Druid Naruto

Chapter 03

 

Blinking back the spots that suddenly appeared before his eyes, Naruto found himself standing in an archway made of silver inside a small building. Walking out of the archway he noticed he was in a room with a door in each wall that was open to the outside. Strange he thought as he walked towards the door, stopping when the flash of the light playing off one of the walls caught his attention. He moved closer to see what was glinting in the sunlight, his eyes widening in shock as he noticed the wall was full of portal symbols, so many he thought, as he wondered where they all went to.

The next surprise hit him when he walked outside, he found himself staring at a small permanent camp of sorts. And by looks of things it had seen recent use. Craning his neck around to take in everything he could, he saw that each of the small shelters had the Uzumaki swirl in a prominent position above the doors. Walking further into the camp he noticed smoke rising from a cooking pit up ahead. As his brain caught up with his eyes he froze mid motion, slowly looking around to see if he could spot who or what had the fire going. Not seeing anyone he knelt to the ground and placed his hand on it and sent his senses into the earth, trying to see if the nature spirits on this world would help him.

Almost losing the connection, as overwhelming joy, along with welcome came at him from all the different elements around him, Naruto let out a smile. Even though he found himself in an unknown situation, the elements were so overjoyed and thankful for what his family had done to bring back the balance, he almost forgot to ask for help finding out who started the fire as he basked in the feelings being sent his way. Remembering what he wanted to know, he sent the image of the fire pit, smoke rising from it, asking for help on finding the person who built it. Getting an image back of a man standing on a tree branch not too far away he stood up and faced the hidden man. Calling out, he identified himself, "I am Uzumaki Naruto, clan head of the Uzumaki clan. Or I will be once I return to the hall," he did not have to wait long before the man dropped his nature cloak and stared back at him.

Dropping to the ground, Michio slowly moved closer to the person who came out of the portal house. Tilting his head to one side, then the other as he tried to place the bright yellow haired boy, he smiled as he finally spotted glimpses of his mother in his expression, and she did marry that blond annoyance. "Welcome to the First World Naruto-san, you have your mother’s, Kushina's, mannerisms. My name is Uzumaki Michio, I have been living here with your mother’s permission since the fall of Whirlpool."

"Why did you need Mom’s permission to live here?" Naruto asked in confusion.

"It's a long story, why don't we sit near the fire so I don't burn my supper," Michio smiled fondly as Naruto quickly nodded his head and grinned.

Following Michio towards the cooking pit, Naruto noticed it was more of a brick oven grill combination than an open pit. Taking a seat on one of the logs he watched Michio turn the meat on the grill, eager to hear the others story.

Sighing as he flipped the rabbit so it did not burn, Michio moved it to the cooler section of the grill before starting his story. "I am not sure where to start honestly. Back before Whirlpool was attacked, I came to the First World on my rite of adulthood quest." Facing away from the fire, toward the woods he continued. "To this day I am still undecided on whether it was good luck or rotten luck that I was undergoing my quest when our home was destroyed. My project was to introduce goats back into the First World," chuckling he told Naruto, "I was ambitious and herded one hundred just weaned goats into the arrival pen. It was my plan to stay a week as I introduced four herds to different locations on this world."

"I noticed all the portal symbols when I arrived," Naruto said as he did not push for more answers. Just commenting to make sure Michio knew he was paying attention, "I just skimmed through the journal before coming on my recon mission so I was surprised to see them."

"Several of our clan created them so we could distribute our projects over a wider area," Michio nodded. "At the end of the week when I tried to go back to the Hall of Learning...well the portal did not work." Looking at Naruto in the eyes he knew he had a devastated look on his face. "I don't really want to relive that time if you don't mind."

"I don't want to bring up any bad memories," Naruto was quick to wave his hands in front of him. "I have more than my share of bad memories of the orphanage and village to deal with, so I understand."

Glancing down at Naruto's stomach, Michio had a good idea of what Naruto was talking about. Nodding his head he continued, "Your mother came through the portal about six months later. I had built a small hut near the portal house in hopes of being rescued; instead she told me what had happened to our family. I needed time to deal with what happened and the fact my whole world had just ended. I asked if I could stay here. I wanted no part in the war or Konoha. I felt like I would be betraying my family if I came back and lived in the compound that Kushina had built in a hidden and protected section of Konoha. She agreed with my request and she suggested I take over as the person who would transplant the animals she sent through around the First World to speed up the recovery efforts."

"Then almost ten years ago, the shipments stopped," Michio said in a haunted voice. "I knew she was about to give birth, and that it could be a dangerous process." Moving over to check on his dinner he told Naruto, "I had given up hope in a sense. And I was too much of a coward to see if the archway would work. As long as I never tried, there was hope."

"Somehow the Kyuubi was released from Mom when I was born," Naruto said slowly. "The Yondaime sealed him inside of me, dying in the process. The old man, the Hokage told me he never knew my parents every time I asked. But I found one of Mom’s journals five months ago, and followed the directions to get to the clan compound, where I met the Archivist and started to learn everything I had been denied."

Turning to look at Naruto, Michio told him, "I always wondered if the reason why Konoha never came to Whirlpool’s defense until it was too late was because they did not want Kushina to go home with the Kyuubi sealed inside of her." Seeing Naruto's expression, he sighed as he sat down, "I told Kushina my theory and she said she was going to check it out, then she never came back..."

"And you thought that something happened to her because you were right," Naruto nodded his head. It made sense for Michio's point of view, "I can understand why you would think that. Now I need to second guess my meeting with the old man tomorrow, I should send a clone just in case."

Puling supper off the fire Michio hesitated, he really had only made enough for one person.

Seeing Michio hesitate, Naruto chimed in when he figured out the reason, "Eh, Michio Nii-san, please eat. Don't worry about me, I ate before leaving and I can have a snack when I get home tonight, while you eat I'm going to look around."

"Thank you, Naruto-san," Michio made sure Naruto could not see his shame at being unable to share his meal. Once he had his emotions under control he sat down and ate in silence.

Naruto spent the time Michio was eating looking around, what surprised him was the pens of animals he saw on the other side of the small camp. Leaning against the railing of the strange empty pen, he stared at the portal symbol engraved in the hard rock that was the pens floor. He was trying to figure out where the corresponding pen was back in the compound, because he would have remembered seeing something that looked like this.

Joining the head of his clan, Michio saw the intense look of concentration on Naruto's face as he stared at the transport pen. Interrupting Naruto's musing he told him, "Kushina linked the new transport pen to a hidden cave outside Konoha. She sent the animals she bought from that cave so no one would know she was buying so much livestock. Not to mention all the wild animals she captured and sent."

"Do you know where the cave is?" Naruto asked as he shifted on the fence so he could see Michio's face as he answered.

"No, unfortunately she never did tell me where it was located, and I never thought to ask." Michio shook his head as he apologized for not knowing the answer.

"Well, I'll just have to ask Rei Sensei to teach me how to make the portal arrays then," Naruto shrugged. Looking up at the sky and seeing it was starting to get dark he knew he had to get back soon so that the elders did not get worried. Sighing he had two questions he needed answers to before he left, "I need to leave soon. But I have two more questions before I start bringing through my projects," seeing Michio nod he asked him, "I noticed from what I skimmed through the journal that no one has brought any predators to the First World. I was thinking of introducing hawks at first, do you see a problem with that?"

Nodding his head after some thought, Michio smiled, "I would say it is time to introduce a few select species of hunters. Hawks would be a good start; they should keep some of the smaller animals like rabbits and mice under control."

"Good, good," Naruto smiled as he hopped off the fence he had been sitting on. "Last question before I leave," staring into Michio's face he asked, "did Mom say anything about wanting to move the clan here when she rebuilt the compound and brought the scattered survivors home?"

"You certainly ask the hard questions, don't you," Michio ran a hand through his hair as he scrunched up his face in thought. "She never said anything outright, but that said, her actions told me she wanted to do that very thing. She pushed herself hard to bring in as many animals as she could, I know she had plans of starting to bring in livestock before...her death," he whispered the last. Walking in silence towards the portal house, Michio stopped with a sudden thought, "I almost forgot. Hold on a moment Naruto-san; I have two books I copied from the castle library you should take back with you, I found them in a hidden side room in one of the towers."

Following the pointed finger, Naruto stared in the distance and was shocked that he had not noticed the huge castle on the other side of the lake. As Michio hurried back and handed him the two books, he asked, "Is the castle still in a good condition?"

Laughing at the shocked look on his clan leader's face, Michio nodded, "The arrays carved into the castle have kept it as new as when it was built. There are so many arrays placed around the library and the books held there that I decided it would be better to copy any of the books I wanted to study."

Looking down at the two books he had been handed, Naruto read the cover with wide-eyed shock.

"I think the blood adoption ritual I found inside that one will be what we need to rebuild the clan," Michio said before mentioning the second book, "The other one has arrays listed inside to carve onto weapons to make them outshine the legendary weapons of myth. In fact, I wonder if the sage's weapons were made with the help of that book."

Mind racing, Naruto held the two treasures tightly to his chest as he looked up at Michio, moisture gathering in his eyes as his mind raced with the possibilities these two books would open for the clan. "Thank you, Michio Nii-san." Allowing himself to be pulled into a hug he looked up at the taller clansman, "I'll be back tomorrow, and I'll make sure to bring plenty of seeds from the garden."

Holding a book in each hand as he walked into the archway, Naruto made a promise as he looked at Michio, "I will be back tomorrow, you can count on it." Channeling chakra into his hands that were touching the symbols he activated the portal and returned home.

Stepping out of the archway, making sure to grab the books that were slipping from his hands he noticed that the elders were staring at him in curiosity. Setting the books down on the table he moved over and grabbed the journal from the pedestal before sitting down at the desk with it. He needed to record his observations while they were still fresh in his head. As he started to write he told the elders what he saw, as he turned the page to continue writing his entry he looked up when the Archivist told him.

"I always wondered about young Michio," the Archivist said, his shock evident in his voice. "I had assumed that he returned during the attack and perished before making an entry. For him to be fulfilling the role that you describe is amazing." When he heard the part of what the two books he had brought back he gasped, as he looked to the other elders he saw they too were impressed, "The quest our young clan head has undertaken this day, while not adding to nature of the First World, has more than fulfilled the requirements of bringing back knowledge."

"True," Ukyou nodded in agreement. "The tradition of adding to nature of the First World was never a requirement."

"Does anyone have a challenge to the young heir's completion of the rite of adulthood?" the Archivist asked in a low voice as he looked at each of the others sitting at the table. Seeing negative shakes of the head he spoke up, "Naruto." When the young man looked up from his writing he smiled, "We, the elders, have judged that you have passed your quest to adulthood. At this time, we acknowledge that you are an adult and the head of the clan, you will find on the table under my painting the items proclaiming you an adult and the head of the clan. Wear them with pride Uzumaki Naruto, head of the Uzumaki clan."

Dropping his pen in shock at being acknowledged so publicly, the first time he had ever been acknowledged that way, Naruto felt his mouth drop open when the elders stood and bowed to him.
#
Mind occupied with the discovery that he had family still alive, Naruto appeared next to the road marker that had the portal symbol hidden near the granite base. Looking around he did not see anyone on the road, not that he expected to this time of the morning, and decided it was safe to proceed. Holding his hand in the sign for the Uzumaki clone, he nodded to his clone as it stepped up behind him and transformed into the body of his usual helper.

Walking into the city just as the sun was rising, Naruto nodded as his clone split off to go check the shop near the walls to see whether the hawks were still available. As he walked down the street towards the market he waved in greeting to several of the early risers that called out to him as he passed. Passing by the bakery he stopped when he heard his name being called.

"Ohayo, Naruto-san," Kimiko called out when she saw the Shinobi merchant walk past her store. "Do you have any fresh onions, I ran out this morning?"

Nodding his head, Naruto entered the store and smiled, "I picked quite a few this morning Natarri-san." Shrugging his pack around from his back, Naruto searched through the scrolls until he found the one he was looking for. Placing it on the counter, he quickly unsealed the section that he had placed the onions in and grinned at the small clap of glee from Natarri-san.

"Oh," Kimiko clapped with a grin, "I so love when you use your Shinobi skills and I am there to see." Looking over the selection she noticed the fresh moist dirt near the roots. Even though they had been cleaned, some fresh soil still clung to the roots. This more than anything else told her how fresh the produce was. Picking out what amounted to half of the onions there, she quickly placed them in an empty basket. Knowing how much he charged, she quickly counted out the money and placed it on the counter, making sure to add a fresh from the ovens sweet roll on the counter next to the Ryo. "Thank you, Naruto-san, this saves me from having to send my daughter out this early in the morning."

Biting into the warm sweet roll, Naruto smiled, after swallowing he told her, "No problem Natarri-san. I'll stop by after the market is over to pick up some fresh bread." Waving one last time as he walked out the door, he heard Natarri-san chatting with several of her early morning customers about the quality and freshness of his produce.

Arriving at his stall at the same time as his clone, Naruto quickly started to pull out his sealing scrolls as the crowd formed in front of his stand, this early it was mainly made up of chefs and cooks wanting to get fresh ingredients before they opened for the day. After fifteen minutes where he did not get much of his produce in the boxes, Naruto let out a sigh of frustration; it looked like it was going to be one of those days. Whispering under his breath, "Uzu Bushin," three more clones appeared. Amidst the cheers from the crowd, he shook his head as his clones went to work putting the produce out as fast as he could unseal it. While the first clone that he had transformed into the shape of his helper waited on the customers. For the next half hour it was a race to unseal as much produce as fast as he could, while the clones did their best to keep the shelves stocked.

Wiping his brow as he finally caught up with the pre-market rush, Naruto dispelled two of his four active clones with a nod. Seeing that the small box that he used as a cash drawer was pretty full, he pulled out a small red scroll and sealed most of it away under a blood seal; having that much money out just invited trouble. Not that he would have a problem with thieves trying to steal from him, after all his nickname as the Shinobi merchant would keep all but the truly desperate away.

Putting a smile on his face he moved over where an elderly lady was waiting off to one side, "How can I help you Honored Grandmother?"

"Such a polite boy," the old lady murmured as she returned the blonde's smile. "If it is not too much trouble I would like what is on this list," she said as she shakily handed over her paper as she added up the costs in her head to make sure she had enough money.

Nodding, Naruto looked at the list and saw that she had crossed several items off the list, items that he knew only he sold. Glancing at the old woman as he started to gather up the produce, he noticed that while her clothes were in good shape, they were quite old, having been mended several times by the look of them. Knowing he had made a good profit this morning already, he gathered up the items she crossed off and returned her basket to her, "That will be three Ryo."

Looking at her returned shopping basket, the old lady protested, because there was more in her basket than she could afford or that the price she was quoted would account for, "But this is more..."

"Three Ryo is all I'll accept Honored Grandmother. After all it is the duty of the young to see that the elders are taken care of," Naruto told her sternly, with a smile on his face.

Handing over her money with tears welling in her eyes, the old lady whispered her thanks as she placed a hand on Naruto's cheek. Walking away slowly she wiped away the tears before they had a chance to fall.
#
The Naruto clone sighed as he glanced into the classroom. Seeing a stranger along with three Genin he wiped all emotion off his face and prepared himself subtly for combat as he walked over the threshold. Keeping the three Genin and their Jounin Sensei in the corner of his eye, he made his way over to the topmost corner of the room and took a seat.

Spotting that the young man the Fourth sealed the Kyuubi into prepare himself for battle when he spotted his team, Gorou had to wonder just what young Naruto had to put up with from his previous instructors. Nodding at Kimino to close the door he waited until she had done so before addressing the class. "While new instructors are being trained to take over the classes, my team and I will test you to see just what you have been taught by the traitors." Glaring at the pink-haired girl who dared raise her hand he barked out, "Put your damn hand down! You are here to listen to me and be tested by my team. If I want to hear your voice I will ask you a question."

The clone of Naruto frowned as he read between the lines. The Jounin was under orders to find out what they knew, what he knew. He seriously was conflicted over if he should just go ahead and dispel now, or even try to show what he was capable of. Glaring down at the paper that had been placed in front of him by one of the Genin, he was surprised to find that it had no Genjutsu on it. It looked like it was an honest attempt to be fair to him. Which of course set off alarm bells in his head.

Gorou watched carefully as the quickly hidden expression of surprise followed by distrust crossed Uzumaki's face when he looked at the written test that had been handed out. Watching the boy as he struggled with some decision, he turned to look at the rest of the students when he picked up his pencil finally and started to fill in his answers.

Naruto quickly came to a decision on whether to show his skills or not. Knowing exactly what the original would do in this situation he picked up his pencil and faked answering the questions. Instead he quickly started scribbling a runic array that would allow him to escape. Examining the array he had created with a critical eye he added a time delay to the paper before charging it with his chakra. Flipping the test over he felt no remorse for the chaos he was about to create. Standing up with the rest of the class he filed out of the room to the second part of the test, the practicals.

Kimino had a split second to throw away the paper she had just picked up when she noticed the seal on it. A quick Kawarimi with a chair on the other side of the room had her safely out of the way as the tag went off. Billowing smoke that was choking poured out of the test paper of one Uzumaki Naruto. While thick and cloying, the smoke was not dangerous, well not if she kept her head and crept along the floor that is.

While the distraction was doing its intended job, Naruto slipped away from the rest of his class and moved stealthily to the front office. Spotting a strange ninja in the head’s office he decided against sneaking the paperwork in his hands into his file. Instead he walked through the door and instead of wincing under the direct gaze of the strange ninja he walked the few steps to the desk and placed the paperwork down. Tilting his head to the side when the ninja ignored the paperwork, a bad idea whenever an Uzumaki was involved he thought, he cleared his throat, "As you can see the paperwork is in order for me to leave the academy. My clan will be taking over my training from this point on. I will not miss this hell hole, with its attempts to make sure my life is forfeit during my first real mission." Doing the unthinkable if he was not a clone, he turned his back on the ninja who was staring at him in shock and left the room.

Glancing back over his shoulder as he walked through the gate of the academy, Naruto shook his head as he thought 'fools'. Two minutes after the smoke had first started to billow out of the second-floor window, and the ninja patrols still had yet to arrive to investigate the disturbance, Naruto let out a disgusted sigh as he walked towards the Hokage tower.

Ten minutes later Naruto peeked into the Hokage's office and saw the empty room. Shrugging he headed towards the back steps leading to the mission office, figuring the Hokage was there. Passing by the chambers that the Hokage used when he dealt with village matters he perked up when he heard the Hokage yelling. Stopping and listening to what he could hear, he smirked when he realized that the old man was tearing a new one into the fools who were tasked with overseeing his wishes in running the day to day operations of the village. Giving a start when he heard his name, he glared hatefully at the door before wiping all emotions off his face as he strode towards the room.

Entering the room, Naruto noticed right away that it was not a full session of the council. Eyes taking in the room he saw that only half of the clan heads were represented if the empty seats were anything to go on. Spotting the three old timers who seemed to get the old man’s temper up more often than not, he ignored them. Taking in the fact that the civilian side was fully represented, he scowled when some pink-haired woman started ranting, telling the Hokage he had no right to tell them, the Civilian Council what to do.

Crossing his arms across his chest Naruto muttered, "Well that won't end well." Silence filled the room with his words, as every eye turned to look at him. From the clan side he saw curiosity, while the three old farts had gone emotionless. The civilian side, those that had made his life a living hell, well he expected their reactions. And while his eyes stayed on the old timer all bandaged up like a mummy, he made note that he was not as shocked as the rest of the room. Almost if he expected the reactions that his presence brought about.

Ignoring the uproar, but making note of those who were yelling for the most violent of attacks towards him, Naruto uncrossed his arms and pulled out a bright red paper when several of the Anbu along the sides of the walls started to move. Holding the paper up so everyone could see it, he timed his words to start when the pink-haired woman screamed for the Anbu to kill him, "Fuin...Kai."

Sarutobi rounded on the two Anbu who had just grabbed Naruto, "Release him, immediately!" As the ground shook, he steadied himself with an application of chakra, eyes never leaving the boy who was the only one who ever made him feel dishonorable over not being able to do more for him. Breaking away as more tremors were felt, he glanced out of the window to see blossoms of smoke rising from strategic sectors of Konoha.

"What have you done, BOY?" Danzo growled out as he stood. He had seen the tag the boy had activated right before the tremors hit. He was not stupid and he knew without a doubt that the activation of the tag was the cause the explosions that caused the power to fail.

Brushing off the imagined dirt from his arms where the two Anbu had grabbed him, Naruto replied with barely concealed rage, "I checked several days ago," he started as he moved further into the room. "None of the civilian companies have placed into the Uzumaki accounts the agreed upon rents for using my family’s arrays. So, as the contract states I have removed the arrays from Konoha."

"Surely you could have given some warning that this oversight needed corrected," Sarutobi said gently so as not to further enrage Naruto.

"An oversight!" Naruto scoffed as he rounded on the old man. "An oversight is missing a payment or two, not ten years’ worth." Foot moving across the floor, secretly inscribing an array in front of him, he smiled and enjoyed the civilians throwing themselves backwards as he glanced at them, "My family has always taken precautions when renting out our arrays. To make sure they can never be used against us, clan law states that a self-destruct be added into any seal we allow others to use." Seeing the looks of horror on many of the faces in the room he shrugged as the barrier seal activated. A circle of glowing energy surrounded him, protecting him from any attempts to hurt him. "Not to mention that the very leaders of the civilian side of your council have attempted and by their words a moment ago are still calling for my death, I do not see a reason to reward those who call for my death."

As the lights flickered back on, an Anbu appeared in the room, "Hokage-sama the civilian electricity generating and water purification plants have been rendered useless."

"Naruto..." The Third sighed as he straightened up to deal with the fallout over what he had done. If he was lucky he could keep the boy out of jail.

"We will just have someone redraw the seals," the pink-haired woman growled out. Hiding the fact that she was frightened with anger.

"You're more that welcome to try," Naruto smirked. "When I deactivated the seals rented to the civilian sector, I made sure all of them went up in smoke. Including written copies."

"Do you know what you've done Naruto," Sarutobi started, "by doing what you've done, it will be seen as treason?"

"Treason?" Naruto scoffed as he narrowed his eyes in anger. "I did exactly as the contract between my family and Konoha allows. Luckily the Shinobi sector, along with the clans, have kept their word. They have honored their commitments to my family. That is why the arrays they use were not touched. Attempt to punish me for following the contract to the letter will be seen as confirmation by the other nations that Konoha cannot be trusted."

Moving down the stairs slowly, as non-threatening as possible, Danzo knew of all the other seals Konoha used that were supplied by the Uzumaki...for a price. Stopping on the floor near the Hokage he spoke up, "This proves beyond a doubt that you are in fact a true Uzumaki. No other can affect any seal a Uzumaki creates, except another Uzumaki." Bowing his head slightly he kept his anger hidden completely, "I shall take my leave to go over my departments books to ensure that no payments have been missed." Bowing to The Third he whispered, "Hokage-sama."

Watching Danzo leave the room with narrowed eyes, Sarutobi vowed to have a watch placed on the man. He left too quickly, without even an attempt to coerce Naruto into following their will. Sighing he moved around the table and sat down, "What can I do for you Naruto?" He asked, letting the fatigue of years of fighting his own village fill his voice.

Tilting his head to the side, Naruto caught the emotion in the old man’s voice. "I told that Shinobi of yours I would talk to you today. But what I really want to know is why you have your Shinobi searching for me?"




 

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