Naruto: The Hope of the Senju Clan
Chapter Forty-One: Demon
This story was inspired by the Story Senju Naruto by Baal of Yarns
"Demonic/Summon talk/Thinking Jutsu"
YES EVERYONE I AM ALIVE AND I AM BACK !
I know it has been a long wait for everyone and I honestly never intended for it to take this long, but with my father's getting sick and me try to balance work and taking duties from my father, things have been far from easy for me and it has not left me much time for my fanfic writing, especially since this Chapter was hard to write up for me.
Still I hope you all enjoy it and that the length of the chapter makes up for your long wait. To my more dedicated fans, I warn you now, given the sheer size of this chapter, which is easily the longest one I have written yet, I advise you to only read it on laptops or house computers and to free up your time since this chapter may take a while for you to read.
Also in regards to my picture links, I am afraid there is little I can about that as Fanfic is seemly blocking the active links from being seen on author's profile. If anyone knows how to get the links working, please tell me, but until then, the best I can offer is this
Google "Hope of the Senju Clan Larkin 2727" this will lead you to the Hope of the Senju Clan album set up under one of my Characters names. The Images will all have names under them so you know what the image is about
Again I am sorry but that is the best that I can offer any of you who are looking for the images
Now without further ado, I present to you Chapter 41 of The Hope of the Senju Clan…enjoy.
It was a calm and peaceful night in the village hidden in the leaves. It was now mid-autumn; the night had gotten much cooler now, but still held a trace of summer warmth which was slowly fading. Yet despite the seasonal change, the forest surrounding the village remained as lush and as green as it would when it was summer. This was thanks to the fact that the forest had been created by the Shodai Hokage, Senju Hashirama, who's powerful chakra, which created the forest, still remained within it keeping them lush green year long.
Hanging over the village a full moon shone down on the village, which was the only thing illuminating Konoha as the majority of its inhabitants had gone to bed.
However not everyone was tucked in their beds, a cloaked figure was silently making its way through the village, doing its utmost to avoid attention from village night patrols. Quickly the figure made its way up the high walls around the village and leapt into the surrounding forest, without any of the guards noticing
Once it was in the trees, the cloaked figure wasted no time in speeding through the forest, putting as much distance between it and the village as possible. After about half an hour of racing through the forest the figure finally halted after hearing a bird-like whistle.
Hiding behind the trunk of the tree it was standing on, the figure responded with its own bird-like whistle. For several seconds, that seemed to last for hours the cloaked figure waited until it heard the whistle respond back. Letting out a sigh of relief, the cloaked figure replied with another whistle and stepped out from behind the tree trunk. Moments later two more cloaked figures appeared out from a nearby tree, standing directly in front of the first cloaked person.
"You're late!" hissed the one of the other cloaked people is low whisper. "You should have been hearing half an hour ago."
"I couldn't help it" replied the first cloaked figure in the same low whisper. "If I'd left early it would've drawn attention on me, and the ANBU are already too close as it is."
"Are you sure that they've caught on to you?" asked the other cloaked person.
"I'm certain" nodded the first cloaked figure. "They haven't realised it was me yet, but it wouldn't be long until they did. They already suspect the bar and have questioned everyone at it twice now. I've also noticed a few patrons acting odd, staying until closing time, keeping to themselves and watching what everyone else was doing...My guess, undercover ANBU looking for me. And if they were on to me, it would only be a matter of time until they found the rest of you."
"Dammnit" cursed one of the others. "Two years of work down the drain. How the hell did they catch onto us!?"
"It must have been after that debacle at the Ame boarder with the Senju heir" answered the partner of the second cloaked person. "Konoha probably figured that they had a leak."
"Fuck!" cursed the second Iwa spy, a little more loudly this time. "If only those idiots hadn't screwed up, none of this would've happened."
"It doesn't matter anymore" his partner replied. "What matters now is us getting back home as quickly as possible."
"Where are the others?" the first spy asked, only now realizing that there was no sign of the rest of their team, to which the second cloaked figured responded.
"They never showed up...which means you were probably right about Konoha being on to us, and if they aren't here by now, they're either captured or dead."
"That means we need to get out of here...now" stated his partner.
Nodding in agreement the other two figures prepared to move, but before they could, several Kunai suddenly came out of one of trees and flew straight for them.
"Move!" shouted the leader of the group as he and his comrades scattered. But as they jumped away, a new hail of Kunai flew out of another tree top and hit the second cloaked figure's partner in the back, causing him to fall to the ground dead.
Landing on a large tree branch the two remaining cloaked figures stood back to back to one another, watching for any possible new attacks, which came in the form of two more Kunai barrages.
Upon seeing the Kunai, the two spies each took their own Kunai hidden underneath their cloaks and used them to deflect the projectiles. But as soon as they had deflects all the Kunai they came under assault again when two masked Shinobi appeared above them and attempted to stab them both in the head with their Tanto swords.
Acting quickly the two spies separated and dropped several flash bombs and exploded. With their attackers temporarily blinded the two Iwa spies, quickly jumped off the tree branch and began to race across the ground, hoping to get away as quickly as possible from their attackers.
Glancing back the two Iwa spies could see that their attackers had already recovered from the flash bombs and were in hot pursuit of them. When they saw who they were dealing with the first spy cursed and said "Shit! Konoha's ANBU, where did they come from?!"
"They must have followed you here" growled the other spy angrily.
"Or they could've followed you and waited until they could get all of us" the first spy countered. Not appreciating having her stealth and counter intelligence skills question, especially since she was the one who had first realized that Konoha was on to them.
"It doesn't matter who they followed, we need to get out Konoha territory. If we can make it to the Yu no Kuni (Hot Spring Country) boarder we can make our way back to Iwa from there."
However before the two spies could get much further several Kunai flew past them and stabbed ground in front of them. The two spies quickly stopped when they notice the exploding notes tied to projectiles, which exploded after hitting the ground, blowing both of them back.
Recovering from the explosion the Iwa spies immediately tried to run, but found their path blocked by the two ANBU who redrew their tanto.
Drawing their own weapons, a battle of Swords and Kunai soon erupted between the two teams.
As the battle drew on, the leader of the Iwa spy team got the upper hand over one of the ANBU as he knocked the ANBU's sword out of his hand. Jumping back the ANBU pulled off it gloves revealing his purple hands.
Seeing that he had the advantage the spy charged the ANBU and attempted to stab him in the chest with his Kunai. However the ANBU sidestepped the attack, where the spy stabbed his right hand instead, which allowed the ANBU to grab hold of the man's arm and punch him in the stomach. With a painful grunt, the Iwa Shinobi immediately moved back and glared angrily at the masked Shinobi. But before he could reengage, the Iwa spy felt a sharp tense pain coming from his arm, from where the Konoha ANBU had punched him.
Pulling the his sleeve up the Iwa Spy could see his arm quickly turning purple, along with his stomach and was spreading quickly throughout his body. "What short of Jutsu is this!?...Did he poison me when he touched me?"
"Give up..." said the ANBU suddenly, who judging by his muffled voice and size was quite young, and was mostly likely in his mid to late teens. "It's pointless to resist, at the rate it is spreading you'll be dead within a minute, but if you surrender I'll cancel my Jutsu."
Grinding his teeth in anger and from the pain, the Iwa spy knew surrender was not an option for him. All that waited for him was torture and interrogation from Konoha intelligence unit. Still the spy had enough resolve to not go down quietly or alone. "If I'm going down, I'm taking this bastard with me!"
Fighting back the pain, the Iwa spy opened up his cloak revealing several dozen exploding notes lining the inside of his cloak and activated the notes before charging.
Realizing what the Iwa spy planning, the ANBU attempted to move as far back from the suicidal Shinobi as possible. But before the spy could get close enough, two lone black tendrils appeared out of the ground underneath the Iwa spy and wrapped themselves around his legs, causing his to fall to the ground where the spy then exploded.
At the same time the last remaining Iwa spy took advantage of the explosion to get away from the other ANBU, whose attention momentarily turned to the explosion. But as the spy tried to get away, two more black tentacles sprung up from the ground and wrapped themselves around the spy's leg, who then fell.
Knowing that any chance of escape was now gone, the Iwa spy tried to avoid capture by going the same way as her partner. But before the spy could activate the exploding notes sowed into her cloak the ANBU formed an unfamiliar hand seal the said in a muffled voice, "Shintenshin no Jutsu (Mind Body Switch Technique)!"
Before the spy knew what happened, she found it consciousness being pushed aside and controlled by the ANBU's, whose body slumped down.
Once he was in control of the spy's body the ANBU took of its hood, revealing the spy to be a young woman with long grey hair.
Shortly after the ANBU's partner arrived with the young ROOT operative named Sai.
"Are you unharmed Torune?" asked the ANBU through the Iwa Kunoichi's body.
"Yes," answered Torune before taking off his mask. "The other remaining spy chose to kill himself before I could capture him and attempted to take me with him. Fortunately Sai was able to prevent this where the spy succeed in killing only himself."
Nodding the Kunocihi's head, Fu turned to the younger ROOT operative. "Your assistance in this operation was most helpful Sai, Danzo-sama will be pleased."
"It was no trouble at all Fu-san, Torune-san" the young teen replied, giving the two ROOT agents one of his fake smiles. When asked why he insisted on doing this, Sai had told them that he had read in a book that by smiling he could gain people's trust more easily.
Neither ROOT agent bothered to tell the young boy that his attempts at smiling had the opposite effect on people, and instead decided to focus on the captured Iwa spy.
Once the Iwa Kunoichi was successfully restrained, Fu cancelled his jutsu and allowed the Kunochi consciousness to regain control of her body. After which the three ROOT agents headed back to the village with their prisoner to begin interrogation.
-Next morning Hokage's Office-
Sitting in her office the new Godaime Hokage of Konoha, Senju Tsunade was busy at desk, with two small stacks of paper on them.
But unfortunately no matter how hard she tried to focus on the report, her mind would keep wandering back to her concern about her son. It had been almost a month since she had sent Naruto to locate the Valley of the Four Winds, and every week she would get a message from him through the slugs, assuring her that he was fine and telling her of their progress. But now she was becoming concerned. It had been almost ten days since his last message and she had yet to hear anything from him. As her concerns grew, thoughts of Naruto being captured or killed were already beginning to form in her mind. If she didn't hear from him soon she would have the slugs make contact with him and find out if he was safe.
Pushing past her negative thoughts about Naruto, Tsunade choose to focus on the task at hand, which would be instrumental in strengthening her powerbase within Konoha as Hokage. The forms that she was signing would help begin the restructuring and rebuilding of Konoha's Military Police.
With the loss of the Uchiha Clan the Military Police, (which in the past had been primarily made up of members of the Uchiha Clan), had all but ceased to exist. After the destruction of the Uchiha, the duties of the Military Police had been handed over by Konoha's ANBU division. Tsunade wished to change this, not only would it give the citizen a sense of security, but it would also lessen the burden on the ANBU division and free up vital agents, whose skills would be required elsewhere.
Unlike the last time, the "new" Military Police that Tsunade was forming would not be made up solely of the members of one Clan. Instead members of this new Police force would be chosen through an open selection of veteran Shinobi, as only strong Shinobi were capable of bringing other Shinobi to justice. This would not only strengthen the Police Force, like never before, but also prevent it from collapsing in the same manner again. It would also give former veteran Shinobi, who could no longer preform mission outside the village, other uses for their skills. The new Police Force would also take a more active role in the governing of Konoha, thereby reducing the chance of corruption and infiltration from other Clans within the Konoha.
However despite it not being built around one Clan anymore, the Military Police Force still needed a Shinobi Clan to sponsor it reconstruction, support it and help run it. This would also allow the force to act independently, when needed, and not rely solely on the orders of the Hokage.
This then led to a problem of which Clan to give control over the New Military Police Force to. It of course couldn't just be any Shinobi Clan in Konoha, it needed to be a Clan respected by everyone, (Shinobi and non-Shinobi), in the village. The Clan also needed to have the capability to run the organisation by themselves, like manpower and resources, and not relay on the Hokage or the council. This limited the selection drastically, as only a few Clans in Konoha fitted these requirements. Clans like the Nara, Yamanakadid not fit this requirement due to their small numbers and because they already had other responsibilities within Konoha. While the Akimichi, had the numbers, they did not have the recourses that would be needed to run an organisation like the Military Police.
Ideally the Hyuga Clan would've be her choice; they were well respected and revered both within the village and outside it. They had more than enough influence and had the resources and manpower to do it. Like the Uchiha they also had a powerful Bloodline limit that would be useful in keeping order within the village and detaining rowdy Shinobi. But despite the benefits that would come with giving command of the Military Police to the Hyuga Clan Tsunade decided against it. If she did this, the Hyuga Clan would become even more powerful and influential in Konoha, which was something she desperately wanted to avoid, given their plans towards her son and the fact that she couldn't fully trust them or their motives. The Clan was already much too powerful for Tsunade's liking, which was another reason why she was reforming the Konoha Military Police. Should another Clan take over command of the organisation they would pose an effective counter to the Hyuga, as well as a powerful ally for her in the future.
Tsunade's next choice would be the Sarutobi Clan. Like the Hyuga Clan the Sarutobi Clan would be an ideal choice. They were respect and revered by the entire village and were on equal standing with the Hyuga in terms of status and influence. Being the largest of the Shinobi Clans within the village they had the resources and manpower to easily take over the duties of the Military Police. Also giving them control of the Police Force would also tip the balance of power in favour of the Sarutobi against the Hyuga. The fact that the Sandaime was also the head of the Clan made the idea even more appealing to Tsunade.
Unfortunately though, this was also the reason why she couldn't offer them control of the Police force. Given how the Sandaime was her former teacher it would seem like favouritism to the other Clans, like the Hyuga, causing them to resent her rule. Danzo of course would be quick to take advantage of this, giving him a strong support base to stand upon when opposing her.
Tsunade's third choice was the Aburame Clan. The Aburame Clan were well respected among the Shinobi population due to their unique insect techniques and many accomplishments. The most famous of these being the battle in the Western forest, which resulted in a crushing defeat for Iwa, and allowing to Aburame to rise to prominence in Konoha. Thanks to their techniques the Aburame were highly accomplish intelligence gathers, which would be extremely useful in the Military Police.
Sadly though, when Tsunade offered the Aburame Clan head, (Shibi), the position, he politely declined the offer, stating that his Clan had no interest in running the organisation, which left Tsunade in a difficult position.
Fortunately though, Tsunade' next choice responded far more favourable to the offer. In fact when the Inuzuka Clan head, Tsume, heard her offer, the woman almost immediately leapt at the offer, shouting "Yes!"
Though not as famed or as revered as other Clans like the Sarutobi or the Hyuga Clans, the Inuzuka Clan was still a well-respected Clan in Konoha. Still however when compared to many other Clans, the Inuzuka Clan had little to boast about. They had no powerful bloodline limits like the Hyuga and the Uchiha Clans, they produce no famed or legendary Shinobi like the Senju and the Sarutobi Clans, and they held no great important positions like the Aburame, Nara and Yamanaka Clans. But taking control of the Konoha Military Police Force would change all that, allowing for the Inuzuka Clan's reputation and influence to soar within the village.
After Tsume accepted her offer, Tsunade began the paperwork that would hand control of the Police Force over to the Inuzuka Clan. Being the third largest Clan in Konoha, second only to the Sarutobi and the Hyuga, the Inuzuka Clan could easily run the Police Force by themselves until she set up the selection process that would allow other veteran Shinobi to join the Force.
Another benefit to having the Inuzuka Clan run the Military Police was that she knew she could trust both Tsume and her Clan, given how Naruto had saved her niece's life in the recent invasion and in return she had presented him a pack bracelet and Kurimaru. With their support Tsunade knew her position as Hokage would be that much more secure and at the same time make things more difficult for others like Danzo. It also had an added benefit of subbing the Hyuga Clan elders, who would no doubt take some offense to being passed over a prestigious position, like the Military Police, in favour for a lesser Shinobi Clan like the Inuzuka.
Shortly after finishing the necessary paperwork, the Hokage's thoughts were interrupted by a knock on the door where she responded with an "Enter." The door then opened slightly, and Shizune's head stuck through.
"Pardon Hokage-sama, but Danzo-san is here stating that he has information on the matter you discussed with earlier."
Nodding, the female Hokage signalled his former student to let the man it, who then sat down on one of the seats in front of Tsunade.
"You have information on the spy in the mission department?"
Nodding, the old Shinobi replied, "Yes, the one responsible for the leak is a Shinobi clerk by the name of Nyūdō Hito, who was an unknowing accomplice in the whole affair."
"It would seem that Hito frequented a local bar called the Weeping Tree, and was rather "friendly" with a female barmaid there, going by the name Hari"
"She was the spy!?" asked Tsunde, to which Danzo acknowledge with another nod.
"Yes, she seemly used the friendly relationship she had built with Hito-san, getting him drunk and pretending to be interested in him, so that he would tell her want she wanted."
Tsunade sighed after hearing this, whether they be Shinobi, Samurai, civilian or royal, nearly all men had the same weakness, drink and women. It was because of this that women, (especially attractive women), tended to make better spies than men. All they would have to do was give a man enough attention, smile and laugh at their jokes, (whether they be funny or not), act helpless, innocent, and maybe show a little cleavage, and the men would be putty in their hands.
"Is she still at the bar?" Tsunade asked, already planning on sending her ANBU to monitor her in the hope of identifying anymore spies, and then apprehending her later along with her conspirators.
"No..." replied Danzo, "she is already in custody."
"What...?! Explain?!" demanded Tsunade.
"During the course of my investigation I hired several locals to monitor the bar and the waitress in question. They were then able to locate several drop-off points that the waitress went to, which then allowed us to identify several members of the spy ring. Unfortunately before we could identify them all, she caught onto them and warned her companions that we were closing in on them, where they attempted to escape. Luckily I had my own people shadowing her and detained the spies we had already identified before they could destroy any information they had. My people then followed her outside the village, where she met up with the rest of the ring."
"Were you able to capture them as well?" Tsunade asked to which Danzo shook his head. "Regrettably no, the first one was killed during the apprehension, while the other chose to kill himself rather than be captured, and attempted to take one of my people with him."
Slowly leaning back into her chair, the Granddaughter of the Shodai Hokage folded her arms and stared right into the old Shinobi one visible eye.
Danzo of course showed no emotion whatsoever and stared right back at the younger woman, not the least bit intimidated.
"When you say "your" people, I trust you don't mean ROOT?"
Keeping his face blank, Danzo replied "Of course, ROOT after all was disbanded by the Sandaime many years ago. I was simply referring to my personal guard, which as you know I am permitted to have as member of both the Fire Council and Konoha's Council, and advisor to you."
"Of course..." nodded Tsunade, not believing a word the old War-Hawk said. She knew ROOT was still active, even after the Sandaime ordered it disband, she just couldn't prove it officially. But that didn't means she didn't have her own people monitoring him and his followers. "But even so, you overstepped your authority Danzo. I made it perfectly clear that I wanted to be notified of "any" development in the investigation and that you were not to act without permission, you purposely ignored my orders."
"My apologies, perhaps I was a "tad"overzealous in my investigation. At the time I thought it was best that I not waste your time and only inform you when I had something of worth to report. But by then the spies had caught on to our investigation and there was no time for me to report to you of the situation."
When Danzo finished, Tsunade said nothing, she narrowed her eyes stared silently at the elder Shinobi, hoping to see some sort tell that would show her that Danzo was lying. She knew that Danzo had deliberately ignored her orders about keeping her informed of the investigation as subtle form of undermining her authority as Hokage.
Sadly there was no such tell, as Danzo kept his face void of any emotion as he continued to stare back at her.
After several moments of a tense silence, Tsunade broke eye contact, knowing it was pointless, Danzo would not break, at least not this way.
Getting up from her seat Tsunade then said. "I trust that you haven't begun the interrogation yet?"
Shaking his head Danzo replied "No, I thought you would want to be there yourself. The prisoners are already at the interrogation division, both Ibiki-san and Inoichi-san are waiting for us.
Giving a short nod, Tsunade signalled Danzo to follow her, though she may not like, nor trust the man, she could not deny that he got results when needed.
Back at the Valley of the Four Winds, Naruto walked through the village, ignoring the several stares he got from the Pandas. It had already been three days since he was brought to the valley, and yet many of the Panda continued to stare at him and whisper to one another, like he was some sort of exotic animal.
Although he understood why most of the Pandas were so curious about him, given how it was almost a hundred years since a human had come here, he still found it a tad annoying. However it wasn't like he wasn't use to such things, as he had received similar looks before in Konoha after his identity had been revealed to the village.
Fortunately though he didn't have to endure this very often as he spent much of his time conversing with Zian and Chen at the temple about the prophecy and how they could help him with his Mokuton training.
Giving the villagers little heed, Naruto made his way over to Lin Slientflower's clinic to check on Kurotsuchi. He hadn't really seen much of the Iwa Kunochi since he had dropped her off with Lin, though had occasionally made some enquires with Lin, who reported that her treatment was going well and that she would be able to leave shortly. Although Naruto did not care much about her personally, the medic in him felt the need to check in her given how he had been the one responsible for most of her injuries. He also felt somewhat sorry for her, given how she spent most of her time in the clinic with no-one to really talk to or keep her company, other than Lin.
When he arrived at the clinic, he greeted the female Panda, who was writing at her desk.
Seeing the young boy, Lin smile kindly at him, "Hello Naruto-san, to what do I owe the visit, nothing wrong I hope?"
Shaking his head Naruto replied, "No, I just came to check in on your patient and see how she's doing."
Nodding understandingly, Lin then said, "She's doing well and is as stubborn as ever."
"Guess that's a good sign" answered Naruto with a chuckle, which caused Lin to smile and nod back.
"She's should be well enough to leave today."
"That's good...Would it be okay if I go talk to her?"
"Of course..." nodded the female Panda, "I'm certain she would appreciate the company. Her room is down the hall, second to your right, go right ahead in."
"Somehow I doubt that" Naruto replied with another chuckle, knowing that Kurotsuchi would not be the least bit please to see him again. But as Naruro walked past Lin's desk, waving his thanks, he failed to notice the small smirk that was slowly forming on Lin's face. Shortly after she heard a loud pitch scream from Kurotsuchi, followed by a loud explosion and another scream from Naruto.
When he reached the door, Naruto immediately opened it without even thinking and said "Yoh, Rock Princess I heard you..." however his words were soon lost when he saw Kurotsuchi standing next to her bed, wearing only a red sports bra and a pair of seamless black panties. For several seconds both teens just stared at one another, frozen in dumb surprise.
Realizing that he had just walked in on the Iwa Kuortsuchi when she was changing, Naruto tried to apologise. But before he could even utter so much as a word, Kurotsuchi let out a high pitch scream after which she then spat out a large ball of molten rock.
Acting on instinct, Naruto quickly sidestepped the attack, avoiding the deadly attack by mere inches as it flew past him, burning several strands of his hair before hitting the wall behind him, making a large football size hole in it
Staring nervously at the large melting hole in the wall, Naruto quickly turned to Kurotsuchi and yelled "A-Are you trying to kill me?!"
"What do you think, you pervert?! Now stand still and die!"
"Like hell I will!" Naruto yelled back before Kurotsuchi spat out a large stream of fire that Naruto was barely able to evade as he raced out of the hallway.
"Something the matter?!" asked Lin, looking up from her work with an amused smile when saw a badly singed Naruto racing out of the hallway.
"You could say that" Naruto replied sarcastically as did his best to put out the small flames at the tail end of his coat. "You could have warned me she was changing."
Smiling at the boy, Lin simply replied, "Perhaps you should have knocked first."
Realizing he had just been played, Naruto glared angrily at the female Panda, who continued to smile back at him. This was another thing that Naruto had recently learned about the Pandas; they enjoyed the occasional prank, especially on newcomers like him. But before he could say anything, a now fully dressed "and" furious Kurotsuchi appeared out of the hallway.
Deciding that retreat was the better course of action here, Naruto gave Lin one last glare and muttered, "I'll remember this," before racing out of the building with Kurotsuchi hot on his heels, shouting out curses along with what she would do to him once she got her hands on him.
Elsewhere in the valley, Chun Ironpaw and five other Panda cubs were wandering through far end of the valley that was forbidden to all save members of the temple.
"Guys I really think we shouldn't be here" warned Chun as she followed her friends through the small forest.
"Oh come on Chun, don't be such a chicken" said a young male panda cub as he urged his friends to follow him.
"I'm not a chicken Jinto, but my dad said that this place is forbidden for a reason."
Ignoring Chun's warning, Jinto urged the rest of his friends on, "Come on, there is something I want to show you."
Slowly Chun and the other Panda cubs followed their friend deeper into the forest and up a large ruined old stone steps where they found a large stone clearing on the top of a small hill. The clearing was covered in mostly broken branches and moss and surrounded by eight large statues of five Panda Monks, each holding a staff in one hand and their other hand starched forward directed to the centre of the clearing, as if they were holding something back, or in.
"What is this place?" asked one cub as they examined the statues.
"I don't know, I found it here a while exploring. But that not what I wanted to show you, this is" replied Jinto as he pointed at the small paper seal on the bottom of one of the statues.
"A seal?" asked one of the other pandas.
"Yea, I found one on each of the statues and look what happens when touch it." When Jinto touched the seal note, a small green glow could be seen coming from the centre of the clearing. Moving toward the glow the young cubs could see five small green stones embedded into the stone floor, forming a circle and in the centre was the Kanji for lock carved into the floor.
"The stone must somehow be connected to the seal, what happens when you touch all of them?" asked another young male cub wearing tick glasses.
"I don't know, whenever I let go of the seal the stone stops glowing" Jinto answered, letting go of the seal, where the stone did indeed cease glowing. "That's why I brought all you guys here, I'm guessing that this is one of those special seals that Sensei mention in class. You know the one where the seals tags are connect and that the only way to remove them is removed them at the exact same time."
"What do you think will happen when we release the seal?" asked a panda girl.
"I don't know, maybe so kind of treasure."
"Or maybe some that should remain sealed" added Chun, who still thought that this was a bad idea.
Ignoring Chun's warning Jinto instructed the other where to go. Once everyone was in position, Jinto counted down, "Okay...one...two...three...now!"
As soon as Jinto shouted "Now!" all the other panda children pulled their respected seal tags off, causing all five stones to glow brighter than ever before. A large green seal then appeared, covering the entire clearing.
"W-What's going on?" asked one of the other Panda children, where Jinto's just shook his head, having no idea himself.
Shorty have the centre of the clearing began to open up, revealing a large black hole. Cautiously the children slowly made their way over to it, but just as they peered into the hole a black mist-like substance suddenly erupted out and began to cover the entire forest. Moments later dark booming voice roared, echoing across the forest.
"FREE AT LASTSSSS!"
After hearing the voice, the terrified Panda cubs quickly ran out clearing and down the stone steps as fast they could.
"Let me go goddammit!" yelled a furious Kurotsuchi as she hung upside down from a large tree with her body wrapped up in wooden tentacles.
"When I get down from here..." growled the girl as she glared at the person responsible for her predicament, who was standing on a tree branch right in front of her. The first time this happened was bad enough, but the second time...it was beyond humiliating.
Sighing Naruto listened to Kurotsuchi's rants. After he had accidently entered her room while she was changing, he fled the village in a desperate attempt to escape Kurotsuchi wrath, hoping to hide long enough for her to cool off. But unfortunately that failed as she provided surprisingly resourceful when tracking him down. Naruto had considered defending himself as she continued to attack him, but he decided against it, believing it would only antagonize her further. He thought that by running away and avoiding all her attacks he would get her to wear herself out or lose interest in attacking him. But after having her constantly chase him around the valley for two hours, he'd finally had enough and used his Mokuton powers to capture her.
Sighing again Naruto then offered, "How about we call another truce? And I'll let you down."
"How about you let me down from here and I'll kick your prevy ass."
"Well that doesn't give me much incentive to let you go..." Naruto replied as he folded his arms, showing his dislike at being called a pervert. "And for your information I am not a pervert, how was I supposed to know that you were changing?"
"Ever heard of a thing called knocking?" she retorted, causing Naruto to blush a little given how she had a point. However before he could respond the two suddenly heard what sounded like an explosion nearby.
Turning to the direction of the explosion, they could see from the distance a large dark pillar coming from small forestry.
"What was that?" asked Kurotsuchi in surprise, temporarily forgetting her anger at Naruto and her current predicament.
"I don't know" he replied, looking just as surprised and confused as she did.
Deciding to investigate, Naruto formed a single hand seal, causing the wooden tentacles holding the Iwa Kunoichi to let go, who unfortunately was not expecting this and landed flat on her back.
"UUfff...hey a little warning would be nice!"
"Sorry, but no time, I'm going to check that out." After which Naruto took off in the direction
"Not without me you're not!" shouted Kurotsuchi as she picked herself up and took off after the Senju heir.
After racing through the forest, the two young Shinobi arrived in large open field and were making their way towards the dark pillar when they saw Chun and several other terrified Panda children racing towards them.
"Chun!" Naruto called out as he made his way over to her and his friends. "What's wrong? Are you okay?"
Grabbing his coat, the frighten Panda shouted his name and clung onto his side tightly, as if her life depended on it, while her friends all huddled behind him and Kurotsuchi, who looked just as confused as Naruto.
"What's going on…?"
However before Naruto could even respond, several dozen large shadow-like creatures appeared and began to swarm all over them. (1)
Taking out their Kunai, Kurotsuchi and Naruto tried to defend themselves and the Panda children. But whenever they struck, their weapons would just pass right through the creatures without harming them. The creatures then passed right through their bodies, causing them to loose strength and feel as if they had be violated in some manner.
"W-What was that?" Kurotsuchi gasped, wobbling slightly, as she felt drained and out of breath, as if she had run a marathon.
"T-Th-Those things…they must be able to drain us of our physical energy when they pass through us," Naruto stated, who like Kurotsuchi was feeling out of breath. Fortunately however he still has plenty of stamina and could keep going. "We can't let them do that again. Otherwise we're finished!"
Nodding in agreement, Kurotsuchi dodged another one of the creatures when it attempted to go through her. But when she did the creature reached out with its claw-like hand and slashed at her left arm, tearing through her long sleeve and scratching her arm.
Crying out in pain, Kurotsuchi angrily threw her kunai at the creature, which went right through it.
"Oh come on!" shouted Kurotsuchi in frustration. "They can hit us, but we can't hit them?! How the hell is that fair!"
Naruto though did not respond to this, as he had his own hands up with the creatures as well, and was just learning that the creatures could hurt them as well, after one of the scratch his right hip.
Grunting in pain, Naruto desperately tried to think of a way for him and Kurotsuchi to escape with the kids. But given their numbers, and the fact that the creatures were immune to all their attacks and could pass through just about anything, it seemed impossible.
The only good thing they had going for them was that the creatures were seemly too preoccupied with him and Kurotsuchi to bother with Chun and the other Panda children. However this would not last, for as soon as the creatures were done with them, they would turn on the kids.
At that moment Naruto heard Chun shout "Look out behind you!" Turning around, Naruto saw another one of the dark creatures preparing to strike with its claws.
Acting on pure instinct, not even thinking over the fact that it would be useless to attack given how all their other attempts failed, Naruto slashed at the creature with his Kunai. However to his surprise, and confusion, he was able slash off the creatures right arm, which in turn caused it fade away with a high pitch shriek.
For a moment Naruto was stunned by what happened and just stared at the space that the creature had been occupying only moments ago. But he was quickly brought back to his senses by a shout from Kurotsuchi, who had too preoccupied with her own fight with the creatures to notice what he had just done.
"Senju quit your daydreaming and help me out here!"
"R-Right!" Turning to help, Naruto began to slash at the creatures and threw several shuriken that he taken from his pouch, but like their earlier attempts his attempts to destroy the creatures failed, as his attacks just passed right through the creatures without harming. Yet they continued slash at him and Kurotsuchi, where they received several more cuts and scratching, which were becoming more and more numerous the longer the fight lasted. A few more even passed through their bodies, draining more of their physical energy.
"Goddamnit, why the hell was I able to destroy one of them, but not the rest? There must be something I did differently." Naruto thought angrily.
Remembering that moment, Naruto went over everything that happened, but couldn't figure out what he had done to allow him to destroy the first creature.
At the same time, Naruto notice another one of the dark creatures coming up behind Kurotsuchi, who was too preoccupied with dodging several other creatures to notice it
Calling out to the girl, Naruto threw his Kunai at the creature, without even thinking.
Hearing Naruto's warning Kurotsuchi spun around just in time to see the creature as it was about to cut her down. But before it could, Naruto's Kunai struck it in the side of the head, causing it dissipate with a loud angry shriek.
Surprised, Kurotsuchi quickly turned to Naruto who looked surprised. "How did you do that?"
Naruto however did not answer right away, after getting over his surprise, a look of realization appeared on his face, and muttered. "It's when they attack."
"It's when they attack…" he repeated, more to himself than Kurotsuchi before look over to her. "Most of the time they remain intangible or out of phase which is why we can't hit them. But when they are about to attack they need to make themselves solid, which makes them vulnerable to attack. You've to wait until the last moment to attack, attack too soon and they'll just phase out. They also don't seem to be very durable; one good hit should destroy them."
After explaining to Kurotsuchi, Naruto silently cursed himself for being such an idiot and not realizing it sooner, since the answer had literally been staring him right in the face.
"But how do we know when they about to attack and not pass right through us like they have already?"
"Watch their hands, when they are about to attack, they tend extend their claws out."
Nodding her thanks, Kurotsuchi turned to face the nearest creature. Following Naruto's advice, Kurotsuchi watched for the creature to bring out its clawed hands and then waited until the last second to sidestep its attack and then kicked in the back. And just as Naruto predicted the creature let out a high pitch shriek and dissipated. Although this did not make the fight any easier for them, it gave them a fighting chance.
Falling into a defensive position, with their backs facing one another and the Panda children huddled in between them. Naruto formed a single hand seal and created a dozen shadow clones of himself, who then formed a defensive ring around them. Kurotsuchi had also suggested they create an earth wall around them to give them a better defensive position. But Naruto dismissed the idea, stating that the walls would do no good as the creatures would pass right through them and would limit their own movement. Out in the open they could at least see the creatures coming and avoid them.
For the next few minutes Naruto and his clones, along with Kurotsuchi battles against the creatures, while the Panda children stayed as low as possible. Eventually the fight died down as the creatures numbers began to dwindle to only a few, although it cost Naruto all his clones in doing so.
With their numbers being severely reduced, the remaining creatures quickly fled. Believing they won, Naruto prepared to tell the others to run back to the village. But before he could even say anything, another large swarm of creatures appeared racing towards them, intending to overwhelm them with their numbers.
As the swarm drew closer, Naruto and Kurotsuchi told the children to run, while they performed their respected jutsu in the hope of halting or at least slowing down the swarm. However before they could finish, a sudden blast of wind erupted from behind them, nearly blowing Naruto and the others off their feet, while at the same time scattering the creatures.
Moments later, after the blast of Wind died down, several dozen bolts of Lightning flew over them, destroying the majority of the swarm. What few left quickly scattered and fled from whence they came.
Turning to the direction of where the two attacks came, Naruto and the others saw Chen and another Panda running towards them.
Seeing her father, the tearful Chun raced over to him, where he then pulled his daughter into a strong hug. "Thank the ancestors your safe, is anyone hurt?"
Shaking her head, Chun replied "No, Naruto-nii and the other lady protected us from the demons."
Turning to the two teen, Chun thanked them both, to which the two just nodded, stating it was nothing.
"Can you tell us what happened?" asked the other Panda rather seriously, before Naruto could answer, Kurotsuchi, rather rudely, replied.
"And who are you?"
In response, Chen answered for him, "My apologises, I had forgotten that none of you had met yet. Kurotsuchi-san, Naruto-san, allow me to introduce you both to my younger brother Shan Ironpaw…Brother allow me to introduce you to Konkurito Kurotsuchi and Senju Naruto."
"A Pleasure" nodded the other Panda, though kept his gaze on Naruto a little longer than normal. "So he is the one that Master believes to be Avalokitesvara, he doesn't look like much."
Shan was of average height for a Panda, being only slightly shorter than Chen and was dressed in a similar manner as his brother, wearing a straw hat and loose fitting blue robes, though his were a brighter shade of blue. In addition Shan also wore a pair of metal gantlet on each of his arms. (2)
"Now that the introductions are done, perhaps you can tell us what happened here?" Shan asked in though it felt more like a demand, than actually question given his tone of voice, which was not something Naruto was not use to hearing from a Panda, who were normally very friendly and polite when talking to others. Though given the situation he figured it was understandable.
"Honestly I don't know, the Rock Princess and I saw this large pillar of dark energy coming from the forest over there," he then pointed in the direction where they saw the pillar. "When we went to see what it was, we ran into the kids and were then attacked by those things."
"We saw the same pillar, which was why my brother and I came here to investigate," replied Chen.
"Perhaps then children can answer then" Shan suggested, giving Chun a rather stern looking stare, ignoring the fact at how upset the girl was. However before he could press her for any answers, Jinto stood forward and spoke.
"It's my fault, Chun tried to warn us, but I didn't listen and I convinced the others help me and we released it." Jinto then on to explain what happened at the ruins and how after releasing whatever was inside, they fled the ruins and forest, where they then ran into Naruto and Kurotsuchi.
"It Ankoku…we released Ankoku…now he's going to eat all our souls!" cried one of the Panda children. (3)
"I don't my soul to be eaten, I want my Mama?" wailed another child.
Shan however did not seem to show much concern for the frighten children's; in fact he looked rather angry with them. "What you've all done, was not only foolish, but dangerous as well, and now the whole valley may suffer for it!"
"Brother enough, scolding the children does no good now, nor dose upsetting them more than they already are, what done is done. We can see to their punishment later, for now we need to focus on getting back to the village and inform Master Zian of what has happened here."
Understanding his brother's reasoning, though at the same time not entirely happy with his, Shan grunted. After which he then began take some of the children into his arms, knowing that they would not be able to keep with them by themselves.
Naruto and Kurotsuchi also helped by taking a few more of the children into their arms. While those left were carried by a few clones that Naruto had made. After which the group then took off at top speed towards the village.
It didn't take the group long to reach the village, and upon arriving they saw that the entire villages was in a flurry of panic after sensing the dark energy that was released and seeing the dark pillar in the distance.
Many of the villagers were asking what was happening, while others took their terrified children into their arms and raced back into their homes. Chen of course tried to reassure his people that everything would be fine, but did little to calm the other Pandas down, especially since he himself did not believe his own words.
Once all the children were safely home with their parents, the four headed for the Temple to speak with Master Zian on what was happening.
When they arrived, like the village, the Temple was in a flurry of excitement with monks and guards running around everywhere. However, while the villagers were running around and panicking, demanding answers from anyone that may know something. The monks and guards seemed to running with a purpose, preparing seals, gathering food, weapons and anything else they may need, as if preparing for battle. But despite their professionalism and their attempts to stay focus on their duties, both Naruto and Kurotsuchi could see that they were just as frighten as the villagers were.
At the Temple Head's Chamber, the guards let them in without having to wait. At first they could not see the Temple Head, but when turned to their right the found him at the balcony that overlooked the temple and the Valley itself.
Without even having to announce their arrival, the Temple Head Zian turned to the four. With this being the first time meeting him, Kurotsuchi watched the old Panda carefully in the hope of grasping what type of person he was. Though Zian was not that much taller than her, or seemed all that dangerous, the old Panda had a powerful presence about him that reminded her a little of her grandfather. However unlike him, Zian also seemed to have calming presence around him, that seemed to make people around him feel at ease.
Kurotsuchi however was soon broken from her thoughts when she saw Zian turn and speak to her.
"You're Konkurito Kurotsuchi, correct?" Zian asked politely.
When Kurotsuchi nodded, the old Panda offered his hands, which Kurotsuchi took, though somewhat hesitantly.
"It is a pleasure to meet you Kurotsuchi-san…" said Zian, smiling kindly at the young girl after she took his hand. But his smile quickly faded and was replaced by a sad look. "Although I am sorry that our first meeting is under such dire circumstances."
Before Kurotsuchi could respond, Zian let go of her hand and then turned to Chen and Shan. "Is it what we feared?"
"I am afraid so Master" answered Chen, his voice filled with concern.
"You are certain of this?" asked Zian, though it seemed more like a statement that an actual question.
"We saw his minions with our own eyes and destroyed many of them before they retreated and the energy we sensed came from the ruins" replied Shan.
"Then our worse fears have come to pass, Ankoku has been freed" sighed the old Panda, who seemed wearier than Naruto had ever seen him.
Tired of being left in the dark about what was happened, Kurotsuchi spoke. "Okay can someone please tell me what the hell is going on here? What was the dark pillar of energy we saw earlier? Who is this Ankoku person that everyone keeps talking about? And what were those things that attacked us earlier?"
"I'd like to know that too" joined Naruto, though Kurotsuchi had been a little more blunt that he would have been. He shared her frustration in not knowing what was happen, as neither Chen nor Shan had been willing to share on the way to the Temple and the children had been too emotional, to answer them either.
Angered by how rude and disrespectful the two were being to the Temple Head, Shan prepared to reprimand the two. But before he could say anything, he was waved off by Zian, indicating that it was fine and that he was not bothered by their bluntness. After which Chen then spoke.
"Beware the dark demon Ankoku, watching all the time,
Who lives in his shadowy lair, waiting for night to come.
He watches you in your home, behind every tree and stone,
He watches you in your bed, in the darkest corner of your room.
So be good and do not misbehave…or he'll send a Shade for your soul."
"What was that, some kind of ghost story?" Kurotsuchi asked curiously.
"An old Nursery rhyme told to young cubs by their parents at night to keep them from misbehaving," answered Chen.
"Well, it didn't work this time."
"Regrettably no" the Panda replied sadly.
"So, this Ankoku is a demon?" Naruto asked
"Yes, from a time long ago, one that I had hoped would remain a legend" said Zian as he moved to his seat on the ornately platform. "Our tribe has not always resided in the Valley of the Four Winds, and we were not the first to make it our home."
"A thousand years ago, before we Pandas came to live here. This Valley was inhabited by a dark creature of immense power, Ankoku, the Yami no Kurokiryū (The Black Demon Dragon of Darkness). However Ankoku, was not like other demons, he was a being comprised of Chakra."
"You mean he was a Chakura no Bakemono (Chakra Monster), like the Biju (Tailed Beasts)" stated Naruto.
"Yes" nodded Zian. "However unlike the Biju, Ankoku was comprised of Yami no Chakura (Dark Chakra)."
"Yami no Chakura?" repeated both Kurotsuchi and Naruto, as neither of them had heard of it before.
"It is a special Chakra formed from the negative emotions of the people's heart. Back then there was an abundance of it, due to the many wars that were fought between people. Somehow at some point, the Chakra gathered and formed into a living entity that we now know as Ankoku he then made the Valley his home. The Valley then later became known as the Valley Everlasting Darkness, draining the land of its life causing it to become a bleak and barren wasteland."
At this point both Naruto and Kurotsuchi shared the same shocked looks, as they could not imagine the same Valley that they were staying in, one so full of life and light, was once a dark barren wasteland. But neither said a word, and instead allowed Zian to continue with his story.
"Over time Ankoku's power grew and his darkness like a plague, spread across the surrounding lands causing them withered and died. His minions, the Shades, attacked and terrorised any village that was within their reach, killing or chasing away anyone that lived there."
"That's what does things are…Shades?" Naruto asked, receiving a nod from Zian. "What are they exactly?"
"Shades are living Chakra, much like Ankoku, created from his excess energy. However unlike him they do not have a will of their own, they exist solely to serve him. Not unlike worker ants or drones serving their queens. And unfortunately he can create as many as them as he want, so long as he has enough power. After battling them, I'm sure you know how difficult they can be to fight and destroy, despite not being very strong. Most of the time they are intangible, save for when they attack, and can they drain you of your Chakra and energy slowly they pass through body, weakening you and making it easier for them to overwhelm you with their numbers and kill you"
"GGrreeaatt" moaned the blonde haired boy
"How was he sealed away?" Kurotsuchi asked, since if Ankoku was as powerful as they claimed, she was curious how he was defeated.
"With great difficulty, years later, our tribe made its way to the Valley and upon seeing the destruction and mayhem that Ankoku was causing to the surrounding lands and people, they challenged him for control of the Valley. Led by the leader of our tribe and future founder of our village, the Great Sage Shaohao, we battled him for seven days and nights until at last he and all his creations were defeated and sealed away."
"Until those foolish children released him, and doomed us all" Shan growled.
"That's enough Shan" scolded Zian, turning to the younger of the Panda brothers. "The children had no idea what they were doing, nor had they any ill intent when they released Ankoku. They were simply curious like all children, they cannot help who they are, no more than a leaf can control itself in the wind…We are just as responsible as they were for what happened today, had we been more diligent in our duties and not became complacent, leaving the seal unguarded and allowed it to fall into ruin, this may never have happened."
Shan however was not entirely convinced by his Master's words and just grunted, before excusing himself, stating he needed to prepare for the battle to come.
"Humph, he's a regular bag of cheer" Naruto remarked dryly.
Sighing sadly at his brother as he watched his brother, Chen turned to Naruto and Kurotsuchi. "I apologies for my brother's rudeness, please don't judge him too harshly, he can be rather gruff and stern, but he cares deeply for the Valley and worries for our people. That is why he acts the way he does."
Not really caring about the grumpy Panda, Kurotsuchi turned to Zian again. "If you sealed Ankoku before, can't you do it again?"
"We can, but it will take time for to prepare the necessary tools to seal him away, and Ankoku will use that time to gather his strength. Right now he is formless and is therefore weak, which is why he has not yet attacked and surrounded himself with his shades to keep us from attacking. But once he has solidified himself, he'll attack."
"We should begin evacuation of the village and have the villagers pull back to the back to the Temple, they'll be safe in the old catacombs underneath the temple for the time being," suggested Chen. "In addition we should call in the rest of Guardians; we'll need everyone's strength if we're to defeat Ankoku."
"I've already sent orders, just before you arrived" Zian replied.
"Where can we help?" Naruto asked.
Having almost completely forgotten about Naruto and Kurotsuchi, Zian and Chen turned to the two teens. "Though we appreciate your offer, Naruto-san we cannot ask…"
"Screw asking, I spent too long searching for this place just to run away and let it get it destroyed. I can help, if this Ankoku guy is basically a Chakura no Bakemono, like Biju, I can use my Mokuton powers to weaken him. Plus I can summon the slugs and toads to help, Boss Gamabunta may be grumpy old sod, but he's handy in a tight spot, at the very least I'm certain Katsuyu will help."
However, to his surprise Zian shook his head. "Though the slugs and toads would be of great help in the battle with Ankoku, they cannot help us at this time. There is a powerful barrier around the Valley which prevents anyone other summons, save us, from entering here. It is one of the reasons why we have been able to keep ourselves hidden for so long. And though your Mokuton ability could be effective against Ankoku, you would not be strong enough to stop Ankoku once he returns to his true form and regains his full strength."
"Can't you take down the barrier?" Naruto asked
"Unfortunately not at this time, although I am capable I have to prepare the tools needed to seal Ankoku. We simply do not have to have the time to bring down both the barrier and preparing the sealing."
"Well I'm still going to stay and fight," Naruto retorted stubbornly. "If there is one thing you'll need to know about me, it's that I don't run away from a fight, EVER!"
Seeing the determined look in Naruto's eyes, and both Chen and Zian relented, knowing that it would be pointless in arguing with him and could not force him to do otherwise.
Chuckling, Zian bowed and said, "Then we humbling, and graciously accept your offer of help, Naruro-san."
"Count me out" said Kurotsuchi.
"You're just going to leave them to fight that demon alone" Naruto half-shouted, turning to face Kurotsuchi. "You heard what they said?"
"Yeah, I heard, but it still got nothing to do with me, or my village, it's not our fight!"
Angered by Kurotsuchi words, Naruto was about to retort, but was stopped by Zian. "Please Naruto-san that is enough, Kurotsuchi-san is indeed correct. This is not her fight, she has no obligation to help us, nor do we have the right to ask her to risk her life for our home."
Still not liking the fact that Kurotsuchi was skipping out and abandoning the Pandas, Naruto settled with just glaring at the girl.
Ignoring Naruto's glare, Kurotsuchi turned to look at Zian "Where the best way out of here?"
There is a hidden passage way at the end of the valley that leads out of the mountains. I'll send a monk to show you the way."
Nodding, Kurotsuchi took her leave to gather he belongings back at the village."
After Kurotsuchi had left, Chen turned to the Temple Head and said that he would go assist with the evacuation in the village before returning to Temple to prepare for the battle ahead, leaving Naruto and Zian alone.
After Chen had left, Zian asked Naruto to follow him, stating that there was something that he wished to show him. Curious by what Zian wanted to show him, Naruto followed the old Panda, who led him out of the chambers and through a long hallway. They made several turns into different hallways until they arrived at a dead end, with a wall painting of a blossom tree on it.
Before Naruto could ask if this was what he wanted to show him, Zian pressed is several blossoms on the tree, causing the wall to rise up revealing a spiral staircase that led downward.
"Whoa, where does this lead to?" he asked while following Zian down the staircase.
"To the reason why Ankoku so desperately wants to destroy my tribe" Zian replied cryptically, holding up the small torch that he had taken from its holder at the entrance, and lighting.
"Wait, I thought he wanted to destroy your tribe for sealing him away?" said Naruto as he followed after Zian.
"Though that may be true, it is only part of the reason why" the old Panda answered, saying no more on the matter, despite Naruto's questioning.
After travelling down the dark staircase they arrived at the entrance of a long dark tunnel and entered it. For about twenty minutes the two made their way through the tunnel in the pitch black, with no other light than the one given from Zian's torch.
Eventually they came to a stop at a large stone door, with several unusual carvings on it. Placing his hands on the door, Zian closed his eyes, after which a large blue glowing seal appeared, one more complex than any Naruto had seen during his lessons with Kushina or Jiraiya.
Seconds later the seal faded away and the door slowly split opened, revealing large underground chamber that emanated a dark purple glow around it. In the centre of the chamber was a large hole that encompassed most of the chamber, save for a narrow pathway that led to a platform and pedestal in the center of the hole.
Seeing Zian signaling him on, Naruto made his way across the pathway. Halfway across he looked down the hole and saw that the glow did not emanate from the chamber, but below it. At first Naruto thought it to be some kind of strange illuminating water. But quickly realized that what he was seeing was not illuminating water, but Chakra, massive amounts of pure Chakra gathered together in one place, explaining why he was able to see it.
"Chakra!" Naruto shouted in shock, still not believing what he was seeing.
"Actually no, but you're not far off, what you're seeing is Shizen Enerugī (Natural Energy)" corrected Zian.
"But how?" asked Naruto, still not understanding how so much natural energy can be in one place.
"Tell Naruto have you ever heard of Nihon Kuroshakai, (Leylines)?" When Naruto shook his head, Zian continued with his explanation. "They are like rivers of pure energy that run across the world, I suppose you could call them the earth's Chakra pathways system. However instead of Chakra, those pathways are filled with natural energy which spreads throughout the world, giving life to it. And like the Chakra pathway system, the earth has its own Tenketsu (Pressure points) allowing to one to control or interfere with the leylines. These points can be found on places where two or more leylines intersect with one another, and the greater number of leylines, the greater its power and the effect. It is why the Valley is so strong with natural energy here and why my Clan came to live here, we call this place the Onmyō Kabe (The Yin Yang Well) and it is the most sacred spot in the entire Valley." (4)
"Doesn't look much like a well to me?" Naruto thought to himself, as he looked around the chamber.
"You should consider yourself fortunate, Naruto-san, you're the first person other than myself and the other guardians to enter the chamber in many years. Not even your Great Grandfather Hashirama was told of it" continued Zian. "Though I dare say he suspected the well's existence, he always had a way of sensing such things, and often commented on how unusually strong the Valley was in natural energy."
"If this place is so sacred, why are you even showing me it, is it because of the prophecy?" Naruto asked Zian
"In part yes" he nodded. "But, it also because I believe you've the right to know what you are fighting for, and why this battle is so important. This Temple was built on what was once Ankoku's lair, and it was from here that he was able to control the leylines, spreading his darkness to other lands, and increasing his own power at the same time. It's is why he made the valley his home, like my ancestors he somehow sensed how powerful this place was."
"And how many leylines intersect here?"
"Five… which means the destruction he would wrought would be unimaginable, at the very least a third of the continent would be devastated."
"If this place is so important, why didn't you tell Kurotsuchi about it?" asked Naruto. "I get that it is sacred to your people and all, but if it gets her to help to defend it, it worth telling. You'll need everyone you can get if you want to defend it."
Zian however just shook his head, "If we were to tell Kurotsuchi-san, she would no doubt tell her village upon her return and they in turn would try and come here. The well holds enormous power," Zian explained. Moving to the pedestal where he placed his hand on a carved handprint with several inscriptions surrounding it. "From here one is able to control the flow of the surrounding leylines, which cover much on the continent, they can then absorb the energy from here, they can also increase or disrupted the flow of natural energy through the leylines. This in turn can result in surrounding lands to prosper, or wither away. With it, a person could bring about endless prosperity their own lands, where they would flourish and grow, or cause the downfall of a rival or enemy nation, as their lands rot and decay. Such power would be too tempting to resist to many nations, who would stop at nothing to claim it for themselves. My tribe is sworn to protect it and prevent it from falling into the wrong hands."
When Zian finished, Naruto slowly nodded, now understanding why Zian was so reluctant to reveal its existence to anyone. "If Iwa or anyone else were able to get their hands on this place, they could bring down Konoha and all of Hi no Kuni (Land of Fire) without having to lift so much as a finger. They could just sit back and watch it turn into a barren waste land, while theirs flourishes."
However at the same time another thought entered his mind. "And what's to stop me from telling my mother and family, we could just as easily do the same thing."
"That you could…" nodded Zian before smiling. "However I believe I can trust you to keep our secret. As I said before, you have the same look in your eyes as Hashirama, honest eyes, and he was one of the most honest and most honourable men I knew."
After hearing this, Naruto couldn't help but smile and feel honoured at how Zian held him with the same level of trust that he held for his Great Grandfather.
Looking around at chamber, another thought occurred to him. "You mentioned the Guardians a couple of times, who are they exactly?"
"The Guardians are select group, or team if you will, of five individuals, one for each leylines that cross here, sworn to protect both the Valley and the well."
"So they must be pretty strong then?"
"Indeed they are, they're among the strongest fighters in our tribe, each one of them is a master in their own respected element and in the sage arts. You and Kurotsuchi-san even fought one of them yourself, not long ago" replied Zian, causing Naruto's eyes to widen in surprise.
"You mean Chen-san? He's a Guardian?"
Zian Nodded. "That he is, as is his brother, Shan. I myself was one once before becoming Temple Head."
"Damn, I knew Chen was somewhat important here, but not this much" thought the blonde boy to himself. "Guess that explains why he is so strong, and why he was watching us back at the ruins, he helps protect both the valley and the well"
After Zian had finished explaining everything to him about the Guardians and the leylines, the old Panda led Naruto out of the chamber and resealed it before leaving to prepare for the battle to come.
After leaving the Temple, Kurotsuchi wasted no time in heading back to the clinic to gather her belongings. When she left the sky became dull as dark clouds began to form in the sky, blocking out the sun, as if a storm was on the horizon. Yet there was no thunder or lightning, no rain, not even wind. Instead there was a chill in the air, as if all the warmth in the valley was had been swallowed it, leaving only a dark and depressing atmosphere.
"It must be that demon Ankoku causing this, the Pandas said that he would becoming stronger."
Looking around, Kurotsuchi see the Pandas running around. Most of the males and some of the women were carrying weapons and helping with the defensives, while others gathered their belongings and their families and headed for the Temple.
Making her way back to the Temple, Kurotsuchi heard a soft cry, turning in the direction of the crying she noticed a young Panda girl alone hunched down against a wall, crying. Upon closer inspection of the child, Kurotsuchi recognised the girl as one of Panda cubs that she and Naruto had saved earlier. To be specific it was Chen's daughter Chun.
Seeing that all of the other older Pandas were too preoccupied to notice the crying girl, Kurotsuchi made her way over to her and kneeled next to her. "Hey there are you okay, are lost?"
Chen however did not reply instead she kept crying, refusing to look up at her.
Not really sure what to do, Kurotsuchi placed her hand gently on the girl's head and began to brush her fur in an attempt to calm the child down. "Hey there, I know that this all must be really scary, but it's going to be alright."
"I'm…hip…not scared" retorted Chun between sobs, while still keeping her face in her knees.
"Then why are you crying?"
"Because… hip…it's all… hip… it all our fault…hip... We're the ones… hip… who released Ankoku, and now…hip…he going to destroy the Valley and our village…hip… Everything that is happening is my fault… hip… I knew going into the forest was a bad idea… hip... I should've stop the others when we entered it… hip…I should have told someone what we were going. If I had…hip… none of this would be happening."
Continuing petting the girl's head, Kurotsuchi tried to calm the crying child down. "Shhhh, it's not your fault, it was an accident, trust me when I say that there are plenty of other people who have done a lot worse."
"Like what?" asked Chun, looking up at Kurotsuchi with tear stained eyes.
Kurotsuchi didn't answer right away. However after a few brief moments, she asks "Can you keep a secret." When the young girl nodded, Kurotsuchi answered. "I've never told anyone this before, not my parents or my gramps. A few years ago, back when I wasn't much older than you, there was this boy I knew, he was strong, skilled and good-looking, and everyone in my village admired him and hailed him as a genius. Eventually even my gramps, the Tuschikage took notice of him and decided to make him his student, where he spent a lot of time at my family's house, and would even hang out with me when not training with my gramps. He became like older brother to me, I looked up to him, and wanted to be just like him. We use to get up to all kinds of mischief together, and pissed off my gramps more than once, though the boy would always cover me and take most of the blame, even if I was the one responsible." At the mention of the boy, a thoughtful look appeared on Kurotsuchi's face, thinking back to fond memories. However her face then turned sad and depressed, when reality hit her.
"I would've done anything to gain his acknowledgement or praise, which he knew, and was probably why he picked me." When Chun asked what it was, Kurotsuchi continued with her story.
"One day the boy asked me to help him with something, he asked me to get him a scroll from my gramps privates study. He told me he wanted to perform a special jutsu to impress him, but needed my help to get the scroll without my gramps knowing, since he wanted it to be a surprise."
"And did you get the scroll?" asked Chun, where Kurotsuchi nodded sadly.
"I did…I wanted to impress him more than anything else, not only because I idolised him, but also because I had this silly little girl crush on him. I wanted him to look at me more than some little kid that hung around him."
"What was in the scroll that you took?"
"A forbidden jutsu, which he then used to destroy half my village, before fleeing it…I of course told no-one of the part I played in what happened, as I was too ashamed in what I had done to tell anyone… Because of my silly little crush, a lot of innocent people got hurt, including my gramps and my dad… So you see you're not the only one who has made big mistakes. If I hadn't let my crush get the better of me, my village wouldn't have been blown up with half of it left in ruins."
"But he tricked you!" Chun argued. "There was no way you could've known what he was going to do with it!"
"Just like you couldn't know what was going to happen when you and your friends removed those seals" Kurotsuchi replied, with a sad smile. "We all make stupid mistakes; all we can do is learn from them and make sure we don't do it again."
Seeing that Kurotsuchi was right, Chun slowly nodded and rubbed away the last of her tears from her face.
Shortly after Kurotschi helped the girl up, where they introduced each to one another, as if meeting for the first time. Once introduction were done, Kurotsuchi suggested that they go find her mother, stating that she would probably be worried.
The two did not have to search for long, as they soon found Chun's mother, who had been frantically scouring the village for Chun. Upon seeing the two girls, the mother Panda wasted no time in enveloping her daughter into a strong hug before giving her a stern scolding for making her worry. After which the mother then pulled Kurotsuchi into her own hug, and thanked her for bringing back her daughter.
When Chun's mother, (who introduced herself as Shu Ironpaw), finally let go of her, Kurotsuchi noticed Shu belongings, which she had dropped on the street upon her daughter's safe return, and offered to help her carry them to the Temple.
Shu at first tried to refused, stating that Kurotsuchi had done enough for them. But the Iwa Kunoichi would hear of none of it and began pick up some of the things from the street, before making her way to the temple with Chun and her mother.
Upon arriving at the Temple, Kurotsuchi handed their belongings to a Panda monk, who was heading to the catacombs. She then bid farewell to Chen and her mother, wishing them luck, before making her way to them Temple kitchen, and loaded a sealing scroll with some food, that the cook had been kind enough to give her, knowing she would need it for her long journey home.
After leaving the kitchen, Kurotsuchi heard a familiar voice call out to her. "So I guess what people say about Iwa Shinobi is true. When the going gets tough, Iwa gets going."
Turning to the direction of the voice, Kurotsuchi look up and saw Naruto sitting up on one of the Temple's roofs, staring coldly at her.
Angered by Naruto's words, the dark haired girl told him to watch his month, while giving him a dark glare. Naruto however just scoffed at the glare as he stood up and jumped down from the building, landing right in front of the older girl.
"So you really intend on just leaving here, without even trying to help them?"
This time it was Kurotsuchi's turn to scoff. "This isn't my problem, and if you're smart, you'd leave with me too."
"I don't run away from a fight, especially when people are in need!" snapped Naruto.
"Then you're a fool. You heard what the old Panda said, that thing is as powerful as Biju, do you really think you stand a chance at beating that thing?!"
"It's not impossible; I've before done it…twice!"
Kurotsuchi snorted at this "Don't be so full of yourself…You're strong Senju, I'll give you that much, but you forget I was there when you fought them. I saw your battle against the Kumo jinchuriki at the Chunin exam. You were barely able to beat her, and she was only able to use a fraction of her Biju's power. And the only reason you defeated Suna's jinchuriki was because of your two summons, which you can't call here because of the barrier around the valley. The Pandas were barely able to beat that thing the last time, even if they do beat him, you'll just end getting killed in the fight, especially if that thing is as powerful as they say."
"If we don't help the Pandas to stop Ankoku, everyone will be in danger…do you really think that he's just going to settle with destroying the Pandas and taking back the Valley. Once he is done here, he'll start moving onto other lands, just like he did in the past, and when he is at Iwa's gates, you're going wish you had stayed here and stopped him."
"If he does come, we'll deal with him, just as we've dealt with any enemy that had threatened us" Kurotsuchi shot back before turning to walk away. But after only taking a few steps, Naruto shouted.
"And how many more people will have to die or be hurt before that happen! You may act like you don't care, Rock Princess. But I know that's not true. In fact, I think you do care what happens to Pandas."
"And what makes you so sure?" Kurotsuchi asked after stopping and glancing back at Naruto.
"Back when we fought the Shades you could have made a break for it and ran, but you stayed and helped me defend the kids. And then at the village, one of the clones I sent to help in the village saw you comfort Chun when she sitting alone in the street, and bring her to her mother and then help them with their belongings to the Temple. If you didn't care about the Pandas why did you bother even helping them? I'm pretty good at judging people, and despite that arrogant, stubborn exterior of yours, I think deep down you're a pretty decent person."
Scoffing again, Kurotsuchi turned away from Naruto and began to walk away, but not before saying "Think what you want Senju, but I'm out of here. If you want to stay here and get yourself killed, by all means go ahead, it saves me the trouble of killing you myself." After that she then headed off to meet with the monk who would guide her out of the Valley.
After his argument with Kurotsuchi, Naruto headed to the village to help with the defensives, creating more clones of himself and positioning them in different parts of the village. Before long however a sudden strong gale-like wind blew through the village, nearly blowing Naruto his clones and several Panda off their feet. The wind was then followed by a monstrous roar, which echoed throughout the Valley, filling all those who heard it with indescribable sense of dread and fear.
However the defenders quickly overcame their momentary lapse of fear and sprang into action, gathering their weapons and positioning themselves at different parts of the village. Shortly after a think dark fog began to make its way towards the village, but as the cloud drew closer, the defenders saw the fog was not a fog, but thousands of Shades grouped together, moving as one.
As the Shades drew closer and closer, another, much larger form, sprung the horde. The creature was massive; easily the size of a small mountain, its body was completely black and was long a scaly, like a snake, with two long clawed arms. It jaw was massive, filled with hundreds or razor sharped them that could shred a man with ease, It had a long main of spikey black hair with red highlight that stretched down its body to its tail. On its head were two spiked horns, like antlers, and bat-like ears framing its face. (5)
This was the demon Ankoku, also known as the Yami no Kurokiryū (The Black Dragon of Darkness).
Upon his emergence, the horde of Shade halted their advance, stopping just outside the village
Looking down at the village, with his glowing blue eyes, Ankoku opened his mouth, making it look like he was grinning at the idea of what he would do to the village and it inhabitants.
It was then at this moment that Ankoku spoke, a loud malevolent voice. "Pandas, long have I yearned for this day. Long have I waited, sealed within that accursed prison for the day that I would take my revenge. Now at llaasstt, my vengeance is at hand, I shall reclaim what your kind stole from me. I shall destroy all traces of you Pandas from this place, and feast upon your burnt and broken corpses, and there is nothing that you can do to stop me. For I am Darkness…I am DEATH!" roaring out the last part, the Dragon unleashed a powerful shockwave and killing intent, that blew many of the defenders back and shattered many of the nearby buildings.
Most however were able to withstand the shockwave by channelling their Chakra to their feet, though many were left shaken at the power of the demon, from just a single roar, and the shear amount of killing intent he produced, as imagines of their various death flashed before their eyes. Doubt then began to form in their minds as they questioned their chances of beating such a creature by themselves, let alone surviving his wrath.
Sensing their fear, Ankoku laughed darkly, enjoying the look terror on the defenders faces. "Hehehe, YYeess be afraid, it will make devouring you all, all the more satisfying…" But before he could anything further, a large bolder-size piece of rubble was flung at him, hitting him in face.
Though the attack was no more than a bee sting to the creature, it was still enough to annoy him, causing him to snarl angrily. "Who dares?!"
"I do!" shouted a voice.
Looking down, on the village, Ankoku saw Naruto standing atop one of the buildings, glaring at him.
"A Human?! Who are you that would stand against ME?!"
"Senju Naruto, the one who will kick your ass right out of this Valley!" shouted Naruto.
Finding Naruto remark amusing, Ankoku laughed. "OOOhhh, How bold…or should I say foolish. Tell me, how do you plan to do that, BOY?!... When the mere sight of me, and my power, can install such terror into these pitiful wretches." Glancing down, the dragon could see that most of the defenders frozen with sheer terror, unable to move or fight. "They cannot help you; you stand alone, forsaken by the very creatures you came to help."
When Ankoku said this, a new voice shouted "Your Wrong….He is not alone!" It was in this moment that a small whirlwind of leaves sprung behind Naruto. When it died down it revealed Chen and his brother Shan, along with three other Pandas whom Naruto assumed were the other Guardians.
After seeing Naruto standing up to the demonic dragon and with arrival of Chen and the other guardians, the defenders quickly took heart and readied themselves for battle.
Staring coldly at the demon, Chen brought his bamboo staff forward and yelled "This Valley no longer belongs to you demon! Fall back in the black pit from which you crawled out from!" At the same time, Shen and the other guardians readied themselves, along with Naruto and the other defenders.
Angered by Chen's words, the dark dragon growled "FFoooollls, you're bodies will pave the way to reclaiming what is MINE…! THIS, IS, MY, HOUR, OF, VENGERENCE!" He then rose up to his full height, eclipsing the village his body and roared "SLAUGHTER THEM ALL…LEAVE NONE ALIVE!" Heading them master's orders, the army of Shades surged forward.
At the same time Chen shouted "AATTTAACCK!" as he and the other defenders charged forward and unleashed a volley of attacks on the servants of Ankoku.
Elsewhere at the opposite end of the valley, Kurotsuchi stood atop a large boulder, hoping to get a better view of the battle. Although she could see not much, she was however able to make out a large dark figure that seemed to tower over everything else, slowly moving closer into the village.
Kurotsuchi did not need to wonder what, or who, the figure was, she knew it had to be the demon Ankoku. Given how he was moving further into the village, and towards the Jade Temple. It was obvious that the battle was not going well for the defenders.
Watching the village burn brought painful memories back to her, memories of watching her own village being destroyed, buildings falling, hundreds of people killed or hurt, while she stood and watched in disbelief at the person responsible fly away on a large white bird.
Shaking the memories away, the Iwa Kunoichi glanced over at the Panda monk who was guiding her to the exit out of the Valley as they drew closer to the end of the Valley, and the first sounds of battle was heard. An uncomfortable feeling started to form in the pit of Kurotsuchi's stomach, a feeling she had not felt since the day she watch her village being destroyed…guilt.
Imagines of Chen, huddle with her mother and other Pandas in the catacombs underneath the Temple listening to the battles above, almost waiting to be buried alive by Ankoku, flooded her mind.
After leaving the Temple Kurotsuchi tried to ignore the feeling that what she was doing wrong, but as the sounds of battle got louder, the feeling only grew worse.
At the same time, Kurotsuchi remembered Naruto's words back at the Temple. "I don't run away from a fight, especially when people are in need… Once he is done here, he'll start moving onto other lands, just like he did in the past, and when he is at Iwa's gates, you're going wish you had stayed and stopped him here… And how many more people will have to die or be hurt before that happens! You may act like you don't care, Rock Princess. But I know that's not true. In fact, I think you do care what happens to Pandas."
"Damnit, why the hell do I have to think about that now? And why do I even care what he says? This isn't our fight, and if he had any sense he be leaving with me, instead of acting like some kind hero from a kids book."
Shortly after, Kurotsuchi's attention turned away from her thoughts to the monk guiding her, who then pointed up at a steep Cliffside nearby.
The monk explained to what she needed to do. "If you climb up there, you will find a small cave opening. Keep going straight until you come to a fork, take the first right, then another and finally a left. Follow these directions exactly, as it is quite easy to get lost in there, especially in the dark. If you follow my directions, you should find what looks like a dead-end, but it's not, as there should be a small hole in the centre. The doorway is hidden and can only be revealed by opening the lock with this Key." The Panda then handed Kurotsuchi a small curious-looking silver key with a long barrel. "Put this into the hole in the wall and turn it, it will open the door that will lead you to the other side of the mountain. Once out, you should find a pathway that leads down the mountain, it's narrow and rather rough, but I'm confident that it is nothing you cannot handle, and be able to get to the base of the mountain within a day or so. From there you should be able to get find your own way home."
"Aren't you coming with me?"
The monk however shook his head. "No, I will be returning to help in the battle."
"If you go, you'll die, with all the others!"
"All things must die eventually, that is the way of the world."
"But, you can escape, you can leave!" Kurotsuchi argued.
"And where would I go?" countered the Panda, "If this was your home, would you be so willing to leave it along with everyone you know and love?"
When Kurotsuchi did not reply, the monk continued. "My people have lived here for over a thousand years, we know of no other place, and have no-one to take us in. If Ankoku should triumph here today, then it is only a matter of time before his darkness spreads throughout the land. Everything in this world has a beginning and an end; we Pandas understand this better than most. If this is to be then end of our tribe, then so be it, I will met it, fighting alongside my kind, for there is greater reason to fight and die, than to defend one's home and family."
Before Kurotsuchi could make any sort of retort, the monk cut her off by telling her she could go, and wished her luck on her journey home.
"Goddammit, is everyone in this Valley fucking suicidal?" Kurotsuchi angrily asked herself, before turning to the direction of the Cliffside. However before leaving, she took another glance at the village, which was now burning brighter than ever from the flames.
Shaking her head, the girl then began to head towards the Cliffside, while muttering, "Idiots the lot of them."
The air was thick with smoke and the sounds of battle, as the Pandas fought desperately to defend their home from Ankoku and his Shades.
Holding onto one another for support, two wounded Panda monks made their way through the burning streets in an attempt to get to safety, but were soon surrounded by several Shades.
However before the Shades could attack, the ground underneath the two Pandas fell, who then found themselves standing in a small narrow sinkhole. At the same time several Kunai with exploding notes tied to them, fell from above and stabbed the ground before exploding, destroying the Shades.
Once the smoke from the explosion had left, the ground beneath the Pandas rose up, where they then met Naruto, whom they realized had saved them. Thanking the blonde boy, the two allowed Naruto to examine and treat their more serious injuries, using his mystic palm technique. He then instructed them to head back to the Temple to be treated fully.
Thanking him again, the two Pandas took off together, leaving Naruto alone in the ruined street. Turning in the direction of the battle, Naruto watched as the remaining Pandas battled against Ankoku as his Shades.
Despite being vastly outnumbered, the Pandas were able to hold their own against the demon dragon and the seemly endless numbers of Shades. However as the battle dragged on the Pandas found themselves being slowly pushed back.
From where he stood, Naruto watched as one of the Guardians, a female Panda, spit out a massive stream of intense flames that engulfed the demon dragon in a veritable sea of flames.
However despite the intensity and heat of the flames, they had little effect on Ankoku, who let out an almighty roar that created a massive shockwave, that blasted the flames away and destroyed everything around him.
Having enough of being on the sidelines, Naruto leapt onto one of the nearby buildings and race the join the fight. Creating several shadow clones of himself, Naruto signaled several of his clones to create a giant Earth Wall and the used his inhuman strength to shatter the wall, sending large chunks of debris speeding toward Ankoku, which then exploded upon contacted the black dragon, thank to several explode notes that his clones stuck on when they created the earth wall.
Annoyed by the attack, Ankoku turned to Naruto's direction, and let loose a powerful stream of blue fire. Before the flames could hit, one of the clones grabbed hold of Naruto and threw him out of the path of the flames, which destroyed all the clones and the building they were standing on in an instant, leaving only a large crater in its wake.
Recovering from the attack, Naruto charged forward to engage the demon in close combat, hitting it with several enhanced punches and kicks. But due to the sheer size of Ankoku's form, Naruto's attacks did little to hurt him, (despite the power behind his attacks), instead Ankoku swatted Naruto away with his clawed hand, as if he was nothing but irritating bug.
"Gahhh, This is crazy…just how powerful is that thing….?" Naruto asked himself, as he tried to lift him up. Staring at the creature, Naruto then began to wonder if this was what it was like for his father and the village, when the Kyuubi attacked.
Feeling someone grabbing hold his left arm, Naruto turned to find a Panda monk helping him up. "Are you okay?"
Nodding that he was fine, Naruto was about to thank the monk, but stopped when he saw three more Panda monks race past them toward Ankoku.
Seeing the monks, the demon dragon brought up his tail and swung it like a whip, creating another shockwave.
Seeing what was happening, the other Panda tried to warn his comrades, but it was already too late by then.
Acting fast Naruto created a second clone of himself and had it create a large wall of earth in front of them, shielding them from the shockwave. Although the wall began to crack, it withstood the attack.
At the same time, Naruto used his Mokuton skill to create several large wooden tentacles that sprung out of the ground, and had them grab hold of the other monks and pull them behind the wall as they flew by them, saving them from being completely blown away by the shockwave.
After the shockwave had died down, Naruto retracted the wooden tentacles and lowered the Panda, who gave their thanks for saving them.
Turning to look at Ankoku, Naruto couldn't help but let out a growl of frustration. "Fuck! What the hell does it take to hurt this guy?"
"Attacking by ourselves will do little to hurt him, we must pull our strength together if we are to any chance against him!" spoke one monk.
Agreeing with the plan, Naruto and the Panda monks gathered their Chakra and began to form hand seals together. When they finished they spat out several long streams of Water, which combined together to form into a giant spinning vortex of Water, which crashed right into the dragon's head, causing him to roar out in pain and stubble back.
Seeing the effect of their attack, Naruto and the other Pandas cheered at their success at finally hurting the creature. However their jubilation was short live, as Ankoku reared his head back, and roared furiously at the group that had hurt him.
Inhaling deeply Ankoku a prepared to fire another one of his Fire blasts, but was stopped when he was struck in the head by something, sending his head back sideways.
Before he could even begin to wonder what had happened, the demon found himself being attack by a small figure, that preceded to hit him with a series of powerful blows to the head, , knocking his head back and forth.
Having enough of the attacks, Ankoku flung his head forward and pushed the figure back, who then landed on the rooftop of a nearby building, that had somehow remained standing thus far.
It was then that Ankoku finally recognised Chen as his attacker. Growling furiously at the Panda, the demon spat out a massive stream of Blue Fire that destroyed anything that stood in its path between it and Chen.
Raising his bamboo staff up, Chen waited for the flames come closer. Then to the amazement of everyone watching he swung his staff downward and cut the stream of Fire in two, where it then immediately dissipated.
After negating Ankoku's attack, Chen saw Ankoku moving towards him, intending to devour him whole.
Chen however was ready and once the dragon was close enough, he leapt forward and struck the demon with a powerful blow to the head with his staff, causing the demon to rare back his head in pain. Chen then followed up with another series of powerful staff strikes to the head, each one strong that the last. He then leap up into the air once more, using's Ankoku's own head as spring board, and struck him with devastating downward strike, that sent the dragon crashing to the ground. While he landed gracefully onto the same rooftop he had been n before.
Moments later, a loud cry erupted throughout the village, as every Panda watching, cheered at what Chen had just done. The only person that didn't seem to be cheering was Naruto, who just stood in stun awe.
"Holy crap, it took all of us combined just to annoy that thing, yet Chen floors him singlehandedly…I knew he was strong…but this?!"
"Well it's not surprising if you think about it" answered one of the Panda monks, after hearing what Naruto had said. "Chen-sama is the leader of the Guardians after all, and only the strongest of them can led them. In fact Chen-sama is arguable the strongest fighter in the Valley, second only to Zian-sama himself."
At hearing this, turned and gawked at Chen, "Shit! Rock Princess and me really stood no chance against him…we didn't have a clue!" It was then that Naruto notice that Chen wasn't joining his comrades in their celebration sombre look.
Realizing what that meant, Naruto could on think "Oh Shit!" For at that moment Ankoku began stir and pick himself up, causing the pandas to halt their cheering.
Glaring at Chen, Ankoku snarled savagely, he glow blue eyes were ablaze with rage. He began to open his month and prepared to unleash his Blue Flames, but was stopped by giant rock fist that hit him square in the mouth, sending him crashing out the village.
It was then that Naruto finally took notice of the giant rock golem walking through the village. The golem was massive, towering over all the buildings of the village, and seemed to be almost as tall as Ankoku himself.
Riding atop the right should, Naruto could just about make out one of Guardians, a female Panda carrying a large Kanabō club on her shoulder.
Once again the Pandas cheered wildly at another Guardian arriving and beating Ankoku back.
"Yoh Chen, sorry I'm late, as you can imagine, it took a while to form this guy out of the mountain base" the female Guardian shouted up from her golem.
"No apologises needed, Shu, in fact your time was perfect, you've succeeded in driving Ankoku out of the village." Chen shouted back.
The Pandas conversation however was soon cut short when the they saw Ankoku stirring again as he stood up and fired a giant ball of Blue Fire at them.
Acting quickly, Shu had her golem form a single hand seal, creating a massive stone wall that towered over the village, blocking the flaming ball. However as soon as the attack had ended, Ankoku burst through the wall with an ear spitting roar, sending debris flying everywhere, forcing Naruto and many others to move to avoid having any fall on top of them.
Shu immediately had her golem incept the demon dragon, where a battle from dominance began between the two, each one trying to push the other back.
At first it looked like the two were evenly matched, but slowly Shu's golem started to push Ankoku back. Eventually it grabbed hold of him and threw him back out the village, but just as it did, Ankoku brought up his tail and with powerful swing crushing its left side, causing the golem to fall and collapse. Fortunately though, Shu was able to jump off the golem before it fell and landed on the ground safely where she quickly re-joined her brethren.
Recovering from being thrown Ankoku prepared to attack again, only to be stopped by a massive wall of Fire which sprung up in front of him out of nowhere.
From his position on the outer edge of the village Naruto watched as the wall of Fire surrounded Ankoku and closed in on him from all sides, forming into a massive spinning vortex, trapping Ankoku inside.
Not far from where he was, Naruto could see the same female he had saw earlier, controlling the Fire Vortex, and maintaining it. But despite her best efforts the vortex did not last long as Ankoku unleashed a powerful past of Dark Chakra from his body, blowing the flames away.
Struggling to hold their ground from shockwave that Ankoku created, Naruto and the Pandas channelled their Chakra to their feet, keeping them from being blown away.
After the shockwave end, Ankoku sent a new wave of Shades, which sprung right out of his body and raced straight for the defenders. Seeing this Naruto and the Pandas readied themselves to fight but stopped when Chen reappeared in front of them and began to form several hands seal, then the inhaled deeply and spat out a massive spinning wind drill, that tore through the mass of Shades like paper and hit the black demon square in the head, with such force that it sent Ankoku flying backwards. (A)
At the same time the female Fire Guardian, spat out a giant flaming ball that equalled the size of Ankoku's head and fired it into the air. The ball then exploded into a thousand small flaming balls, which rained down on the fallen demon dragon, levelling everything around it in a series of massive explosions. (B)
Before the smoke from the explosions could dissipate by itself, a loud roar emanated from the cloud of smoke, blowing it away, revealing Ankoku standing up at full height, unhurt.
"Oh come on, even after that assault, he's still standing up?!" shouted Naruto is disbelief, where he then watch Ankoku open his mouth wide.
Expecting it to be another powerful Fire breath attack, Naruto and the other Pandas worked together to create giant Earth Wall in front of the village. However instead of Blue Flames, the demon fired a powerful blast of dark energy which blasted right through the wall and shattered it, destroying much of what was left of the village and sending debris flying everywhere, which would have crushed Naruto and many of the defenders, (who were recovering from being caught in the destruction of the wall), had it not been for a large Earth Dome forming around them, shielding them from harm.
When the dome fell, several of the Pandas immediately began to thank him for saving them. However to their surprise, Naruto denied do so, stating that the dome had already sprung before he could even attempt to do the same thing.
Before the group could even begin the wonder who had saved them, a wave of Shades raced towards the group. But before they could defend themselves, a wall of Fire sprung up from the ground right in front of them, destroying most of the Shades. The remaining others Shades where then quickly dealt with after being struck by a familiar grey substances that hid in quick succession.
Turning to the direction of the attacks, Naruto and the Pandas were surprised to find a rather smug looking Kurotsuchi walking towards them. "Heh, that dumbstruck look on your faces seem to suit you perfectly Senju…you should have it more often."
"What are you doing here?"
"Saving your sorry ass, by the long of it" replied Kurotsuchi as she scanned around area for any further Shades.
"What happened to this not being our fight?" Naruto asked, still not fully sure why Kurotsuchi came back.
At this question frowned slightly. "I owed you won, back earlier with the kids, when you saved me from that Shade, and I doubt like owing debts, especially to a Konoka-nin. Plus you made a point earlier back at the Temple, if this thing takes over the Valley; it's only a matter of time before it starts attacking elsewhere. And if it ended up at my village, I'd feel like a real moron for not doing something to stop it here when I had the chance. And as much as I hate to admit it you and me actually have something in common."
Smirking a little Kurotsuchi replied, "I don't like walking away from a fight either."
This of course made Naruto and several of the nearby Pandas smile and nod their thanks for earlier.
Any further conversations between the two teens was however cut short by a sudden explosion of several massive sprouts of Water bursting out of the ground like giant geysers.
Like giant snakes, the Water Sprouts turned and struck Ankoku with incredible force, but despite the immense weight and power of the attacks, they did little to harm the demon dragon and simple collapsed to the ground.
However as the attacks ended, the Water that made up the Water Sprouts sprung back up and formed around Ankoku into a giant sphere of Water, trapping the black demon inside, preventing him from moving.
Moments later, Naruto and the others could hear the distant roar of thunder echoing throughout the Valley, right before a bolt of Lightning flashed across the sky and struck the giant Water Sphere, electrocuting the demon dragon inside.
Looking up Naruto and the others could see Shan hovering in the sky, forming hand-seals, after which several more large bolts of Lightning struck sphere with tremendous force.
As he was being electrocuted inside the giant ball of Water, Ankoku's roars of pain to be heard throughout the Valley, causing many to cover their ears from the sheer loudness of the roar.
Raising his hands above his head, Shan then began to form a giant ball of Lightning. The ball then continued to grow until it was the size of a large house, after which Shan then flung the lightning ball at the Water Sphere. (C)
When the two balls collided, they exploded, covering much of the surrounding area in a thick electrified mist, blocking everyone view of Ankoku.
Fearing that Ankoku may spring out of the mist at any moment, nobody dared move, and kept their guard up, ready to respond at a slightest sign of danger. The air filled with electricity from the previous attack, causing the hairs on everyone's body to stand up on edge.
Eventually the mist slowly began to fade, until finally it revealed Ankoku lying in the middle of a large crater, unmoving, with his eyes closed.
Seeing the demon dragon lying motionless in the crater, nobody dared moved and just stared at the seemingly unconscious demon. But after several very intense minutes, without the slightest sign of aggression, one Panda spoke up.
"Is he dead?"
"Maybe he's unconscious?" said another Panda.
"He could be badly hurt…you saw that last attack…no way he didn't take any damage!" spoke a different panda.
"Still, he's not moving" replied the first Panda. After which excited mummers began to spread throughout the defender. Many even began to shout out that they had defeated Ankoku, causing excited cheers among the group.
However not everyone was cheering at their assumed victory over the demon dragon, others like Naruto, Kurotsuchi and the Five Guardians remained wary. Naruto especially was having a strange sense of déjà vu, as the situation remained him far too much the incident in the Forest of Death, back in the Chunin exam. Like then it seemed as if they had won, but after his battle with Orochimaru, Naruto learned to be wary of any assumed victory over a more powerful enemies.
Sensing Naruto's uneasiness, Kurotsuchi also remained vigil, despite the appearance of their victory.
As if sensing the others wariness, Ankoku's eyes suddenly opened, halting the defenders cheers of victory, and confirming Naruto's and the others worst fears.
Standing up, Ankoku then began to roar up into the sky. At first the defenders thought he was preparing to attack again, and readied to defend themselves. But instead he stayed where he was and continued to roar, as if calling for something.
Before anyone could even began to question the demon's actions, all the remaining Shades in the village flew up into the air and began gather above the village form into a massive swarm.
Realizing what Ankoku was planning, Chen shouted for all the defenders to evacuate the village.
Creating some shadow clones, Naruto ordered them pick up any wounded Pandas they found that could not walk and carry them. They were then joined by Kurotsuchi and several other Pandas, who assisted him in carrying the injured.
Before long, the last of the Shades joined with the swarm above the village, after which Ankoku then let out one final roar, as if to signal the Shades, who then raced down to the ground in like a bolt of lightning.
Seeing this Naruto, who was carrying an unconscious monk, shouted out to Kurotsuchi and a few Pandas, (who were right behind him), to hurry up.
Within second the swarm of Shades crashed right into the centre of village, creating a massive shockwave that levelled the village completely, and blasted anyone nearby away, leaving only a mushroom-like cloud of dust and a giant crater in its wake.
Soon after the attack, Naruto emerged from underneath a large pile of dirt that fell over him after the blast. Helping the Panda he had been carrying up, Naruto began to look around for any other survivors and soon saw others pulling themselves out from underneath the dirt that had covered him.
As he looked around, he realized he could not see Kurotsuchi, who had been right behind him, just before the shockwave hit them.
Handing the injured Panda he had been carry to a clone he had created, Naruto began to search for the Iwa Kunoichi, and any other survivors.
"Hey Rock Princess, can you hear me?!"
He repeatedly called out to her several times, but after hearing no reply each time, he started to get worry and then yelled "Hey Kurotsuchi where are you?!"
This time he did get a response, in the form of a loud groan, after which a hand sprung out of a nearby mound of dirt.
Running over to the mound of dirt, Naruto grabbed hold of the hand and pulled out a barely conscious Kurotsuchi, along with an unconscious Panda monk whom she had been carrying.
"I feel like just went ten rounds with dad in a taijutsu spar and my head feels like it's about the split in two from this mountain size headache I have. But other than that, I'm just peachy" grumbled the girl as she brought her right hand over her head and grimaced in pain.
Smiling at her response, Naruto moved over to examine the unconscious Panda that she had been carrying, figuring that if Kurotsuchi could complain she was in no life threatening danger.
Glancing at her, Naruto said "So are you glad you stayed?"
"Oh yea, I just loved getting nearly killed by an overgrown demonic lizards" she replied sarcastically. "And if I do somehow survive this mess and get back home, I'm going to get my head examined, since I was clearly out of my mind from even coming back here."
"Or maybe, there is a soft spot deep inside that heart of stone of yours. Maybe I was right about you actually caring what happens to the Pandas. I told you before I'm a pretty good judge of character, which was why I confronted you at the Temple. I'd hope that my words would sink in and help you get over your stubbornness…guess it work." Smirking Naruto went back to examining the injured Panda, missing the rather irritated look on Kurotsuchi's face, whom seemed to be seriously contemplating the idea of killing Naruto, but eventually decided not to…for now at least.
While examining the unconscious Panda, Naruto then heard Kurotsuchi ask "Why isn't he attacking?"
Looking in the direction that the Iwa Kunouchi was staring at, Naruto could see that Ankoku, (who was standing on the opposite far end of the crater), had yet to make any move against them.
"I don't know, I guess maybe taking all those attacks did some damage after all. He might not be able to attack yet."
"Which is why we should all return to the Temple as soon as possible, before he regains his strength" said a familiar voice.
Turning, the two then saw a very worn out looking Chen slowly walking towards them, while holding an injured arm.
"Chen…you're okay!" Naruto called out with a look of relief, at seeing the leader of the Guardians.
"Just, about" replied the panda monk with a tired looking smile. He then saw Naruto staring at his arm, but raised his uninjured arm to stop Naruto from going to him, stating that he was fine. "I'm a glad to see that you are alright…both of you," at which point Chen turned Kurotsuchi. "Although I'll admit, I am surprised to see you here Kurostuchi-san, given how last I heard you were making your way back to your own village."
"I figured that you guys wouldn't be able to do much without my help…plus I couldn't very well let you lot and Senju here take all the glory" replied the girl with a small smirk.
"And we are grateful for your assistance" chuckled Wind Guardian. "One the monks you saved early told me of what you did, and for that I thank you."
Waving away Chen thanks, Kurotsuchi then asked, "If he's wounded, wouldn't now be the best time to attack. I mean those last few attacks you made were pretty impressive and clearly did a lot of damage."
"If we could we would, however, after that last attack, many of us are too wounded to fight and those of us who are still capable of fighting are to exhausted from using so much natural energy to make any kind of an effective counter attack."
After hearing this large frown formed on Naruto's face, he had of course already figured that Chen and the other Guardians were using Sage Chakra as they battled with Ankoku, it was the only explanation for the sheer massive scale of their jutsu. He of course knew the dangerous of natural energy and the Sage mode from Jiraiya.
After seeing him use it at the battle of Konoha, Naruto had questioned his godfather about it, both the strength and weaknesses of it, where he learned that after using up all the Sage Chakra the user would be left severally drained and exhausted. He also remembered what Chen had told him after he first arrived in the village, about how the Pandas could collect and store natural energy more easily than most and use it more freely at the same time. However it also meant that the aftereffects were made worse for the Pandas. In addition they also ran the risk going berserk, should they use too much natural energy, or use it for too long, thus losing their minds.
Naruto's thoughts on Pandas use of natural energy however were soon broken when he heard Kurotsuchi ask "Was everyone able to escape the attack?"
"Most were, though some were not so fortunate…" Chen replied sombrely, remembering the friends he just had lost. "But now is not the time to grieve, we must first help the injured and those unable to move back to the Temple, while there is still time…Can you both move?"
When the two nodded, Chen then directed them to those who needed help being brought back to the Temple.
Upon arriving, Naruto set off the work, helping Lin and attendants treat the wounded and the exhausted. While tending to the wounded, Naruto noticed Lin use a strange technique involving unusual hand movements, she then held out the palm of her hand, causing it to glowand for energy to emanate from it and into the Panda she was treating.
This was not the first time Naruto had seen this technique, as he had seen it before back when he was first arrived at the temple, where he saw a Panda monk use the same technique to bring a dying bush back to life. At first he had thought it was a Mokuton jutsu, but quickly realised it wasn't.
When Naruto asked Lin about the technique she used, she explained that the technique was called the Shizenryūryō no Jutsu (The Natural Flow technique). It was a special technique that Pandas had created, that only they or a true master of Senjutsu could use. By using their mastery and control over natural energy, they could manipulate it and use it to accelerate healing, capable of bringing a person back from the brink of death and allow for immediate recovery from Chakra exhaustion. The technique also had the benefit of enhancing a person's power, depending on the amount of people that send their energy to that person. (D)
Before Naruto could question her further on the technique, he was called over by Kurotsuchi who informed him, that Chen wanted to speak to them on his battle plan.
Not long after, a familiar roar was heard throughout the valley, signally that the demon Ankoku and recovered his strength.
Rallying the remaining Guardians and defenders Chen position them in front of the Temple, acting as a last line of defence, while sending those who could not fight down to the catacombs with the non-combatants. He and the other Guardians then stood several feet in front of the defenders, who waited for Chen to give the signal.
Before long Ankoku appeared before the temple and wasted no time in attacking by breathing out a massive stream of Blue Fire.
"Now!" shouted Chen.
Working together Kurotsuchi, Naruto and several other Pandas created a giant wall of Earth right underneath Chen and the Guardians, protecting both the defenders and the Temple from the flames. At the same time Chen and the other Guardians, activated their Sage modes and leapt off the Earth Wall and attacked. Striking the demon dragon with several powerful blows that were enhanced with Sage Chakra, causing Ankoku to stumble back.
When Naruto and the other retracted the Earth Wall, Shan struck Ankoku, with a powerful Lightning attack that both blinded and temporarily stunned the demon allowing Naruto and the defenders to fall into position without Ankoku noticing.
As soon as they were in position, Kurotsuchi and several other Panda monks used an Earth technique to create a massive sinkhole right underneath Ankoku, causing the giant demon to fall right into it.
After the dragon had fallen into the sinkhole, Naruto then joined Kurotsuchi, who then used her Sekkaigyō no Jutsu (Quicklime Congealing Technique) in conjunction with Naruto's Suidan no Jutsu (Water Bomb Technique) to increase the area covered by the quicklime, allowing it to cover the entire floor of the hole and harden.
Although the quicklime was barely able to cover the demons massive feet, it was still enough to limit his movement even further. With Ankoku now unable to move, Chen gave the signal for the Guardians and the other remaining Pandas to attack, where they all fired their own respected jutsu down at the demon at once, intending on stopping the demon with one massive combination attack.
Looking up, Ankoku snarled angrily at the approaching barrage of attacks, "You filthy Pandas think you can defeat me with this?! YOU UNDERESIMATE MY POWER!"
Opening his massive jaws again, a giant ball of dark energy formed in his mouth.
Right before the attacks could hit, Ankoku fired the blast right up into the air destroying all the attack in one single go and sending a shockwave that blasted everyone near the edge of the sinkhole away, scattering them all over the battlefield.
Struggling to pick themselves up, Naruto and the others watched in horror as Ankoku, pulled himself free and out of the sinkhole.
"Can anything stop that monster?!" Naruto mentally shouted to himself.
After freeing himself from the hole, Ankoku began to make his way towards the Temple, recovering before everyone else, two of the Guardians attempted to stop the demon dragon by placing themselves in between the demon and the Temple. But before they could initiate any sort of attack, Ankoku sent them flying with a powerful flick of his massive tail.
"NNNOOWW, I will reclaim what was stolen from me!" snarled Ankoku, as he opened his mouth once more, forming another dark ball of energy, which started to grow in size.
"He's going to destroy the Temple!" shouted Kurotsuchi.
"Don't let him fire!" Chen roared, rallying all those who could still fight. However before the any of those who still had the strength to fight could attack, a small wave of Shades rose from Ankoku's body. Though their numbers were much smaller the previous hosts, there was still enough to keep the defenders busy and keep them from attacking Ankoku, as he gathered more and more dark energy until the energy ball was almost as big as him.
Watching Ankoku preparing to fire, Naruto struggled to fight his way through the wave of Shades, trying to get close enough to attack. "Shit! If he fires that, he'll destroy not only the Temple, but everyone hiding in the catacombs as well."
"Damnit, these things are persisted!" Kurotsuchi shouted from behind Naruto, as she blocked a claw strike from a Shade with a kunai. The creature was then destroyed a bo staff strike from Chen, whom Kurotsuchi thanked with a single nod.
Any reply from the Guardian leader however was stopped when watch to his horror, and the horror of everyone else, as Ankoku fired his energy ball at the Temple
In that moment, time seemed to move in slow motion as everyone there could only watch as the massive ball of Dark Chakra moved closer and closer towards the Temple with the intent of destroying it and their families.
-Enter Blue Exorcist OST Kekkai-
As the energy ball neared the temple, Temple Head Zian appeared on top of the main Temple gate, chanting some sort of pray while forming an unknown set of hand seals.
Just as the dark ball was about to hit, Zian clapped his two paw hands together, causing five giant pillars of energy to burst out of the ground around the temple forming a massive purple barrier.
When then energy ball hit, it did not explode on contact with the wall of energy, but tried to force its way through, the barrier began to bend but did not break.
Just when it looked the attack was going to break through, the dark ball of energy was suddenly flung back, like a stone from a slingshot, high into the air, where it exploded harmless, much to the relief of the defenders.
As the explosion in the sky slowly died down, Kurotsuchi glance at the barrier that now surrounded the Temple. "What sort of barrier is that? I've never seen one as powerful as that before."
"It is called the Danko Onmyō Baria (Adamant Yin-Yang Barrier)" answered Chen, who like Kurotsuchi and others, was marvelling the strength of the barrier. "I've heard stories of it, but this is the first time I've ever seen it with my own eyes. It is the strongest barrier technique that my people possess, and can only be used by the Head of the Jade Temple. According to legend, the barrier is said to be practically impenetrable by any sort of attack." (D)
Under normal circumstances Kurotsuchi might have scoffed after hearing Chen calling the barrier impenetrable, and chalk it up as overhype. But after seeing it block an attack that could level an entire Shinobi village in one blast, she was beginning to think that Chen might be right. "I doubt even Gramps Jinton (Dust Release) could break through it, and I've seen him use it to level an entire mountain top once…Guess here, the title of Temple Head is the same as Kage for us."
Angered and confused after seeing his attack being repulsed by Zian's barrier, Ankoku unleashed a scourging blaze of Blue Flames on the barrier. But despite the ferocity of his flames the barrier held, without any sign of weakening.
Shortly after, Chen and the defenders broke through the Shards remnants and began attacking Ankoku directly.
The battle raged for several minutes, during which Naruto saw a large boulder-size piece of flying debris hurtling towards Chen, whom remained unaware of it.
With no time to warn the Guardian leader of the approaching object, Naruto used his vine whip technique to wrap his vines around the surprised Panda monk back to him, away from the falling debris.
After seeing the large mound of earth land on the spot that he had just been occupying, only moments ago, a grateful Chen turn to the young blonde. "It would seem, as the saying goes…I owe you one Naruto-san."
"Consider us even" Naruto smiled.
Before the Panda could respond, a familiar voice shouted out his name. When he and Naruto turned in the direction of the voice, they saw Lin running towards them, carrying what looked to be a large stone jar that was almost as big as her, with several sealing notes stuck on it.
"Lin, what are you doing out her, you should be back at the Temple tending to the wounded" said Chen.
"Master Zian, allowed me and some of my attendants out of the barrier to attend to the wounded, who need us more than the ones back at the Temple" Lin rebuked. "He also set me here to give you this!" she then placed the stone jar on the ground in front of Naruto and Chen.
"The sealing Jar! Then it is ready?"
"Yes, Master Zian was able to finish the ritual for the sealing Jar just before Ankoku tried to destroy the Temple. But he obviously cannot seal Ankoku, while also maintaining the barrier and if he brings the barrier down then the Temple will become vulnerable to Ankoku…Chen you're the only one, other than Master Zian who knows the sealing technique."
Nodding Chen then replied "Very well, if I'm to do the sealing, I need time prepare and inform the other Guardians and get everyone into position. I'll need everyone's help if we're to successes."
"I've already set some of my attendants to inform the other Guardians; they will make sure that everyone is in position."
Nodding again, Chen then brought his hands together and started gathering more natural energy for the sealing technique. While he was doing that, the remaining Guardians and Pandas fell back and surrounded the demon.
Seeing this, Ankoku immediately became suspicious of their actions. "What are those filthy Pandas up to this time?" It was only when he saw Chen gathering natural energy with the sealing jar next to him that he realised what they were up to. "NO! They're planning to seal me up again…" he mentally realized before turning to Chen's direction and shouting "I WON'T LET YOU!"
However before he could reach the Guardian leader, several massive Earth Pillars appeared out of the ground around Ankoku, pinning him between them. Following the Earth Pillars, a surge of Lightning was sent right into his body, courtesy of Shan, who continued to send more and more Lightning from his hands, keeping Ankoku from moving.
At the same time Kurotsuchi assisted in the attack my fire several large blobs of quicklime at Ankoku's feet, where the Water Guardian added his Water to spread the quickly further around Ankoku's feet while the Fire Guardian added her Fire to harden more quickly.
A number of other Pandas added their support by summoning several long metal chains with sealing tags stuck on them and wrapped them around the demons leg and other parts of his body, holding him in place. While the rest grabbed hold of the end of the chains to help keep Ankoku from moving
Naruto also lent his support by using his Mokuton, creating several wooden tentacles that sprung out of the ground and wrapped themselves around Ankoku's two front legs.
After gathering enough natural energy, Chen then opened his eyes and began forming hand seals. When he finished, Chakra began to surround him, becoming so strong that it was visible to the naked eye. A strong Wind then began to blow around him, causing Naruto's coat to pick up and begin flapping.
Knowing what was coming, Ankoku struggled even harder to break, but it was no use as the defenders would not let him go.
The next thing Ankoku saw, was Chen bringing both his hands forward and shouting"Akuma Shīruha (Demon Sealing Wave)!" After which as giant green whirlwind of energy erupted from Chen's hands, and enveloped Ankoku.
"Unbelievable" thought Naruto, as watched Chen's attack swallow Ankoku up whole, whiling struggling to keep himself from being blown away by the Wind created from the attack. The attack then formed into a massive swirling vortex of energy, sucking up anything nearby.
Trapped inside, Ankoku physical form was shredded into pieces, losing all solidify inside the vortex, leaving only his fluid Chakra form, preventing himself from escaping.
With the preparations ready, Chen signalled to Lin to open the Jar, he then formed one final hand seals, causing the vortex to bend and be suck into the jar.
But just before the sealing technique could be finished, the last of Ankoku's ShadeS, (which had remained hidden till this point), appeared from the ground
Sensing the creature, Lin turned to its direct threw several senbon needles at it, but the Shade easily avoided the needles using its phasing ability. Realising what the creature was doing Lin attempted place herself in between it and the sealing jar. However the Shade moved too quickly to intercept in time and struck the jar with its clawed hand, causing a large crack. The crack then grew bigger and before Chen could stop the sealing, it shattered from the stress of the sealing; causing a giant explosion that destroyed the Shade and blasted the two Pandas away.
-End Blue Exorcist OST Kekkai-
Fortunately though for the two, they were caught by Kurotsuchi and Naruto as they flew through the air, with Naruto catching Chen and Kurotsuchi catching Lin.
"Naruto…?!" grunted Chen in surprise, as they landed back on the ground.
"Yea, it's me, you okay?"
"Well enough" the Panda replied rather grumpily before looking around worriedly. "Lin! Where is she?!"
"She's here…" Kurotsuchi called out, not far from where Chen and Naruto were, holding an unconscious Lin. "She's okay, but it looks like the blast knocked her out, she won't be waking up for a while."
Hearing this, Chen let out a small sigh of relief, after which he slowly began to pick himself up, with Naruto helping him.
Soon after, the four were joined by the remaining other Guardians and defending Pandas, who raced over to them after explosion.
"Brother, are you unhurt?" Shan called out, who was one of the first of the Pandas to arrive.
"I will survive, but the sealing failed."
"How?! What happened?!" asked the Water Guardian.
"One of Ankoku's Shades appeared, Lin tried to stop it, but not before it cracked the sealing jar, causing it to shatter, just as I was sealing Ankoku inside, resulting in the explosion."
"Then we must fall back to Temple, before Ankoku solidify himself once again" spoke Shan as he moved to take Chen from Naruto. However before he could do this, a large shockwave erupted from the blast radius, blowing away the surrounding dust cloud, revealing Ankoku fully formed and ready.
"Buhahahaha, Worthless Filth! Did you really think that you could seal me away again. I have waited over a thousand years for my vengeance, and I will not rest until I stand over burnt corpses and reclaiming what you stole."
"Ankoku!" said a young Panda monk.
"Impossible, how could he have solidify himself so quickly?!" shouted another.
"Hold up!" shouted Kurotsuchi, gaining everyone's attention "Doesn't he look a lot smaller this time."
Upon closer inspection of the demon dragon, the group was surprise find that Kurotsuchi was indeed correct. Ankoku though still quit large had indeed become smaller, where once the black demonic dragon had been the size of a small mountain, he had now shrunken to less than third of his original size.
Judging from where he stood, Naruto estimated that Ankoku was now no bigger than the Hokage's mansion.
"It would seem that the sealing was able to drain a significant portion of Ankoku's energy before it was interrupted" Chen theorised.
"Then we need, to retreat to the Temple, while he's tries to regain his energy" replied Shan.
"Wait!" shouted Naruto. "I think we should attack."
"Don't be foolish, most of us here barely have the strength left to fight!" rebutted Shen. "Attacking him now would only lead to more pointless deaths, we should return to the Temple, once we're behind the barrier we can recoup out strength and plan our next attack."
But Naruto only shook his head at this, "By that time it will already be too late!"
At this point Kurotsuchi then joined the argument, "Senju is right, that thing is now weaker than it has ever been, we need attack while there still time."
"They're right, this may be our last chance to stop Ankoku" said the Earth Guardian Shu, how also joined the argument.
"And how exactly do you expect us to defeat him? Master Zian is maintaining the barrier and my brother is too weak to perform the sealing. We're also without the jar to seal Ankoku into."
"By using my Mokuton power, there is a technique my ancestor the Shodai Hokage used to forcibly suppress a Biju's chakra. Like them Ankoku is living form of Chakra, meaning the technique can be used against him as well."
Upon hearing this many of the remaining Pandas became hopefully, however Shan remained sceptical of the idea, not believing that Naruto could pull it off. "Even if you could do what you claim, you don't have the power, you're just as exhausted as the rest of us" Shan then pointed at Naruto's state, who was covered in dirt bruises and cuts, with much of his clothes in tatters. "Even in his weakened state Ankoku is still far more powerful than any of us."
"Not if we all worked together, Lin-san told me of a technique you use called the Shizenryūryō no Jutsu where you gather natural energy and use it to heal people and even plants at an accelerated rate. She also told me the technique can also be used to re-energise a person and enhance their abilities if you convert it into Sage Chakra and send it into them. If all of you send me your Chakra, we might just have enough power to stop him."
"Impossible!" shouted Shen. "Even if we sent you the energy, you don't have the training or skill needed to control the natural energy, let alone turn it into Sage Chakra and control it."
"What would happen if tried absorbing this natural energy?" Kuortsuchi asked, given how this was the first time he had ever heard of this type of Chakra before.
"Without the right training, he would turn into a tree?" answered the Earth Guardian, surprising Kurotsuchi (6)
"Not if I act as a conduit for him" spoke up Chen. "When you send the natural energy I would absorb it and convert it into Sage Chakra, then send it into Naruto-san and help him control when it is inside his body."
"Brother that insanity! Even if you were able to do all that without being overwhelmed by the natural energy we send you. You wouldn't able to maintain the necessary concentration for it for long…" Shen argued, "You could both end up being killed!"
"It's worth the risk, Naruto-san is right, it is our all chance."
"And what of Ankoku?" said the Fire Guardian. "It won't take him long to realise what we're doing, and we will not be able to defend yourself when using the natural flow technique, we'd be completely helpless."
"Leave the over grown lizard to me, I'll keep busy" answered Kurotsuchi.
"You actually think keep him occupied long enough?" Naruto asked.
"I'm pretty good at pissing people off; just ask my gramps, I piss him off on a daily basis."
Chuckling at this, Naruto replied. "And hear I thought we had hardly anything in common, maybe we're more alike than I thought."
At this Kurotsuchi stuck out her tongue in mocking look of disgust. "Now you're just being insulting."
Seeing that everyone was agreeing to the plan, and despite his misgivings about it chances of success, Shan still offered his own suggestion. "If we're truly going to do this, then I suggest that we send more than just one little girl to distract Ankoku while we prepare."
"Agreed" nodded Chen, after which he had two Panda monks join Kurotsuchi, who accepted, though was somewhat insulted when Shan referred to her as a "little girl." She was also mildly annoyed at the lack faith in her abilities. But realized her chances of success, not to mention survival, would go up a lot more with some backup.
With everyone knowing what to do, Kurotsuchi, Naruto, Chen and the two Pandas raced toward Ankoku, while everyone else brought their hands together, as if to mediated and began gathering as much Sage Chakra as they could and prepared for what would be the conclusion of this battle, win or lose.
As Naruto and the others raced towards the demon, Ankoku fire several blasts of Blue Fire at the group in an attempt to keep them at bay until he regained all his lost energy.
Working together, the two Panda monks sent with Kurotsuchi, preformed a Water, Wind combo jutsu to block the fire blasts, creating a cloud of steam around the group.
Using the steam as cover, Naruto created two wood clones of himself and had them flank the demon dragon on both sides and wait for his signal. At the same time, Kurotsuchi and the two Panda monks attacked them demon, the first monk used his remaining Sage Chakra to spit out a giant stream of Water from his mouth, Kurotsuchi then supported this by unleashing a large stream of fire from her own mouth, superheating the water to the point that it was boiling, and burned the black dragon, causing him to howl in rage and pain.
When the attack final died down, the second monk maneuverered himself underneath the dragon and used a powerful Wind cutting technique to make several deep cut in his underbelly.
However as he made his way out from underneath the black demon, he did not see Ankoku's tail until it was too late. The tail swung with such force and speed, that it sliced the panda clean in two, severing his lower body from his upper body.
Before either Kurotsuchi or the other Panda monk could even respond to the sudden death of their comrade, Ankoku, unleash a shower of black spikes that sprung out of his body and scattered themselves all around Ankoku.
Acting quickly Kurotsuchi raised a half earth dome around herself, shielding her from the spikes. The Panda monk accompany her was not as lucky as he was impaled by several spikes.
Turning his head towards Kuotsuchi, (who was looking at him through an opening she had made in the dome), Ankoku opened his mouth and began gathering Dark Chakra, with the intent of eliminating the Iwa Kunoichi once and for all.
But before he could finish gathering energy, several dozen large wooden tentacles sprung out of the ground around him. Surprised by this, Ankoku halted his attack and glanced around his surroundings and noticed the two Naruto clones, (whom Naruto had set out earlier to flank him), controlling the wooden tentacles.
- Enter Campione! OST - Ougon no Ken (Golden Sword) -
Within seconds of springing out of the ground, the wooden tentacles wrapped themselves around the demon dragon, restraining him. At the same time, Naruto jumped out of the fading steam cloud, where Naruto held out the palm of his hand out, with the kanji mark for "Sit" on it, he then touched Ankoku skin and jumped back as far as he could.
As he jumped away, Naruto drew out a long line of Dark Chakra from the demon, connecting the two together. Naruto then placed his left hand on the ground, where ten large wooden pillars, appeared out of the ground with spikes facing inward around Ankoku, surrounding the demon on all sides.
"WHAT SORT OF TECHNIQUE IS THIS?!" Ankoku roared in confusion.
As the pillars emerged from the ground, Chen then appeared behind Naruto and placed one hand on the middle of Naruto's back, and then shouted out "NOW!"
Upon hearing Chen's cry the Pandas then brought their palms of their hands out forward, which began to glow, and sent the natural energy towards Chen, who in turn extended his remaining free hand forward, which also began to glow and began absorbing the natural energy and converting it into Sage Chakra before sending it into Naruto, who could feel the Chakra flowing throughout his entire body.
"Is this Sage Chakra" Naruto thought in wonderment as his whole body felt as light as a feather, and could sense everyone around him, like some sort of sixth sense. "It's incredible; I never felt anything like it!"
"Naruto-san, do not let yourself get distracted by the Chakra, focus solely on your technique and allow me to take care of the rest" warned Chen. Who had his eyes closed, concentrating on absorbing the natural energy being sent to him, converting it into Sage Chakra and sending it into Naruto's body and keeping it balance so to prevent both himself and Naruto it turning him into trees. It was a difficult process, since he was constantly being sent natural energy by his brother and the other Pandas and had to do several things at once, without losing concentration and could only do this for a short time before being overwhelmed by it all
"Right!" nodded Naruto, bringing both his hands together and sending it into the technique, causing the pillars Naruto had created to triple in size, allowing them to tower over the Ankoku.
"I don't know what so of tricky you Pandas are up to, but it won't work!" roared Ankoku as he began to breaking destroying the wooden tentacles holding him. But no matter how many of them he destroyed more kept growing back and at a remarkable rate, bigger and stronger than before, thanks to the residual Sage Chakra emanating from the wooden pillars, which also helped accelerate their speed of growth.
Even burning them with his Flames seems to have little effect in stopping the endless swarms of wooden tentacles or the wooden pillars, which seemed resistant to his Flames thanks to Sage Chakra flowing through them.
As the pillars drew closer on Ankoku, Naruto started channelling the Sage Chakra through the Chakra link and into Ankoku's body and began suppressing Ankoku's Chakra..
Feeling his power being suppressed, Ankoku began to resist even harder than before, "NO! I WILL BE DEFEATED! I WILL NOT BE DEFEATED BY YOU STINKING PANDAS!"After which he let out a massive roar that created a massive shockwave that nearly blew everyone away from the force of it.
"Shit! That thing just doesn't know when to give up." Kurotsuchi snarled as she hide behind her Earth Dome and watched the battle, as despite the force of Ankoku's shockwave Naruto and the others held their ground, as did the wooden pillars, which were closing in on Ankoku.
Gathering what energy he could in his mouth, Ankoku prepared to fire a dark energy ball at Naruto and Chen in the hope of killing them and halting the jutsu. But before he could fire, he was blinded by a giant ball of quicklime, hitting the black demon square in the eye and causing him to cancel the energy ball.
"Hah, how did ya like that, you overgrown lizard, that's what you get when you mess with a Kunoichi of Iwa!" yelled Kurotsuchi who had seen what Ankoku was preparing and acted.
With Ankoku now blinded, she turned to Naruto and shouted "COME ON SENJU…FINISH HIM!"
"Send me everything you got!" shouted Naruto, upon which his entire body was flooded with more Sage Chakra than before, which he sent right into, resulting in Ankoku to let out another roar of pain. "RRRRAAAWWWWRRRRRRR!
"YOU'RE FINISHED!" yelled Naruto, at which point the Shodai Hokage's necklace sprung to life, as if responding to his determination on defeating Ankoku saving both the Pandas and the Valley, allowing for even more Chakra to flow into Naruto's body.
Sensing this Chen momentarily loss concentration, at the sudden new burst of new Chakra, "That Gem…could it be?!" Naruto however remained obvious to it and continued to send all the Sage Chakra he had been given through the link into Ankoku, who was growing weaker and weaker by the second."
At the same time the wooden pillars around Ankoku began to close in on him
"RRRAWWRRRR! NO, NO, NOT AGAIN… NOT AGAIN!" Howled the demon dragon in rage and fear as he felt himself lose consciousness and could not move as the wooden tentacles had now enveloped his entire body.
Ankoku then continue to roar out that he would have his revenge and would not allow himself be defeated. But even that ended when Naruto's wooden pillar closed in on top of him encasing him in between them and the wooden tentacles, causing him to fall into a deep slumber.
- End Campione! OST - Ougon no Ken (Golden Sword) -
Sensing that Ankoku had finally lost consciousness, a now exhausted Naruto severed the Chakra link to the demon and turned to Chen, who was just as exhausted and worn as Naruto as he fell to his knees, breathing heavily
"Pah…look like, Pah…we did, Pah, it…Chen?"
"That, Pah…we did, Pah…Naruto-san" Chen replied with tired smile.
"Yoh, Senju, Chen! Over here! "
Turning to the direction of the voice calling out to them, both Naruto and Chen were pleased to see Kurotcuhi, alive and relatively unharmed, running towards them, waving to them.
"Not bad you two, not bad at all."
Smiling at the approaching girl, Naruto opened his mouth to say something, but stopped when his vision suddenly went black and he lost all consciousness, causing him fall forward. Fortunately though, the Iwa Kunoichi was able to catch him, but stumbled slightly from the new dead weight in her arms.
Concerned by his sudden loss of consciousness, Kurotsuchi, called out to the blonde, "Hey, Naruto, wake up, Come wake up you moron, wake up, this isn't funny."
Seeing this, Chen ordered Kurotcuhui to lay Naruto on the ground, on his back. As she did this, she could see that Naruto had turn a great deal paler. Shortly after they were then joined by Shan and the remaining other Pandas, who raced over to them after seeing Ankoku being defeated.
Lin, who had woken just in time to see Ankoku being defeated, moved over to Naruto and used the mystic hand technique to heal him
After a few tense minutes, the colour to Naruto's face returned, after which Lin smiled and nodded, stated that Naruto would be fine, causing everyone around to let out a sigh of relief.
"What happened to him?" a burley Panda guard, dressed in ruined armour asked.
"He's just exhausted, the strain of having all that Sage Chakra flowing through his body, took its toll him. What he needs is rest."
"And rest he will, he has certainly earned it" spoke Zian, who made his way over to the large group, accompanied by two more Panda guards.
Upon seeing the Temple Head, Chen slowly stood up "Master…the Temple is everyon…"
"Everyone is fine, Chen, Thanks to all of you."
Upon hearing this, Chen legs gave out from relief at knowing that his family and everyone was fine. Luckily though, his brother Chen caught him and held him up.
"We cannot take all the credit, most of it should do to Naruto-san, it was thank to his ability that we defeated Ankoku" replied Chen, where he then discreetly pointed at the Shodai's necklace around Naruto's neck, so not to draw everyone else attention.
Seeing the necklace, the Temple head's right eyebrow rose slightly before smiling and nodding.
"Some of the credit should also go to the girl of there" said Shan, who then pointed to Kurotsuchi free hand. "When you and Naruto-san try to subdue Ankoku, he tried to eliminate you both with one of his energy balls, but was stopped by that girl, saving you both."
Caught by surprise by what Shan had said, Kurotsuchi was for once in her life at a loss for words, having not expected the grumpy and stern Lightning Guardian to praise her in such a manner.
"I was wrong about you both, and I apologise for my words, neither you nor Naruto-san had any obligation to stay and fight. But you did, and if it were not for your help we would have all be destroyed…thank you" at which point Shan bowed his head Kurotsuchi, who sifted uncomfortable and being praised by Shan and the grateful looks by everyone was to her. Normally she enjoyed receiving praise from people, but this time, she didn't feel like she deserved it. Given how she had indeed nearly left them all to die and it was only because of what Naruto had said that convinced her to stay. Plus she had mainly only distracted Ankoku, Naruto and his Mokuton ability was what had stopped the demon."
"I didn't do all that much, we all did it together" mumbled the Iwa Kunoichi, as she looked away from everyone, feeling uncomfortable from their stares.
"Kurotsuchi-san is indeed correct," nodded Zian smiling."This victory does not belong to just a few, but to everyone here. By working together, you were all able to not only save our home, but also defeat a great and powerful enemy."
In was that moment, when Master said this that the dark storm clouds, which had appeared when Ankoku awoken and covered the sky, now began to part, allowing to sun to shine through, filling the Valley with light.
At this all the remaining Pandas, let out large cheer in celebration, as it was a sign that Ankoku influence and power and truly been broken. After which several Panda monks picked up the Naruto, and carried the boy, whom they declared the hero of the Valley of the Wind and carried back to the Temple. He was then joined by Kurotsuchi was also lifted by two Panda guards, whom also declared Kurotuchi a hero of the Valley.
Kurotsuchi of course resisted at first, telling the two Pandas to let her down. But seeing how they ignored her complaints, she decided to drop it and enjoy the moment while it lasted, as she was too tired to argue.
As the victorious defenders made their way to the Temple, Zian, Shan and Chen, (whom was still being carried by Shen), made up the rear of the group, taking their time in walking back to the Temple.
"Once, we get back to the Temple, we should prepare a new sealing jar to reseal Ankoku" stated the tired Chen.
"Agreed, though you and the other Guardians should rest Chen, you have all more than earned it. I will be able to make the new jar myself and I will have a few young monks help me with the sealing. After which I will endeavour to find a new and more secure place to place Ankoku away…ensuring that this does not happen again." Both Shen and Chen nodded to this.
After minutes of silence walking, Shen was the next of the three to speak. "It would seem that you and Master were right about the boy, brother… he truly must be Avalokiteśvara."
"Indeed, though I think we may have underestimate Naruto-san's gift and ability."
"In what way?" asked Zian curiously, wondering if Chen had seen something in the battle that he didn't.
"I believe that Naruto-san true gift and ability, is not his Mokuton, or even the Kyuubi which resides within him, but in his ability to rally people around him and turn them into allies, whether they be friend, stranger or even enemy. I saw a glimpse of that ability at the beginning of the battle, where Ankoku words threated to dishearten everyone there, turning their fear in against them. But Naruto stood up him, giving those around hope and prevented Ankoku's words from turning their fear into despair. He also turned Kurotsuchi-san, a known enemy from a rival village into an ally, who even saved his life, and helped in the defeat of Ankoku. He was also the one who got us to work together to defeat Ankoku. I believe it will be his ability to rally people around him and unite them, which will help decide the fate of the Great War to come. "
"Hmmmm," hummed Zian in deep thought. "An interesting thought, Chen, you might just be right. Hashimara himself had certain effect as well, in gathering allies and followers around him, though not quite at the same level as you describe with Naruto-san. We'll have to monitor Naruto-san more closely from now on, to see if you are indeed correct."
Nodding again, the two brother then continued on back to the temple to join the celebrations.
-Two Days Later -
"Any luck Shikamaru?" Choji asked his friend, having just returned from his latest search of Naruto. Unfortunately his hope in his friend having better luck in finding Naruto was met with disappointment as the young Nara heir shook his head, stating that his search was just as fruitless.
They had now entered their seventh day in their search for Naruto, with still no sign of him. Having spent the last six days following the river, searching for Naruto, the group came across an empty pill bottle with the Konoha symbol stabbed on the bottom along with some torn bandage wrappers, near the river shore.
Immediately the group concluded that after pulling himself out of the river, Naruto had rested and treated himself there, before moving on.
Fortunately for the group, they had Kurimaru, who was a natural tracker like all the dogs of the Inuzuka Clan, and followed Naruto's scent into the nearby forest and up a large steep hill, where they found an old ruined Monastery.
After entering the Monastery grounds, the group decided to spilt and search Monastery, and would signal one another should they find anything.
Shortly after Shikamaru's return, their sensei Asuma arrived, looking just as disappointed as they were. However their demeanour quickly changed when they heard a loud whistle-like screech coming from the direction that Ino had gone.
Upon hearing the cry, Choji immediately "That's the signal!"
To which Shikimaru replied, "Looks like Ino found something"
Nodding, Asuma then signal his two students to follow him to where Ino had gone.
When they arrived, they found the young Yamanaka heiress and Kurimaru standing in the middle of a ruined garden. Ino had improved a bit since the incident at the camp. She no longer had bags under her eyes and had a bit more colour in face, having finally gotten a full night's sleep and eaten something, though Asuma practically had to force feed her after she woke. However despite the improvement, the girl still looked fairly haggard and depressed, and was clearly blaming herself for what happened to Naruto.
It got so bad that Asuma even had to order her to take better care of herself, and told that he would not allow her to help in the search unless she got at least six hours sleep and ate properly.
Kurimaru of course continued to try and comfort the young girl as best he could and stayed close by her at all times, which helped a little.
At first glance, one would suspect that the garden had simply fallen into disrepair over time. However this was not so, as some of it was fairly recent given the damage done to the ground, along with the nearby wall and statues.
Given the amount of damage done to the garden, and the fact there were several crater-like holes in the ground. It was a safe assumption that their missing comrade had been here. After all they had seen the aftermath of him using his monster-like strength enough times to know it when they saw it.
"Well at least we know we're on the right track" Asuma remarked, before scanning the area for any more clues that might tell him what happened to Naruto.
"Looks like Naruto put up a good fight" Shikamaru added.
"Naruto-kun would never go done without a fight" replied Ino, which reaffirmed by yip from Kurimaru.
"I wonder who Naruto was fighting?" Choji asked as he scanned the battle scene.
Kneeing down to ground to get a better look Asuma replied. "Judging by the some of the footprints, there were at least three, no more than four at most, and one of them was a female for sure."
"How do you know that Sensei?" asked Ino in surprise, to which Asuma responded by pointing at one of the footprints next to him.
"See these footprints, they're smaller and lighter than the others and don't leave as deep an imprint, suggesting a girl."
"It must have been that Iwa Kunoichi that Naruto-kun was fighting with at the bridge, she did fall down with him" answered Ino.
Sniffing the footprint, Kurimaru let out a low growl, which confirmed their suspicions.
"Looks like Kurimaru agrees with you" Asuma remarked.
"But who's the other person that Naruto was fighting, was it another Iwa Shinobi?" Choji asked out loud.
"I doubt it" answered Asuma, shaking his head. "I spotted the Iwa group on the other side of the river yesterday, with the exception of that Iwa Kunoichi all the surviving members were together, and by the look of things they were looking for something. At the time I assumed, like us, they were looking for Naruto, but now that I think about it, it might not just be him that they were looking for. If they had fought Naruto there would've been more footprints and more damage done here, and they wouldn't be searching on the other side of the river."
"Then that means that there could be someone else other than the Iwa group here…Great!" grumbled Shikamaru.
Asuma of course shared his student's frustration, since he didn't like dealing with another enemy group, especially since they knew little to nothing about who this third group was. All he could tell for sure was that person was male, given the deep impression his footprints made on the ground, and that he had rather large feet, which didn't help much.
"So does that mean that this third group has Naruto?" Choji asked.
Asuma unfortunately lower his head sighed, confirming his students' worst fears. "I'm no tracker, but judging by the battle here, and the fact that we haven't seen any sign of him until now. We can only assume that he was capture by this other group."
"Then what are we waited for, we have to rescue him!" declared Ino, where she immediately asked Kurimaru to start tracking his scent. But when the young pup tried to sniff for his master scent, he could find nothing that he could track; it was as if Naruto just disappeared into thin air.
"Looks like Kurimaru can't track them" stated Shikamaru.
"But how, Kiba use to brag that Inuzuka dogs could find just about anyone" Choji replied. "Could Kurimaru not be good enough."
This comment of course caused Ino slap the Akimichi at the back of the head and yell at him.
When he asked what did he do, Ino just pointed at Kurimaru, who had lowered his head and began to whimper, no doubt blaming himself for failing to find his missing master.
Abashed by how his words hurt the young pup, tried to apologise, but before he could, Shikamru spoke.
"I don't think its Kurimaru's fault, other Shinobi have been known to coat themselves with certain sprays to keep themselves from being tracked or smelled."
"Shikamaru is probably right" added Asuma, joining the conversation. "And if that is the case then we are dealing with a group of very skilled people."
"Then how do we find Narutp-kun?" yelled Ino. She had just picked Kurimaru up and was trying her best to reassure the half-wolf cub. But was now becoming frustrated again with how their search for Naruto was turning up empty, just when it looked like they were getting somewhere.
Asuma of course had no answer for this, and with no way to track Naruto, or even know which way he had gone. There was little chance they could find him, leaving them with no other choice than return to Konoha and report to the Hokage, where hopefully she could find some sort of clue of where Naruto could be.
However before Asuma could say anything on what they would next, there they heard a large popping sound coming from behind them.
Turning to the sound, the group took defensive stances when the saw the large cloud of smoke, believing it to be an enemy attack.
But before the group could do anything, the smoke dissipated, revealing Naruto, the Iwa Kunoichi Kurotsuchi and what only could be described as a large Panada dressed blue robes and wearing straw hat.
Upon the seeing his team-mates Naruto smiled, having not expected to find his team so quickly. But before he could even greet them, a small brown blur suddenly ran right into his face, causing him to stumble back slightly, after which he then felt something licking his face, covering it with saliva.
Struggling to keep himself balance, Naruto could only laugh as the young pup slobbered all over him, and tickled his face with his tongue. "Hahahaha…Kurimaru….hahahahaha, stop it…hahahaha…I'm happy to see too…hahahaha!
Eventually Naruto was able to get the half-wolf pup to final calm down, however as soon as he was able to lift him off his face. Naruto found himself enveloped in a strong bone crushing hug, that rivalled even his mothers, and this time he was unable to keep his balance, causing him to fall backwards.
After landing on the ground, Naruto felt his top becoming damp. When he look down, he saw an emotional Ino crying into his shirt, as she slowly cut off the air to his body with her hug, as if she were afraid that he would disappear again if she let go of him.
As she continued to cry into his shirt, Ino wailed at how sorry she was and that if it wasn't for her he wouldn't have been nearly killed and that she would even quit being a Kunoichi once they got home.
Unaware until now over how upset Ino had been over his disappearance, Naruto immediately began calm her down, telling her that it wasn't her fault, and that it all worked out in the end, since he had been able to find the Valley of the Four Winds, weeks ahead of schedule.
Slowly Ino began to calm down, where Naruto then told her that she didn't need to quite being a Kunoichi, if she learned from this experience and become stronger from it.
Nodding her head, Ino slowly wiped away the last remaining tears on her face, while silently swearing that she make this up to Naruto and not have him or anyone else risk their own safety to protect her again.
It was also at this point that the two heard and soft whining, while also feeling something moving in-between them.
Upon closer inspection, the two pre-teens noticed Kurimaru, who had been squashed in-between them and was slowly being smothered by Ino's still developing bosom after she had latched onto Naruto.
Blushing, both Naruto and Ino quickly moved apart and quickly apologised to the small pup, who looked more than a little annoyed with the two after Naruto placed him down on the ground. However as the two were getting over their embarrassment, Asuma let out a loud cough, gaining everyone's attention.
"Ahem, not that we're not glad to see you, because believe me I am, since I wasn't looking to having to tell the Hokage that we lost you. "At which Asuma gave a slight shudder at the mere thought of what he imagined Tsunade would do to him had he returned to Konoha and told her that he lost her only child and son…he'd be lucky if she simply killed him when compared to what she "could" do to him. "But do you mind telling us a few things, like where you've been for the past few days, who your friend there is…" indicating Chen, "and why you're hanging around with the same Iwa Kunoichi that tried to kill us, not too long ago?"
Despite being glad that Naruto was alive and safe, he had been keeping a close eye on Kurotsuchi and her companion, ever since they first appeared with Naruto. Picking up on this both Shikamaru and Choji kept their guard up and watched the two closely as well.
Grinning, Naruto began to scratch the back of his head, a nervous habit he developed when he was young. "That's kind of a long story, but basically Kurotsuchi-chan came to an understanding and formed a truce."
Upon hearing Naruto refer to her as "Kurotsuchi-chan," Kurotsuchi glance at him and raised her right eyebrow, given how recently Naruto had been referring to her by her given name instead of his usual nickname, but this was the first time he used "chan" with her name. However she decided to not make an issue out of it.
"And the Panda?" asked Shikamaru rather bluntly, still unsure of how to make Chen.
"Chen…" Naruto indicated, "is from Valley of the Four Winds, which is where we've been for the past few days." At which point Chen smiled and bowed politely to the members of team ten, which made the group feel a more than a little awkward, since they were still unsure of what to make of the large Panda, whom was dressed like a monk.
Turning to Naruto, Choji then spoke. "So you found it then?"
"Sort of," answered Naruto, but before he tell them what happened after he fell from the bridge, Kurotsuchi cut him off.
"Before you start your lets catch up story with your team-mates here. I think it's time for me to leave, my pops is probably going stir crazy trying to find me."
Naruto nodded, but before he could say anything, Asuma drew his knives.
"Sorry but I can't let you do that, last we need is for you to go find your father and the rest of your team and to come after us."
Narrowing her eyes, Kurotsuchi stared at Jonin. "You intend to take me prisoner back to Konoha?"
"That's the idea, since having the daughter of the Sandaime Tsuchikage would come in pretty handy in negotiations with setting up a ceasefire with your village, or at the very least keeping your father from attacking us."
Being a high ranking Jonin in Konoha, Asuma of course knew just who Kurotsuchi was and how valuable she could be to Konoha, if they took her back to the village
"Asama-sensei, hold on, I promised Kurotsuchi she could leave, once she returned here, as part of our deal."
"You can't be serious Naruto?!" said Shikamaru, as he and the rest of his team stared at Naruto in surprise. "She tried to kill all of us only days ago and now you're asking us to let her go?"
"Shika's right Naruto," added Choji. "For all we know she could get the rest of her team to come after us again"
"She won't" replied Naruto.
"Care to elaborate?" Asuma asked, all the while keeping a close eye on Kurotsuchi, knowing that the girl wouldn't go down without a fight. But before Naruto could say anything, Kurotsuchi answered for him.
"Because we saved each other's lives, that's why."
Surprised by this answer the others immediately glanced over to Naruto, who confirmed this by nodding his head.
"Hmm, even if it is true, I'm afraid I still can't let you go" stated Asuma as prepared to move apprehend the girl.
Naruto of course tried to argue, but Asuma cut him off before he could say anything. "I'm sorry kid but I can't take the risk that she will go back on her word and led the rest of her team back to us. You may be willing to bet on it, but I'm not, especially with everyone else's lives."
"Asuma-sensei is right Naruto, she's from Iwa, all they do is lie!" shouted Ino, while glaring at Kurotsuchi. She hadn't forgotten what happened at the bridge between them and was eager to have another round with the girl.
Turning to Ino, Kurotsuchi gave the blonde girl and dirty looking sneer. "And Konoha is such an outstanding example of honour, justice and nobility?"
This of response of course got a confused look from Ino and the rest of her team, where Ino then asked, "What do you meaning by that?" causing Kurotsuchi sneer to grow.
"Guess you guys are even more naïve than I first thought…" However before she could say anymore on the subject, Asuma cut her off.
"Enough! We aren't here to talk about the past, now you can either come with us peacefully or you can do this the hard way."
"Asuma-sensei please stop…!" shouted Naruto, but before he say anymore, Chen intercede by placing himself right in between the Kurotsuchi and Asuma, and in one quick motion knocked Asuma's trench knife right out of hand with his bamboo staff and then hit his was a strong palm strike to the stomach, which took the wind right out of the bearded Jonin and sent him skidding he recovered he found Chen's staff pointed directly at his face.
Asuma was left completely stunned by what Chen did as he been watching the large Panda out of the corner of his eye, yet somehow Chen had placed himself in in front of Kurotsuchi, disabled him, pushed him back had him at his mercy within an instant, before Asama even knew what happened. (7)
Seeing this, Ino, Shikamaru and Choji were about to intervene and help their sensei, only to be stopped by Naruto who raised his hand, "Guys don't, Chen is a lot stronger than he looks, he wiped the floor with me and Kurotsuchi-chan, without even breaking a sweat."
Surprised by this, the members of team 10 hesitated, where they then decided to wait to see what would happen next.
"My Apologises Asuma-san, but I'm afraid I cannot let you do that, like Naruto-san, Kurotsuchi-san helped defend my village from attack and saved many lives. Therefore my village owes her a debt, and until she leaves this place, she is under my protection." Glancing to Kurotsuchi, Chen then told the Iwa Kunoichi to leave and told her where to find her comrades, having use his Sage sensing ability to locate her team.
Nodding to the Panda, Kurotsuchi prepared to leave, but before doing so she glanced over at Naruto and smirked. "Be seeing you around Senju, and watch your back, because next time we meet all meet, all bets are off."
Smirking back at the girl, Naruto simply nodded back, after which Kurotsuchi took off.
Once Kurotsuchi had gone, Chen lowered his staff from Asuma's face and placed it back on his back.
After picking up his knife Asuma turned to Chen, (who had now moved over to Naruto's side), looking more than a little angry over what happened.
"I hope you two are both happy now, chances are that once that girl joins the rest of her team, we'll have them on our backs in no time." However to his surprise and confusion, Chen simply smiled back at him, as if he knew something that Asuma and the others didn't.
"There is no need to worry Asuma, even in the unlikely event that Kurotsuchi-san leads her comrades back her, we will already be back at Konoha."
Before Asuma could even ask how that would be even possible, the large Panda turned to Naruto, who smiled back, again hinting that he knew something that the others didn't.
-Konoha, Hokage's office-
Sitting at her desk, Tsunade was currently in a meeting with Jiraiya, who she had ordered back, and her teacher, the now retired Sandaime Hokage. She had called him here after failing to hear anything from her son or the rest of team 10, who were now five days overdue for their schedule report.
Under normal circumstances the two would have thought that the woman was once again being too overprotective of her son. But given recent events with the Iwa spies and the previous attempt by Iwa to capture him, her concerns were understandable.
After the capture and interrogation of the female spy, which had taken some time given how she had been trained to resist torture, they were able to learn just how much Iwa knew of their operations, Shinobi strength, weakness and positions along the borders and were already preparing on how to respond to this.
"Have you tried contacting him through the slugs?" asked Jiraiya.
"Of course, it's the first thing I did, Naruto uses them to rely messages to me, but they told me he they can't reach him."
"Hmmm" hummed the Sandaime. "That is highly unusual, normally summons have little trouble making contract with their contract holders. If Naruto and the others have indeed found the Valley of the Four Winds, there must be a powerful barrier around it, it the only possible explanation for why they can't reach him, since we know he is still alive as the slugs or toads would tell us otherwise."
Tsunade then turned to her former teammate, "Jiraiya is there anything more you can tell us about the inhabitants of this Valley?"
"Nothing" replied the Toad Sage, shaking his head. "I've contacted all my sources who could know something, but none of them could tell me anything. If Ma and Pa hadn't confirmed to me that the place did exist, I would think the whole place was made up."
"Can't you get them to tell us anything?"
"I've tried…believe me, but neither of them are willing to tell me anything, and you know how stubborn they can be. All they'll say is that they have an agreement with the residents there and that they are of no threat."
"That's not good enough!" snapped Tsunade, slamming her fist on her desk, causing several cracks to appear.
"Tsunade, I understand your concern, I truly do," spoke the Sandaime in an attempt to calm his former student down. "But the Toads must have their reasons for remaining quite. You know better than anyone how capable Naruto is, and Asuma will make sure that no harm comes to either him or the rest of the team."
"Sensei is right hime, give it a few more days, if we haven't heard anything by then I go out and search for them myself using the kid's earing to track him."
Calming herself down, Tsunade nodded, but before she could respond a small explosion of smoked erupted in the middle of the room directly behind both Jiraiya and the Sandaime.
Caught unaware, all three Shinobi quickly leaped into action.
At the same time Shizune burst into the office accompanied by Tonton and two ANBU, fearing some sort of attack on the Hokage and the others.
As the smoked slowly began to die down, a familiar voice suddenly called out "Hey, hey, easy it's us, it's us!"
When the smoke finally cleared, it revealed Naruto with a miniature clone of Katsuyu on his shoulder accompanied by Kurimaru, the members of team 10, and one new additional member, standing next to him.
"Naruto!" shouted Tsunade, who then leapt over her desk, pass both Jiraiya and the Sandaime, and pulled her son into one of her bone breaking hugs.
With the identity of the intruders confirmed, the Sandaime discreetly dismissed the ANBU, signalling to them that everything was fine.
Understanding, the two ANBU, nodded and left the office, closing the door behind them, leaving Shizune and Toton with everyone else in the room.
Once the ANBU had left, the Sandaime turned and directed a smile at his son, showing that like Tsunade, he was glad that he unharmed as well.
In response the younger Sarutobi just nodded, showing that there was still some tension between the father and son.
After several minutes, Naruto's muffled voice could be heard saying, "Kaa-chan…can't…BREATH!" as he was slowing being smothered to death by his mother breasts. He could also feel his back beginning to crack under the pressure of his mother superhuman hold.
Quickly releasing him from her hug, Tsunade grabbed him by the shoulder, "Where the hell have you've been? You're you were supposed to report in days ago, do you know how worried you had me?!"
Seeing how concerned his mother was, Naruto apologised for making her worry, but before he could explain himself, Asuma intervene, believing as leader of the team it would best if he explained what happened. He then spent the next twenty minutes recounting what had happened after they left the village, and how they were ambushed by the Iwa group.
Upon hearing how they had been ambushed, Tsunade swore, wondering how exactly Iwa knew where to find Naruto, since the mission had been classified, with only a select few people knowing of it. She also gave her son a rather stern glare when Asuma mentioned the destruction of the bridge and nearly getting himself killed…again."
In response Naruto just scratch the back of his head and gave his mother one of his nervous looking grins, knowing that he would be hearing it at home later.
"Hhmm, it seems you had quiet the eventful journey" the Sandaime remarked while chewing the mouth piece of his pipe, a habit he had developed over the years when he in deep thought. "But that still does not explain who your guest here is," glancing over at the short unfamiliar figure standing next to Naruto and the others, dressed in a straw hat and cloak that concealed his identity.
"My apologise…allow me to introduce myself, my name is Chen Ironpaw, and it is my honour to meet Naruto-san family, he has told me much about you all" spoke Chen as he took off his cloak and hat before bring his hands together and bowing respectfully to them.
Naturally Tsunade and the others were taken back a bit by Chen's appearance. But after a moment or two they regained their sense and nodded back to the Panda.
"It is a pleasure to meet you as well Chen-san, and on behalf of the people and Shinobi of Konoha, I would like to be the first to welcome you to our village." After which Tsunade then offered her hand to Chen, who smiled and took it without hesitation and shook it.
"On behalf of my own people, I thank you and am honoured to be here."
"Would I be correct in assuming that your people are the inhabitants of whom my Grandfather the Shodai Hokage spoke of in his letter?"
"You would be" nodded Chen. "And like him, my people have agreed to help Naruto-san."
Pleased to hear that Naruto's mission had been a success, Tsunade smiled and thanked the Panda. After which Chen then turned to Jiraiya. "By any chance would you be Jiraiya-san the Toad Sage?"
Puffing out his chest Jiraiya smiled and nodded. "That's me…guess my fame and legend has even reached you guys, if you know me by sight."
"Actually I am afraid not, until meeting Naruto-san we had never heard of you. Naruto-san did however describe you as a tall white haired man wearing sandals, who likes to dress up as a Kabukiactor with a dumb expression constantly stuck on his face" answered Chen, causing Jiriaya to fall flat on his face in disbelief, while everyone else burst out laughing.
"Damn you brat what the hell have you been telling them?!" Jiraiya shouted as he pointed accusingly at Naruto, who just grinned back cheekily.
"Heh, if you ask me he described you perfectly, pervert!" Tsunade laughed.
"Pervert?" Chen asked curiously not really understanding why Tsunade would call her former team-mate that.
"The Pervert…" Tsunade indicated Jiraiya, "Hobby is sneaking into Women's Bathing House and peaking on them while they bathed and then writing about them in his cheesy novels."
"I see" nodded Chen, now understanding, giving the Toad Sage a somewhat disappointed look. While at the same time wondering how someone who has mastered the sacred Sage arts from the Toads, could act in such a shameful and deplorable manner.
Ino on the other hand seemed outraged at the news, having never heard of this, and gave the man a rather dark look; one that Jiraiya had seen on many a woman after being caught on one of his "research" missions. She also made it a note to make sure not to use the Hots Spring or the public baths anytime that Jiraiya was around in the village.
"Hey I resent that remark; I'm not a pervert..." Jiraiya shouted standing up. "I'm a SUPER PREVERT!" at which point he then pointed up into the air and acted out one of his "stylish" poses, where several small clouds of purple smoke exploded out of nowhere, from behind him.
At that moment, everyone in the room developed large sweat drops behind their heads and thought the exact same thing, "What an idiot."
Seeing the deadpanned looks he was getting, Jiraiya went over to the corner and began sulk, mumbling about cheeky brats giving him no respect, and how an artist is never appreciated in his time.
With Jiraiya sulking in the corner, Chen spent the best part of an hour explaining how he met Naruto and Kurotsuchi and how together they helped save the Valley from the demon Ankoku. Who was then sealed away in a new location by the Temple Head Zian.
When Chen finished his story, Tsunade could only sigh and shake his head, wondering if her son had indeed inherited her bad luck in some manner, as he always seemed to get himself into trouble no matter where he went.
She was also slightly annoyed by the fact that both Naruto and Chen allowed to Kurotsuchi to get away. However she decided to let the matter go, since the girl had helped save her son her son's life.
After explaining everything that happened in the valley, Chen turned to Jiraiya, who had finally stopped sulking in the corner. "Jiraiya-san, would it be possible for you to summon the Toad Sages here? There is a matter that I wish to discuss with both them and Katsuyu, regarding Naruto."
Sensing the seriousness in Chen's voice, the Toad Sage nodded and formed the necessary seals to summon the two Toad Sages.
"Damnit Jiriaya what is it this time? I was in tha middle of cooking dinner!" grumbled Ma.
"Come on Ma, don't be like that, I'm sure Jiraiya has a good reason for summoning us. At least this time it's somewhere more pleasant" defended Pa.
Ma just huffed in annoyance, not the least bit pleased by being disturbed when she was in the middle of cooking dinner. "So why'd ya summon us here?" Ma asked, turning to Jiraiya.
"Wasn't my idea, I was asked to summon you two here" Jiraiya replied, before pointing at Chen.
Upon seeing Panda, both Toad Sages immediately had an idea of what this was probably about.
"So Naru-chan found cha?" Pa remarked.
"He did indeed" nodded Chen. "And I am honoured to finally meet two of the Great Toad Sages of Mount Myōboku. My Master Zian, speaks very highly of you both."
"So what cha wanted to talk t'us abou?" Ma asked somewhat impatiently, as she wanted to get back home before dinner was burnt to a crisp.
"Before I begin, I believe it might be best if Naruto's immediate family hears what I have to say" explained Chen, before turning to Asuma and his Genin. "I mean no disrespect to you or your students, but what I have to say is a rather sensitive and the fewer people that know of this the better."
"It's fine" replied Asuma, he had been a Shinobi long enough to know that some things were need to know and that the circle of information sometimes needed to be small for the success of a mission. "Alright kids, let's go, lunch at Yakiniku Q is on me, all you can eat."
"Alright!" cheered Choji at the mention of all you can eat at his favourite restaurant.
Shrugging in indifference Shikamaru slowly followed his friend out the office, (who had already raced out of the office with speed that would have impressed both Gai and Lee). He didn't really care about what the Panda had to say to Naruto and the others, believing it would be too much of a drag to get involved in. However to his surprise Ino did not complain about being left out of the conversation. Normally the blonde girl would complain, very loudly, about the unfairness of it all and being left out on some possible juicy gossip to talk about. Instead the girl just walked out of the room, without so much as a complaint, looking like she a lot on her mind.
Shikamaru was of course not the only one who noticed Ino's trouble expression, as Asuma also noticed it as well as he followed his students. "Even though Naruto came back fine, I guessing the events at the bridge are still troubling her, I'll have to keep an eye on her and make sure she is ok. Still, this might be a good thing, maybe now Ino might take her training and duties more seriously…but I guess only time will tell."
After Asuma and his team had left the room, Shizune closed the door behind them and locked it. Upon which Chen then formed a single hand seal and the slammed his hand onto the ground, a large seal then appeared. Moments later the room suddenly a darkened, as the windows turned black, as if they were tinted.
"What did you just do?" demanded Tsunade as she looked around her now darkened office.
"Please do not worry, Hokage-sama, this is just a barrier, it will prevent anyone listening in on our conversation, or looking in on us" Chen explained calmly.
"Nice" remarked Jiraiya as he examined the barrier, while at the same time wondering if he could get Chen to teach him it some time.
"Now that you've secured the room, perhaps you can now inform us what it is that you wish to tell us, and why it require such drastic security measure" the Sandaime asked, indicating at the erected barrier.
Nodding, Chen then preceded to tell them about the prophecy and how he and his master, believed it involved Naruto. When he finished nobody said anything, in fact the whole room remained deathly silent for several minutes as everyone, (minus Naruto and Chen), went over everything they had been told in their heads.
"So let me see if I understand you correctly…" began Tsunade, who looked more than a little sceptical about the whole story. "A thousand years ago, the founder of your village foretold that a war would begin that would decide the fate of not only the Shinobi world, but everywhere else and you believe that this Avalokiteśvara person is my Naruto?"
"We do" nodded Chen.
"And what exactly is your proof, other a vague description that could match any number of other people. You said it yourself your people once thought it was my grandfather for a time, but were wrong, you could be wrong again."
"I doubt it hime, it seems to match the kid pretty well, especially the whole curse of the fox thing, I mean how many people are out there that are "cursed"by the fox" Jiraiya half joked. Though he quickly adopted a serious look, (which was unusual for him), when he glanced momentarily at Naruto.
Seeing the look on his face, the two Toad Sages knew what Jiraiya was thinking about, since it was the same thing they were thinking about, The Child of Prophecy. If the two Prophecies were indeed connected to one another, as they suspected, then Naruto could indeed be the Child Prophecy.
Tsunade however was not convinced. "Maybe, but that still doesn't prove that what you said is true, I mean for all I know you could have made all this up. You admitted it yourself that your people are the only ones who can read the writing on that wall where this "prophecy" is written on. It could be talking about how to make noodle soup for all I know."
When his mother finished, Naruto tried to defend Chen and the Pandas, believing that she was being too harsh on them. Given how if they'd wanted to harm him, they would've done so long ago, back when he was still in the Valley. But before he could say anything, Chen responded.
"I understand scepticism Hokage-sama, especially considering what happened to Naruto-san and his comrades when they were journeying to our Valley. However I can assure you that what I speak is true and we only wish to help your son."
"If it means anything t'ya we can vouch for tha Pandas" Pa voiced suddenly, causing everyone to direct their attention to him. "They've been friends t'us toads for a long time, which t'was why we didn't tell ya anything abou them. If tha Pandas say they can help 'im they will, ye can trust them."
"If the Toads say we can trust them, I believe we can Tsunade-sama" added the miniature Katsuyu.
Seeing that nearly everyone was of the same mind, Tsunade let out an exhausted sigh and turned to the last person in the room, who had remained silent the entire time. "What are your thoughts on this Sarutobi-sensei?"
The old Hokage did not answer at first; instead he continued to puff his pipe, going over everything he had learned. But after some time, he finally spoke.
"I believe it would be wise to allow the Pandas to help, at least for the time being. The Shodai did leave instructions on how to find them, he would not have led him to them if he did not trust them or believe that they could help Naruto-kun."
Seeing the Sandaime's point, Tsunade nodded and turned to Chen. "Will Naruto have to leave and stay in the Valley for his training?" She knew that there was a chance that Naruto may have to leave for a long period of time for his training. Jiraiya had done the same thing when he was training with the Toads and he had left for three years, something that Tsunade wasn't entirely comfortable with as she did not like the idea of not seeing him for that length of time.
"No, at least not at this present time" answered Chen, shaking his head. "During our battle with Ankoku, our village was destroyed and the Valley suffered extensive damage, and it will take time for us to rebuild. But even then, we can help with Naruto-san's training just as easily here, given how the forestry here was created by your Grandfather with his Mokuton ability. This will make it ideal for his training later."
Seemly pleased by this Tsunade nodded her head "Is there anything that we can do to help?"
"Not you, but there is something that the Toads and the Slugs can do for us?"
"Let me guess, ya wana'd our permission to sign a contract with Naru-chan, since he's already has contracts with both the slugs and us" stated Pa, having already guessed what Chen wanted to ask them.
In response, Chen nodded. "That is correct; we already suspected that neither you nor the Slugs would give your contracts up with the Naruto given how you already agreed to share a contract with him. So we had hoped you would agree to allow us to enter the same pact as well."
"Under normal circumstances we'd refuse, but given how ya helped the Shodai Hokage with mastering his Mokuton powers, ya are obviously tha best people ta help Naru-chan with 'is Mokuton blodline, so the Toads will agree. How abou ya Katsuyu?" asked Pa, turning to the female slug clone.
"I will agree as well, the Pandas are indeed the most suited to help Naruto-sama master his Mokuton powers. For that reason alone I will accept a shared contract" replied the Slug Queen.
Upon hearing this, nearly everyone in the room was of course surprised by this new development, as Naruto now had three summonses, who had all agreed to share a contract with him, something that was unheard of until today. Naruto on the other hand was grinning like no tomorrow and had to fight down the urge to jump up and down and shout about how awesome this was.
Pleased by this, Chen smiled and bowed respectfully to the Toad Elders and the Slug Queen, thanking them all for their acceptance and for agreeing to a joint contract with Naruto.
"You know Pa, Gamabunta won't be entirely happy with this; he was already reluctant with sharing a contract with the Slugs. He might not react well when he learns that we are now also sharing a contract with the Pandas" stated Ma quietly, to which Pa scoffed.
"Gamabunta is a big boy he'll sulk and moan abou it for a couple of days, but he'll eventually get over it."
With both the other summons agreeing to sharing their contracts with Naruto, Chen took out a small scroll from within his robes and opened it, revealing another scroll, one larger than the first.
"I trust you know what to do here?" Chen asked as he opened up the oversized scroll, revealing several names on the sheets.
Having already done this before with the Toads and the Slugs, Naruto nodded and bit his finger, causing it to bleed, and began to write his name on the scroll sheet. Once he had finished writing his name, Chen rolled up the massive scroll and resealed back into the smaller one and placed it back in his robes.
With everything now settled, Chen bid goodbye to Naruto and his family, believing it was time to take his leave and allow Naruto and his family catch up. Before leaving however, he promised Naruto that they would begin his training soon, after which he disappeared in a puff of smoke.
Taking that as their own signal to leave, both the Toad Elders and Katsuyu bid farewell to the group and disappeared, returning home.
Once all of the summons had left, Jiraiya offered to celebrate Naruto's new contract with the Pandas by threating him to Ramen at Ichiraku's.
Upon hearing the offer of Ickiraku Ramen, Naruto immediately shouted "Yes!" since it had been weeks since he had any Ramen. It also helped that Jiraiya was offering to pay, which was a rare thing by itself. Though the Toad hermit did have an ulterior motive to paying for lunch, (which would be a sizeable bill, given the amount of Ramen Naruto would eat), as he wanted to talk more about the Pandas and learn more about their homeland.
Like Jiraiya, Sarutobi was also curious about Naruto's newly acquired summons and their homeland, and asked if he could join them, which they did.
Naturally Naruto asked his mother to join them, hoping to make it a family meal out of it, but Tsunade politely declined the offer, stating that she had paperwork to do, but promised they would met back up at home tonight and talk more about his time with the Pandas.
Shizune also politely refused the offer, stating that his mother would require his assistance and that she would make she that Tsunade got it.
At hearing their refusal, Naruto immediately became suspicious. Shizune refusal and excuse for not joining them, was not surprising or out of the ordinary, especially since she was the one who normally hounded his mother to perform her Hokage duties and made sure that she didn't fall behind in her paperwork. His mother's refusal on the other hand was strange to say the least, especially given her strong dislike for paperwork, where she would use almost any excuse to get out of it, However before he could question them on it, he felt the hands of both Jiraiya and the Sandaime on his back, where they stated that Tsunade and Shizune would catch up to the later, after which they then led him out of the room, accompanied by both Kurimaru and Tonton, who were no doubt hoping they could get Ramen scraps.
As they left the office, both Jiraiya and the Sandaime shared a brief glance with the two women, which told them they knew what they were planning on doing and would keep Naruto busy for the remainder of the day.
Nodding their thanks, Tsunade and Shizune immediately went to work on learning how exactly Iwa knew of Naruto mission and location.
-Several Hours Later-
After receiving a summons from the Godaime Hokage, Shimura Danzō slowly made his way over to Hokage's office. With Shizune not at her desk, the old Shinobi decided to let himself in, without even knocking.
However no sooner had he opened the door, he felt and hand grab by his shirt and pull him in, where he was then slammed hard against the wall with enough force to cause a large dent in the wall.
Grunting from the pain, Danzo looked at the perpetrator, who was still holding him up against the wall by his shirt.
"Tsunade! What is the meaning of this?!"
Looking angrier than he had ever seen her, Tsunade snarled back "I should be the one asking that! Did you really think I wouldn't figure it out? Did you honestly believe that you would get away with it?!"
Glaring at the woman, "I don't know what you've think I have done, but-" However before he could finish speaking Tsunade roared "ENOUGH!" and slammed him against the wall again, hard, causing several more cracks to appear on the wall behind him.
"I don't want to hear anymore of you lies! I know that you were the one who leaked out the information that Naruto was leaving the village to the Iwa spies. You used my son as bait all so that you round up the entire spy ring up in one fell swoop."
"An interesting theory, but where is your proof?" asked Danzo, who despite his situation remained perfectly calm, staring right back at Tsunade.
Holding him up by one hand, Tsunade took out a piece a paper from her robes, the female Hokage then held it up right in front of Danzo face so that he could see it. The sheet was a mission form, where it listed the members of team ten and Naruto and that they were travelling to Shimizu Temple. "When I wrote this form I left Naruto's name out and gave a false destination. Yet now it states that Naruto was with Asuma and his team, and where they were going, care guess how that happened?"
Snorting slightly, Danzo stared back at Tsunade with his one visible eye. "I would hardly call that proof; there are numerous different explanations for how that form was changed. Also, as you've clearly forgotten, I had no idea where your son was going, so how could I have known what to write?"
"I don't know how you found out where Naruto was going, but I know you had one of your people intercepted that form and changed it. With the exception of Naruto and team 10, only four other people knew I was even considering having Naruto leave the village, you, Sarutobi-sensei Shizune and me, and I would trust Shizune and Sarutobi-sensei with not only my life, but with Naruto's as well, which is more than I can say for you!" At which point Tsunade stared right into the old man's eye with as much anger and hatred that she could possibly muster. "What you did is treason, and I'll have your head for this!"
To his credit Danzo didn't even flinch with the way Tsunade was glaring at him, nor did show any fear at her threat. Instead he stared right back at the female Hokage, with the same calm cold look as before. "Even if what you say is true, I am an elder of both the Konoha's council and a member of the Fire Council; you cannot kill me without proof!"
"Can't I?" sneered Tsunade as she grabbed Danzo's neck and slowly began to choke him. "I am the Hokage of Konoha, which means I can kill you right here and now with or without proof."
Gagging from Tsunade's grip on his throat, Danzo choked out "Do that and the Fire Daimyo will have you removed as Hokage."
Sneering back, Tsunade tightened her grip on the older man's throat and replied. "I'm willing to take that chance."
"On any other day you would be wrong…"today" however, is a very different day. You purposely placed my son in danger by leaking information on his location to known spies, where he was nearly captured and killed, along with the members of team 10. I am going to make sure you never have another chance, damn whatever the consequences."
Feeling Tsunade's hand tightening around his neck, cutting off all oxygen to his lungs, Danzo knew he had to act quickly and choked out. "Kill me and your son will never live to see adulthood!" This statement however caused Tsunade to tighten her grip even more than before."
"You dare threaten my son?!" snarled Tsunade, ready to snap Danzo's neck at any moment.
Even as he felt himself being slowly choked to death, Danzo sneered back at the woman. Gathering what oxygen he had left, he replied. "I know the truth!"
Hearing those words, Tsunade loosened her grip just enough to allow him to breath, (if only slightly), while at the same time keeping a firm grip on him. "What do you mean by the truth?!"
After taking several short gasps of air, Danzo looked Tsunade directly in the eyes and said "The truth about his lineage…his "full" lineage" confirming the woman's worst fears.
Seeing the look of horror on the woman's face, Danzo sneer grew more, knowing he had the advantage now. "Did you really think you could keep this hidden? Did you honestly think that I wouldn't find out? I'll admit you covered your tracks well and it took me much longer than I expected to finally find out…your son really does look just like his father….the Yondaime Hokage."
"H-How…When?" was all Tsunade could manage.
"Ever since your son's existence was revealed, I had my men try and retrace your movements for the last fourteen years. (8) But they could find nothing that indicated who the father of your son was. It was only after the Chunin exam, that I fully notice how much he looked like him. When I first had the notion I thought I was mad, the very notion of you and the Yondaime having a child together was ridiculous, but despite my reservations I followed my hunch and had one of my men steal a sample of his blood while he was recovering in the hospital. I then had it compared to the Yondaime's DNA, where it was a fifty percent match, and as medic you know only a parent or a sibling can be that close a match genetically."
Gritting her teeth, Tsunade asked "What do you want?" knowing that Danzo would want something to keep quiet about this.
"Letting me down would certainly be a start" the man responded, still keeping his face calm and expressionless.
When Tsunade had let him down Danzo began to fix his robes, which had been dishevelled when she had lifted up and pressed him against the wall.
"So what's your plan? Blackmail me into resigning as Hokage and make you my successor, or simply have me around as your personal puppet on a string?"
"Neither" replied the elderly, surprising Tsunade. "Having you resign and making me Hokage would draw too much suspicion, given how it's no secret that you dislike me. People would no doubt start asking questions and suspect that I forced you out some way, and I would need the Jonin council's approval before my position as Hokage was secured, which would be impossible at this time. Also your sudden resignation, so soon after your inauguration, would be considered as a sign of weakness by some of the other villages and could embolden them to attack Konoha more fervently. As for, as you so eloquently put it, making you my puppet, you and I know both known that you would never allow yourself to be used like that by me and would sooner resign as Hokage and hand it back to someone else, leaving me with nothing."
"So what then?"
"In return for my silence regarding the identity of your son's father, I want you to halt your investigation on my organisation. I am well aware that you have already identified several of my followers and monitoring others. That stops now and you will allow my organisation to do what we were created to do, keep Konoha safe from the shadows."
"You honestly expect me to simply give you and your people free reign to do whatever you want without any monetization?" Tsunade sneered. "The fact that you're still operating even after Sandaime ordered you to disband ROOT is grounds for treason!" After learning that ROOT was still operating and preforming its own operations, Tsunade had a select group of ANBU monitor Danzo's base of operation. Given both her own newly appointed position as Hokage, and Konoha current state from the recent invasion, she knew Konoha could not afford internal fight between her and Danzo which was why she hadn't moved against him. She had hoped that given enough time she could identify all of Danzo's people and round them all in one fell swoop once things has stabilized in Konoha and with the other villages. Now however, that didn't seem possible.
"If you value the life of your son you will."
Balling her right hand into her fist, Tsunade glared threateningly at the slightly taller man. "And what's to stop me from simply killing you and keeping you from telling anyone?"
"This," replied the man as he slowly took out a folder from his robes, which he and brought for this eventual confrontation, and handed it to Tsunade.
When opened, it revealed a detail medical report of Naruto and Minato along with the result of a paternity test, outlining the genetic markers they shared, proving that Naruto was indeed Minato's son.
"Should anything happen to me, my men have orders to have copies of this report sent to the leaders of every Shinobi village on the continent, and I know you haven't identified them all. You can of course deny it and state it is a fake, though most won't believe you. When they learn of his full lineage, combined with what they already know of his abilities and how you and Jiraiya are training him, their own imagination will take care of the rest. It will drive them to stop at nothing to end his life and stop him from ever reaching his possible potential, while others will simply come after him for what he father did, as the Yondaime made many enemies during the last great war, chief among them being Iwa, who we are already on the verge of going to war with again. Even if you kept your son close and never had him leave the village, assassins would still come after him, and they would not rest until he was dead."
Gritting her teeth, Tsunade had to reign herself in from strangling them man again. After several minutes of intense staring, Tsunade finally capitulated, "Fine!"
Though his face betrayed no outward emotions, Danzo smirked inwardly at his victory. He had considered making several other demands off her for his silence, but decided against it, knowing that it was better not to overplay his hand and push Tsunade too far. Though Tsunade would not remain quiet indefinitely, and it would only be a matter of time before she struck back. For now at least he had the breathing space he needed to operate his outside interests and get closer to Naruto without her knowing.
Deciding that it would be best if he took his leave, Danzo made his way to the door, but before he could open the door Tsunade called out to him. "You claim that you are loyal to Konoha and that everything that you do is for the village, but you trample across everything that Konoha stands for, the very ideals that my Grandfather the Shodai built it on. He built Konoha so that children like my son could have a chance to grow up and not die needlessly in pointless battles and wars or have to be sacrificed. Yet you are so willing to toss him and others like aside without so much as a thought, even after everything he has done for this village."
Not bothering to even look at the woman, Danzo replied. "The life on one individual, no matter how gifted or talented they may be, is incomprehensible when compared to the lives of everyone in Konoha. The Shodai was a great man and a Shinobi without equal, yet at his heart he was an idealist, and it eventually cost him his life. Your Great Uncle, the Nidaime, on the other hand was a realist, he understood that for the entirety to be saved, some must be sacrificed, it is why he created ROOT in ANBU, so that its members could do the things that others could not, or were unwilling to do for Konoha to survive."
"And yet in the end the Nidaime still chose Sarutobi-sensei, someone who had inherited the same ideals as my Grandfather as Hokage, over you!"
This comment of course struck a chord with the old War-Hawk, as he did not like being reminded of that day, the day when the Nidaime sacrificed himself to save his students and made Sarutobi the Sandaime. On that day Sarutobi was willing to give up his own life and act as a decoy so that the rest of them could escape, while he hesitated.
Danzo had often felt that if had he not hesitated in that instant, and allowed his fear control him, the Nidaime would have chosen him to succeed him, instead of Sarutobi.
However despite how much that reminder stung him, Danzo's voice betrayed nothing when he answered.
"Think of me however you like Hokage-san, it matters little. I will do whatever I deem is required for the continued survival of Konoha…no matter the cost."
When Danzo tried to leave the office again, he was stopped again by Tsunade, who slammed her hand against the door, prevent him from opening it and forcing him to turn and look at her. "Is there something else…Hokage-san? For as much as I enjoy this philosophical debate on morality and ideals, unlike you I have other duties that are required of me."
Growling softly at the man's sheer lack of respect, Tsunade brought her face right up to his and looked him dead in the eye, with an intensity that would've pierced steel, and spoke in a voice just as intense. "If you ever threaten my son's like that again, or put him endanger for one of your little schemes. I will end you myself, regardless of the consequences…do I make myself clear Danzo?!"
"As glass" responded Danzo, again showing no fear whatsoever, despite the seriousness of Tsunade's threat. Shortly after she removed her hand from the door and allowed the man to leave, leaving Tsunade alone in her office.
Moments later, in a fit of rage Tsunade grabbed her desk and threw it out the window, while screaming out her frustration.
After venting out her anger, Tsunade began to take in deep breath in an attempt to calm herself down. "Damn you Danzo, you may have won this round, but I'm far from down."
Realizing that it wasn't working Tsunade decided to leave her office and get a drink before ordering a new desk and window. After which she would then start to work on her response, which would begin the long shadow war between her and Danzo…a war for the very heart and soul of Konoha.
Well that's it for another instalment of Hope of the Senju Clan, I hope you all enjoyed it and sorry for the long wait. But as you can see given the long length of the chapter and with other things like family and work, these things take time to write up, especially ones as long as this one as you can imagine.
Now the next chapter will probably be shorter the last few chapters won't take me near as long to update given what I have planned to happen in it.
Now please as always, read and review, I enjoy reading people's opinion of each chapter and on the story in general. I will do my best to reply to all your reviews, as I believe an author should respond to his readers. But please note that I cannot respond to anonymous reviews and if you wish for me to respond to your questions you must become a member of Fanfiction.
Suggestions are welcomed and will be given serious thought.
NOW AS TO MY GRAMMER AND SPELLING MISTAKES. I AM WELL AWARE THAT BOTH ARE FAR FROM PERFECT AND THAT IT MAY BE A PROBLEM FROM SOME READERS. BUT THEY CANNOT BE AVOIDED, I HAVE NO OFFICAL BETA TO HELP ME, AND I AM DOING MY BEST TO MAKE AS FEW MISTAKES AS POSSIBLE.
Now as for flames, they are as always not welcomed on this story, or on any of my other stories. If you don't like the story that's your opinion, and it is fine, I do not force anyone to read my stories. But I do not like reading people trash talking my stories, and acting like they are experts on writing, especially from people who have never written a story themselves. If I receive any flames, the review will be either deleted or the flamers will be flamed back by me, I am not afraid to stand up for my stories and defend my actions.
Again, I hope everyone enjoyed the Chapter, and please look out for my other stories, The Raikage, Rise of The Raikage, Rogue Shinigami, Brother's Bond, White Fire Prince and The Alchemist's Apprentice.
Shades: Shades are manifestation Ankoku, using his excess Dark Chakra to create them. They have no personalities or minds of their own and exist solely serve Ankoku and act like drones for him. Shades are not particularly strong and can be easily destroyed with a single attack. However this can prove more difficult than it seems as for most of the time Shades are intangible and cannot be destroyed physical or Chakra based attack. However they do become vulnerable when they are about to attack, allowing them to be destroyed. In addition Shades have the ability to weaken their targets by passing through their bodies, slowly draining them of the Chakra and physical strength. Because of their rather weak nature, Shades tend to attack in swarms in the hope overwhelming their targets with their numbers.
The Panda Guardians:
The Guardians are select group, pandas sworn to protect both The Valley Four Winds and the YinYang Well. They're among the strongest fighters in the panda tribe, with each one of them being a master in one of the five elements and in the Sage Arts.
1. Wind Guardian: Chen Ironpaw – Leader of the Guardians
2. Lightning Guardian: Shen Ironpaw
3. Earth Guardian: Shu
4. Water Guardian: Unnamed Male Panda
5. Fire Guardian: Unnamed Female Panda
Former Guardian: Master Zian Lotuspaw, Current Temple Head
(1). To get the image of the Shades Google "Hope of the Senju Clan Larkin 2727"
(2). To get the image of the Shan Ironpaw Google "Hope of the Senju Clan Larkin 2727"
(3). Ankoku means Darkness in Japanese.
(4). To get the image of the Ying Yang Well, Google "Hope of the Senju Clan Larkin 2727"
(5). To get the image of the Ankoku Google "Hope of the Senju Clan Larkin 2727"
(6). Like with the Toads Sage Style if a person absorb too much natural energy they will transform into something, however unlike with the Toads style, where a person will turn into a stone Toad, with the Panda's style a person will turn into a tree.
(7). Though Chen is stronger than Asuma, (given how he is a Sage), the main reason why he was able to defeat Asuma so easily is because Asuma underestimated him and did not know what to expect from him.
(8). Naruto is nearly thirteen at this point, pregnancy last close to a year, meaning that Naruto was conceived about fourteen years ago.
(A). Fūton: Kūkidoriru (Wind Style: Air Drill): Gathering Chakra into his/her mouth and converting it into wind, the user can create a powerful destructive rotation blast of wind in the form of a spinning drill. The ultra-violent rotation from this attack creates a vacuum vortex in its surroundings that tears anything near it apart even without touching them directly, and hits with such force and power, that it can hollow boulders with ease. The destructive capability of the attack is greatly amplified when used with Sage Chakra, allowing it to wipe out a mass force of enemies within second, and still have enough powerful to destroy a large building.
(B). Katon: Daiguren (Fire Style: Great Crimson): A power Fire technique where chakra kneaded inside the body of the user and is converted into fire and expelled from the mouth either as a massive orb of roaring flame. The user the user fires the orb into the air, after erupting and bursting apart, sending a rain of fiery explosions onto enemies.
(C). Raiton: Raikyū (Lightning Style: Lightning Ball): By gathering chakra between his hands, Shen can create a ball of electrical energy and launch it at the enemy. When it makes contact with the enemy, it electrocutes them and throws them back. When combined with Sage Chakra, Shen can increase the size of the lightning ball; greatly magnify the power behind the attack, allowing for tremendous explosive force when it makes contact with its target.
(D). Shizenryūryō no Jutsu (The Natural Flow technique): By using their mastery and control over natural energy, Pandas can manipulate it and send it into a person's body, allowing for accelerated healing, capable of bringing a person back from the brink of death and allow for immediate recovery from chakra exhaustion. The technique also had the benefit of enhancing a person's power, depending on the amount of people that send their energy to that person. However this addition benefit can only be used on a person who knows how to control natural energy, otherwise they will be overcome by the natural energy, where their bodies will turn into a tree. The only way to overcome this side-effect is to have the user convert the natural energy into Sage Chakra and then control the flow of Chakra in the person's body, the user would also have to stay in contact with the person to prevent the Sage Chakra from overcoming them. Another drawback to the technique itself, is that a person would be vulnerable to attack, as they would be unable to defend themselves while using the technique and if a person sends to much energy they would be left severely exhausted or in some cases, die.
(E). Danko Onmyō Baria (Adamant Yin-Yang Barrier): One of the highest level barrier techniques that can only be used only be used by the Master of the Jade Temple using the energy of the leylines to power it, forming a pentagon shape barrier, (that is purple in colour), around a given area. The barrier is highly malleable, and powerful enough to block and Tailed Beast level blast, forcing the brunt of the attack upwards while it was left completely intact. Its user can create openings within the barrier to allow passage. This barrier is apparently very taxing to energy wise and in maintaining, as the user needs to use energy of the leylines to form it an cannot move or lose concentration when using it.
(E). Akuma Shīruha (Demon Sealing Wave): This is a special sealing technique designed by the pandas to seal powerful demons, (like Ankoku). By gathering and unleashing a immense vortex of Sage chakra and sucking them into a special Demon Sealing Jar that is prepared beforehand. The move can only be used by a Sage and requires so much Sage Chakra to perform it that those who use it are likely to suffer from severe exhaustion afterwards, despite the success of the technique. In some cases a person may die soon after using the technique, should they use too much energy.