Chapter Thirty One: The Enemy of my Enemy.
If you lose the DEATH NOTE or have it stolen, you will lose its ownership unless you retrieve it within 490 days by the human calendar. If you lose the DEATH NOTE after trading half your lifespan for the eye power of a Shinigami, you will lose both the eye power and any memory of owning the DEATH NOTE. At the same time, your lifespan cannot be restored.
Mei stared in genuine surprise as the Genjutsu fish took her to a doorway against a small cliff, "What the..." she mumbled as the fish swam into the door and faded.
The double doors opened inwards, showing a Hyuuga and someone Mei had known to be dead waiting to greet her, "You're… Yugito of the two tails!" Mei exclaimed.
A Reanimated Yugito smirked, "Yep. Guessing you're a bit confused ain't ya?" she said jokingly.
Mei's smile grew as the implication of the lie Light had told those at the Kage Summit began to unfold in her head, "So… are all of the Jinchuuriki here?"
Yugito shrugged, "Don't think so, Hitaka, safety check please."
Mei looked at the Hyuuga as the young man nodded, "She has two weapon pouches, no hidden weapons, but from what I can see her Chakra is most definitely her main Ninja Style." Hitaka reported.
Yugito nodded, "Alright, deposit your weapons here and I'll escort you through to the other side."
Mei nodded happily as she immediately disarmed herself, "Please just tell me, is Utakata here?"
Yugito smirked, "You mean the bubble guy? Yeah, he bunks with me and Han in the Uzukage's place. We basically have a whole wing of the house to ourselves."
Mei nodded quietly as she gave her weapons to the Hyuuga guard, "Please, take me to him."
Yugito grinned and nodded.
Suddenly, a seal on the ceiling began to glow red, causing the double doors behind Mei to slam shut and become stone to match the wall inside and out.
Mei looked to Yugito for an answer only to see the girl approaching Hitaka as the boy lifted the sheet from the small table he had placed Mei's weapons under. The three of them saw the row of twenty six alarm seals on the sheet, two of which were lit up, the very first and the eleventh.
"I have to go," Yugito said with a scowl, "I think the Akatsuki are here."
Mei's gaze hardened angrily, "Where? I'll melt their faces off for going after my… cousin."
Yugito raised a brow, "Cousin? The way he looked at your pictures in his bubbles I thought you were lovers."
"Yugito-san," Hitaka said as he pointed at the last seal that lit up, the twenty fifth seal, "It seems Uzukage-sama is still out of the village!"
Yugito slid onto all fours, "Follow after me now Mei-san, Hitaka, seal off the entry!" she said before disappearing.
Mei immediately dashed after the reanimated Yugito as they moved through the tunnel, seeing by the green glowing crystals spread throughout the tunnel to light their journey.
Shino panted as he leaped from one insect cloud to another, barely avoiding the two puppets that had a chain connecting them as it tore through the cloud. The Aburame looked down as Mikado appeared on the water below him.
Mikado leaped up towards Shino, "Retreat to the shore! Assemble the theorised defence battalion! Looks like this is the trial run!" he exclaimed as he formed a single handed seal.
Shino nodded as Mikado and he passed in midair, the ex-sand Ninja clapping his feet together just as the two puppets dashed at him.
Mikado smirked, 'DARK STYLE: SEALING ART: LAW BREAKER!'
While in midair, the laws of gravity no longer affected his movements, allowing him to glide over the strike as he reached behind him with his right palm's seal, 'SEALING ART: MAGNETIC PUSH!'
The chain between the two puppets suddenly yanked backwards and crashed the two puppets together to destroy them.
He span in the air, taking in the two hundred puppets he could see and aiming his palm ahead once more, 'MAGNETIC PUSH!'
All the metallic pieces of each puppet he could see blasted into the distance, causing all but ten puppets to disappear back into the mist and rain.
Mikado smirked as he saw why, "Orochimaru and Sasori… it seems you've done some work."
Orochimaru grinned up at Mikado as Sasori stepped forward, "Use your Human Puppets to take him. Their human joints and the wood making up the broken parts will be enough."
Sasori flicked his wrist, causing the eight puppets to fly up at Mikado as the Seal Master aimed his left palm at those flying towards him, 'DARK STYLE: SEALING ART: PARTICLE CRUSH!'
One puppet launched a series mini fireballs at Mikado, though all of them seemed to disappear in bursts of rainbow light as he intercepted each one with the Seal on his left hand. The fastest puppet shot at him as a blade unsealed from the arm and attached to it's wrist, allowing Mikado to hold out his right hand and blast the blade off the puppet's arm and throw off it's approach. He grabbed it's foot with his left hand as it passed and faced the oncoming enemy once more.
Orochimaru scowled as Mikado used his right palm to blast the now airborne blade back down towards him. The blade barely shooting over Orochimaru's shoulder and cutting his cheek since he didn't move, 'This man… why is he here?'
"Call to arms, counter-attack ready." A deep voice echoed throughout the mist, causing Sasori and Orochimaru to look around in interest.
Sasori pulled his puppets back at the loud voice that echoed from the island. Mikado smirked as his seals deactivate on his feet and left hand, "Later." he shouted as his right arm reached out, activating the seal and pulling him towards an unseen piece of anchored metal in the distance.
Orochimaru smirked as Sasori called back his Human puppets and sealed them away in his scroll, "Sasori, do it."
Sasori sealed away the rest of his wooden puppets before taking out a smaller blue scroll from his cloak, "Release!"
Orochimaru grinned as Sasori unsealed two of his other reanimated creations, "Alright then, Hanzo the Salamander, you will stay by Sasori's side and protect him while he runs his puppet army." he ordered as he slid a specially crafted seal into Hanzo's back just like he had for Sasori.
Hanzo's eyes opened as he smirked, "The Edo Tensei… now this is a surprise."
Orochimaru looked over to his newest reanimation and chuckled, "Ah Onoki, I'm so glad you could join us today."
A Reanimated version of the Third Tsuchikage looked down at his body which appeared to be back in it's 24 year old prime, "Orochimaru… what have you done to me?" he asked as tears built in his eyes.
"Just getting you to say hi to your friend Han again," Orochimaru said as he slid a seal through his back, "Now… Sasori take lead, Onoki look from above and collect the Jinchuuriki for me. Let's move forward." Orochimaru ordered with a grin.
Mikoto stood on the beach as Han, Utakata and Ino stood in front of three out of the four battalions, "An enemy approaches from the ocean! Utakata will take the Distance Division and set up flanking positions! Once Mikado gives the signal, Han's Combat Division will move down the middle and press the enemy back!"
"Mikoto-sama!" Shino shouted as he ran onto the shoreline, "Orochimaru of the Sannin has aligned with the Akatsuki it seems... Unless he has some other motive for coming for the Jinchuuriki. He has Sasori of the Red Sand Reanimated and by his side."
Mikoto frowned, "Alright… Han, Utakata, at the first sign of trouble I want you to retreat, once Yugito gets here she can back you up and then you can move back in."
Utakata's division began to move out onto the water, the team being made up of a just under fifty Shinobi. In the distance, a dark shape took form in the sky before Mikado shot through the air and landed heavily on the metal post attached to the nearby wharf, "They're coming!" Mikado shouted with a smirk.
"Move out!" Mikoto shouted to Han's squad as they sped forward, the group of thirty taking out various weapons or activating skills that enhanced their physical abilities.
Ino turned to her group, "Alright guys, make a defensive wall along the shoreline!"
Mikoto nodded as Ino's group followed her orders. Mikado came up next to her, "Where are we standing?"
Mikoto smiled softly to him, "Just off coast between the two attack divisions and the defensive division. Go for the strongest if we can single them out."
Ino waved to her group as they spread out before she turned ahead and formed a series of hand seals, 'YAMANAKA ART: OPEN MIND!'
Ino smiled, 'Roll call!'
'Yugito, connected! I'm on my way from the gate! Three minutes ETA!'
Ino nodded, 'Ready Mikoto-sama!'
Mikoto nodded with a growing smile as she saw her new village prepare to fight, reminding her of the old days where he fought alongside her friends, "Counter attack ready, let's move out!"
"ANIMAL PATH: SUMMONING JUTSU!" Naruto exclaimed as he slammed his right hand on the ground.
Jiraiya grinned as Naruto summoned a building-sized eagle under the feet of the team, "Nice work Naruto."
Naruto smirked as he and Jiraiya helped the others onto the bird, "Thanks, let's hurry back. I want to set up a meeting with Light and I think I have to do it as the Uzukage, not as plain old Naruto."
"There's nothing plain or old about you Naruto." Temari said with a smile as she held her child gently, Sakura running her green glowing hands over Gaara's little body.
"Speaking of the Kazekage..." Jiraiya said as the group got up onto the bird's back, allowing it to begin flapping it's wings for take off, "I hear the war between the Hidden Sand and the Hidden Cloud has escalated at the Konoha Ruins."
Naruto frowned at that, "What do you mean escalated?"
Jiraiya sighed heavily, "Light stood on the front lines to fend of the battalion and he's not holding back. And I think Light's doing all this in your name."
Naruto raised a brow as the bird took off, "What? Why?"
Jiraiya nervously chuckled, "Apparently… the Raikage blabbed about a plan of his involving Ino back when ROOT was attacking. Light thinks that kind of behaviour is shameful to say the least. That's not even mentioning when A said he's not stopping his plan and wants to try again, something that Kurono-san confirmed for you didn't he?"
Naruto sighed before leaping onto the bird's head, "That he did," Naruto said before scratching the back of his head in thought. After a moment he nodded to himself, "We're taking a detour to the Land of Fire."
The bird nodded as Naruto turned to face the others, "Naruto-kun? What's going on?" Hinata asked.
Naruto smiled sadly at them, "If this war has seriously continued due to something that didn't even end up happening, then I have to end it, or at least understand why they're fighting beyond that."
Light raised his head as one of his Shinobi jogged into the tent he had been resting in, "What's the problem?"
The Sand ninja bowed slightly, "The Raikage himself has come since the news of his Right Hand dying reached him. I think he plans to fight on the front lines."
Light scowled as he stood from the cot and put on his Kage robe, "Alright then, tell the sealing squad to double the Protection Seals around Konoha, we'll move north for this confrontation."
The Ninja nodded and followed Light out of the tent, turning to the other tents and moving away quickly.
Light moved like a quick wind towards the General's tent. Allowing him to walk in and see the greatest Puppet Master his village had to offer as well as his ANBU captain, "Have the defensive battalion move back. I'll lead the ANBU out in half an hour."
The ANBU Captain nodded in agreement, "Sounds good. I'll put the word out." he said before disappearing in a Body Flicker.
Light nodded before turning to his General, "Have the Puppet Squad be ready to repel any forces towards the north."
Light turned to leave the tent as he took out a short sword from inside his robe, 'I guess I'll get to kill a Raikage… this'll be a weird day.' he thought with a small sad smile before dropping the tanto inside his tent so that it stabbed into the ground point first and walking out.
Zetsu watched with a scowl from atop the tree he had grown out of, 'This is bad. Orochimaru wasn't supposed to make a move like this… I need to tell the others.' Zetsu thought as he sank into the tree once more.
Ino scowled as her techniques read the mind of Zetsu upon his arrival and subsequent exit, 'This is interesting. Why is Orochimaru doing this if not for the Akatsuki?'
'Utakata! Han! Do it now!' Mikoto shouted through the Mind-Link.
""COMBINATION JUTSU: BOILED BUBBLE BARRAGE!""
Utakata launched a large amount of Acidic Bubbles that Han's steam abilities enhanced to form even larger bubbles that moved twice as fast and burned twice as much.
Sasori's puppet army was riddled with holes by the combination jutsu as Yugito appeared in a blur of Demonically enhanced speed and stepped up to wave forward part of her squad, "SWITCH! HELLFIRE STYLE: BLUE BLAZE BALL!"
"""""FIRE STYLE: FIRE BALL JUTSU!""""" A group of ex-Konoha Shinobi shouted as they launched their follow up attack.
Utakata sank underwater as Han burst up into the air with a hidden smirk, 'With an organised army like this, we'll handle it as long as Ino keeps us together and Mikoto keeps running things, though I'm glad Yugito is back with us.' Han thought as he flipped backwards over the fireballs that burned through the puppet army, allowing him to glance back at his Reanimated ally.
Utakata smirked upwards as the flames moved over the water above him. But as he moved to surface once more, he was blindsided by a massive salamander underneath the water.
Utakata was thrown up through the air as the Salamander surfaced with a Reanimated Hanzo on it's back, "SUMMONING ART: MASSIVE POISON FOG JUTSU!"
Though many of the New Whirlpool Shinobi stepped back in fear, Mikoto didn't hesitate, "Mikado-san!" she shouted upwards, sending Mikado out over them at high velocity and hit the water in from of Mikoto.
"LAW BREAKER!" Mikado shouted as he slapped his hand on the water beneath their feet.
A massive volume of water rose up from below them in a massive wave, separating the cloud of poison from their Shinobi. Mikoto ran ahead and leaped up onto the wave, as her hands glowed with seals and Chakra, "FORBIDDEN JUTSU: TSUNAMI FORMATION!"
The water flowed back towards Orochimaru's side, absorbing the poisonous cloud and bursting the rest of it away from the air pressure.
'Regroup!' Ino's mental voice rang out.
"Fall back!" Han shouted, allowing others to follow his lead.
Hanzo and Sasori rose out of the rough seas side by side as a massive formation of puppets took a triangular pattern stemming out from behind him. Hanzo was lifted up atop the head of his Salamander as it stood on the water's surface, "Looks like we have to try a little harder to separate them." Hanzo said with a chuckle.
Sasori sighed, "Sure… I'll try to push the Jinchuuriki towards the edges where the Tsuchikage can surprise them. You just kill as many of them as you can."
A Wind using Sand Kunoichi gasped before her head exploded from the force of the Raikage's Electricified arm slamming through it.
"SAND STYLE: SANDSTORM SHURIKEN!"
A, the Raikage, blurred towards the attacker, his electrified limbs allowing him to move at blinding speed as he punched through the Ninjutsu and crush his opponent's head in his palm.
Electricity sparked around his body causing him to turn and look behind him as a funnel of Wind Chakra flew towards him, "Not a chance!" he shouted as he burst towards the Ninjutsu and flipped over it, landing elbow first against both of his attacker's jaws, sending them flying into a tree.
A turned and grinned darkly as he saw the enemy forces retreating to the south, "Kumo Shinobi, march forward and hold our positions! I'll press the advantage! Tell B to get ready for the counter measures!"
A took a sprinter's crouch as electricity began to spark around his body. His ANBU blurred ahead with his Tokubetsu Jonin following behind them. Just as the first sound of combat echoed from the distance he blurred forward to catch up with all of them.
A gasped as suddenly he and the front row of his Shinobi hit a solid invisible force, "Fall back now!" A shouted as he built up his Chakra.
"TRUE WIND STYLE: AIR PRESSURE MANIPULATION: SUFFOCATION!"
A burst his Lightning field around him, protecting him for a moment longer then the others in his contingent until all of them fell to their knees and began to gasp for air. Barely getting enough oxygen to stay conscious let alone move with their own free will.
The Raikage fell to his knees gasping for air, trying his best to keep his focus on his Ninjutsu as his comrade's personal techniques began to fade out. The Raikage looked to his side as he saw his ANBU Captain – whose only weakness was his asthma – pass out from the invisible technique, 'N-no, I'll save all of you!' The Raikage thought as he forced himself onto one foot.
A looked up as he heard footsteps, allowing him to see the Kazekage march through the unconscious or close to it Shinobi surrounded by a bubble of whirling winds towards him. A grunted and panted as he stood on two shaky feet.
Light stopped in front of A and smirked darkly, "Do you know why I was asked to become the Kazekage?"
A glared at Light and crossed his arms in front of him defensively as he grit his teeth, focussing on maintaining the little defence he had, "Cause… you're Ebizo-san's… little experiment!" he panted out mockingly.
Light rolled his neck, ignoring a weakly thrown kunai from one of the Cloud Shinobi as it bounced off his wind sphere, "No. It's because I am made for war. With one simple show of control, I've rendered your entire battalion useless. If I wanted to, I could've used my secret technique to kill you already. But I don't want you dead." Light said as he came to a stop in front of A, looking up at the massive man as he weakly panted for air.
A stepped forward to try and get in Light's face, but the wind sphere began to grate against his electrified forearms, "Yeah well I won't let you stand against us of the Cloud! Over the last ten years your village has been ravaged and pushed through three wars! My village is in it's prime!" A roared as his crossed arms and began to push against the sphere.
Light looked up at the Raikage with a curious expression, "Quiet," Light said as he waved a hand carelessly, causing the Raikage to gasp for air as oxygen was temporarily pulled from his lungs for a few breaths, "Stand down and pledge a Black Contract to me for every single Shinobi in your village above Chunnin Rank."
A glared at the Kazekage, not bothering to breath as he began to spark with extra electricity.
A and Light looked up as a blur slammed into the ground between them and blew everyone away from the area along with all the surrounding foliage and trees.
"Behind me now!" the Raikage shouted the moment he realised they could all breath again.
Light got to his feet and dusted himself clean. He looked around the area for a moment before clapping his hands together, sending all the dust and debris away in a burst of wind that showed everyone who now stood in the middle of the clearing.
Naruto opened his eyes as he turned in a circle, his back facing the now smirking Light as Naruto stared directly at the Raikage, "Raikage-sama! I'm extending an offer of peace for the sake of our future endeavours together! Leave now or I will forget my agreement with your Shinobi Kurono Kuchiki. The only reason I didn't defend my friend Light and kill you on arrival is because of that man." Naruto said loudly.
A scowled as he turned to look at his contingent of ANBU. He knew that somewhere among them was the man Naruto was speaking about, "Kurono! Come forward now! Naruto-san! Know that I started this as a pre-emptive strike against the Sand for their threat directed towards the Hidden Cloud at this year's Gokage Summit!" A shouted.
Naruto stared past the Raikage and smiled softly at the man who had taken off his ANBU mask and begun to march towards them, "Now this is interesting, who is that?" Naruto asked curiously.
A man who looked exactly like Kurono Kuchiki – the very man who now had refuge with his family in New Whirlpool – stepped up with a smile, "It is I Naruto-sama, please believe me when I say that Kumogakure is doing what is best for it's future and the future of it's allies. The Kazekage thinks our plan is wrong even though all we plan to do is unite the Jinchuuriki!"
Naruto's gaze turned to the Raikage, "Who is this man? Really?"
A smirked, 'Even though the real Kuchiki family deserted us he doesn't know that.' A thought as he gestured to the man now by his side, "This is Kurono Kuchiki, he is the one-"
Naruto's eyes sparkled with a red hue, allowing him to see the name and lifespan of those in front of him, "His name is Yamiro Kirataga. BANSHO TEN'NIN!"
The fake was yanked through the air towards Naruto as the Uzukage unsealed his scythe and cut the man clean in half on his way past, making the Transformation Technique dispel and reveal Yamiro's true appearance.
Light scowled as his Wind Sphere kept himself clean from the blood and gore on his way to stand by Naruto's side, "I appreciate the help Naruto, but it's okay. I've got this."
Naruto looked to his side as Light stepped up next to him, allowing the Kazekage to see the Rinnegan fading from his eyes, "But Light… your skills will just kill them all. Don't you think there's been enough bloodshed?"
Light shook his head, "This is a war. I have to put them down or else they'll come back and start this crap up again. And by the way, he wants to take all the Jinchuuriki under his ownership."
"TAILED BEAST BOMB!"
Everyone turned towards the west as they noticed a massive hulking shape in the distance and a quickly approaching ball of black Chakra.
"HURRICANE STYLE: RISING HURRICANE WALL!" Light shouted before anyone else could react.
On Naruto's left the massive jutsu suddenly stopped cold, apparently grinding against an upward force of air. Naruto stared at the Tailed Beast Bomb for a moment as it began to push through the Hurricane Wall before pushing his hand into the technique to hover near the Bomb.
"Anyway," Naruto said casually as both the Tailed Beast Bomb and Light's technique disappeared in a flash of white light, causing everyone to stare in silent shock at Naruto's casual dismissal of the Eight Tails' strongest attack, "If neither side will back down then I suggest you two settle this the old fashioned way."
Light raised a brow as the Raikage stepped forward, "Naruto is right! Everyone! Back off!" A shouted to his unit before he pointed to Light, "Kazekage! I challenge you to Agni Kai!"
Light's eyes widened as he looked at Naruto, "What the heck does that mean?"
"Naruto!" A, Light and Naruto looked up as Jiraiya fell from the bird the rest of Narutos team were settled upon, he landed with a roll to come up between the three Shinobi, "Head back with the others, I'll witness this match."
Naruto frowned slightly, "Sensei I don't think-"
"No," Jiraiya said sternly, "I am the only one who was around when the tradition of Agni Kai was commonplace so I will witness this fight for the true winner. Things have changed since the original tradition that passed the torch of Raikage."
Naruto frowned, "So it's not the first to cause harm to the opponent?"
The Raikage's Lightning Armour burst into place as he grinned, "No way! This is a fight to the death! The winner declares what happens next in this war!"
Light smirked, "Really?… fine then." he said as he took a step forward, his feet suddenly standing on solid air a foot off the ground.
"Go home Naruto." Jiraiya said with a calm smile, "Take note of any of the deaths here. Be it the Raikage - A Kumonoguchi or Kazekage - Light Yamagi."
"Sunset, atop the Hokage Mountain." the Raikage said with a confident grin, "Nowhere to hide from me up there."
Light looked at Jiraiya and Naruto for a moment, Naruto giving him an apologetic smile and Jiraiya giving him a nod of encouragement. Light sighed and smiled, "Looks like I'll have to kill again. Goodie." he said sarcastically before turning his back to Jiraiya and A, "Til Sunset then."
Naruto lowered his head, "Just so you know, my village is all but ready for full functionality. When you win this, send someone to Tazuna of the Land of Waves."
Light smirked, "Code word still the same?"
Naruto nodded, "Revival."
Light nodded before floating away as his army retreated.
The Raikage's grin slowly faded as Light left, 'I need to find B.'
Naruto and Jiraiya walked up to eachother, "You sure you're okay with this?" Naruto asked.
Jiraiya nodded, "Yeah, get your family and go home. I'll be back in the morning."
Naruto sighed and smiled, "Thanks Sensei, and don't worry I got your message." he said as he leaped up towards his Summons.
Jiraya smirked, 'I'll leave it up to you Naruto, choose who wins this.'
Naruto peaked the height of his leap and reached out with his hand, launching a Tendril that connected to his Summoned bird's foot as it stopped circling and began to fly off.
Naruto turned to watch the two armies separating the last thing he could see being Jiraiya looking at him with a smirk.
Naruto's tendril began to retract as he used his teeth to reach in his sleeve and pull out a slither of the Death Note Sheet. Naruto reached into his pocket with his free hand to take out his skeleton pen.
A Kumonoguchi, at ten o'clock tonight, is killed by the last person he hurt.
Light Yamagi, by one minute past ten o'clock tonight, kills a man before succumbing to his own injuries.
Naruto looked down at the armies with an apologetic smile, 'I'm gonna miss you Light… but at least this will end your war. Sorry.'
"Second Formation now!" Mikoto shouted as she ran to the front of the New Whirlpool Shinobi.
Most of the Shinobi hesitated before doing as they were told, retreating backwards and allowing her to take the lead in the charge towards Sasori, Hanzo and Orochimaru.
Orochimaru smirked, "Looks like it's time to reveal my trump card." he mumbled as he looked up.
Mikoto slammed her hands together before aiming them forward, causing a three storey tall wall of Seals to spread out in the air before they minimized into a single dot on her left hand's ring finger, "FORBIDDEN SEALING JUTSU: ALCHEMY TECHNIQUE: FROZEN TUNDRA!"
Orochimaru's grin faded to a light frown as a massive wall of Ice began to surround him and his Reanimated/Puppet army, but after a moment the grin returned, "Now this will be fun. Sasori, bring out the Bloody Mist Puppets."
Sasori gestured with his fingers as three puppets with black hair and water bottles strapped to their backs flew up towards the Ice Wall as it finished forming around them. All three stabbed their bladed limbs into the ice as it began to slowly warp back towards New Whirlpool.
Mikoto frowned, 'He's keeping us separate?' she thought as she glanced over her shoulder, seeing Yugito retreat backwards with the other Jinchuuriki… except for one.
Utakata had leaped back as ordered along with everyone else, but Onoki's Reanimated body shot like a bullet from the sky above before swooping towards him, the sheer force of the winds produced from his movements throwing any who noticed his approach away before the man slammed head first into Utakata's chest.
"Gack!" Utakata barely gasped as blood flew from his lips and the two moved underwater.
Sasori's fingers twisted as Onoki lifted Utakata out and up through the air to slam into the Ice Wall, allowing the Human Puppets to use the Ice Kekkei Genkai of the Yuki Clan to quickly try and solidify the ice around him.
Mikoto pointed at the wall with her ring finger as the small black dot glowed at the tip, "TUNDRA: SHATTER!"
Orochimaru was pulled to safety thanks to Hanzo's intervention, his Kusarigama yanking Orochimaru and Sasori from the collapsing Ice Wall. But instead of Utakata being blown back towards New Whirlpool, Onoki continued to push forward and slam Utakata through layer upon layer of the ice while moving as far away from the New Whirlpool Army as he could.
Orochimaru and Sasori landed next to Hanzo as Onoki began to move out of sight with his prize, "One down," Orochimaru mumbled as he watched Utakata fade away into the rain, "Three to go."
Mikoto stared at Utakata's nearly unconscious form as a tear formed in her eye, 'Why? Why can't I protect them?!' she thought as she began to hyperventilate.
Mikoto along with the majority of the higher ranked Shinobi turned in time to see the resident Boil Release User and Jinchuuriki of the Five Tails be blindsided by Hanzo's Salamander appearing suddenly from the earth beneath the water and headbutting him into the air for a team of Sasori's puppets to capture by stabbing their weapons through each of his four limbs in a bloody display and fly after Onoki.
Mikoto took a shaky step forward, but every time she blinked, the image of Utakata or Han was replaced with the long-dead faces of her deceased children, 'No...'
Everyone – on both sides of the battle – turned to the north as they saw the Reanimated Yugito's companion finally catch up. Mei Terumi, the Mizukage and most deadly Kunoichi currently in the Ninja World flew across the water as it turned to steam behind her. She sped past Han's airborne body, covering him and the puppets holding him in the boiling steam before she continued towards Orochimaru and his Reanimated Shinobi.
Orochimaru scowled, 'Of all people?! What is SHE doing here?!'
"FEEL THE HEAT!" Han's voice echoed from the steam cloud as a red light began to shine through it, "BOIL RELEASE: HELL'S KITCHEN: STEAMPOT!"
Mei continued forward as Hanzo's Salamander burst up to intercept her, only for Han – who was now enshrouded in Five-Tailed Demonic Chakra – to slam into the beast and push it underwater, instantly boiling it's blood at his grip while heating up the water around him and it at a near impossible rate.
Orochimaru grit his teeth as Mei burst forth from the resulting shower of water, "Hanzo!"
Hanzo the Salamander charged at her, throwing his Kusarigama ahead of him as he began to form one hand seals.
"LAVA STYLE!" Mei shouted, "LAVA MONSTER JUTSU!" she shouted as she spat out what appeared to be a six legged beast of Molten Rock.
The Monster charged ahead of her, devouring the Kusarigama and melting it to nothing as it lead the charge. Orochimaru and Sasori leaped back as Hanzo finished his hand seals, "TOXIC STYLE: GREAT POISON FOG!"
Mei dove under water as her lava monster instantly rotted under the toxic cloud, but she looked up to see Mikado the Lawless fly into the cloud, "SEALING TECHNIQUE: QUICK-STORAGE BURST!"
Mei smiled as the middle section of the massive cloud was suddenly sealed away into Mikado's Seal which he quickly burned in his hand, allowing Mei to use her advanced Water Style Techniques to propel her upwards with a water spout. She burst from behind Mikado as he ducked, allowing her to see Utakata just outside the Rain-maker Jutsu's boundary line, "Utakata!"
The barely conscious man's eyes fluttered in recognition of the voice.
Mei's gaze hardened as the last thirty or so of Sasori's puppets intercepted her path, but Han burst from the water in his full Demon Form, throwing Sasori and Orochimaru back and causing the puppets to falter.
Mei shouted as her water spout threw her towards Onoki and Utakata, allowing her to tackle the both of them in the air. Onoki threw Utakata toward Orochimaru and Sasori moments before Mei bit his neck, her acidic lips and burning saliva decapitating Onoki and setting the head alight as the body began to fall.
Mei gasped at the voice in her head as she saw Utakata begin to move out of her reach once more.
"Move the corpse behind you!"
Mei quickly leaned forward, allowing Onoki's torso to fall through the air behind her back between her and the beach as on shore, Choji Akamichi threw Hanabi up into the air. The Hyuuga girl using her Byakugan to aim perfectly over the hundred yard distance.
Her Byakugan flared, "EIGHT TRIGRAMS: SKY PALM: DISTANCE!"
Just as Onoki's torso was beginning to regenerate, Hanabi's attack slammed into it, the momentum from the heavy impact pushing Mei ahead through the air and towards Orochimaru as Sasori tore off his cloak to reveal his Partial Puppet Body and aim a Flame-throwing Palm at her.
Using Chakra in her feet, Mei gripped Onoki's body and flipped to allow the flames to burn against Onoki and part them around her for the most part even though the hem of her dress, sleeves and hair caught alight. But none of that was important as her eyes locked onto Orochimaru. The Snake Sannin caught Utakata with a python growing from his sleeve as he grinned maliciously.
Utakata heard Mei's scream as she forced herself to attack through the pain of the flames. He weakly opened his eyes as he saw her slam through Sasori's mostly wooden body and obliterate it with a Lava Glob. Utakata brought a hand to his bare stomach and placed his hand on it, causing a Seal to begin to glow, 'Shine brighter… Saiken.'
Mei rose out of the water to glare at Orochimaru, but her glare faded as she smiled, causing the Snake Sannin to frown, "Why are you so happy? I still have your boy toy… and you have no idea about what my plan is." he said as he pulled out a scroll.
Mei stepped back, "I'm happy because my Utakata is coming home."
Orochimaru's brow furrowed.
"You may have a hold of me..." Orochimaru's eyes widened as he looked up at Utakata's eyes, "But that's the worst mistake you could've made." Utakata groaned as his eyes turned white.
Orochimaru's snake began to burn, causing the Snake Sannin to retract his Summons as Mei used the opportunity to step in close, "CORROSION STYLE: ACID PALM!" she shouted.
Orochimaru barely managed to dodge the palm-thrust at his chest, but to his surprise Utakata had managed to put a hand on the water below him, "WATER STYLE: BUBBLE TECHNIQUE: BUBBLE GUM SHELL!"
Orochimaru crossed his arms to block whatever it was that was coming, but Utakata's attack came as a surprise in the form of a large bubble sealing him inside it before it lifted into the air.
Mei and Utakata leaped back as Han's Tailed Beast Form charged ahead, Orochimaru stabbed the bubble to try and escape, only for it to mould around the blade and rise even faster as the Five Tailed dolphin-horse face grinned, "You're not welcome here snake."
Orochimaru's eyes widened as the Five Tails turned, one of it's massive tails flicking around and slamming into the bubble to launch it over the horizon with Orochimaru still trapped inside.
There was a moment of silence as Sasori dropped his arms suddenly, with what remained of his body going limp, "I guess… he can't control me from here." he realised as the part of his body that was left clenched it's one remaining fist. Sasori floated for a moment before he bumped into Hanzo's foot.
Hanzo fell limply onto the water at the slight tap, causing him to sink into the water next to Sasori, "...Ow. This body hurts to move." he mumbled as Sasori and Hanzo floated next to each other alongside Onoki's headless torso, "...Though at least I still have one."
Mikado walked over to them and crouched on the water's surface, looking down at their unamused faces, "So… you guys want to go back to the Other World? Or stick around for a bit?"
Sasori raised a brow, but it broke off at the gesture, "...Sticking around is an option?"
Naruto sat atop the head of his Animal Path Bird Summons quietly, looking towards the horizon as the sun started to set in the distance.
"Naruto-kun!" Hinata shouted as she stared ahead with her Byakugan.
Naruto turned and glanced at Hinata before he followed her gaze. He rolled into a crouch and placed a hand on the Summon's head, "Dive!"
In a quick moment, Naruto's troupe took a grip of the bird's feathers as it dove downwards, allowing the adults to look up and see something that genuinely surprised them even if it was only for a flicker of a second.
Orochimaru's g-forced body being flattened against the inside of a bubble as it shot through the air towards the opposite horizon.
The Summons levelled out as the group sat in contemplative silence for a moment until Temari broke the silence, "So… are we gonna talk about that? Or… what?"
Naruto forced a smile, "I don't know… and frankly I don't want to think about it." Naruto said with a sigh.
"Either way," Sakura said as she looked down towards the ground over the summons' shoulder, "We're nearly at the Land of Waves so we'll be home just in time for dinner."
Hinata cleared her throat, "What about Jiraiya-sama? I know he said he'd be fine but… to my knowledge he's now the oldest active Shinobi in the world if you don't count Mikoto Uzumaki-sama, even though she's physically thirty at the most she's got to be at least ninety right?"
Naruto rolled his eyes, thinking he went unseen, "Yeah but Ero-sennin can handle himself. Besides, I've got a friend keeping watch on the result anyway." Naruto said as his Rinnegan flashed.
"This is really weird," Gamakichi stated with a chuckle as his Rinnegan Eyes looked around from his place underneath Jiraiya, "Huh? I think Naruto just ran into Orochimaru for a second."
Jiraiya raised a brow, "Eh? What do you mean?"
Gamakichi shrugged, "I'm kinda new to this sight-sharing thing, but since he used the Rinnegan to summon me, does that mean I'll have these eyes forever or just until I go home?"
Jiraiya sighed, "Doesn't answer my question… but it should just be until you go home."
Gamakichi hummed in thought, "Cool, I meant that I can see what Naruto's seeing and it looked like… well that!" he said as he pointed up.
Jiraiya raised his head in disbelief but ended up blinking in surprise as what looked like a bubble shot across the sky like a shooting star, "Huh…. Okay, I have questions that if I ever see that snake again I'm going to have to ask before I kill him."
Gamakichi nodded, "Fair enough… hey, do you think my eyes just changed to have the Rinnegan through the Transient Properties of Chakra? Or like, are my real eyes just floating around at home freaking people out and these eyes are a copy of Naruto's?"
Jiraiya frowned down at Gamakichi, "You have a weird way of thinking 'Kichi. No wonder you and Naruto got along so well when he was younger."
From the amount of g-force that was pressing Orochimaru against the inside of the bubble, Orochimaru was barely able to lift his head forward, 'What the hell?! I've been flying for nearly an hour now and the momentum isn't slowing at all! what's this bubble made of?!' Orochimaru thought in worry.
Orochimaru's eyes widened as he saw the mountainous ranges of the northernmost point of the Land of Earth, 'The impact against that might just kill this body I'm using!' he thought as he closed his eyes and braced himself.
"You can open your eyes now snake."
Orochimaru opened his eyes as suddenly the force and velocity was gone from his body. He looked up to see the bubble slam into and pop against the mountain above him, showing acid that he had to duck under an alcove to hide from.
"Did you get what you need from your little excursion?"
Orochimaru turned with a grin as Tobi stepped out of the shadows, "Not entirely, I was hoping to take one of the Jinchuuriki with me, but I managed to get the blood samples I needed."
Tobi nodded silently as Orochimaru took a scroll from his cloak, "With the blood of each of the Jinchuuriki and the Demonic Chakra that's flowed through it, we'll be able to summon each of their previous Jinchuuriki to fight the current holders."
Orochimaru unsealed numerous puppet weapons covered in blood, "And with the blood that remains from the numerous clansmen Sasori managed to wound I should even be able to synthesise their Kekkei Genkai for the Reanimated Shinobi."
Tobi chuckled, "I admit, I underestimated you Orochimaru."
"That's not even half of it," Orochimaru said as he stood from the Storage Scroll, "My snakes used the opportunity presented to search the graves from the last war. The Uzumaki will rise again, and not in a way that Naruto or the Jinchuuriki will be expecting, not in the slightest."
Tobi nodded, "Good work, partner."
Orochimaru grinned, "Just give me the lab you promised me and I'll get what I can ready. Then once I get my little Uzumaki captive used to being the Jinchuuriki of the Zero Tails, I can use it's energy to absorb as much Demonic Chakra as is necessary." he said with a dark chuckle.
Tobi sighed heavily, "One small problem. It turns out Jiraiya is much more resourceful then you thought. Naruto was never in New Whirlpool while you were attacking it. He was with Jiraiya getting his son back."
Orochimaru's grin became a dark glare that he directed back towards the coast he had been flung from, "… Son of a bitch."
"Is Minato the bitch? or Kushina?" Tobi asked with a chuckle.
Orochimaru scowled, "Not literally you fool..." he mumbled before he grinned in realisation, "Although… you've given me a good idea for what to do against Naruto and his new family… kukukuku yes, this will be perfect."
Tsunade smiled up towards the cloud of smoke with a tired expression, "Finally." she said with a weary sigh.
A few moments later, Naruto, Hinata and Sakura landed heavily while Temari floated down on her fan, cradling Gaara-kun to her chest up until they landed and he was handed to Tsunade.
Naruto smiled tiredly, "Thanks for waiting Baa-chan. Let's go home."
Tsunade smiled in return before nodding towards the cliff-door that lead to New Whirlpool, "Yeah definitely, but… there may be a few more people then you were expecting."
Naruto raised a brow, "What do you mean?"
Naruto stared around his Uzukage office with an incredulous expression, "So… that's what she meant."
Utakata and Mei were resting on his couch, her head in his lap as he blew a bubble that was playing an image above her that was causing her to laugh. Simply put, they looked happy.
Naruto blinked in confusion, but before he could speak Sakura pushed past him to run up to Han and embrace him in a hug. Naruto smiled as he watched the two embrace before allowing his gaze to wander once more. Mikado looked like he was trying to chat up Yugito, Mikoto was standing silently looking out the window and… she was shaking.
Naruto's brow furrowed at that small piece of information.
"Naruto-kun! Temari-chan!" Ino exclaimed excitedly as she leapt into his arms and reached out to grab Temari by the shoulder, pulling her into the hug as well, "I'm so glad you're okay! Did you find him?"
Naruto smiled and nodded to her as Temari took over the talking, "Yeah, Tsunade-sama is taking him to get the best check she can before bringing him back here to rest. How are you Ino-chan?" she asked as she used her hand that was wrapped around the other girl to rub her belly.
Ino grinned, "Yeah, we're doing fine."
"So this is the Uzukage?"
Naruto turned at the voice his eyes hardening for a moment before he blurred across the room, his scythe hacking the Reanimated Hanzo the Salamander in half and kicking away the torso, "Everybody get back!"
"Hold on Naruto." Mikado said as he stepped back and gestured to Sasori's barely-still-in-one-piece torso, "While you were gone some serious shit went down here and even though there's some negative news about it, for the most part we're doing really good."
Naruto's glare didn't leave Hanzo's torso unless it was to flicker to Sasori, "…. Bad news?"
Mikoto spoke softly even though she didn't turn away from the window, "Six of our villagers passed away in an attack by Orochimaru who we suspect to be working with the Akatsuki."
Naruto scowled, "Good news?"
"It was only six out of just under eight thousand people. Against the likes of Orochimaru and three reanimated Shinobi, we came out on top." Ino said to him with a grin.
"Hm? Why don't those two have death times? Are they like Yugito?"
Naruto's brow twitched at Ryuk's voice as the Shinigami came out from the Sage Seal on Naruto's chest. But instead of responding or even acknowledging Ryuk, Naruto's eyes narrowed at Sasori and Hanzo.
The two of them shivered at Ryuk's words and looked around as if they had actually heard his voice on some level. Though by their own expressions it was clear they couldn't see the Shinigami's prescence.
Hanzo cleared his throat as Mikado helped slide his two halves back together, "As I was saying Uzukage… I'd like to offer my services as your council for whenever you need it. My only condition is that I'd like somewhere on the beach where I can enjoy these extra days of life I've been lucky enough to receive."
Sasori spoke up, "Yeah that doesn't sound to bad actually. A workshop by the beach where I can-"
"No." Naruto said as he smirked at Hanzo, "I like Hanzo's deal and I see no downside to agreeing with it. But Sasori, you've been actively affiliated with the Akatsuki before, what makes you think for even a moment that I'd trust you?"
Sasori frowned at Naruto in silence for a moment as he tried to come up with something.
"Naruto-kun?" Temari began, "Why don't you have him work on a probationary position until we can trust him? He could teach a new generation on puppet users."
Sasori raised a brow but stayed silent, 'A chance to pass on my teachings? Since leaving the Sand I never would have thought I'd have the opportunity...'
"He likes the idea." Ino whispered into Naruto's ear with a smirk that matched Temari's.
Naruto nodded, "Alright then… Sasori, you will be Tsunade's toy when she gets back. You will do anything she asks of you for the next three months. If all goes well and she even agrees that you've turned over a new leaf then at that point I'll grant you full citizenship just like one of my own. Deal?"
Sasori smiled, "Yes Uzukage."
Naruto smirked at Sasori before looking around the room, his gaze rested on Sakura and Han, "Han, can you set-up a JNK meeting?"
Han nodded silently before taking Sakura's hand and walking out of the office.
"So, what now?"
Naruto turned to Mikado and stretched, "Now, I'd like each of you to go get rest for the night. Mikado will oversee Sasori and Hanzo since he can use the time to study their seals as well as shatter them with a click in case they end up being a threat. Mikoto-san can wait here so we can discuss things. New Whirlpool members, you're dismissed. Mizukage-sama, welcome to my office." Naruto said with a welcoming grin.
Mei smirked at Naruto as she watched all of the people in the room follow his word without hesitation, leaving Ino and Temari standing near his desk while Mikoto stayed looking out the window. Naruto let out a weighted breath as he slumped into the chair between his two most precious people.
For a moment Mei sat in silence until the door to the office closed behind them thanks to Utakata, who chose to stay inside. But once they were alone, she grinned, "I am the Fifth Mizukage and I'd like to formerly request a full partnership alliance with New Whirlpool."
Naruto raised a brow at that before his grin grew enough to almost push his eyes shut, "Mei-dono, if what Utakata has said about you is true, then I'm glad to say the I formally accept the request."
Utakata smiled, "Thanks Naruto." he said with genuine happiness on his face.
Naruto gave him a thumbs up, "Literally any time dude, the Jinchuuriki are family as far as I see it. That means by extension Mei is family too. You two can use Utakata's facilities until the morning where I'll expect everyone in my compound to be ready for a breakfast meeting at nine AM."
Mei stood and nodded as Utakata joined her, "Thankyou Naruto-dono, for saving my Utakata-kun." she said softly.
Naruto smiled, "You helped to save him as well today. Consider us even."
Ino led them out through the door with a smile on her face, "See you guys in the morning!" she said before the door clicked shut behind them. She spun to face the others, "Okay, Mikoto-sama?"
Mikoto flinched as Ino said her name, but other then the trembling in her shoulders, she didn't move and inch.
Temari looked sadly at Mikoto, seeing the woman was not in the best state as she came up behind the ex-kage, "Mikoto-sempai?" Temari asked as she put a hand on Mikoto's shoulder.
Mikoto turned around silently, though her eyes were obviously tear filled as she rested her forehead on Temari's shoulder, "I-I'm sorry, but seeing so many people march against our shores… knowing that I failed some of my villagers again after so long…. Staying alive meant nothing, I should've stayed and fought back then for more…." she said softly, trying her best to keep it together.
Naruto stood from his chair as Ino came over to him. The two of them pulled Mikoto into Naruto's chair as the three of them kept a supportive hand on her, "You've done fantastically Mikoto-sama," Ino said softly, "I could hear your thoughts the whole fight, all you wanted to do was protect the ones you care for and remove the threats in their way."
Mikoto looked up at Ino as the tears began to spill, "Y-you heard me the whole time? Could you see their faces in the battle?"
Naruto and Temari shared a lost look while Ino just hugged Mikoto from the side, "Yes… their faces and their names and their final thoughts."
Mikoto gulped as she pressed her head to Ino's forehead desperately, "Please… show them to me. Show me the six that we lost."
Naruto sighed, knowing what was coming from his past experiences with Ino's Mind Techniques. He leaned back but stayed kneeling in front of Mikoto as Ino and her pressed their foreheads together.
Mikoto felt Naruto squeeze her hand in support and Temari rub her back gently as Ino and Mikoto re-lived the information of the last fight in a fleeting second. Leaving tears to fall from Mikoto's eyes as she remembered things from Ino's point of view.
""...Kale Aburame… Juhatchi Aburame…. Bulma Akamichi…. Tendo Hikaido… Hozuka Hyuuga…. Toneri Kazeyaiba..."" Mikoto smiled gently as her and Ino whispered in unison.
Mikoto's last tear fell as she smiled, "I'll never forget any of you."