Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto.

AN: Wow, it's been way too long since I updated this story! A lot of it has been waiting for more information about Pain/Nagato but I'm done waiting. I've also been trying to write another story but I can never seem to get past the first chapter. I'll try to not take half a year to update again but who knows what the future holds.



Chapter 22: Choice of Destiny

Sasuke had decided that it wasn't smart to fight the Hokage's body guards and then have to fight him, Ino, and the ANBU that was standing behind them afterwards. As strong as he may be he knows that trying to fight them all just might lead to his death. This is where the power of the Mangekyou Sharingan comes in. He could simply look at the Hokage and use Amatesaru and that would take care of all three of them. And so he did, or at least he attempted to.

The black flame hit the transparent barrier the Naruto had put up when he sat down with Ino. It wouldn't hold the flames back for very long but it they didn't need much time. Itachi quickly took off his ANBU mask and activated his Mangekyou Sharingan and used it to put out the black flames. It strained Itachi's already failing eyes even further but it had to be done.

Now that his mask was removed Sasuke could clearly Itachi's face and he was more than just a little surprised. "How? You're supposed to be dead!" Sasuke yelled at Itachi. He had heard news of Itachi's execution while he was still in Konoha.

"It seems this fight is getting a bit too dangerous so I think we'll take our leave." Naruto said and signaled everyone to converge close to him so they could leave. They were all strong ninja and if they continued fighting it was likely someone would die and Naruto wanted to avoid that.

Ino turned and looked at Naruto with confusion clearing written on her face. She, like everyone in Konoha had been told that Itachi was dead. While it was possibly a trick she doubted it, Naruto didn't need to resort to tricks like that to win a fight. If it was true that Uchiha Itachi was not only alive but actually working with Naruto… that could cause problems.

"I have little doubt that Madara told you what really happen to the Uchiha, though I wonder how much of the truth was altered for his goals. If you want to know what truly happened to the Uchiha clan come back to Konoha one day and all will be revealed to you." Itachi said.

When Anko, Temari, and Sora to returned to where Naruto was he raised his right hand the air. Seconds later six bolts of lightning hit the Konoha ninja and when the flashes were gone so were they.

After 3 hours of waiting their target finally came into their sight. They knew she was supposed to leave Kumo today for a mission but unfortunately for the Jinchuuriki the mission would have to be canceled. There was a man with her but luckily enough it wasn't the eight tails Jinchuuriki that Naruto warned them about. Who it was truthfully didn't matter as they only had business with Yugito.

The area they were in was mostly rocky and had few trees so they weren't counting on the element of surprise or ambushing tactics. Since Yugito was simply walking seemingly not in a hurry to get where she were going the two didn't have to hurry either. Hinata and Tayuya were already in the direction the two were heading so they started casually walking towards the Kumo Nin.

When Yugito saw the pair in black cloaks with red clouds on them she knew her day would not turn out to be a nice one like she'd hopped. Instead of an easy B-Rank mission protecting a rich merchant she would be fighting for her life. If the members of Akatsuki were as good as she heard then the only way out of this was to beat them as running probably wouldn't help.

When they were about 15 feet apart both parties stopped. "Kaiyo-san, you should run as fast as you can and don't stop until you can't run anymore. I won't be able to protect you while fight these two and they'd kill you without a second thought." Yugito said. That was the only warning she'd give the man, if he failed to listen that's his fault then. Fortunately he listed and took off moments after she told him to, unfortunately a kunai severed his spine when it hit him in the back of his neck.

"Was that really necessary?" Yugito asked. They probably didn't want any witnesses but it was still annoying to her that they would just kill him. Sure the mission was the over the instant they arrived but losing a client like that was troublesome.

There were no words from the pair in the Akatsuki cloaks. Suddenly one of the two ran towards Yugito and the host of the Niibi took a swing at her. Hinata easily dodged the punch and the kick that followed however she didn't counter attack. She wasn't using Jyuuken, not because they didn't want Kumo to know where she was from, there were no witnesses for that to happen anyway, but because she had a plan. She was jumping over kicks, flipping, and ever more odd things for a Hyuuga to do while dodging punches, kicks, and swipes of a kunai. Hinata did all that while staying approximately 2-4 feet in front of Yugito and never attacking.

Yugito was getting angry because she was being outclassed so badly in Taijutsu. While it wasn't her specialty it was still humiliating that her opponent could be so close to her yet she couldn't even touch her. None of her hits were even blocked but all dodged by the woman. When she tried to jump back to create some distance between the two Hinata jumped forward with her not giving her any room.

Because she knew Taijutsu wasn't going to work Yugito decided to switch to Ninjutsu and played right into Hinata's hand. When she started to do seals Hinata reached out and grabbed Yugito's hands. Chakra and electricity blasted out of her hand the effect was immediate. She had combined a weak Chidori and a strong continuous Jyuuken strike to make a very dangerous Jutsu, Fuka Hadou (Electricity Wave). The result was that both of Yugito's hands were ruined. The skin was burned off, some places showed only bone, and 3 of her fingers were completely missing.

The pain was unbearable and the scream that Yugito released was proof of that. Before Yugito could get over the pain Hinata was attacking again but this time with lightning enhanced Jyuuken strikes. After 126 hits Hinata stopped and Yugito fell to the ground unconscious. Hinata then took out a small piece of paper with a seal on it and placed it on the Jinchuuriki's head to make sure that the demon that the woman held didn't make an appearance.

"As brutal as always." Tayuya said before picking up the Kumo Jounin.

Hinata didn't respond she just made the seals for the teleportation Jutsu. Moments later lightning struck the three and they were gone. It wasn't Hiraishin as Yondaime's Jutsu wasn't nearly as flashy, nor could you use it to teleport another person with you. Naruto made this Jutsu so that he could travel with a small group of people at fast speed, not nearly as fast as Hiraishin and you couldn't really use it in battle but it was good for traveling long distances with company.

Back in Konoha Naruto was standing in front of a clone of 'God's Angel' Konan. In all honestly he really didn't need to take over Akatsuki anymore with all of the information he learned, but he would anyway because he could use them for his goals. Sure Root was good for stuff like that but with enough torture and interrogation it was possible for them to at least reveal they're from Konoha. With Akatsuki they wouldn't even know he was the leader. He already had a few things planned for them to do.

Ino had bombarded him with questions as to why Itachi was alive and why he let the Akatsuki members get away. He could tell that she was extremely angry at being lied to about the execution but Naruto still felt it was the right thing to do, not telling her that is. It's not that he didn't trust Ino but with her being out in the field most of the time he felt that it would be stupid to give her classified information about things that didn't affect her. She also didn't know about Naruto's plans, Hinata's involvement with Root, and a lot of other things.

He didn't even tell Hinata everything. Not that he withheld information from her there was just some things were important but simply didn't affect her in the slightest so there is no point in bringing it up. It was also a good way to spot leaks, if only certain people knew certain things they were easy to find who leaked them if they got out. In the end he told Ino to save her questions and to go home and get some rest.

Well, back to the clone of Konan.

"Nagato actually believes that if he goes through with this plan that all wars will stop and people will live happily ever after?" Naruto asked the Konoha clone. It was probably the dumbest plan he'd ever heard in his life. Use the Bijuu to make a Jutsu powerful enough destroy a country so that everyone feels pain and doesn't want to fight. What would happen is the loss and pain would cause extreme anger and people will want revenge. The only true way to achieve world peace was to kill everyone one on the planet. As long as there are humans there will be conflict. Sure there were ways to greatly reduce conflict but perfect peace would always just be a dream.

"Yes he does." The clone said.

"What about you? Do you believe something like that will work?" Naruto asked the clone.

"Yes I do." She replied. Naruto shook his head in annoyance. If they believed what they were planning could work then they were too dangerous to keep around for long, both Konoha and Nagato.

While Naruto was thinking on Nagato's illogical plan Hinata and Tayuya entered the room. "Naruto-sama, the missions was a success. Yugito is in a cell in the Root base so we'll be able to extract the Niibi at any time." Hinata said.

"That's great but we're not going to do that right now." While it would be great to get done with taking the Niibi out and start creating a way to use it he simply wasn't in the mood for that right now. "By the way have you two thought about what you wanted as a reward?" Naruto asked.

Tayuya had thought about and decided a long time ago. "I would like to have my old hair color back." She said. She understood why he changed her hair color when he captured her but that doesn't mean she liked having plain black hair. She still hasn't really gotten used to it and if she could have her pink hair back she would be content. Not like she needed money or anything else.

"That's a simple request. I'll change it back later today." He expected something different. A Jutsu, a weapon, money, free time even. He doubted there was even anyone alive in Oto or Konoha who would recognize her now, even with pink hair. "How about you Hinata?"

"I've thought about it but haven't decided." She said. Asking for a reward was kind of hard since he gave her whatever she wanted. She would save it until she found something even he would be reluctant to give.

"That's fine. Tayuya I want to talk to Hinata alone so you can go." Naruto said. When Tayuya was gone Naruto told Hinata what happened while she was gone. He started with Ino and Akatsuki but then he told her what happened in the hot spring with Sora.

He could see it in her eyes, she was angry. While her facial expression didn't change much but he could tell that if he let her go right now she would probably kill Sora. While he could understand her anger he couldn't let her do that. He still needed Sora and it would be annoying to lose another person. Sakura was already gone because of Tsunade and he still needed to replace her.

"Could you tell me one thing? Why did you tell her no?" Hinata asked. She honestly didn't understand him sometimes. When he brought Temari and Sora into the house that already had Anko she was she was certain that she would have to share Naruto with them. She has been sad and angry that she would have to compete with 3 other girls for Naruto's attention, and that's after village matters. Naruto is the Hokage so he has more political and physical power than anyone in Fire Country. Sure the Daimyo has an equal amount of political power but if the two were at odds over some issue the Hokage usually prevailed. Why? Because the Hokage controlled a large army of ninja who could easily overpower the Daimyo's Samurai. The Hokage was the being that stood over all in Fire Country.

Naruto has a house, no, village full of women he can pick from and he brought a few into his house. She knows for certain that he is attracted to them but he hasn't ever attempted to touch any of them. Sure he was married but they had been forced against their will to do so and even though she was happy with it she knew Naruto wasn't ready to for it.

"Why? That's simple, because you're my wife." He replied.

"So that's the reason. Not because you didn't want to, because you're married to me." She said softly before turning and leaving the room.

'Kakashi told me that women can twist your words but that's amazing.' Naruto thought. Even though she twisted his words she was partially right. He really, really liked Hinata and wished he felt the same away about her as she felt about him but he didn't.

Naruto shook the thoughts from his head. He had more important things to worry about right now. There are two foreign ninja in the way of his plans and they had to be killed before he could proceed. One was in Ame and the other was in Kiri. He would deal with them swiftly and then prepare Konoha for the third phase while using Akatsuki to carry out the second phase. First he had to see an angel.

She had no idea where she was being kept or exactly how long she's been there. The cell was a plain white, with only a bed and toilet with a sink on the top of it. Her food was slid through a slot on the door at random times to throw off her sense of time and everything in the cell drained chakra from her. She was surprised that she wasn't being tortured for information but she wasn't going to complain about that and they wouldn't get her to talk anyway.

She couldn't hear or see anything that happened outside of her cell and she only had a dim light inside. What she wanted to know most is where she was. She wondered which village, clan, or group infiltrated Ame and took her prisoner. There were a few candidates high on her list, like any village with a Jinchuuriki, or the rebels from Ame but she couldn't be sure. Whoever had done it was exceptionally skill but was probably dead because no one lives after fighting Pain. Or at least that's what she believes.

Konan was currently lying in extremely uncomfortable bed when she heard a noise at her cells door. She quickly got out of the bed and stood with her back to the wall while facing the door. She didn't know was coming in or why but she wasn't going to take any chances and if she could get out of this cell she may be able to escape from wherever she was.

When the door opened she instantly recognized the person who entered her cell and knew that escape was probably impossible. She was being imprisoned in Konoha and her visitor was the Hokage. Being a Jinchuuriki meant that he probably wouldn't have any mercy for her, a member of Akatsuki.

The door closed behind Naruto and he then sat on Konan's bed while looking at the woman. "You seemed more surprised than I thought you would be. You do remember that Itachi and Kisame entered this village and were defeated. I should have been at the top of the list of people who captured you." Naruto said to her.

Konan nodded. "That is true but we didn't believe that they would give away our secrets." 'Konoha must have some skilled interrogators to get ninja like them to talk and I'll probably be visiting them soon.' She thought.

"Well, it's not like they had any choice in the matter. I wanted to know what they knew so I made them tell me. There is no one who can deny me information that I want to know." The Hokage said.

"Is that a threat? Torture me as much as you want but I will never tell you anything." She said in a serious tone. Ever since waking up in this cell she's been prepared for the worst.

Naruto got off of the bed and walked over until he was right in front of woman. He reached up and put his hand on her shoulder and then looked into her eyes. "Fortunately for you torture is not necessary. You've already told me everything I want to know, about Akatsuki, about Ame, about Nagato." He said with a smile.

Hearing Nagato's name made her eyes go wide and she slapped Naruto's hand from her shoulder. "Even if you know about him you still can't defeat him." She had complete confidence in her friend's power.

"I don't just know about him, I know everything you know about him and that will be enough to kill him. Ever since your friend Yahiko died you're the only he trust and because of that trust you know what his eyes can and cannot do. What he can and cannot do." Naruto said and then took a step backwards. Before she could do anything he used Kanashibari to freeze her in place.

"How can you use Jutsu in here? This room drains chakra." She said in shock.

"Correction, this room drains your chakra." Naruto then thought for a second before continuing. "Let me tell you about another mistake. Amegakure is loyal to their 'God', Pain however they have no clue who he is or what he looks like. With a system like that they can't confirm who they're actually getting their orders from." Naruto then hit the woman in the neck making her pass out. He refrained from killing her because she was going to help him after he killed Nagato.

Elsewhere in Konoha a person received a scroll with a note attached to it from one of their valuable contacts.

"I give you this at the risk of my own life. It has taken me months to find an opportunity to be able to provide this to you as it was closely guarded. The scroll will allow you to use one of Hokage-sama's Jutsu Uragirimono Bunshin. Unfortunately you will only be able to use it once and I could not retrieve a sample of his DNA but I did include one from his wife, Uzumaki Hinata from 1 week ago. Aside from the Hokage she would have the most information. I hope that you use this to expose the crimes committed by him." The note said.

"I certainly will." The person said before destroying the note and taking the scroll to question a clone of Hinata.