Welcome one and all to chapter 3 of Kage no Naruto

Welcome one and all to chapter 3 of Kage no Naruto. I really don't have much to say in this part so I will just move on. Oh wait before I do, all I can say is that Naruto might, MIGHT, be picking up however slightly. Apparently Shikamaru finally told the blonde imbecile to stop fucking around and act like an adult and now Naruto of all people is supposed to break the code Jiraiya burned into the elder toad's back. Who wants to bet that what Kishimoto has in mind goes something along these lines: Naruto stops screwing around and somehow becomes strong enough to, with his friends helping him, defeat the Akatsuki and Sasuke's Hawk team. Either convincing Sasuke to come back to Konoha or killing him afterwards Naruto would get all emo and they go and with his friends manage to take down Madara and ruin whatever plans he may have. Then he skips like ten years and shows Naruto as the Rokudaime, he married Sakura and had a son, Sasuke, if he lives which is rather likely, marries some chick and has a large family and everyone lives happily ever after or some such shit. Why do I have the feeling that something like that will happen? All I can say is that I hope I am wrong.

Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto, if I did, Sasuke wouldn't be alive.

Note: I didn't mention this last chapter but the purchasing of the building, the new wardrobe, and the building of the lab and the zombie's creation all took place in a time-span of three months after Naruto moved in. Sorry I didn't write that in last chapter.

Right, chapter begins… now!

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Summary of last chapter

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Naruto grew up and reveals that he already knew who his parents were, that he hates the village, the Sandaime and Yondaime, he knows that the Kyuubi is sealed within him and that it is female. He also has been training for a long time and is very strong. He has been grave-robbing and has succeeded in bringing a zombie to life by removing a man's shadow and using to re-animate a corpse that he has strengthened. We left off there.

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Konohagakure, Naruto's basement lab

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Naruto was happy. He was very happy. Why was he so happy? Because his idea had worked! At first the leftover personality of the ANBU he captured allowed his new creation to disobey him but after a little while that evaporated and the thing became totally obedient. At that point the zombie, now known as Zombie One which was indicated by the small black one which was tattooed on the left side of his face above his eye since he wasn't going to bother to name any of his zombies save the most important ones, the zombie was released from his restraints and was coming to terms with his new undead status. Naruto smiled as he went through four quick handseals and bathed the zombie in flame. He didn't flinch, nor did he ignite. Naruto smiled again, his seal had worked.

Gecko Moria's zombies had three major weaknesses. The first was fire, but that was taken care of by a small yet powerful seal that made his zombies fire-proof which was now proved to work. The second was salt. This was a bit more vexing for if a zombie ate salt, he was purified and the shadow he had inside the zombie would be freed. Alas Naruto couldn't find any way around that one, but as long as only he knew it wouldn't be any problem. The third and arguably greatest weakness was that if the shadow's donor died than the shadow would vanish and the zombie would die too. This was dealt with by a small seal that kept the shadow in but it had yet to be tested until now. Naruto had walked back where he left the unconscious ANBU. Removing someone's shadow had two effects on the person. The first was that they were automatically knocked out for at least two days; the second was that sunlight became anathema to them; it would dissolve their bodies like sugar in water.

Naruto unsealed his axe and raised it over the man's head. He hoped his seal worked as he decapitated the man and blood spurted over the floor. 'Worst case scenario' he reasoned 'I have a new marionette waiting for a shadow.'

He walked into his lab and looked for the zombie. There he was, walking around and moving, just as he left him. Naruto smiled, his seal had worked! He brought in a coffin and put the newly dead body into it. If he strengthened it and gave it a shadow the body wouldn't dissolve, even though the shadow once belonged to someone else. The ANBU would hopefully make a good zombie in the future.

Over the next few weeks numerous cases of grave robbing were reported in Konoha. Most of the deaths were only a few years old. A good thirty five percent of the stolen bodies were the more intact victims of the Kyuubi attack. Naruto couldn't help but see the irony of it as he examined one of the bodies in the freezer. The warriors that fell to the great demon would be reborn simply to serve the creature they were killed by. Kyuubi found it amusing as well.

Naruto had been keeping a low profile lately for the most part. He had the entire building to himself and though it was a dump he had managed to rig a very good defense for the place. The first thing he had done was establish an iron fence around the property. The only break in this fence was a large iron gate. This gate had a very thick border and for a good reason. Naruto had rigged an invisible and high powered barrier around the place. Anyone and anything that touched the thing would be incinerated. The gate's borders were specifically reinforced to withstand the power of the barrier, making it the sole entrance to the place. Well, the only safe entrance. The barrier also went underground to prevent people from getting in via Doton jutsus. He didn't have a lock on the gate though, he wanted people to get in, he just wanted them to go in through the front door. Mind you he could open holes in the barrier for whatever reason, such as an escape route.

No one saw much of the Jinchuuriki over the next few months. The reason was simple, he was improving and exploring his abilities with shadows. Kyuubi asked him one day why he trained his body so hard if he was going to use the powers she gave him, one made the other obsolete. "Not so Kyuubi-chan." He answered her. "True the shadows do protect me a great deal and despite all the attempts on my life, no one has broken though them yet. But you can never be sure. I guarantee that one day I will face someone who is able to bypass that protection and it is then that my Taijutsu skills will show their worth." Kyuubi was skeptical but she decided to trust his judgment, he hadn't been wrong yet after all.

Though his Taijutus and Genjutsu abilities were excellent. He was rather weak in the ways of Ninjutsu. There were about ten or so that he found useful but he didn't know many that he used often. He preferred to use shadows and Genjutu rather than big flashy attacks that, for the most part, could be avoided by a simple Kawarimi. Though if it came down to it, he did have some of the big flashy attacks, as he called them, on standby. Just in case he needed to destroy a large or well defended target. He was never one to leave himself without options. 'Better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it' was his watchword.

He spent a good many of his days training his shadow abilities, preparing bodies to accept a shadow and capturing idiot shinobi who tried to kill him. He didn't complain about the assassination attempts, not in the least. The more people who came through that door uninvited, the more shadows he could collect and the more zombies he could create.

He had discovered a great many things about shadows and darkness as he trained. For example he could create alternate dimensions within them. They took a good deal of chakra and control to create but the result was a small spherical ball of darkness with an extremely large storage capacity. He had prepared a good deal of these 'storage shadows' and fused them into the pockets of his trench-coat. He had packed the shadows with a large amount of kunai and kunai with explosive tags attached to them. He could release a set amount of them at any time, the result being that they would fly out of the shadow at high speeds. He really enjoyed lifting up one side of the coat and releasing a bunch of kunai at his opponents. They never saw it coming since from their perspective the weapons came flying out of nowhere and because of that surprise factor it had a very good accuracy rate. He could also reach into the shadow and pull out kunai in as many numbers as he wanted. Some of the shadows held stored rations, ninja wire, normal explosive tags, paper and ink for seals or messages, blood replenishing and soldier pills, and miscellaneous items such as books and scrolls for when he got bored. He didn't carry any pouches or bags as a result. He also had one of the storage shadows compressed and hidden in the right sleeve of his long sleeve shirt. This one only carried one item: his battle axe. With it stored there, he could just stretch his arm in a sudden motion and will it to appear and it would appear in his hand. Best part of it all was that he didn't need to bite his fingers to release any seals like most ninja did.

He had also discovered a rather interesting feature. The fact that there were other worlds. Apparently all darkness was connected, existing as one single thing. This darkness was what connected the various worlds to each other, and he could use his abilities to travel there if he wanted. He decided to leave other worlds alone though. For one thing, he would be sent to one world at random and who knows what could happen. He could end up in a world where the people breathed something other than oxygen for example, or he could show up in a world that was completely uninhabitable. Even if he found a world that was suited for human life, he would have no sure way of getting back, he would just be tossed into the ether again and God only knows where he would end up. So as good as a killing spree in another world to vent frustration sounded, he decided to give the whole thing a miss. Besides, if worst came to worst and he ended up captured or defeated, than he could use that as an ever-present escape route. It was wise to always be prepared.

As the weeks and months passed and Naruto's strength grew, fewer and fewer people were both brave and stupid enough to try and hurt him. He said that he was happy about that to the Sandaime, but he really hated that. If people stopped coming for him, he couldn't acquire new shadows without drawing in unwanted attention. The last thing he wanted was for people to find out about his budding army of the undead. Before they outnumbered the villagers at least, after that who cared. Speaking of the zombies, they were about fifty in number now. About thirty of them were warriors, soldiers meant for combat like the first zombie was. Of the rest they were all made special. They were like the normal zombies, but they were trapped in portraits. They could leave these portraits at will and could also travel between other frames that were made the same way. They could be used as a warning system and a defense since no one ever expects enemies to come out of a damn painting do they?

Since he always carried a picture frame with him, he could always be aware of important events since they would warn him immediately. This frame was small, about the size of a pocket watch, but he wasn't really worried about the visual on it since he could hear the zombie in it just fine. There were only two zombies not directly made for combat. The first was zombie number twenty one. This one he made for recon outside of his home. It ended up as a mixture between a man and a bat. Since 'zombie number twenty one' was rather long for someone he actually had conversations with, he just named the guy Hildon.

The other zombie was not made for either combat nor recon or any other purpose in battle. Rather this one was made for around the house work. She was the only female zombie and as a result he tried to at least make her look good. She was of medium height and slender build. She had red eyes and bright blue hair. She was rather quiet, but very loyal and obedient. She basically took the position of maid since the other zombies couldn't cook or clean to save their lives while this zombie had a good talent for it. He decided to name her Rei. She also knew some hand to hand combat in case the house was ever intruded upon and she found them before he did. (1)

He still had to deal with the new problem of people fearing him. It was good; don't get me wrong, but now there were very few, if any, new shadow 'donors'. He could always abduct the villagers, but that would be a rather high profile action. There was already an investigation as to what happened to the fifty or so people that had already vanished, not that they would ever find anything. He made his decision on what to do and approached the Sandaime with it. Despite the fact that he hated the buzzard he still needed his permission and knew just how to play the man like a harp.

The main issue was getting him to agree to let him leave the village. The Sandaime had already given him several basic manuals and guides for the ninja business so he used the need for an escape from the hatred as the main excuse. He posed it as a training trip. He would stay at a cave near the village and train there for a year. It would act as survival training in addition to whatever work he got in on his skills. At least, that was what he told the man. Coaxing people to do what you want was a subtle art. He didn't approach his request directly for one thing. He slowly built up to it over the conversation. The subtle yet fake flattery in his words and tone, the innocent and abused mentality he portrayed, all of it was to convince the bastard to let him do what he wanted. Before long, the man agreed and while he thanked the man politely he was making fun of the bastard in his thoughts. The old man only had one last issue to raise. "You know Naruto-kun, if you leave the village for a year, you will have to enter the Academy a year late." Naruto looked at the aged leader and gave an enormous fake smile "I know Ojii-san, but the training I get done will make up for it!" "Well, if you're sure then…." "I am Jii-san, see you later!" The boy shuddered in his mind, he hated acting like that, but he had to maintain his façade until he became a Gennin at least, then he could let a bit more bloodlust show.

A year away from Konoha was just what he needed. Sure he would be watched, but whatever the man tried could be bypassed without too much trouble. He would leave a variation of the Kage Bunshin behind to fool the crystal ball and the ANBU that would probably check up on him at least once a week. He packed a map of the elemental countries and in his bag and sealed a large freezer into a scroll as he prepared to leave the village. He wasn't planning on staying anywhere near Konoha. He had shadows to collect, bodies to prepare, secrets to sell, and most importantly, people to find. He needed people better suited to do certain jobs than he was, and he had several things to find for his plans to be a success. One thing at a time, one thing at a time. He had patience after all; he could wait a few years for his plans to work.

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(1) If any of you are wondering, yes this is Ayanami Rei from Neon Genesis Evangelion.

That would be the end of the chapter. Review the thing, and I hope to see you all in the next chapter. Naruto hunts down Hogback, Perona, and Absalom (And some other things). See you then!

Until the next update,

Artful Lounger