Finally! This was one of those chapters that was a roadblock for me. Well least it's out and it's a little longer since it took a while. So hope you enjoy it! And you guys know the disclaimer thing.
Also for future reference, even though Kyu is a Device, her speech will not be in bold while she is not unisoned with Naruto. Since Unison Devices speak normally in the Nanoha anime, it's only fitting. However when she does go into Unison Mode, her text will change to bold.
Two days passed and the group was back on their way, following the lead to head to Tanzaku Town in search of Tsunade. Naruto was still trying to get used to the fact that he now knew who his parents were, he now had not one, but two Devices, and one Device was the so-called reincarnation of the demon that had been sealed in him and given him grief his entire life. It was also a little much that Jiraiya even knew of the ancient times as well. Naruto figured it was just for the best and kept on since Jiraiya had now begun training him on how to use his father's personal jutsu, the Rasengan. It did help him take his mind off the fact that he was still trying to understand his Device partner.
Speaking of Naruto's Device, Kyu didn't have to worry about hiding now that everyone knew who she was. She'd normally sit on Naruto's shoulder or fly right beside him, but the times she took cover to hide herself from other travelers, she would hide in Hinata's backpack. The reason for that was she couldn't get used to being crammed in Naruto's backpack and the smell overload of ramen and his boxer shorts didn't really suit her. She much preferred the neatness of Hinata's backpack, her clothes were much more soft to fall asleep on, and the light lavender fragrance from inside made her feel even more wonderful. So much to the point that she actually asked Hinata for a small sample to keep for herself. When Naruto heard this, he thought Kyu had lost her mind, but Hinata simply told him it was ok. Kyu even learned that Hinata did like to cook, so she insisted that she teach all of Kushina's recipes to her as well. Hearing this, Hinata was jumping for joy inside, because she could cook all of the dishes that Naruto would have loved from his mother, and maybe it would have him notice her more.
Tenten took notice of Hinata's changes the most. The last 2-3 months had done massive changes to her best friend. She wasn't the timid and shy girl that she was before the Chuunin exams. Her confidence had grown greatly and she was more dedicated to improving her fighting skills. Tenten also figured Hinata was happier now that Naruto knew her secret and that he still accepted her for who she was, just as she did for him.
On their way to Tanzaku Town, the group stopped off at a small inn to get some rest and for Jiraiya to check in with his spy network. Since he had left the group, the others decided to lounge in the room for the time being. However they would be visited soon.
"So when am I going to get to go visit these hot springs you girls always talk about? It sounds like a very relaxing place." Kyu, still adjusting to her new form, wanted to take part of a favorite relaxation pastime of girls…soaking in hot springs.
"Don't worry. We'll go down soon. Naruto, you sure you don't want to come with us?" asked Tenten as she was preparing a bath basket.
"Not really. I'm gonna keep trying to practice the Rasengan, and maybe see what all Kerykeion can do." Naruto had already succeeded in the first two stages of the Rasengan and was now working on the final stage. Since he had lost the massive surplus of chakra that Kyu had, he needed to get used to taking things easier. "You guys relax." He was just about to start training again when he heard a knock on the door.
"Naruto, who's that?" Tenten asked.
"Not sure. Lemme check." Naruto went over and opened the door, only to reveal two shinobi in black cloaks with red clouds. One was a blue shark looking person and the other almost looked like Sasuke! His eyes did show that he was an Uchiha, since Naruto could see the Sharingan in them.
"Naruto Uzumaki, you have something we want. I believe it in your best interest to come with us." The Uchiha spoke quite calmly to Naruto. "Please do not put up any resistance."
"Uh…who are you guys and what do you want from me?" Naruto immediately went defensive.
"Hmm, looks like the Jinchuuriki is preparing to defend himself." Said the blue shinobi.
"Naruto, you have no chance of protecting yourself. Please just come with us and we shall go about our business." The Uchiha spoke calmly again with no hint of threat in his voice.
"Jinchuuriki…you guys are from Akatsuki! Ero-sennin told me about you guys!" Naruto grabbed a kunai and was preparing to attack. "And those eyes…you're Sasuke's brother Itachi Uchiha!"
"You know of us? So I assume you know that we are here because you hold the Kyuubi within you." Itachi remained motionless as he spoke. "Then you know you stand no chance of winning Naruto."
"Naruto…hey what are you two doing!" Tenten saw Naruto at the door and immediately summoned Cross Mirage in One-Hand mode without her Barrier Jacket. "Back off and no one gets hurt!"
"Besides, what do you want the Kyuubi for? I don't even have it anymore." Naruto said as he tightened his grip on his kunai.
"Naruto, you need not deceive us." Itachi was still calm as ever. He then turned his gaze to Tenten and shocked her even more, "Hmm, you are a Device wielder. Be wary and remember to look underneath the underneath." Before she could even react, she fell unconscious. Naruto saw this and felt his blood start to boil. "Now Naruto, we'll ask again. Please come with us, lest you wish anything else to happen to your friends.
"Crap, I need Kyu, but for some reason these two think she's still sealed in me." Naruto thought to himself as he had to make a move soon. Then he thought of the dumbest and probably most unpredictable move he could have made. "So you're after what's inside me? Well…I'd have to talk to her first. She may not want to go with you."
Itachi's partner, Kisame didn't take the joking lightly. "Ok kid, enough of the games." He reached around to grab the hilt on the back of his sword, poised for attack.
"Who's joking? I was serious when I said I don't have the Kyuubi anymore." Naruto put his Kunai back in his holster. "But since you so insist on getting her, fine then. Hey Kyu!" Within second Kyu quickly flew in and landed on his shoulder.
"What is it Naruto?" She looked and saw the two cloaked figures. "Um, who are they?"
Itachi stared hard at the small humanoid on his shoulder. "He was serious," he thought to himself.
Naruto figured he might as well get it over with, "Ok look, these two guys were apparently after me because of the Kyuubi. I said it wasn't sealed inside me and of course they didn't believe me. So…Itachi Uchiha and crazy blue guy, this is Kyu Vixen. She used to be the Kyuubi, but she's not anymore."
"What do they want me for anyway?" Kyu looked quite confused after Naruto told her what was going on.
"Ok I don't care, I'm killing this kid right now!" Kisame started to draw his sword when Itachi stopped him.
"No Kisame now is not the time. I feel that we may be in serious trouble." Itachi could sense danger approaching. However it wasn't about to arrive for some time. Instead he got a problem.
"ITACHI!" The two Akatsuki, Naruto, and Kyu all turned down the hall to see Sasuke in pure rage. He had Bardiche in Riot Zanber form with lightning arcing all around the blade. "I knew I'd find you eventually!"
"Well little brother. What brings you here?" Itachi asked calmly.
"You know what it is that I want…I want your blood on my blade as I slice you to shreds!" Sasuke roared. "After the Jounin said they faced you and that you were after Naruto, I knew that trailing him would possibly lead me to you and I was right!"
"I see. Well brother, if you feel you are ready to end my life, come forth." Itachi stood motionless and looked deep into his brother's red eyes.
"DIE ITACHI!" Sasuke ran full speed, his blade cutting into the ground as it arced behind him. Just as he was about to strike, Itachi made his move faster than the eye could see. In a flawless slice, Itachi had cut Bardiche's Zanber blade in half! Sasuke quickly jumped back and started prepping a spell.
"Bardiche, Plasma Smasher!" Sasuke screamed out his next plan of attack. Bardiche however…
"Sir, damage to Zanber has caused problems in spell casting system. Due to cartridge overload excess energy must be vented!" Bardiche announced the problem in his system. "In addition, compatibility issues are still causing difficulty maintaining Full Drive form. To prevent internal system damage, it is advised to shift to Haken Form and use Haken Saber to attack."
"I didn't ask you for any opinion, I gave you an order!" Sasuke screamed at his Device again in rage. "Do as I say now you worthless piece of junk!"
"Sir, that is not a good idea. You risk more danger to yourself and various system parameters." Bardiche did his best to try and convince Sasuke to back down. Using Plasma Smasher would cause serious problems due to the fact that Sasuke had yet to truly sync with him, he was forcing Full Drive, and his judgment was clouded.
Itachi saw the argument between Sasuke and his broken sword. "That weapon he is using must be in great pain and despair due to Sasuke's anger and hostility." He thought to himself. He quickly moved and grabbed Sasuke by the neck. "Talking to weapons now little brother?"
"Let…go of me…you monster!" Sasuke struggled to break free, but Itachi's grip was strong. "I swear I will…destroy you!"
"I see. Well the time for that shall come soon. However, I impart you with some advice." Itachi tightened his grip and stared hard into Sasuke's eyes. "You had best start trusting your allies Sasuke. If you don't, you won't stand a chance against me." He then snapped the wrist holding the blade, and slammed his fist into Sasuke's stomach, dropping him to the ground. Bardiche returned to standby form, and now had a large crack in him due to having his Zanber Form damaged, so he immediately began self-repairs. Itachi turned back to Naruto, "You are lucky this day Naruto Uzumaki. However we shall return for you in the future. Come Kisame, we must depart." Before any of them could say another word, Itachi and Kisame took off in a cloud of smoke.
"Ok that was really weird." Kyu said as she turned back to see Tenten on the ground. "Oh no, Tenten looks like she's hurt!"
"Go get Hinata and see what you can do. I'm going to check on Sasuke." Kyu nodded and flew over to her friend while Naruto went out into the hall and checked on his teammate. "Hey Sasuke, you ok man?"
"What's it to you?" Sasuke held his wrist in pain as he got back to his feet.
"It's the fact that we're both on Team 7. And I still don't know why your brother was after me." Naruto looked down and saw Sasuke's Device and picked it up. "So, this is your Device huh?"
"How do YOU know about that?" Sasuke used his good hand to snatch Bardiche away from Naruto.
"Uh, did you see the floating fox girl on my shoulder earlier? That's Kyu Vixen, my Unison Device. Plus I have one more." Naruto showed Sasuke his wrist. "This is Kerykeion, my Boost Device."
"There's no way you can have two Devices! Who did you get them from?" Sasuke snapped angrily.
Naruto was about to explain about Kyu, but remembered that they were going to keep things secret for now. "Uh, I'm not sure how Kyu and I got together. I was training and next thing I know she appeared. As for Kerykeion, she apparently belonged to my father and was given to me by his teacher."
"Whatever loser. You still have nothing compared to my Bardiche." Sasuke turned his back and started walking towards the exit. "As for you Bardiche, you fail me again and I will make you suffer for your failure!"
"Yes sir." Naruto could hear the heavy disappointment in Bardiche's voice.
"Sasuke, it's not his fault you know. Itachi was the one that did the damage." Naruto said before Sasuke snapped at him.
"Shut your mouth Naruto! I'll deal with this however I want!" Sasuke took off out of the hallway and began to make his way back to Konoha. Naruto just sighed and went back to check on Tenten. Hinata had come out of the back room and had begun scanning over Tenten.
"Ugh, what hit me?" Tenten was coming out of her unconscious state. "What's going on?"
"Looks like you were under a genjutsu for a bit." Hinata looked over Tenten one last time for any excess chakra. "Naruto-kun, what happened?"
"It was Sasuke's brother Itachi Uchiha. He and some blue looking shark guy wanted me because they thought the Kyuubi was still sealed inside me." Naruto explained as he helped Tenten to her feet. "I told them I didn't have the Kyuubi but they didn't believe me. Even when I showed Kyu to them, the blue guy was gonna attack, but then Sasuke showed up. He tried to attack Itachi, but got his ass handed to him."
"What about Bardiche? Is he ok?" Tenten was concerned about the device simply due to the pain it had to endure with Sasuke.
"He took some damage from Itachi and Sasuke totally went off on him." Naruto explained. "I wanted to see if I could help, but he snapped at me and stormed off. Bardiche or whatever his Device was called sounded really disappointed because he failed Sasuke."
Tenten shook the last of the webs from her head, "I really feel sorry for Bardiche. How a device like him ended up with a complete jackass is beyond me." She returned Cross Mirage back to standby. "Ok after all this, I'm definitely going to need a dip in the springs. You ready Hinata?"
"Yes. Sorry I wasn't here earlier to help you. I was looking for something for Kyu-chan to wear." Hinata showed a small robe that was the perfect size for Kyu. "I…keep a doll that my mother gave me sealed in my backpack at all times, and I noticed Kyu-chan didn't have anything else to wear. So I wanted her to have it for the time being."
Kyu looked at the small garment and slowly approached Hinata, "You're…giving this to me?" She felt very unsure and even felt a little bad. "Why do this for me?"
"Why not?' Hinata replied. She could still see the depressed look on the Device's eyes.
"I guess it's because I'm trying to hide the fact that I've hurt and killed countless people over many years. I've destroyed thousands of worlds just out of simple pleasure. I was created to be a weapon of mass destruction, and I enjoyed every bit of it." Everyone could hear the pain forming in Kyu's voice. "Then there's the fact that I took the lives of so many from your home, including Naruto's parents. Then I spent the last 12 years tormenting him, and causing his life to be miserable."
"So what! That was the past. You've been given a second chance now." Tenten explained. "Use it and make the best of things."
"It's not that simple. 10,000 years of anger, hate, malice, rage, and destruction is not easy to forget. For all of that to change so fast…I…I don't know how I'm supposed to deal with it." Kyu's voice was shaking. "I'm really scared. I know that device changed me into this form and reprogrammed me, but what happens if that was a temporary solution? What if I turn back into the raging monster I used to be?" Everyone could see Kyu changed from feeling cheerful to completely in fear.
Naruto had other things he needed to say though, "What if you do change? Is that what you want to know?" Kyu nodded her head and as she did that, Naruto surprised everyone by grabbing her in his hand, completely putting a locking grip around her. "So is this what you felt all those years ago? Feeling strong while you made others feel weak?"
"Naruto, what are you doing?" Tenten said in shock. Even Hinata couldn't believe what she was seeing.
"I'm going to finally pay back 12 years of utter misery!" He had an evil grin on his face as he slowly tightened his hands around Kyu's frame. "That's right, now it's time you feel exactly what you did to me. I'm going to make you scream and suffer."
"Naruto….please…don't do this." Kyu struggled to talk but Naruto's constricting grip made it more difficult.
"Oh no…you're going to pay for all of it. And you know how?" Naruto could see his Device starting to tear up. Kyu was truly scared of what Naruto was going to do. Fear had consumed her so much that she never even thought of trying to break free from his grip. "Well I'll tell you how!" Instead of constricting more, Naruto released Kyu, watching as she took a deep breath of air. "You get over yourself and start making things right."
"Naruto?" Kyu was now seriously confused. Here she was, at Naruto's complete mercy and he goes and releases her?
"So you did some bad stuff, who cares. That was the Kyuubi that did that, remember?" Naruto kept his gaze fixed on her. "Last I remember, I'm the one that named you, and as far as I'm concerned the only thing Kyu Vixen has done was blasted a pervert!"
"He's right. That was a pretty good shot." Tenten chuckled to help lighten the mood.
"Just screw all of that past junk. Just set out to be the best you can be and do what you know is right." Naruto told her as he set her down on the bed.
"Naruto, you're really ok…with me that is?" Kyu wiped away her tears, hoping Naruto wouldn't turn on her.
"Would you rather me snap you in half right now?" Naruto said in a menacing tone. Kyu immediately shook her head, saying she was just fine with the way things are now. "Alright then, yeesh. Go to the dang hot springs or whatever."
Kyu quickly got up and started flying towards the bathroom to change, when she turned back and gave Naruto a peck on the cheek, "Thanks Naruto, and I really mean that too." With that she flew in quickly to change.
"Are girls always this weird?" Naruto said to himself, not knowing that both Tenten and Hinata were still there. Tenten just sighed while Hinata was giggling.
"Don't worry about it at all Naruto." Tenten figured he wouldn't understand, but she just went about her business.
"Naruto-kun, Kyu-chan will be fine." Hinata reassured him. "We'll take good care of her."
"Thanks Hinata. Oh and thanks for giving her that robe. Do you think you could help her with some other clothes or whatever when we get back to Konoha? Everyone might think it kinda weird if I was buying doll clothes."
Hinata smiled warmly at his request, "Of course Naruto-kun." Kyu then flew in quickly and landed on Hinata's shoulder.
"Ok I'm ready!" She said happily. "Now let's go see these hot springs!"
"We'll be back later Naruto. Take it easy ok." Tenten said as the trio headed out the door.
"Alright." Naruto took another balloon and went back to work practicing the Rasengan.
It was only a day before the group was back on the road headed to Tanzaku town. Kyu kept talking about how she wanted to go to another hot spring again after the previous night. Hinata did let her know that her home had a hot spring style bath and that she could come use it anytime she wanted. This had Kyu squealing in joy.
Tenten kept thinking about Itachi's attack the day before. For some reason she kept hearing the words 'underneath the underneath' over and over in her head. It made her start thinking about a lot more things happening, like the presence of Akatsuki after the Lost Logia, the activated Devices, and the possible confrontation with Tsunade in Tanzaku Town.
Naruto kept his focus with practicing the Rasengan. He was coming closer and closer to getting the final step, but each time he thought he made progress, the balloon popped and set him right back to where he was before. Although he was concentrating on that, one thing did come to mind that he meant to ask earlier.
"Kyu, I got a question. It's been 2 days already and why hasn't Kerykeion said anything like Cross Mirage and Mach Caliber?" Naruto looked at the bracelet on his wrist, wondering just what was going on with his second device.
"Well Naruto, for one thing, Kerykeion isn't an Intelligent Device. She's a Boost Device." Kyu landed on his shoulder as he was walking and started her explanation. "See, she was specially customized and designed for Summoning, Boosting Skills, and Mana Regulation. Since all of her processing power had to go towards these features, it didn't leave much for a complicated AI like the others. However her AI was upgraded slightly when Cross Mirage and Mach Caliber received their upgrades. Not as much to where she's fully independent like those two, but enough for her to carry on small conversations."
"But she can still talk to me right?" Naruto looked at his Device again. "I mean, she's not shy or anything is she?"
"I dunno. Why don't you ask her?" Kyu shrugged her shoulders and figured it wouldn't hurt to ask.
"Well that wasn't much help." Naruto grumbled. "But ok why not. Kerykeion, are you there? You're not hiding or anything are you?" Nothing came out from the Device. "Uh…Kerykeion?"
"You know, your Device reminds me of someone Naruto. I'd say that person was just like Kerykeion a few months ago." Tenten shot a glance at Hinata who immediately blushed because she knew that's who Tenten was talking about.
"Well I dunno why she'd be hiding. We're all allies here." Naruto sighed as he couldn't' figure out what to do.
"Naruto, why don't you let us talk to her. You see, her original master happened to be shy as well. Since Kerykeion's AI upgrade was based on Caro's personality, she took on some of her traits, especially the shyness. It's possible that she is simply shy around you as you're her new master." Mach Caliber stated. "We can use a system link to speak with her."
"You guys can do that?" Naruto asked, unsure of what was going on.
"How do you think I got the Blaster System information and the Starlight Breaker Spell from Cross Mirage and Mach Caliber?" Kyu moved down and landed on his arm beside Kerykeion. "Hinata, can you and Tenten let me have Mach Caliber and Cross Mirage for a bit? This will work easier if we're in close proximity of each other."
"No problem." Tenten took Cross Mirage from around her neck and gave him to Kyu. Hinata did the same with Mach Caliber.
"Ok, we're probably gonna be out of it for a bit, so don't drop me ok." Kyu said as she closed her eyes. In a few seconds, she was glowing in a light red aura, while each of the three devices were glowing as well. It only took about 10 seconds before the aura faded and she was back to normal. "Ok there we go. You wanna say hi now Kerykeion?"
"H-h-hi Master Naruto." The two pink orbs on Naruto's wrist flashed as his Device spoke for the first time.
"Just what the heck did you do?" Naruto asked as Kyu handed the other two devices back to their masters. "And why does she still sound so nervous."
"She's nervous because when she started synchronizing with you, she originally thought you were your father. Since she was there when your father died, she didn't know what to expect when she linked up with you." Kyu explained carefully. "We just told her that it was her previous master's son that was her new master."
"So you just thought I was my dad? Was that it Kerykeion?" asked Naruto.
"Y-yes sir. I h-h-h-hope I d-d-don't disappoint you." Kerykeion said nervously.
"Ok that's gotta go. I'm already getting upset." Naruto said crossly. "I swear, what are you nervous about? Listen, you and I are partners, just like Kyu is our partner too. If you're worried about getting thrown away, or mistreated or anything like that, then get over it. As long as you're my device, you're not going to suffer through any of that."
If anyone could actually see Kerykeion in physical form, she'd be shaking in shock right now. Not from the fact that Naruto somewhat snapped at her, but he did it to make her relax and be more confident! "Oh ok M-M-Master Naruto."
"And none of that 'Master Naruto' stuff. Yeesh! Just call me Naruto. Everyone else does." Naruto calmed a bit more, hoping that would help his device relax.
"Here, let me help with that." Kyu closed her eyes again and touched Kerykeion as well as Naruto's arm. She started glowing in a red aura for a few seconds and finished. "OK that's much better."
"I'm sorry Naruto. I promise I'll work hard for you. I'll make you proud just like I did for Master Minato." Kerykeion definitely did a major change in personality.
Naruto just looked at Kyu and she already knew what he was asking. "I created a triangle link for the three of us. So Kerykeion is now in synchronizing with both of us. In addition I transferred part of your emotional personality to her, namely some of your confidence." Kyu hopped up and moved back on to Naruto's shoulder. "She'll still have some shy moments, but not as much and eventually being linked to you will help her get over the shyness."
"Wow, that's pretty good! Kyu, if Hinata and I ever got Unison Devices, would we be able to do something like that?" Tenten asked as she was amazed at what happened.
"Yep. See that's the benefit of Unison Devices. We not only sync with our Masters, but we help them sync with their other Devices as well. And if all the Devices a Master is using at once are in perfect sync, then you're looking at one heck of a mage! You'd be able to use basic spells with a near instantaneous cast, you can cast them silently, mana consumption would drop to near nothing and Full Drive would last a lot longer than normal." Kyu explained about the synchronization. "So once Kerykeion reaches the point of complete trust in Naruto and me, he'll be a lot stronger when using us together."
"She has to trust me more?" Naruto was confused as to why his Device would need to trust him.
"Ok, maybe I said that wrong. In her case it's more like…she needs to just warm up to you more and once you start training with her, she'll get a feel for your abilities and how to help you." Kyu corrected herself. "But for now, just be happy she's talking."
"Well, at least I'm glad you're awake. And trust me, I'm not gonna let anything happen to you Kerykeion, believe it!" Naruto said proudly.
"Thank you Naruto." Kerykeion's gem began to glow, almost as if she was blushing.
"Since you seem to know a lot about Kerykeion, did she get augmented with all of those booster effects like everyone else's Devices were?" Naruto figured it best to make sure he knew everything his Device could do.
"Hmm, well go ahead and activate her, and I'll go over her features for you." Kyu said. Naruto nodded and activated Kerykeion into her active mode, which changed her from the bracelet to two fingerless gloves with a gem in the center. "Ok Naruto, do you see the metal ring around each gemstone? That is the micro cartridge system which is the same as the ones Cross Mirage and Mach Caliber have. However because Kerykeion is a little smaller, the cartridges used are super compressed and she can only hold up to 10 cartridges at the most."
"Don't the others get more cartridges?" Naruto questioned. "That doesn't seem fair."
"They do get more cartridges, but because Kerykeion is specialized in optimizing mana use, or chakra use now, you don't need as many cartridges as they do for spells. Like for Starlight Breaker, they need 4 cartridges, while you only need 1." Kyu replied, causing Naruto to feel better.
"Whoa, you can do that? That's pretty cool Kerykeion." Naruto praised his Device gladly.
"Thank you Naruto." Kerykeion flashed again almost as if she were blushing.
"As for the Blaster System, it was programmed differently for Kerykeion. Instead of summoning Blaster Bits for more spread out attack power, it actually condenses the power boosts you get, and speeds up her response time and abilities. So Blaster 1 makes her twice as fast, Blaster 2 makes her 8 times as fast, and Blaster 3 makes her 80 times as fast, making it so that anything you do will be near instantaneous. It also improves her boosting magic as such." Kyu finished explaining.
"That's pretty intense. So what do you do in Full Drive?" Naruto wanted to make sure he got as much information as he could.
"She doesn't really change at all. Except for two energy wings appearing around your wrists, that's it. Second mode will have a set of wings on your right wrist, and will release her shooting magic. Full Drive creates a second pair of wings on your left wrist, and will unlock the wide area forms of her boosting and shooting magic. Also it seems that you can only use the Starlight Breaker spell in Full Drive." Kyu finished explaining. "Oh one more thing Naruto. Kerykeion wanted to show you your Barrier Jacket."
"My Barrier Jacket…" Before Naruto could finish, a white short sleeve cloak appeared around him, with orange flames at the bottom of it. On the back the words "The Orange Flash" appeared. "Whoa, this is pretty cool."
"Naruto, that's just like the Yondaime's cloak!" Tenten easily knew the design. "Heh like father, like son."
"So dad's cloak was really his Barrier Jacket that you created." Naruto overlooked his cloak and was very pleased with the design. "Thank you Kerykeion."
"Master Minato was happy with it and I hope it pleases you as well. I kind of customized it based on some of your personal features." Kerykeion replied.
"I'm sure he would be." Naruto said as he disengaged his jacket and returned Kerykeion back to standby. "And yeah I definitely like it. Thanks Kerykeion."
"Well if you three have had enough learning, I'm pleased to let you know that we're almost to Tanzaku town." Jiraiya interjected, showing that the village was in range.
"Great. Now we'll hopefully get a lead on Lady Tsunade, and maybe even find Klarwind, Luciferon, and Vulnificus." Tenten chimed in. "Let's get a move on guys."
The four took off full speed towards the village after Kyu jumped into Hinata's backpack to hide. Tanzaku Town was a bustling festival town filled with booths, games, and displays. There were multiple casinos and hotels everywhere as a festival was going on.
"So where should we go first?" Hinata asked as she scanned the area. "This doesn't look like it will be easy."
"Well there are two things you need to know about Tsunade. She loves to drink and she loves to gamble." Jiraiya said as he pointed to the casinos and bars. "Since it's a little bit late in the day, chances are if she's here, she's at a bar. So I say we check there."
"Um…we're not allowed to go into a bar. We're all underage." Hinata reminded Jiraiya, but didn't know things were different.
"If you were normal kids, then that would be the case. But the forehead protectors you each wear not only symbolize you as shinobi, but it also symbolizes you as adults in some areas." Jiraiya explained. "I've been to Tanzaku Town before and if you have the symbol of a village, you're considered an adult. Old enough to kill, old enough to drink, old enough to warm the sheets…that's what they believe for shinobi."
Naruto just had a dumb look on his face while both Tenten and Hinata turned beet red after that last part of the motto. "What kind of motto is that?" Naruto just couldn't get the whole concept behind it.
"Uh Naruto…" Tenten whispered as much of a meaning in his ear as she could explain.
"That is just WRONG!" The shock on Naruto's face said it all.
"It's how things are Naruto. Life is a lot different for shinobi. One day you could be going on a mission, the next day you end up dead and you wouldn't have even reached your 13th birthday." Jiraiya was very serious with his explanation. "That's why in some countries it's not common to see shinobi married and starting families at your age. They don't know how long they will live so every minute of life is precious to them and they make use of every minute of it."
"I never thought of it that way." Naruto actually understood that Jiraiya wasn't being perverted, but being serious. Anything could happen to him at any time now so he had to understand that his life was more valuable, as were the lives of his teammates.
"Don't think on it too much. Now let's see if we can find any good leads." Jiraiya got them back on focus and headed to the nearest bar. The three walked in and saw it wasn't necessarily full of drunks, but looked similar to a regular restaurant. "Ok, try not to look like this is your first time in a bar."
"Ok. If you say so." Tenten still had a look of disgust on her face as she scanned the area. "Hinata, you think you could give the area a scan?"
Hinata looked all around and didn't see anything unusual. To make sure no one would be suspicious of her scanning, she decided to speak telepathically. "No, there doesn't seem to be anything unusual."
"Um…I think I might have found something." Kerykeion jumped in. "I think there's a familiar Device signature here."
"Kerykeion, how can you tell?" Naruto asked his Device.
"She has a built in scan function for other Devices!" Kyu remembered from Kerykeion's diagnostic readout from the computer console she interfaced with. "Kerykeion, can you remember which Device it is?"
Kerykeion did her best to check her memory banks for the Device signature. "It's a very warm signature. One that would take care of Lady Caro when she was hurt."
The three shinobi-mages figured it had to be Klarwind that Kerykeion was detecting. "It has to be Klarwind. But how are we going to tell who has it." Tenten asked. However their search would end faster than they would know.
"Ugh, can you keep it down! I'm trying to relax here!" Hinata, Tenten, and Naruto quickly looked around to see who it was that replied.
"We're sorry, but we just need to know…do you have a Device named Klarwind with you? We just wanna talk." Tenten said in hopes that they would find their person.
"And why do you want to know about Klarwind? Just who are you three anyway?" The same voice was still as stern as ever, but it did give enough of a hint to pinpoint. The group looked around and saw a young woman with blonde hair and a very large chest drinking sake in a booth. What really showed out was the pair of rings she wore on each hand. Upon noticing, Tenten immediately knew who she was.
"Lady Tsunade!" Jiraiya and the group all turned in the direction Tenten called out. "It's you, it's really you Lady Tsunade!"
"She's the one with Klarwind?" Naruto and Hinata thought to each other.
"Well well, to think I'd find my old teammate here." Jiraiya said as he went over to the booth. "Still as beautiful as ever, aren't you Tsunade?"
"Jiraiya! What the hell are you doing here?" Tsunade replied in a sour tone. "If it's to ask me for more ideas for your stupid books, then how about I kill you now."
"Whoa whoa, that's not it! Honestly, I thought you'd think more of your teammate." Jiraiya quickly defended himself. "But that's not the reason I'm here. It's about Konoha."
Tsunade definitely didn't want to hear anything about her home village then, "Whatever it is, who cares. I left that village years ago."
"I know you did, but it's different now. Sarutobi-sensei is dead." Jiraiya told her, causing her demeanor to slightly change. "He was killed in an attack led by Orochimaru."
"Orochimaru killed Sarutobi-sensei? Why?" She thought to herself. "So what do you want? I know you didn't come all this way just to tell me this."
"The village needs a new Hokage. They asked me to do it, but I can't with my spy network. You're the only one that can fill Sarutobi's shoes." Jiraiya replied, instantly getting a negative reaction from Tsunade.
"Forget that. If they want another Hokage, they can find someone else to do it. That job's not worth the benefits." Tsunade brushed off Jiraiya's request and went back to her drink.
"Not worth it? Who do you think you are old lady! Anyone would kill to have the position of Hokage!" Naruto was already angry enough that she was in a sour mood, but the fact that she just disrespected the position his own father held…well it didn't set well with him.
"And what's it to you, brat?" Tsunade sneered back. "Who wants to listen to a bunch of grumbling old people and deal with nothing but crap? Every person that's ever been Hokage was a complete moron."
"She shouldn't have said that around him!" Tenten said telepathically, not remembering that Tsunade could hear it as well. "The fact that she just called Naruto's dad a moron is going to really tick him off!"
Hinata could see Naruto starting to boil at Tsunade's words. "Naruto-kun, calm down. Don't let your anger get to you ok." She went up and whispered in his ear, "What would Yondaime-sama do? Remember who he is to you."
"Naruto? That's Minato and Kushina's kid? Wow, he looks just like his dad. I bet he got all of Kushina's pranking instinct too." Tsunade thought to herself. Unlike Tenten, Tsunade had more skill with telepathic talking and knew how to keep others from hearing her own thoughts.
Naruto, having a few seconds to calm himself and reflect on Hinata's words figured he should settle things differently. "Look old lady, I don't know who you think you are, but calling those who became Hokage a moron doesn't set well with me. But I think if I beat you in a match, you'll change your mind."
Tsunade just rolled her eyes, "Kid you really think you'll beat me in a match? I bet I can beat you with one finger!"
"I don't want one finger. I want you at full power, and your Device in Full Drive." Naruto stated his terms. "Or do you think you can't handle me?"
Tsunade looked at Naruto and looked at the rings on her fingers, "Alright brat, if that's what you really want. Let's take this outside. Then we'll see what you got."
"Fine with me." Naruto followed Tsunade outside to an empty alleyway. Hinata, Tenten, and Jiraiya were right behind him. Kyu even peeked out of Hinata's backpack to see what was going on.
"You know before we get started I want to see just what you got kid. You seem to know a lot about Devices, so you can get started." Tsunade was feeling sporting, so she let Naruto prepare first.
"Naruto, you haven't even used your Device in combat once. Going Full Drive is insane!" Tenten warned Naruto. "Trust me, it's a lot more intense than you think."
"We'll see. Alright Kyu, time to link up. Let's go Kerykeion!" Naruto immediately activated Kerykeion, summoning his Barrier Jacket. Kyu flew over and looked good at Tsunade.
"Um Naruto, I know I said I would always help you, but are you sure this is a good idea?" Kyu seemed quite doubtful of Naruto's situation.
"We'll be fine. She won't know what hit her." Naruto said confidently. Kyu just went along with it and merged with him, this time changing the color of his Barrier Jacket from white and orange to red with black flame trim. His red aura cloak also appeared around him as well.
"Oh so you do have some power, huh?" Tsunade noticed all of his changes going on at once. "That small device that merged with him, it looks just like Kushina, but with fox tails and ears? I remember she used to be the Kyuubi's Jinchuuriki, but something major happened. I'll see what I find out after this."
"I hope you're ready for a beat down!" Naruto dashed in towards Tsunade at incredible speed. Having both Kyu and Kerykeion working with him improved his abilities considerably. "Deal with this!" Naruto tried striking with immense force, only to come in contact with a barrier. Tsunade hadn't even moved an inch.
"That all you got brat? I thought you'd have more power than that." Tsunade slightly yawned as Naruto continued striking her barrier. She was getting tired of his games so she raised her index finger in the air. "You know something? I never even activated Klarwind at all. When I said I could beat you with one finger, I meant it." She took her one finger and slammed it into the ground, sending a massive shockwave that threw Naruto for a loop back into an old building.
On the sides, Tenten and Hinata couldn't believe the sheer power they just witnessed. 'She's that strong? She sent him flying with just one finger!" Tenten was in amazement at Tsunade's raw power.
"I hope he's not hurt. Please be ok Naruto-kun." Hinata said quietly, hoping her crush was unharmed.
Tsunade looked at the two girls and saw their reactions, "Hmm, so the panda headed one seems to like my skills. The Hyuuga girl however seems to be worried about the brat over there." She turned her focus back to where Naruto was. He had crawled out of the small crater made from where he crashed and had been standing there with a shadow clone…and a Rasengan in hand. Tsunade saw this and couldn't believe that this kid was performing Minato's jutsu at such a young age. "Jiraiya, what do you think you're doing, teaching him the Rasengan!"
"He taught it to me because it was a jutsu to be passed down from one generation of my family to another! My father knew it and I will surpass his skill with it!" Naruto ran full speed ready to slam the Rasengan into Tsunade, but she was anticipating him. She touched the hand with the Rasengan with her one finger and slammed it into the ground, causing it to explode in a spiral. There she simply placed her foot on Naruto's back, pushing into him.
"I told you I could beat you with one finger, didn't I? Think you can force me to go back to Konoha?" Tsunade brushed the dust off her foot and stepped off Naruto. "I will say this, the kid has guts."
"Who do you think he got it from?" Jiraiya chuckled.
"But what I want to know is how these three kids know so much about Devices. Not only that, but why did that Unison Device look like Kushina with fox tails?" Jiraiya could tell Tsunade had a lot of questions.
"We can discuss this more at the hotel. For now it would be best to keep a low profile." Jiraiya instructed. "Hinata, you and Tenten get Naruto."
Tenten and Hinata ran over to check on the blonde shinobi, seeing him groan as he pulled himself up. Kerykeion went back into standby and Kyu broke off the unison and shook the webs out of her head as well. Since it was better that they not draw any attention to themselves, the group went back to the inn that Tsunade was staying at. That's where everything was fully explained and brought out in the clear.
"You know Kyu, you really are the spitting image of Kushina. Hard to believe you took on this form. Any idea why the DCS device did that?" Tsunade remembered Kushina growing up in Konoha, and remembered when she came to be the next Jinchuuriki after her grandmother Mito Uzumaki.
"No clue. My guess is that due to her chakra inside Naruto, the DCS system used it to create my base form. I actually like it." Kyu smiled as she landed on Naruto's shoulder.
"Well back to the issue at hand, you said the two dark Devices were on their way here to Tanzaku Town? Did you get any information on who they may belong to?" asked Tsunade.
"None. Kyu scanned the entire system we found at that abandoned bunker and only saw they were active. So we're still in the dark." Tenten replied. "All we know is that they're coming and for all we know they could be here already."
"Something just doesn't feel right at all." Tsunade pondered the information and still had a bad feeling. "I'm now even more suspicious with Orochimaru showing up yesterday."
"He was here? What did that snake want?" Jiraiya knew his other partner could bring nothing but trouble.
"It was concerning his arms. He said that he injured them and lost all use of them in battle. He wanted me to heal them in exchange for bringing back Dan and Nawaki." Tsunade replied.
"Lady Tsunade, who are they?" Hinata questioned.
"Dan Kato, he was my lover I hoped would have been my husband. He's also Shizune's uncle." Tsunade tried her best not to choke up. "I lost him during the Third Great War. As for Nawaki, he was my little brother. He had a bright future but it was brought to an end too soon. He never even reached his 13th birthday."
"Her brother never even reached 13? Wow, Ero-sennin was right about the unexpected life and death thing." Naruto just thought about what Tsunade said.
"Naruto, what's wrong?" Tenten looked over and saw he wasn't being his normal loud self.
Naruto just shook his head, "It's nothing. Look we need to get back to Konoha. So Baa-chan, are you coming or not?"
Tsunade immediately twitched at his words, "Kid are you looking to suffer an early death?"
Naruto immediately retaliated in a flame war of words with the Slug Sannin about coming back. Tsunade kept telling him that it wasn't worth it and she wouldn't take the job for anything. However someone else had a different proposal.
"Lady Tsunade, I know it may be difficult to change your mind, but please listen." Everyone saw Hinata speaking, and wondered what she had to say. "If you won't come back to be Hokage, would you please come back to be our commanding officer?"
"Commanding officer? Hinata what are you talking about?" Tenten asked in confusion.
"I'm asking if she will come back and be the new leader of Riot Force 6." Hinata said, definitely getting a jolt out of everyone. "All of us here have abilities that no other shinobi could think of. It's like you said Tenten, we're not shinobi, we're shinobi-mages. There's so much lost technology in this world and who knows what would happen if it got into the wrong hands."
"I don't see where this is going Hinata." Tsunade was still unsure of her request.
"Lady Tsunade, you already showed us you have more control and skill with Klarwind simply by being able to block telepathic communication. We can't do that. We need someone like you to teach us and help us become stronger mages as well as shinobi." Hinata said confidently. "Not only that, but what's to say people on other worlds haven't rebuilt their civilization after the Great Mage War. Remember our Devices were all part of an organization called the Time-Space Administration Bureau. What if we could restore that?"
"You're serious about all of this?" Tenten was still unsure just what Hinata had in mind.
"I am. Ever since I saw that transmission about the war, it had me thinking that we're a new beginning for Mid-Childa." Hinata had no sense of doubt in her words. "I know what I want to do, and this is it. We're the only ones who can truly change the Bijuu Lost Logia from rampaging creatures into good Devices. We're the only ones that understand what used to be of our world."
"Hinata, I don't know what to say. To be your commanding officer…I don't know how that will work." Tsunade said doubtfully.
"Not only that, but we have no clue who else can use Devices. We also have no clue how to create them either. All we have are the map locations that Kyu downloaded for the other hidden bunkers across the country." Tenten added. "Right now we'd be going into the unknown."
"That may be true Tenten, but if we don't do it, someone else will. And for all we know that person could use everything they find to cause more harm in this world." Hinata rebutted. "I won't let that happen."
"I don't know about you guys, but I'm gonna help her all the way." Naruto gave his approval of Hinata's idea. "If she wants to do a lot of good in the world, then I'm gonna be right there with her."
"You're really serious about all of this." Tenten just shook her head. "Well, hanging out with you is a lot better than dealing with your stuck up cousin. Plus we're best friends so we have to stick together. Count me and Cross Mirage in."
"So what do you say Lady Tsunade? We need a strong teacher to help us become better shinobi and better mages and you're the best one here." Hinata asked again. "Will you and Klarwind become our new commanding officer?"
Tsunade took in all the information and couldn't believe the proposal she was given. "I can't believe a 12 year old girl came up with an idea like this. Jiraiya, what do you think would happen if Konoha's ninja ranks were reorganized to what Hinata wants to do?"
"I'd say it would be an interesting change. Depending on what all we find from other ruins, we just might be able to fully rebuild the TSAB here, that or start a new story of our own." Jiraiya replied. "Plus my spy network would come in handy for you as well."
"Klarwind, any objections?" Tsunade turned to her Device for some council.
"Nicht, meine Herrin (None, my Mistress)." Klarwind replied.
"Well, I guess I'll take you up on your offer Hinata." Tsunade saw Hinata's face light up. "So I guess today marks the return of the Time-Space Administration Bureau."
"Thank you so much Lady Tsunade…uh I mean Commander Tsunade." Hinata replied respectfully.
"Ok so, how were people grouped in the TSAB? Any ideas Kyu?" Naruto asked, hoping to get more info.
"I just happen to have some information right here." She tapped her head and began to explain about the different fields and ranks of the TSAB that she got from the computer. She even explained the divisions of trainers, enforcers, and investigators as well.
"Well, I guess I'm now known as General Tsunade Senju of the TSAB." Tsunade said taking on her new rank.
"Senju…as in the same name as the Shodaime and Nidaime?" Tenten knew she remembered the last name, but wasn't sure where.
"Yes. The Shodaime was my grandfather and the Nidaime was my great uncle." Tsunade replied. "Any other questions, Private First Class Tenten…just what is your last name?"
Tenten hesitated for a bit, and gave her response, "Actually…I don't remember. I've always lived alone. All I remember is that my parents were killed when I was really young and I had been in an orphanage until I became an academy student. The only thing I have that belonged to my mother is Cross Mirage."
"Tenten, why didn't you tell me?" Hinata felt bad for her best friend that she had to live like that, not even having a family name.
"It's no big deal. I never let it bother me. I said I was going to become a strong kunoichi and it didn't matter if I had a family name or not." Tenten replied, trying to keep from crying. "So don't worry about it ok."
"No it's not ok." Hinata snapped back. Both Tenten and Naruto were surprised at her reaction. "You shouldn't live your life like that."
"Well, what do you think I should do?" Tenten asked back.
"You could take Naruto's last name. He's the last Uzumaki and Namikaze as well." Jiraiya just tossed the idea out there. "You two already get along, so why not just consider yourselves family. At least you'd have that?"
Tenten and Naruto looked at each other, and strangely didn't think the idea was bad. "Well…I wouldn't mind having someone to call family. And I guess an older sister wouldn't be bad." Naruto just scratched his head over the whole matter. "Um, are you ok with it Tenten?"
"Well it's unexpected but, it would be a good start. So…Tenten Uzumaki. I guess I can go with it." Tenten replied. "You sure it doesn't bother you Naruto?"
"Nope. I'm ok with it." Tenten said, getting back to the task on hand. "So we have the start of the new TSAB, so I guess now we need to get back to trying to find Luciferon and Vulnificus. General Senju, any ideas?"
"Just call me Lady Tsunade. I'll go with that whole General thing later. But I have no clue about those Devices. There's still the fact that I have that meeting with Orochimaru as well. Plus you said there's the other 8 Bijuu Lost Logia still rampant and you need to convert them into devices like Kyu." Tsunade went over all of the things that were going on now.
"That's pretty much the gist of things." Hinata replied. "So what should we do?"
"For now let's see what Orochimaru wants. As you said, Kerykeion has a scanner that can pick up Device signatures. Since we don't know who may have Luciferon and Vulnificus, we should wait for now until she gets a stronger signal." Jiraiya proposed. "After everything is done here, we can head back to Konoha to start preparations to find the other Bijuu Lost Logia and to locate the other bunkers."
"Sounds like a plan. Well, I know you three are still on Konoha business, but I am assigning your first missions as Riot Force 6. Private First Class Hinata Hyuuga, Private First Class Tenten Uzumaki, and Private First Class Naruto Uzumaki; your missions are as follows. You are to locate the remaining Bijuu Lost Logia and convert them into devices. In addition, you are to secure the rogue devices Luciferon and Vulnificus. Finally you are to locate any remaining bunkers that may have more information and technology valuable to the TSAB. Do you accept these terms?" Tsunade barked out the orders. All three immediately stood at attention and saluted. "Alright then, time to deal with a snake in the grass."
"You never cease to amaze me Tsunade." Jiraiya chuckled.
"Oh shut up you pervert." Tsunade spat back. "Oh Naruto, before I forget…I have a little wager for you."
Naruto pointed to himself, wondering what she wanted, "Um…for me?"
"Yes. You see I'm quite amazed that you've brought the Rasengan so far, but I can tell you haven't finished it yet. I bet you couldn't have it perfected by the end of the week." Tsunade said slyly.
Naruto was fired up now, "Oh really? I'll have it done in 3 days!"
Tsunade knew she had his attention. "Really now. Well, then if you can do that, I'll give you this." She pulled out a crystal hanging from her neck. "This belonged to my grandfather. It's yours if you win. Also I might change my mind about becoming Hokage as well. If you lose however, I get every dime you have."
"Deal!" Naruto was determined to prove just who he was and just what he could do. He was going to make Tsunade eat her words after he won the bet.
A few days passed with everyone trying to keep busy until Tsunade's encounter with Orochimaru. Naruto continued his training in the Rasengan and also working with Kyu and Kerykeion, while Hinata and Tenten worked on analyzing information Kyu had on the other bunkers and Devices. Things were going smooth, but the day of the confrontation would change a lot of things.
Naruto, Tenten, and Hinata stayed hidden in a back alley watching Tsunade meet up with Orochimaru. She wanted them out of sight and ready to strike in the moment something went wrong.
"I don't like waiting like this." Naruto was getting extremely impatient having to stay back. "It's Orochimaru. We just need to get in there and destroy that dude."
"But if we did that Naruto, we might lose out on any kind of valuable information." Tenten did her best to calm him. "Lady Tsunade has the right idea with us waiting. Besides, weren't you supposed to be keeping an eye out for Vulnificus and Luciferon?"
Naruto remembered that his Device had the scanner, so he checked back, "Sorry. Forgot about that. Hey Kerykeion, you picking anything up?"
"I can detect two signatures. They seem to be close by." Kerykeion was in full scan mode, constantly checking the area for anything.
"Well we know they're close. Hinata can you see anything?" Tenten looked over and saw Hinata already had her Byakugan active, checking the area.
"The only thing I see is two chakra signatures. But it's strange; one looks like it has no chakra going through the arms." Hinata was trying to focus on her targets. "I've never seen this before."
"That must be Orochimaru." Tenten remembered that Tsunade said Orochimaru lost his arms in battle. "But who's the other person with him."
"All we can do is wait and see." Hinata replied as she kept watching the two signatures move. As they got closer, Kerykeion started reacting.
"N-N-Naruto…those device signatures, they're close! Plus they're very d-d-dark!" Kerykeion's voice was trembling in fear. Naruto didn't think a Device could be scared, but he didn't throw out the idea.
"You don't think…" Naruto came to the suspicion that Luciferon and Vulnificus may be with Orochimaru and his companion.
"Naruto, you may be right on this. If Orochimaru has Luciferon and Vulnificus, who knows what we may be getting into." Tenten agreed that things may be getting ugly.
With Tsunade, she awaited the arrival of her former teammate. Just as promised, Orochimaru arrived in a casual matter. Tsunade noticed that his arms were still completely lifeless.
"So I see you came my dear Tsunade." Orochimaru had a deceptive smile on his face. "I'm glad you will help me. As such I will fulfill my end of the bargain and bring back your beloved Dan and Nawaki."
Tsunade said nothing as she approached the Snake Sannin. Her hands began to glow in a green aura as she was about to make her move. However just before she got started, a purple spear of lightning charged energy flew between her and Orochimaru.
"Lord Orochimaru, it's a trap!" Tsunade turned to see Kabuto, Orochimaru's retainer, had quickly moved in between the two. "I could tell her chakra was not healing chakra, but destructive chakra."
"Tsunade, what is this?" Orochimaru questioned, but Tsunade saw threw it.
"Don't give me that you snake. I know what you did to Konoha and to Sarutobi-sensei. He was the one that made your arms like this when he tried to take your entire soul!" Tsunade fell back into a defensive stance. "Your lackey's right. I wasn't going to heal you…I was going to kill you for what you did!"
Orochimaru licked his lips with his abnormally long snakelike tongue, "Well my dear, it seems that we will be saying goodbye this day. Do not worry, I will still let you see your two loved ones…in the afterlife!" Kabuto quickly threw a smoke pellet, giving the two enough time to jump back from Tsunade. "Farewell my dear. Luciferon, Blast Fire!"
Tsunade heard his voice and couldn't believe it. "Luciferon!" She could see a purplish circle in the smoke cloud and knew she had to react. "Klarwind, Protection!"
"Ja!" Klarwind instantly put up a pink barrier wall to protect any attack Orochimaru threw, but Kabuto was one step ahead. The moment she tried her barrier, it dissipated.
"A little slow, aren't you Tsunade?" Kabuto was already behind her, wielding a scythe with a bluish purple blade. "Time we end things." He was about to slash her when he was knocked out of the way from Tsunade's reinforcements.
"Knew it!" Tenten, Naruto, and Hinata moved in as ordered to give Tsunade the backup she needed. Tenten had kept a sharp eye out and fired a bullet to counter Kabuto. As soon as they got into the fray, Kerykeion nearly went crazy.
"It's them! L-L-Luciferon and Vulnificus!" Kerykeion's voice was trembling. Naruto and the others couldn't believe what they were seeing.
"So, you have a sensory type device? Interesting to know boy. Why not hand it to me and allow me to show you just what power a device like that can do." Orochimaru was immediately fascinated in his device.
"Don't bet on it you snake." Naruto growled back.
"Orochimaru, hand over the two devices Luciferon and Vulnificus by order of the Time-Space Administration Bureau!" Tenten had her guns pointed straight at the Snake wielder. "You're heavily outnumbered and we won't be afraid to use force!"
Orochimaru simply laughed at her demand. "Little girl, you truly know not of the power you wield do you?" He simply chuckled as she stared him down. "Your shots will not harm me at all."
Tenten wasn't about to let herself be under minded. "We'll see about that!" She pulled the trigger to fire, but noticed nothing happened. "Hey…why didn't my shot fire."
"Foolish girl. As I said, you know not of the power you wield." Orochimaru laughed as the three Genin looked confused. "You had no clue you were within an AMF.
"AMF? What's he talking about?" Tenten hoped to get some kind of answer.
"It's an Anti-Magic Field, my Mistress. It nullifies any type of magical attack. As long as we're in the range of the field, we can't use any shots." Cross Mirage informed the group.
"So what are we supposed to do?" Naruto was trying to check and see what other options were available.
"Leave Orochimaru to me. You three handle Kabuto. You may not have use of any enhanced abilities, but that doesn't stop you from your own ninja skills. You three are more than enough. Plus I wanna see if Naruto's gonna hold up his end of the bet." Tsunade cracked her knuckles, preparing to take on her former partner.
Naruto knew what she meant and knew it was a chance for him to prove himself. He nodded and turned his focus to Kabuto, as did Hinata and Tenten. "Alright, let's show this freak what we're made of!"
"Foolish Naruto. I'll enjoy killing you and your two friends." Kabuto spun the scythe in his hand in delight. "Now come forth!"
"Who said I was going to make the first move." Naruto chuckled as Hinata shot off like lightning and immediately started attacking furiously. She was now finally able to showcase Exceed Form's speed, and it definitely was a sight.
"I'm not going to let him down! I'm not going to lose! Naruto will see just what I can do and what I will do to help him!" Hinata focused herself and struck furiously, unleashing strike after strike. Kabuto was on the defensive as he knew a Hyuuga's strikes were dangerous in a match of taijutsu.
"So this girl thinks she can stop me? I welcome the challenge." Kabuto kept up his evasion, blocking with Vulnificus as needed. "I don't even need to use any advanced techniques for you." He blocked her strike, then attacked with a sharp kick to her abdomen sending her staggering back.
"You need to keep your eyes open!" Kabuto turned to see a flurry of kunai coming directly at his head. He was going to jump out of the way of Tenten's barrage, but she had a trick up her sleeve. She threw chain first and wrapped it around his arm, making him struggle to move. The kunai all hit, but Kabuto wasn't going down so easily. In a flash of smoke, he was gone. "Crud! Naruto, can Kerykeion sense this freak?"
Naruto kept his eyes open all around to try and find Kabuto, and even had Kerykeion active as well, "We got nothing!"
Hinata took initiative and immediately started scanning with her Byakugan. Whatever Kabuto was doing worked as it even had him cloaked from her sight. "Gotta calm down. Take my time and look carefully. Find his chakra trail and follow it." She took a slow breath and started scanning more calmly. In doing so, she saw the point where Kabuto vanished and started checking any trail of chakra left. She only found a faint amount, but it was just enough to give her a lead. Knowing that talking out loud would give Kabuto a chance to move, she went in telepathically. "Tenten, aim for the bushes over on the left. That's where his chakra trail leads!"
Tenten got the message and launched a flurry of kunai and shuriken at the point directed. Not anticipating it, Kabuto jumped from his cover, revealing his location. "Got you now!" She launched a chain at him, hoping to snare him, but Kabuto blocked with Vulnificus, ready to attack again.
"You're still weak!" Kabuto flicked his wrist and instantly Tenten was caught in a bind of chains. "I'm going to end this and get back to Lord Orochimaru!"
Tenten immediately struggled to break out but noticed that the chains that held her weren't regular…they were magical. "What is this? I thought we couldn't use spells!"
"You obviously don't know how to shield spells in an AMF. " Kabuto ran forward, ready to strike and finish Tenten off. "Don't worry, I'll put that device of yours to good use after I kill you!" Just as he was about to bring down his scythe, Naruto stepped in and blocked it, cutting his hand where he grabbed the blade since it cut through the palm on Kerykeion's glove.
"Back off freak! Lay a hand on my sister and I'll make sure you suffer a fate worse than death!" Naruto immediately started struggling with Kabuto to keep him back. "Now hand over your device or I'll take it from you with force!"
"Can you be any more stupid Naruto? Do you really think you'll beat me by yourself?" Kabuto kept up the struggle against Naruto. He then saw Naruto take one hand off the staff of Vulnificus.
"No I won't beat you by myself." Naruto pulled his hand back as a clone appeared. "I'll beat you with help." Immediately the clone started moving its hands over Naruto's as a ball of chakra started to form. "Alright Hinata, hit him hard!"
"Hinata…" Kabuto turned his head to see Hinata right behind him, delivering a hard strike to his back. The moment she attacked, she jumped out of the way, leaving Naruto able to attack. "Finish him Naruto-kun!"
"Rasengan!" Naruto thrust the ball of chakra directly into the chest of Kabuto, pushing it as hard as he possibly could. "Die freak!" Kabuto shot back in an explosion of force, crashing full speed into a boulder.
Tenten was stunned, not at the fact that Naruto just nailed Kabuto with the Rasengan, but what he said before it happened. "Naruto…that was amazing. Did you really mean all that?"
"Huh? Mean what?" Naruto saw the binds on Tenten dissipate, wondering what her question was.
"The part about telling Kabuto not to lay a hand on your sister or he'll suffer a fate worse than death." Tenten brushed herself off. "You're not just saying that are you?"
Naruto just looked at her, "Huh? No way. Look, even though we're not blood related, and this all just happened a few days ago, the fact remains is that you're now my sister and you're the only family I have. Of course I meant it."
Tenten just smiled and ruffled Naruto's hair. "Thanks little brother!"
"Hey now whoa! That's a little too much now." Naruto backed off to straighten his hair. "I mean it's only been a week!"
Tenten started laughing at the whole thing, "You're right it has. And here we are acting like we've been siblings for life! Things are going to be great for us Naruto."
Hinata had been quietly laughing the whole time when she saw Kabuto moving out of the corner of her eye. "Naruto-kun, Tenten, look! He's still up!"
Kabuto was slowly getting to his feet, "Did you really think you could hurt me? I had a barrier protecting myself internally!" That put a shock on the three Genin. "I said I wasn't going to be beat and I…guh!"
"Hey what's wrong with him?" Naruto saw Kabuto double over in pain.
"How…how did he do it? That jutsu somehow broke through my internal barrier and damaged me. I need time to heal." Kabuto then remembered the strike he took from Hinata before. "That Hyuuga girl…she must have disrupted the barrier with her strike and that's how Naruto did it. Well, I'll make sure both of them pay for this. But it will have to wait for now." Kabuto pulled a smoke pellet from his pouch and cast it, quickly making his escape.
"Get back here you creep!" Naruto was going to tail him but Kabuto was long gone. "Ugh, I hate that guy!"
"Don't worry about it Naruto-kun. We'll get him next time." Hinata turned the focus away from the fight.
"Yeah you're right. Hey before I forget, you really did some damage to him. He's gonna be hurting after that palm strike you hit him with." Naruto grinned.
Hinata blushed slightly at the compliment, "Th-th-thank you Naruto-kun!"
Tenten got their attention because things weren't finished yet, "Uh guys I hate to be the odd man out here, but Lady Tsunade still needs our help! She's still dealing with Orochimaru."
Naruto turned to Kerykeion, "Is the AMF still up?"
Kerykeion's orb flashed, "Yes. Spells still won't work. I'm sorry."
Naruto could hear the disappointment in his device's voice. "It's no big. We just gotta find a way around it. Kyu, any luck?"
Kyu had broken off her unison and was now back with everyone, "The only way is to do what that Kabuto creep did when he snared Tenten. If you put a barrier around your shots, you may be able to pierce the AMF. But as strong as this field is, even I don't think I could make a barrier strong enough."
"Could we combine our spells to make a stronger barrier?" asked Hinata. "I mean if we pool all of our chakra together and combine it with yours Kyu-chan, could it work?"
Tenten added something else, "What about using the Blaster System? Couldn't that add more power as well?"
Kyu thought about the options they brought forth, "It just might work. I don't know how well it will work, but it's worth a shot."
Hinata had already scanned and saw where Orochimaru and Tsunade were fighting. "Guys, they're fighting in a clearing not far from here. I saw a place we can move that would be just far away enough for us not to be in the AMF."
"Then lead the way!" Tenten and Naruto were right behind as Hinata tool lead and got them to where they need to be. It was just far enough to be out of the range of the AMF, but they could still see the fight going on.
"Wow, they're really going at it. We gotta help Lady Tsunade now.' Tenten wanted to jump right in more than anything and help her idol. However due to the AMF, she'd be somewhat useless since her weaponry may not have as much of an impact against a Sannin. "Ok so what now?"
"Go ahead and activate the Blaster System. Naruto, you're gonna have to activate Second Mode before you can use shooting magic." Kyu instructed. "I'm trying to set up a link interface with your devices."
"On it. Ok Kerykeion, Activate Second Mode and engage Blaster 1!" Naruto commanded. His device was more than happy to oblige.
"Of course Naruto. Second Mode active, Blaster 1 online! All systems running at double efficiency!" Wings of energy appeared on Naruto's left hand, showing that he now had access to stronger defensive and boost spells, and could now use the Wing Shooter and Shooting Ray attack spells.
Hinata and Tenten looked at each other and nodded. "Mach Caliber: Blaster 1! Cross Mirage: Blaster 1!" A light shot out of Mach Caliber's gem on Hinata's skate, and the cross on Tenten's gun released a light as well. These two lights began to take shape of a small triangular shaped glider with an opening on the front.
"Ok and I thought Full Drive was pretty intense! This is Blaster 1 and already I can feel some serious power here." Tenten could feel the surge of energy flowing through her.
"Kyu-chan, how is the link coming?" Hinata hoped to get things going soon.
"It's up…barely! I can't hold this synchronization link for long. At most you'll only have one shot, so you need to make it count!" Kyu was doing her best to keep up the link, but she was struggling greatly. "And do it fast because it's draining me like crazy!"
"One shot…we better make it count." Hinata said to her teammates. Both nodded in agreement. "Ok Mach Caliber, Cartridge Load!"
"Cartridge Load!" Naruto and Tenten also did the same. While Mach Caliber and Cross Mirage loaded four cartridges, Kerykeion loaded one micro-cartridge.
The three took aim with Hinata preparing Divine Buster, Tenten charging her Variable Shoot, and Naruto prepping Wing Shooter. With each shot, a second layer of energy began to encase it, creating a shot within a barrier.
"Guys, hurry! I can't keep going!" Kyu was almost at her limit.
"Let's do this together Mach Caliber! Divine Buster!" Hinata slammed her Revolver Knuckle into the shot, sending it flying.
"Give it your all Cross Mirage! Variable Shoot!" Tenten locked on and fired away.
"Show 'em what you got Kerykeion! Wing Shooter!" Naruto released his shot, spiraling towards the target. All three shots continued to spiral into the AMF field and began to bore through it. The trio kept focused on pushing through with everything they had.
Inside the field, Tsunade was doing her best to keep ahead of Orochimaru. It wasn't easy for her since Klarwind was primarily designed for healing and support, and didn't have very many attack spells in her arsenal. "I'm not letting you get away with this you snake!"
Orochimaru kept up his Blast Fire assault, keeping Tsunade on her toes. "My dear Tsunade, you don't have a say in the matter." He used his insanely long tongue to lick his lips in delight. "Now it's time for you to perish." Just as he was going to attack again, Kabuto popped up and pushed Orochimaru out of the way.
"Forgive me for being so rough Lord Orochimaru. The three Genin had you target locked." Kabuto pointed to where the Genin were. "They're more resourceful than we thought and that shot disrupted the AMF. We should make a tactical retreat."
Orochimaru wasn't one to look a gift horse in the mouth. "I see. Very well Kabuto. We need to prepare anyway. These children will soon meet their masters and their sister as well. It's been fun my dear Tsunade." In a flash of smoke the duo took off.
Tsunade wondered what he was talking about as the trio joined her at her side. "Are you ok Lady Tsunade?" Tenten was quick to ask.
"I'm fine. Thanks to you three. Good job with that shot. If Orochimaru hadn't been pushed out of the way, you would have done some serious damage." She thanked the three for their hard work, but noticed Kyu in Naruto's hands. "Naruto, what's wrong with Kyu?"
"She created a system link with the other Devices and started fueling our shots with her own energy." Naruto explained as Kyu was lying down, breathing heavily. She looked very pale as well.
"It's ok. Give her to me." Naruto placed Kyu in Tsunade's hand. "Klarwind, a little help here."
"Ja." Klarwind began to glow as a slight breeze passed over Kyu. This kept up for a few seconds until Kyu opened her eyes slowly.
"This feels weird." Kyu was still groggy from the energy she lost. She looked up and saw everyone smiling over her. "Lady Tsunade?"
"You suffered some heavy energy loss with that link you did Kyu. It would be best if you hold off on a maneuver like that until we can understand it more. I used Klarwind's Calming Heal spell. Normally it should have healed you completely, but we're all pretty worn out. All you need is a good rest and you'll be fine."
"Oh…ok." Kyu turned back over and dozed off.
"You three could use the same. Let's get a good night's sleep and head to Konoha in the morning." Tsunade said as she started walking back to the hotel. Before she got far, she did something unexpected. Taking off her necklace, she threw it at Naruto.
"Hey, what gives?" Naruto caught the necklace, wondering why she threw it.
"You won the bet. Looks like I'll be taking over as the Godaime Hokage. You did good kid." Tsunade said with a smile. "But keep it up with the 'baa-chan' bit and I'll work you to the bone."
"Whatever Baa-chan. Just make sure you do a good job or I'm kicking you out and taking over as the next Hokage!' Naruto replied as he tied the necklace around his neck. "Now someone please tell me we can get some decent ramen here?"
Hinata just chuckled to herself at her crush's reaction. "Naruto-kun, I know you're gonna make a wonderful Hokage. I'll do all I can to help you reach that dream."
Not knowing that she sent her thoughts telepathically, Tsunade picked up on Hinata's thought, "You're right Hinata. He will make a good Hokage. And you and Tenten will become phenomenal kunoichi and mages to support him all the way. Don't ever forget that."
"Lady Tsunade, you heard me?" Hinata was embarrassed to know she let her thought slip.
"Don't worry Hinata; you'll get telepathy blocking down soon enough. Especially if you don't want that blonde knucklehead knowing a certain secret just yet." Tsunade kept a smile on her face the whole time.
Hinata's blush slowly faded as she felt a little more confidence in herself. She knew she had a long road ahead, but nothing would stop her from helping Naruto realize his dream.
So What's up with Itachi? Seems he knows more than he's letting on. Plus how will things go now that Naruto has his Devices and Sasuke still thinks he's superior. Finally what did Orochimaru mean about prepping the children for their new masters? What's he planning with Luciferon and Vulnificus? Finally, how are things going to go with the revival of the TSAB? All will be known in time.