Naruto, Hinata, and Sakura later regrouped at the village gate, where Kakashi was waiting for them. They had to separate to pack for the mission, even Hinata had to leave Naruto if only to inform her father that she would be on a mission. He was cautious, especially when Hinata informed him that Aru's children might be involved, but he needed to show faith in Naruto to protect his daughter so he did not protest. He just told her to be careful and that he loved her.
"Where's Jiraiya?" Naruto asked when they got together.
"Hokage-sama informed me that he's not in the village at the moment but we should be running into him in an hour, two at the most." Kakashi told them. Tsunade had to send a slug to her old teammate to get the message to him, and made it clear that whatever he was doing at the moment was to be dropped immediately.
Naruto looked annoyed, it was just like Jiraiya to be late. "Then let's just get going."
"Hold on Naruto, before we go, I think it would be best if you said anything that you felt needed to be said." Kakashi insisted.
Naruto narrowed his eyes. "I already said let's get going."
"No, I mean that if you have any negativity towards me over what happened to you we should go over it now and get it cleared before-" Kakashi started.
"There are powerful people holding innocent civilians' hostage and already killing them, all so they can try and do something terrible to my fiancée, and you're wasting our time standing here because you're worried that I'm mad at you?!" Naruto growled, teeth gritted and fists clenched while trembling. "Nice to know what your priorities are, Hatake-sensei!"
"Shut the fuck up!" Naruto barked, making everyone present take a step back in fear. "How fucking typical of you to care more about how a situation affects you than anyone else in the area! Always being late, teaching Sasuke instead of me, not telling me about my parents! But that's okay, because at the end of the day it's about what makes you able to live with yourself!"
"Naruto don't you-?" Sakura tried to cut in, but she froze when the whiskered blonde glared her way.
"Stay out of this Sakura!"
She shut her mouth and took a step back.
Naruto returned his glare to his sensei, who sweated a little. "So how about you wait until the crisis is over before you go on about how you're not really the bad guy here Hatake-sensei? Is that okay with you?"
Kakashi scratched the back of his head and sighed as he nodded. "Yes, that would be better. Then let's get going."
The ninja took off in a hurry, with Naruto practically taking the lead and Hinata being the only one comfortable being close to him at the moment.
'It's like I thought, he's still trying to avoid his anger.' Kakashi told himself as he kept up. Not that he blamed the blonde for his anger. 'Naruto's had a lot of bad things happen to him, and finding out so many people he trusted have been lying to him all his life along with the hokage advisors going out of their way to deprive him of his heritage has got to be the final straw for him. He's dangerously close to giving in to the Kyuubi and I think it's only Hinata's love and support that's giving him the will to remain in control. But that creates a new problem.
Kakashi tried to think for a moment on what Minato-sensei would tell him on what to do in this situation. But he wasn't getting anything at this time.
"He can't afford to be emotionally dependent on her, or else their marriage will become a co-dependency. And he can't hide from his anger for fear of what it may result in. He needs to address it so he can take away its power over him.'
Power, that was what it came down to in the end. The fear of the power that Naruto possessed and what he could do with it.
Kakashi knew that Danzō had in the past tried to get Naruto into his ROOT program in order to get him 'the proper training he needs' as the old warhawk had put it. It had only been the combined intervention of Kakashi, Jiraiya, and Sarutobi that had prevented Danzo from taking possession of the boy following the sealing of the Kyuubi.
It was true that Danzō could have made Naruto into an effective assault and stealth ninja, but the emotionally conditioning was far too risky. It would have resulted in either Naruto going berserk and becoming the Konoha equivalent of Gaara, or him being unable to ever use Kyuubi's chakra at all and thus never as effective as Danzō would have wanted. Sarutobi may have made some bad decisions, but keeping Naruto away from Danzō certainly wasn't one of them.
However, looking back on it, Sarutobi's approach towards Naruto's emotions did have it's own problems as well.
Sarutobi had wanted Naruto to experience a normal childhood and all the normal emotions that came with it. But at the same time Sarutobi had always tried to instill in Naruto a need to never give into anger, to never be as bad as those that hurt him. Pranks and self defense was okay, but never resentment, revenge, retaliation, or of course assault. Sure this was a normal part of teaching a child a sense of morality and ethics, but when Sarutobi tried to encourage this mindset along with a shinobi work, one could argue that he was trying to suppress Naruto's ability to feel anger in general. Or if not that, make him feel afraid of his own anger. As well meaning as it was, one cannot have a healthy emotional spectrum yet be devoid of one entire emotion.
So one choice had been no emotions at all, and the other had been all emotions except one. The second was the one they went with, and clearly it did not work. Naruto could feel anger, but was subconsciously taught to never express it except in regards to enemies. So while Naruto had a lot of anger and disappointment regarding the people around him, he was afraid to express it because in his eyes that would be like severing the positive bonds he had with them.
But they had all failed on a major front her, Kakashi included. They had encouraged Naruto to create and cherish bonds with others, but they had not done the same in return. They had fed him half-truths or told him blatant lies. They had turned a blind eye to the ignorance and cruelty of certain villagers. They failed to get the instructors at the Academy to give Naruto the tutelage and encouragement that he sorely needed at times. They had allowed misconceptions and bias to cloud their judgement and deny Naruto the privileges and promotions that any ninja with his list of achievements were entitled too.
Naruto had thought all that was behind him, but now he knew it never truly ended. It just became less obvious.
An image of Obito came unbidden to Kakashi's mind and Kakashi felt the twinge of regret deepen. 'I failed you Sensei.' Kakashi thought silently. 'Time and time again I had chances to be better but I failed. We all failed to honor your legacy and sacrifice, no matter how much we believed otherwise. That was the biggest lie in this whole conspiracy, that our actions were for the good of the village.'
No, in truth it had been for their good and their peace of mind. So they would not have the face the harsh realities of the situation.
'Did we go too far? Is this the point of no forgiveness for him?' Kakashi wondered to himself. While his life had indeed been harder than the average shinobi, he had still come far and done much. 'I don't think so. He is better than most and has the capacity to be greater. Despite everything he never once lost sight of his goals or lost the Will of Fire. Not like Sasuke,'
Kakashi paused his thoughts to avoid going down that route and kept his good eye on Naruto 'He's probably hoping that if this mission goes well then he'll have gotten most of his anger out of his system by taking it out on more appropriate targets, then he won't have to face the issues he has towards us. Naruto, I'm sorry but that's not a healthy approach. Your healing factor doesn't apply to emotional wounds. I'll wait until you've got less to worry about, but I'm not going to let you ignore this.'
"Rimona, anything you can tell me about this situation?" Hinata whispered carefully. She had not thought to ask the succubus about this last night as Naruto had needed her more. That night had been terrible for Naruto, he didn't sleep and he didn't eat. And what was worse was that he did not talk to her. Not to say he was distance or rude, he was still affectionate and caring to her, just silent. Even without her 'all seeing eyes' she could have seen the inner turmoil that Naruto had felt. The rage, the sadness, the conflict all of swirling around inside of him. It broke her heart. All she could do that night was hold him to her and try to soothe him as best she could.
But for now, it was time to focus on the mission. And one of the key elements to the success of the mission was to know ones enemy.
"Okay, I've been thinking about it. While it is possible that this could just be an unrelated problem, sadly the odds are more likely that this is a member of my family trying to draw you out."
"Any idea which one?"
"I'm pretty sure it's not my mother or father. Lilith knows where you are and how to get to you, drawing you out of the village is entirely pointless. Aru's already tried the sneak attack approach, so he's not going to try that again right away. My best guess is it's one of my siblings."
'Well that narrows it down.' Hinata thought snidely.
"Look, while I can't tell you which one is most likely to do this, I can warn you about the more dangerous ones." Rimona continued. "My species is not the strongest. My parents are exceptions, not standards. If it is one of my siblings then there's likely going to be more than one for the numbers advantage. Though I doubt it would be all of them."
Hinata didn't reply, though she was concerned.
"If memory serves me right, the three worst of my siblings for you to face here are my brothers Riku and Touma and my sister Yui. Or as Dad liked to call them, the Trouble Trifecta. They were always getting into mischief as kids, but they got worse a few centuries ago. By worse I mean worse to be on the other end of their havoc. You see, that time you found Lilith in the sapphire wasn't the first time she had been trapped by someone."
"Do I need to hear this?" Hinata asked.
Rimona rolled her eyes. "Geez, sorry for trying to put this into context."
"If it will help then I'll listen." Hinata added.
"Oh thank you girl, that means so much to me." Rimona said sarcastically. "As I was saying, Lilith was once captured long ago by a demon who originally ruled over the First Circle of Makai. I suppose you don't need context for that so we'll skip it. The important thing is she was being held as a sex slave by the ruler at the time. I forget his name or species. My father led a rebellion to free her and dethrone the demon, and my three siblings were very helpful to his victory. After he won, Aru and Lilith were declared the new rulers of the First Circle, and they rewarded Riku, Touma, and Yui."
"This reward made them stronger?" Hinata asked.
"Bingo. These three of my siblings are tougher than your average incubus or succubus. They can do things that the rest of us can't, but they aren't strong enough to overthrow their own parents. Aru was smart enough to keep something for himself to ensure none of his children could get away with being impatient for their inheritance."
"So they're weaker than Aru?" Hinata asked.
"Oh absolutely, you don't become a Demon Lord without being powerful. But don't think that means you've got nothing to worry about. I know you're thinking that since your fiancee beat him by himself that this should be a piece of cake. Think again sweetie. Aru was going easy and had no idea that Kyuubi would be involved. My guess is, your boytoy didn't so much win as got lucky."
Hinata frowned at the term 'boytoy', it sounded too much like something that Lilith would have said.
"My siblings, if it is them, are likely much more prepared and serious. Believe me, if you underestimate this fight you're going to be breaking more than just a sweat."
Hinata coincidentally sweatdropped to hear this. "What can you tell me about these siblings of yours?"
"I have not seen them in a long time, but I doubt they have changed that much. Touma is little more than a rabid beast. He doesn't talk much but he is strong and fast though. He is good in up close and personal combat. Yui, she is a sadistic woman. She likes to play cat and mouse games, attacking people from afar. Now, Riku, he's the real dangerous one. He's the leader of the Trouble Trifecta; he is cold and calculating. He is not cruel like the others, but he lacks any ability to feel or empathize with others. In fact the plan to kill the people in the manner described, it sounds exactly like something Riku would come up with."
Hinata had a vague recollection of Kiba once describing a confrontation with a dangerous group of Orochimaru's henchmen known as the Sound Four. He had said that they had been powerful and sadistic people that had tried their hardest to kill them in their quest to 'rescue' Uchiha Sasuke. Rimona's siblings sounded very similar.
"Please tell me you have some kind of trick up your sleeve for beating them?"
"I'm not a fighter, I spent most of my life trying to find ways to be independent of the succubus culture and more aware of the human culture. So I can't give you a power boost or special skills, no more than Lilith could." Rimona lamented and Hinata felt her hope sink slightly.
"However, as a result of my time abroad I did learn a few things about keeping incubi and succubi away and weakening them. I'd like to think getting Lilith trapped in a crystal is proof that my species does have weaknesses just like any other. So I do have a few ideas."
"Tell me." Hinata insisted and in the mental landscape, Rimona smiled.
Far away and hidden, one Uchiha had been watching another. Using his crows, Itachi had been keeping an eye on his brother. Sasuke was wondering off on his own, which already raised a red flag as Orochimaru would not let him do that, but at the same time he was not wandering without direction. No he walked as if he knew exactly where he was going. There was just one problem with that.
'He's not coming for me.' Itachi thought to himself as he watched his brother through the eyes of another. 'Where are you going little brother?'
Itachi didn't understand, all of the crows that came to him showed a consistent image, of Sasuke heading in one direction. The landscapes were distinct enough for him to be aware of where they were, and even to be safe he had checked a map to compare. Sasuke was heading somewhere specific, but it wasn't towards Itachi.
'Does he think that's where I am?' Itachi asked himself. 'It's possible, but then why is he not rushing? Is he trying to withhold his energy for the fight itself? That would be sensible of him, yet sensibility has sadly never been one of my brother's stronger points. No this is a show of confidence more than practicality. If he's taking his time, it's because he thinks he no longer has to rush himself, rather than holding himself back from going all out from the get go.'
He put away the map and sent the crows back out for further observation. 'Should I try to intercept him? I don't have much time and it needs to be Sasuke that ends me. Or else all my efforts will have been for naught.' He looked around, confirming he was alone, and glanced at the Akatsuki ring he wore. 'Yes, I must. If Sasuke is looking for me, I better not let him look in the wrong places. And if he by chance is looking for something else, it may be best that he not, lest it somehow help Orochimaru.'
Knowing he was risking the ire of Pain, he headed out, seeking the brother that he had hurt so long ago.
"Hey everyone!" Jiraiya said when he met up with the group. He quickly looked to Naruto. "How's it going kid? Have you gotten yourself a girlfriend yet now that you're back in town?"
He was considerably surprised by the dirty look that Naruto gave him. Actually, 'dirty' was a bit of an understatement. Naruto was looking at the perverted sage like he had committed some kind of terrible terrible crime. Like he'd have an easier time forgiving Jiraiya for peeing in his ramen than whatever it was he had actually done.
Kakashi wisely stepped forward. "We're on our way to the trading town of Dejima. We've got reports of the citizens being held hostage and killed off one by one by a terrorist cell of unknown individuals. They have only one demand, that Hyuuga Hinata be brought to them."
Jiraiya could easily see that there was a Hyuuga with them. "So is she a decoy, or did someone think giving these terrorists what they wanted was a good idea?"
"We have reason to believe that these terrorists are... different. Only Hinata herself can say how." Kakashi replied, looking towards the white-eyed girl.
"They're demons. Not like the kyuubi but still dangerous." Hinata told everyone now that everyone was there. "One of them tried to abduct me and rape me not too long ago, and I have reason to believe these terrorists are some of his children."
Jiraiya looked like someone just told him a joke he didn't think was funny, Sakura looked like she hadn't expected to hear this, and Kakashi maintained his professional composure.
"And I should believe this... because...?" Jiraiya asked.
Hinata closed her eyes, and when she opened them her eyes were two different colors. "Because I'm one of them. Hello, my name is Rimona, and I'm a demon partnered with Hinata."
"Hinata? What are you doing?" Sakura asked.
"My name is Rimona. Hinata's still here, but right now I'm the one in the driver's seat. Basically she's got me inside her just like how Naruto here has Kyuubi inside himself."
The other three jerked back a little. "That's... that's impossible." Kakashi objected.
"Why? If you can seal one demon inside a person, why not another?" Rimona-Hinata asked. "Don't worry, Hinata and I have a mutual understanding. Trust me, I'm actually helping her more than hurting her. My chakra is keeping her alive and it will be some time before she no longer needs it. Trying to get rid of me will be little different than killing this girl. And I'm 200% sure that this man right here..." She put her arm around Naruto. "...will not allow that to happen."
Sakura looked from Naruto to Hinata and back and back again. She had seen when Kyuubi controlled Naruto and it had been terrifying. This was completely different. It was more like a split personality had taken control rather than a demon. "What kind of demon are you?"
"I'm a succubus, a demon of love, lust, and passion." Rimona-Hinata then sprouted some wings and a tail.
"It's not a genjutsu." Kakashi said in disbelief, trying to prove otherwise.
The wings and tail retracted. "The enemy you're about to face are likely my siblings. I'm not sure who or how many, but they are still incubi and succubi. Avoid direct eye contact, stay mobile, and be prepared for long range attacks and wind style jutsu. If we're unlucky, it'll be one of my three stronger siblings. In that case, fight like your very lives depend on it."
"How bad can your kind be in a fight? Compared to the kyuubi that is, it's our best frame of reference." Kakashi inquired.
"The average lust demon is much weaker, but still enough to give a shinobi a good fight. The tougher ones are... well, tougher, of course. The most important thing is to not make eye contact with them, it will allow them to cast a genjutsu on you."
Kakashi nodded in understanding. "So it's like a sharingan?"
"In a nutshell yes. Close range combat is like fighting a panther, but my kind prefer to attack from the air like birds of prey. Defense will be vital here. And if you get knocked unconscious, they can take control of your mind. So don't let anyone get knocked out."
"So it's like fighting a flying Inuzuka who also has a sharingan and some Yamanaka skills." Kakashi noted, making Sakura's eyes widen a little. Kakashi then chuckled. "And here I thought this was going to be a challenge."
Rimona-Hinata looked annoyed. "If you survive this One Eye, I'll remember you said that."
Night came and the group took camp. Naruto was upset that they weren't getting to Dejima sooner, but Kakashi and Jiraiya had insisted that they rest and recuperate before going to fight these demons tomorrow. If they were as dangerous as Rimona said they were, then the shinobi needed to be at their best when facing them and after a day of travel and raised emotions that wasn't going to be possible. Naruto didn't like it, but Hinata helped him feel better about this.
Naruto, Hinata, and Sakura did the work of setting the camp up while Jiraiya and Kakashi walked off a bit so they could do a perimeter check and talk in private. Once they were far away enough, Kakashi brought Jiraiya up to speed on what had happened recently in Konoha. Naruto's engagement and how it led to the reveal of his parentage, both to himself and the village. The toad sage listened in stony silence and then once Kakashi had finished, he let out a deep sigh and rubbed his forehead.
"Oh Kami... Tsunade-hime what were you thinking?"
"You think she shouldn't have told him?" Kakashi inquired.
"He needed to be told, there is no argument in that. But the manner in which she did it was not right. I should have been there when he heard the news." Jiraiya clicked his tongue. "Does he know that I am his-?"
Kakashi shook his head. "No, to my knowledge it hasn't come up. But I think he has guessed that you probably knew the truth of his heritage as well and that you, like the rest of us, kept it from him."
"I was going to tell him. I had it planned out to tell him everything from beginning to end. To answer his questions and explain it all. I knew he would be angry when he learned the truth, but I had hoped that if it was explained properly and calmly... it might be dampened." Jiraiya said sadly.
"Then why didn't you?" Kakashi questioned. "You spent three years alone with Naruto. If that wasn't the perfect time to tell him, what was?"
"It wasn't the perfect time. I was trying to get him to control the kyuubi's chakra and improve his taijutsu. Telling him would have risking undoing all of that."
"And in three years the 'undoing' couldn't have been overcome?" Kakashi asked skeptically. "Sounds to me like the real problem was you just chickened out."
"Watch it kid." Jiraiya firmly warned.
"I think not. After all, it doesn't matter how I see your inaction compared to how Naruto will see it. And we both knew that the council would never have told him the truth if they had their way. Better that he learn it now rather than never." Kakashi folded his hands behind his back. "What do you suppose Minato-sensei and Kushina would have to say about our actions?"
"Minato would probably give one of those 'I am not angry, I am disappointed' kind of lectures and Kushina... heh she would tear us in half from brain to balls." The old man gave a shake of his head. "We could have done things better, we should have done things better. But, what's done is done. We cannot undo the past so now we must try and set the future right."
"Setting it right is going to be hard, Naruto is angry. Very angry. And he is holding it in and it is going to eat at him until he explodes and that endangers him and the people he cares about."
"Do you have an idea?" Jiraiya asked. "Because if that is true, then he is compromised for this mission. Regardless of his desire to protect his girl. Thoughts clouded by anger lead to mistakes, and the desire to take that anger out on someone leads to recklessness. If these enemies are as dangerous as we have been told, we cannot afford to make mistakes."
Kakashi came to sudden halt, he looked up at the sky for a moment just gazing off into space as he was deep in thought. Then he looked at the toad sage. "I do have an idea, but I am going to need your help."