Back in his office, Naruto, Tsunade and his Shinobi commanders standing around the room, Sarutobi tried to light his pipe with shaky hands. While in the back of his mind he always knew the Guardian of the Eastern Gates was said to be on the same level of Kami, he was still shaken by having the proof of a Kami taking a personal interest in Naruto and through him, his village.

It was into this meeting Tsunade walked in, confident and once again sure of herself, "So, Sensei, what did I miss?" Looking around the room at all the shaken people she looked at Naruto who looked to be the least shaken person and asked, "Naruto, Nephew, what is going on?"

"To many shocks at once to everyone," Naruto said slowly as he watched his Jiji try to light his pipe for the fifth time and miss. "Jiji," he said fondly. "Go home, I can handle things. Go, go home to be with your grandson."

Taking in Sensei's posture and realizing he was in shock, Tsunade half-said half-ordered, "Sensei, give me that damn hat then go home. Naruto and I will handle everything."

Tears rolling down his face, Sarutobi silently handed over his hat and nodded his thanks. Walking out of the office with the knowledge his village was in good hands.

Setting the hat to one side as she sat down, Tsunade looked at Naruto and told him, "Thank you. Thank you, Naruto. You were right," she chuckled, "there were days I cursed you with everything I had, but you saved me, so thank you." Seeing Naruto smile at her, she sat back in the chair and looked around the room, "So start at the beginning," she ordered. "With all the commanders and top Jounin in the room it must be serious."

First, the Anbu commander gave his report of what happened when Konohamaru was beaten nearly to death by the Suna Genin. Then Naruto told her about his confrontation with the Suna trio and his interrogations after binding the Jinchuriki of the Ichibi and his orders so far. And lastly, as Tsunade looked at Shizune who told her how the Ryuu manifested his Kami powers and healed the grandson of Sarutobi and how he had grown and filled out as if he was in perfect health.

"My grandfather was a fool," Tsunade said as she sighed. To think that by handing out the tailed beasts like party favors he could avoid war, if he was alive now she would punch him in the face for even thinking of such things. They should have been sealed away forever, not spread around.

"Naruto," Tsunade smiled at her replacement, "WE have a lot of work in front of us. Sensei wanted to hand over the position to you in a couple of years, when I thought you were ready. You are mostly there now, so I want to work hand in hand jointly, so I can tear the hospital apart and rebuild it into something great again." Seeing the smile and nod she was interrupted by the Anbu guard outside the door.

"Hokage-sama," Raven said as he peaked into the office, not knowing which of the Hokage's he was to direct his gaze to he settled of looking at both before saying, "the Jounin sensei of the Suna team is here to inquire about his Genin."

Looking at Hiashi who was standing next to the Nara, Tsunade ordered, "Hiashi, as soon as the fool walks through the door, I want you to lock his chakra network down."

"Gladly, Tsunade-sama," Hiashi said as he moved near the door and concentrated as he mumbled, "you are within the field of my divination." As the Jounin walked through the doors, his hands flashed out and he closed the Jounin's Tenketsu points down rapidly. Moving back after closing most of the chakra points he resumed his seat as the Anbu commander grabbed the man and slammed him in a chair.

"Ah," Tsunade purred with an evil smile. "I understand that your students have disqualified themselves. After all, your team needs three Genin to compete. And with Kankuro's upcoming execution for nearly killing the grandson of my predecessor, the Sandaime Hokage."

"And," Naruto said without a smile as rage flashed in his face, "the removal of the demon from Gaara, the third son of the Kazakage, he will need to re-learn his skills. So he is out of the running also."

"You...What...You can't..." Baki stuttered the start of several differing protests one after the other before realizing they knew. And with Tsunade here as Hokage, instead of the Sandaime, all their plans were in jeopardy.

"We can," Tsunade's smile did not quite look right. "That is what happens to people that plan to destroy our home. They get swatted like the annoying insects they are." Clasping her hands together and setting them on the desk in front of her, she looked at the Anbu commander, "Commander, the Ryuu's orders, see they are carried out immediately."

"One moment," Naruto said as he pulsed a bit of chakra into his finger. Grabbing the arrow that popped out of the seal he handed it over, "When she is dead, fully charge this arrow with chakra, make sure to use the substitute technique before it hits the ground, or you will find yourself swimming in the lake of lava this causes."

"Hokage-sama," the red-striped masked Anbu said with a bow before leaving in a swirl of leaves.

"Nara-sama," Naruto said with a raised eyebrow. "The Suna Genin teams are withdrawing from the exam. If you can quietly escort them to Anbu headquarters for their stay," he smiled at Tsunade's nod at his order.

"Gai," Naruto said softly, knowing he would be heard in the silence. "What is the count and makeup of the foreign Shinobi here so far?"

"Nineteen, Suna Genin accompanied Jounin Baki to Konoha," handing over the notes he made of hotel assignments to Shikaku he said, "Rain sent four teams, each with a Jounin Sensei. Iwa, sent none, not that we expected any. Cloud sent two teams, each with Jounin sensei. And Oto, a new village sent twenty-four Genin along with eight Jounin. There are a few teams from small villages."

If he could have moved, Baki would have stiffened in shock at his thoughts of betraying the Kazakage to save his village. "Oto, Orochimaru is the Otokage. He met with the Kazakage months ago to give his answer if he would participate in the destruction of the leaf."

Killing intent, all directed at Baki caused him to pass out.

Calming herself, Tsunade looked at Naruto and asked through gritted teeth as she controlled her temper, "Where is Jiraiya?"

"Mount Mobutu, he wanted to work with the Toad elders to see if they could help curb his ways," Naruto answered. "He is supposed to return before the Chuunin exams start."

"We will have to plan around that," Tsunade said finally after thinking about it. While it would have been nice to have the old pervert here to help plan they could make do...her thoughts trailed off as she looked out the window towards the wall. "When was the last time the seals on the outer wall were inspected and or repaired?"

"I," Shikaku paused as he scrunched up his face as he tried to remember. "Don't remember, which means we have to assume they are in disrepair," he said as he moved to the long table and stared at the model of Konoha on it. "If the walls are breached, it will leave us with our backs to the Hokage mountain with nowhere to go."

Moving over to join the Nara, Naruto stared at the model of the outer walls. There were miles of wall that would need to be inspected and if he was truthful with himself, upgraded. The question was, did he have time, even with using shadow clones? "I honestly don't think I can handle the whole wall. If I am lucky, and that is a big if, I might be able to check and repair half of it. Because of the exams, I just can't be out of the public eye for too long."

"The exams start in two days, could you at least check the wall?" Tsunade asked as she joined Naruto at the table. "Don't worry about repairing anything, just find what will be the worst areas that will need to be repaired later."

"Probably," Naruto shrugged. By using shadow clones, he would be able to get it done in a day. But he had a bad feeling, a feeling that told him the seals had been sabotaged.

Tapping her finger on the table top, Tsunade tried to come up with a plan that would best utilize their forces. "Naruto," she said after several minutes of thought. "What if instead of reinforcing the seals on the outer walls, you instead create lethal traps in those areas and do you know of a seal that would deny or dispel a summons?"

"Dispel a summons?" Naruto mused as he tilted his head in thought. "I'm not sure, I'll have to check my books," he said as he still felt such a powerful feeling of love when Nii-san gave him copies of all the books he had read when he handed over his runic array for energy absorption he had designed, telling him if he could create something like this from memory, he could not wait to see what he could come up with if he had full access to reference material. "But I probably can. As far as lethal traps, if I put the family to drawing the seal tags," he grinned ferally, "then yes I can come up with some surprises for those attempting to breach the walls."

"Ibiki has the first part of the exam," Naruto said as he glanced over his shoulder at the man in question before looking at the Jounin Senseis of the Genin teams nominated for the exam. "If, and I do mean if, any of the teams entered from Konoha have the slightest hint that they are not ready, they should be failed. Promotion when we are facing an invasion is not as important as having troops ready and able to respond instantly." Looking at the Jounin Senseis he said, "You nominated your students before it was known we would be facing an invasion. Think long and hard about where your team is needed most. I could give a damn if any clan children are expected to be seen giving a good showing by the nobles or visitors. If they will be needed to defend our village, then they are out, it is that simple. Have them removed before the second exam, am I understood?"

"Yes," several voices chorused as one, answered his order given as a question.

"Ibiki," Kakashi said as he pushed off the wall, "concentrate on Sakura, the pink-haired teammate of the Uchiha, she is the weak link on my team. If she can handle it, then she can go to the next stage, if not I can work with them and prepare them for the invasion."

"Who's the weak link on each of the teams?" Tsunade asked as she glanced at the Jounin Senseis. "Be brutally honest in your evaluation. I would rather have them out of the exam so we can use them to defend the village than showcasing their skills for promotion."

Frowning, Kurenai stepped forward and unwillingly told Ibiki, "Hinata is the strongest of my Genin, Shino comes a close second, but if there is a weak link in my team it is Kiba. He is hot-headed and rushes in regardless of any plan."

Asuma, frowning as he took his unlit cigarette out of his mouth said, "If there is any weak link in my team it is Ino," looking at Inoichi he shrugged, "sorry, but it is the truth. For all her yelling and bossing of her teammates to train, she actually does the least physical Training of the three and with Shikamaru on my team, that is saying something."

Being last, Gai was serious as he told them, "Of all the Genin nominated, my team is the only one that is ready physically. I kept them back from two Chuunin exams to beat their weaknesses out of them. In terms of leadership skills and planning," he winced before being honest, "Lee is the one I would worry about the most. He does not know when to back down," sighing he said, "and I have actively encouraged that."

"Naruto, you know them best, besides their Senseis," Tsunade caught the wince on Naruto's face so she asked, "what do you think?"

Making a sign in front of his chest where no one but Tsunade could see that said ‘talk later’, Naruto said, "They are mostly spot on. Where skills are concerned, the assessments are spot on. But in personality that Jiji always told me Chuunin had to have," he paused before shrugging, "half of them have some growing up to do. That does not necessarily mean they would not be a good Chuunin, just that I would rather they did not have to be shocked into growing up." He quickly added before the Jounin Senseis tried to argue that he was wrong.

"I see," Tsunade nodded her head as she ordered, "everyone out. Return at eight in the morning. Shikaku, Shizune, both of you stay," and seeing Naruto mouth Hiashi she added "Hiashi, you too." Before the doors closed she glanced at the corner and growled out as she threw the stapler at the Shinobi hiding there, "I said everyone!"

Once alone Tsunade she closed her eyes. "Naruto," she said softly. "Tell me, evaluate for me your skills so I know what we have to work with."

"Well," Naruto answered her as he slumped in his chair, "my basics are good. In hand to hand, I'm high Chuunin, Genjutsu, forget it other than recognizing and dispelling it. Ninjutsu, low Chuunin I think. Though I do have mastery over shadow clones. I've just not seen a real reason to go for flashy moves. Nii-san beat that out of me early on. Seals and the more complicated Runic Arrays," he smiled, "Nii-san said no one can even come close to my skills in this world and finally my brewing skills. The potions I make and sell, well, Fred Sensei said I am a solid Journeyman, whatever that means. Oh, Nii-san created me a weapon that I'm pretty skilled with. He gave me a long-range elemental weapon to compliment my mid and close range skills."

Looking at the others Tsunade asked, "Do the two of you agree?"

"While not knowing what rank a Journeyman is," Hiashi said, "I would say Naruto's skills in potion making is higher than Jounin level. He can take from a verbal description of an ailment and brew a solution. His skills at sealing," he looked at Tsunade so she could see how serious he was, "is so far beyond what his father’s was and accomplished and his father was touted as a master in the field. I have seen his practice weapons as he calls them, what he has created with his seals is nothing short of legendary weapons of the Kami's."

"That's nothing," Naruto downplayed his skills. "You should see what Nii-san can create. He has weapons that are thousands of years old and look as if they are just forged. And the slightest touch from his sword is instant death. I have a ways to go in building weapons."

"I too, think Naruto downplayed his skills," Shikaku said after Hiashi finished. "I have read the after-action reports from both the Ryuu made Naruto write and from Kakashi. One of his elemental arrows as he calls them, at a third of capacity, vaporized a large lake and ignited the steam."

"Yeah," Naruto smiled at the memory of the steamy rush of wind that blew past him. "I can't wait to find out what a lava arrow will do fully powered up.”

Tsunade stared at Naruto and blinked as she tried to process what Naruto said. She turned to look dumbly at Shikaku, the Jounin commander at Naruto's statement of wanting to see what he could do with a fully charged arrow and saw the hidden horror of the imagined destruction in his eyes and shivered. Opening her mouth and closing it several times she finally got out her question, "What are your recommendations to increase Naruto's hand to hand skills?"

"Frankly," Shikaku said without thought. "With all his Runic toys as he calls them, I've not seen anyone, even Kakashi who can get in range to actually go hand to hand with him. Other than practice against others, with the rules set so it can only be hand to hand, there is nothing to do."

"Hey now," Naruto was quick to defend himself. "Don't go disrespecting the tools, they're cool."

"Naruto," Shikaku deadpanned. "Shikamaru told me about you trying those shock sticks out for the first time after the Ryuu gave them to you. You vaporized a small mountain," he said in disbelief.

"It wasn't a mountain," Naruto said quickly. "It was only a small cliff face on a ridge. And it wasn't vaporized! It was more like turned to gravel. Anyway," he grinned, "I fixed them. They can channel my chakra a lot better now."

Sighing in exasperation, Shikaku snarked out, "Why don't we just put him on the top of the wall so he can electrocute and burn everyone before they can even get near the wall."

Deciding to deal with the information later, when it was just the two of them, Tsunade asked, "Naruto, what did you want to say when the Jounin Senseis weren't around?"

"The Uchiha is a flight risk," Naruto said with a frown. "I took care of that when I was still pretending to be on their team. I inscribed a seal on his skull that will turn his mind off so to speak if he tries anything. It is based on blood and any of my clan can activate the seal. But the problem is, he is an obsessed psychopath intent of getting revenge on his brother, no matter who he kills to do so. No matter if his skills are up to it, he is nowhere near being able to be considered as a Chuunin. He would gladly kill his teammates if it helped him kill his brother."

"Why the hell is he a Genin?" Tsunade asked hotly.

"Politics," Shikaku said with a sigh.

"That and he can lie pretty well," Naruto said as he was reminded of the glimpses of Sasuke's true nature over the months of training with him.

"Why not just kill him and be done with it?" Tsunade asked Naruto to see his thoughts on the matter.

"His Bloodline. Not that he's activated it yet," Naruto sighed as he looked up with a steely determination, "if it was up to me, as soon as he reached puberty and could father children, he would be chained to the bed until we had a dozen loyal Kunoichi pregnant with his children, so we can rebuild the clan so it is loyal to the village and put the people first."

"You say that as if you have knowledge of the massacre?" Tsunade said slowly as her eyes narrowed as she wondered what the hell had been happening in the village.

Nodding, Naruto said, "Nii-san, as part of the lessons he had me do, used the Uchiha massacre as one of the topics. I found out when I did some searching of the Hokage's records, that the Uchiha clan leadership was planning a coup. To distract the loyal Shinobi, they had planned attacks on all the prominent clans so that in the chaos, they could execute the Hokage and replace him with the Uchiha clan head. Why Itachi went rogue and killed off the whole clan instead of those involved, I have no clue. But, that is what can happen when you ask a family member to execute traitors to the village from his family. He should not have been involved. And the Sandaime and I could not find a reason for him doing so when we discussed it."

"Danzo was behind that," Harry said as he phased into sight and took the seat next to Naruto. "I pulled that from his mind before I ripped his soul out of his body," he told Naruto, not catching the horrified looks the others had to his statement.

"Nii-san," Naruto scolded as he asked, "did you deal with the Ichibi?"

"Well and truly dead," Harry sighed. "There was no healing his mind after being forcefully merged with an insane monk. He never even produced ash from joining a phoenix during its burning day. Which means he was judged and denied any chance of redemption. The Ichibi's energy was dispersed to strengthen the lands of Nexus."

Being very respectful, Tsunade asked, "May I ask why you came now to talk to Naruto, instead of waiting until he came home?"

"The girl, Temari," Harry said as he prepared to enjoy Naruto's embarrassment. "I wanted to talk to you about your plans for her before you came to a decision."

"Oh," Tsunade said in confusion as she leaned back in her chair, front legs leaving the floor as she balanced on two legs. "What do you want to do with her?" she asked to get an idea of what a Kami would want with a mortal.

"Well," Harry said with a grin that Naruto couldn't see. "I was thinking, since she is a wind element, like Naruto and seeing as Naruto is into puberty."

"Now just wait one freakin minute Nii-san," Naruto yelled out as he came up out of his chair so he could stand in front of Nii-san and yell at him. Since his back was to her, he did not see the wide grin on Tsunade's face.

"Yes, Naruto," Harry said slowly with a grin which caused Naruto to widen in his eyes as he looked for an exit. "Her genetics would be a good match for yours. I know Banth tutored you in the sciences, so you should know this, yes." He said with a dangerous smile on his face. Payback was a bitch he thought as he came up with the perfect plan to stop Naruto from trying to drop people into his bed. After all, if he was too busy making babies, he would be too busy trying to play matchmaker.

"I don't know her," Naruto pointed out as he started to wave his arms around wildly. "Not to mention, I don't want to get married yet. And especially have a wife I could not trust. After all, Nii-san, you told me how much you loathed betrothal contracts."

"Who said anything about getting married?" Harry asked evenly, with a hint of confusion on his face. Looking around Naruto at the grinning Tsunade he raised an eyebrow and asked, "Did you hear me say anything about marriage?"

"No," Tsunade said without laughing, barely. Though she wanted nothing better than to roar out in laughter.

Looking serious, Harry waved his hand and slid Naruto's chair over and told him, "Sit down Naruto. Seriously. All joking aside, you should consider it. She would help strengthen your Bloodline, being a wind elemental not related to anyone in your village. It would allow any children you had with her to stabilize your Bloodline permanently, instead of trying to fight for dominance of competing Bloodlines. And, as I've told you before, you don't even have to be a part of the process."

Sitting down with a frown on his face he said as he really thought about it, "Yeah, yeah, I know. Someone hands me a jar and I hand it back after having fun with myself and boom, nine months later, instant baby. But, why her?" he asked, because he knew this day was coming.

"We've had these discussions over the years Naruto," Harry gently scolded him. "But as to why her in particular," he stood up and looked down at Naruto, "She is a captured enemy combatant. Caught between her conscious and orders from her father, her village’s leader, that she does not agree with. This way, she gets to live."

"Banth always said you were a pragmatist," Naruto said as he looked up at Harry. "I think I'm beginning to understand what he meant."

Tone of voice gentle, Harry told Naruto, "I can kill with a look or a word. But even I hate the waste of life war creates. But I learned long ago, mercy is a weakness. Redemption must be earned. If it bothers you to force a child on her, give her the choice," he told him. "Now," he said as Naruto looked at him, "I need to get back. Before Talath convinces Banth to call up the combined armies and storm Terry's school to make sure he stays safe."

"What," Naruto came up out of his chair again and rapidly prepared for battle to save his friend, "Terry's in trouble?"

"NO," Harry said, putting his hands on Naruto's shoulders and pushing him back in the chair. Laughing he said, "Talath is afraid Terry will get hurt during his lessons to learn to fly, like his father did when he was a child. He heard me teasing Neville about how his son could not be any worse than he was when it came to his first flying lesson."

Getting a gleam in his eyes, as he thought about the conversation he and Terry had when they talked about the runic arrays that were involved in creating an object to use to fly, Naruto suddenly knew what his next project was going to be. How cool would it be, to be able to fly and scare everyone?

Seeing the inventor’s gleam in Naruto's eyes, Harry laughed as he started for the door, "I've accomplished what I intended, I'll leave you to your planning," his last words echoed around the room as he faded from sight.

Thinking about what the Ryuu said and didn't say, Tsunade suddenly stood up and stretched, "Eight in the morning is going to come early. So let’s get some sleep. We'll continue planning tomorrow, after we have had time to let things settle."



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