Chapter Forty: The End of an Era.
Naruto appeared in a plume of smoke back inside the Council Chambers, immediately receiving an unexpected hug from Kakashi as the man gave Tsunade a thumbs up, "He'll be fine Hokage-sama, he obviously has a grasp of the finer jutsu of our village." Kakashi said with obvious pride at having Naruto use the move his Sensei taught him.
Naruto chuckled at Kakashi as the others of the council were torn between laughing at Naruto's victory and being afraid of his power.
Sakura appeared a few moments later in a plume of smoke, rubbing her rear with a large scowl on her face as she looked at Naruto, "That. Hurt." she said, a vengeful look on her face.
There was a few moments of silence when Sasuke didn't return, causing Naruto to blink, "Oh yeah," he mumbled before opening up a swirl of chakra that Sasuke fell from with a yelp, landing on top of Sakura.
Naruto smiled at the two of them before turning to Tsunade as she slammed her gavel, "Alright, did anyone have any problems viewing the fight?" She asked.
The council stayed with their hands un-raised as the ANBU in the center of the room watched the seal-tags burn up, letting them know their job was done before jumping back up into the shadows of the room as Sasuke and Sakura were escorted out of the room, though Sasuke with a confused look since he honestly wasn't entirely sure what had happened to him.
Tsunade nodded, "Good, in that case I want each of you to give me an individual assessment of Naruto's skills and Shikaku, Hiashi and Shibi, I want reports of your opinions of Sakura and Sasuke as well by next week. I call this meeting to a close then if no one has anything else as a topic of discussion...?" she asked hopefully.
Unfortunately for her, the new Academy Headmaster – Iruka Umino – raised his arm, earning a groan from all of those who really wanted to leave back to their homes and families.
Tsunade sighed, "Yes Iruka?" she asked.
Iruka smiled, "Um, hello everyone, I was just hoping that now I'm headmaster, am I able to make changes to the school's curriculum?" he asked, earning a nod in return from Tsunade, "So, can I change the final test and add make it compulsory to take up atleast one of the optional subjects in the final years at the academy?" he asked.
Now that got everyone's attention.
"What changes are you thinking of Umino-san?" Hiashi asked calmly.
Iruka cleared his throat as he put a sheet of paper on his desk, surprising himself and most of the others when a clone copy popped up on every table in replacement of the clone copies of the Zetsu List.
Iruka blinked as the room began to read over his requests, "Well, I believe that chakra control exercises should be taught to the students once they're hit their second last year since in the last eighteen months they learn the final passing jutsu. But, I also think we should make it compulsory for them to know a D-rank jutsu of their elemental type." Iruka said.
"Elemental type?" Chouza began, "But it's usually only Chunnin that begin on elemental training." he said.
Iruka nodded, "Exactly, I believe that the first glimpse into their differences and strengths should happen way earlier. I mean, if just one gennin knew the Earth Wall, he'd be able to save his team from a kunai onslaught, or if there's a fire a single gennin could stop it with Water Ball rather then run off to find someone else to help. Just little things like that which may help the gennin decide where they want to focus on their element all the while helping to increase their capacity," Iruka explained, "All this from a single extra exercise." Iruka said.
"We'll need more Elemental paper, that's expensive stuff to order in from the Elemental Gardens in the fire temple." Shikaku explained.
Naruto lifted a hand, "What if I go and research this tree and grow a few saplings for future generations? That way even though it'll be expensive for a while at least sooner rather then later it'll be near cost-price to produce." Naruto offered.
Hani shook her head, "No. It's a rare breed that isn't to be trifled with. What if your clipping just happens to be the final straw in it's life cycle?" she asked.
Naruto shrugged, "What if I already did it and can say that there are two saplings growing atop the Hokage monument?" he asked in return.
There was a few moments of silence before Tsunade spoke up, "Are there?" she asked.
Naruto nodded as his brows furrowed, "Yep... didn't Danzo tell you anything about the experiments we did? He told me that you all knew..." Naruto mumbled.
Shikaku spoke up again, "I've heard you mention these 'experiments' before Naruto. What exactly do you mean by that other then the weapons you developed?" he asked.
Naruto opened his eyes wide as if he was shocked, "Seriously? That's all you know about?" he asked, earning very intrigued looks from everyone in the council chambers, "Danzo had me restart about seventy percent of Orochimaru's lab experiments. I've started up four labs from nothing again and it was hard work!" Naruto said with a grin.
The room was quiet as Tsume's hands fell from her table, "What ones?" she asked.
Naruto shrugged, "Well, the Elemental Tree for one, the Monumental Defence Jutsu for another. They're the last two that I finished before he left." Naruto said.
"Stop this!" Tsunade said, "Stop getting side-tracked and let's focus here people come on!" she whined.
The council suppressed their chuckles as Tsunade pointed to Iruka again, making the man jolt before he began explaining his case again, "R-right, so umm..." he mumbled, reading quickly down his piece of paper, "My final change will be an actual survival mission being part of the final test. Cause no matter how much theory someone knows, it's putting that theory into action that makes a real ninja." Iruka concluded.
Tsunade nodded, "All in favour of motion one with the extra chakra training including the very start of Elemental Chakra training?" she asked.
The majority of the room raised their hands, "Motion carried." she said as she slammed her gavel, "Second motion of a Survival Test to be included in the final examinations?" she asked, earning this time every single person raising their hands after a moment, "Motion carried." she said before putting the gavel down, "Now Naruto, are you able to fit the details of these experiments within scrolls?" she asked.
Naruto stood and nodded as he was beginning to be questioned again, "Yeah, I always have a clone handy to take notes and I got into the habit of making my own records after I got used to filling in my Shinobi Journal." Naruto explained as he went to reach into his pocket, "Oh...but they're at home." he said as he remembered he had nothing on him.
Tsunade nodded, "That decides it, Naruto you have a lot of work to do and a lot of information to write out. I want copies of the experiments delivered to me or my personal ANBU guard only, a copy of your experience in the war once your team began to chase after Fuu delivered to each member of the Upper Council, and finally the mission plan for your mission to hunt down the Zetsu Spawn Points." she said before slamming her gavel, "Everyone else, business as usual except for those who I asked for an extra report from." she said, bringing the meeting to a close.
People began to stand and leave rather quickly at her declaration, leaving Naruto to sit and watch as the majority were gone from the room in but a minute. Naruto slowly stood at this point.
The red head paused and turned to Hiashi as the man's eyes seemed to bore into his own, "Yes Hiashi?" Naruto asked, speaking to the man on equal terms.
Hiashi's face stayed like stone for a moment before nodding to Naruto, "They will all have my support. Do not worry. But I urge you to focus on protecting yourself and the team while you are out there. They may have millions, and no matter how strong one person is they can always be worn down eventually." Hiashi said.
Naruto smiled and nodded, "Thanks sir, and yeah, I do plan to come back after all." Naruto said to Hiashi.
Hiashi nodded and walked past Naruto on his way to the door, letting Naruto see Shibi Aburame standing against the wall at the top of the stairs. Naruto was planning on just flashing home, but thought it better to approach him since Naruto actually had a request for the man.
Shibi nodded to Naruto on approach, "Naruto-san." he greeted.
Naruto smiled in return, "Hey Shibi-san, I was wondering if I could ask for your opinion on something." Naruto asked.
Shibi nodded again as he stood from the wall, "Let us walk." he said simply before taking the lead down the stairs.
Taking that as permission to continue, Naruto smiled again as he followed along, "Thanks, I was wondering, the age for the hive-insertion technique is seven right?" Naruto asked.
Shibi paused at the bottom of the steps and nodded, "I admit I was expecting you to ask for techniques for her to learn to communicate with insects. Not that she undergoes the procedure." Shibi said.
Naruto's eyes fell, "So... does that mean no?" he asked.
Shibi merely began walking again as he spoke, leaving the room with Naruto right next to him, "It does not. I was in fact doubtful of this outcome but I find now that I have to say," he began before glancing at Naruto, "She is already part of the Hive."
Naruto's eyes widened, "What do you mean? She's part of the Hive?" he asked.
Shibi lifted his hand, a single insect on his finger, "This is Sugoi-hime. She is the first female to be born of the new hybrid insect breed from the Enhanced Kikaichu and Rock village's Rumble Bees but the Aburame are unable to host them." he explained.
Naruto raised a brow at the little insect, understanding the incredible meaning behind the little insect, "So Shino's theory on the Enhanced Kikaichu is right?" he asked.
Shibi nodded, "Indeed. The Kikaichu's mating abilities can be modified now that they have access to chakra." he said.
Naruto nodded curiously, "So... what does that mean for Taifuu-chan?" he asked.
Shibi let the insect climb onto his sleeve and up his arm, "The males have been attracted to Taifuu's chakra from the moment she entered their sensory range. We of the Aburame can feel her now. She is truly a powerful insectoid being. So much so that her positive energy has increased activity in the Hive at the compound." Shibi explained.
Naruto smiled and nodded, "Wow... so she really is the next Seven Tails..." he mumbled softly to himself.
"Precisely," Shibi began, "It is for this reason we of the Aburame would like for her to hold our first of the new breed as I believe only her can handle the constant drain these beetles have unlike the daily feeding that the Kikaichu have. For this I ask your permission." Shibi said respectfully as he came to a stop at the ground level of the tree-house.
Naruto nodded with a smile, "Yeah that's great Shibi-san, I think she'll benefit from this just as much as these guys will." Naruto said with a grin and a nod towards the insect that had casually stopped on Shibi's face.
If Naruto didn't know better, he'd guess that the Aburame man was smiling behind that jacket collar, "I will see the two of you at eight tonight the procedure will take until the late morning." he said with a nod before walking away.
Naruto smiled for a moment as he watched the man's back, but he turned as he felt a hand be placed on his shoulder, "Yamato-taicho." Naruto said in greeting.
The Jonin smiled at Naruto softly as he held out a sheet of paper, "Here's a list of your team Naruto. And remember that leaving time is sunset tomorrow. Location is here." Yamato said, pointing to the words at the end of the list.
Naruto nodded as he once more looked over the team he would be spending some time with, 'Well, at least it'll be fun. And this way I can devote my attention to Taifuu-chan when we aren't hunting the Zetsu.' Naruto thought with a smile, seeing Taifuu Uzumaki written as an obviously last minute add on, verified with the Hokage's signature.
Naruto looked up at Yamato and smiled, "Thanks Yamato-taicho." Naruto said with a forced smile, obviously not too pleased with the fact he had to leave.
Yamato nodded and tried to cheer him up, "Hey at least you have some friends on your team, my team was slapped together from the international volunteers. I don't even know most of them." Yamato said.
Naruto chuckled at that, "Yeah I guess you're right," Naruto said before tilting his head, "Taicho, how did you manage to stay on assignment for years on end in the ANBU?" Naruto asked.
Yamato smiled, glad to be able to help out Naruto, "I just tried to imagine what those precious to me were doing at the same time. And with ANBU I had access to far more advanced training tools so I was distracted," Yamato said with a nod to the list in his hand, "And we seem to have a fai distraction right here."
Naruto nodded with a slight smile, "Yeah, 'kay, thanks Taicho," he said before jogging forward a few steps, "I'll see you tomorrow!" he said with a wave before leaping up onto a nearby branch and tree hopping through the village.
Naruto closed the door behind him gently before leaning against it in silent thought for a moment as he held the sheet of paper limply by his side. He looked up at the roof of the entrance room to his new compound with a sigh, 'How do I tell them?' Naruto thought numbly as he blinked.
Naruto opened his eyes to find himself standing against the door to his family's part of the tree-house, his expression a small smile as he walked down the hallway, hearing laughing and talking in the background.
Naruto stepped into his lounge room and his smile grew slightly as he saw Tayuya asleep on the couch, Tenten and Hinata sipping tea as they looked at what Taifuu was drawing. But Naruto's step faltered as he noticed the scissors sitting out and ready to do Taifuu's hair, it was nearly halfway down her back already.
Hinata and Tenten glanced up at the noise even though the snoring Tayuya and the drawing child didn't notice. They took one look at his face and knew something was wrong.
Tenten got up and walked over to Naruto as Hinata smiled at him over the room. Tenten hugged Naruto on approach as looked into his eyes, "What happened at the meeting Naruto-kun? Is there bad news?" she asked.
Naruto smiled into the hug, "Good and bad, but well, we did just come out of a war." Naruto said jokingly.
Taifuu looked up with a grin, "Dada!" she exclaimed happily as she looked at her father.
Tayuya began to stir at her shout spoke, so Naruto looked around the room and then noticed the look Hinata was giving the sheet in his hand. Naruto smiled again to try and keep them all positive, "Hey Taifuu-chan, wanna help wake up Tayuya-chan?" Naruto asked jokingly.
Taifuu smile before running over on wobbly legs, the first time Naruto had seen her do anything more then walk on unsure feet, leaping up and climbing over the arm of the couch to land on Tayuya's face, "Aka-Kaa-saaaaaaaaan!" she shouted right into her 'Red-Mother's' face, causing the Uzumaki to sit up in shock and roll the laughing girl down her chest and onto her lap.
Tayuya groaned as Taifuu bounced off her gut, "Ow, what the hell Taifuu." She whined as Hinata and Tenten came to sit on the couch with her, Tenten lifting the little girl onto her lap as Hinata slid in next to Tayuya, forcing the woman to sit straight as she rubbed her eyes with another groan, "S'goin on?" Tayuya asked with a yawn.
Naruto sat grabbed a wooden chair from underneath the large window that gave natural light to the place, setting it down across from his wives and child before he sat down, "I can't tell you guys everything that happened in the meeting since most of it is classified, but you see there is a matter that concerns me directly and I have to... take care of it." Naruto said as he tried to think of how to explain what he needed to.
"Just read us the important bits Naruto-kun, I'm sure whatever it is will be okay." Hinata said with the most understanding expression he had ever seen.
Naruto sighed as her words calmed him before deciding to just do as she said. Lifting the paper up he began to read the words to them...
"It's here?" the cloaked Taifuu asked as she looked up at the large bulbous orb sticking out of the tree above them, "There?" she asked as she pointed up from her place on Naruto's shoulders.
Naruto nodded with a smile, 'She can tell already? Wow, this connection with insects must be powerful if she can feel them all.' he thought as he looked up the tree, seeing the symbol of the Aburame clan resting above a large door on the first major branch.
Naruto began to float up into the air, causing the girl to gasp before she gripped her father's head in shock and slight fear, "D-dad?" she squeaked.
Naruto sped up his flight to land sooner, putting her back on her feet as they landed infront of the large door. Naruto looked over the door when he thought he saw it move, but dismissed the thought as he spotted the Aburame member standing calmly against the door, his cloak so well camouflaged that Naruto barely spotted the man if he hadn't knelt.
Naruto blinked as he realised why.
Taifuu stood on her toes staring up at the man who watched her in return, "You are Shino?" she asked, somehow knowing the young man's name already.
Naruto raised a brow as he approached them, not even realising his long-time friend was the one in front of him with a different jacket on to blend with the door. Shino just nodded as Naruto came to a stop behind his daughter, "I am, and you are Taifuu."
The girl beamed and nodded, turning to her father as he began speaking, "Hey Shino, is everything ready for her? Cause she seems pretty excited about it." Naruto said with a smile.
Taifuu nodded before looking past Shino, "Wooooow." she said softly as she stared at the door.
Naruto raised a brow at her behaviour as Shino nodded, "Let us enter. Father and the Elders are collected together at the Hive." he said and turned towards the 'door.'
Shino clapped and the door came to life, showing that it was thousands of the clan's bugs that morphed out of the way only as they walked through it, Naruto seemed to be the only one out of the three that didn't love the sensation of thousands of bugs being close enough that he could feel them on the hair on his head.
Stepping out the other side, Naruto looked around at how bright the area was lit up with hundreds of fireflies calmly floating about the ceiling, "Okay, that's amazing." Naruto said with a nod as he watched the beautiful display.
Taifuu seemed entranced by the dancing beetles, but a new source of light appeared as a set of doors opened up to their right.
Shibi marched forward, causing Naruto's eyes to widen as this was the first time he had ever seen an Aburame without glasses on, their eyes were just like Taifuu's, "Taifuu-sama." Shibi said with a full bow.
Taifuu's eyes widened as she ran up to Shibi and looked closely before turning to Naruto, "I know him!" she said as she pointed at Shibi with a grin.
Naruto blinked in confusion but nodded to her with a smile, 'That's good, at least these strangers don't seem to make her scared or anything... no nervousness at all.' he thought as he watched the girl start answering Shibi's rather simple questions about life.
"We all heard her."
Naruto glanced to his side as Shino spoke, "Somehow our Queens shared her dreams. They were broadcast to us and all we knew when we woke up is that her name is Taifuu Uzumaki and she is the second of a new breed of life on this planet." Shino explained.
Naruto's eyebrows shot up, "So... she's somehow the Queen of all your Queen bugs? And she's a different breed?" Naruto asked in shock.
Shino looked at Naruto and took off his own shades, showing Naruto his eyes, "These eyes were gifted to the ancient Aburame by the Seven Tailed Beetle, Elder Queen Choumei," Shino said, causing Naruto's eye to twitch almost unperceived, "And with these eyes we can sometimes see and connect with a powerful enough Insect, which is why we fight alongside the Kikaichu Beetles, their Queens are of a very high intellect." Shino said as he looked over at Taifuu and his father, "She is a Humanoid Demon. Human body and demonic chakra, but more so, the chakra of Elder Queen Choumei."
Naruto tried to absorb all that stunning information as he slowly nodded, "So...Taifuu is kinda like Elder Princess Taifuu-chan?" Naruto asked.
Shino glanced at Naruto, the redhead actually seeing the furrow of annoyance in his brow for the first time, "She is a week old. She is not an elder." he explained.
As if Shino's words were a harsh reminder of his daughter's whole 'aging-to-death' thing, Naruto suddenly seemed to have a cloud of melancholy hanging over his head.
Shino noticed this and his expression stayed in place as he watched Naruto unblinkingly, "Like any insect she will grow into adulthood far faster then a human, but because of her demonic chakra, she is likely to stay in her prime for a long time. Add in the human part and I'd say she will have a long but not immortal life." Shino said.
Naruto's eyes widened as hope appeared to make him stand taller, "Really? She'll be okay after all? How'd you even come to that conclusion?" he asked.
Shino's brow seemed to un-furrow as he realised Naruto was just worried, "You do not yet seem to realise that you are of this breed too. He have had three hundred and eighteen Queens thinking and postulating on the matter for the last week. This is the logical result if one is to look at it in the correct way." Shino explained.
Naruto was stunned silent as he looked down at his hands, 'Different breed?' he thought as he felt his body. Shino was right, his chakra was now demonic, his body was human and he's begun feeling rather...animalistic urges lately. 'I'm changing...' he thought for a moment in silent shock.
"Dada!" Taifuu shouted as she waddle-ran over to Naruto, though he could tell that with each step she was getting more and more used to the motion, "I wanna be," she paused as she didn't know the word she was looking for to explain what she was thinking, "Hived?" she asked.
Naruto smiled softly as he knelt, picking her up gently, "You want to join a hive? Okay, that's what we came here for." he said, as he began to walk back over to Shibi.
The clan head was joined by the clan heir before the two of them lead Naruto and his daughter in to a tight closet-like space. "The Bonding Room." Shibi said softly.
Naruto held Taifuu a little tighter as the insects that appeared to be making up the closet-like room moved like an elevator, taking them down from the tree and into a small underground basement that had a single funnel of light shining directly into the center of a large seal, "A seal? That's what let's you bond with Insects?" he asked.
Shino shook his head, "Not exactly. But the specifics are clan secrets." he said, abruptly ending that line of questioning.
"Uzumaki-san, if you please step out of the seal, then we can get started." Shibi said as he went and ran his hands over small points on the wall, making insects that were previously invisible to light up with a blue glow just like chakra.
Naruto put Taifuu down and kissed her forehead, "No need to be nervous okay? It'll be quick, but I don't know for certain if it'll be painful." he said, trying to sound reassuring but not doing very well.
Taifuu blinked at the realisation that it might hurt, her whole face suddenly scrrunched up and she looked like she was about to cry, "B-b-but how can I be hived?" she asked as tears built in her eyes.
Even Shino's brow furrowed in worry at disappointing the girl.
Shibi chuckled as he gestured to the light in the center of the room, "Taifuu-sama, if you would stand here it'll soon be as if this was a dream. But you will have another family inside you once you wake up." he said with an oddly understanding look in his bug-eyes.
Taifuu still seemed swallowed by her sudden nervousness, but she nodded as she stepped away from Naruto, trying to pull him with her. Naruto smiled softly and walked her to the center of the seal and lying her down so that she was aligned in the sealing array.
"When you're ready Naruto." Shino said with a nod as he sat at the opposite side of the seal to his father.
Naruto's brow furrowed as he knew he had to leave the seal, but Taifuu's big eyes looked like they were about to spill with fear-induced child fear. So Naruto smiled as he blinked his Sharingan on, "Sleep Taifuu-chan," he said hypnotically, the tomoe in his eyes twirling slowly, "You are not afraid. You can rest peacefully and dream of your new Hive-family." he said gently.
Taifuu looked into her father's eyes for a moment before she felt her own eyelids draw heavy, "O..kay..." she barely managed to mumble before she was asleep, her grip on Naruto's finger loosening until he could lay her arm down gently by her side.
Naruto leapt back out of the seal as Shibi lifted his finger, bringing out the Queen of the new breed of insect he had shown Naruto earlier, "Your willing host." Shibi barely whispered to the insect, though the insects inside him were buzzing with each word.
The small pink insect lifted into the air and circled Taifuu a few times before it landed on the middle of her chest, directly in the center of the small pillar of light.
Naruto didn't meant to, but his Sharingan memorised every swirl of chakra s the light suddenly disappeared and hundreds of lime green beetles flew down through the hole, making Naruto realise that they were directly underneath the major Hive of the Aburame.
And with the light gone, everything went black.
"Umm, guys?" Naruto asked through the darkness.
"She is cocooned now Naruto," Shino's voice said, "It'll take eight hours for the process to finish. If we stay here with her then our chakra might interfere with the process." he explained through the darkness.
"Then we should leave right?" Naruto asked before feeling a hand on his shoulder.
Naruto blinked and covered his eyes as he and Shino appeared up in the canopy of the Aburame Tree.
"Correct Naruto," Shino said before stepping back, "Leave your seal here if you'd like. I will meet you here in the morning." he finished as more insects from the roof began to grow up around him.
Naruto nodded, "Thanks Shino... I'll see you later..." Naruto said, knowing he couldn't divulge the mission specs to just anyone.
Shino nodded, "It has been an honour to grow alongside you Naruto. I hope to work alongside you in the future." he said as the roof seemed to swallow him.
Naruto blinked at Shino before smiling as he knelt to place his seal, 'Wow, honour?' he thought, glad that he was being accepted by the masses more and more every day.
Naruto stood tall and turned to look at the sunset. Naruto sighed, "Guess it's time to share the news..." he mumbled as he looked across the village.
Naruto appeared in a flash in his private study at the top of the Uzumaki Clan tree, opening his eyes to find himself sitting on the one single sofa chair as he looked at the two couches lining the long coffee table in front of him.
Naruto sighed as he closed his eyes, 'Mom...Dad...' Naruto thought as he felt two pieces of his chakra coils expand and pulse.
Naruto opened his Rinnegan eyes to see a projection of both of his parent sitting on the couches in front of him, "Guys? Did it work? Can you hear me?" he asked.
Minato turned to Naruto with a smirk, "Yes it did Naruto, so this is your Spirit-Form Projection technique?" he asked.
Naruto nodded, "Can you two see?" he asked as he turned to Kushina.
She grinned at him as she nodded quickly, "Perfectly my cute little boy!" she exclaimed as she jumped to her feet and jumped at Naruto in a hug.
Naruto's gaze fell slightly as his mother moved straight through him and the couch before fading, "Kaa-san, my jutsu can't hold if you move." Naruto said as he closed his eyes again.
Kushina faded back into existence as she sat on the couch, a pout on her face, "I just wanted to hug my son..." she said as she realised that that particular experience may never happen.
Minato spoke quickly, "Naruto, I just want to say firstly how proud I am of you," Minato began, causing Naruto and Kushina to turn to him, "To be honest I wasn't sure you could handle keeping the fox at bay, but here we are nearing two decades later and you stand strong having fully mastered it's chakra for yourself, all while starting a family and becoming Jonin." Minato said with an obviously prideful smile, "And I'm looking forward to watching this life of yours unfold."
Naruto smiled at his father, "Y'know I used to hate you dad, but when Tsunade-baa-chan explained your hopes to me... well a man can't fail his father, especially if that father was Hokage." Naruto said with a grin.
Kushina and Minato smiled at Naruto as the woman took charge, "So, how did you meet these girls? An anyone else see us? And are you really calling it the Uzumaki Clan rather then the Namikaze?" she asked.
Naruto nodded as Minato laughed at her quick questions, "Hmhm," Naruto chuckled at her obviously rushed words, reminding him of Tenten in a way, "Well that's a long story, not unless they have the Rinnegan and yes, if Karin and Tayuya are any indication, there very well could be other Uzumaki or people associated with them out there. I want those people to know that they have a home here, somewhere they are all welcome." Naruto said quickly, mostly skipping over the first question as he took stock in the other two.
Kushina rolled her eyes as Minato nodded with a smile, he was excited to have more family for Naruto while Kushina – who did love her family – was more interested in her son's love life, "That's amazing sweetie! But what about your girls?! I bet they fell for you head over heels right of the bat Dattebane!" she exclaimed with a loud shout at the end.
Naruto and Minato both burst into laughter at her outburst, matching in their motion as Naruto now decided to start slow, "Actually it wasn't that easy, Hinata and I kinda were like that, though some bumps in the rode arrived for us, namely the whole CRA thing..." he began before diving into a retelling of his life with his girls, meeting up with Tenten on that balcony, the first time he got to really see Tayuya for real in the hospital, Fuu's gleaming grin as they had their first tea together with Shibuki back in the Waterfall Village... and who could forget the first day of the academy, the only person to not pick on Naruto and actually returned his one and only toy to him after some bullies took it and hid it. He loved them all and by the end of his retelling, it certainly seemed like a teary eyed Kushina now did too.
"Oh! Can we see them somehow? I know we can't talk to them but if you do this technique with them in the room will we be able to see them and hear them?" she asked.
Naruto tilted his head in thought, "Yeah but you still won't be able to move from your original places and if they move through you I'm pretty sure the technique would be disrupted. It's a weak Genjutsu bound with a pure Yin-chakra Ninjutsu. Kinda hard to maintain in the real world." Naruto said with a smirk.
Minato hummed in thought, making Kushina and Naruto glance at him and causing Kushina to smile as she noticed both her husband and son sitting in the same way.
Minato clicked his fingers, "Hold on Mr. Rinnegan," Minato began with a smirk, "When you activate those eyes then shouldn't we be able to see from inside your mind? After all it shares sight and we'll be in the body wielding it." he theorised.
Naruto blinked and shrugged, "Maybe?" he asked.
Minato and Kushina laughed at their son's expression, causing him to pout somewhat childishly before a smile covered his face.
Eventually his parents stopped laughing and Kushina reached out to take both Naruto's and Minato's hands, but when her arms began to fade out of view she frowned slightly. Naruto fixed it by leaning forward and reaching out his hands as he took a deep breath.
Minato smirked as his body was suddenly glowing gold and Kushina had become shrouded in a six tailed cloak of demonic chakra, showing that he had pushed them to their maximum potentials just so that he could hold their hands.
The parents looked at their son as a sweat drop formed on his head, but he was focussing so hard that his whole body was shaking even as a smile grew across his face and a few tears formed in his eyes, "Kaa-chan, Tou-chan... thank you for everything, for my life, for the Fox, for the strength to endure through the hard parts so that I could experience moments like these." he said as he gripped his parents hands a little tighter.
Minato's felt rough and scarred with chakra, tell tale signs of the Rasengan and chakra writing with seals. His grip was strong, his eyes wise and his Will unshakable.
Kushina's were the softest he'd ever touched, the skin oddly smooth thanks to the enhanced youth and health of the Uzumaki clan. Her grip was gentle but firm, and her gaze full of pride in her son.
Naruto's control slipped and his hands fell through theirs, causing the physical chakra shells that had emulated his parents to falter and fade, Naruto closed his eyes form a moment in concentration before opening to see the projection of his parents again, "Sorry..." he mumbled.
Minato glanced at Kushina and Naruto, seeing that he needed comfort so he looked inside his own chakra construct and soul.
Naruto and Kushina looked at Minato as he glowed golden by himself, his own half of Kurama still connected through the seal tied in with his soul, "Naruto," Minato began as he leaned forward and placed a comforting hand on his son's knee, "You don't ever need to apologise to me for anything you've done or ever will do. After seeing everything you've experienced throughout your life you deserve whatever makes you happy, so I don't want to hear you apologising to a couple of old ghosts about caring," Minato said with a kind smile.
"Same goes for me Naruto-chan, believe it." she said, giving him a big grin and a thumbs up.
Naruto smiled at his father before turning to his mother and nodding, "Yeah Tou-san, Kaa-san, thanks and... yeah I promise." Naruto said happily.
Naruto and his parents glanced at the door before Naruto turned back to his parents, though his father cut him off as his golden chakra cloak faded, "We can talk again later Naruto, and is there a way we can meet Taifuu-chan?" Minato asked hopefully.
Naruto nodded in determination as he stood, "I'll find a way. Cya later guys." Naruto said with a smile.
Kushina and Minato waved to their son as Kushina spoke, "Bye Naruto-chan! Love you!" she said before they faded.
Naruto turned back to his parents with a shocked expression, but they were already gone as was his Rinnegan Naruto smiled softly before hearing another rasp of knocks.
Naruto's smile grew as he turned the special key in the door, opening it to see Hinata smiling at him happily before noticing that Taifuu wasn't with him, "Hey Hinata-chan, can you come in?" he asked, ushering her over to the couch.
Hinata smiled and paused so that Naruto was holding her from behind as he lead her to the couch, "You're certainly happy." she said with an obvious giggle.
Naruto chuckled, glad she was so positive, "How can I not be with you here?" he asked as he pulled her down onto his lap as the two of them sat.
Hinata smiled at Naruto before resting her head on his shoulder and wrapping her arms around his neck, "Naruto-kun... I was wondering about that big plan of yours," she began before looking up at him, "You've obviously changed a few things right? I mean, Danzo is still alive and Tsunade-sama is still Hokage..." Hinata murmured.
Naruto nodded as he placed a hand on her stomach. There was no visible change yet, but Naruto could almost feel a spark of something new in his grasp, "You're right Hinata-chan... but this mission I've been given to start tomorrow will give me enough time to come up with a plan. That's one of the good ways to look at it." Naruto said, muttering the last part mostly under his breath.
Hinata placed a hand on top of his hand that rested on her tummy, her soft smile slowly growing into a worried frown as she processed his words for a few moments, "So... there's more good and bad news about this mission?" she asked with a slightly quieter voice.
Naruto nodded and there was a few moments of silence between them before Naruto looked at her in the eyes and kissed her on the lips, "I think... I'm going to take the three of you out for dinner tonight, since Taifuu is being babysat by the Aburame family I think it's it's the perfect time." he said with a smile.
Hinata knew he was worried about the mission still, but she could always ask him later that night. She nodded, "Hai Naruto-kun, do you want me to tell the girls?" she asked.
Naruto smiled and nodded, "Yeah, that'd be great Hinata-chan, how's seven o'clock in the lounge room sound? I'll meet the three of you and take us to dinner." Naruto said with a grin.
Hinata nodded and stood, bending over him to give him another slow kiss as she framed his face with her hands. Naruto smiled into the kiss and returned it until she pulled away, "See you tonight Naruto-kun." she said as she nearly skipped out of the room happily.
Naruto smiled as he watched her go, though he sighed as she left his door open forgetfully. Naruto stood and moved to close the door, securing it with his key before he thought about his plans for the moment before nodding his head and forming a Snake hand seal, "WOOD CLONE JUTSU!" Naruto exclaimed.
"You," Naruto said pointing to the first clone, "Go and but all of their favourite dinner dishes and as many extra desserts as you can get," Naruto said as he gave the clone a roll of money, "Keep em fresh and take them to that place." Naruto said with a grin.
The clone nodded before it walked over to Naruto's desk while pocketing the money, grabbing an empty sealing scroll even as the chakra that swirled around it began to appear.
Naruto turned to his second clone as the first disappeared, "You go over the mission specifics, plan out the best course of action and the estimated timeline. Remember to make it so we have time to practise with the Rinnegan and such." Naruto ordered.
The clone nodded but sighed as it moved over to Naruto's study desk, picking up the sheet of paper from the table he had been sitting at earlier on it's way.
Naruto nodded as the clone sat down before reaching out with his chakra, feeling the seal he had left with Sasuke. To place somewhere it was safe for him to arrive at.
Sasuke and Kin looked up at Naruto's entrance, the woman was running him through everything they had discussed at the Council meeting, "Naruto." Sasuke nodded in greeting with a slight smirk.
Naruto grinned at Sasuke and Kin, "Hey guys," Naruto said as he looked around what appeared to be the Uchiha clan head's personal study, "I was wondering, can you help me get a team meeting together? The old team seven?" Naruto asked.
Sasuke watched Naruto for a moment with his brow furrowed in thought before nodding, "Alright," he said before turning back to Kin, "Thanks Kin-chan, can you take care of the paperwork for the purchasing of a clearing area? I want to make a private training ground for us and our children." Sasuke said before kissing her on the cheek.
Kin blushed heavily at his words as she nodded, "Y-yes Sasuke-kun." she said before taking the sheets from the long table to the Head's desk, beginning on the paperwork.
Sasuke tilted his head towards the door, leading Naruto through the doorway as he spoke, "How about I go get Sakura and you get Sensei and we'll meet at Uchi-raku's?" Sasuke asked as he grabbed his Jonin flak jacket from a coat hanger as they passed it, chucking it on over his jumpsuit as Naruto spoke.
"Yeah okay, two minutes?" Naruto asked as he once more reached out with his chakra.
Sasuke nodded, "Yeah, maybe less." he said as he faded in is Mirage shunshin.
Naruto smirked at Sasuke's disappearance before he own chakra sparked.
Kakashi glanced to his side as the seal emblazoned on the shoulder of his Jonin vest glowed with chakra.
Kakashi blinked at Naruto, "Ohayo Sensei." Naruto said cheerily.
Kakashi eye smiled as he gained his bearings, "Oh, hello Naruto, what's up?" he asked as he stopped his walk down the street.
Naruto smiled at Kakashi as he noticed the man reading Jiraiya's newest Icha-Icha novel, this time violet being the colour to signify it's difference to the older novels, "I wanted to talk to you guys about a mission I have tomorrow... y'know, the one we talked about at the council meeting?" Naruto hinted.
Kakashi nodded with another eye-smile, "I'd be happy to, I was just on my way to get some lunch anyway." Kakashi agreed as he offered his left hand to Naruto since his right was holding his book.
Naruto gripped Kakashi's arm in a monkey grip.
The afternoon and night passed all too quickly.
A final lunch full of laughs was experienced by the reunited team seven, mainly consisting of the students' attempts to finally see Kakashi's face. No matter how fast Sakura was, he somehow was always catching her hand before she could grip it, even one time when he was yawning with one hand and using the other pass her the menu, he just tilted his head and blocked her view with the menu so that she missed. At one point Sasuke's eyes picked up that it was a Genjutsu that he was eating through but as Sasuke went to disrupt it, but Kakashi just covered his face with the menu again at the exact moment it was necessary.
Naruto just looked at Kakashi and smiled at the man, happy for his antics and the laid-back attitude he exuded that seemed to calm them all collectively.
He was going to miss them. But it was his duty to do this mission, so he just had one request for them.
"Hey, guys? I need to ask a favour..."
Naruto nodded once more as he looked over his layout, "Okay, it's all ready." he said to himself as he turned to one of his nearby clones as it stood in a waiter's suit, "I'm gonna get them now, set up the candles."
The clone nodded as it formed six hand seals and turned to the side.
A large round table had been set up in the middle of the Lookout Tower Naruto made with his Wood Chakra during the battle with Madara, cleaned by Naruto as his clone traversed countries with his jutsu to buy each of his wife's favourite meals. When that was done the table and chairs were formed of Wood Chakra and the special candles that lined the outermost part of the Lookout as the sun set in the west.
The clone brought it's hand to it's lips, "PHOENIX FLOWER JUTSU!" it shouted as it shot a long series of small bullets of fire, igniting every candle before the flames dissipated in mid air.
The clone walked over to the one raised square of raised Wood that had formed a single small wall, looking down at the bench that was holding all the food on top of a Stasis Seal to keep it all as fresh as when it was placed down.
Appearing in a flash, Naruto stepped back with a wide gesture, "Welcome to dinner ladies," Naruto said with a grin.
Hinata, Tenten and Tayuya looked around in awe at the view that spread across the Five Elemental nations and the large candles that surrounded the four of them at the Lookout's center though the sound of movement had the three women turning to Naruto as he pulled out their chairs for them one at a time, "Naruto, where are we?" Tenten asked in awe.
Naruto smiled as he sat her down before moving to Tayuya, "This is the tower that I made, I told you about it the other day remember?" he asked, earning a nod as he moved to Hinata.
Tayuya's eyes widened, "Hold on, this is that tower? But this is ridiculously high..." she said, glad that Naruto had told the three of them to wear their ninja clothes but to bring a spare jacket.
Naruto smirked as he sat Hinata down, "Yeah, it's nearly as tall as a full sized Susano'o, but that's not all," he said as he stepped over to his seat and clapped his hands, "You guys hungry?" he asked as he looked over to the one wall.
Six clones walked out in the waiter's garb, dishes for everyone, a tall battle of wine for the four of them and a small box that was place in front of Naruto.
The girls smiled as they watched the Narutos get to work in setting up their entrees as another poured a small glass for each of them and the real Naruto pulled the box closer to him, though Hinata spoke up, "Thankyou for this Naruto, it's amazing." she said with a smile.
Naruto nodded to her as they held hands over the table, but Tenten cut off any reply as she spotted a plate in the middle of the table, "Are those Dango?" she asked.
Tayuya and Hinata's gazes snapped towards the plate and Naruto blinked, seeing a trio of empty sticks hit the plate as it was suddenly emptied between the three of them, the first empty sticks already landing and causing Naruto to laugh in shock, "Wow, you guys sure are lovign dango way more lately." Naruto said as the three of them kept eating.
Tayuya – caring the least about table manners – spoke with her mouthful, "I know, I've been craving this stuff for ages now, but I didn't realise it 'til I saw it just now I think." she said before she began eating again.
Tenten and Hinata paused a they looked at Tayuya, ""Me too..."" they both muttered awkwardly.
Naruto raised a brow as the three of them began eating again, 'I've heard of women being in sync, but can pregnancy cravings be shared too?' Naruto thought before waving a clone over to him and leaning to talk quietly, "Go back to the leaf and set of a weekly order of dango to be delivered to the house, just a plate each so they don't go to crazy." Naruto said.
The clone nodded as it stepped back, leaping off the edge and disappearing from view much to Tenten's concern, "Umm, he just suicided." she said as she pointed after the clone.
Naruto shrugged, knowing that the clone would've used the Hirashin once it was out of sight, "Yeah probably, anyway, I have some news to share guys." Naruto said.
The girls paused in their eating, though Tayuya had already finished her plate surprisingly enough. Hinata's brow furrowed, "Is this about the mission tomorrow?" she asked.
Naruto nodded and began to explain the mission specs as well as the expected mission time and details.
Needless to say, the three wives were torn between pride, sadness and want. But they managed to enjoy their night together, eating, talking and laughing before the night took them home and the moon rose high into the night's sky...
Naruto opened his eyes slowly as the morning light hit his face, causing him to tilt his head and glance out his bedroom window with a small smile. He turned to his side, smiling as he saw the back of Hinata's blue head as she was using his shoulder as a pillow. He lifted his head slightly and noticed she was hugging Tenten's arm to her chest as the brunette slept nearly curled into a ball as her face rested against Naruto's outstretched hand. Naruto's smile increased as he noticed Tayuya spooning Tenten from behind, though she also had a grip on part of his arm as well, meaning that Naruto wouldn't be able to move without waking them under normal circumstances.
Naruto blinked on his Rinnegan for a moment as he looked over his three wives, sharing his sight with the two Wood Clones he currently had working throughout the house.
Throughout the date and the night together, Naruto's Wood Clones had completed their tasks before continuing with personal goals of Naruto's. One clone had used it's wood chakra to make a large walk in closet attached to what was going to be Taifuu's room while the other clone packed Naruto's things for the mission.
Either way, it was time for him to leave.
The second clone walked into the room quietly and placed a large sealing scroll as it took off it's shirt and formed a hand seal as Naruto closed his eyes and suppressed his chakra as he felt a pull on his body and a sudden lack of warmth, opening his eyes to find he and his clone had swapped places.
Naruto quickly got dressed and tied the scroll around his waist before looking over his wives one last time, placing ten envelopes down gently on the bedside table.
He glanced over his wives once more.
"I love you." he said softly as he stepped out the door.
Naruto looked up at the group of assembled Shinobi from all across the elemental nations. Those who had been selected to take part in the final mission of the Fourth Great Ninja War had been contacted and retrieved to meet up in front of the Hidden Leaf Village's Hokage monument.
"Alright, line up in the three teams then, the sooner you leave the sooner you will be back with your loved ones." Tsunade said from behind the group, making them all line up as she approached the first row, "The Stray Zetsu Hunting Team, led by Kakuzu of the free lands," she began as she gave a scroll to the man, "You a free to lead your new comrades across the elemental nations as you each wished with near complete freedom under the circumstance that you hunt down any spread out groups of Zetsu throughout our lands. You may be given free passage anywhere as long as you keep you new headbands on, but don't go breaking any more laws," she said as she looked over the group with one last glance, "Are you ready?"
Kakuzu sighed, "Yeah Hokage, but I still don't get why I have to lead these guys." he said as he glanced at the group over his shoulder.
Orochimaru, Kuro and Kenpachi stood with Yachiru sitting on the swordsman's shoulder as the snake Sannin smirked, "Well I'm quite the unfavourable person apparently, so I find myself travelling along with a group of misfits, who's duty only-"
"Shut up!" Kuro whined with a scowl, "Nobody needs the poetic introductions, that's like the third one you've started today." he complained with a smirk, his breath being cold enough to let out a cold mist.
Orochimaru's frozen expression twitched in irritation as he turned to the ex-water ninja with a scowl, "Excuse me Black Cat but aren't you the one who's been bragging to those brothel girls about your soon to be 'legendary' turn with the wild Zetsu?" he asked.
"Snake-chan," Yachiru said childishly, "Can't you get along with Kitty-chan? We have to be friends for a while so can't you just be nice like me and Kenny?" she asked with a smile.
Orochimaru and Kuro turned to the girl angrily, ""Don't call me that!"" they shouted, Orochimaru's blade suddenly in hand as Kuro's claws glistened.
The two slammed into the ground as Kenpachi glared at them with his single uncovered eye, his gravity technique holding them down, "Quiet." he ordered with a glare.
Kakuzu sighed, "OI! We're leaving now so follow me or start running." he said before marching towards the back end of the mountain to venture out to start their new adventure.
Tsunade shared a parting nod with Orochimaru before turning to the next group, "And the Western Hunters?" she asked, holding up the next scroll.
Yamato took the offered scroll with a bow, "Hokage-sama, my mission is to lead my squad on a search and destroy mission of all Zetsu Spawn Points from the western border of the Land of Fire to the far Western reaches of the Land of Earth and it's surrounding minor nations, though the Land of Wind and the other desert regions are impossible for those spots to grow so we need not search there." Yamato reported, mission ready as he tied his Shinobi Headband tighter over his bicep, his Leaf Forehead Guard already in place as well.
Kimimaro stood silently alongside Darui as the two waited to get started on their longest mission yet, Kurayami talking to Kurotsuchi with a smirk as she teased the fuming girl, but that changed when Yamato turned to them, "Attention!" he called, causing the four to turn to him in attention.
"We're moving out from the West Gate in five minutes. Last minute prep and goodbyes are to be done now before we move out first to Kanami Town near the Land of Rain. We're going to be there in three days, am I clear?" Yamato shouted.
Three of the four nodded while Darui just yawned, "Hey can we get going now?" he asked.
Yamato's brow twitched before he just disappeared in a shunshin, his team following after him mere seconds later.
Tsunade sighed as she turned to the last group, "And finally the Eastern Hunters." Tsunade said.
Naruto stepped up, his Sharingan swirling as he took the scroll offered to him with a nod, "We are to head to the most southern junction of the Lands of Water and Fire before making first base at the one known Spawn location, the Land of Waves," Naruto thought, remembering his time spent with the people there back when he was a mere gennin, "From here we'll wipe out the Zetsu, save the civilians and then destroy the target. From here we're to move through the Land of Water and up through Lightning before cutting across the northern countries to meet back up with Yamato's team near the mountains graveyard." Naruto said seriously.
"Yo! Did I hear ya right bro?" Killer B said as he stepped up next to Naruto, "Not only east but up north yo? We got Water, Lightning and all them Minor lands, one things for certain," the large man said as he posed, crossing his arms over his head in an X, "Of this plan! I ain't no fan!" he rapped in response, trying to lighten the work load a little.
"C'mon B-san," Jiraiya said with an aged smile resting on his face, "It ain't too bad, and besides, the Land of Water is supposed to be empty for the most part, as long as we don't move too far among the islands there'll be no more trouble then expected and besides..." Jiraiya said, whispering the last part in Killer B's ear, the two men giggling in unison mere moments later as blushes and nose-bleeds dressed their faces.
Naruto smirked at the two before he felt a pull on his hand. Looking down, Naruto smiled at the last member of their team, "You ready to go Taifuu-chan?" Naruto asked.
The six armed toddler smiled up at Naruto, "Hai Tou-san!" she exclaimed happily, her mouth now full of baby teeth which weren't all there the day before.
Naruto sighed as he formed a single handed Ram Seal, reaching out with his red chakra and placing a hand of chakra on Killer B and Jiraiya as he lifted his little girl up and smiled at her. Even as a couple of insects crawled across his hands.
"Four years is a long time... I pray to Log that our kids grow healthy while I'm gone..."
Thank you everyone for reading all the way to the end of A Different Jutsu: Part Two!
Hope you liked it as much as I did, though i'll be taking a break for a while, Part Three will come around eventually and with it a new story:
A Different Jutsu: Part Three, how a Man becomes a Legend.
P.s. I know this may have seemed like a rush ending but that's because it was that way for Naruto.
Please R&R, Alky out, and I hope to hear from you all soon. :)