Chapter 9

The Bijuu - Jinchuriki History

“Before we discuss anything more, Gaara, I must improve the fix on your seal my clone did. You, like all Jinchuriki, have been under observation, once found. You will be able to visit Ichibi without going nuts, and it might even help Ichibi improve mentally.”

After fixing the seal, Naruto sat on a cushion and began talking to his visitors.

“As you know, there are nine bijuu, from Gaara and Ichibi no Shukaku, the one-tailed bijuu, to me, whom harbours Kurama, the Kyuubi no Yoko Kitsune, the nine-tailed fox. As my clone told you, Gaara, the Akatsuki want to capture the jinchuriki for nefarious purposes, and I oppose their objective, whatever it is. By bringing you here, along with Son Goku, the Yonbi no Saru; Isobu, the Sanbi no Kyodaigame, and later tonight, Chomel, the Nanabi no Kabutomushi, I will have progressed a long way in this task, but it is not complete. Missing in my list is Matatabi, the Nibi no Nekomata; Kokuro, the Gobi no Irukauma; Saiken, Rokubi no Namekuji; and finally Gyuki, the Hachibi no Kyogyu. Given the situation in the Hidden villages, the shadows dissipating due to the corruption, and the possibility of our enemies finding us before we hide deeper, I have focussed on recovering the jinchuriki, and, if possible, the shinobi villages, minus their civilian contents. I have learned the hard way treason starts there. But that the Shadows have betrayed their vow to my great-grandfather enrages me to the upmost point, and some have already paid for it with their lives.”

“Why dig ourselves in a deeper hole?”

“Japan has been an empire for over two thousand years, Gaara. It had its bad times, its good times, but it survived whilst others grew and fell. We did this not by expanding, but by digging ourselves in, entrenching ourselves and progressing at our own pace. Yes, we were behind technologically, but did it serve us good to come out with a bang? No. We got blown down from our ego trip by two of the ugliest weapons ever invented by men: the nuclear bombs. It scared us, burned us to the bone, and left us vulnerable to massive influx of external influences, some good, but some very bad. Today, our natural resources are contaminated by nuclear radiation; our very country suffers internal divisions because those whom survived the radiation get labelled and shunned by the others, and our subconscious mind is haunted by monsters spawned by radiation fallout, as if the bijuu were not enough. We outlasted the Roman empire, which considered the Mediterranean sea an inner sea; we outlasted Alexander the Great, whose empire extended from Greece to India; we outlived Genghis Khan’s empire, the conqueror of China, most of Asia and a part of the Baltic states; the British Empire, whom claimed, justly for a time, that the sun never set on it. Size is not everything. Neither is power; the Tsars are dead, the Russian communists imperialists have met their match, and I believe if we show enough patience, the American Empire will fall under its own weight. It is already suffering the first fissures, and can not escape the fate of giants: to fall on its face. What keeps a tree standing is the depth of its roots, Gaara, not how wide they spread. Yes, a wide root system feeds the tree’s growth, but the wood is soft, and, one day, a strong wind blows it over, uprooting it. We need to deepen our roots, anchor ourselves, and dig into our rock, growing slowly, solidly, to resist the winds. We must catch the feeding seeds off the wind, while leaving its fury pass through our branches. We must listen to the winds of change, adapt, but make those changes ours, not a burden; make them feed us, not deprive us of what we need to grow.”

After a sip of sweetened tea, Naruto began on the history of the bijuu, and the jinchuriki, in a soft voice.

“The bijuu have been around for some time. How long? Well, that remains to be clarified. They seem to come in waves, the latest having been the appearance of Shinju, the ten-tailed appeared somewhere around eighteen-sixty of the Christian Calendar, and began spreading chaos. One must understand that demons are essentially agents of chaos, and are the result of accrued wild chakra that has not been canalised for the common benefit. They grow slowly, and suddenly burst forth, spreading mayhem through diseases, wars, famines, and other tools of their trade. The arrival of Perry in 1853 exercised immense pressure on the Japanese culture and in effect broke the public Shogunates; however, shadow Shogunates have been around since the inception of the Japanese Empire as they are the hidden anchors to its political structure. Notice that Shinju appeared less than ten years after Perry. I am not saying Perry produced Shinju, but he accelerated its emergence by creating chaos in an already fragile and unstable environment due to the effects of the Dutch merchant-men and their black robes’ perverse influences on the glue that held the Japanese society together: Shinto, and to a lesser degree, Buddhism. It exploded violently when the Shogunates were overthrown by the civilian government and the current visible Imperial structure forced on the then Emperor. This was eighteen-sixty-seven. Note the coincidences: the Perry expedition, the emergence of the ten-tailed demon, the fall of the Shogunates and the abolition of the Daimyo and the disbandment of their troops, the Samurai. Things turned to chaos and Shinju reigned master of the Japanese society until he Sage of the Six Paths managed to imprison him in himself, becoming the first Jinchuriki of the current wave. Nearing death, the Sage decided to split the demonic chakra into nine packages, and seal them in nine jinchuriki, of which you are the descendants, if not by blood, by capacity to host and assimilate demonic chakra and filter it, canalise it, to good use. To host the nine-tailed, the most powerful of all bijuu, one needs exceptionally wide chakra channels and reservoirs. This has been the ‘privilege’ of the Shadow Emperor family, the Uzumaki line, for thousands of years. I think the Sage believed that the distribution of the task to nine jinchuriki to be hidden in villages would help maintain the bijuu hidden from the power-hungry, and stabilise the world for longer. After all, it is easier to find one able to lodge a smaller volume of demonic chakra than to comb the Isles for the rare pearl capable of lodging Shinju.”

“Some Sage!” said Gaara.

“I know, Gaara, and I comprehend your dismissal of the Sage. After all, it is hard to be a jinchuriki without being asked; then to be ostracised by idiots who do not understand that killing a jinchuriki would be releasing the bijuu, not kill it.”

“Could someone, a new Sage of the Six Paths, take the charge of the Bijuu?”

“Good question, Temari. Unfortunately, the answer is no. By splitting the chakra of Shinju, the Sage created nine individualised demonic chakra entities, each with its own history, its own chakra signature, and its own identity. Trying to merge them would create a monster far worse than the original demon, with nine personalities battling for supremacy, and creating chaos far worse than what Shinju ever did... Oh Kami above! I think I finally understand what the Akatsuki want to do!”

Shakily, Naruto took a sip of tea, almost dropping the cup in the process.

“What?” asked Kankuro, alarmed.

“They want to undo the work of the Sage of the Six Paths. Their name means rebirth in very ancient imperial Japanese! They want Shinju reborn, to control him and... It all fits! Their leader is called Pain, for Pain of Rebirth! What a bunch of idiots! And they claim they will impose peace on the world... Sure, the peace of total annihilation, the peace of death! The peace of ultimate chaos!”

The others looked at Naruto, wide-eyed. They did not want to picture the result, but they could not help but see the global catastrophe.

“How? Shinju was powerful before he was split, was he not?”

“Temari, he was very powerful, very. He travelled the world, sowing discontent, war, famine, and what not. His first act was to create the war of the Slaves in the United States, according to the books I read. They could have resolved the dispute without a five-year civil war had Shinju not interfered to make it happen. He produced the cascade of wars, famines and even volcanic eruptions and the number of earthquakes that shook the world with brutal forces. The more misery, the more disorder, the greater his power. Ultimately, he drove the forces behind World War II, manipulating both sides to confrontation, and ultimately the use of the Nuclear bombs. I saw a picture of the first uranium-based bomb explosion and, in the cloud, you see the face of Shinju laughing his ass off at his success!” Taking a breath, Naruto continued: “The Sage of the Six Paths resided in Hiroshima until two days before it was bombed, and he was on his way to his resting place, taking a break in Nagasaki when the bomb hit Hiroshima; he understood that he had to imprison Shinju or assist to the end of the world. He worked his heart out and managed to capture and do it, but not before Nagasaki got hit. He was old by then, in his late sixties, if the chronicles are right, and he knew he had only gained the world a respite. So he worked to find a way to split the chakra into ‘lesser’ demons, and created the nine to be imprisoned into different jinchuriki. That my family had such huge reserves of chakra and channels ear-marked us to contain the most powerful of all the newly created demons, Kurama. I am, according to the chronicles, the third jinchuriki of the Fox.”

The others listening to Naruto were deeply troubled, most moved were the jinchuriki themselves, because they felt deep inside the truth of the analysis. Gaara, wide-eyed, asked the next question, no one wanted to ask.

“Where is the world going?”

“That, Gaara, depends on my actions. I must locate the four missing jinchuriki, as quickly as possible. Fu is moving towards me as we speak and so should be safe with us shortly. When all jinchuriki are together, I will recall the hidden villages’ ninja, well, those that will have survived my fury, for there are quite a few that betrayed their vows, and the foresworn are not allowed within my walls. Finally, I will hunt down the Akatsuki and reduce them to ashes. They have been brink-walking us for too long, and I know that should any of the current nuclear powers learn of the existence of the jinchuriki, we would be deluged in nuclear fire, if only because each power would fear that the others would gain the demonic power before they did. They would not only reduce the Isles to volcanic wastelands, but they would bomb each other to oblivion in the fear one party or another had managed to smuggle a jinchuriki to enslave. The scientists say a nuclear war would push us back to the cavemen, with technology of the early Neolithic, but they are wrong: we would be pushed back to the death of the Dinosaurs, with only rodents as survivors!”

“How do you know so much, Naruto – Dono?” asked Temari.

“Oh, that! You have not really seen where you are, have you? This place is huge, and has a library that dates to the first written words, inscribed on clay tablets, of the Aakadian epoch, at the beginning of agriculture, some twelve thousand years ago. We have copies of everything ever written, including the library of Alexandria’s entire collection, and every bit and scrap of written word from that epoch onwards. I have every version of, say, the Bible, ever written, from the first efforts by scribes recording the verbal history of the people of the time to the latest dish-out of dimwits. I also have records of events that were forgotten by history itself. I studied the demonic cycle, as I call it, and it has always been of approximately one thousand years between explosions and destruction of civilisations. Gods, another name for them, seem to be born at regular intervals and fight each other, always claiming to have the best interests of mankind in their grasp. Demons sometimes (often!) take on the names of previous ones, building on their predecessors’ successes. They are great manipulators, using human weaknesses and wish for power to create mayhem.”

“You mean Demons have a life cycle?”

“Yes, Kankuro. Chakra constructs, which are demons, are born from free-floating chakra. They build themselves and gain power, but, like a typhoon, they collapse when they meet conditions that cost them more chakra than what they can reap. Sometimes, two meet and the meeting is something to remember. They rarely merge peacefully, that, I can assure you! They try to steal each other’s energy, and the resulting battle is titanic in proportion.”

“But you have not answered Kankuro’s question... Naruto – Dono.”

“No, Gaara. I have not. I am getting to it. You noticed the number of clones I have running around?” After a nod from all present, Naruto continued: “They are solid Chakra constructs, Kage Bunshin types of construct. They can manipulate the physical world, and thus read everything in the library. While I am talking to you there are currently some twenty thousand of them reading the library, sorting the contents, and cross-referencing everything. Each time one task is done, the clone dispels and what it has learned is transferred to my mind. I have about half of my brain doing the task of merging the data with what I already have read, and I forward the information to the currently active Bunshin so they know if something new of importance surfaces in the library. I also have my spies all over the hidden countries that constantly pop out of existence and report to me, to be replaced immediately, within a reasonable amount of time. You see a clone? He is currently washing dishes? He will be sent out to replace one of a dispelled clone as soon as his task here is done. Every time you lose sight of me, I may well be creating another thousand clones to replace those that have been dispelled to report to me or have fallen to battle, which, admittedly, is rare, given they can take on any shape. Who would suspect a spider to be a clone? I even have some as parasites in the hairs of some not so clean freaks!”

“EWWW!” exclaimed everyone.

“You have no idea! But let us not forget I have access to Kurama, and he is a fountain of knowledge that dates to well before human-kind even was a glimmer in the eyes of evolution. Yes, Demons are born and die, but Chaos is eternal, and Kurama is Chaos incarnated. He has access to the knowledge of Chaos itself, as do all Demons, if you think on it. Evolution is itself Chaos, guided by chaotic pressures, much like the path of a Typhoon is set by random atmospheric pressures that change its path more or less depending on thousands of factors too numerous to contemplate. We are the result of environmental pressures that slowly moulded us to our form, by cutting short the life of those that did not meet the required immediate conditions to reach reproductive age and mate. Conditions change constantly, and therefore, the selective pressure change. Some conditions change slowly, and life has the time to undergo selective breeding; some other conditions change brutally, or too fast, and you get mass extinction. That has occurred repeatedly in the history of life on this planet, and is happening right now. For the first time, it is a life-form that is willingly changing its nest, unaware it is destroying the conditions it needs to survive. Life had done this before, but unwillingly: for instance, the emergence of oxygen was a by-product of anorexic life, and saw it condemned to a footnote in history and the deep oceanic vents. Some forms of life depended on free-floating iron to survive, and they died when the iron got oxidised; however, one life-form thrived and found its way into a symbiotic relationship. Now we have red blood cells, which are one of the symbiotes of our body. They sacrificed their independence in order to survive. It goes much further than that. The organelles that sustain life in each and every one of our cell are symbiotic and co-operate to live together. Oxygen is a virulent poison, but a poison essential to our life. The entire respiratory cycle, from absorption of oxygen to the expulsion of carbon dioxide, is a fine-tuned mechanism whose main task is to prevent oxygen from poisoning us and yet allow us to burn fuel without becoming torches. You can find, in the living, many examples of trials and errors, reflecting the chaos of evolution. For instance, there are a few life-forms whose blood is copper-based. There must have been a period, in history, where free copper was abundant and therefore available as oxygen carrier. These have green blood rather than red blood, and are highly toxic to us. Concurrently, you find life-forms able to live in boiling water, in ice, in wet dirt, and arid conditions. All those life-forms represent a period of the evolution of our planet. Others are resistant to radiation and live on ice crystals in the upper atmosphere, above the ozone layer. They reflect conditions prior to the emergence of free atmospheric oxygen, a prerequisite for the birth of the ozone layer.”

“How can chaos contain information, preserve it? Is chaos not the opposite of information, which is order?”

“I have been thinking on this, Temari. It too bothered me. But then, I figured that information is like the wind: it flows in a direction, while its components move around more or less randomly. Kurama is the wind of Chaos. It flows from high to low pressure, thus creating order in its disorder. We do it too, if you think on it. Our brain is disorganised, yet creates order from disorder. No one can say when a nerve cell will fire, but with all its randomness, it still managed to create a cohesive representation of the universe around us, enough, at least, to allow us to survive and replicate.”

As he watched Temari sip on her juice, Naruto figured she did not really understand so he added:

“The glass of juice you are drinking, Temari, contains juice of two fruits. You can tell which ones, but do you, at any time, know how many particles of fruit A are touching your tongue, and how many of fruit B are? Furthermore, the juice changes taste as it travels down your tongue going from tangy to sweet, which tells you, if you think on it, that taste buds for sweet are further down the tongue than for tangy. There is a reason for this: tangy is generally associated with dangerous to swallow. But there is more involved in this: the flow of liquid itself is a combination of randomness and order. The randomness is in the location of each individual fruit particle, whom have their own movement relative to each other, and the global movement of the mass down your gullet, pulled in by an external force, gravity. Notice that, once you set your glass back on the table, the flow is temporarily reversed, and the surface of the drink settles into an apparently tranquil liquid; but should you be able to reduce yourself to the components’ size, you would realise rather quickly that it is turbulent, very much so. There would be eddies, flows pushing the liquid to the bottom of the glass, others creating whirlpools, bubbles pushing upward created by thermal gradients, and a process of decantation as the heaviest fruit particles try to settle at the bottom of the glass. If you had heat sensors at that scale, you would notice that the most agitated particles would be the hottest, and would be embarked on a climb to the surface to exchange the heat with the atmosphere, which is slightly cooler, as the liquid evaporates and cools down at the surface. All this is described in the laws of thermodynamics and fluids, but however precise these laws are, they apply to large numbers, and you can not, under any circumstance, know what happens to a specific fruit particle in the glass.”

“But how does this apply to...”

“Chaos is bound by the same laws. Kurama simply reflects on large numbers. He could not care less of me or any individual, his knowledge is based on vast numbers, human and otherwise, laws of the dynamics of life itself. I would not put it beyond Kurama to be able to supply us with the knowledge of how the planet formed from the primordial gas cloud! That too is order in chaos, laws of disorder to order things!”

“You got that right!” Kurama said to Naruto, surprising him. Naruto barely managed to suppress a verbal response.

“It is getting late, and I have to focus on an increasing number of reports. Please follow the clones to you chambers and rest. We will meet tomorrow morning. There will be a clone available at all times should you need something special. You will find training rooms within your suites, if you have not found them yet.”

With that, Naruto rose from the cushions and bowed to his guests, which quickly followed suit. It did not do to be sitting while the Shadow Emperor was standing! Naruto watched them leave the room and quickly moved to his office to take in the reports.

Naruto entered meditation and the lair of Kurama.

“Hey. Kurama! You there?”

“Where else would you have me be, gaki? And since when did you find the way to pass the cage bars??”

“How? Simple. I figured the cage was in my mind, and that, therefore, it was built and maintained by me, so there was no reason for it to keep me out if I wanted to go in.”

“Mmmm. True, that. Are you not afraid I would kill you?”

“Are you suicidal?”

“You, gaki, are growing in intellect far faster than your age foretells. You will be one heck of a Ninja Leader one day.”

“Thanks. It is hard work, but so interesting.”

“So, what brings you here?”

“I still have not found the last three jinchuriki and that worries me. I wanted to know if bijuu had some way to communicate long-distance with each other?”

“Like telepathy?”

“Is that what it is called?”

“Yes, that is the name. However, contrary to what fiction says, it is not of unlimited range.”

“How far?”

“The more powerful we are, the further the range. I could pull Ichibi no Shukaku to us, as well as the others, but he was at the limit.”

“So, if I draw a circle whose radius goes from Konohagakure to Sunagakure, that gives me the range... Interesting...”

“That is true. What are you thinking about, gaki?”

“I have a map of the Hidden countries in the library. I can study it and figure out the best positions to be in so you can guide them to us, Kurama. That way, I will not have to establish a tight search grid.”

“Gaki, I already told you: You impress me and that takes a lot!”

“Bah. Basic geometry...”

The bijuu snickered at the dismissal, but deep inside, he felt so proud of his jinchuriki. Finally one worth the humiliation of the jail cell.

“I will be back shortly, Kurama. I know you like hunting, so I have added a dozen warren of rabbits for you to find and decimate. Have fun!”

With that Naruto vanished right in front of the Fox demon, surprising him. He had hoped to see the human, his human, open the cage. Now he knew better. The seal was not broken, was not weakened, the gaki had simply decided to appear in the cage rather than outside of it! What other surprises did he reserve the fox. Life was finally becoming interesting with surprises! What a change from the usual bore. Now, where could the gaki have put these rabbits? The hunt made him salivate if only for the intellectual challenge!

Naruto returned to reality to move to the library. He quickly pulled out a large-scale map of the hidden countries, a huge compass with a bit of coal attached to one end and a steel point at the other, and located Konohagakure on the map. He then located Sunagakure and drew a circle around Konohagakure that passed over Sunagakure. Studying the map, he noticed the circle comprised a vast portion of the hidden countries. Wave, Rice, Beach, Fire an a trolley of smaller countries were included within the circle; it also comprised the Islands country, a good portion of Earth, Tea, and Wind countries, and protectorates of Fire country and his homeland, Whirlpool.

He noticed some strange marks that said something like Guardian Rocks, spread all over the place. Guardian Rocks? Some were near Sunagakure, others near Iwagakure, others right near Konohagakure. He kept scratching his head, trying to figure what these rocks could be. He felt it was important somehow. Unable to solve the issue from looking at the map, he decided to look in the library for references to Guardian Rocks, so he sent a hundred Kage Bunshin on a digging expedition in what had not yet been read.

Several hours later, the first reports came in. Guardian Rocks were rocks standing up on their ends. Menhirs! And there were Cromlechs and Dolmen. He had seen Dolmen. A cross-reference was found talking about portals. He had figured from his experience that Dolmen were portals; but he had not figured that there were two types: short-range (the Dolmen) and long-range (the Cromlech). And from what he was reading Menhirs were sensors, acting as antennas to report on chakra movements within the earth itself! The antennas were put in line to amplify the signal, each menhir acting as a boost for the previous one! The Menhirs had, according to the old books, many uses, including stabilising the initial Chaos. There were huge alignments (a picture showed a place called Carnac, in a country whose name meant nothing to Naruto) with a before and after image of the flow of chakra within the earth. It had gone from chaotic to a lot more regular, but still retaining some of its Chaotic nature. What had been fury had become flow.

Then there were those circular standing rocks, with a picture of a place called Stonehenge, that, according to the books, acted as switches to direct the flow of chakra along different lines of transmission. The map showed there were several of these lines, marked, where needed, to stabilise things, by Menhirs. It was a systematic organisation of Earth energy regulators, to pacify the chaos! The dolmen and cromlech were portals used by those charged with the maintenance of the Menhirs and the routers!

Naruto finally understood why things had turned the way they had. For instance, Gaara had been guided by Kurama to the nearest portal, since the one in Earth country had been left to crumble by those whom were charged to maintain it. The Menhirs found near Iwagakure had suffered from earthquakes, and the main power line feeding the Cromlech near Sunagakure had lost its main power source as a consequence. The nearest portal was the one found at the border between Wind and Fire countries. The massive Cromlech of Whirlpool had been destroyed by the attackers, thus contributing to the destruction of the network. He was now forced to use a secondary Cromlech, hidden in his lands, to transport those he wanted to rescue, and then, the transport system was failing due to intentional destruction of the regulatory Menhirs.

What to do with this information, Naruto asked himself. First, he thought, was there a way to do a diagnostic of the state of the system, short and long-range portals, routers, and power lines? He asked his residual Kage Bunshin for information about diagnostic and repairs of the chakra flow network and portals, as none, so far had found anything on the subject while searching on their nature.

The next morning, as he woke up, he got his first report. Repairs were possible, by using Earth Chakra manipulation techniques. An Iwagakure speciality, if that could be considered luck, since he had recovered every scroll from Iwagakure and another army of clones were feeding him Earth techniques every ten to twenty minutes as they finished assimilating the information and practising it. He sent out five hundred Kage Bunshin clones across Fire Country to begin basic repairs, using the map he had found in the library to move his repair crews to each site. Preliminary reports showed there were huge damages to the network, and that chakra flows were bottled up and chaotic at best in many areas, causing stress to the earth crust and heating it to the point of meltdown. As he looked at the reports, Naruto realised he could not repair things randomly. Repairing a flow line without first fixing where the flow would be put to use could create a disaster. And routers needed to be repaired as well. The routers automatically sent the energy where it was required, and not giving them proper outlets could lead to massive tremors. Japan really did not need that.

The best solution would be to rebuild the routers first, the cromlechs, and the dolmens, and then feed energy from destination to source. Why that way? Simply because by clearing up the transmission lines, the energy would flow unimpeded and be less likely to blow up something. Plan set, Naruto forwarded his orders to his Kage Bunshin clones to begin rebuilding the nearest router, which had been flattened several years back during the first shinobi war. The rest would follow.

The rest of the morning passed rather quietly, with reports from clones flowing in like a stream on a sandy bed, until one hour past noon, where a clone popped, to report on an event that was occurring some twenty miles due south of the Fire country border.

As the report flowed in, Naruto became increasingly enraged. He shunshined to the closest active portal, and then quickly moved to the site of the battle. There, he came down on the team that had been escorting Fu back to his lands, putting a valiant but desperate fight to protect the jinchuriki from a group of shinobi of Anbu quality. He created five hundred Kage Bunshin and flooded the battlefield, showing no mercy. The battle was long, ferocious, and bloody; Naruto, whom had stayed back, noticed there were three S-class Shinobi which were doing most of the damage to his clones. Looking into his memory, he recognised in them missing-nins that had been reclaimed by the Akatsuki. Time to pull out the gloves. He tripled the number of Bunshin clones, and involved himself in the battle.

His first action was to dive underground and grab the ankles of one of the Akatsuki operatives, dragging him down under the earth to a crystal jail, the Fire Crystal, which combined Katon and Doton to produce a crystalline fire that would burn anything within forever, never leaving it free of the burning pain.

Naruto then returned to the surface, emerging between the legs of the next Akatsuki agent, with a Raiton thunderbolt and roasting the ninja to a crisp. Finally at the surface, he attacked the last Akatsuki S-class Ninja with a combination of his father’s Yellow flash and Rasengan to overload the ninja’s chakra coils.

He let his clones finish the battle and moved toward Fu, which had been knocked out during the initial assault by the Akatsuki war party. Some medical jutsu later, she emerged from her forced mental refuge and looked at the young boy which was holding her hand carefully.

“Who are you?” Fu asked.

“You know me, Fu. You got my messengers did you not?”

“They always talked of you as ‘boss’ and however hard I tried to piece information on whom you were, they always managed to keep your identity secret.”

“With good reason, Fu. My identity must remain secret until the day I am ready to come out.”

“I feel a strong bond with you...”

“The Jinchuriki bond, Fu. We share a common burden, a similar dad and, unless I do not manage to stop the Akatsuki in its plans, that will stay so.”

Fu nodded.

“Now, how about introducing me to your companions? Not that they do not know me as the ‘guide’ but they do not know me as one of us.”

“But I do not know your name!”

“And you will not. There are still too many chakra signatures around us for me to trust my environment. And there is another jinchuriki that joined your convoy, much to my surprise. Hey Killer Bee! How is Hachibi no Kyogyu Gyuki doing? Not bothering you too much, is he?”

“No, gaki, but how come you know of this?”

“Have you not been listening to your bijuu, Killer Bee? It should have been bugging you ever since you walked within my range of influence.”

Noticing a laggard near where they were talking, Naruto let out a Sharingan, pinning the snoop to the tree behind him.

“So, you are interested in what we talk about, mmmm? Well, you will be doing the talking... to me!”

“If you think you scare me, gaki!”

“Me, maybe not, but my bijuu has some interesting ways to extract information, dimwit! And you will not be living long enough to report to your comptroller!” Looking at the captive in the eyes, Naruto whispered “Genjutsu: Tsukuyomi!”

Immediately, the ninja became whiter than a ghost, and shortly, began yelling in what appeared excruciating pain. The others looked at Naruto with new-found respect.

“He is under a Genjutsu. I can keep it forever, contrary to most, due to my huge chakra reserves. The bijuu is doing the work of projecting the illusory reality, and from what I can see, it must not be very pleasant!”

“How do you interrogate him under a Genjutsu?” asked a ninja, that carried a rank pin marking him as a chunin.

“Oh, that. That is the easy part: you project the question in his mind and the answer pops up to the forefront, where I pick it up, well, more like the bijuu picks it up, and I get it filtered out of the associated pain and chaos, on which the bijuu feeds.”

“What are you waiting for?” as the voice of the ninja rose to the acute, expressing an increase in pain.

“The first breakdown... Ah, there we are. Question one: Which village are you from? Otogakure? That is a new one. Sound, in Rice country. What was your mission? Infiltrate to help capture the jinchuriki of the village hidden in the Clouds? For whom? Madera?! Because Madera is the Kage of Otogakure?! Do you know what were his intentions toward the jinchuriki? No... But you suspect he wanted to extract the bijuu out of Killer Bee?! Extract, how? You do not know but it seemed that Orochimaru has found a way to do so and wanted to betray his alliance with the Akatsuki. Traitors should never trust each other! Funny this. How long have you been on this mission, namely how long have you left Sound? Six months?! I can’t say you are quick! The presence of Fu was what stopped you from attempting your mission as she kept a closer eye on you than Bee did. Killer Bee, you owe to Fu, it seems.”

“He might have been hampered by the fact I was constantly involved in high-profile missions, Gaki. It is hard to capture someone that can not even isolate himself to take a dump! And the moment I returned to the village, the Kage kept me doing reports in his office, before sending me out again.”

“Makes sense. I am done. Enjoy yourself!”

The moment Naruto said that the ninja’s voice broke as his range reached the inaudible.


“Oh, the bijuu is enjoying a good fun. I can not say the same for that spy. What bothers me is that they usually work in groups of three members. Where are the two others? Oh! Right, they were killed in the battlefield before I intervened, by the Akatsuki operatives. A case of the left hand not knowing what the right hand was doing, my bijuu tells me. My demon is busy sandblasting the ninja spy, starting with the middle section... and then he plans to skin him, then burn him, dip him in boiling water, shower him in muriatic acid, and break every single bone, before circumcising him, castrating him, blinding him, and do it again, since everything is an illusion. The only way out for the bastard is to die of a heart attack and the bijuu will keep that running for as long as he is not bored, which may be a week or so.”

“You seem to take it rather nicely?” asked Fu.

“I am not the one under interrogation, that is why, or more rightly, torture. And, in the global schemes of things, that future cold meat is a grain of sand, as we all are. Now, while we move to our destination, everyone is to stay in line. Put that spy on a gurney between two horses, and walk behind the two horses, in their steps. I want to minimise the width of the tracks and stop trackers from counting us by footprints. We should reach my lands in six hours. We will travel by night. The wounded are to be put on gurneys between horses as well. Bury the dead, stripping them of anything. I do not want any tracker to find out who died and who lived. Search the battlefield. Recover everything, including weapons and clothes. Do it in depth. Finally, once the field is cleansed of everything, reduce its imprint to the best.”

The Naruto Kage Bunshin army began its work, erasing the passage of the rather massive convoy and battle scars left in the area.

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