A Foxes Tale

Chapter 24

AN: Hello all, it's been a while. I actually wanted to get this chapter out sooner but I couldn't figure out the fight scene. It's been so long that I'm not as comfortable writing fights as I used to be. That said I think this one works well for the type of character this Naruto will end up becoming, which is a bit more capable as a shinobi than cannon. That said here is the new chapter.

Start Now:

As the sun shined down on the village of Konohagakure no Sato within Konoha's hospital Hatake Kakashi could be found within a private room, unconscious due to chakra exhaustion. Just outside of his room on a balcony overlooking the hospitals central courtyard Tsunade and her apprentices could be found. Tsunade could be seen leaning with her back against the railing while Sakura and Shizune faced her. At present the three women were discussing intel Sakura had received from Sasori during her confrontation with the nuke-nin. Apparently Sasori had gifted her with the knowledge that he was due to meet with a spy in Orochimaru's camp along with the time and location of the meet.

"We shouldn't trust it. This could be a trap using Orochimaru as bait." Said Shizune frowning.

"If it's a trap we'll just have to fight." Said Sakura with determination shining from her eyes.

"You say that but Kakashi will be out for at least a week. The meet is in six days, it would require a completely new team." Said Tsunade.

"Tsunade-sama I think Naruto-kun should be left out of it. Despite the results of the last confrontation, I don't think sending him would be worth the risk without the back-up of someone like Kakashi." Said Shizune.

"What do you think Naruto?" questioned Tsunade directing her gaze upwards.

Following her gaze both Shizune and Sakura were surprised to see Naruto lying above them with one of his legs dangling over the buildings edge. Sighing at being called out Naruto pushed himself up into a seated position before dropping over the ledge to land lightly on his feet on their level.

"Actually I think its unnecessary." Said Naruto calmly causing Sakura's eyes to widen.

"Assuming we did go to this meet we would need someone to impersonate Sasori. They would need to know how he moved, spoke and his mannerisms. Not only that but there may be code words employed between both parties that the impersonator wouldn't know." Said Naruto bringing the pinkette up short.

"There is also Orochimaru himself to take into consideration. We know he used to be Sasori's partner in the Akatsuki so it stands to reason that he would know how he went about controlling his spies and would therefore be on the lookout for it. Considering the Cursed Seal we have to assume that the snake bastard would have some knowledge about how to deconstruct a seal and as such may have neutralized it. If this is the case he could then turn any meeting into a trap of his own, especially if he's turned the spy." Said Naruto.

"So what you just want to abandon Sasuke-kun?" questioned Sakura.

"Firstly nobody said anything about abandoning the teme so don't put words in my mouth." Said Naruto with a glare causing Sakura's eyes to widen as she took a reflexive step back.

"That said if you understood Sasuke or his motivations at all you 'd understand he has no intentions of having his body snatched by that parasite. Instead knowing that idiot he'll wait until Orochimaru is weak and needs to jump bodies before moving to kill him. After that he'll go chasing after Itachi in the false belief that they're on the same level." Said Naruto.

"So you're stance is to do nothing?" questioned Tsunade.

"Not at all." Said Naruto with a smirk that Sakura hadn't seen since their academy days.

The meeting was the greatest gathering of shinobi he'd ever seen. Academically he'd known that they had a large force to call upon, but outside of the memorial service a few years back he'd never actually seen even this many gathered in one place for one purpose. The gathering consisted of two hundred shinobi, numbering 50 four person teams all of whom stood garbed in the traditional uniform of a Konoha shinobi. This was in all honestly a huge show of power as he knew the crowd was a mix of shinobi from chuunin to ANBU, including every member of the Konoha Eleven and their jounin instructors with the exception of Kakashi who was still in the hospital. Kurenai was also absent but considering she was pregnant this was no surprise. Standing with her team was Mitarashi Anko who had apparently been acting as their team leader since Kurenai went on maternity leave. As for his own team his old trainer Yamato had been placed with them as a stand in for Kakashi and the final place on their team was taken by a boy named Sai.

Sai was a guy around their age with short, straight black hair and black eyes to go with pale skin that could be considered chalk white. While like everyone else he wore the standard uniform he was also carrying a small backpack that held his brush, scrolls, and ninja ink in it. This was important as he was a user of the Chōjū Giga no jutsu (Super Beast Imitating Drawing Technique) which allowed him to animate his drawings making him a mid to long range threat. Being among the surviving Root trainee's and apparently the strongest of his generation he was also a well-versed close combat threat proficient in taijutsu and with the usage of a tanto. His personality however left a lot to be desired as despite Danzo being dead and the retraining he was put through he was not only still socially awkward but emotionally stunted which he tried to mask with a rather transparently false cheerful façade. At some point he'd also read a few self-help books and following the direction of one started giving people nicknames, one of which had Sakura nearly shatter his skull which only missed due to Naruto quickly pulling him away. Needless to say the boy was a work in progress.

Of course there were many other clan shinobi present as well from the major clans and even some Uzumaki as well. For his part Naruto was trying his best to ignore the attention his current form of dress brought him. Despite inheriting his mother's facial shaping, his build and coloring showed he was clearly his father's son and judging by some of the looks he was getting from some of the elder shinobi they had clearly connected the dots. His focus was instead locked at the head of the group where the Hokage stood with the shinobi council flanking her, eventually she held up her hand and all talking ceased.

"Three years ago our village was invaded by Orochimaru and his Oto-nin. Despite repelling and crushing the invasion many lives were lost on our end, including that of the Sandaime Hokage. Over the last three years every one of you has played a part in weakening the strength of Orochimaru's forces. We have confined him to a single remaining base with the last of his supporting forces. Today we strike the final blow to Oto and remind the world why we are the strongest shinobi village and why our wrath should not be invoked."

With that said Tsunade made a motion with her hand allowing Nara Shikaku to step forward. This wasn't a surprise as not only was he the Jounin Commander, but the Nara clan head had been in charge of the strategy for Oto since the very beginning. The briefing was done quickly and before long the squads were assembled into platoons and dismissed with the leaders collecting their specific mission details in scroll form. His was the only team that wasn't grouped with another as they would be infiltrating deeper into Orochimaru's base and as such a smaller team was considered better for that. Leaving the tower they made their way through the village to the main gates to set out on their mission.

The Land of Flowers (Hana no Kuni) was a two-day journey from Konoha and despite being one of the small countries that shared a border with the Land of Fire the terrain was much different than that of Hi no Kuni as it was instead covered in large grass plains. Of course as its name would suggest the place was also covered in many types of flowers, many of which only grew within the region and was also home to the shinobi village of Kusagakure no Sato (Village Hidden in the Grass). As they crossed the border Naruto was quite happy that he didn't have to deal with any of the bureaucracy that this kind of operation had undoubtedly required. Thankfully over the years that he'd been away several of Orochimaru's hidden bases had been discovered and destroyed. As it was the Snake Sannin only had three basis remaining and the one in Hana no Kuni had become his main base.

At the moment the four of them were resting, they had a few hours before the attack was to begin and as such were using the time to regain the energy they'd spent. They were currently resting in one of the many small groves of trees that covered the landscape as they took the time to eat while he had a few clones and Sai had some ink birds patrolling the area. They had only barely finished their meals when a figure appeared from out of the tall grass to their left. The figure was clearly a woman who wore what appeared to be a purple bodysuit with her light blue hair pulled up into a high spiked ponytail. She was also clad in armor, shoulder guards shaped into the likeness of oni, along with a pair of forearm guards and matching grieves. She carried a pair of blades sheathed on her back, one positioned over her right shoulder and the other positioned horizontal across her lower back with the handle seen on her left. The straps of her upper blade along with the shoulder guards were positioned in such a fashion that her breasts were framed as if highlighted.

At her appearance Yamato, Sai and Sakura tensed up prepared for a confrontation only for the woman to come to a stop about five feet away and take a knee before Naruto who hadn't moved aside from tracking her with his eyes.

"Naruto-sama." Said the woman her tone speaking further of her deference much to Sakura's shock.

"Hello Guren, come and report." Said Naruto. At his invitation she stood and approached the group before once more taking a knee and then sliding into a perfect seiza position

"When Hokage-sama said you had a contact here I was not expecting her." Said Yamato.

"You know her Yamato-taicho?" questioned Sakura.

"She is a former Oto kunoichi. Just after the preliminary round of your first Chunin Exam she was sent to assassinate Naruto only for him to defeat her." Said Yamato causing Sakura's eyes to widen before they narrowed.

"After the invasion I was given to Naruto-sama as a slave. Aside from the time I acted as a maid Kushina-sama took the time to continue my combat training. When Naruto-sama left for his training trip I was taken by Kimiko-sama to complete my training. When it was learned that Uchiha Sasuke-san left Konoha I was sent to keep tabs on him." Explained Guren.

"And Orochimaru just welcomed you back?" questioned Sakura surprised.

"I was sent as part of a prison transfer to a shinobi prison located near Kusa. Within a week of my arrival at the prison I was walking out of the doors with Orochimaru himself." Said Guren surprising all but Naruto with this knowledge.

Once they were all satisfied with Guren's history the kunoichi began to give her report. Firstly Orochimaru was done to just three bases at this point, the Northern Hideout in Tsuchi no Kuni, where the research into the Cursed Seal was carried out, the Eastern Hideout in Kawa no Kuni and the one this one near Kusa. As for the current base it was occupied by low level shinobi that had either become nuke-nin or had been sent to various prisons along with a fair few bandits all of whom had been granted 'protection' by becoming Oto-nin, none of which however were even remotely noteworthy.

The only person of note in the base currently aside from herself and Orochimaru was Sasuke who Orochimaru had taken to personally training over the last few years. Sasuke seemed to grow well under the hand of the Snake Sannin aided substantially by the Sharingan no doubt, regardless he'd become quite adept in all basic areas of the shinobi arts those being taijutsu, ninjutsu and genjutsu. To add to this he'd picked up kenjutsu in his case using a chokuto and of course had been granted the summoning contract for snakes.

"Sounds like he's gotten a good deal stronger, maybe even jonin level." Said Sai frowning.

"That's not surprising. Orochimaru wants to take over his body, there would be no point doing so if said body is too weak for him to defend himself afterwards. I'm more interested in his usage of the Cursed Seal." Said Yamato.

"Sasuke is a bearer of the Cursed Seal of Heaven, the strongest of the lot of them. Over the last few years he's become an expert in its usage and with each time he did it boosted his levels of chakra and physical capabilities. He is one of the few to have mastered the 2nd level of the seal." Said Guren.

"That idiot, he has no idea what that would do to him." Said Sakura.

"He knows. All who are capable of using the 2nd level seal knows the cost of obtaining it." Said Guren.

"Would he even care? His profile shows him to have always been single minded, obsessively so in his pursuit of power." Said Sai.

From there the conversation moved on to the layout of the base with each of them asking a clarifying question at one point or another. The meeting lasted for nearly an hour before Guren took her leave to prepare for her part in the sacking of the base. Once she was gone from all of their senses Yamato advised them all to get a bit more rest before they continued on their way.

Team Kakashi were allowed only another half hour to rest before they were once again on the move to their primary destination. It took them nearly an hour to reach their designation where they found several other teams had already arrived, several of which were in ANBU gear. They were quickly greeted by a neko masked ANBU member who led Yamato off to the command tent leaving the teens on their own. Looking over the makeshift camp Naruto recognized only a few faces among the large group, three of which were members of the Uzumaki clan and the others being Neji, Tenten and Lee. Walking over to the members of Team Gai and after introducing their new team member Naruto sat down to wait for things to begin.

Breaching the entrance was something of a process, though one that most of the teams were now quite accustomed to. The seal team was the first up as they went about taking down the security seals, one of which obscured the vision of the Byakugan. Once they got through the last of the seals the entrance quickly revealed itself as a large boulder split in half down the center revealing a stairway. With the entrance revealed the scouts and trap specialist moved forward and the stairway was quickly revealed to be trapped to high hell to the point where Naruto found himself slightly impressed, though not deterred in the slightest.

Approaching the stairway he took a knee before placing a pair of seeds on the ground and running through a quick chain of seals before placing his right hand to the ground. Immediately the seeds reacted bursting open as vines began to pour forth travelling down the stairway and thickening by the moment and before long the entire stairway was covered from the steps and even the walls were completely hidden by three-foot-thick vines.

"Damn, wish he'd have been with us in Umi no Kuni. (Sea Country)." Muttered a shinobi he didn't recognize.

Using the vines as a makeshift bridge the group of shinobi were soon through the stairway and entering into the hideout proper. Thanks to their earlier meeting with Guren and in turn the briefing with Yamato-sensei the teams all knew where their specific objectives were located. This base being amongst the last of Orochimaru's hideouts had undergone some rather dramatic changes and unlike other bases no longer served the primary function of hosting the Snake Sannin's twisted experiments and instead was now primary playing host to the surviving troops of the previously sacked bases. Though it still had labs and played host to experiments the labs and cells had been moved to the lower levels to make room for the increased number of troops. With this knowledge in mind Naruto wasn't the least bit surprised to find a large group of shinobi gathered in the room ahead of them.

"Right then, this is where we part ways." Said Yamato-sensei causing Naruto to sigh as he allowed their companions to continue on passed him.

"We'll give you sixty seconds before we commence the attack." Said one of the ANBU captains this one wearing a bird mask.

"Right, let's get this over with then." Said Naruto as the team grouped around and placed a hand on Yamato who ran through a quick chain of seals before placing his hand on the rock wall beside him before he began sinking into it.

Travelling by way of a jutsu such as this was not a way that Naruto would ever recommend. Despite this for infiltration missions it was actually standard protocol to breach in this manner. The attack was being used as a distraction allowing them to not only sneak past the shinobi on guard but also spy on a target if needed. It didn't take long for them to emerge from the jutsu now in the middle of a non-descript hall deeper into the base. Once done Sai immediately took a knee and after retrieving a scroll from his pack unrolled it to reveal a group of drawn mice. Placing the scroll to the ground he channeled his chakra into the page causing the mice to pour from the page before taking off in each direction. It was only a few minutes later that Naruto pushed himself off of the wall catching the attention of his teammates.

"What is it?" questioned Sakura.

"Somethings wrong." Said the blond before tossing her a scroll.

"Give that to the teme if you come across him without me there." Catching the scroll Sakura's eyes went wide seeing the symbol of the Hokage marking it before tucking it away.

"Don't be reckless." Said Yamato getting an acknowledging wave from the blond as he began walking away before he vanished in a burst of Shunpo.

Coming out of Shunpo only a few seconds later Naruto entered a rather casual walk for only a few feet before he stopped in the center of an intersection. Looking to his left he was greeted to the sight of a pair of figures both of whom stopped in place at his appearance. He recognized both of them one of which was the Snake Sannin Orochimaru and the other was a jonin he recognized from Konoha though he'd never learned his name. He stood at perhaps 5'10" and had brown hair that stood out at all angles with black eyes behind a pair of glasses. Oddly enough it wasn't just the Sanin that had caught his attention but his companion as both of them exuded strange aura's that he recognized as reiryoku (spiritual power) only both of them were twisted, one a sickly purple color and the other an inky black.

'The hell?' thought the blond as he eyed the duo.

"Corrupted souls. The purple one is self-mutilated and doesn't belong to the body. It's slowly causing the body to deteriorate. The second one is also foreign only it belongs to a dead soul, one that had already been judged and that we killed.' Said Benihime

This had Naruto narrowing his eyes on the second figure causing a spectral image to appear over him which took on the form of a rather familiar person.

"Kabuto." Said Naruto after a moment.

"Impressive Naruto-kun, that you would be able to recognize me even now, what gave me away." Came the response.

"It doesn't matter, I'll send you back where you belong momentarily. Only this time I'll send your master to join you." Said Naruto

"You overestimate your ability Naruto-kun. You got lucky last time this time…"

Kabuto's musings were interrupted as he was impaled through the midsection by a length of glowing chain and yanked into the air. The chain had emerged from Naruto's right side and covered the distance between them in the space of a moment and before he could do more than register his surprise five more chains had emerged from the blonds torso and pierced through Kabuto at multiple angles before there was a pulse of red energy shot along the chains meeting inside the deceased rogues stolen body causing it to explode sending his limbs and head flying in different directions in a spray of blood.

"Kukuku, impressive. Now I wonder who the more powerful one is between you and Sasuke-kun." Said Orochimaru not even fazed by the second death of his minion.

"It doesn't matter, you won't live long enough to find out."

Towards the middle of the base the attack was still in full swing and it was clear that things were entirely in the favor of the Konoha shinobi. The members of Team Gai where in the thick of it with Neji and Lee destroying their enemies with the devastation their respective taijutsu styles were known to cause while Tenten dealt with her own with a pair of Kama in hand leaving her enemies to lye in pools of their own blood. In another section of the base Team Kurenai were dispatching their own set of enemies, though a scouting team the three of them were no slouches in a fight and while Kiba and Shino set upon their enemies with their particular brands of savagery Hinata was almost graceful as she dispatched her opponents as she seemed to glide across the space and flowed around attacks to land her own.

Their current team leader Mitarashi Anko seemed to be a woman possessed as she attacked the Oto shinobi while a pair of vicious vipers emerged from her sleeves and sank their fangs into the forms of the Oto shinobi. As one went to activate a cursed seal Anko spun on the spot a murderous glow in her eyes before a pair of snakes latched onto the neck of the cursed seal bearer before she froze, and the seal deactivated before she fell over dead.

As this was happening the most carnage was in an entirely different area further in. The area itself seemed to be a training center, specifically a fight pit where a squad of ANBU members were tearing through cursed seal bearing shinobi. In the center of this was a crane masked ANBU member who was dispatching opponents with ease as she set about them with her ninjato in hand. In her wake she'd left a horde of bodies many of them missing limbs and heads while others had been gutted. As she spun low ducking an attack she lashed out with her blade and cut vertically through her attacker locking eyes with another only for a moment before that one jumped his comrade impaling them with a kunai only to catch one to the throat in the next moment. Looking about she found that her sector was clear, and a quick look showed her team had come to the same conclusion. A quick communication was done with ANBU signs and she received a nod from the bear masked operative. Looking about her team she received another nod and a thumbs up before she turned and dashed out of the pit through a set of large open double doors.

As she cleared the doors she found herself running down a non-descript hall with grey walls and wooden doors. Stopping for a moment she flipped through a set of seals and was engulfed in a plume of smoke which cleared to show her garbed in a standard shinobi uniform with her ANBU gear nowhere to be found. In the next moment she was in motion again and turned a corner only to have to leap up and over an attack by a tanto. Flipping in the air she had to halt her counter mid-motion as she recognized the group who also turned to face her.

"Mikoto-sama!" exclaimed Sakura in surprise upon seeing her.

"Lady Mikoto, I take it things have calmed if you're here." Said Yamato.

"Things are in hand. Have you found him?" questioned Mikoto.

"Yes, Sai was just leading us to his room." Said Sakura motioning to the boy who'd tried to cut her.

"Lead on then Sai." Said the woman, Sai looked to Yamato who nodded for him to do so.

They moved for about a few minutes with a few turns before they came to stand in from of a closed door that was deep within the base. Pushing the door open they were greeted to the sight of a teen lying on a bed with their back to them.

"What do you want." Came the voice before a word could be spoken, irritated but clearly sounding of sleep.

"To take you home." Said Sakura to no response.

"Boy you'd better stop acting and turn around!" Said Mikoto causing the figure to tense before they slowly turned their head revealing the wide-eyes of an older Uchiha Sasuke.

"Okaa-sama?!" questioned Sasuke upon spotting her before climbing from the bed.

"What are you all doing here?" questioned Sasuke causing Yamato to raise an eyebrow.

"Seriously have you not noticed the attack currently taking place?" questioned Sakura causing Sasuke to shrug.

"Privacy seals are in every room in this corridor, otherwise I'd never get any sleep." Said the Uchiha heir before catching a scroll that Sakura tossed him.

"Naruto asked me to give you that." Said the girl to the unspoken question.

Looking at the scroll Sasuke found the marking of the Hokage and opened it. The scroll was blank with the exception of the blood seal within. Biting his thumb he rubbed the blood across the seal which soon produced a second scroll. Opening this one he read it through quickly before tossing both to the side as they were engulfed in flames. Before anymore could be said a large explosion rocked the complex causing the entire place to shake.

In the shinobi world there existed a hierarchy, one unknown to most people. While the shinobi ranking system of genin, chunin and so forth was so widely known to be considered common knowledge there was a second ranking system known and used mainly by the shinobi themselves. This system was different in that it was used not to display the military ranking of a shinobi but their danger level. Shinobi have noticeably greater physical capabilities than a normal human being, able to execute feats that would be otherwise impossible for a civilian, even at relatively low levels of skill. Even an academy student the lowest of the low in terms of both ranking systems possessed an enhanced physiology. With training all of this could be further increased to the point that strength, durability, speed, agility, stamina, reflexes, senses, and healing could all be at superhuman levels.

At the top of the danger ranking were the S-class shinobi. These were the monsters of the shinobi world all of whom were considered at the level of a Kage and as such considered one-man armies themselves. The Snake Sanin Orochimaru was one such individual and while not necessarily known for brute strength knew well of his reputation and actually reveled in the terror he inspired in those he tended to face which even included upper level jonin. Naruto however did not fear the rogue Sanin, having been trained himself under the Toad Sage Jiraiya and as well as a pair of Kyubi's, the blond didn't even blink when the Sanin withdrew his sword, the fabled Kusanagi no Tsurugi.

Drawing Benihime he didn't even bother to hold in the smirk at his zanpakuto spirit's excitement. In the blink of an eye the distance was closed, and the two blades met only briefly before they broke apart with Naruto quickly blocking two more side swipes from the Sanin before they locked up and he pushed him back. Recovering his footing Orochimaru dashed in with a thrust only for Naruto to spin low to the left and lash out with a slash of his own which the Sanin jumped over.

Quickly recovering his feet the blond turned just in time to see the Sanin land from his jump and launch a flurry of attacks at him. Despite the speed of his attack Naruto found it rather easy to read block, parry and dodge he found himself repeating the pattern with a few variations as Orochimaru pressed the attack, the narrow hall forcing him into a straight kenjutsu battle without much room to maneuver. Parrying an overhead slash the blonde forced the Sanin off balance allowing him to slide past him and nail him in the back with an elbow as he went.

Turning to face his opponent Naruto noticed the smirk that was previously on the Sanin's face had fallen. In the next instant their blades were clashing once more causing sparks to fly with each clash. As the Sanin sidestepped one of his thrust Naruto smoothly transitioned it into a cross slash which was blocked though left him open to take the kick from the blonde's right foot forcing the Sanin into the right wall of the hall.

Snarling as he recovered the Sanin lashed out with both arms his blade in his right and a large snake emerging from the sleeve of his left. Naruto reacted to the threat in an instant spinning to face him with his blade flashing cutting through the Sanin's right forearm before continuing on and cutting through the snake as it neared him. In the same motion his left hand came up a giant ball of power coming into existence in a moment before being slammed into the Sanin.

"Cho-Odama Rasengan." (Ultra-Big Ball Spiraling Sphere)

For several long moments the Rasengan ground itself into Orochimaru's body before it surged forward pushing through several walls and detonated with a huge explosion that rocked the entire base. It took nearly thirty seconds for the smoke and dust from the explosion to clear helped along by his usage of wind manipulation. When it did he found himself looking at a large wall of dirt and walking closer revealed that a portion of the base had been completely cleared away opening the area to the outside world. Leaping upwards he cleared the twenty-foot jump rather easily and landed lightly on his feet.

The sight he was greeted to however was one he was actually not prepared to see as Orochimaru was on his knees his head tilted up and mouth stretched obscenely wide and held open by what were unmistakably hands as first a head emerged followed quickly by the rest of his body emerged covered in slime but completely restored as if nothing had ever happened.

As he faced him all amusement had drained from the face of the Snake Sannin before he lurched forward his mouth opening wide as he spewed forth hundreds of snakes which opened their own mouths allowing sword blades to emerge. Before they could even near him he vanished with a usage of Shunpo only to appear behind the Sannin just before his head rolled from his shoulders only to fall into a pile of mud.

"He's really trying to run away." Came the disappointed voice of Benihime.

"Just kill him already, it's not worth drawing this out." Said the fox, voice filled with annoyance.

"Fine." Returned Naruto before he burst into Shunpo.

As he chased after the fleeing Sannin the blond couldn't help but feel disappointed. His senses had been trained on the Sannin since the beginning and he could tell that the man's body replacement technique had drained him significantly. The man could have still put up a fight but had most likely disregarded the notion with how easily he'd gotten him to that point. Coming out of Shunpo he appeared in front of the Sannin who slid to a stop with a scowl.

"Did you really think you could run away." Said Naruto frowning.

"Impressive Naruto-kun. It seems you've grown strong enough…"

Whatever else he would say Naruto wasn't interested as in an instant he'd covered the short distance between them and cut through the man's torso only for a few snakes to shoot out and connect the two halves once more. Raising an eyebrow at the sight Naruto was given another smirk from the Sannin.

"Kukuku, you'll find Naruto-kun I'm not as easily killed as others." Said the Sannin.

"True, however we'll just have to see how long you can keep that up." Said Naruto before Benihime transformed into true form without a word from him.

As if in response Orochimaru's chakra flared and a sickly purple aura flared around him for only a few moments before it died down. Naruto with his senses focused on the Sannin was just a bit pleased when he noticed that whatever he'd done had given the Sannin a second wind. In the next instant the two vanished appearing several yards away with Benihime poised to take the Sannin's head as he tried to flee once more.

Leaping back and away from the blade Orochimaru went through a quick chain of seals before releasing a blast of wind which the blond dodged around. Breaking off the technique he went through more seals only for Naruto to release a blade of red chakra his way with his sword. Dodging the attack the snake managed to finish his seals before slamming his hands to the ground causing jagged earth spikes to launch from the ground.

Bursting into Shunpo the blond managed to avoid the spikes before appearing mid-punch in front of the Sannin and nailing him into the chest sending him flying back. Recovering quickly Orochimaru flipped to his feet Orochimaru formed a single seal before breathing out a massive fireball. Blocking the attack with Benihime's blood mist shield Naruto ran through a chain of one-handed seals before stomping his foot to the ground.

Immediately several wooden spears shot up from the ground impaling the Sannin only for another version this one with a snake-like bottom to emerge from his opened mouth. Moving to flee once more Orochimaru found himself choking and yanked into the air by a golden chain wrapped around his neck. Before he could do a thing he found himself impaled as four more chains erupted from the blond and into his torso.

"Kukuku, remarkable absolutely remarkable." Said Orochimaru as if he wasn't captured and close to death looking down at Naruto who stared back impassively.

"The Senju body, the Mokuton of Hashirama, the Uzumaki life force and special chakra chains and even your own unique abilities. All of that and there was not even a sign of the Kyubi's influence on you meaning the ability to subdue and suppress the biju both clans were known for must be incredible for you. Truly I should've targeted you over Sasuke-kun from the start." Said the Sannin.

Naruto said nothing merely channeling burst of red chakra down the lengths of chain. Seeing this and remembering the results with Kabuto the Sannin opened his mouth allowing a black blur to shoot out. Seeing it coming Naruto titled his head to the side allowing for it to shoot past him even as Orochimaru's body exploded when the chakra streams met.

Withdrawing his chains back into himself Naruto allowed Benihime to return to her sealed form and sheathed the blade before he turned only to be met by the frozen form of a large creature. The creature was actually a giant white snake made up of many smaller snakes, the head of which was Orochimaru's only with longer, spikier hair, a scaled face with snake-like teeth and a long tongue, black eye markings, and a pointed chin.

"So this is what you've turned yourself into, pathetic." Said Naruto with not a hint of surprise.

"Why can't I move?!" demanded the snake in clear frustration.

"That would be my doing. Earlier during the fight I placed the seed of the Death Plant into your body and it's now had plenty of time to take root.

"That punch." Said Orochimaru in realization.

"Indeed, though due to your habit of shedding your skin I had to place it a little deeper and figured you'd be unable to leave your organs especially your heart if you wanted to keep living. Now then I need to concentrate so be quiet" Said Naruto before a chain shot out and wrapped around Orochimaru's head forcing his mouth closed allowing Naruto to slap a seal tag over his mouth that he'd removed from his pouch.

Removing a scroll from his pouch Naruto allowed it to unfurl before placing it on the ground. Biting his thumb he swiped the bleeding digit across the scrolls interior which produced a cloud of smoke which cleared to show a jar of ink, paper and brushes. This was the scene that the rest of his team and quite a few others came upon a few minutes later.

"The hell is that!" questioned one of the group which grabbed Naruto's attention.

"This is what Orochimaru turned himself into to in an effort to keep himself from dying." Said Naruto looking up to the group.

"He's still alive?" questioned an ANBU member, this one in a Tora mask.

"For now. I need to sever his connection with the cursed seals in order to keep him from being pulled back." Said Naruto.

"What do you mean pulled back?" Questioned Sakura

"Studying Anko's seal I discovered he placed small parts of his own soul in each of the cursed seals. It's like he created clones and sealed them, though more advanced. If he's killed he can be revived by withdrawing those parts." Explained the blond.

"So you're using him as a medium to link to the cursed seals and destroy those soul pieces." Said one of the Uzumaki that he recognized as one of his older cousins Genrei.

"Exactly. Once that's done it will make removing the seals easier." Said Naruto.

"Can't you use him to do that?" questioned Tenten.

"Maybe after some more time to study it. I just don't want to keep him around that long. I'd rather kill him now and do the cursed seals individually." Said Naruto.

"Agreed, there's no need to keep such a threat around if we don't absolutely need to." Said a neko masked ANBU member.

"How long should this take you?" questioned Yamato.

"Not long, the template has already been created. I just need to do it in the seal ink and apply it to his head. The soul pieces will be sucked back into him and then I can kill him. Once that's done though we need a way to dispose of his body, we can't let even a piece of this thing remain." Said Naruto

Nearly ten minutes later he'd created the seal he needed onto a seal tag, drawing it from one that he had close at hand from a notepad. Once done he took the tag and planted it on the head of the immobile Sannin and channeled his reiryoku (spiritual power) into it. For nearly five minutes the seal glowed along its lines before the glow faded and the seal turned to ash. Drawing Benihime he channeled his power causing the blade to transform before stabbing it into Orochimaru's face until it was almost halfway in. Those watching could see red energy travel from the blade and into the Sannin's body causing the entire thing to soon glow red before the glow faded and he withdrew the blade.

With the Sannin dead the ANBU made quick work of destroying the body as they and a few jounin performed a collaboration fire technique on it. They waited until only ashes remained and then had a Hyuga look over the area with their Byakugan making sure that not a single thing had been able to survive it. Only then once it was confirmed did Naruto allow himself to relax a bit breathing out a sigh of relief that it was over.

As a whole the group returned to the base were Naruto was allowed to take a quick nap while they sorted and sealed everything they were taking. Before long however they were leaving the base and heading back towards Hi no Kuni and Konoha. Only Sasuke wasn't with the group and Naruto was quietly informed the Uchiha had left the base after a huge explosion to start his next mission. It was only as the group left the base behind that a plant like figure emerged from the ground to watch them leave.

"That Kyuubi kid has gotten good." Said the white half.

"Indeed. We will need to inform the leader about him, he could be a problem soon." Said the black half

With that said the creature sunk back into the ground as if it had never been there.

AN: That's it the chapter is over. For those wondering the chain explosion is one of Spawn's fatalities in MK11 and I just had to use it. I'm going to take a small break and hopefully get the next chapter out within the next month or so. Anyway thanks for reading and please leave a review to let me know what you guys think. Till next time, LATER.