Druid Naruto

Chapter 07



Following Hokage-sama's orders, Rabbit henge'd into Naruto and walked into the grocers nearest Naruto's last known address. Frowning as shouts came from the proprietor demanding he get out, stating that he was not wanted around real people, he dropped the Henge and with a flick of his wrist, a kunai was sticking out of the man’s forehead. Slowly scanning the room as the customers screamed in fright, he said, "For you to disrespect the Yondaime so, to skirt the intent of the Third’s law, no more. Uzumaki Naruto is a true Uzumaki, as proven as he removed the seals the civilian sector rented from his family. I have heard the rumors on how Uzumaki was treated, I could never understand, if you thought he was in reality his prisoner, then why in Kami's name would you dare to treat him badly. After all, if he was his prisoner, that would mean you would die, right?"

In another store, Inu used the Henge to morph into Naruto and walked into the store, a store he frequented often as it was close to Anbu headquarters. Reaching for a carton of milk he fought to keep from reacting when it was ripped from his hands.

"Give me that, damn demon spawn," the shopkeeper growled out in anger. Motioning for his helper to go to the back room he walked to the register. When he saw the thing go towards the fruit he yelled out, "You know I only allow your kind to buy one thing at a time, get your demon ass over here."

Out of the corner of his eye, Inu caught sight of the other worker pouring something into an old beaten up carton of milk and silently fumed as he returned to the register. As the now altered carton of milk was handed off to the shopkeeper he looked up when the man demanded ten Ryo. Releasing the Henge he said coldly, "When I was here this morning you only charged me a single Ryo for milk. Milk that I was able to pick out myself, not be poisoned by your helper." Watching the man’s face grow in anger after he dropped the Henge to fear he said coldly, "By order of the Sandaime Hokage, you are to be executed for breaking his law." With that he slit the man’s throat and as he followed through, he let loose his Kunai and killed the clerk who had poisoned the milk. Fuming he stormed out of the shop, civilians scattering out of his way.

All over Konoha, this scene was repeated as Anbu, Henge'd as Naruto tried to buy everything from staples to fresh produce to household goods, even meals. All resulted in the shopkeepers’ deaths, all except one, a Ramen stand owner who smiled at the disguised Anbu and slid a bowl of steaming Ramen in front of them before asking how his day had been. Mentioning that it had been months since he had seen him and he was worried. Berating him for making him worry like that and not to do that again. Finishing his bowl, after discretely checking for poisons, the Anbu smiled and thanked the cook before bouncing away.

"Report," Sarutobi ordered as his Anbu returned from the mission of impersonating Naruto.

Anbu Captain Inu, moved forward and bowed his head before saying, "Hokage-sama. My teams attempted to buy basic necessities from all shops around Uzumaki's known residence. I must report the following to my...our shame. The clone of Uzumaki downplayed the sheer hatred and murder attempts to the council. All told we executed every shop owner, all clerks in attendance and several civilian shoppers and," taking a deep breath he said tonelessly, "several teens and children who not only called Uzumaki demon, but Kyuubi. From our quick assessment, your law is only followed by the clans. Of all the civilian merchants we interacted with, only a Ramen chef treated Uzumaki with respect. No, he treated him like an orphan who you charge the least amount the orphan will allow to save face. Even going so far to berate Uzumaki for making him worried when he disappeared."

"Cat," Sarutobi spat out as he tried to control his killing intent from rising higher than his Anbu could tolerate. "Disconnect the civilian sector from the power grid. While you are at it, close the valves to the water purification bypass. From now on, the civilians can buy power and water from the Clans, at inflated prices."

"Hai," Cat bowed his head. "Hokage-sama, by your leave," he said as a formality before leaving in a swirl of leaves.

Standing up, Sarutobi said through gritted teeth, "Send a messenger to the clan heads, inform them there is a meeting. Then capture each civilian on the council and bring them to the council chambers. While I do not care if they can ever move again, I wish them to be aware as I explain to them why they will be executed for treason." Walking out of the room without looking back to see if his orders were followed, he walked quietly to the council chambers, tears falling silently as it was brought home how utterly he had failed. And how utterly betrayed he had been by those civilians in charge.

Sitting at his desk, Sarutobi watched silently as clan heads walked into the room and took their seats. Refusing to say anything as they greeted him, he watched as the clan heads fell silent as the first of the civilian members of the council arrived, tossed to the floor by his Anbu. Once the last clan head had arrived, Uchiha Fugaku, he raised a finger and Ibiki sealed the door.

"How dare you," the Haruno representative yelled in rage as she picked herself up off the floor. Glaring at the Hokage for what he ordered done, she opened her mouth to really let him have it, she stopped as she clutched her hand to her chest above her heart. Gasping for breath as she felt such an intentional pressure descend on her, her vision started to dim as her heart stopped from the intense killing intent and she fell to the ground, not breathing.

"I warned you this morning, that this village is a dictatorship," Sarutobi said without looking at the scrambling civilians trying to get away from the body. "That my word was law. That you had no say in the running of the village, other than what I gave you. Do not dare to order me around." Watching the silent Shinobi clan heads he said, "Fugaku-san, you were late to the meeting I called. Why?"

Narrowing his eyes in anger at the downgrading of his title in public, Fugaku answered calmly, "I was instructing the police force in the search for the killer of numerous civilian shopkeepers a half hour ago. My duties to direct my police forces were deemed to be my first priority."

"And it did not cross your minuscule mind," Sarutobi sneered as he watched the man get angry. "That I might have summoned you because I had information about those deaths. I can see that it didn't," he continued in the same tone as his sneer. "In fact I know who caused those criminals deaths."

"WHO?" Fugaku forgot who he was talking to for a minute. That is until he fell back in his seat as powerful killing intent brought him to his knees.

"My Anbu executed them for treason," Sarutobi said as he increased his killing intent directed at the Uchiha clan head. "Ibiki," he said without blinking as the man passed out, "it seems you have a new playmate. I would be interested in knowing how far along he is in his plans of replacing me in his coup attempt. I wish to know who is involved and who has been tasked to attack the other clans, so that you can play with them too."

After a minute of silence, when the clan heads looked at each other in confusion, Sarutobi spoke up as he looked in the corner of the room, "Weasel, retire your mask for the rest of the meeting. It seems the Uchiha clan needs a representative and since you are the eldest son of the former clan head..." he left off any other explanation. "Also please note, at no time have I authorized the elders to act in my name," looking at Itachi as he removed his mask and sat in his father’s seat he told the clan heads as he scanned their faces, "the elders are awaiting my order of execution, after spilling their treasonous secrets."

"Now," he said as he clasped his hands and leaned forward and placed his hands on the desk, "the comments the Uzumaki clan head made were proven to not be only accurate, but understated. Anbu Henge'd as Uzumaki attempted to purchase items, they walked down the street. And children as young as five taunted the Anbu under Henge, going so far as calling him, Demon, Kyuubi and to attack him." Killing intent rising he spat out, "I could have sworn I ordered the sealing of the Kyuubi into Uzumaki Naruto as a SS class secret, punishable by death. And, yet, children born three years after the event, know a village military secret."

Glancing at the civilians and seeing defiant looks, he turned his attention to the clan heads and told them, "The civilian council is disbanded. The current representatives shall be dealt with as all traitors to the Leaf are." Motioning to his Anbu he said, "Kill them." Ignoring the screams and sounds of blood hitting the floor he told the heads of the clans, "The following is now policy. If any civilian wishes to buy power or water, it shall be through one of the members of the clans. If any civilian wishes to operate a business, it shall be by the sponsorship of one of the clans. If any civilian wishes to go to school, either civilian or Shinobi, they will need to be sponsored by one of the clans. In other words, because of the way civilians have treated Uzumaki Naruto, to the point he has taken legal means to punish them, it has caused me to really look at the village as a whole. And what I found is seriously lacking, so much so, that it would be easy to say that treason runs strong in the village. Almost solely, with the exception of the elders and former clan head of the Uchiha, centered in the civilian sector." Pointing to the corpses on the floor he said, "And I have removed the head of the treasonous snake. Now, we will discuss how to move forward from here. What sectors and responsibilities you as a clan wish to undertake."
#
"So," Naruto said as he walked towards the closest set of shelves, "where do we start?"

"I," Michio sounded frustrated as he slowly twirled in place. "I don't know. And I should," he growled out as he beat his fists against his legs in frustration.

"Take a deep breath and hold it, the let it out slowly," Naruto said quickly. "Naboo Sensei, has repeated that to me often enough when I get frustrated as he teaches me to brew the Elixirs." Picking one of the scrolls up, he saw it was a scroll describing a Ninjutsu technique. "They are all mixed up. This one is a water technique." Rolling the scroll back up, he noticed the end cap had a wave on it. Moving around the room, looking at the racks, he spotted a rack that had color end caps without any other design. "What do pink end caps mean?" He asked as Michio moved through the shelves grumbling to himself.

Without thinking, Michio said in between his grumbling about his failing memory, "Pediatric stasis scroll."

Holding the scroll in his hand reverently, Naruto scanned the rack and saw so many pink end caps. With a trembling hand, he started to sort the pink end capped scrolls from the rest.

So involved in cursing his memory, Michio made it to the next aisle before it sank in what Naruto had asked and he had answered. Skidding to a stop, he stood still as a statue as his mind rebooted. Leaving dust rising up behind him as he rushed down the aisles looking for Naruto, he stopped as he saw the rack Naruto was taking the pink capped scrolls from and moving them to a table. Staring intently at the colored caps he tried desperately to remember what they meant.

Seeing Michio working himself into a frenzy as he tried to remember, Naruto asked softly, "Red scrolls, what do they mean?"

"Critical," Michio trailed off a he looked at Naruto blankly. And when Naruto asked him about blue he said, "Walking wounded." Then being as quick as he could while being careful he said, "White is for healing staff. Green for uninjured children and yellow for moderately injured." A few minutes later, after going through a little over a hundred scrolls, Michio stared as the piles on the table with a longing expression on his face. Family, there, in those stasis scrolls were family.

"And these two?" Naruto said holding up the pair of purple capped scrolls.

Falling back into one of the, who knows how old chairs, Michio said in a whisper, "Pharmacy. Which is needed to safely remove the healers so they can remove the others from the stasis scrolls."

"One hundred and six," Naruto said as he pulled a chair out from the table and sat and stared at the pile of scrolls. "That," he said as he used one of the purple capped scrolls as a pointer to point at the table, "is how many of our family that was not killed during the attack. But I want to know," he said as he looked at Michio, "is how many of them will still be alive when they are released from the stasis scrolls?"

"All of them," Michio said in a hopeful voice, before adding, "I think." Shrugging he drew on his training and said, "I was taught, that as long as the scroll was intact and the sealing array not damaged or faded, then what was sealed inside would come out intact."

"When I first moved into the clan head’s house," Naruto said slowly so he did not start any arguments over something he just did not know enough about, "the stasis seals on the cupboards and cool boxes kept the food in good shape. But they were not alive." Seeing Michio looking at him he added, "I know the gardens and such were placed in stasis, the whole village was, but did they use the same type of seals?"

"I don't know," Michio sounded frightened to admit that.

Nodding his head, Naruto stood up and moved over the table and picked up the ten scrolls with white caps before starting towards the door.

"Where are you going?" Michio asked in confusion as he stood up to follow Naruto out of the vault.

"Back to the Archives," Naruto said without slowing down. "Between the ancestors, they should be able to tell us what to do and if the people in the scrolls are okay."

Why didn't I think of that? Michio thought as he rushed to catch up with Naruto. Passing him he said, "This way, the front door is two floors down by the huge hall at the bottom of the stairs."

The Archivist, as had become habit, walked into the only frame all the paintings of the elders could interact in, early. As the others walked into the frame he smiled as he caught part of the excited conversation. From what he was hearing, they could not wait to hear about how Naruto's meeting of the elements went. About to get the meeting started, the activation of the portal caught his attention. No one should be coming through the portal he thought, Michio and Naruto were in Whirlpool, so who in the...

Walking out of the arch to the First World, Naruto, scrolls sticking out of his shirt and pockets, looked up and said, "Good, all of you are here." Walking to the table he started to carefully remove the scrolls from where he had placed them, so he had his hands freed so he could activate the portal, and placed them in a neat row on top of the table. Not beating around the bush as Michio added the purple capped scrolls he picked up to the table top, he told the Elders, "After meeting the Elements, which was so cool by the way, Michio wanted to check out Whirlpool. When we checked out the hospital, he remembered that in case of an invasion, the patients and such were to be sealed into stasis scrolls and placed in a safe place."

Taking a chair and turning it to face the front of the room before sitting down, Naruto continued, "We searched and found nothing, until Michio remembered that the stasis scrolls were to be placed in the ward safes, to be transported to the vault."

"Which, to our surprise, is in the First World, inside the castle," Michio added.

"Yes," the Archivist said with a nod. "Naruto's three times great grandfather made the ruling that the clan vault was to be placed in the First World, to ensure the clan secrets and valuables could not be stolen. During an invasion, everything in Whirlpool of any value was to be placed on transport seals and transported to the vault." Pointing to the scrolls that Naruto had placed on the table he said, "You found family members, in stasis scrolls."

"Yes, one hundred and six. Some of them critically wounded. These ten," Michio said as he gently picked up one of the scrolls and showed the white cap to the elders, "according to what I learned as I started my healing course, are to contain fully qualified healers. In the last case protocol, in case of the hospital being breached, all patients were to be sealed, and staff to follow after all the patients had been sent to the vault."

Naruto picked up the story by saying, "The problem is, it’s been thirteen years since the war." Pointing his finger over his shoulder at the scrolls, he asked, "Are they still okay in those scrolls? Do we need to do something special since it’s been so long?"

"I don't know," the Archivist sounded put out that he did not know the answer to the question.

Naboo nodded his head and said as soon as the Archivist finished, "Yes. You need to brew a special Elixir to bring them out of stasis shock. We found, testing by using livestock, that the most anyone can be held in stasis is two years without them going into shock when released from stasis. It took several years to develop an Elixir to solve the problem."

"Would it be kept stocked in the pharmacy which was placed in these scrolls?" Michio asked as he picked up the two purple capped scrolls.

"No," Naboo said with a shake of his head. "The Elixir must be freshly made. It has no shelf life so to speak and is simple enough to brew."

"Sure it is," Michio said with a heavy sigh, "As long as you’re not me." Seeing the looks he was getting from the elders and Naruto he said, "I was twelve when I did my quest. So I had no one to teach me. And all I learned at that point was basic healing salves and remedies."

"Then you shall learn while Naruto learns," Naboo said with a grin. "Come," he said as he started to walk to the edge of the portrait frame, "meet me in lab."

An hour later, Naruto and Michio walked into the room, each holding a tray with five doses of the Elixir in cups, and set them on the small library table under the portrait frame.

"How are we going to do this?" Naruto asked as he went to the table and moved all but one of the scrolls to a chair that he pushed to one side so they would not be damaged.

"Well," Michio said as he unrolled the scroll and checked the seal for damage. "I would expect that whoever comes out of the seal will be slightly confused. After all, when they went into stasis, the hospital was being attacked."

"Great," Naruto said sarcastically before looking up at the elders. He asked, "Can we slap a Chakra dampening tag on them? That way, if they start to go wild, we can make sure they don't hurt us."

"A good idea," Rei agreed and told them, "a prisoner tag would be what you want to use." Seeing Michio roll the scroll and place it to the side he asked, "Is something wrong with that seal?"

"I noticed it said third at the top of the scroll," Michio said as he unrolled the scroll he just grabbed and said, "sixth. I am assuming that they are numbered in the order they need to be unsealed. But for the life of me, I can't understand why." Seeing Naruto look at him he shrugged, "It's not like before, where I knew I knew the information but could not remember, this time I have no clue." On the fifth scroll he nodded and held it up, "This one says first." Handing it to Naruto he said, "If you unroll the scroll and weigh down the edges, I'll see about drawing up a down and dirty prisoner tag."

Scroll weighted down, Naruto turned to the elders and asked, "Naboo-Sensei, what do we need to do after unsealing the scroll?" He asked, avoiding saying body or person, until he knew they were going to be alright.

"I would have Michio, because he looks older, even though you now have the Uzumaki red hair," Naboo chuckled as Naruto interrupted him.

"I do?" Naruto looked in surprise and tugged at the end of his hair, he stared in shock at the red strand he pulled from his head. "How...how did this happen?"

"Most people think the red hair of the Uzumaki's is because it is passed down from our parents," Michio said as he looked up with a grin. "Uzumaki's have red hair because it is given to us after meeting the Elements, it marks us as a Druid. Not that we let that fact be known." Looking back at the tag he was drawing he examined it for flaws before declaring it, "Done."

"Back to what needs to be done," Naboo said with mirth. "Once unsealed, the person will be like they have been petrified. What you need to do is to dribble some of the Elixir into their mouth and wait until the skin around their throat colors up and they swallow. Once that happens, slowly dribble more of the Elixir into their mouth as they swallow, until it is gone. They should wake shortly after."

Moving to the table under the portraits, Michio picked up the first glass of Elixir and moved to the other side of the table from Naruto. Handing the tag over he said, "I'll let you charge the tag and release the seal. Then you can take a couple of steps back and be ready to activate the tag."

"Al...right," Naruto said slowly. Looking at Michio who nodded at him with a smile, Naruto put his finger on the release section of the seal and pulsed his chakra as he had done hundreds of times before with his sealing scrolls he took to the markets. After he pulsed his chakra into the seal he charged the seal and after a poof of smoke, he slapped the tag on the man’s chest, under his tunic and moved to the wall Michio had put the scrolls near, to protect them if things went wrong.

Following instructions, Michio administered the Elixir and watched with awe as the man went from a marbled, chalky white to a healthy pink and took a breath. After several breaths, where he moved back a step, he saw the man open his eyes and look around the room, stopping to look at the elders in their frame before turning to look at him.

"Who?" Toru croaked out as he winced as his muscles protested his moving. Before the man had a chance to answer he asked, "How long?"

"Twelve years," Naruto said from off to one side. His eyes hungrily staring at a relative who was just waking up and trying to imprint everything about him into his memory.

Looking at the man holding the cup, Toru asked after licking his dry lips, "Mandraka Elixir?"

"Yes," Michio smiled gently. "And to answer your first question, I'm Michio, Uzumaki Michio. And this," he said as he pointed at Naruto, "is Kushina's son, Naruto. The clan head, who up to finding me on the First World, thought he was the last Uzumaki."

Closing his eyes as the pain of loss hit him, Toru pulled himself together. Stretching slightly and feeling more of a pins and needles effect than pain he winced as he sat up. Looking at Michio again he smiled sadly before saying, "I think I remember you, you attended my lecture to incoming students at the hospital on what to do if we were invaded." Slipping off the table he started to really stretch and froze as he spotted the white capped scrolls, the pile was so small he thought as he counted them. "Uzumaki-sama, Michio, by chance did you only bring the healers with you, to bring us out first?"

Hearing the hope and sadness in the man’s voice, Naruto glanced back at the scrolls and said, in a confused voice, "There were only ten with white caps. Michio said we needed to bring out the hospital staff first."

Bowing his head, Toru let his tears fall. "The fools," he whispered in a voice filled with pain. The men and women he worked with, his cousins, they probably died to make sure no one could find the transport seals.

"How so?" Naruto asked as he walked closer the table, and gestured at the man, "You might want to hand over the prisoner tag I put under your tunic."

Looking at his clan head in surprise, Toru chuckled as he reached inside his tunic and pulled out the tag. "Took precautions I see. Good for you, it means you are going to be a good clan head." Sighing he said, "Protocol was for every hospital personnel, nurses, medics, all the way down to the cooks and orderlies to be sealed." Pointing to the stack of nine scrolls he said sadly, "There should have been thirty more scrolls with white end caps. The selfless fools must have decided to fight, to make sure some of us survived." Looking around the room he asked, "Where are we? I know we are in the portal room to the First World, but are we still in Whirlpool? The light coming in through the skylight is different."

"We are deep inside Konoha's Forest of Death. In a valley my mother warded with everything she could think of, including death wards around the perimeter," Naruto told him as he noticed the tear tracks down the man’s face.

"Naruto," Michio said as his memory finally gave him a name, "I would like you to meet, Uzumaki Toru, Chief Healer of the hospital."

"Pleased to meet you," Naruto said with a grin

After finding out how Toru was related to him, Naruto asked, “So where do we go from here?”

“How many scrolls are there?” Toru asked as he sat back and stretched his spine over the back of the chair. With an audible pop, he sighed in relief as he felt the stiffness go away.

“Not counting the ten we brought with us,” Michio said as he glanced at the scrolls on the side table, “ninety-six.”

“Half…Half the clan,” Toru stuttered before catching the half-formed sob before he broke down. Because once he started he would not be able to stop.

“So many,” Naruto said in surprise, then sadly he said, “if only Mom knew about the vault.”

“We never even gave it a thought that we could be wiped out,” Toru said with a shake of his head. “Our wards were so powerful and had protected us for a thousand years, no one ever foresaw a day we would be decimated like we were. I still have no idea how Cloud and Iwa bypassed our wards.”

“Mom wrote in her journal,” Naruto said with heat, “that they were never activated. She said there had to have been a traitor to the family. Michio pointed out to me the ward points, still intact and never damaged, when he took me this morning to introduce me to the Elements.”

“The hospital too?” Toru asked as he paled as he glanced at the scrolls waiting to be unsealed.

“Not one place we looked had the wards activated,” Michio said, confused he asked, “why?”

“Because,” Toru said with venom as he got up from his chair. “Two of those sealed, the last two, numbers nine and ten, I ordered Soru to raise the wards on the hospital myself.” Looking at Naruto he asked, “Do you have any more prisoner tags?”

“Leave them for now,” the Archivist ordered. “After all our family has been unsealed and brought back to full health, then you can release them and find out the truth.”

“And whether they have the loyalty seal tattooed behind their ear,” Naruto said with a nod as he quickly stood up and grabbed the last two scrolls from the pile. “For now,” he said as he started for the door, “I’ll place these where temptation does not get the better of anyone.”

Watching the young clan head walk out of the room, Toru commented, “He is very much like Kushina was at that age.”

Nodding in agreement, Michio got up and walked over and grabbed the next glass of Elixir and said, “We probably should get started.”





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