Chapter 10-War and Death
If there was ever a moment in time when a fight between to sides was considered the "battle of the century", this was it. Shukaku the one-tailed Biju was fighting off what many believed was a real life Shinigami. The true embodiment of death was fighting off against a Biju who could destroy anything in its path with a flick of its tail.
It was a case of Death VS Destruction.
'Such power. Even now, it is taking everything in my power to stay standing,' thought Kakashi from his position staring at Naruto while seeing Tsunade smirk.
"Impressive. Isn't he Kazekage-sama?" asked Tsunade while the Yondaime Kazekage gripped his armrest rightly and stared at Naruto's deathly form.
"That he is Hokage-sama," replied the Yondaime Kazekage with eyes filled with fear.
This was what his forces would be fighting? This was the entity that killed Orochimaru of the Sannin? And Hiruzen expected him to just invade Konoha and throw his troops away in the process? Hell no! There were less crazy ways to get the Wind Daimyo's attention to bring Suna back to greatness.
He needed to call of his side of the attack and needed to do it now!
"Ready to meet your end Shukaku? Your big brother Kurama already met his own end when devoured upon my ascension. I have no problem doing the same to you," said Naruto while Shukaku narrowed his eyes at him before they widened.
"You killed him! I can't sense him in you anymore. BASTARD!" exclaimed Shukaku since Kurama was part of their family and now he was gone for good.
It was true, the siblings fought in the past when growing up. Kurama being an arrogant ass for having the most tails and thus being the most powerful by default. But still, they never wanted the other to die, much less die permanently! Biju died from time to time if their Jinchuriki host died before a transfer could be done. It happened. But they would always return within a span of a few years depending on their tails.
But this? This was different. No more Kurama. No more Biju. This thing had literally killed his big brother! It was inexcusable!
"And soon, you will join him. The only question is, does your host come along for the ride?" said Naruto before letting out an evil chuckle that made Shukaku shiver slightly with fear and anger.
"DIE! DIE! DIIIIE!" yelled Shukaku before launching his sand right at Naruto with all his rage and fury behind.
Only for the sand to be batted away with Naruto wielding the axe Gran Caida. Naruto uses Sonido to move behind Shukaku while floating there for a good minute before the Biju even realizes the entity of death was behind it. Snarling, Shukaku tries to swipe Naruto with his claws in the hopes of shredding him to pieces, but each time he missed. Not because his aim was off, but the fact Naruto was too fast. Or rather seemed to be fast. Naruto actually slowed down time, a power from his Arrancar for a Grandfather, to make everything within the field of it to slow down considerably. So when the sharp claws of the Biju came close to hitting him, all the deathly form of Naruto had to do was move slightly to the left or right while using very little energy on his part.
To the naked eye, it seemed as if he wasn't even moving. To the naked eye, it seemed the attacks were going right through Naruto with no harm coming upon his person.
It was actually freaking some people out.
'He's unharmed by Shukaku. Our Biju is completely powerless against him! And Hiruzen wants us to invade Konoha and face this monster of monsters?! Absolutely not!' thought the Yondaime Kazekage while secretly motioning for his bodyguard to come forward and whispered for him to signal the invasion on their end to be abandoned. And to do it with haste!
Let Hiruzen hang himself with his own supporters and Sound forces attacking Konoha in order to bring about the former Sandaime's "vision" of what this village should be in his eyes. Why should his forces be butchered by this deathly horror when there was no return on the investment? If anything, Konoha will be weakened internally and make the Wind Daimyo rethink outsourcing missions to a rival village was a good thing.
"Is that it? Is this all you have? The Biju are said to be fear incarnate. To be beasts of destruction that when unleashed can reshape the landscape of the world. The only one that has my respect in that regard was Kurama and if it wasn't for the fact he was an arrogant in his power, I would pity him. But not you. You are weak. Your mind is even weaker. Such a waste of a life given to you by your Father, the Sage of Sixth Paths!" mocked Naruto while Shukaku looked even more infuriated by him.
"Shut up! You will not insult my Father! He was great! He was a genius! He gave the human race the power of chakra and the knowledge of how to use it. They spat on his face for his efforts!" exclaimed Shukaku angrily since it had always been a sore spot for him and the rest of the Biju.
Humans took what the Sage of Six Paths had given them and warped it into a means of fighting and killing each other. Weapons of war in using the elements of all kinds and to make it worse they sealed all nine of the Biju, the true children of the Sage of Six Paths, into human hosts to have their powers turned into weapons. The Biju had always resented that since it was an insult to them, their Father, and everything the old man had stood for in life.
And to make things even worse, the biological children the Sage had did nothing to stop it. Hell, they encouraged it. One wanted to seal them away to "preserve the peace" of the world in order for humanity to prosper with their new found happiness. While the other wanted to use them like tools or slaves to bring the world under his egotistical rule of "Might makes right!" while believing himself to be a God made flesh.
Neither son, much less their successors in the form of the clans they created were worthy of the Sage's power, knowledge, or love he had given to the Biju.
And now this thing had permanently killed one of the Sage's Biju children. When would it end?
"You think I am blind or naive in this? When I absorbed all of Kurama, I gained his memories too. Of your Father. His love for you. How he wanted peace so badly, yet would not live to see it. I saw the memory of when his youngest child by blood was named his successor and the oldest went on a rampage. You think I do not find the system which we live in abusive and stupid? Humans are greedy creatures that do not know when to stop in their quest for being more powerful over their current status quo. Many humans deserve to die. Half the species needs to be wiped out in my view with the other half watching so they can live extremely humble lives," said Naruto while sensing the shock and horror of his words being heard by everyone below him.
Even if it was true to a certain extent.
Humans took the power of the Sage and warped it for their own benefit. Why have peace with your fellow man when war was so much easier. Why embrace your fellow man in friendship when you can kill him? Stab him in the back? Or put the fool and his family into chains to be used as property and slaves meant for obtaining profit?
In Naruto's mind, humanity required a much needed humbling experience, and he aimed to give them one on a global level one day.
"And yet you fight for them?" countered Shukaku while trying to figure out how to crush this creature in front of him.
"For them? Hardly. I fight for those worthy of my mercy. At the moment, the numbers are very small, but still I prefer quality over quantity in terms of a soul's value. They are the ones worthy saving since they are rare these days," replied Naruto while the angry Biju snarled.
"Well I hope you enjoyed your time with them because they are all about to meet their end here in this stadium after I am done with you!" exclaimed Shukaku while preparing to fire a blast of wind at Naruto knowing the Arrancar boy would dodge it and hit the people in the stands.
Even if the deathly form of Naruto didn't dodge it, Shukaku was confident the attack would kill the brat, and be done with it. Either way, Shukaku would win.
"Fool," whispered Naruto while letting Shukaku fire his wind attack at him without a care in the world.
The attack itself was a compressed ball of wind that when fired from the mouth of a Biju, namely Shukaku, who had an insanely high wind affinity, it was an unstoppable force of destruction. It could destroy buildings, shred bodies, and cause untold damage to just about everything it hit on contact.
To Naruto in his current form? It was the equivalent of a gentle breeze.
And it scared the crap out of Shukaku when the Biju saw it hit Naruto dead on, yet did nothing to hurt him.
'He shouldn't have survived my attack after being hit at such close range. What the fuck is this thing?' thought Shukaku while Naruto let out a chuckle.
"You seemed surprised. I understand. Such a close range hit should have destroyed me or at the very least, injured my form badly. That is what you are thinking, correct? It is natural to feel this way and for me to see your stupefied expression. To put it in simple terms, my body can take anything you throw at it, and come out on top. Even if your big brother Kurama was here and hit me with his own blast of energy at point blank range, the most amount of damage I would have received is a scratch. If that is all I would have received from the strongest of you, what makes you think your little ball of wind from the weakest of the Biju could do?" explained Naruto while seeing Shukaku take another step back.
"I will not die quietly. I will fight you tooth and claw!" said Shukaku with Naruto once again letting out a chuckle.
"I know you will. But in the end...you are still going to die!" said Naruto before he was in front of Shukaku's torso and sliced the Biju in half.
"AHHH! WHAT THE FUCK?!" yelled Shukaku while falling backwards, hitting the stadium wall, and sending sand everywhere.
And Gaara to the floor where the sand acted as a cushion for his body.
While the sand began to slowly reform into Shukaku again, Naruto spent his time using Gran Caida to slice into the sand to make it take longer for the reformation to occur. He could easily kill Gaara or simply punch the boy to wake him up, thus make Shukaku get sent back into red head's mind. But Naruto didn't want that. He wanted the Biju to be pissed off. Angry beyond measure. Making the short patience of the one-tailed Biju burn up quickly to the point where Shukaku lashed out wildly when his temper reached its very short limit.
"Come on Shukaku. Fight back. This one sided fight is hardly worth the time I spent being in this form to fight you," said Naruto while Shukaku reformed enough to use the sand to send tendrils of it at the Arrancar.
"I hate you so much!" exclaimed Shukaku while trying reform himself and fight off the Arrancar above him, but reforming was taking too long.
"Tell it to someone who cares," said Naruto before he had enough playing around with the Biju and used Sonido to appear next to the unconscious form of Gaara.
"No! Stop it!" exclaimed Shukaku while thinking the deadly creature was about to kill his vessel and the Biju by extension before seeing the sand demon die permanently.
"You want me to stop? Fine! Give the brat control of his body again and from now on, do not screw with his head anymore," demanded Naruto while his axe was ready to slice Gaara's head clean off if the Biju didn't comply.
"All right! All right! Fucking bastard!" exclaimed Shikaku knowing this was probably his one chance to keep his life and aimed to take it.
Which is why he made a sand fist and punched Gaara in the head to wake the brat up.
"What?! No! Get back! Get back!" exclaimed Gaara in fear and panic when he realized his situation and saw the deathly entity floating in front of him.
"Oh really? And why should I? Your demon has retreated away from me and you are in no position to fight me. All that is left, is to swing my weapon, and take your head from your body. Or, I could use one of my other powers, and turn your body into a decaying corpse before nothing of it remains," replied Naruto while seeing Gaara was having a moment of clarity with his madness of wanting to kill leaving him and the fear of dying taking over.
"Gaara!" exclaimed Temari before she moved to stand in Naruto's way with Kankuro soon joining her.
"Temari?" questioned Gaara while seeing Temari stand up for him.
Though Gaara couldn't understand why since he had been a horrible brother and person to her when growing up.
"Stay back!" commanded Temari while Naruto chuckled.
"How courageous of you. How noble. You love your brother very much. Even if he has been undeserving of it. So why should I show him mercy? Explain why I shouldn't end his life? His very existence? Explain why I shouldn't simply remove every trace of his body from this world?" asked Naruto while Temari looked from him to Gaara with sad, yet happy eyes.
"He's my brother. I know we never had a good relationship growing up, but...he's family. I never hated him for what happened to our Mother being used as a sacrifice to seal the one-tailed Biju into him. I love my brother. Even if he never saw it. Or knew it," said Temari while Gaara was shocked by this news with Kankuro supporting the notion.
Ever since that night, when their Uncle tried to kill him, Gaara had hated the world, and its people with all his heart. He had denounced love because someone who claimed to love him had lied. He thought everyone around him in Suna hated his existence and the only one who could love him was himself.
But his sister and brother loved him. How could he not see it? Was his rage and hate so power that Gaara chose not to see it?
"And what makes you think that is enough to stay my hand?" asked Naruto while Temari looked up at him with fierce determined eyes.
"Because you were like Gaara once. I asked around about you. How they hated you. How they still hate you. How you were once the Jinchuriki of the Kyuubi. They made it no real secret to how they treated you growing up and the abuse you went through. You wanted to be loved and never got it. Gaara's life was the same when growing up. Hated, called names, and attacked mercilessly by assassins sent by our own Father because he saw his son as a faulty weapon. Both of you wanted love and were denied that one way or another when growing up. I want to help Gaara know what is it like to embrace love. Please do not deny him this. Please!" exclaimed Temari while Naruto stared at her with his skull like face giving nothing away.
There was no chuckle. There was no growl of annoyance. There was no sound from the deathly entity while he stared down at the determined Suna woman her puppet using brother.
"You bring up some interesting points. In truth, I was going to spare Gaara his end since I went through all that effort to get Shukaku back in his head," remarked Naruto at last before putting away his weapon and transformed back into his human form.
"If you were planning on sparing his life, why did you act otherwise?" asked Temari while Naruto smirked.
"Because I wanted to know your reasons for standing up for Gaara. I wanted to know if it was because you saw him as a weapon for Suna to use? Or because you cared for him as a sibling and actually cared about his life as a person? Had you done it for the former, I would have taken your heads right in front of him," replied Naruto while Temari went pale in the face.
"G-Good to know," remarked Temari while Naruto's smirk became more gentle.
"In any case, I won the match. So get your brother healed up. From the drain of bringing out Shukaku, he will need quite a bit of rest," said Naruto with Temari putting away her fan and helped Gaara up.
"Temari...I'm sorry...for everything," whispered Gaara while Temari herself just smiled gently at her little brother.
"Its okay Gaara. Everything just became twisted up until now. We can change it for the better. We have a clean slate to work with," replied Temari while Gaara smiled a gentle smile at her.
"I would like that very much. I want that with Kankuro too," said Gaara with Temari's smile increasing.
"I think we can arrange that," replied Temari while looking back at Naruto and silently said "thank you" to him.
"Winner! Namikaze Uzumaki Naruto!" exclaimed Genma while the crowd cheered at seeing such a display of skill and power.
Well...the people outside of Konoha did. Most of the people within booed despite their booing was drowned out.
In the stands, Jiraiya frowned since the signal to attack was suppose to come from the Kazekage during the fight Naruto had with Gaara. But the signal never came and the invasion wasn't happening unless sensei gave the sign to attack. The Sannin frowned since he suspected the Kazekage got cold feet seeing Naruto transform and didn't have the courage to signal the Suna and Sound forces to attack. Not to mention the sizeable chunk of left over Root agents sensei had obtained following Danzo's death were also waiting in position to strike.
'Damn! Looks like I will have to signal them. I didn't want to, but sensei said it might happen if the brat showed off his power. Considering how the one-tailed Biju was not only beaten, but threatened into submission...he was right,' thought Jiraiya while he was hoping it wouldn't come to this and signaled for the attack to start.
Which was why the explosions happened moments later within several places throughout the village and setting the plan spent years in the making into motion.
"Your handiwork Kazekage-sama?" questioned Tsunade while the Kazekage clearly did not expect this to happen.
Either because it happened without his authorization on his end. Or because he called off his forces waiting in hiding and someone was forcing his hand.
"No. It is not," replied the Kazekage honestly since he knew his forces would abandon the plan the moment his signal to abort was issued.
Even now, Suna troops should be withdrawing. The Kazekage knew that his most trusted commander and Jounin sensei to his children, Baki, wasn't a fool. He knew the signal was issued and was most likely ensuring the orders were carried out throughout the ranks to get their forces back home safely.
So what was Hiruzen and Jiraiya doing? The explosion made the Kazekage look like he was attacking and directing Konoha as a whole to focus on him. Did the Toad Sannin or Hiruzen somehow find out about Suna's withdraw? Were they trying to force his hand? Have Suna attack Konoha anyway, if only to rescue their Kazekage from being captured or killed?
Either way, it did not look good.
"I know of your plans Kazekage-sama. But I also know you didn't do anything to signal an attack on my village just now. Which means your co-conspirators did and are forcing your hand. So you can either fight beside my forces or you can join my enemies and be slaughtered to the last man," offered Tsunade with the Kazekage looking from her to Naruto in the arena.
The boy was currently being attacked by a group of Sound Nin, who were disguised as civilians in the arena, and being killed with ease. The memory of the boy transforming and defeating Shukaku was a memory he wouldn't soon forget anytime soon.
"My forces have already been ordered to pull back prior to this. However, they will no doubt redirect themselves to come back, if only to protect me. If I were allowed to leave to rejoin them outside of Konoha, they would not have such an excuse to return," said the Kazekage with Tsunade's eyes narrowing.
"Kushina will get you outside our walls. But should you betray this act of trust Kazekage-sama...you will not live long enough to enjoy it," said Tsunade while Kushina appeared next to the Kazekage, grabbed him, and used Sonido to take him outside.
"Your orders Hokage-sama?" asked Minato while acting as a Shinobi right now under Tsunade's command.
"Find Jiraiya. Beat him. Maim him. Kill him if you wish. But I want him, my former sensei, and all their followers either dead or captured. Go!" commanded Tsunade while acting like a Hokage would in times of conflict before she descended into the fray of the fight in the stadium seats.
And sure enough, the chaos was immense. Sound Nin disguised as civilians attacked Konoha Nins in the stands. Root Nin that had been obtained by Hiruzen and Jiraiya were attacking Konoha Nin who they had known for years. Some of the remaining Suna Nin still in the stands had tried to fight with Konoha Nin loyal to Tsunade after the signal to abandon their part in the invasion from the Kazekage had slowly made its way through their ranks during the fighting between Naruto and Gaara. After seeing the battle, they could see why the Kazekage was backing out of the invasion. Anyone who could fight off the one-tailed Biju and rumored to have killed the nine-tails was not someone you wanted to fight.
Hence why those inside Konoha were quickly receiving report in their ears that their Kazekage was outside of the village ordering a full retreat.
As for the Sound Nin invading from outside at another section of the village, they were quickly slaughtered by three squads of ANBU led by ANBU Captain Neko. She had been put on the front lines where the Sound Nin were invading in order to take her frustrations of losing her lover out on them. While Neko wanted to lash out at Baki for his role in the death of Hayate, it had been Minato to being the one to talk to her about it after word had reached him of someone on Hiruzen's "secret subordinate list" paid the woman a visit at her home. When Minato visited her a day later, she told him how the agent told her how Jiraiya's spy network managed to find out that Baki was the murderer of Hayate.
The former Yondaime Hokage informed her the information was true, it was done with the intent of Hiruzen using her as a pawn against Suna. When Yugao asked what her role was in the scheme created by the former Sandaime, Minato explained it was most likely to use her hatred to attack Suna Nin until she got to Baki, and weaken Suna further. The overall plan Hiruzen created would have weakened Suna to the point where they were at risk of collapsing as a hidden village within months following the failed invasion.
And Yugao would have been the pawn used to cut down a chunk of Suna's forces after Hiruzen and Jiraiya provoked, nay, encourage her hatred. Driving her kill in the name of vengeance. Just as they planned. They would have ensured the female ANBU played the part in the script they wrote for her until the woman's usefulness was no longer valuable to them.
She might have been ANBU and a Konoha Shinobi, but a pawn for something like this scheme the former Sandaime created? Absolutely not! She would fight and die for her village, but not for someone who uses people in such a cruel way.
And as for Baki? She would deal with him on her own terms...should time and Kami above provide such a moment.
Hiruzen looked at the army of Root Nin before him. Each as emotionless as the one to their left or right of the ones he was staring at with a sense of pride. He wondered if this was what Danzo felt about Root when staring at them. It took some effort to get as many of them as he did given how many were either killed or reconditioned by Tsunade under watchful eyes. But in the end, Hiruzen was able to get a nice sizeable chunk of them, and used that programmed loyalty to do "what is in the best interest of Konoha" Danzo had forced down their throats to make them follow the war hawk's former rival. It made sense after all. Hiruzen was stronger. Wiser. Had been Hokage twice! Danzo did not and was dead.
The Root that Hiruzen claimed had no problem following him based on that logic.
Right now, the explosions, and the fighting above with the Sound Nin would pave the way for Root to mobilize to fight for their faction. Word had already reached him of Suna abandoning their part of the plan and the former Sandaime Hokage planned to teach the Kazekage what it meant to betray him.
When the time was right.
"When the time is right, you will attack certain points around Konoha. Once they are taken, we will engage Tsunade, remove her, and show the true might of Konoha is with us. Not her. The Fire Daimyo has our support though he cannot openly show it. He has stated as much since it would put him in a bad light for siding with what many would call a rebellion within his own Shinobi village. By showing our strength and winning, the Fire Daimyo can claim how impressed our might is against the ninja Konoha produces. As such, he will make the excuse that our superior might will be the forefront of Konoha's power from now on, and allow our side to take control," announced Hiruzen with the masked Root staying quiet while they listened to him.
It wasn't their place to say anything.
"As you have no doubt heard, Suna has backed out at the last minute of siding with us, and with the Sound Nin being coordinated to attack Konoha through Jiraiya. However, we can still win through my experience, and Jiraiya's strength combined with all of you. We will bring about a new age for Konoha. A new Will of Fire. One that will burn strong and stay strong...forever!" declared Hiruzen with some of the Root Nin nodding.
"Your version of the Will of Fire...is just another delusion filled with pain and betrayal," said Minato after appearing in a yellow flash with his zanpakuto in hand.
"Minato. I would ask how you found me, but something says your feared Hiraishin Jutsu had something to do with it. When did you tag me?" questioned Hiruzen with a snarl.
"I didn't. Unlike before where I needed a seal on someone or something to anchor myself when performing the Jutsu, my zanpakuto allows me to get around that issue. All I need to do now is sense your charka and the ability of my zanpakuto does the rest," explained Minato while his sword hilt looked like his infamous tri prong kunai, complete with seals on the side, was held tightly in his hands, and it was clear the man was pissed.
"Out of respect, I would normally extend the offer of siding with us. But something tells me the offer would be refused," said Hiruzen with a scowl.
"And betray my son? Hell no," said Minato with Hiruzen snarling now.
"Your son was the key to Konoha's greatness. He would have been the pointy tip of the sword. The sharpness of the blade used to cut down Konoha's enemies one after another until there were none left," said Hiruzen while Minato scowled.
"And when he was no longer useful? Let me guess, breed some offspring from him, seal the fox into one of his children, and kill the sire before repeating the process. You shame your sensei with your way of thinking," remarked Minato while Hiruzen narrowed his eyes at him.
"I do what my sensei never had the courage or conviction to do. I do what must be done to keep Konoha strong," said Hiruzen while Minato scowled further at him.
"Now you sound like Danzo. At least he never hid behind the 'gentle Grandfather' that you yourself portrayed in your elderly years. He held no shame in everything. But you hid, like a coward. Behind your position. Behind the Hokage's desk doing paperwork. Behind the Hokage hat you wore while pretending to be a great leader when you were pretending to be one while secretly being a tyrant. You are monster in old shriveled human skin," said Minato while Hiruzen removed his Hokage robes he had wore for his speech with the Root army behind him to reveal the battle armor in its place.
"Says the man who is no longer fully human and came back from the dead," countered Hiruzen with Minato smirking.
"Perhaps I am monster in some way Hiruzen. I won't deny it. Both of us are monsters. But at least I kept my soul when I became one. You lost yours long before today. Tell me, did you kill it yourself? Or did it just wither and die on its own without any help?" Minato shot back while Hiruzen had heard enough.
"Kill him!" commanded Hiruzen while his Root army charged Minato with the belief their numbers, plus a former Hokage could best this abomination.
"Multiple Flash Points!" said Minato suddenly before he was gone in a yellow flash before appearing again in-between some Root Nin and flashing again to another point and flashing again and again and again until he was in right in front of Hiruzen.
And all around them? Dead Root Nin. They had been slaughtered. Butchered. Cut to pieces. Legs, hands, feet, arms, torso, and heads were all over the place.
And Hiruzen? He had Minato's sword piercing his gut with the Arrancar twisting the blade for good measure.
"I should have made Orochimaru my successor," remarked Hiruzen while blood ran down the side of his mouth.
"Perhaps, but even back in those days, you weren't sure if the man was worthy of the title much less had the ability to lead Konoha. Even back in those days before nominating a successor, the sliver of doubt about Orochimaru was there. It was always there. You just chose to ignore it when the man was growing up under your tutelage. You had hoped your teachings and nurturing of Orochimaru would remove the feeling of unease. But it didn't leave you, did it? The feeling grew with each passing moment. Each passing year. You knew. In your heart, you knew he wasn't right for the position. My only mistake was not seeing how sentimental you were to him and sending you to deal with your so called "failure". You were never going to kill Orochimaru, were you?" replied Minato with the former Sandaime Hokage gritting his teeth.
"I had no intention of killing my most prized student. Why would I? He was on the verge of perfecting his skills in splicing bloodlines, lengthening the life of others through the deaths of a few, and making Konoha great at the expense of those who would never be missed. The only reason those ANBU who went with me that day were killed was due to them being loyal to you. Orochimaru knew this as I secretly tipped him off before our arrival so he would know to kill them. At the same time, I knew I could make it seem like I let him go out of some misplaced sentimentality, and no one would suspect any other reason," said the former Sandaime while glaring at Minato.
"It figures. Like teacher. Like student," remarked Minato before pulling his zanpakuto out and watched his enemy fall to his knees in pain.
"You won't win Minato. Jiraiya will defeat you and Kushina. We have been preparing for this. You may have defeated me and what is left of the Root forces I had saved from my former students purge, but you can't defeat Jiraiya. He will do what is necessary and do what is right for Konoha in order to remain strong," said Hiruzen while spitting blood on the ground.
"Unlikely. Even as I speak, my wife is dealing with him now. She has been itching to smash his face in for a long time. The only reason Kushina didn't when we were normal humans was because I had to plead with her not to do it. Out of what little respect I still had for Jiraiya back in those days. Now? There is no respect. No loyalty. Only him dying an agonizing death at the hands of my extremely pissed off wife. And we both know how Kushina gets when pissed off," said Minato knowing his wife's temper was legendary in all circles of the Elemental Countries.
Kushina was the reason the Sandaime Tsuchikage had back problems in the first place.
"Damn you Minato. For all your strength and power, you do not know how to use them properly," said Hiruzen while Minato scoffed at him.
"Funny. I could say the same thing about you and Jiraiya," said Minato before he took the old man's clean off.
Slowly rising off the ground slowly, Minato looked down at the pile of dead bodies he made with a look of disgust. All those lives wasted. Turned into soulless drones with no life in their eyes and conditioned to obey without any sense of freewill. It was one of the reasons Minato had expressed his dislike of the Root program to Hiruzen in those days of old. He honestly thought his words about the issue had reached the Sandaime when the order came to shut down Root, but Minato had to realize far too late that he had been naive on the subject. Hiruzen may have made the order "official", but it didn't mean the
Hokage wouldn't have them lurking in the shadows, and still using them on the side.
One Cero later, the entire area was turned into a wasteland. There was no sense of leaving anything of these people.
Unlike Minato with his weapon of choice, a certain female red haired Uzumaki for an Arrancar did not kill her opponents with her zanpakuto. No. That was merciful. Kushina chose the path of being brutal. Ruthless. Feared by all who stood in her path before they were crushed in their entirety while begging for the mercy she would not give them. That was how the Uzumaki did things when crossed, betrayed, or backstabbed by those they once trusted.
When an Uzumaki was hit hard, they get back up and hit even harder. Much harder. You knock one off their feet? They knock you unconscious. You knock out a tooth? They knock out a few major organs. You put them in a coma? They put you through Hell while in a coma before killing you. You manage to kill one? They come back from the dead in some shape or form to haunt your ass until you go crazy before killing yourself.
An Uzumaki was just that ruthless. Kushina was no exception.
And she was also the absolute worst person for Jiraiya to face right now in an all out combat/war situation.
Hence why Jiraiya was running for his life. Or rather trying to run since Kushina would always appear in front of him at random intervals and cause the man to change direction. She had attacked his own group of "loyalist", as they called themselves, completely by surprise, and ripped them apart before they could even try to do anything. Jiraiya had seen the crazed bloodlust filled rage of Kushina before today and knew this time, the woman was on a whole different level of rage.
Jiraiya wanted no part of it or Kushina. Which is why he ran while the "loyalists" fought and died at her hands. Not that it did him any good since Kushina made short work of them all and had proceeded to chase the Sannin down for the purpose of finishing what Tsunade started all those years ago.
Beating Jiraiya literally to death.
"You always were a coward when it came to women. Even now, you run like child who was caught doing something he shouldn't," remarked Kushina before appearing inches from a shocked Jiraiya via Sonido and kicked him hard in the ribs.
And breaking four of them.
"Yeah well when the person chasing me is you, any sane person would run away," said Jiraiya while cursing the fact he could only do so much against this woman since the Toads had essentially cut all ties with him.
Meaning no summons. No Sage Mode. Even if he did have the ability to use it, Jiraiya suspected Kushina would not allow him time to change. Ma and Pa had not been happy with what had befallen Naruto and the fact Jiraiya had helped contribute to it did not help matters either. They had been infuriated. Add to the fact Minato had returned and met with the Toads to speak to them of his displeasure only enraged the amphibian summons further over the fact Jiraiya had acted like his stupid usual self. Always thinking about his own life and needs over the lives of others and trying to prove himself everyone's equal when he was not. The Sandaime Hokage had cast a massive shadow over himself with the shadow from Orochimaru and Tsunade being massive in their own rights.
Jiraiya's was minor by comparison. The man had a spy network, which almost anyone could make with enough effort. Summoning? Nothing new. Even Fuinjutsu was nothing new or impressive at the time since the Uzumaki Clan was still around at the time and put any kind of work Jiraiya did to shame. The only thing Jiraiya did well (to a point) was he had trained a student, who (easily) surpassed him, and became Hokage of Konoha, if only for the briefest of times.
For years Jiraiya rode the waves of said fame using his once dead student as a means to get laid with countless women in brothels and seedy bars. Saying "I trained the Yondaime Hokage, the Hero of Konoha!" made a lot of people bow to you and a lot of women feel they slept with someone important.
Even if said someone was in his slowly increasing elderly years.
"After what you did to my son? After you betrayed Minato? Me? Did you honestly think your actions would not have repercussions?" asked Kushina before she was behind him and slammed her knee into to back of his spine with the Sannin struggling to stand up on his knees.
"Honestly? No. I didn't. No one did. Everyone who cared about the boy was either dead or brought to heel after yours and Minato's deaths. Everyone who hated the brat was in the majority. Just as sensei hoped when he came back into power. No one was going to stick up for your son. Why would they? Everyone hated him. Those that didn't were watched and threatened in case they tried to make his life marginally better. If only he didn't put on that damn crown. It would have all gone the way it meant to be. If only the damn brat didn't find a way to become beyond powerful and bringing you and Minato back. It would have all gone the way we planned!" exclaimed Jiraiya while looking up at Kushina, who just glared at him.
"Nothing goes according to plan Jiraiya. In life or as a Shinobi. You shouldn't even be meddling in thing like that so called 'prophecy' the Elder Toad blabbed to you. The fact he even told you it was a violation of the sacred rules laid out by the ancient Gods and deities above. Rest assured, the old Toad will face some serious problems later on about that when the time comes. But you? You will suffer for your actions. Your betrayals. You will suffer for all the harm you caused in the name of your so called 'prophecy' and secret ambition to be out of your sensei's shadow," said Kushina while Jiraiya snarled up at her and found his back was too badly injured to stand.
"I have every right to do what I did. I wasn't about to consumed by sensei's shadow or live in my student's after he became Hokage. I have a right to carve out my legacy in life. The prophecy was going to be a means to cement a legacy beyond them and I finally get the respect I deserve!" exclaimed Jiraiya before he was punched in the face and lost some of his teeth.
"Peeping on women and writing smut based using their likeness is not the way to get people to respect you baka!" countered Kushina while Jiraiya spit out blood and another tooth with his eyes showing the woman he didn't care.
"That depends on the people I want respect from you red haired bitch. I never wanted it from you or any of the women in my life. Not even Tsunade I don't respect women or kunoichi in general. I will never have any respect for women. Why should I? Because you say so?! Go to Hell! You want to hurt me for being what I am? For believing what I do? Go ahead. Maim me. Kill me. You won't change anything. People like me, whether they demean women, want more power, or wish to control prophecies for the greater good...we are everywhere in this world. In every place. Every rank. Every key position in every country. Meanwhile, people like you...the world has no place for your wave of thinking or the minority that believe it," spat Jiraiya angrily while Kushina cracked her knuckles.
"Oh I will maim you Jiraiya. I will kill you. As for the people like you? Its a good thing there are so many who think as you do. Because now I won't be bored in the coming years when I hunt them all down and kill each one slowly like I am about to do to you," said Kushina while Jiraiya spit out some more blood.
"Do your worst you red haired slut. Your time will come soon enough and when it does come...no one will bring you back," remarked Jiraiya while Kushina grinned evilly down at him.
"Bad choice of words Jiraiya-teme. Very bad choice of words," replied Kushina before she unleashed her hatred, fury, rage, and vengeance upon the Sannin.
All Jiraiya could do was scream out in pain as Kushina slowly ripped the man apart until the red haired Uzumaki killed him by ripping what is left of his body in half when she was satisfied with her work.
The perverted man had screamed at her when she was ripping him apart. He cursed her. Threatened to somehow haunt her from beyond the grave. To hurt Naruto. Naruto's own children. Anything and everything she cherished. Even going so far as to say he would find a way to kill his own student, her husband, Minato in front of her.
Naturally, it only infuriated Kushina further, and provide additional incentive to make the man suffer for his past, present, and future actions he wished to undertake on her family.
Never let it be said Uzumaki Kushina wasn't thorough in her work.
(Chuunin Exam Arena)
If one were to define Naruto's skill with his axe, it would be summarized in few short, yet accurate words. Skilled Master of Death seemed to portray this the best.
A lot of the attacking force in the arena had gone right after him. They believed with him "powering down" to his normal state, his level of strength had been lowered, and Naruto himself was weakened from his fight with Gaara. No matter how one sided it was to just about everyone witnessing it.
That was their first and ultimate last mistake they made when facing him.
Naruto's strength was beyond human. Beyond anything that anyone had ever seen before in their life. He swung his weapon with one hand, severing limbs, and heads from their bodies with each new victim that was in his crosshairs. He sliced them in half vertically, horizontally, and diagonally with none of his enemies getting remotely close to him. Any projectiles or Jutsus that were launched his way, he either dodged them or they dissolved before their very eyes. One enemy Shinobi actually got close enough for Naruto to grab by the face before using his aging power to make the man's skull brittle before crushing it with ease.
While Naruto was doing his thing, the Shinobi loyal to Tsunade did theirs, and flanked the enemy located elsewhere. Zabuza was having a field day right now, cutting through his enemies left and right the Gondaime Hokage had provided him Intel on who were supporting Hiruzen's secret coup. They were scattered all over Konoha, either alone or in groups, awaiting orders when the explosion happened. Some managed to cause damage where they were located, some more then others, but Zabuza was quite efficient in his efforts to move from place to place.
And he wasn't the only one.
Haku was also on the move, also knowing about the potential threat locations, but did not kill them since she felt they would be more useful alive for future interrogation. There was information these people would know, additional agents, secret base locations, and anything else unknown to the Hokage at the moment.
Haku had no idea Ibiki would send her a fruit basket with a "Thank You!" card attached to it for all the fresh victims she sent to his doorstep.
"There seems to be no end. To think so many people would side with the former Hokage and oppose the current one simply over Naruto-kun," said Haku to herself while in her Hunter Nin garb complete with mask and saw smoke rising in certain areas of the village showing the damage done.
Nothing truly major mind you, but still, it was disheartening for the girl to see such a place filled with beauty show its darker, and arguably the uglier side of life. It reminded Haku of the past with her parents and how the ugliness of humanity had robbed the girl of a loving family. The Mizukage's bloodline purge had brought out the ugliness of humans and their fear, if not dislike for all things considered "not normal", or "different" from the eyes of normal people without bloodlines.
Such blind hate for all things different. It had no business being in this world.
With any luck, this confrontation would purge the hate filled cancer within this village before she along with Zabuza could purge such a cancer from Kiri. Haku could only imagine how her homeland was suffering. People dying needlessly. Men, women, even the children dying in a senseless war being fueled by senseless hate.
Haku would quietly ask Naruto for help on the issue. If there was anyone she could trust to help her end the rule of the current Mizukage, it was him.
"We need to hurry. If anyone loyal to Tsunade learns I let you out, I will be hunted for the rest of my life," commented Kakashi while letting Kabuto out of his cell.
"Well you are siding with the former Sandaime and Jiraiya in their coup against Tsunade. What do you expect?" questioned Kabuto with a knowing smirk on his face.
"I expect you to get out of here and go underground until the time is right to strike out against the Hokage. Can you at least do that?" countered Kakashi while Kabuto's smirked grew.
"Of course. If there is one thing I know how to do, it is to stay hidden. Plus, I have to wait until my limbs fully regenerate. Your sensei made my capture very painful. I will have to return the favor someday," said Kabuto while walking away from them.
"Oh, we can't have that," commented Naruto while Kakashi and Kabuto's eyes went wide in shock and horror.
"What? How did you know to come here? I thought you were still fighting in the arena?!" questioned Kakashi with Naruto smirked.
"I was fighting and I killed everyone who came after me. Everyone else was outflanked by Tsunade and those loyal to her. When I sensed you were no longer in the arena, I did a little checking for your chakra signature. What a surprise to see that it should be here of all places freeing Orochimaru's final student from his prison. That's low. Even for you," said Naruto while Kakashi narrowed his eye at him.
"Sandaime-sama and Jiraiya-sama need all the help they can get to defeat Tsunade in order to take over Konoha," said Kakashi while Naruto smirked and chuckled.
"Difficult for them to do with their lives violently snuffed out. Mother and Father took care of them personally!" replied Naruto with a small laugh and was enjoying seeing the shocked look on the faces of his enemies.
'No! It is not possible! Sandaime-sama and Jiraiya-sama were suppose live following the coup and to lead us to a restored Konoha. With them gone, who will bring back what we once had?' thought Kakashi while glaring at Naruto.
"And its not just them. But their loyal supporters and agents throughout Konoha are being hunted down as we speak. It won't be long before all of them are either dead or thrown into prison. Though which one you will fall under is currently up in the air," said Naruto with Kakashi raised his headband to show his Sharingan.
"I will fight you with all of by being Naruto. I won't die so easily," said Kakashi and went through the hand signs to form the Raikiri.
"You can fight me all you want Kakashi. You will still lose. Though admittedly, I won't be the one killing you," said Naruto before he used Sonido to get in front of a retreating Kabuto and thrust a hand through the spy's chest.
And ripped out of the man's heart...before crushing it.
'He won't be the one to kill me? What does that me-ACK!' thought Kakashi before he was stabbed in the back of his head with a kunai from one Mitarashi Anko.
"Bastard! He went on about loyalty to comrades, but in the end, it was all a bunch of crap from a hypocrite," spat Anko while she looked at Naruto, who glanced down at the fallen form of Kakashi before focusing on her.
"Does it really surprise you? The man reads porn, is late for assignments, meetings, and anything else without a care in the world. He saw himself as the son my Father should have had in life. A spot that was mine by right and by blood. A spot he could not stand being usurped by me. Especially by me," commented Naruto before he narrowed his eyes and glanced in a direction to his right.
"What is it?" asked Anko with Naruto snarling.
"The Uchiha never learns. Even now, he does something stupid," remarked Naruto before he used Sonido to head toward the moron.
"That's not a good sign," commented Anko before she rushed off to help take out more of the former Sandaime Hokage's loyalist.
"Hold still bitch!" commanded Sasuke while he tried to attack Ino with a kunai in hand and his skill in Taijutsu.
"Fuck off Uchiha! You would kill a fellow Shinobi of Konoha. You're lower than trash!" commented Ino while Sasuke had a crazy look in his eyes while they were fighting and the Uchiha putting her on the defensive.
"You make it sound like it matters. Not to me. Not to an Uchiha. Comrades? Friendship? Loyalty to others? It means nothing to us. Power is the only thing that matters. Hurting others is our bread and butter. Always has been since the days when Uchiha Madara was barely a teenager. I have no love for Konoha. Or the people who live in it. When I rip you to pieces, I will show your remains to that loser you would call a husband. I will laugh as he cries tears of sorrow and is denied something he should never been allowed to have in the first place!" exclaimed Sasuke while trying to hurt Ino by targeting her face and upper body.
No point in damaging the lower part of the girl. Not yet. Not until he was done with her after beating the girl senseless.
"You are a bastard!. Naruto came from nothing while you had everything growing up. The moment he obtains some measure of happiness, you have to take it away because it makes his life better than yours," said Ino while trying to push Sasuke back using a kunai of her own against the Uchiha's blade.
"Of course! No one is allowed to have a better life over mine. I won't allow it. I will take the happiness people have and destroy it. It doesn't matter who they are or what they do in life. Besides, why should anyone aside from myself know what happiness feels like?!" exclaimed Sasuke while knocked Ino into a wall and had his kunai pressed against her throat.
"And what do you consider happiness Sasuke?" asked Ino while hoping to stall for time so someone could get the Uchiha off of her or possibly attack his mind before he could slice her throat.
"Easy you dumb bimbo. This world on its knees submitting to me as its one true Lord, Master, and God!" answered Sasuke with his grin never leaving him.
"The only thing you could be called the God of is arrogance and stupidity!" countered Ino before spitting in his face.
And naturally, it pissed off the Uchiha greatly.
"After I'm done with you, the mirrors you love to pose in front of will no longer be your best friend in the morning," said Sasuke coldly while Ino to his surprise smirked.
"And after I'm done, your mind will no longer be yours. 'Mind Shatter Jutsu!'" exclaimed Ino with her left hand shooting out and touching Sasuke's right temple.
And it was in that moment, Sasuke world as well as mind, shattered like glass being hit by a projectile.
Now, for those who might not know Sasuke "family tragedy", his entire clan with the exception of his big brother Itachi, were killed on a single night. Uncles, Aunts, cousins, Grandparents, Granduncles, and Grandaunts fell in a single blood mooned night. All at the hands of Uchiha Itachi himself. Even Sasuke's and Itachi's parents were no exceptions to being killed by the eldest of the Clan Head's children. Leaving dear old Sasuke as the only "loyal" Uchiha left with Itachi leaving after his mission was done. And even before leaving, Itachi had scarred Sasuke mentally, and emotionally on a level few could begin to understand.
Showing the death of everyone killed for 72 hours in a Genjutsu world can do that.
Even still, Itachi's actions had an effect on the boy. Planting seeds of hatred and darkness that not even Itachi himself could have imagined. When he encouraged Sasuke to hate, it had been done so the youngest would direct all that hatred built up over the years at the eldest of the Uchiha brothers. What Itachi failed to realize was Sasuke may choose to never stop hating. Never stop hating everything and anything around him because the boy hated seeing other people happy. Having happy lives. Happy families. Happy everything!
What Itachi failed to realize is that Sasuke had the power of choice and thus to choose to continue hating. Choosing to hate everything the world has to offer and would lash out at everyone for it out of spite.
Something that was clearly shown and ignored by the powers that ran Konoha when the Uchiha Massacre happened. Did they try to reverse it? No. Did they try to stop it? No. Did they try to heal the Uchiha's mental and emotional scars at all? No. Why? Because the Sandaime Hokage and others around him felt his importance to Konoha was too great to suppress. Instead they provoked and encouraged the hatred within Sasuke so the boy would develop a drive to get stronger and stronger until the boy unlocked his Sharingan. Once that happened, Kakashi would train the boy on how to use his eyes, and be their secret weapon against Naruto in the years to come when his usefulness ran out. In truth, Sasuke was meant to be Naruto's secret handler when Kakashi, Yamato, or Jiraiya were not available to keep the Kyuubi within the Uzumaki in check before the Uchiha had ended the Jinchuriki's life. Once Naruto was dead, Sasuke was to made into a hero, and future Hokage for his "troubles" in life with the entire village behind him.
Only now, such things were lost beyond recovery in more ways then one.
In regards to Sasuke's mind from what Ino just did, all the negative energy in mind, body, and in his very soul had just hijacked by the girl to redirect its efforts into attack itself on mental level. The whole point of the Mind Shatter Jutsu Ino used was to take the energy of the person, regardless if they were good or bad, and turn it on the host body. Making the preverbal snake eat its own tail until the snake wanted more of itself and eventually ate itself in its entirety.
It was especially dangerous against people with dark, evil minds. Namely because the darkness inside the target didn't know when to stop attacking. It didn't know the meaning of the word "restraint" and simply did what it wanted without even remotely thinking about the consequences of its actions.
As was the case here with Sasuke. His own inner darkness. His own hatred for life, if not the world, and the people living in it had been given a mental override command to attack itself. To destroy the mind it inhabited and in the process...destroy itself without any hope or chance for recovery.
So it was no real surprise to Ino that the Uchiha fell over in a slump on the ground. Drool was coming out of his mouth while his eyes wide and empty.
In short, the lights were on, but nobody was home.
"Good luck repopulating your clan with your tiny dick and no brain activity to get it up Uchiha!" spat Ino before she kicked him in the ribs for good measure.
"Looks like I didn't have to do anything after all," commented Naruto after he appeared via Sonido and seeing Sasuke on the ground.
"The baka was so obsessed with hurting me my upper body, he ignored my hands, and didn't think I would try anything with a blade to my throat," explained Ino before she gave Sasuke another kick for good measure.
"His misfortune. Your advantage. You used it perfectly," said Naruto before he glanced down at Sasuke with a look of distain on his face.
Such a waste of a life. All that hate being channeled at all the wrong people. Sure, Naruto had hate in his heart too, but he only aimed it at those who had hurt him, and his family in the past. Did he lash out at Hinata? No. Ino. No. Hana? No. The ANBU who actually did their job in protecting him? No. Hell, Itachi himself had protected him during the man's ANBU days before killing off his clan. Itachi for Kami sake!
Naruto actually might feel bad should they cross paths and kill the Uchiha since the man was now part of the Akatsuki organization. While they no longer had a reason to go after him for the Biju, which would no longer be returning anytime soon...retaliation for when word reached them about the fox no longer being alive, or returning anytime soon.
The leader of the Akatsuki was going to be super piiiisssssed!
"It was still risky. I had to play on his ego and his desire to hurt me in order to distract him from my use of one handed hand signs and channeling chakra needed to perform the Jutsu. Anyone else would have spotted the act and killed me before I could use the Jutsu in my surprise attack," remarked Ino knowing it was only because of the Uchiha's own internal weaknesses did she come out of her situation alive.
"You simply used your knowledge of Sasuke's emotions and mind set in order to survive a near death encounter. Worthy of a ninja in a life and death situation," said Naruto with praise for the girl's actions being heard clearly by Ino, who beamed with joy when she heard it.
"What else is happening?" asked Ino knowing Naruto had been active in fighting enemies and taking down rogue elements throughout the village.
"Aside from us winning? Nothing much now. By this point, our victory over the internal threats to the village is almost assured," said Naruto while Ino looked confused.
"Almost?" asked Ino with Naruto sighing.
"Just because we obtained victory over those willing to fight us, does not mean we have purged every supporter of their movement. We will have to be vigilant in the coming years after today. There will still be people in Konoha wishing you, me, Hinata, my parents, the Gondaime Hokage, and those loyal to her to fail. For us to fall. Either by their hands or the hands of the enemies we have outside of Konoha. They don't care how it happens so long as it does happen," said Naruto with Ino frowning and crossing her arms in front of her.
"Those bakas can try all they want until their green in the face. We will win against our enemies outside of the village and against those inside," said Ino with Naruto nodding.
"Agreed. Still, it will take a lot of hard work. So I hope you are prepared for the long road ahead of us my dear," said Naruto with Ino smirking back at him.
"I'm not Sakura. I'm not going to rely on others, or the Uchiha to save my ass for me like she would. In fact, I can only imagine how she will react when hearing her 'true love' is basically brain dead," replied Ino knowing Sakura was going to flip out when she heard Sasuke now had an I.Q. lower then a rotting vegetable.
"One can only hope it will remove her from our lives on a more permanent setting," said Naruto while secretly hoping what happened to Sasuke would send Sakura over the edge and give Tsunade more reason to lock the girl away.
One can only hope.
(A/N: YAY! An update after so many years of silence! Sorry about that. But due to the different fics, ideas, life, family, job hunting, getting a job, and other things put this fic the road to slow updating with the speed of a glacier. It doesn't help that I keep getting ideas sprouting in the back of my head for new fics that scream at me to write them. So there is that. I will eventually finish all of my fics though it will take some time and ask you to keep being patient with me. Also, to the authors I love reading your fics (you all know who you are), whether they be Naruto, Ranma, or Star Wars...GET OFF YOUR ASSES AND WRITE DAMN IT! I MISS YOUR UPDATES! Sorry, but its true. I need to read some good fics for inspiration and it they are sadly difficult to find these days. Until next time...PEACE!