Hiruzen recently announced his retirement. The village was in a frenzy getting prepared for the inauguration of the 4th hokage. Hiruzen has stressed, happy and sad that his time was coming to an end. But he felt it was finally his time to relax.
In one of his final acts, he summoned Kushina, Shikaku, Obito and Mikoto Uchiha to his office. They all stood in front of his desk. It was early and the room was dim. “You 4 have been gathered here because there are reports of the Uzumaki clan has been attacked. Your job is to go to Uzushiogakure and investigate this attack. We’ve sent messages ahead, but there has been no word from them.
Shikaku. You will be field commander on this mission. Obito…”
Kushina interrupted, “Sandaime-sama!? Why is Shikaku-san in charge? It’s my clan we’re investigating, -ttebane!”
“Given the situation, you are here to navigate the village. It was once your home. You may be able to locate hidden safe houses. Obito. You and Kushina work well together. Finally, Mikoto. You've proven very adept at medical jutsu. This rounds out the 4-man cell. Understood?”
In unison they all said, “understood, Sandaime-sama.”
Hiruzen added, “Furthermore, this is reconnaissance only. Kushina and Mikoto are not to engage in battle under any circumstance. Find answers and come home.” Hiruzen looked directly at Kushina who had a reputation of losing her temper. “Come home.”
Kushina frowned and crossed her arms as if she were pouting. She knew he was only looking out for her and the baby. “Yes, Hokage-sama,” she sighed.
Shikaku sighed, “What a drag. 2 pregnant women on a mission. Hokage-sama? If I may?” Hiruzen nodded. “With this being recon, we shouldn’t run into trouble. In the event that we do, I say that Mikoto and Kushina partner up. I’ve seen her on the battlefield. She doesn’t need to put her body in harm’s way to fight.”
Hiruzen trusted the Nara’s intellect. In the past, they have been very astute in battle tactics. Hiruzen agreed to the suggestion and dismissed them. Their mission was to start the day after the inauguration, so Kushina could support her husband.
In the hall outside of the hokage’s office, Kushina asked Shikaku how he knew that the 2 women were pregnant. “It’s obvious. She’s showing,” he said pointing at Mikoto, “and you’re the jinchuuriki. Why else would the Hokage bench you?”
Both of the young women grabbed him and said, “Please don’t tell anyone.”
Shikaku sighed and dropped his head. “Women are so annoying. Fine… fine. Your secret is safe with me.”
Deep in the Land of Waves, the team led by Zabuza comes across a swamp not shown on their map. They knew something was wrong. Kisame immediately drew his katana. “Show yourself, beast!”
An eerie voice surrounded them. “You call me a beast, yet you’re here to attack and capture me? I say you’re the real monsters here.” The 3-tailed beast, a demon turtle, slowly rose from the murky water with muddy moss and vines covering his shell.
Zabuza walked over to Kisame and Yagura. “Kisame and I will take it head on. Yagura, you will attack from a distance and be our defense. Use that counter-attack whenever you can.” He drew Kubikiribōchō. He called over his shoulder, “The rest of you! Get back. This isn’t going to be pretty. If you die, don’t say I didn’t warn you.”
“You wanna see a monster, demon!” yelled Kisame. “I’ll show you a monster!” His killer intent filled the air, matched by Yagura and Zabuza. Kisame threw his sword in the air and started his hand signs. Suiton: Suiryūdan no Jutsu. From the water formed a giant water dragon and coiled around Kisame. It let out a loud roar just before attacking the giant turtle.
Zabuza used his Kirigakure no Jutsu. His mist completely enveloped the area allowing him to be completely undetectable.
The water dragon crashed into the demon turtle, knocking it back. The demon slammed its 3 tails into the water. “Leave me alone,” it shouted.
“We can’t do that,” retorted Yagura. “We need your strength to aid our village.”
“You mean to use me as a weapon! I refuse to be a part of your petty human squabbles! Not anymore!”
“Shut yer whining,” yelled Kisame. “Get down or lay down.”
“I’m sorry, Bijuu-dono. We can’t let you go,” sighed Yagura.
As Mikoto walked in the door, she was greeted by her son, Itachi, running down the stairs and jumping into her arms. She loved how affectionate he was. Fugaku was in the kitchen making breakfast. Itachi left her and ran to his father.
“Oto-san! Oto-san! I have something I want to show you!”
Fugaku looked down at his son. He could see the excitement in his eyes. Itachi had been training with Shisui for almost a month and wanted to show his father the fruit of his labor.
Itachi pulled his father by his hand eagerly to the pond behind their house. Fugaku stopped as Itachi’s tiny fingers let go of his hand. “Stand right there, Oto-san.” Itachi walked on to the small wooden dock. Snake. Ram. Monkey. Boar. Horse. Tiger. He took a deep breath. “This is it,” he thought. Time to impress father. Goukakyuu no jutsu!” As he exhaled, what was once a tiny flame erupted into a fireball as big as Itachi himself.
Fugaku swelled with pride, but he didn’t let it show on his face. His son was leaps and bounds ahead of where he should be. This 5-year-old boy was showing signs of genius that had not been seen in generations of the Uchiha clan.
The flame stopped and Itachi turned around with a big smile on his face. “Oto-san! Did you see? Did I do well?”
Fugaku stood emotionless. Itachi’s smile faded and he hung his head low, looking at the ground in front of him. He felt his father’s enormous hand on his head. It was warm. Warmer than usual. Though he spoke softly, the words boomed in Itachi’s ears. “As expected of my son.”
Itachi looked up at his father with tears of joy streaming down his face. Fugaku’s face had not changed, but somehow looked very different to Itachi. He saw his father’s pride. He did it.
The morning sun kissed the dark granite stone in the cemetery. Lilies were being placed in front of the gravestone. A husky figure stood up from the grave, wiping his eyes.
“So this is why the shop doesn’t open until 11:00a.m.?” asked a familiar voice.
The man turned around. He was wearing a tan trench coat and long, dark pants. The collar was flipped up, slightly obscuring his face. He was mourning his late wife and mother of his daughter. “You say that every single time, Minato. You’re still so predictable.” The 2 men hugged.
“She was the best part of our team when we were young,” said Minato.
The man nodded. “That she was. What brings you here, kid? You haven’t come to visit in a long time.”
Minato answered, “Since before the war.” he paused. There was a gentle breeze between them. “I need your help.”
“My help? With what?”
“I’m the next Hokage. I want you to be my advisor. Please.”
The man sighed and crossed his arms. His mind was racing. “I can’t. I left that world behind when she was taken from me. Besides… a genius kid like you doesn’t need my advice.”
“I trust you. We were teammates. Once upon a time.”
He turned to walk away. “You can always count on me, but our team died a long time ago, Minato. If you want advice, buy a bowl of ramen. I’m done being ninja.” He walked off, leaving Minato standing at the grave.
“See you… Teuchi.”
Later that day, Obito and Kakashi went to the cemetery, as they always did before training, to have lunch with Rin. They sat around her grave and Kakashi barely touched his bento box. Something had been troubling Kakashi since Obito lost to Hizashi. “Nii-san,” he whispered. “What happened last week?”
“What do you mean, Kakashi?”
“I mean why did you lose? Hizashi can’t beat me in a fight, so how can he beat you?”
Obito laughed. “I can’t beat you in a fight, either.” Obito punched Kakashi in the shoulder. Still laughing.
“Obito,” commanded Kakashi. His voice was stern. This was a serious matter to him.
“Okay… okay. Hizashi clearly had a few tricks up his sleeve that even Hiashi wasn’t aware of. Whatever he used to block my chakra was really advanced. To be honest, I was outclassed from the beginning. He used his trump card once the fight began. I don’t know if he did it out of fear of losing or out of respect for the sharingan. Either way, he won.”
“And you’re okay with that?”
“Yeah. I’ll beat him next time. I know his secret now. Besides… I have a secret of my own.” Obito activated his mangekyou sharingan to show Kakashi.
Kakashi’s single visible eye widened. “Your eyes. Why are they like that?”
“It happened the night Rin died. It’s called the mangekyou sharingan. I was told stories about it when i was a kid, but I never thought I’d have them. I’m guessing you do, too.”
“What makes you think that, Obito?”
“We both saw Rin die. Someone we love. If my left eye can use it and it was made from the eyes that I gave you, then i’m sure you can use it, too.”
Kakashi was really curious as to what this ability would do for him. “Why didn’t I notice this before?”
“The strain is probably the reason why you passed out. You aren’t an Uchiha so it takes a lot more chakra from you.”
“I guess that makes sense. Even more importantly, why didn’t you use it last week in the fight?”
Obito laughed again. “I wanted to see if I could win without it.”
The sun was high overhead with very few clouds in the sky. “You’re such a loser,” kakashi chuckled as he ate.
Aiko, Hizashi and Kaede were deep in the forests of their home country heading to a small village on the outskirts that requested help from Konoha. There was a group of bandits terrorizing the people, extorting them for the few resources they have. Hiruzen had a good relationship with the village elders so he opted to do this as a favor to them.
The village was close. They could hear children at play in the distance. Those screams of joy quickly turned to screams of horror. The bandits were attacking earlier than the intel dictated. Doutou, their jonin squad leader, told them to hurry to protect as many villagers as possible.
Hizashi activated his byakugan and Aiko, her blue sharingan. Kaede got her traps and kunai read. The mission was to apprehend every member of the bandit gang with as little loss of life as possible. Kaede was the last member of the team to make chunin rank, so this should be a walk in the park if there aren’t any rogue shinobi in the group.
As the team arrived, they could see that panic had spread like the fires that were currently engulfing the village. Doutou put Hizashi in charge of finding the elders, keeping them safe and finding out why this happened. Aiko and Kaede were charged with securing the safety of the villagers while Doutou would search for and apprehend the leader.
The team split up to aid the villagers.
Off in the distance, overlooking the small village where Team Doutou was frantically trying to protect the villagers from the bandits. A keen eye was kept on Aiko in particular. This Zetsu was different from the one that bonded with Obito. One half was black and the other half was white.
“This was a good plan White. I guess you’re not as useless as i previously thought.. Should we take her now or after they finish their mission?”
“Thanks! We’ll wait ‘til after. We can at least let them finish the job we set up for them, Black.”
“This waiting is annoying. When you’re ready, call me. I’m going back to tell Madara that we will have his prize soon. Hurry up and get it done,” said the black half of Zetsu. “We don’t have much time until the 9-tails is ready. With it, this will be a lot easier.”
Uzushiogakure- Village Hidden by Whirlpools
Kubikiribōchō- Decapitating Carving Knife is a massive sword renowned as the "seversword"
Suiton: Suiryūdan no Jutsu- Water Release: Water Dragon Bullet Technique shapes a large amount of water into a giant, powerful dragon, which hits the opponent with formidable might, dealing physical damage.
Kirigakure no Jutsu- speciality of the shinobi from Kirigakure, where one causes a mist to spring forth either by using a pre-existing water source, or expelling it from their mouth. They can then go in and out of sight at will from within the pearly-white realm. The mist's thickness is controlled by the amount of chakra kneaded into it. It cannot fool the Byakugan, but, due to the mist being created with the user's chakra, any Sharingan and Rinnegan-user will see the mist coloured by their opponent's chakra — which will effectively hide the user from the dōjutsu.
Bijuu- the nine titanic living forms of chakra created by the Sage of Six Paths out of the chakra from the Ten-Tails. They are differentiated by the number of tails they have, ranging from one to nine.
Dono- an honorific added to names roughly meaning “lord” or “master”. It does not equate noble status; rather it is a term akin to "milord" or French "monseigneur", and lies below sama in level of respect.
Oto- a formal way of saying father in Japanese.