Naruto Fan Fiction ❯ Training for the Job ❯ Volume 2 Chapter 1 ( Chapter 4 )

[ Y - Young Adult: Not suitable for readers under 16 ]
Volume 2: Discovery and Training Notes: Regarding the 'Chidori is the raikiri' thing... I checked and doublechecked both techniques. They look exactly alike in the manga, but seem to have different names. The manga doesn't say anything about how the two are related or not, so I had to use a different source: the anime. In the anime, the way the raikiri is 'generated' appears different from the way the chidori is 'generated.' In the end, I still wasn't sure, so I decided to make them two seperate moves with essentially identical appearance and effect. Maybe they're based on each other or there's something about them being the same which wasn't properly translated in the fansub\scanlation I read or watched, I dunno, but I don't really have a plan in mind for making a significant distinction between the two, anyway, so it won't matter. If I missed something where it says they're the same technique (or not), I will concede my error... but I don't think I'll bother going back to fix it unless I decide to make a revision for some other reason. As I've said before, this is mostly a one-draft fic, so changes like that are... unlikely. In regards to a question someone e-mailed me: "If Ino isn't going to be a major character in the next volume, then what is the theme going to be?" Well, that's simple enough. Volume 2 is background and explanation -- I explain my theories as to how certain things work (such as the creation of bloodline traits and just what the hell is up in those Uchiha documents that Sasuke was seen reading but never explained) and give background data for the way the world is working in Naruto, with the backdrop of Naruto and Sakura increasing their abilities, strengths, and knowledge. Anyway, on to Volume 2 -- enjoy.
Chapter 1
Until I get my bed over to Ino's condo, Sakura mused, unlocking the door to her parents' house. I'm going to continue to consider this home... however crappy it is to stay here.
"Hello, dear," her mother said before she could shout her customary greeting. "You missed dinner."
"No, I didn't," Sakura sighed. "I ate over at the condo."
"Ah," the elder Haruno woman said, guiding a kunai over a whetstone. She might be retired from the ninja life, and no longer in shape to resume her career even if she wanted to, but she continued to keep her equipment in pristene order at all times. "How's the move-in going?"
"Well, Ino got in quick," Sakura huffed. "She talked Chouji-kun into bringing his entire clan over to help set her up and refurbish a lot of the furniture. I'm not allowed to move my own bed there until next week, at the earliest. I have to say, being able to grow body parts with your chakra is a big advantage."
Not looking up from her work, Sakura's mother suggested, "You don't sound too pleased with it, though."
"I am, sort of," Sakura sighed. "It means things will go faster. It's just... well, there's the sharingan, the byakugan, the Akimichi body growth thing, Shino's bugs, and so forth. Why does everyone else get such interesting and useful bloodline limits -- or at least clan-only techniques like Ino-chan's -- and all we Harunos get is... well, pink hair?"
That broke her mother from her work long enough to have a long belly laugh. "Oh, my dear, sweet daughter. I admit, our pink hair is a bit... outrageous, but it is not the only thing we of the Haruno clan can contribute to Konoha's ninja. We do have a bloodline limit... although I do admit, it's rarely usable in even the day-to-day work of a ninja. But we have one, so I suppose it's time you learn what it is."
Sakura blinked. "We do? Why haven't you mentioned it before?"
"Because you didn't seem to need to know," came the unexpected answer. "And it's a little embarrassing, come to think of it -- a lot of people don't quite understand it if you talk to them about it, and I was afraid you'd start thinking your 'poor old mom' was going crazy for telling you."
"Mom, Shino talks to bugs. I don't think you can get much more crazy then that."
"You really think that's worse then, say, talking to yourself?" her mother hesitantly replied.
"Yes, I do," Sakura answered, blushing slightly.
There was a slight pause. "Oh. Maybe I should have told you about this, earlier. You have the Overlay Persona, too, don't you?"
Sakura looked at her mother, confused. "Overlay Persona? What's that?"
"Our bloodline limit, of course," her mother huffed. "Inside you, and inside me, and inside your grandfather and you uncle and your cousin, there is a second 'persona,' if you will. Call it your 'Inner Sakura.' Our minds are... split, I suppose is the best word, and the extremes of our fiercer emotions are combined into a second mind. Some of us have been mistaken for split personalities, in the past, but we eventually proved that it wasn't a mental disease but rather a bloodline ability."
Sakura sighed. "I think I know what you're talking about, now. It's completely useless, isn't it? Just like the silly pink hair."
"You could always dye your hair, if it's giving you such problems, you know. But no, the Overlay Persona isn't... completely useless. I will admit, compared to doujutsu like the Sharingan or the Byakugan, body manipulation like the Akimichi clan, or the shadow binding techniques of the Nara clan, it does seem a bit... underpowered, but it is a help from time to time."
The elder Haruno smiled at her daughter. "Well, for one thing, it's a natural counter to Ino-chan's family techniques."
Sakura slowly nodded. "Yeah... come to think of it, it did help in the preliminaries of the Chuunin exam. I managed a tie instead of a loss because of it."
"Well, there you go. But it isn't the only thing the Overlay Persona is good for," her mother explained. "If you're being tortured -- god forbid -- you can 'hide' information into the Overlay Persona, and you won't even be able to reveal it if you wanted to. It helps you think a little faster, can add boosts to emotion-based techniques -- not that I know any, myself, but great grandad knew a few -- and it makes it easier to break out of genjutsu. Great Grandfather used it to help overcome a crazed Uchiha with his Sharingan-based genjutsu, once, although I don't think I could have done it myself. He was the best ever with the ability, you know -- I have a few scrolls and things he wrote about training the Overlay Persona to work for you, but I was never quite able to decipher them myself. I'll let you take a look at them, though, if you want."
"Uh, sure," Sakura said, a little dazed at this unexpected bit of family history. Her great great grandfather fought against an Uchiha and won? How was that possible? The Uchiha were reputedly the most powerful ninja in Konoha, debatably stronger then even the Hyuuga clan. She would have to see if the record of that battle was in the hokage's records, next time Tsunade allowed her access. "Can it do anything else?"
"Not on its own," her mother sighed. "But that's to be expected. Most of the stronger bloodline abilities come when someone with a lesser set of abilities -- like our own -- makes a deal with the lord of an animal or insect clan -- like the Inuzuka or Aburame clans did, and accepts the power they grant the bloodline for whatever price or limitation they set. The really powerful bloodlines, like the Hyuga clan, take a lesser demon like an oni and seal it inside their spouse. The resulting offspring has the oni's powers fused into whatever their original bloodline limit was. It's not often talked about, but many people believe the Uchiha clan began when a Hyuga clan member repeated the 'oni-sealing' technique with their spouse, thereby increasing the power of the technique but also weakening the mental stability of their offspring."
"Er, lesser demons?" Sakura shuddered. "I never would have guessed... but I suppose that using an oni like that is better then sealing it in a box where it will have an age to escape. But if a lesser demon makes so powerful of a bloodline ability, why has no-one tried it with a greater demon? Or have they, and the resulting bloodline doesn't work?"
"They have," was a rather sharp reply. "But no-one who has had a greater demon sealed inside of them has lived to maturity."
"Ah, the greater demons are too powerful for the person containing them?" Sakura deduced.
"Wrong. The babe who had the demon sealed inside is often ostracized and tormented by society, until they either go completely insane -- like Gaara of the Sand did, according to all the reports I've heard -- or they commit suicide."
"How awful!" Sakura cried. "How many times has this been tried?"
"Not often. There are only nine greater demons in the world, after all, and they aren't exactly easy to seal inside a person. It usually takes the sacrifice of someone's life -- usually that of a blood relative -- in order to manage it."
"I feel sorry for Gaara, now," Sakura sighed. "I understand his mother was the sacrifice, and he definitely was ostracized to the point of being driven insane. Lee-san told me, though, that Gaara changed after his battle with Naruto, and he no longer seems quite as... well, apocolyptically homocidal as before. He even saved Lee's life. Maybe some good will come of the Sand-Sound invasion, after all."
A twinkle appeared in her mother's eye. "Are you willing to test the theory of just how powerful a greater demon's bloodline would be, yourself?"
"With Gaara?" Sakura shuddered. "He still scares the living hell out of me."
"Well, not Gaara, then," came the laugh. "If you ever met someone else with a greater demon sealed inside, though, would you?"
Sakura paused. She could tell that disguised in that laughter was a serious question, although she had no idea what it was. Maybe her mother was intending to arrange a marriage with someone hosting a lesser oni, to boost the power of the Haruno bloodline? "Mom... I was in love with Sasuke-kun. Very much in love with him. I... it hurts, knowing that he's gone. I might be able to date again, at some point in the future, but even considering someone else right now... bothers me. I now realize Sasuke-kun is unreachable, although I still want to try one last time to bring him back to Konoha if I can, but...."
"I wasn't telling you to go out and marry another guy right away," Her mother chuckled. "I just want to know if having a greater demon sealed inside a guy would be a 'turn-off' for you."
Sakura huffed. Well, now she wasn't so sure if her mother was serious or not. After all, there weren't any other people with greater demons inside them, were there? "I guess I wouldn't rule out a guy who I liked if I found out he had something like that in him. I wouldn't go looking for it, though."
"Fair enough," her mother admitted, slapping her palm on the arm rest of her chair as she stood up. "Now, young lady, if you're willing to let someone like your father and I help you, despite our ineffective bloodline abilities, I think we can promise to help you move in tomorrow. But only if you go to bed right now, young lady -- if we're going to do this, we're going to be getting up very early in the morning and going all day, and I don't want you half asleep while you leave us poor parents of yours doing all the work."
A smile lit up on Sakura's face. "Thanks, mom!" she cheered, giving her a big hug. "Good night."
"Good night, dear."
Inside her mind, the Inner Haruno-san was dancing around. "I told you she'd give that boy a chance, didn't I? Didn't I?! Match made in heaven, I tell you! Hell, yeah!"
After all, Sakura was a bright girl, and she had it exactly right. Her mother was interested in boosting the power of their bloodline limit. But why go looking for an oni to stuff inside someone when you've got something much better right at hand?
* * * * *
"You look tired, Sakura-chan," Tsunade commented.
"That's because I am tired," Sakura slurred, trying to talk and yawn at the same time. "My 'off-day' yesterday was spent moving into my new place. Mom and Dad were a great help, but they were even worse slave-drivers then you... um, not that you're a slave-driver or anything."
"Mm," Tsunade hummed. "That's another hour of slug summoning, for you, young lady."
Sakura winced. While she liked the idea of summoning in principle, she wasn't too enthusiastic about the slugs. In fact, she was usually a bit grossed out by slugs. Tsunade had noticed this, and amused herself by assigning her to work with slugs as punishment. "Uh, okay." She started to head to the room Tsunade had designated as her training room when she remembered something. "Can it wait a bit, though? Mom and I were talking, and there was a bit of family history I wanted to research in the archives of the Third Hokage -- at least I think it was the Third. She didn't exactly say when it happened, just that my great-great grandfather was involved."
Tsunade chuckled. "Oh, I remember him. Wanted everyone to call him 'Haruno the Great' and bragged like hell about his accomplishments. He was a decent ninja, but hardly as good as he claims. His biggest accomplishment was, as an ANBU, taking down an Uchiha who had gone crazy and killed his best friend in a quest for power. He... uh, hm. Actually, maybe it's not a good idea for you to go looking at that...."
Sakura blinked. "Why not? It's my family history, isn't it? And it was the fight with the Uchiha that I was actually interested in."
Silence answered her. Even Tsunade's ever-present aides were holding their breath, waiting for a reaction to that statement.
After a moment, the Hokage sat down in her chair and sighed. "I need a drink."
"I could let you look at those files," Tsunade sighed. "They are in the Third's records. You are not allowed to look into the Uchiha Clan records, however, whatever you find. You must restrict yourself to the official documents, and go no further."
Sakura blinked. "What? But... why?"
"Because I know," Tsunade sighed. "Just what you'll want to look up."
* * * * *
"I don't know why they're so worried," Sakura sighed, talking to herself as she peered at ancient script on yellowing paper. The labels on the files weren't exactly clear, sometimes, and she was having a hard time figuring out how the filing system worked. "I don't even know where the Uchiha Clan records are located, so I couldn't search them even if I wanted to."
She passed through several records, looking at the names on all of them. The white cotton gloves she was required to wear while handling the documents were starting to itch, but she was determined to find at least one file on her search before quitting for the day. A few of the documents were too faded to read, so she had to scrutinize them more in-depth then she would have liked. Finally, she found what she was looking for, in one of the more worn-looking files she'd seen.
"Haruno Kai. That's him. Ninja Registration # 057220. Date of birth, blah blah blah. Ah, here we go. Significant missions accomplished."
What followed was a list of actions her grandfather had taken during the fourty years of his career as a ninja, including references to other files describing each action in detail -- all of which, fortunately, were copied and placed into the same folder for easy reference. She was astounded to learn that there was an Uzumaki listed as his genin student at one time, and she wondered if said student was a relation of Naruto's. She never had heard of the Uzumaki Clan outside of Naruto, and considered searching for information on them when she was done sating her curiousity about her great great grandfather Kai.
Most of the entries held little or no interest for her. A few involved names or places she had encountered in her own ninja career -- apparently, team seven's little excursion to the Country of the Wave wasn't the first time Konoha had been heavily involved in the region. Most of the references took place during the wars with the Cloud and Rock ninjas, but towards the end she started finding the 'internal security' records -- his career at ANBU. She found that a number of her friends had family working alongside Kai in ANBU, including Kakashi, Ino, Shikamaru, and Kiba. She found that Rock Lee's family was actually a refugee family from, surprise, surprise, the hidden village of Rock. But despite a long time searching, she saw no references to the Uchiha clan at all.
She did, however, in one of the last entries on ANBU, see something about a 'Mangekyou Sharingan.' Taking a chance, she decided to look it up. After all, the Uchiha clan were the only users of the Sharingan eye, save for Kakashi. Perhaps this 'Mangekyou Sharingan' was, as well. Their wasn't even a hint of a summary, however, and the referenced file was not included in Haruno Kai's folder -- a bizarre oversight, but one which was quickly explained as she caught sight of a page at the end of all the files.
"All references to the Mangekyou Sharingan are to be kept strictly confidential. List of users and Konoha-wide matters is available in the files on Wielders, Clan Kinjutsu, under Uchiha. All other data pertinant to the Mangekyou is to be kept by the Uchiha Clan. Under orders of Uchiha Nobu, Council Chief."
Oh. So the Mangekyou was a banned technique. Perhaps that was why no-one wanted me to look up Great-great Grandfather Kai's battle on it. Still, I'm curious -- maybe there's some details in that Kinjutsu file. So saying to herself -- her real self, not her Inner Sakura -- she got up and once more started looking through the files.
By this point, she'd long passed the time the hokage had initially permitted her for her search, but she couldn't stop where she was. So she'd have to work on slugs for a few more hours -- big deal! This was far more important. Plodding through the haphazard arrangement again, she discovered an entire cabinet on Wielders, Clan Kinjutsu, and shortly afterwards found the documents in question. It was a hefty file, too -- apparently, a lot of Uchiha ninja had used kinjutsu in the past.
Or rather, she discovered as she opened the file, there were a lot of Mangekyou users in the Uchiha history. Too many to deal with, in fact -- but most of them were in the very early years of the Uchiha. As time went on, the number of users dwindled significantly. Finally, in the next to last entry, she found the reference from Kai's battle.
"Mangekyou user discovered before serious signs of the insanity it breeds was discovered. Haruno Kai employed unique technique for countering mangekyou sharingan's Tsukiyomi technique, then subdues him. As mangekyou user survived capture, insanity cure was attempted and was successful, but at cost of mangekyou sharingan. All written material dealing with Haruno Kai's counter technique and the details behind insanity cure were immediately confiscated under orders of Uchiha Nobu Council Chief, and turned over to the Uchiha Clan private records."
That was it, but she still didn't understand why she was warned away from the Uchiha Clan archives. Any counter to a kinjutsu would be useful, surely, so why was she forbidden from discovering that counter? Was it just that this Uchiha Nobu had so much power, people were afraid to violate his decrees even thirty years after his death? Or was there something else to it?
Just for curiousity sake, she decided to check the final record, to see if it might shed any light on the subject.
"Uchiha Itachi, upon mastering the Mangekyou and the Tsukiyomi technique, slaughtered entire Uchiha clan save for three survivors. Uchiha Sasuke (Academy Student). Uchiha Fuma (non-blood relation). Uchiha Nabiki (non-blood relation). Itachi's current whereabouts unknown. Is believed to have joined organization known as 'Akatsuki.'"
Then, the next page was a seperate copy of the cross-referenced organization, Akatsuki.
"Nine S-Rank Missing Nin, organized together for unknown purpose. Known members include Uchiha Itachi (Konoha), Orochimaru (Konoha), and Kisame (Mist). Konoha nin currently known to be thier target include Uzumaki Naruto and possibly Uchiha Sasuke."
There was more, but Sakura stopped reading right there. "Naruto? Why the hell are they after Naruto?" Inner Sakura demanded to know. Skimming the page, the motives of Akatsuki weren't revealed... but now she was even more confused then before. She had always thought that Sasuke was the one with the deep, mysterious past full of tragedy -- something she felt was very interesting about him, since he seemed to come out of it so well. Between what she'd heard from Ino and this startling revelation, though, she was beginning to wonder whether it was Sasuke who had the interesting past... or Naruto?