In the very far reaches of a foreign city, there was a dark office. It was long past the hours in which any sane person would work, but there shimmering in the highest window was a small light. If one were to look in from the outside it would be impossible to make out much more than a few shadow lines which might send chills through the peeping tom’s body. From the inside, however, there was just enough to see what was needed. A woman wearing a low cut top was set in a large chair which hid her entire body in its comfortable folds.
Her dirty blond hair looked ragged and several strands were left in wild tangles from the many times she had put a manicured hand through it. The top was starting to feel quite uncomfortable to the woman wearing it and from all the times she had shifted attempting to get it to loosen and feel better her voluptuous breasts looked as though they might fall out. Her pink lips pursed before opening wide and letting out a loud huff as her head fell back against the cushioned chair.
Her hands clutched at the paper in front of her before crumpling yet another sheet and attempting to toss it into the already overflowing bin in the corner by the door. She closed her eyes in thought and attempted to let her mind calm to a point where she could make a clear decision. There was a rustling outside the door and Tsunade’s green eyes flew open staring at the double doors of her office. As the Hokage she was a constant target to the enemy and even some of the others who envied her power. In her weakened and sleep deprived state, she wouldn’t be of much use and she almost wished she hadn’t sent the Anbu guard home for the night.
The handle on the door seemed to turn agonizingly slow as Tsunade watched, she was already reaching for the kunai under her desk just in case she needed to make an emergency escape. As the door creaked open she lifted the sharp weapon, but the glimmer of familiar white hair stopped her in the act of actually throwing it. With a breath of relief she brought her hand back down to the table, the kunai clattering from her grasp as she struggled to remain fully conscious.
“Did I scare you lady Tsunade?” Jiraiya asked in a surprisingly jovial manner.
“Of course not, I was merely taking natural preventive precautions.” Tsunade huffed angrily at the white haired man. Jiraiya grinned down at the Hokage and looked towards the waste basket; some of the papers which had missed the bin had been crushed under his foot upon his entrance to the oval office.
“You’ve been working particularly hard then?” Jiraiya lifted one of his roughened hands to his chin as he looked at the blonde woman. He eye lids kept fluttering and it was obvious the woman was struggling to remain awake.
Tusnade stared at him, not quite registering his words in her sleepy haze. The new had come so quick and after such a large war—Tsunade was sure her city would need reinforcements and not just from other ninja villages. When Jiraiya had turned up suddenly after the Fourth Shinobi War she had stared had him for a very long time as though not quite believing her eyes. As it turned out, Nagato, in his very last moments had managed to extend his reach just far enough to reach the drifting body of Jiraiya. Waking up in the middle of the water and scared out of his mind, Jiraiya had at first struggled to reach the surface. Eventually he managed to find shore and pull himself up and find sustenance to bring him back to full health, then he was back to swimming and attempting to find a nearby city.
When Jiraiya told his tale, he told them of an island with monstrous beasts and then seeing a protection wall going up. When Jiraiya had realized what was happening, Naruto had already landed on the island for training with the eight tails. He had loved watching his godson train the nine tails, and he had narrowly missed being caught up in Guy’s seventh gate. After wandering and traveling by foot, as Jiraiya was still weakened from having been killed and revived by Nagato, he returned just after the end of the war to much rejoicing.
Coming out of her trance, Tsunade nodded slowly, her eyes drifting shut once more. With a small chuckled Jiraiya gently pulled her up from the chair, attempting to move her to the lower floor where her room was located. Just as they reached the door she pushed against him, trying to free herself from his grasp.
“I can’t sleep,” she mumbled.
“Are you having trouble sleeping?” Jiraiya let his concern slip into his voice, knowing Tsunade would have trouble remembering it in the morning.
“No, I have to save the village.” It was as though she had gotten a sudden rush of energy towards her previous goal. “We’ve received word of a threat growing nearby and I’m afraid we will not have enough reinforcements. I’m requesting help from another country, one we have been separated from for a very long time. I will also contact the Kazekage and have him and his trusted siblings help us. They’ll bring Shikamaru home and their request letter is not hard to pen down. I’m finding trouble with properly requesting help from the city Magnolia. They have a guild there known as Fairy Tail, it’s one of the larger guilds in Fiore, their country, and I want their help specifically. I know none of their names, nor of what they can do, but I need their help.”
“Then wouldn’t the simplest and most formal of requests do for this guild?” Jiraiya suggested and Tsunade stared up at him.
“You are my logic.” Tsunade whispered before rushing to her desk and letting her hand fly across the paper. Once it was complete she rolled it up and pushed it into Jiraiya’s hand. “Now I will sleep, you’ll see this off won’t you?”
Then Tsunade yawned and wandered off down the hall. The white haired pervert stared down at the scroll in his hand before moving off in the direction of the communications area. The darkness was oddly calming, but at the same time, Jiraiya couldn’t help but feel it was leading into something much worse.
A small brown bird was soaring through the air, when it saw its destination. Swooping through the clouds, it poured on speed and just before it was set to the hit the ground, pulled itself back up in a well-practiced motion. Angling the tip of its feathers the bird made a sharp turn and came gliding into a large gathering hall. It was surprisingly cool from the outside for the bird, especially considering the large amount of bodies the building was currently hosting. Sitting on the counter in a dignified manner was the person the bird supposed it was to deliver its message to, he seemed to be observing the people in the building while drinking something which smelled very bitter to the animal.
When the older gentleman saw the bird, he had tracked its path with his eyes. Now that it had landed next to him he suspected it was indeed for the guild as a whole. A few of the guild members eyes had drifted to watch as Makarov set down his drink and turned to face the small animal which waited patiently has he removed the roll from its leg. Once the message was clear the bird stretched its wings and took off again, twisting its way through the air with such grace considering the guild had broken into another small fight and things were close to hitting it. Makarov looked down the scroll, it was different than the requests they normally received, its carrier being the first clue, and then the way it was sealed. Everything seemed almost too formal for him and Makarov suspected it to be fraudulent or a trap.
Taking the risk, Makarov gently slid his thumb under the seal and let the scroll fall open. It rolled off his lap only to hit the guild counter and stop, it wasn’t a long message, but it was enough to relay a plea for help. There was no guarantee for money, but Makarov knew a portion of his children were willing to work for no money knowing they would be helping the great good. His eyes scanned the text several more times before attempting to make any sort of decision. It was strange to receive a request from a country which was not a part of Fiore. Taking a deep breath, Makarov decided it would be in Fairy Tail’s best interest to help them.
Request of Fairy Tail:
Foreign city Konohagakure is in need of help. A situation has risen, not a lot of intelligence on the matter. Need a strong team willing to fight in what may be a war. Threat is not known completely, countries in disarray. Please send help as soon as possible.
-Tsunade, Hokage of Konohagakure.
“Alright brats, listen up.” Makarov announced standing suddenly. The guild went quiet as they turned to face their master. “I’ve received a job request from a foreign country and upon thinking about it, I’m going to send the strongest members of the guild to aide them as it may mean war. Everyone please sit, then as your name is called stand, and you will be the representatives we send.”
There was a lot of shuffling as the members of the guild struggled to find seats or places to sit comfortably. A few of the couples settled for using their significant other as a chair and Gajeel subtly slid Levy into his lap when others of the guild were searching purchase for seats. Natsu was practically on the edge of his seat as he waited for the names of the strongest members to be called, he was eager to be a part of it, but also doubted whether the master thought he was truly strong enough to handle himself in another country. Everyone tended to see him as though he were still a child, but Guildarts had never treated him like one and he hoped Makarov did the same.
“Our representatives will be led by the seventh, Erza Scarlet. Under her strong command I place: Laxus Dreyar, Gray Fullbuster, Kera, Gajeel Redfox, Levy McGarden, Lucy Heartfilia, Wendy Marvell, Juvia Lockser, Sarai, Bickslow, Mirajane Strauss, Sanmari, Freed, Elfman Strauss, Melissade, Evergreen, Cana Alberona, and Natsu Dragneel. Along with the exceeds: Happy, Carla, and Pantherlily. I will contact Jellal Fernandes of Crime Sorciere to meet up with you at the Eastern Border. You will travel by train to that point and then at the last stop you will travel for three days time by foot until you reach the city of Konohagakure. There you will meet the leader of the city, the Hokage, Tsunade. I expect you all to treat her with the utmost respect.” Natsu released the breath he wasn’t aware he’d been holding, relieved the guild master had chosen him for the mission. He’d caused a lot of trouble recently and knew his marks weren’t good. “The team will rest and complete their packing today, you leave at dawn in the morning. Good luck.”
The room was stifling hot and most of the council was regretting their decision to meet with the Kazekage despite wearing white robes. The Kazekage, Gaara, looked completely at ease in the sweltering heat. The gourd full of sand, which was usually strapped safely to his back, was resting against the firm clay wall of the room. While he wore the required green hat and robes, underneath the heavy layers of Kage fabric was his usual dark colored red clothing. His choice in style was atypical for most shinobi, but it fit well for his country. On his left sat Temari, his older sister. She looked noble with her head held high, staring down any opposition to the Kazekage’s wishes. Gaara was trained in fighting back smiles, but the idea of having Temari next to him, even if she wasn’t in her usual black clothing, was comforting to him. If Gaara were to look to his right, Kankuro would be there, his purple face paint intact; the paint added a tint of ferociousness to his gaze, the black hood which usually adorned his head made it even more so. His brother was one of the rocks which kept him tied to Sunagakure even after it felt like the hidden village had abandoned him.
Shikamaru was standing against the back wall as a representative from Konohagakure. Gaara suspected the high ranking shinobi had other reasons for visiting the city as well, but didn’t want to get into the mess. He understood his sister needed her privacy, he would just have to keep a close eye on Kankuro to make sure his brother did nothing rash against the two. While neither had publically told anyone they were even interested in each other, it was blatantly obvious to even Naruto. The two were naturally made for each other.
Annoyed with formalities, Gaara lifted a hand and removed the Kazekage hat. Everyone in the room was watching his movements, even if they were not facing him directly. At first, Gaara had been severely disappointed to find he was no longer a jinchuriki attached to Shukaku, but after returning to the village Gaara found he was glad to no longer be tied to the monster. Just as he made to open his mouth and open the meeting officially, they were interrupted by one of the communications Shinobi who apparently had an urgent message from the Hokage. Gaara gently put out his hand and received the scroll, scanning it quickly he tossed it onto the table and let it roll out in a place were almost everyone there could read it quite clearly. Gaara stood, Temari and Kankuro following his lead, protests began as the Kazekage pulled the sand gourd onto his back. One look from him, however, and they went quiet staring at the letters of the message in what almost seemed like disbelief. Shikamaru raised an eyebrow at Temari as she slid her fan into place, she gestured to the table and he wandered over, staring down at the urgent message. With a sigh, he muttered his usual sentiment about everything being too troublesome, then turned to look at the three who were waiting for him.
“You’re sure the four of you will be enough reinforcements?” One of the council members stood.
“The Hokage has made her request very clear, they are receiving an unknown amount of numbers from another country. While it will be a few days’ time before the reach Konohagakure, she wants to discuss matters with our group first. It will take us three days to get there as it is; I’d rather not leave the Hokage in a pression situation as she has cared for me and our village many times in the past.” Gaara stated, then with a release of the tie on his Kazekage robes, he led his small team out of the hall and through the city to where they would start their journey.
Bring Shikamaru home, we need the Kazekage, Kankuro, and Temari. Konoha is to go to war.
Tsunade, the Hokage
“You’re sure it was wise to release a high magnitude plea for help in such an uncertain case?” Jiraiya was sitting in the windowsill of the large circular office which belonged to his friend and the Hokage, Tsunade. His arms were crossed and his white hair was held back by his forehead protector which gave nothing away as to what country he originated from as part of the three sanin.
“Orochimaru and Kabuto are now both out of our sights and we must set our eyes on what’s to come. We have heard the rumors and many witness stories have held up, there’s nothing more I can do than to call on some of our strongest friends.” Tsunade told him leaning back in the large padded chair and crossing her own arms. She let out a sigh and Jiraiya made a small tutting noise as he looked out over the city.
“It has been years since the Shinobi last relied on the power of mages. I’m sure they’ll be surprised by the sudden contact from a neighboring country which keeps to itself as much as possible.”
“I think it’s time the two countries got to know each other once again, it’ll be good for everyone. You never know where new lessons and jutsu’s may be learned, perhaps it with strengthen our own people in a way we didn’t know we needed.”
“Well, I hope for your sake it was the right decision.” Jiraiya stated before jumping from the window and landing on the street below. Tsunade turned to look out the window from her chair, watching the white haired male walk away.
“I hope it is too,” she whispered.
“Good, you’re all here.” Tsunade was sitting at her desk in the circle office, the large amount of Ninja were assembled and squished. The squad leaders opted for sitting in the open windows.
Kakashi was in the window situated closest to the door, Make-Out Tactics open on his lap as he pretended to show disinterest in the current conversation. He had one leg tucked up on the windowsill while the other hung out in the warm summer air. His mask and headband were in place, covering the Sharingan Obito had given him upon his deathbed. His gray hair was neatly combed over to the side as per usual, his left hand rested behind his head as he leaned back against the frame for balancing purposes.
In the second window position almost behind the Hokage’s desk was Iruka, unlike his senior, he was sitting up attentively balanced on the balls of his feet. He was perched just high enough to cross his arms and rest them on his bent knees without looking like he was about to take a nap. His dark hair was pulled back into its usual pony tail; the harsh lighting in the office made the scar across Iruka’s nose look more gruesome than Naruto remembered.
The big window in the middle behind the Hokage was inhabited by Guy, he kept craning his neck attempting to look cool to his pupil’s. Tsunade’s chair was rather large though and blocked a good portion of the space he had chosen to sit; Kakashi would occasionally sigh in response to Guy’s antics, but Lee seemed enthralled with the way his sensei managed to capture most of the attention in the room.
Yamato had situated himself in the fourth window. He was simply standing behind the wall which supported the window framework, leaving his back exposed to unsolicited attacks coming from the city, but this early in the morning he highly doubted anyone was awake enough to understand what was going on. Sure enough, when he looked around at the small crowd which had been assembled in Tsunade’s large office he could see Naruto yawning widely not fully there. Kiba was in a similar shape, but was attempting to look more alert than Naruto.
Jiraiya was leaning up against the frame of his window much like Kakashi in the first one, but he wasn’t reading one of the sexy novels he’d written, nor was he using a hand to prop his head up from the frame. His head was tilted forward and he almost looked like he could be sleeping, except the mischievous grin which was etched into his face. He was awfully focused on Tsunade’s desk and the Anbu member Yamato was suspicious of what Jiraiya had done to tease his friend this time.
Gaara had attempted to place himself in a situation of power, standing more towards the desk as to not be seen as a simple jounin, but his siblings were rolling their eyes at his behavior and holding back their laughter. They often thought he looked like a little kid trying to get people to notice him whenever he took particular stances. The Kazekage glared at his two siblings and they ducked their heads, watching for any signs of wrong movement in case they needed to protect Gaara.
“I’ve recently received some news concerning a new threat rising to try and hurt our village. Normally I would reach out to the five kage and ask for aid from the allied shinobi forces, but something about the threat worries me. They have a certain ability which we have yet to encounter, something that comes from a nearby foreign country where things work a little differently from here. In light of this, I have called for aid from their nation. I have confirmation that the team they’ve chosen to help us is already on their way here and it will be a matter of days before their arrival.”
“You’ve called for another nation’s help? Is it even a nation with ninja?” Shikamaru interrupted, looking surprised at his leader’s decision.
“I do not know exactly what they are like. We have had dealings with them in the past, but it has been many years since anyone has actually met with them. I hear they are powerful in their own way and I expect them to be of good use to us in this dire and unexplored situation.” Tsunade paused dragging a finger across the desk, her lower jaw jutting out as she considered how to state the next part of her instructions. “I would like for all of you as a group to meet and escort these, diplomats you might say, through town. Make sure they feel welcomed and will enjoy their time here even if it is put under strain due to what we will be doing.”
“And you’ve called us all here just to tell us that we’ll be representing the city? This meeting is too troublesome,” Shikamaru sighed and Temari brought her elbow back into his stomach with a small laugh to cover it up.
“I also wanted to discuss with all of you how we will be going about handling their strength tests.” Tsunade stated, drawing her finger back again, and the room went quiet as they watched her for more information. “I have been planning on opening the ring in which the Chuunin Exams are held in order to properly test our guests and get a feel for who should be on which teams. I thought it would be a good idea and of course, I am hoping Gaara and I will both be able to participate in the arena. All of the men behind me will also be participating in the testing ring—that includes you Jiraiya.”
“Huh?” Jiraiya’s jaw dropped and the Hokage spared him a glance before she focused in on Gaara. Tsunade looked at Sasuke openly as he was on the very edge of the assembled group, a few other people turned to look at him as well.
“I expect you to be on your best behavior and do your duty to the village.” Tsunade stood and looked at everyone in the room, turning to meet the eyes of the instructors in the windows. “They will be here in four days’ time, I look forward to meeting them all, please take care of them.”
“You can trust us,” Sakura told the Hokage with a bright smile. “We’ll take good care of the representatives, but where are they coming from?”
“Fairy Tail.” Tsunade told them and they all glanced at each other, it sounded awfully silly.
Erone was sitting on a mountain top bordering the two continents which didn’t quite seem to fully know the other existed. With his enhanced vision he was watching as the mages sent from Fiore headed along the forest path to their destination at Konohagakure. He had been a bit surprised at first to see the Hokage was in fact sending for aide from the foreign country, but this would all better his plan. Now he would be able to remove two threats at once rather than marching on each territory one at a time. When Konoha would fall, the mages home would start to fall too leaving him the victor who would seemingly rise from the ashes and bring a new world. It was time.