Author's Note: 'Allo, 'Allo everyone! It's me again, and welcome back to another chapter of A Japanese Scheherazade! Now, I know what you all are thinking: "Where the hell have you been – hiding under a rock?!" In my defense, let me point out some of my classes… Genetics; Genetics lab; Organic Chemistry II; and Organic Chemistry II Lab, as well as a campus job.
Yup; that's some of my work load this semester.
But that's not the only reason this chapter is so late; I've also had to do some research because there are some things I want to be 100% (or close to) accurate. But that's enough about me; on with the chapter.
We are now at the museum! For the exhibit, I basically took certain aspects of different cultures from the Bronze Age. The renovations at my college's library have been prolonging the research, but it's all there! And the cultural notes will be down at the bottom as usual.
We'll also have major plot movement in here, too! The question of how Naruto will go to the past will be resolved, and an interesting cameo from someone y'all are dying to meet will pop up…
Warning: Female Naruto; SasuxfemNaru; OOC-ness; Swearing
Disclaimer: Since the Naruto storyline is winding down and this story is barely starting, there is no way on Earth I could own Naruto.
A Japanese Scheherazade
Kushina Namikaze (neé Uzamaki) enthusiastically addressed the young people amongst the crowd in front of her. "I would like to thank you kids for coming today to see these fascinating artifacts that the Iranian and Iraqi governments allowed us to display to the public. I would also like to thank your parents and guardians and everyone else who took time out of their busy schedules to come see this exhibit. Now I would like to introduce Kabuto Yakushi, the representative chosen by the dig's funder to come down here." She finished the introduction by moving her right hand towards the young man. He stepped forward and, after waiting for those who had started to applaud to cease, bowed to his audience and spoke.
"Thank you very much, Namikaze-san, for that wonderful introduction," Kabuto said while he briefly looked at Naruto's mother before going back to the crowd. "As she had already stated, I am Kabuto Yakushi. I was sent here by my employer, Yashagoro Sato-sama, to make sure the opening of this exhibit would run smoothly and that the artifacts will stay in pristine condition until they are given over to either the Iraqi or Iranian government for permanent display. Though judging by the way Namikaze-san has been running things so far, I have nothing to worry about."
The guests chuckled while Kushina lightly blushed at the compliment.
"What? Just saying…"
"Since I don't want to bore you all with every little detail about this historical find, why don't I let Namikaze-san take over so she can give you the tour guides that will?" he joked, earning a playful huff from the curator and even more laughter from the guests.
"Really now, Yakushi-kun. Did you have to put that way?" Kushina asked and Kabuto just flashed an amused smile back.
"Okay, now it's time for the exhibit to open. Can the people on the Shinobi High school field trip please step aside?" Several people in the crowd began to move to the other side of the room, forming two groups of visitors. The curator nodded in approval before continuing on.
"The tour guides will be out here to meet you all momentarily. There will be eight of them today, so one of them will be assigned to you guys while the others will guide the other visitors. But before that there are some ground rules you guys need to know."
"Aww…" the students groaned with displeasure over listening to another adult about rules again today. And many of them (those that weren't friends with Naruto) assumed that the curator would be as straight-laced about rules as Iruka-sensei.
"Why do we got to go over them?"
"Can't we just go already?"
"I knew this would be boring…"
The chaperones were not as vocal as the teens, but quite a few were starting to get bored or annoyed with all the rules. Though the reason for one woman's ire was more due to the older man drooling over her…
"Oi oi, settle down now! It's not like I enjoy talking about rules, either," Kushina pouted. "I thought I was through with that after high school; now I gotta bore myself while telling you guys too…" That last comment earned her some chuckles and surprised stares from the students, mildly shocked and disbelieving expressions from the chaperones, a barking laugh and a fondly exasperated shake of the head from Jiraiya and Iruka respectively, and a cheeky grin from her own daughter. She then went on explaining the rules, which were fairly simple and straight-forward. They were as follows:
Don't touch any of the artifacts
Stay with your group during the tour
If you must go off, tell the tour guide or a chaperone first
Stay out of the restricted areas
No horseplay allowed
"So do you get all that?" Kushina asked. Receiving several nods and some 'yeahs,' the smile returned to her face.
"Alright, then; let's get this show on the road!" she exclaimed, earning more laughs from the audience.
"Naruto, you are most definitely your mother's daughter…" Sakura dryly noted.
Naruto scratched the back of her head and said, "Ehehe… I can't really say anything back to that."
The curator beckoned to the men and women standing behind her, "Can you guys step up?" All eight of them moved up front next to her, looking quite professional in their red and black tour uniforms.
"Please split yourselves into groups of about 30 or so and wait for a guide to come up. Thank you for your cooperation, and we hope that you'll have a wonderful experience today."
The audience applauded at the end of her speech, then moved off to form the groups of 30 she was talking about. Seven of the guides spread out and mingled with the visitors while the last one, a tall man with black hair and glasses, leaned back with Kushina and Kabuto. After a few of the groups left with their guides the trio went over to the school group whose students were already getting antsy.
"Mou, how much longer 'til we go in?" Naruto complained as she started to slump down from boredom.
"Stop complaining, Naruto. Your mom's coming over with our guide right now." Sakura chided her energetic friend.
"Hey, Iruka-sensei; we don't have to split into groups too, right?" Kiba asked.
"No, Kiba. We'll stay together since the museum only has eight guides to give tours and groups can't be over a certain number."
Kushina casually greeted them as the two men stood next to her. "Hey there, everyone; this guy here," she started as she gestured to the black-haired man on her right, "is Aoba, and he will be your guide today."
"It's nice to meet you all," he politely greeted the group.
"I'll let you do your thing," the curator assured her employee and turned back to the visitors. "I hope that everyone enjoys the exhibit and will come back to Konoha Museum in the future. Good-bye." She bowed to them and started to walk away before spotting Naruto who was talking with her friends. Perking up, Kushina walked over to them and glomped her daughter, effectively catching them all off guard.
"Oof!" Naruto grunted from the sudden weight and turned her head to see that it was her mom with her arms wrapped around her. "M-mom?"
"Hiya, Naruto! Are you okay?" Kushina cheerily asked as she continued to hug her daughter.
"Well yeah, but… what are you doing?"
"Just spending some time with my daughter; is that a crime?" Naruto's mother semi-pouted at her daughter, trying to make her feel guilty; and it worked since Naruto's reply was a little flustered. "No, but don't you have work to do?"
Kushina waved the question away with a flick of the wrist. "Bah, I'll deal with that later. So did anything interesting happen on the way here?"
"Well," Kiba began, "Jiraiya got himself slapped by the lady he was flirting with."
"Ugh, really? You'd think that man would learn by now…" the woman said as she wearily eyed the old man flirting with another female chaperone in the group.
"Wait a minute; was that the loud slap earlier on the bus?"
"Yeah, Ino. Didn't you know? It was loud enough to wake Shikamaru up from his fifth nap of the day," Chouji pointed out.
"Troublesome… and I was having a great dream too…" Shikamaru wistfully sighed.
Sakura huffed and said, "I can't believe you can take so many naps daily and still get the grades you do."
"It's a gift," he dryly quipped back.
"But what was really remarkable," Shino cut in, "was the fact that Naruto accurately predicted the amount of time it took for the woman to violently reject her godfather's advances."
The group fell silent, rather surprised by Shino's uncharacteristic lengthy remark, until Kiba saw fit to break it with, "Wait a minute; you were listening to that?"
"While I wasn't participating in the conversation, I was still close enough to hear everything."
"So how long did it take her to slap him?" Kushina asked, prompting Naruto to close her eyes and think it over.
"Hmm… Judging by the ticking eyebrow and throbbing veins she had on her face, I would estimate Ero-jiji's flirting went on for five minutes before Kiba pointed it out. So the total time is probably five minutes and 10 seconds."
"Oh, that's a new record; though I don't know if it means he's getting better or she just had a hell of a lot of patience," the redhead joked, causing Naruto to fall into a fit of giggles.
"Pfft, probably the latter; I can't imagine Ero-jiji ever getting better with his pervy-ness!"
'It's kind of unsettling to see these two so used to his perversion that they can joke so casually about it…' the other teenagers and Kabuto couldn't help but think.
"Well we better get going. I'll see you later at home, Naruto." Kushina said, giving her a hug before letting her go and rejoining Kabuto.
After the two finally left – though not before Kushina gave Jiraiya a very serious reminder to keep his hands to himself while on the trip – Aoba took charge and addressed the group.
"Okay, everyone; due to the large number of visitors here today, the tours have been scheduled to take each group to a different exhibit before going to the Ghalamro-ye Saraab exhibit. Luckily for us, Namikaze-san has arranged for us to view that first."
The students sighed in relief, glad that they didn't have to wait around all day until they get to see what they came for.
"So let us begin the tour. Please follow me to the main doors which lead to the exhibit," Aoba said as he started leading the group through the doors. Once they walked through the doors and saw what was inside, they gasped.
Despite the excavation site's size, given to the visitors by one of the signs near the doors, it was clear that the archeologists had stumbled onto a treasure trove of finds. There was just so much stuff the visitors couldn't really decide what to look at first that Aoba took pity on them and helped them find focus.
"As you can see there were many items uncovered, but why don't we start with the location and history? The excavation site is located practically straddling the Iraq-Iran border, near a river that's currently fueled by the lake at Darbandikhan, Iraq. Locals found this location after a mudslide uncovered it nearly ten years ago. The sponsor, Yashagoro Satō, wasted no time organizing a team of archeologists to investigate, and they found that the artifacts from the site were from a never-before seen civilization. Word of this excavation didn't really spread until about a month ago, and by that time there was enough evidence to show that the findings didn't come from already known cultures. Despite the excavation site being that of what's most likely a trading town, the culture it belonged to is called Ghalamro-ye, after local Iranian legends of a kingdom that could disappear and reappear at a moment's notice. Interestingly enough, there are also legends from Iraq that mention a city of sorcerers in a mysterious kingdom. That's why the other banner outside reads 'A'ssemaat El Saharah'."
The group slowly filled into the room as the guide told them this information, looking at the pottery, photos of wall carvings and many more finds from the dig. Some guests meandered slowly around the space, taking every second to carefully observe the items held behind glass walls and in display cases. Other visitors – especially the more impatient students – weren't as leisurely with their sight-seeing; they flitted back and forth between artifacts, stopping only to chat about their opinions on them before scurrying to the next object that caught their eye.
As Aoba went on explaining about what the social hierarchy might have been like, Naruto and the gang gazed at a rare find: a woven shawl with a floral motif that, despite its great age, still managed to retain most of its considerable beauty.
"Wow! How old do you think it is?" Naruto asked.
Sakura looked at the place card in front of it. "This says that carbon dating performed on it places the shawl around 1990 B.C.E."
Kiba snorted and said, "Now that's 'ancient', Ino."
"Hmm, the weaving is nice, but don't you think they could have dyed it a different color or something?" the blonde questioned, roving a critical eye over it.
"Ino, that shawl's over 3000 years old; it's a miracle that it survived this long in that condition. Besides, the original color's probably faded out by now," Shikamaru pointed out.
Ino sighed as she continued to look at the shawl. "I suppose, but I just wish that there were more examples of what they actually wore outside of carvings."
"You heard what Shikamaru said, Ino-pig," Sakura responded. "And it's not like you can subscribe to a copy of 'Ancient Vogue' anytime soon."
"I get it, Billboard-brow, but still…"
Wanting to cheer her up, Sakura steered Ino over to some gold jewelry featuring necklaces, rings and bracelets while the rest of the teens split up to look at everything else. Shikamaru and Chouji looked at wall murals depicting an ancient feast – with food that looked so lifelike Shikamaru had to stop Chouji from crossing the security line – and Shino quietly observed musical instruments and clay tablets found in a burial ground of a wealthy family. Meanwhile Kiba and Naruto were busy gawking at a reconstructed column with carving of a warrior defending a city from a horde of vicious monsters.
"Whoa, check out that guy!" the teen girl exclaimed as she pointed to one monster with a terrifying face that was leaping towards the warrior.
"Yeah, he looks like he has a bad Halloween mask stuck on his head," Kiba commented as he read the info card. "It says that that guy looks like Humbaba, a monster who guarded some forest until he was killed by some dude named Gilgamesh and his buddy."
"So the warrior's Gilamesh, then?"
"Could be, but the picture's doesn't really show them in a forest," Kiba pointed out. "Hey, you know what I don't get?"
"What?" Naruto asked as she looked up from a nearby vase with a bull on it.
"The lack of dogs in Mesopotamian art! I'm pretty sure they had them back then, so why don't they put them in paintings or stuff like that?" He complained to his friend.
"Relax Kiba, there is some stuff with dogs on it. See; check out that tablet," Naruto said as she led him to another spot and pointed it out, "The lady with stars around her has a dog lying next to her."
"Oh yeah," Kiba conceded, a little mollified now. "Still, why don't they appear more often?"
"That's just the way it is, kid." Jiraiya said as he came over and joined the conversation. "Don't overheat your brain from overthinking." The remark sent Naruto snickering away, making Kiba turn red from embarrassment as well as anger.
"What'd ya say, you oyaji?!" Kiba barked as he sent the old man a glare. Naruto stopped laughing and realized that this could get out of hand because Kiba was calling him an old geezer, not her; but before she could stop her canine-ish friend Jiraiya launched his retort.
"I'm not an oyaji, you gaki!" Jiraiya snapped back, getting annoyed with the teenager.
"Oh I'm sorry, ero-yaji!"
"Why you little –"
"Uh, excuse me?"
Kiba and Jiraiya stopped their arguing and turned around to see that many of the visitors were staring at them; some of them looked nervous while the others were a little annoyed. Sakura looked particularly ticked-off while Naruto glanced back and forth between the two with some unease.
Aoba looked uncomfortable as well, even though he had security guards Izumo and Kotetsu to back him up. "I'll have to ask you two to settle down and not disrupt the other visitors. Otherwise you must immediately leave the property."
Feeling embarrassed and ashamed, Jiraiya and Kiba quickly apologized and promised to not cause any more fights. Aoba accepted them, told Izumo and Kotetsu they can continue their rounds, and went off to answer one of the other visitor's insistent questions. The small crowd that had gathered to watch immediately dispersed, and the two guilty parties breathed a sigh of relief… for about two seconds.
Sakura and Naruto went up to the two and punched them in the arms – not so hard as to draw attention, of course.
"Ouch!" They cried out and rubbed their abused arms.
"I thought you were going to behave on this trip, Kiba?!" Sakura harshly scolded the boy who decided to take the smart route and not talk back.
"You're lucky that Iruka-sensei was in the restroom up 'til now, otherwise you'd have to deal with your mom in a troublesome mood," Shikamaru bluntly stated, making Kiba shudder at the thought.
Jiraiya snickered at the teen, but it was cut short when Naruto rounded on him. "And you, Ero-jiji; you're supposed to be a chaperone!"
"But he called me an oyaji, Naruto!" the adult whined, but his goddaughter would have none of that.
"You are an oyaji, Ero-jiji! Now you and Kiba apologize to each other right now!"
"Yeah!" Sakura agreed while pushing an unwilling Kiba forward to start the process. Once they apologized to each other the group decided to go over to hear what Aoba was talking about now. But as everyone started to walk away, Jiraiya held Naruto back.
"Hold on, Naruto. I need to speak with you." He said.
Naruto glanced at her godfather with a raised eyebrow. "About what?"
"You remember telling me about Tsunade wanting to talk a month ago?"
"Yeah," she replied, "How did it go?" She asked.
"Oh, it went well," said Jiraiya as he entered story-mode, "We met at this bar and began reminiscing about old times. The booze was good, and the waitresses were gorgeous. There was this one blonde who had these large, marvelous –"
"Getting off track here, Ero-jiji." Naruto interrupted, growing annoyed with his perverted habits.
"Ah right, right. Anyway, after a half-hour she finally got to the real reason she wanted to talk. She went to Tanzaku Town for vacation a few days before and hit the casinos to have some fun."
"What, so she lost? That isn't anything new." The teen pointed out.
"That's what I thought when she first told me. But she explained further that not only did she not lose, she actually won the 100 million yen grand jackpot!" Jiraiya exclaimed.
Naruto's eyes nearly bugged out of her head once she heard that. "The 100 million yen grand jackpot?!" she screamed. "But wouldn't that mean that something really, really bad happened after?!" For most people, winning 100 million yen would be a dream come true. But for Tsunade Senju, a woman whose status as a "Legendary Sucker" was famous even outside of Japan, winning all that money could be an early sign of the Apocalypse.
Jiraiya grimly nodded and continued his tale, "That's normally the case, but instead of a calamity happening right after she collected her winnings, nothing happened. Not the day after she won; not the day after that; not a week after- it's been over a month now and still nothing happened to anyone!"
Naruto was dead silent, and frankly a little scared. Bad things always happened whenever Tsunade-baachan won. But for not even a little accident to happen after a month…
"Naruto," Jiraiya addressed the teen, "please tell me that nothing has happened to you this past month."
Naruto started into his eyes, seeing the worry her godfather was battling. And she could only imagine how Tsunade-baachan was coping with this. "Well, Aniki did call me yesterday."
"Huh?" Jiraiya blinked when he heard her statement. "Kurama did? What did he say?"
"He was telling me about how he was dragged to a psychic by Matatabi-neechan."
Jiraiya's jaw dropped to the floor and his face was the definition of stupefied. But after the shock finally faded away, he began laughing very hard. "Ha ha ha, you mean to tell me, hah, that, a 180 cm-tall man was dragged by a woman who barely reaches 160 cm?"
"Pretty much," Naruto confirmed.
That sent Jiraiya into another bout of snickers, wheezes and guffaws. "I wished I could have seen the look on his face! That would have been priceless!"
After a few more minutes of trying to calm down and Naruto thumping his back, Jiraiya finally regained his breath. He then turned to her and said, "Well I guess that solves our worries."
"Hmm? What do you mean?" she asked.
"Think about it: Kurama, a young man who hates superstitions with a passion was dragged to a psychic who practically spreads them. If that's not a horrible event for him I don't know what is."
"Oh!" That made sense now that Naruto thought about it. Being taken to the psychic's was definitely bad luck for her brother, so that would mean the terrible outcome caused by Tsunade-baachan's win had actually occurred yesterday. This left her with a huge sense of relief, actually causing her to forget all about the psychic's warning about the trip.
"I'll meet up with Tsunade soon after this trip's over and tell her about that. She's been really worried; and I'm sure she'll get a laugh about your brother's misery." Jiraiya joked.
Naruto giggled at hearing this plan. "Man, Aniki is going to be sooo pissed off when he hears about this."
"Eh, he'll cope," Jiraiya dismissed it with a wave of the hand. "He needs to not be so sensitive about everything."
After more chuckling, Naruto noticed that most of her classmates had gathered around something at the far end of the room. She tugged at her godfather's clothes to get his attention.
"What do you think they're looking at?"
"I don't know," he said, staring at the growing crowd. "Do you want to go and see?"
"Sure," she replied.
The two walked over to the crowd and after some quick maneuvering found a spot at the front. They saw that everyone had gathered around Aoba and something covered by a large velvet curtain. The tour guide held a rope in his right hand which was connected to the side of the curtain.
"Since we are near the end of the tour, it's time to unveil the museum's most important piece," he announced and pulled the rope, making the curtain ascend and reveal what it had previously kept hidden.
In front was a huge clay slab that had so many pictures and carvings on it you forgot it was once smooth as beach glass washed ashore. Most of the carvings were large columns of script that had the structure of cuneiforms and the pictograph aspects of Egyptian hieroglyphs. In the middle of the slab was what at first glance looked like an angel; but when given a closer look, the supposed-angel had weapons and a staff in both hands as well as a disk above his head. Below him were people who raised their hands towards him as if thanking him for everything he's ever done for them. And at the peoples' feet was an unusual symbol never seen by others in finds like this. The symbol was a circle that was divided into two parts by a curved line, and the lower part of the circle had a straight line sticking out from the bottom.
"This slab, dated to around 1300 B.C.E, was found in the remnants of what archeologist assume to be a temple to the culture's sun god," Aoba explained as the visitors gazed at the artifact. "They assume the sun god is another variant of the Assyrian sun god and god of justice, Shamash, because of their nearly identical appearances and shared items found in both temples."
"Excuse me, what does that symbol at the bottom mean?" a random student asked.
"Good question," he said to the student. "That symbol has never been seen before in any excavations located in the Middle East. However archeologists were able to piece together that it was the crest of a royal family called Uchiha."
"Uchiha?" Naruto said with surprise on her face.
Jiraiya was also confused by the fact given to them. "That name sounds more Japanese than Middle Eastern."
"The archeologists noticed that too, sir," Aoba replied, "but not matter how many times they tried to translate it differently, it always remained 'Uchiha'."
"So why are the royal family's crest and the sun god depicted together?" Sakura asked.
"Because of the legend written there."
"Legend?" everyone questioned, curiosity gnawing away at their patience.
"Yes. The slab tells a legend of how one of the Uchiha kings, angered by his first wife committing adultery, sought to appease his revenge by marrying and killing young brides the day after their wedding day. This vicious cycle went on for a long time, filling the peoples' hearts with fear and prompting nearby countries to withdraw women given as tribute or even stop trade altogether. Desperate for help, the people begged the sun god to do something to save the kingdom.
The god looked into the king's heart and saw that there was still goodness and justice in him, but that they were deeply buried by his anger and despair. He then decided to send the king a gift that would save him from himself. The sun god went to talk with his brother the sea god about creating a woman that would be the king's companion and wife. His brother agreed and made a young woman using clay from the earth and modeled her after the day's best attributes. Before life was breathed into her, the sun god and their sister and mother, who had caught wind of what he was doing, gave the young woman some special gifts. The sun god gave her a heart filled with justice so she would always be fair with her decisions. Their sister the war goddess gave her the will never to back down and the courage of a fierce lioness. And their mother the earth goddess gave her compassion for others and the cleverness of a fox, also giving her the markings on her cheeks.
Satisfied with their work, the gods brought the young woman to life and sent her to the capital, where she met the king. At first he was wary of her, but she eventually won him over by demonstrating her quick wit and determination. The king reformed for the better and fell in love with her, making her his queen and having children with her. The people were overjoyed and thanked the sun god for his intervening, and the kingdom from then-on was even more prosperous."
The young women happily sighed after the tour guide finished the story, thinking about how the ending of the tale was quite romantic. The guys weren't as stary-eyed as the girls, but they were still awed by how the king got the girl in the end. The adults were also impressed and amused, though a few raised the question of how ethical the king's decisions were.
"Aoba-san, don't the king and the girl from the legend have names?" a female chaperone asked.
"Unfortunately," Aoba began explaining, "the slab has areas where the writing has been rubbed away by sand and other elements. There are damaged sections where the king's name is supposed to be, so the story only refers to him by his royal title. As for the young girl her name has also been damaged; however, there is one set of syllables that have not been chipped away: 'ru'."
"So we'll never find out their names?" a curious Naruto asked.
"For now, no. There is another artifact that matches the legend described here, but it's in storage until it can be brought out for display later."
"Wait a minute," Kiba blurted out, "so there's actually more stuff here?"
"Of course there is! Like I said before, many artifacts were recovered from the dig. Everything else is in storage for many reasons: the items are in poor condition, being used in further research, or will be put out when there's more room," the guide smiled while the teenager took in his explanation with surprise. He then led the group back to the exhibit's entrance doors and into the main lobby, allowing another group with a tour guide to enter.
"This concludes our tour, ladies and gentlemen. I hope you come back and see this exhibit another day. Remember; for those on the Shinobi High field trip, you are welcome to look at the other exhibits and visit the gift shop until your bus comes. The rest of you have a great day." He concluded his farewell with a bow that was returned, and then he walked away leaving the guests to their own devices.
Those who only came to see the exhibit immediately left, quite satisfied with the wonders they saw. Others, like those on the field trip, decided to make the most of their day and toured the rest of the museum or went inside the gift shop.
"That was great, wasn't it guys?" Sakura happily asked as she and her friends stood in the lobby.
"Yeah, especially the last part of the tour!" Naruto grinned as she thought about the sun god legend.
"Of course the story would be your favorite part," Kiba teased the blonde, even though he enjoyed it too.
"Well it's nice to see you actually enjoying the trip, dog-breath." Naruto said as she rolled her eyes at his faux-taunt.
"Oh, I just loved those earrings on display!" Ino gushed on the other side of Sakura. "Turquoise with gold thread wrapped around them… I bet they would cost a fortune nowadays!"
"Those wall murals were pretty cool too," Chouji pointed out as he munched on potato chips hidden in a secret pocket (he had to sneak them in due to the 'No food or drinks allowed sign' inside the exhibit).
After this statement everyone turned their heads to stare at Shikamaru, who wearily stared back until he finally sighed and said, "Okay, okay. It wasn't too troublesome."
"Yes!" Naruto shout with glee. "Finally Shikamaru said that something wasn't troublesome!"
"I said it wasn't 'too' troublesome, Naruto," Shikamaru tiredly clarified.
"Same thing!" Naruto answered back.
After a lengthy debate involving everyone about whether or not it could be counted as the same thing, Iruka-sensei showed up and told them to stop arguing and look at the other exhibits which were on local history and such. The teens obeyed their teacher and went off, spending time together as they looked at displays and gift shop merchandise. Finally, about five minutes before it was time to go, Iruka and the chaperones began rounding up students so they would be ready to leave. Sakura began walking to the lobby until she noticed Naruto walking in the opposite direction.
"Hey Naruto, where are you going?"
"Sorry, Sakura-chan, but I really need to go to the bathroom."
"Oh, do you want me to go with you?" she offered, but Naruto shook her head.
"No thanks, I'll probably take only five minutes at the most. Do you think you can tell Iruka-sensei and Ero-jiji?" the blonde asked.
"Sure, Naruto. Don't take long."
"I won't," Naruto replied. Sakura watched her friend walk away and went back to the lobby to tell Iruka-sensei about Naruto's bathroom break. A part of her wondered if she should have gone with her, but the pink-haired girl dismissed the uncalled for worry.
After all, how much trouble could happen while Naruto's using a restroom?
"Ahh… Finally…!" Kushina sighed as she slumped over her desk.
"Thank you for your hard work, Namikaze-san." Kabuto commented as he removed a tall stack of papers from the desk.
"It's nothing. Just get that as far away from me as possible." The woman responded, pointing her finger at the paper stack with hate-filled eyes.
Kushina loved her job very much, but if there was one aspect of it that she absolutely loathed, it was filling out paperwork. Why did people feel the need to print up all these forms – arguably contributing to deforestation and global warming – bother others into reading the microscopic print and signing them, and then send even more forms to validate the ones you just signed? Some have joked that it was due to Kushina's great antipathy towards it that stopped her from becoming Hokage, a position that practically married you to it.
Kabuto found her pet peeve quite amusing. "You're sending the stack quite a poisonous glare. I don't think that's the way to get rid of it, though."
"Hmm… you're right. A bonfire would be a much more effective way of disposing it." Kushina mumbled as she stroked her chin with a look of mock contemplation.
"It's highly doubtful either the Iraqi or Iranian governments would appreciate you burning documents related to this. And wouldn't that contribute to the already-high levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere?"
"Oh relax, Kabuto-kun. I was just joking about burning the papers."
Kabuto raised an eyebrow while sending Kushina an amused stare, causing her to hastily amend her last statement.
"Alright, so I was half-joking about it. Now go on; the faster those papers leave this office the faster they're no longer my responsibility!" The red-haired light-heartedly shouted while shooing the younger man out.
"Not to worry, Namikaze-san. And thanks again for everything you've done," Kabuto chuckled as he slipped the papers into his briefcase.
"Don't mention it. And stop calling me 'Namikaze-san'! It makes me feel old, which I'm not." She petulantly stated as he stood up to leave.
"Alright then, Kushina-san," Kabuto said with a slightly embarrassed blush on his face. "Tell everyone I said good-bye."
"I will. Bye!" She enthusiastically waved as he left and closed the door with a soft click.
"Ah, Kabuto-kun is such a nice guy; I hope we can meet up in the future to talk…" Kushina mused as she walked back to her desk. Really, today was a great day for her: a lot of visitors showed up to see the exhibit, she got to spend some time with her daughter (yes, three minutes count!), and she was able to study some of these magnificent finds up close.
It was rather mystifying to see how the Ghalamro-ye people, as they've been refer to by local legends, shared so many features with civilizations like the Assyrians and the Hittites, but still grew into a culture that was purely them. But all the cultures of humanity have some common characteristics when one thinks about it. That's what makes their differences all the more shocking or fascinating.
'And we only know just a small portion about them…' Kushina thought as she stretched her arms over her head. Shaking them to make sure they were nice and loose, she glanced at the clock and saw it was about four: almost time for the students on the field trip to head back to town.
"Hmm… I guess I'll try to catch Naruto before she leaves," Kushina decided as she walked to the door. When suddenly –
The curator cried out and stumbled, "Woah!" She latched onto the bookshelf – which luckily was as sturdy as Stonehenge – and quickly searched for whatever caused her to trip. She quickly saw that one of the straps of her brand-new sandals had broken, and the more she examined it the fewer marks she could find that explained the sudden breakage.
As she limped back to her desk to grab her emergency sandals – there were plenty of situations at the museum that warranted them – she couldn't help but think back to something her grandmother once told her: when the straps on a sandal unexpectedly breaks, misfortune will soon follow.
Naruto breathed a sigh of relief as she exited the bathroom.
"Phew. It's a good thing I went now; otherwise I'd have to go while we're still on the bus…"
Not in the mood to analyze what she would have done if that situation actually had happened, she turned her head side to side in order to spot the exit. There were still a few visitors left, but most of them had come only to see the Ghalamro-ye exhibit; and they left once they had observed almost every single item in it. Her classmates were nowhere to be seen, so the teen assumed that they were all outside waiting for the bus.
"Hmm… If I remember right, the exit was over there…" Naruto began walking in her chosen direction, not dragging her feet but also not scurrying. She was fairly confident that neither Iruka-sensei nor Ero-jiji would let the bus leave without her, and she could always hitch a ride with her mom on the off-chance they did.
Naruto had walked about half-way to the exit when she started to hear something strange. At first they were only a bunch of soft sounds that barely reached her ears, but soon grew into what she could now identify as some type of flute music, reminding her of the soothing shakuhachi or the shinobue flute. The notes were joined by two other sets of flutes, with one set being what Naruto would consider a 'twangy' version of the ryūteki and the other a happy medium between that and the hocchiku. The flutes were joined by strings, drums, and bells forming a full-blown composition.
The young teen was mesmerized, rooted in the same place ever since the first note floated through her ear. Her sapphire eyes were glazed over, unseeing to anything but the melody. Suddenly she began to move, but instead of moving in her previous direction she turned around to follow the music.
The melody guided Naruto through the museum, steering the temporarily blind teen down hall after hall and exhibit after exhibit, blind to passerby who didn't seem to notice her either. She wandered on, eventually reaching a large metal door with a card-reader installed on the side. It was the door that opened up into one of the museum's storage rooms and was normally lock with access given to certain staff and security. But strangely the lights on the card-reader were off… Grasping the doorknob, Naruto opened the unlocked door and went inside.
The store room was large and dusty, with ceiling lamps illuminating the tall shelves crammed with cardboard boxes and folders. There were three tables distributed throughout the room that had several museum pieces laid out. Unseeing, Naruto walked up to the center table and picked up one of the objects on it. She seemed to stare at it until something finally woke her from her trance.
"Huh?" Confused, Naruto shook her head a few times before looking around to figure out where she was. "How the hell did I get into a store room?" She scratched her head a few times with her right hand before she realized she was holding something in her left.
She brought it to her face and saw it was a bronze mirror. It was small and circular, about the size of a compact mirror, and the reflective side gleamed brightly belying its considerable age. Naruto felt some strange grooves on the back of it and turned it around to discover they were beautiful carvings of the sun and what appeared to be a man in the middle.
'That's strange; is he supposed to be the sun god?' The young teen continued to study the mirror's back and saw that there was a carving of a young girl below the man. She was dressed in the clothes Naruto remembered seeing on exhibit pieces back on the tour, had long hair that hung loosely down her back, and raised her arms up to the god as if trying to reach him. There were two sets of lines that seemed to represent words on either side of the girl, but Naruto had no clue as to their meaning. Then she noticed some scratches on the girl's face; two sets of three lines that looked a lot like whiskers.
That's when Naruto realized that the mirror she was holding was actually the other artifact Aoba mentioned earlier. She spent a few more minutes examining it with awe before heaving a sigh.
'Well, as pretty as this mirror is, I probably should start leaving now.' The teen started to lower the mirror back onto the table so she could go on and catch the bus. But before the mirror even touched the wooden surface…
"Kyaaa!" Naruto screamed, caught off guard by the loud noise. She turned around and saw that the door she had come through had inexplicably closed shut.
Confused, she walked to the door and tried to open it. But after twisting and turning the knob the door wouldn't open.
"What the…" Naruto muttered before trying again, pulling at the door harder and harder while twisting the knob in all directions. But the door remained shut despite her best efforts. She bent over to catch her breath, resting her arms on her knees while still clutching the long-forgotten mirror.
"Damnit… I thought… doors were… supposed to lock… from the outside…" she panted out. Just as her breathing began to return to normal the ceiling lights began to flicker on and off, making her feel more uneasy.
Naruto tried to calm herself down and said, "It's alright, Naruto. There's nothing to worry about; the lights are probably just faulty or something…"
But then the lights abruptly went out, plunging the room into darkness and leaving her even more on edge. And before Naruto could take even one step forward music began to play in the room. Unlike the melody from before, however, these low notes were accompanied by ominous chanting in a language foreign to her ears. Then an eerie wind literally came out of nowhere and started whirling around the frightened girl, gaining speed as the chanting grew louder and the music cacophonic.
"What the hell's happening?!" Naruto yelled as she tried to fight the winds, holding out an arm to protect her face from the incredible force generated by the squall.
Everything kept on growing louder and chaotic until a bright light appeared and saturated the room at its climax, leaving no visibility whatsoever. The light vanished immediately after a few seconds and revealed a room that suffered no damage whatsoever. There was no scattered papers, no displaced artifacts; not even one speck of dust was out of place.
Nothing even remotely like the whirlwind seemed to have taken place earlier and everything seemed normal, except for one detail: one small bronze mirror lying next to the door, still warm from the hand that dropped it.
"Did everything go according to plan?"
"Yes, sir; the girl has been sent back."
4000 years earlier…
A hawk soared high among the clouds, quite far from home and searching in vain for any creature that could satisfy its hunger. But there was no prey in the open that he could spot, and for good reason; the sun was still high in the sky, spreading wondrous light but also oppressive heat that baked the earth below and caused any surface water to turn into vapor and journey up above in the atmosphere.
It had been a long drought, without one drop of life-giving rain falling to the earth. However this fact wasn't surprising when taking account that the land was a vast desert; dry, cracked dirt that screamed for moisture, and gentle-sloping sand dunes that ran for miles. The creatures that made this hostile place home were either nocturnal or only came out right after a rainstorm, when the plant life bloomed and the land could be seen as a second Eden.
But the only fact that mattered to the hawk at this time was that there was nothing for him to eat here. Frustrated, he decided to change course and head towards the mountains. It was a risky move, with winter coming around the corner and human hunters around, but a predator's got to do what a predator's got to do.
He rode on the wind currents, letting the strong gusts move him to his destination. Finally he reached where the desert made way for sparse vegetation, which then grew into forest steppes and woodlands. The air was cold and crisp. Not much rain had fallen due to the fact it was still autumn; once winter begins, the mountains would pile up with snow, which would turn into the water that fueled nearby streams and rivers in the spring.
The hawk's sharp eyes gazed down on the land, searching for anything that could fill its belly for at least a day. Suddenly it spotted something on a far away stump. As he flew closer, he saw that the object was actually a large field mouse that was napping in a warm sunbeam.
The hawk was elated at seeing the plump rodent and wasted no time in preparing to secure his meal. There were few trees in the area, but luckily there was a nice tall one located quite close to the stump. He landed on the branch and quickly faced the mouse, trying to judge whether it was still in deep sleep or not. When the mouse appeared to still be, he launched from the tree, swooped down and grabbed it with his sharp talons.
The mouse squeaked once it felt those awful talons wrapped around its body and frantically tried to free itself from the hawk.
Alas, it was all in vain, for once the hawk established a firm grip on the rodent; he used his talons to pierce the mouse's body and snuffed out its life. Satisfied with the catch, the hawk wasted no time removing the entrails and devouring the meat.
After finishing his meal, he was content to just rest under the colorful leaves that the tree hadn't yet shed from its branches. After a few minutes, however, the air was pierced by a sharp whistle from the north, making the hawk turn its head in that direction.
The whistle sounded again, and the hawk's eyes shone as he realized the meaning behind it. He launched from the branch and flew up into the air. Riding the wind and giving his large wings a flap every now and then, crossing the forest steppes to where the earlier sound had come from. Finally his orange-yellow eyes spotted a familiar brown object on the ground, and he dived towards it with an excited cry. He got closer and closer, until he stretched out his legs and perched on it. He kneaded the soft material with his talons and finally settled down. Giving a huff of contentment, he preened his feathers with deliberate precision.
A sound of what could be taken as amusement was heard, and then the brown object's twin, in nearly all but detailed shape and color, came up and gently stroked the bird's head with strangely formed digits. The bird greatly enjoyed the touch and turned his head to gaze at what they were attached to.
The being – called by the funny sound 'human' – was certainly strange when a wild animal first looked at it, but to the animals that lived alongside its species they were odd but not entirely unique. They stood up on two legs, had very little hair save for what little clung on select parts of their monkey-like bodies, and for whatever reason they saw fit to wrap themselves in animal skins or sheets made from dried plant matter. The human he was looking at saw fit to wear what they called "a glove" on the limb he was resting on, and had covered most of his exposed skin with the afore-mentioned sheets. All of them were arranged to fit his body snugly yet comfortably, all except for one piece that covered him like the sheets the hawk heard were called as 'tents'.
But the feature that the raptor liked most of his strange companion was his eyes: two midnight orbs that could cut down with a single gaze and held as much intelligence as his own orange-yellow ones.
"I take it your hunt went well, Rashahin?" The human asked and brought the hand that was stroking the hawk down by his side. He was answered by a short version of the hawk's signature cry of sharp mewling.
"He's back already, your highness?" An older, grey-haired human questioned, looking up from the deer he was skinning with a strange shiny fang.
"Yes. I think he didn't have a large meal this time, however." The other murmured as he moved to one of the two grazing horses nearby with Rashahin in hand.
"Ma, I guess that's not surprising. This is the time of year where many of the animals around here migrate or hibernate, whichever works." The grey-haired human sighed as he moved on to gutting and cleaning.
"Hn." Rashahin's friend opened one of the packs attached to the horse's side and took out a small piece of dried meat. He offered it to Rashahin who took it with a cry of thanks. The mouse from earlier didn't completely fill his stomach, and while dried meats weren't his favorite he would still eat them.
The three enjoyed the moment of silence, letting the rattle of dried leaves played with by the wind be the only source of noise. Finally, the hawk's companion broke the silence and asked, "Has that situation been resolved?"
Rashahin turned his head towards the other human, who looked much older and more tired once he heard that question.
"No, it seems our neighbors are still reluctant with sending princesses and young noblewomen to the palace. Some are even saying they'll stop trade because of your… behavior."
"Then make sure they know what the consequences will be if they do." Rashahin's friend calmly said, once again stroking the hawk's head feathers.
The other human stayed silent for a long time, his mind buzzing with thoughts generated from that single statement. After gathering them into some semblance of order, he stood up and faced his king.
"Sasuke," he pleaded, using the king's personal name, "can't you please stop all of this? This business has only been hurting you in the end. Her crime is over and done with, so why don't you-"
"Kakashi," Sasuke interrupted, his voice now filled with icy anger. "Don't say another word."
"…Yes, your highness." Kakashi sighed in defeat and went back to tending the deer meat.
Rashahin looked into Sasuke's eyes and was saddened to not only find anger and a need for vengeance swirling through them, but sorrow and guilt as well. He didn't really understand all of Sasuke's problems, but he did know that he was having trouble with mates. Every day a new one would come to the palace and disappear the next day. From what the local crows and rats told him, the old mate is taken to be killed and hastily buried. Now Rashahin in no way understood why Sasuke let his mates be killed – perhaps they weren't strong enough to have and protect his children? If that was the case, he hoped that Mother Earth would send him a female that was strong enough. A female who could stand up to Sasuke and resolve all of his issues…
Kakashi finished cutting up the venison and placed each piece into an animal-skin sack already filled with salt. He then stood up and walked to his own horse.
"Well," he finally said, "I guessed this will keep the venison until we get back home." He securely attached the sack to the saddle and mounted the horse.
"Are you ready?"
"Give us a second. Rashahin, let's go." Sasuke ordered, and the hawk obeyed it without much fuss. But after he launched off Sasuke and waited for the human to get on the stallion, he noticed something near the brush line approaching them. Curious and still in a hunting mood, Rashahin dove towards it and readied his talons for the strike.
But it appeared that whatever was hiding was quick enough to spot him, for as soon as he got close to it the unknown creature darted away – towards Sasuke, Kakashi and the horses. The horses spotted the fast creature coming towards them and began to spook, thrashing around and threatening to buck their riders clean off.
"Woah, Chidori, woah!" Kakashi called out to his normally tranquil grey mare.
"Calm down, Susano-o!" Sasuke told the more high-strung black stallion.
The horses started to calm down as the riders continued to talk to them and rub their sides. Finally they settled down and acted as calm as they were before.
"What do you think caused them to be so frightened, Sasuke?" Kakashi asked as he continued to pat Chidori's neck.
"I don't know…" Sasuke began to say, but then noticed that Susano-o was looking at something to their right. Slightly curious, Sasuke slowly turned his head to see whatever has caught his horse's attention and was greeted by a surprising sight.
There, out in the open, was a single white fox. It stood straight up among the grass, a bright dot against the yellowing background; and was completely white save for its dark nose, lips and eyes. The fox seemed neither frightened nor wary of the two humans; rather, it was observing them with a tilt of its head, looking very much like a curious puppy seeing something brand new and not knowing how to play with it. The humans stared back, very much shocked by the fox's appearance and behavior. No one dared to move even a little, acting as if the slightest twitch would break the spell that was just now cast. And so it went…
…Until Rashahin, annoyed that the fox had managed to evade his strike, dove at it again. The fox once again dodged it and disappeared into the grass. A few seconds later it reappeared, and this time it gave the hawk a taunting bark as it wagged its tail. Even more annoyed, he dived towards the fox again and missed it… again. The fox reappeared again a little farther from its previous spot and once again taunted Rashahin. And the humans stood by as they watched this bizarre cycle unfold; of the fox teasing the hawk to catch it, then taunting it when Rashahin failed to, effectively making him angrier and angrier. They couldn't help but think that the fox was deliberately toying with him… and they were right.
Finally it seemed that the fox had its fill of mischief and ran towards the woods, disappearing under the rustling of leaves. Rashahin, very pissed off by the fact that a fox had out-maneuvered him so easily, was just about to barrel through the forest to find it when Sasuke let out a series of whistles, telling him not to leave. Frustrated, the hawk reluctantly returned to his friend and rested on his gloved hand.
"Rashahin, you shouldn't have let that fox agitate you so much," Sasuke scolded, making the hawk inwardly grimace.
"I'm just glad you managed to call him back; otherwise he would have barreled through the forest and wind up getting killed by running into a tree," Kakashi commented, making Rashahin grimace even more at his accurate prediction.
Even Chidori and Susano-o neighed as if in agreement with their riders, delivering the final blow to the naturally proud hawk and caused him to avert his face in shame.
"But that was quite strange; seeing a white fox like that out in the open. They're very rare, and normally try to flee once they're spotted by humans. In fact, not even normal wild foxes are that friendly. I wonder…"
"What are you talking about, Kakashi?"
"I remember that Ninhursag, the earth goddess, uses foxes to deliver messages. Perhaps we should mention this to Head-Priestess Shion?" Kakashi asked, looking at Sasuke for confirmation.
"Hn, I highly doubt that this was more than just a coincidence. But since there's nothing to lose either, I suppose so." Sasuke said before he abruptly raised his arm into the air, causing Rashahin to shake off his previous funk and fly into the sky.
"Now let's go."
"Yes, your highness."
And the two took off with the hawk in tow, racing over the steppes, valleys and hills they galloped across. They continued their swift pace until they arrived at the one place they called home.
Ah, so many words…
The Bronze Age civilizations I used to create the civilization were some Hittite, Babylonia, Assyria and Bronze Age Egypt. Like I said earlier, I researched and tried to be as accurate as possible while trying to make this new culture. I hope nothing about the exhibit was lacking, but please let me know if there is something.
You won't believe how different this chapter was from the original outline I wrote. I completely changed how Naruto got sent to the past because the original version made it seem like she was a complete bonehead/dumbass with no common sense. Now, I know that Naruto (canon and in this story) sometimes acts like a dumbass and can be a little slow, but not all the time. Plus I planned for Naruto to be somewhat smarter here; dumb-blonde moments, therefore, must be used with caution and moderation.
I apologize to anyone who was confused by Rashahin's point-of-view or just found it too long. The original scene that introduced Sasuke had him and Kakashi riding on horseback and spotting three hawks that weren't from around there. I guess this is just a case of the chapter evolving while you're writing it. I hope that Sasuke wasn't too OOC, you guys. Not much is known about him at this point, though it's clear he has issues (like canon Sasuke…). But as more chapters are written, the curtain over his true nature will be pulled back more and more.
Clay tablets – These tablets were used as records of business, myths and letters by the cultures of Mesopotamia before even parchment was invented. They would inscribe cuneiforms with styluses on the clay while it was still moist and soft, then fired to make permanent documents of dried out to recycle later with water.
Humbaba – He was featured in the Epic of Gilgamesh. In addition to having a hairy face, Humbaba also had lion claws and long hair.
Hokage – Literally means "fire shadow." It is given to the leader of the village; so basically I'm sticking to canon here.
Sandal straps breaking – If the cloth strap of geta sandal breaks, it's an omen of misfortune. I actually first saw this and other Japanese bad luck superstitions in a chapter of Ranma ½; the chapter where Happōsai appears…
Shakuhachi, Shinobue, Ryūteki, and Hocchiku – These four are traditional Japanese flutes. The Shakuhachi and Hocchiku are vertical (like a clarinet or oboe) bamboo flutes, the former used in Zen meditation; the Shinobue and Ryūteki are tranverse bamboo flutes, the former used in noh and kabuki theatre music and kagura music and the latter used in gagaku music.
Noh – A form of Japanese drama performed since the 14th century. All the performers are men, and they use masks to portray both male and female roles. Nowadays Noh theaters perform two Noh plays with a Kyōgen (traditional comedy) play in between per performance day. But back in the old days, a typical performance day would have five Noh plays with the Kyōgen plays placed in between. To find out more about Noh theatre, go look at the Wiki page or Google it.
Kabuki – Japanese form of dance-drama well-known for its energy and elaborate makeup. Kabuki was founded by a woman named Izumo no Okuni, but female kabuki actors were prohibited from putting on the plays in 1629 because the shogunate considered them to be too erotic. From then on kabuki was performed by men who had to take on male and female roles. Notable features that pop up in kabuki include the hanamichi walkway, the mawari-butai revolving stage, seri traps that allow actors to appear or disappear, the chῡnori wire trick, and scene changes done by a hiki dōgu wagon stage. For more details, check out the Wiki page.
Kagura – A specific type of Shinto theatric dance. This can be divided into formal ritual dances and the diverse informal dances.
Gagaku – A type of Japanese classical music performed at the Imperial Court in Kyoto. It consists of three repetouires: kuniburi no utamai, Shinto religious music and folk song and dance; komagaku, a Goguryeo (one of the Three Kingdoms of Korea) and Manchurian form; and tōgaku, a Chinese and South Asian form. Interestingly, gagaku has influenced western composers since the 20th century.
Species of hawk, deer and fox: The hawk is most likely a Northern Goshawk, while the deer was a Persian fallow deer and the fox is a Red Fox. I was looking for animals that were native to Iran: specifically the Zargos Mountains. The Northern Goshawk might be a bit of a stretch, but the species was listed on the Wiki page for birds in Iran, so I decided to go with that. These guys look so cool in slow-motion, but it was hard trying to find words to describe their calls. The Persian fallow deer is an endangered species once commonly found in Iran, but now has less than 300 individuals today. The Red fox is the most common species of fox in the world, ranging from North America to the Middle East to Asia. I was originally going to use a Corsac fox since they're also native to the Zargos Mountains, but I ultimately decided on the Red Fox because of all the colors they can come in.
Rashahin – This is just a name I made up. I took "Ra", the name of the Ancient Egyptian sun god and "Şahin" (which sounds like "Shahin"), the Turkish word for hawk.
Falconry: Many of us are familiar with falconry from reading about it in relation to Medieval Europe. However it did not originate from Europe; rather it was introduced there around 400 AD. It is thought that falconry could have originated in Mesopotamia based on references that go back to 2000 AD.
Chidori and Susano-o – I decided to save myself some time by using Japanese names for the horses instead of mashing up some from the Turkish, Farsi, and Arabic languages or any of my references. Chidori literally means 'one thousand birds' in Japanese and Susano-o is the name of the Japanese Shinto god of storms. For anyone who doesn't know, Chidori is the lightning technique created by Kakashi and taught to Sasuke, and Susano-o is the ability gained by Sasuke after he unlocked Tsukuyomi and Amaterasu.
Ninhursag – The Sumerian goddess of the earth. I might add characteristics from other earth gods/goddesses to her in the future, but I'll probably keep her name. FYI, other gods and goddesses will either have their original name from one culture or a recombination of names.
Well, that's it for this chapter. Next chapter will have Naruto lost and – in a damsel-in-distress situation?! Oh no!
Read and review, folks! Don't be shy; I want to hear your thoughts & opinions.