Chapter eight: New in the Roster
Kakashi's team had to stay in Nami no Kuni for about three months because the bridge's building progressed slowly, but still, it was progress. During the time, Sasuke had healed his injury but still had a damaged ego and needed much time to get used to the fact that he wasn't the best before he could act normally again.
In three months, the silver haired jounin's irritation to his team also grew. Sasuke wouldn't stop sulking, Sakura would always fawn over Sasuke and Seki would always complain about everything.
Again, he wondered why he took up the Hokage's offer for him to take a genin team; after all he could always stay in ANBU and get more money. 'But if I don't that psycho's gonna be the one who'll teach them,' he mused again.
Maybe, letting that crazy woman Anko teach these brats was a better option than having to deal with the periodic headaches he usually had. The scarecrow was considering pestering Naruto so the living weapon would give the brats a good scare, just for the hell of it.
Alas, his hopes were crushed when he saw a purple haired woman wearing khaki trench coat, mesh shirt, and mini skirt who went by the name Mitarashi Anko.
"Kakashi! Where's Tsurugi-san?" she asked brashly to the silver haired jounin.
"Um? He's inside, why do you ask?"
Kakashi never got his answer because Anko had ignored him and just entered the house.
Inside Tazuna's House
Naruto was polishing his numerous weapons, checking them for scratches or unwanted gashes and ridges. He knew they were made from the best materials; after all he was the one who requested what they were made of. But still, checking the well being of his gadgets and 'tools of trade' was a relaxing past time for him, and it wasn't a waste of time either.
This was the only thing that he did outside the necessities of humans and his nearly neverending missions; and sadly, the peace that it built was about to be broken by one woman: Mitarashi Anko.
"Tsurugi!" the woman called out after she politely told Tsunami and Tazuna that she was a co-worker of the Konoha-nin.
Naruto looked up to Anko's scowling face and took off his mask, showing the near emotionless smile he always had on his face. The woman smiled in turn before she glomped him.
"Hello, Anko-san," the boy greeted, not stopping his activities.
"Hey, Ken-chan." (Explanation: Ken and Tsurugi basically have the same kanji, but have different kana)
"It's been lonely without you," she purred out.
"Has it? I've never noticed," he replied. "Now, I believe you are here for a reason, a very good one, correct?"
"Oh yeah!" she yelled out, and instantly releasing him. "The Hokage told me to give this letter to you."
Naruto wordlessly accepted the letter and read it carefully, trying to find the hidden messages should there be one or more. Finally, after confirming the letter's contents, he folded it back and stood up.
"Where're you going?" Anko asked.
"Back to Konoha. That letter was a letter of summons. I must hurry back."
"Ok, need me to help you pack?"
"No, that's fine."
"Haku, pack your things," Naruto told her as he began sealing the numerous weapons he laid out on the floor.
The black haired girl looked up to him and gave him an angry look before she complied and put the items inside her traveller's pack.
Anko peered into the room and noticed the not so thoroughly cleaned scent of blood in their room. And with her keen senses, she estimated there were blood scents of 40 different people; could it be that was the amount of people he had killed?
Konohagakure no Sato, Hokage's office, about 1600 hours
The old Hokage was watching the bustling road of Konoha when a knock came from his door. He beckoned the door guard to open the door and saw three people he wanted to see: Naruto, Anko, and Haku.
As soon as the door was closed, Sarutobi greeted them all warmly, but proffesionally and told them all to sit down.
"So, you are Haku, I presume?" the old man started.
"Yes, I am, Hokage-sama."
"And you are willing to join Konohagakure as Tsurugi's letter stated?"
"Very well, you will be put as part Na… Er hrm…Tsurugi's team in a special recon mission that will start at exactly one week from now, so get ready," the Proffesor told them.
The three stood from their seats after excusing themselves from Sarutobi. The ladies left, but Naruto still remained in the room, knowing full well that the leader of this village must have wanted to tell him something.
"I forgot to tell you something, Tsurugi.
"As of today, at exactly 1600 hours, you are transferred from Konoha's secret ANBU unit 'Ne', to my direct underling. So, you only do missions for me and Konoha, not Danzou or Ne."
The living weapon bowed respectfully at the old man and turned on his heels to leave the room.
"This is not what we agreed on, Hokage-sama," Danzou said through gritted teeth.
"Is it? Then refresh my memory of what our agreement was," the Hokage said.
The one eyed leader of the 'Ne' division of ANBU felt like a fool for doing it, but recited it anyway. "Anyone from my division may not be transferred unless he/she is deemed worthy to be chosen by the current Hokage as his personal aide."
"And I did just that. So, in what way did I break our agreement?"
"With all due respect, Hokage-sama, you've just taken our village's most valuable asset!"
"Our village's asset or your stepping stone to your ambition?" the old man asked sternly.
The one eyed militarist growled in anger and left the room with a quick pace before he finally slammed the door.
Hokage's secretary desk
"Tsurugi-san, Hokage-sama asked me to give this to you," the woman said when she saw Naruto pass her desk with a young lady.
"What is it?"
"A key for your new apartment. Since you have been transferred, Hokage-sama believed that it'd be better if your residence is near here," she said as she rummaged through her desk for the keys.
After she finally found it, the woman turned to Naruto and gave it to him along with a note. "The address is listed on the note. Your things had also been moved there with the exact same position as your old one."
The living weapon nodded and left the building hurriedly with Haku running behind him to keep the pace.
Naruto's new apartment
The blond boy looked around his new apartment and nodded in satisfaction. The room looked almost exactly like his old one, only larger and and it was on a higher floor.
"Take any room you want but the one with a skull on the door," Naruto told Haku as he looked around the room, examining every nook and cranny of the spacious accomodation.
The black haired girl said nothing and looked for a room. Without thinking, she opened one with a skull doorknob. When the door fully opened, Haku saw a Spartan room, filled with nothing but a bed with white sheets, a single lamp, and a small table near the window. She walked to the table and opened the drawers. Inside one of them was a photo album.
Curiously, she scanned through the pages and saw pictures of Naruto, with small words scribbled under it. A particular one was a picture of Naruto, a young girl and the Hokage inside a ramen stand. They looked happy together and the Naruto in the picture couldn't be older than five.
The black haired girl was slightly happy to find a source of information regarding her new colleague. But, before she could open another page, a scythe was thrown at her and it hit the table through the photo album.
"What have I told you about the room with a skull on the door?" the blond boy asked.
In every occasion where Haku had seen Naruto, this the only time she had seen, no felt him angry. And the rage wasn't because she had ignored his request, but it was because she had found something he had wanted to get rid of since the start of his shinobi career; a link to the past.
"Get out," he ordered.
Haku begrudgingly did so and went in search of another room in the large apartment; hopefully this time it had no skulls anywhere.
Later that night
The former apprentice of Momochi Zabuza lay awake in her bed, her mind was thinking about what to do: get some sleep, lay out plans to steal that photo album which hopefully contained useful information regarding Naruto, or plot to kill the living weapon who had made her sensei disappear.
Finally, after minutes of tossing and turning, she finally gave up and got herself some sleep. Maybe tomorrow, she would know what to do.
Kuzushi family weapon shop
"How much for the usual, Kuzushi-san?" Naruto asked to the older man. Through the years, his shop had expanded and it had turned from a small family shop into a large store dealing in numerous items, including scrolls, special drugs, and of course weapons.
Tenzen examined the weapon he held in his hands thoroughly and nodded. "This sword isn't half bad, but it won't endure the treatment you usually do with weapons. For this weapon, I'd recommend combining this with the others you got. It's gonna cost you…. 45,000 ryou. Fifty if you want it done quick, and another extra 10 if you want it to be extremely durable."
"Very well, I trust your judgement in this," the living weapon said as he put the sufficient amount of money on the counter.
Naruto then scanned the shop briefly and found a glaive that caught his attention. The weapon was 5 feet in total length, the blade and hilt was of the same length with a large ring attached to the end of the hilt. The glaive was pure black with a curved broad blade that didn't reflect light.
"How much for that?" Naruto asked, pointing at the glaive.
"That's 75,000. 120,000 if you want the full works on her," Tenzen said as he too admired the weapon. "I'm surprised you haven't noticed it any sooner."
"The price doesn't matter. Deliver it to me in the same time as my sword," the blond said.
He then turned to leave, but before he could step outside, a sword flashed in the corner of his eyes. With lightning quick reflex, he rolled to the side and drawed Kouga from his cloak.
He stood up and leveled a glare towards his assailant, the daughter of Kuzushi Tenzen. The young girl propelled herself with her right leg and thrust her sword at the living weapon.
Naruto parried the strike with Kouga and blocked a left kick aimed at his side with a knee. Both parties then leapt away from each other and Tenten glared at Naruto.
"Damn you," she said, "I swear I will defeat you."
Naruto ignored her for a moment, but finally said to her, "Then train harder. Your moves looked impenetrable at a glance, yet it bore a fatal mistake beginners make."
Then, the living weapon turned on his back and walked away, leaving a distraught girl and an amused man alone in the store.
Haku watched Naruto's action inside the shop from afar and began to unconsciously compare his skills to her abilities. And, in shame she had to admit that the blond's proficiency surpassed her greatly. In the very short fight, she noticed Naruto's arms and legs muscles twitched almost 30 times; meaning he almost lashed out powerful and most possibly lethal force against the girl but he could stop the reflexes, signifying his near perfect control over his own body. 'At this rate, I won't be able to kill him,' she thought. 'Unless…'
Naruto scanned his sorroundings and felt a presence from a roof top approximately 20 meters away from him. The presence felt familiar to him, but he dismissed it as paranoia.
Haku followed Naruto to a secluded alleyway in the northern sector of Konoha, the slums of the village to be exact. The blond took a left turn and the girl followed behind him, waiting for the perfect chance to throw the senbon needle in her hand; the same one that had Naruto's blood on it.
The brunette followed Naruto closely, watching and following every turn and jumps he made. She lost sight of him briefly, but it made her loose track of him and he disappeared from his sight.
The former protégé of Zabuza cursed under her breath and turned to return to her quarters in Naruto's apartment, but her steps were stopped by the smiling face of Naruto who had discarded his mask.
The face looked happy and calm, yet the emotions it generated were far from it as it exuded such a great feeling of dread and fear to her. "T… Tsurugi," she croaked out.
"Haku," he greeted back as he drew his saber from underneath his cloak, "Why are you following me?"
Haku stared back at him for a few seconds before she disappeared in a puddle of water.
"Mizu bunshin," Naruto muttered after he dipped his fingers in the puddle and sniffed it. "That woman is a liability. And every liability… must be annihilated."
The blond swiped his fingers on a chimney closeby and prepared to give pursuit before he noticed that a senbon was sailing towards him in a very high speed. Letting his natural instinct to react, he let loose three wind blades that severed the thin needle into six separate, identical pieces which now fell to the ground harmlessly.
"Weapon thrown from distance of 30 feet, aimed to the heart, 20 degree angle. Assailant spotted," Naruto muttered mechanically as he turned his face to the north east and put on his fox mask, "Beginning assault."
With that, he ran towards the direction where his supposed assassin was; intent on severing the fool from limb to limb and he had a very good idea who it was.