Druid Naruto

Chapter 05

 Entering the town Naruto noticed right away something was off. Moving his head as little as possible, but attempting to take in as much as he could, he made his way to his stand on automatic as his bare feet connected him to the elements of the earth. Confused at what they were telling him he almost tripped as he entered his booth. Looking down he saw Taki, his helper curled up in the corner. Looking closer he noticed the boy looked like he had cried himself to sleep. Creating two Uzu clones he looked at them as soon as they changed their appearance, not needing to tell them what to do, he watched silently as one went towards Taki's home, while the other turned around and retraced his steps. Kneeling down he placed a hand on his young friend’s shoulder and gave him a gentle shake to wake him up.

Feeling someone shake him, Taki woke up as he threw himself backwards and hit the wall in fright. Looking at who woke him, he threw himself into Naruto's arms, sobbing.

Trying to calm Taki down, Naruto asked when the young boy started to hiccup, "Taki what happened? Why are you hiding in the stall, instead of being at home?"

"Boss," Taki sobbed out in between hiccups. "They took my mom."

"Who took your mom?" Naruto asked as gently as he could. Inside he was starting to get very angry that someone had found a way to bypass his arrays of protection on Taki's house.

"Bandits," the mayor of the small town said as he stopped outside Naruto's booth. "They attacked last night, burned down a dozen homes. Kidnapping or killing those who tried to escape the fire they set." Pointing to the young boy in Naruto's arms he said, "Your young friend was one of the lucky ones, he escaped in the smoke."

"Boss," the Uzu clone that had run to check on Taki's home skid to a stop. "Taki's house is gone, there is burned out houses and..." trailing off as he saw Taki was awake he used the Uzumaki battle signs to tell Naruto that there were still bodies all over the place.

"Excuse me," the mayor interrupted. "You are known as the Shinobi Merchant, correct?"

"Yes," Naruto said through gritted teeth as he stood up with Taki in his arms. Setting the boy down on the edge of the counter he looked into the man’s eyes and kept from smiling when the man hurriedly took several steps back.

"The town wishes to hire you..." the mayor trailed off as it sunk in how young Naruto really was. "To...to take a message to Konoha so a team of Shinobi can be dispatched to take out the bandits."

"Boss," Taki whispered in a hoarse voice from crying. "Please, Boss, get Mom back."

Hugging, Taki close, Naruto signed to his clone to take Taki to the compound, "Take Taki for me will you Uzu."

"Right, Boss," the clone said with a nod. Moving over he picked the six-year-old and held him close. "The boss told me to take you to his compound, so hold on tight." Tracing the spiral pendant around its neck, the clone and Taki disappeared in a brilliant flash.

"Why don't you tell me everything you know," Naruto said in a voice that caused the man standing on the other side of the booth to shiver in fright. Closing his eyes as the mayor frantically told him everything he knew, he pumped a lot of chakra into creating six Uzu clones behind the flap of the back of the booth. Opening his eyes when the mayor started to look around nervously, he said as his six Henge'd clones walked around the booth, "The village was attacked last night," he told them so no one would know that the clones were his. "A group of bandits, possibly up to twenty of them took off with women and children, including Taki's mother," he growled out. "Find them, show them no mercy for what they have done," after his clones rushed away to the edge of town where the attackers had left the village, he turned to face the mayor who was stuttering in shock.

"Whirlpool," the mayor stuttered out as his hand went over his heart. The shock of seeing six red-headed men wearing the symbol of Whirlpool and the Uzumaki clan, had his heart beating so fast the thought it was going to jump out of his chest. "How? I mean, the Uzumaki were said to be destroyed. Weren't they?"

Naruto scoffed as he stepped into the street, "My clan is impossible to kill off. We rebuilt after the attack, in numbers and a hidden location," he lied. "Come," he said after taking a look at the market place and seeing it was still empty instead of full of merchants ready to open for the day. "We can wait for the team I sent to return near the clinic your healer works out of. After all, when they return with those who have been taken, they will need to be seen for their injuries."

Working as one, the six Uzu clones found themselves at the edge of the forest looking for signs of a recent departure. The bandits having taken prisoners would have made a much larger trail to follow than when they first went into the town. Finding the trail, they left blurs behind as they rushed down the beaten-down path.

Stopping several miles from the edge of the forest, they all looked down at the body of a child who lay on the ground in an unnatural angle. Staying still while one of the clones quickly sealed the body into a scroll, they let their rage simmer, just shy of the boiling point. When their brethren stood up after sealing the body, they blurred away again, intent on retribution. Moving at speeds no civilian or bandits dragging captives could match, the clones caught up to their prey an hour later.

Sitting in the trees around the clearing, the Uzu clones listened as the bandits boasted on how easy it was to take what they wanted. Unfortunately, they had to wait until the bandits had finished having their way with the women before they could attack. They wanted to make sure that the prisoners were out of the way so they did not fall victim to the techniques about to be used. Seeing that the last woman had been dragged over to the other prisoners, the clone closest to the rowdy bandits signed to the others. Telling two of the clones to drop down by the prisoners and to erect shields so the prisoners would be safe. Seeing two of their number nod and disappear, the clone looked at each of his brethren and signed; 'get ready', 'wait', 'wait', and as soon as the two clones he had sent to protect the prisoners dropped to the ground he signed 'go'.

"Michio," Naruto said in surprise as he saw his cousin walk into the town square. Raising his voice to get his cousin’s attention he called out, "MICHIO," waving an arm he motioned his cousin over when he was spotted.

"I did not expect you to leave the...outpost," Naruto said careful not to say what he meant in front of strangers. Seeing Michio hesitate, he smiled at the mayor and said, "excuse us for a moment. It seems I have word from the clan that I need to hear."

"Of course Shinobi-Sama," the mayor bowed with a small smile.

Moving out of earshot, Naruto looked around to make sure they were not being listened to before asking in a near whisper, "Michio, is something wrong? I did not expect you to leave the First World this soon."

Lowering his voice so he was speaking in a near whisper, Michio shook his head ever so slightly in the negative before answering. "Not wrong per say, but I thought it was time to at least attempt to be around other people. But when I arrived at the clan compound I was alone except for the Archivist and the others. Then your clone showed up with a hysterical boy. After placing him in a deep sleep with a minor technique, I asked the clone what happened." Shrugging he looked around the square, "I thought if you were going to have your first purposeful kill, you would need someone to talk to."

Nodding his head, Naruto sighed, "I sent six Uzu clones to take care of the bandits and try to bring the people taken back. I...I was not sure I was ready to experience killing someone not attacking me yet, so I thought this was the best way."

"I hoped you had done something like that," Michio relaxed. "But I need to warn you, even though you do not get the clones memories, using Uzu clones as assassins will be detrimental in the long run."

"Why?" Naruto asked as he looked up into his cousin’s face.

"Because, while they do shield you from your actions," Michio said as he looked down at his cousin. "You do not learn and gain experience from an Uzu clone, so in the future you know what to expect and how to handle advanced opponents. Don't get me wrong," he said. "Because of your...guest, you more than anyone in the history of our clan have the ability to use your ability as a Battle Mage to an extent unheard of. But without the ability to learn from what you've experienced," he stared into Naruto's eyes, "you will always, always, be a liability to your comrades or non-combatants due to the fact you have not learned to control your skill in battle."

"I never thought of that," Naruto said slowly. "In the future, if I send out clones for battle I'll make sure I send Kage Bunshin..."

"Only if I am around to help you deal with the aftermath cousin," Michio said as he laid a hand on Naruto's shoulder. Seeing the warring expression on Naruto's face he smiled, "It won't always be that way, but for the first few times you have to deal with what you are going to have to do to protect the family, yourself, or client, I would appreciate it if I am around to make sure you have family to support you."

Nodding with a shy smile, Naruto promised, "I can do that"

"Let us return to the client before he gets nervous," Michio said as he returned the smile. "Have you given any thought on what you will do with the boy if his mother does not survive or is too damaged to take care of him?"

Walking slowly towards the mayor, Naruto smiled at the elderly man so he would see nothing was wrong. "I have been thinking about offering Taki and his mother a place within the Uzumaki compound. Now that you've found that ritual that will give someone a chance to be a true Uzumaki," stopping he glanced up, "I think it is time to start expanding the clan again. This time we'll make sure no one can betray us from within."

"I'll place the loyalty seal on Taki as soon as we get back," Michio offered. Looking over at the village mayor he asked, "Not that I am in any way trying to push things, since today's market day is a bust, will you reschedule or just skip this time?"

"Market day?" the mayor questioned incredulous that it was even being brought up.

Seeing the expression the mayor’s face, Michio held up his hands and told him, "I am not making light of what your village suffered. Nor am I implying that our produce is more important than what happened. The reason I ask, is that once your people are brought home, the quickest way to assure everyone that the problem has been taken care of is to return to normal." Seeing the mayor was thinking about what he said he sent a small smile his way as he sat down next to Naruto. "The only reason I bring it up, while we wait for our team to return, is, that if you decided to hold a market day in between today and the next time Naruto here is scheduled to show up, I can make arrangements for someone else from the clan to come on that day. To show the village that we won't be scared away."

"You have a point," the mayor said as he thought about it.
Looking around the clearing at the dead bandits, one of the Uzu clones accepted a bundle of blank scrolls and started to draw up storage seals for the bandit’s bodies. As one of the clones was doing that, the two clones that had set up a barrier around the prisoners quickly started checking the villagers over for injuries.

The clone that had taken out the leader in his tent, started to go through the few chests and bags littered around the inside of the tent, sealing inside everything of value for transport back to the compound. Once it had sealed up everything of value, it had quickly drawn a storage seal on a loose piece of parchment it had set aside and sealed the body of the leader inside.

Half an hour later, all six clones met in the center of the clearing so they could decide on the best way to get the injured and children back to the village. "If we had a transport box, we could have everyone enter it and easily carry it back to the village."

"At civilian speeds," the clone on the right of the one who wished they had a transport box said, "we are five hours from the village. That is without having to deal with the wounded, which will really slow us down."

The clone across from the first one to speak said, "We build three large stretchers, we can place a bunch of weight countering arrays on the thing."

"They won't last long," another clone said with a nod. "But they should last long enough for us to get the villagers home.”

The first clone to speak up agreed, "Let’s do this. The sooner we get it done, the sooner we are back to the boss."

The tired and emotionally drained women and children watched as the group that saved them quickly built some over large and weird shaped thing out of wood. Looking to one side they saw two of their rescuers carving on small wood disks that they chopped out of a small tree they had cut down.

Finished with his arrays, the clone who had checked for those injured walked over to the group, "If we escorted you back to the village it would take about five hours, that is if we left the injured behind. Which we are not willing to do," it quickly assured them. "What we are going to do instead is to have all of you sit on these stretchers while holding tight onto one of the disk's we will hand you. This will make you as light as a spring melon so we can move through the woods at Shinobi speeds. By doing this we can have you back to the village in a couple of hours." Seeing the disbelief on the adults’ faces he motioned one of the children over. Once the boy was next to him he held up a disk and activate the array by pushing chakra into it, once it was active he slipped it into the front of the boy’s underwear. "Now that the disk is secure so it won't fall or get dropped," he said as he reached down with one hand and scooped the boy up effortlessly. Showing the group that he was holding the boy in the air by his fingertips he grinned, "Once each of you have the array on you, we can run through the forest easily enough."

Seeing the grins on the faces of the people they rescued, he quickly moved through them, making sure the activated disks were placed in each person’s underwear so they would not get dropped and suddenly straining the stretchers due to a sudden weight.

Dividing the group up into three, the clones quickly had them situated on the stretchers. Picking the stretchers up they took off, racing through the forest towards the village.

Hearing a commotion approaching, the mayor stood up to see what was causing it, seeing several heads of flaming hair he let out the breath he was holding. Waiting until they were closer his eyes widened in surprise as he saw the flimsy stretchers with multiple people balanced on them.

Waiting until the first set of clones set the stretcher down near the clinic, Naruto motioned them over out of the way of the villagers who had come to help or look for a loved one, once all six were surrounding him he asked, "How many of the villagers died during the rescue?"

"We found a body of a child on the trail," one of the clones said as it held up a scroll. "While in bad shape, except for Taki's mom, the others are alive. I used the newest scroll in the camp to inscribe a stasis scroll to place her in, she's in bad shape and needs a medic if she is going to survive."

"I have the bodies of the bandits in this scroll Boss," one of the other clones held up a handful of storage scrolls.

"She'll need a real hospital then," Michio said as he joined the group. "We'll take her to Konoha's hospital for treatment. The others can be treated here." Holding up a wooden disk he grinned, "An ingenious move to use this array so you could bring everyone back quickly. Once my clone collects all the others we can make our way home."

After having gone through all those rescued the mayor made his way over to Naruto and asked, "Did your people not find Yoshi-chan, Taki's mother?"

"We did," one of the clones said as it held up a scroll. "She was injured severely, so we sealed her in a stasis scroll for transport to the Konoha Hospital. There she should have a chance of surviving."

"I see," the mayor said slowly. Nodding his head, he motioned for his eldest son to come over. Taking the bag from him he handed it over with a bow, "The payment we would have had to pay Konoha to deal with the bandits and return our people." Handing the bag to the Shinobi merchant he said, "Your clansman was right, we do need to think about normalcy as soon as possible. My son has talked to the merchants, and they have agreed to stay the night so the market may open in the morning."

"I'll be there," Naruto said with a wave when the crowd cheered. "If you excuse us, we are going to head to Konoha so Taki's mother can get treated." With a final wave, Naruto and Michio took off running towards the edge of town along with the clones.

"Hokage-sama," Tsume said quietly after taking in what the Anbu reported. "Young Naruto knows the Fourth’s Hirashin?"

"It was different than what the Yondaime used to use," Frog reported as he looked at the Inuzuka head. "Instead of a flash of yellow he disappeared in a flash of white."

"Hokage-sama," the breathless cry sounded loud as one of the Third’s Jounin rushed into the room. Ignoring the council that was gathered he rushed out, "Passing through the small village that Gai first saw Uzumaki in, I caught the glimpse of a team of six Uzumaki carrying three large stretches overflowing with injured women and children into the village. They reported to Uzumaki and another older Uzumaki by his looks. After receiving payment of some kind all eight left the village at Shinobi speeds and disappeared into the woods. I could not find any trace of them as I stepped off the road."

Shocked, Sarutobi leaned back in his chair as he tried to wrap his mind around the fact that there were more Uzumaki than he thought. Paling as something Naruto said as he left sunk in, he started to glare as he looked at his advisers. If Naruto's clan had taken him in, and if what Naruto said was true, if someone in Konoha had deliberately intercepted the message from Uzu for help...then... Raising a hand in a certain sign, he watched grimly as his Anbu appeared in the room with their weapons drawn. "Take the Advisers to Ibiki, then hunt down Danzo and escort him to Ibiki." Staring at his old teammates who were paling he spit out, "If someone in Konoha has committed treason, and attempted to destroy an ally and clan that intermarried with the Senju, our founders, I want to know."

"Hokage-sama?" came from the civilian side of the room.

Ignoring the call for his attention, Sarutobi scowled as he gazed at the civilians his stewing anger reaching the boiling point. Snapping his fingers, he said as the Anbu appeared, "Bear, take several teams of Anbu and test the shops and their staff. Henge into Naruto and try to buy basic supplies, if as Naruto has said you are denied, overcharged or sold rotten or poisoned food...kill them."

"You can't do that," one of the civilians shouted out as he rose from his seat.

Looking at one of his Anbu, Sarutobi nodded his head. Once the civilians head had stopped rolling across the floor, he clasped his hands in front of him on the desk and let his killing intent rise as he replied. "You seem to be under the impression that I am not the absolute ruler of this village. You seem to think that you can dictate what I can and cannot do." Leaning back he lowered his voice, yet it seemed to boom across the room, "If that young man, if the son of the Yondaime, is so much as sneered at by the civilians I shall have all of you executed."

Turning away from the civilian side of the council, Sarutobi stared at the heads of the ninja clans, "Spread the word, Uzumaki Naruto is not to be bothered. Protect him if he is attacked; but above all, do not approach him with hostile intent, or the offenders will not survive the discussion I will have with them." Picking up the three scrolls with the injured Genin inside them he motioned for Inu to come over. Handing him the scrolls he told him, "Take the injured Genin to the hospital, see to it they are treated. Once they are stable they are to be placed into separate rooms with Anbu guards until I have time to talk to them."

“Hai, Hokage-sama," Inu bowed as he grabbed the scrolls and disappeared in a Shunshin.

"Hokage-sama, if I may," Akimichi Chouza interrupted. Hesitating for a moment he offered, "my clan’s love of food is well known in the elemental nations. What I suggest is sending some of my clansman from time to time to buy produce at the markets Naruto frequents. We can keep an eye on him that way without raising his ire."

"Hmm," Sarutobi mused on the offer before nodding his head. "Do so, but only those markets that are close to Konoha, unless the market is part of your normal trade route."


Walking lazily into the Ninja entrance of Konoha's hospital, Michio approached the lady at the desk, "Excuse me," he said as he held up the scroll. "I need to see a medical team so this injured person can get treated."

Staring at the red-headed ninja, the secretary tilted her head to one side as she caught sight of the scroll. A scroll that was most likely like the ones that were brought in a short time ago with those three injured Genin in them. Breaking herself out of her thoughts, she rose from the desk and motioned for the Shinobi to follow her, "This way please." Leading the Shinobi down the corridor and past treatment rooms she opened the door to one of the surgical suites and pressed the button one the wall to notify the Med-nin team that they had a critical patient. A moment later the doors slammed open as several Med-nin rushed into the room.

"What?" looking around Kabuto rounded on the secretary to demand an explanation. Only stopping when he spotted another one of those scrolls. Instead he said, "Another one?" pointing at the cart he said, "Unseal them there."

Nodding, as he hid his amusement, Michio walked over to the cart and unfurled the scroll. Once it was laid out he unsealed Taki's mother. "She was injured after being taken by bandits. From the report I was given she was used quite harshly before being beaten," he told them as he rolled the scroll up and placed it in a pocket.

Motioning for his team to start triaging the patient, Kabuto asked, to see if he could steer the conversation towards the creation of those stasis scrolls, "A wonderful invention those scrolls," he said as he approached the table to help heal the patient. "So many injured Shinobi that would otherwise die could be saved if these scrolls would become standard issue." Glancing over his shoulder to see the red-headed nin scowling, he shrugged his shoulders as if it was not important before going back to healing the woman.

Scowling at the medic, Michio fingered his belt and the hidden healing elixir within. The medic was being a little to nonchalant with his inquiry about the stasis scrolls. As he watched the medics work, he let his mind drift slightly as he wondered if there were any stasis scrolls with family in them back in Whirlpool. Maybe it was time to take a trip home. Besides, it was time to introduce Naruto to the Elementals, it would give him a chance to search for any family sealed into stasis scrolls while Naruto was communing with the elements.

"She'll be fine," Kabuto said as the team stepped back from the gurney. "At least physically," he looked back at the red head as he said, "she will probably need to see a Yamanaka to deal with what she went through. I'll send a nurse in to move her to a room."

Waiting until the room was clear, Michio quickly moved to Taki mother's bedside and uncapped the elixir he had palmed. Lifting her head and back up off the gurney he quickly poured it into her mouth and massaged her throat so she would swallow. Once the elixir was in, he picked her up, then glancing around to make sure they were still alone he activated the portal by pushing chakra into the spiral necklace. Disappearing in a flash of white light.


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