weren't pleased about the situation, but they didn't do anything outwardly…
Secretly, they planned to give him asylum and keep Konoha out of the loop if he showed up.
"Tsunade-sama," Shizune snapped her back to the present. "What will we do about Naruto?"
"We need answers…" she wrote up a letter to both Gaara and the Wind Daimyo. "Send the messenger hawks out. Once we hear back from them, we'll set up tracking teams to go after him. There's still a chance we can reason with him before we'll have to use force."
A very small chance, a cynical voice pointed out in her head.
Suna – Kazekage's Office
"Hey Gaara…" Naruto sat a chair in the office.
"Naruto Uzumaki…" Gaara pushed his paperwork into a pile and sat it to the right of him. "Imagine my surprise when I received a notice an hour ago from my ninja at the village entrance, telling me that you were with the new Wind Daimyo as a bodyguard."
Gaara's mad…Naruto thought, a small sweatdrop gracing the back of his head. "I have a fairly good reason for not telling you where I was all this time."
"Explain," Gaara crossed his fingers and rested his head on them. Naruto applied a seal to the floor and put chakra into it, ensuring what he said would remain in secret.
"Back when I was banished, you didn't have enough political power to keep me hidden here and under your protection without it eventually leaking to Konoha. I was angry, upset, and disappointed, and I didn't want to have anything to do with Konoha since I couldn't be a ninja anymore. The more I thought about how much I endured over the years to earn everyone's respect, only to lose everything, the more I realized how I would never be accepted there by more than a dozen out of several thousands."
Naruto took a deep breath. "The things I went through were bad enough, and no child should have ever suffered through the things we containers went through. I felt like I was going to lose myself in anger and rage, so I sought out a new path and traveled to the Wind Temple, since the Fire Temple was still in the Land of Fire and the nearest nations with temples weren't exactly friendly to previous Konoha-nin…especially Iwa, although I didn't know why until I managed to figure out my heritage. "
Gaara nodded, seeing the reasoning behind his logic. It was still a cold thing to do considering they were friends, but he did see why he did what he did. "So, tell me about the past four years."
"I spent three years in the Wind Temple's service," Naruto told his old friend, removing his gloves and showing him the seals burned into the back of his hands. "After the old lady stamped those papers, they engraved these seals on my skin not an hour later. If I try to form any hand seals, they burn severely and stop me, so I can't use regular ninjutsu anymore."
Gaara's eyes narrowed slightly. "I'm surprised you didn't find some way around that."
"I've thought of several," Naruto shrugged. "I could sever the limbs and hope the fox would regenerate them or I could alter the seals using my own expertise. The reason I don't is because it serves as a reminder for the betrayal inflicted upon me."
"I see…" Gaara exhaled slowly. He doubted he could convince Naruto to rejoin Konoha or even Suna at this point.
"Anyway, since I couldn't use most regular jutsu anymore, I focused solely on chakra control and manipulation, along with mediation, taijutsu, weapons, and sealing arts. During those three years, I spent six months under the care of the previous Wind Daimyo, who was the father of the current one. After those six months were up, I traveled a bit. I was in the Land of Iron and studied the samurai techniques. Did you know they could use chakra?"
"I did not…" Gaara droned. "The age of the samurai had long since passed, but I was not aware they could use chakra."
"The Land of Iron Samurai focus on Shape Manipulation rather than Nature Manipulation," Naruto held out his hand and sent chakra into it. Visualizing a blade, chakra extended and formed the length of a broad sword's blade with an ethereal spiral design. "I spent a few months under their care to expand my skills there. So I know quite a few tricks that I developed in combination to the exercises that I went through when I started learning the Rasengan—Hell, I found a way to combine the skills I picked up to do things I never dreamed of, including acting like a sensor.
Naruto dispelled the blade. "After that, I followed the advice of a certain fox and went to my ancestral home, where I expanded my knowledge on sealing. Using the memories of his previous hosts, I discovered a hidden storage facility holding the last copies of the arts of the Uzumaki clan. If you want, I can tweak your seal if the raccoon dog is still bothering you."
"Tempting, but Jiraiya-sama beat you to it when he passed by looking for you a few years ago." Gaara smirked. "While I am not pleased you did not seek out my assistance, I understand fully and hold no hard feeling about it."
Left unsaid was that Naruto and the Nine-Tailed Demon Fox were on moderately pleasant terms. Those countless hours of meditation provided him with easier access to his mindscape, and even if the fox wouldn't admit it, he enjoyed the occasional company. Hell, the fox handed over the memories of its previous hosts for free as long as Naruto agreed to tamper with the seal and change the mindscape into something more comfortable than a sewer. Eventually he even learned the fox's name: Kurama.
Thanks to the additional knowledge he picked up, he managed to recreate his mother and father's signature techniques. He could use his mother's chakra chains through shape manipulation, and while he couldn't directly copy his father's Hiraishin formula, he created a similar technique by using a modified summoning contract formula that would enter him into a semi-contract and then reverse summon him to the location. The only downside was that it could only be used on other living things, although he did follow in his father's footsteps and incorporate the formula into the seal of a certain female container, to be activated if she was ever in trouble by sending a distress signal to a seal on Naruto's body.
"I also ran into the container of the Seven-Tails when I was passing near Taki, a girl named Fuu…" Naruto stayed quiet for a minute. "They didn't even allow her to stay in their village, making her stay in the forest around it…I stayed with her for a month or so in between my time in the Land of Iron and visiting the Land of Whirlpools, and then I went back for only a few days before I came back to visit the Wind Temple and met with Kanna."
Left unsaid was the fact that she suffered like they did, if not worse. Gaara's eyes steeled at the silent realization. "Do you want me to send a letter to their village leader or approach in a different manner?"
Translation: "Offer her asylum and smuggle her out?"
"I snuck into the village and confronted Shibuki on it," Naruto eyes flashed red for a moment. "He said his hands were tied by his advisors and council, and he felt it was safer for her outside the village. Needless to say, after I resisted the urge to assassinate several people, I went out of my way to make her as comfortable as I could. She's a really sweet girl and a lot like I was, masking her pain behind a joyful façade to the point that even Choumei—her demon—felt guilty about being placed in her.
"I was working with her on controlling her Bijuu's chakra since our two were on decent terms." Naruto hesitated for a brief moment before looking at Gaara seriously. "She deserves better than what she's been through. Next to Kanna, she's really the only other woman I would go out of my way to protect right now without a moment's hesitation."
Unfortunately, he could only control himself up to three tails due to the fact that his own negative emotions added to the fox's negative emotions, meaning anything higher would equal a stage two transformation. The memories of his mother and her discussion with the first container told him that love was needed to combat the hatred, but the hatred he held inside for many years far surpassed his other emotions. Yes, he could control the cloak at three-tails by remembering what he went through with Kanna and Fuu, it was passion and caring love, but he only knew them for a short time compared to all those years of suffering.
Gaara nodded once. He immediately understood how close they were to him and would most likely level a village to protect them. If this information got back to Konoha or someone else, it could be used against him.
"Everything you have said so far stays with me," Gaara reached for another set of papers. "Regardless, I trust that you will be gracing Suna with your presence whenever you find yourself in the Land of Wind, no matter the politics involved." It wasn't a question.
"Sure," Naruto smiled. "But it may be a minute. I plan on heading north at full speed as soon as night falls to visit her, after I sign the summoning contract that Kanna wants me to, since Konoha will probably be stationing ninja across the border in a few days. You'll probably receive a messenger hawk in a few minutes."
"I'll wait a few hours after midnight to order my ninja to look for you within the walls until the next day, and then tell them that you departed. I was not inclined to hold you, as you were under the Daimyo's protection. That should give you a head start to enter deep enough into the Land of Fire to make it within a few days, so long as you don't get caught."
"Thanks Gaara…" he pulled out a small pocket scroll and placed it on his desk. "This can instantly transfer information to a similar scroll on me. We can use it to stay in touch. I've given one to Kanna and will get Fuu one once I reach her."
In A Cave Somewhere
Several cloaked astral-figures gathered in front of a statue, and a voice rang through the air.
"The nine-tails has appeared…" the leader's voice echoed. "Now, we no longer need to hold back on the retrievals…Hidan, Kakuzu, you two shall start by retrieving the Nanabi."