The Golden Scroll Chronicles, Episode 4:
The Dark Plot
It was a bright and rather cheery day in the Hidden Leaf Village. The sun was shining; there was a cool breeze and best of all the temperature had dropped to a comforting seventy-nine degrees. Yes, it truly was a great day; in fact, the weather perfectly reflected the mood of one hyperactive knucklehead who was racing through town. Naruto was so happy; absolutely nothing could possibly spoil his mood, for he was off to see the new love of his life, Hinata Hyuga. Most people had known Hinata’s crush and were wondering if he would ever notice her at all. But all that quickly changed the day after Hinata was turned into a giantess; one day, Hinata just simply came out and told Naruto how she really felt about him and how he had inspired her whenever she saw him. When Naruto heard this, it made him so happy that he had finally found someone who loved him.
As Naruto continued to race through the streets, he couldn’t help but wonder what Hinata was planning. He had to go grocery shopping today and ran into Kurenai Yuhi, Hinata’s sensei. Apparently, she had been looking for Naruto to give him a message from Hinata, saying that Hinata had something special planned for today since it was so lovely. When Naruto asked what Hinata was planning, Kurenai just shrugged her shoulders and said he would have to see for himself; also, she told him to put on a pair of swimming trunks before he went to visit Hinata. It didn’t seem like much information, but it was enough to interest Naruto. As soon as Naruto dropped off his own groceries, he quickly packed Hinata’s groceries and raced towards the cave where she was staying.
Naruto couldn’t even begin to wonder what this surprise of Hinata’s might be, but in her case, it was definitely going to be something big…literally. In fact, ever since she confessed her true feelings to Naruto and started hanging out with him, she was becoming a whole new person. It was true she still spoke softly, but other than that, she had really changed. She was much more confident than she was normal height, she even stopped pressing her fingers together like she used to do when she was nervous and she didn’t stutter at all.
As Naruto thought about all that happened this last week, he eventually remembered what happened when other people were brought in about Hinata’s condition, mainly her teammates, Kiba and Shino, and her cousin Neji along with Rock Lee. Knowing that Kiba and Shino might start asking questions about Hinata’s absence, Kurenai decided to bring them in on the secret. But when they found out, the reaction was just like when the jônin team leaders first saw Sakura. Shino kept a straight face, but Kiba was a different story. Seeing his teammate as a giantess made him go pale and then faint; it was the funniest thing Naruto had ever seen. When it was Neji’s turn to be brought into the loop, Lee insisted that he have the same rights as his teammate and wouldn’t accept no as an answer, even from Might Guy. Neji handled the whole experience pretty well, but Lee was a different story; after he got over the initial shock of it all, he started asking questions left and right. Thankfully, Guy was able to calm him down and explain the whole situation to him. Once everything was explained to Lee, he agreed to keep the whole thing secret, especially from Ino and Tenten lest they get jealous for some odd reason. Lee then decided if Naruto was going to be stuck looking after Hinata, he would help Naruto with his taijutsu practice.
As these thoughts of the past drifted through Naruto’s mind, he wondered what would happen in the future. It was true that he loved Hinata very much, but could they possibly live a normal life with Hinata like she was? What would happen when they wanted to get married and start a family? It truly was a perplexing predicament, but then Naruto remembered that Tsunade was still studying the Gigantism Jutsu to try and find a way to undo it. So there may have been no need to worry about the future; one thing was certain though, no matter what happened to Hinata now, it certainly wouldn’t change Naruto’s feelings for her at all.
A couple of hours later, Naruto finally arrived at the cave and took off his backpack. He then noticed that Hinata was nowhere in sight.
Huh, that’s weird, Naruto thought as he scratched his head, Kurenai said that I should get over here as soon as possible because Hinata had something waiting for me. But I don’t see her anywhere…
Naruto continued to scratch his head as he started to look around. “Hey, Hinata, I’m back!” Naruto called out as loudly as he could. “Are you there?” There was no answer; Naruto was starting to get a little nervous and so he started to walk towards the cave. But, before he even took two steps, Hinata finally responded…
“Wait don’t come any closer,” Hinata said quickly, “stay right where you are…”
Now Naruto was completely confused. “Huh, but why can’t I Hinata?”
“Just stay there for a few seconds,” Hinata answered, “I’ll be out soon…”
“Okay, whatever you say,” Naruto said as he put his hands behind his head.
Naruto decided to just lean against the cliff while he waited for Hinata to come out. Thankfully, Naruto didn’t have to wait long before he heard Hinata’s beautiful, gentle voice.
“All right, Naruto, I’m coming out,” Hinata said, “are you ready?”
“I sure am,” Naruto quickly replied before he realized what Hinata had just said, “wait, ready for what exactly?”
“For this…” Hinata answered while giggling.
Naruto then watched as Hinata slowly strolled out of the cave and into the sun light. What he saw, however, was something he didn’t even expect; in fact, what he saw completely took his breath away. Hinata was standing before…wearing a light purple two-piece swimsuit! It was truly an amazing sight, especially from Naruto’s point of view. As Hinata came out of the cave, she came out slowly and gradually, spinning at one point before striking a pose.
“So, tell me, Naruto,” Hinata started to ask, “What do you think? How do I look?”
When Naruto didn’t answer, Hinata looked down and saw the look of utter shock on Naruto’s face. He was completely frozen and had a ridiculous look on his face. At first, Hinata was surprised with Naruto’s reaction, especially considering the fact that Naruto had developed something like the Sexy Jutsu and wasn’t used to seeing a girl dressed the way Hinata was. But, eventually, Hinata just giggled at seeing how innocent Naruto was acting. Obviously, having a gargantuan girlfriend was something Naruto still wasn’t quite used to. Hinata then got on her knees and looked straight into Naruto’s pale face before she gave a gentle puff that made Naruto fall onto the ground on his back, still in complete shock.
“Oh, Naruto, sometimes you can be so adorable,” Hinata said as she extended a finger and began to gently stroke the young blond ninja’s entire body.
As Naruto lay there on the ground, fidgeting and trying to get over the gorgeous and rather surprising sight, he began to slip into a state of unconsciousness. His mind then drifted back to a particular day, one that he would never forget…
A couple of days earlier…
It was a bright and beautiful day in the Hidden Leaf Village, especially for two particular lovebirds. Naruto was out in the cave enjoying his new favorite pastime: being held, kissed and nuzzled by the giant kunoichi Hinata. It was truly amazing, he had only learned about her affections for him a few days ago and yet it felt so right being with her, being loved by her. It was almost like it was meant to be. Naruto couldn’t possibly think of anything that would make this relationship any better (except for maybe Hinata being normal-sized again so he could hold her as well); but Hinata, on the other hand, recently came up with a way to not only make their relationship better, but to also make Naruto blush…
Hinata was wearing a new summer outfit she had Kurenai pick out for her; she was wearing a light green tank top with light tan denim shorts. She was just in the middle of giving Naruto her usual ‘Love Barrage,’ when she stopped after the fifth kiss and held Naruto in front of her. Naruto wondered why Hinata had stopped; he noticed that she had a rather mischievous smile on her face.
“Uh, Hinata,” Naruto started to ask, “Why did you suddenly stop? Is something wrong?”
“Oh no, nothing’s wrong, Naruto,” Hinata said in a strangely innocent tone, “it’s just that…” She leaned against the wall and started to draw a little circle with her free hand. “…I’ve been thinking. You know how you always ride on my shoulder when we take walks and how you always sleep in that sleeping on the hard, lumpy ground?”
“Y-e-a-h,” Naruto said in a curious tone, “why do you ask…?”
“Well, wouldn’t you rather want to be some place a bit more…soft, warm and comfortable?”
Now Naruto was starting to get worried; the soft, gentle tone in Hinata’s voice suggested that she had some place very interesting in mind. Naruto tried to keep the possibilities out of his head, but it was no good. As pictures entered his mind, he started to sweat and blush terribly. He found it was hard to speak as well; it took him a few minutes before he finally found his voice.
“Y-Y-Yes…” Naruto answered timidly. “But, tell me, what…exactly do you have in mind?”
Hinata said nothing, but her smile did get bigger. Of course, that only made Naruto even more nervous; soon, he was sweating like crazy and his face was redder than even a tomato, if that was even possible. Naruto asked Hinata one last time what exactly she was thinking, but he never managed to speak. In a flash, Hinata moved her free hand to the top of her shirt and stretched it out. She then quickly pulled Naruto in and placed him in between her breasts. Even though Hinata was just as young as Naruto, she was already well-developed. At her current height, she could’ve easily fit three Narutos inside her cleavage.
At first, Naruto was completely dumbfounded, unable to say or even comprehend anything. But as he sat their in his giant girlfriend’s cleavage, the reality began to sink in and he quickly began to sweat and blush even harder than he was moments ago. He screamed out of pure embarrassment as he tried to pull himself out of Hinata’s breasts, but it was no use; even though they weren’t tight enough to make Naruto feel like he was being crushed, they were tight enough to keep him trapped. Hinata couldn’t help but giggle as she watched her tiny love struggle like a madman to break free of his confines, not to mention Naruto’s actions were tickling Hinata as he tried to escape. Once Naruto finally realized that he wasn’t going to escape of his own accord, he decided to try and plea with his captor.
“Hinata, why are you doing this!?” Naruto pleaded as he turned slowly around in his confines. “Aren’t you offended by this!? I mean, sure, it is nice and soft and—NO, NO, wait I mean it isn’t any of those things; it’s actually uh, uh, um…” Naruto was trying to find a way out this situation; he had received enough raps on the head from other ladies to know when they were offended and if Hinata was offended by this…Naruto could just see his head fly across the cave as his body lay in a heap several feet away. But, amazingly, Hinata wasn’t angry at all; in fact, when Naruto looked up at her, he saw that she had a big smile on her face and was laughing.
“Naruto, it’s all right, relax,” Hinata said in a comforting voice as she began to stroke Naruto’s tiny head with one of her gigantic fingers, “I’m not offended by this in any way, believe me. Besides, it’s not like you did this of your free will; and even if you did, I wouldn’t hate you for it. Besides, I’m the one, who put you in there, so why would I be offended by something I did?” Naruto had absolutely no comeback. All he could do was just stare into Hinata’s giant face and watch as she continued. “Exactly, now just relax…”
Hinata then began to gently stroke Naruto’s head, which made him quite content and a little drowsy. He started to nod off when he suddenly remembered where he was and woke up right back up. He then looked up into his giant girlfriend’s smiling face.
“Hinata, I have to ask you something,” Naruto started to say, “why are you doing this for me? I know you said that you love me, but do you really love me this much? I just don’t understand…”
“Oh what’s wrong Naruto, aren’t I comfortable enough for you?” Hinata said in a rather playful voice.
“No, no it’s not that,” Naruto said quickly, “it’s just that…well…I know you put me here and that you said you weren’t offended by this, but why do it all? I mean, I always used to ignore you and just treat you like everybody else…I just don’t think I deserve this kind of pleasure from you is all.”
Hinata sighed and shook her head; it was true she had told Naruto before that she didn’t care about that stuff from their early years, but he still had his occasional guilt trips every once and a while.
“Naruto, you really need to listen,” Hinata said, pressing Naruto’s head closer to her chest, “I don’t care what happened in the past, all I care about is being here with you now. Nothing else matters; besides, I want you to be as close to my heart as possible and no place is closer to my heart than my chest. You have to realize something Naruto-something that should’ve been made apparent to you the moment I said I loved you and you loved me. You are not alone anymore Naruto…and you never will be, ever again, not as long as I’m around.” Hinata then closed her eyes and her other hand over her tiny boyfriend, pushing him closer to her. “I will always love you Naruto, even until the end of time itself.”
Naruto didn’t know what to say; in fact he couldn’t say anything; the softness of Hinata’s skin and the gentle rhythm of her heart were just so relaxing.
Man, a guy could really get used to this, Naruto thought as he gently nuzzled Hinata, right now, I have got to be the luckiest man on the planet to have a girl like her.
Present Day, Hokage’s Office
Tsunade was sitting at her desk, wiping the sweat that had recently formed on her brow as she watched three members from the Hyuga Clan’s main branch leave her office. As soon as the door shut, she let a sigh of relief having just dodged another bullet. Apparently, the Hyuga Clan was taking more interest in Hinata’s absence than Tsunade thought; she had hoped that the excuse she had made for Hinata would be enough to satisfy the clan for at least a week. But so far, they had been by her office ever other day expecting a report of some kind.
Tsunade was starting to worry, especially since she was running out of excuses. She knew sooner or later she would have to tell the Hyuga Clan the truth—how they would take the news was another matter. Just then, Tsunade felt a strange presence coming from behind her, outside her window. She did not need to turn around to see who it was…
“Welcome back, Jiraiya,” Tsunade said in a rather relieved voice.
“Hey, how did you know it was me?” Jiraiya said, hanging upside-down outside the window.
“Please, I’d recognize your chakra signature anywhere,” Tsunade scoffed, “it isn’t that difficult to detect you know.”
The Toad Sanin simply grunted before he opened the window and leapt inside the Hokage’s office. Once he was inside and closed the window, Tsunade demeanor changed to something more serious as she turned to face her old teammate.
“So, tell me,” Tsunade began, “do you have any news on the Syndicate’s plans?”
“Not exactly,” Jiraiya said seriously, “but I did investigate the ruins of this old clan I told you about before and…well, I found something that’s a little disturbing.”
“Disturbing?” Tsunade asked.
“Take a look,” Jiraiya said as he reached into his coat pocket and pulled out a small red scroll, which he handed to the Fifth Hokage.
When Tsunade took the scroll and opened it, she was a little confused at what it was. But as she continued to stare at it, she was utterly shocked.
“Wh-What is this!?” Tsunade said.
On the scroll were a bunch of names that were all connected by a series of lines. Tsunade instantly recognized it as a family tree with the names Sakura Haruno, Temari and Hinata Hyuga all the way at the very bottom of the tree!
“What you see there, Tsunade, is no ordinary family tree,” Jiraiya said solemnly, “this is the family tree of the Five Matriarchs, the ones who ruled that clan.” Jiraiya walked over and took a seat across from Tsunade. “I was fortunate enough to find some members of the Crescent Moon Syndicate at the dig and ambush them before they knew I was there. I found this scroll mixed in with their belongings; unfortunately, they escaped before I could capture any of them and pump them for information. As you can see, it’s obvious that those three young women weren’t picked at random. The Syndicate knew they were the descendents of the Five Matriarchs. That’s probably why they were chosen for these experiments; they knew the jutsu they found would only work on those girls.”
Tsunade said nothing; she just continued to peer at the parchment trying to fully wrap her head around this whole thing when she noticed something back at the bottom of the scroll that grabbed her attention.
“Hold on, what’s this?” Tsunade said as she laid the scroll flat on the table and smoothed it out. “You said there were five of these matriarchs, yet I only see three names at the bottom. It appears two of them are missing…”
Jiraiya shrugged his shoulders. “I can’t help you there Tsunade,” he said, “my guess is that they were still researching who the last two descendents were when I ambushed them and interrupted their plans. But look on the bright side…”
“What bright side?” Tsunade said in a rather harsh tone.
“At least we’ve managed to throw a monkey wrench into their plans. I believe they were planning to get all the descendents for something; without that information, we may have at least slowed their plans down…for a little while anyways.”
“I suppose,” Tsunade said with a sigh, “and Hinata is under constant watch by Naruto. No way that little brat is going to give up his new girlfriend without a fight. I just hope he’s enough.”
Tsunade sat back in her chair and looked out the window, pondering just what exactly was coming and if the Leaf Village could possibly survive it.
Naruto was sleeping peacefully, completely unaware of his surroundings. He didn’t remember what had happened; the last thing he could remember was the message Kurenai had given him about meeting Hinata at the lake and bringing along a bathing suit. But everything else after that was a blur; Naruto couldn’t remember anything else after that. As Naruto tried to gather his thoughts, he realized that he was lying on something soft…and warm. Not only that, but there was also a steady rhythm in the background. It sounded almost like a heartbeat. And when the young Leaf ninja started to lift himself up, he was quickly pushed back down by something elastic. As his eyes opened and his sight began to adjust, he saw that the soft surface had a pale peach tone to it.
“Heehee, so I see you’re finally awake,” said a gentle and familiar voice, “that’s good; I was starting to think I would have to dunk you in the water to wake you up.”
Naruto slowly lifted his head up until he saw what looked like the bottom of a chin followed by a mouth, nose and finally two eyes with no pupils. The face was completely shadowed by the dark blue hair that hung around, but it didn’t take Naruto too long to realize that he was staring into the face his new found love, Hinata Hyuga. But as Naruto continued into Hinata’s lovely face, he soon began to realize something: he wasn’t lying on the ground, for if it was the ground it was unusually soft and warm. Then, Naruto’s vision became crystal clear and quickly realized where he was…in the cleavage of Hinata! Naruto didn’t say a word; he couldn’t since he was so shocked. But it did not take him long to find his voice.
“Huh, what the—who the-” Naruto babbled as he struggled from within his unusual confines. What Naruto didn’t realize was that all the moving around he was doing was really tickling Hinata.
“N-N-Naruto, s-stop it, please, hahahaha,” Hinata yelled as she began to flail her legs, “y-y-you’re t-t-tickling me! Hahahahaha!”
Thankfully, Naruto was able to hear that and stop his mad rant as he looked up into Hinata’s face. She soon began to settle down and relax once Naruto had stopped going berserk in her boobs.
“Oh, thank you, Naruto,” Hinata said taking in a few deep breaths, “my goodness, I never realized I was so ticklish. Are you all right by the way?”
“Uh, yeah, just fine,” was all Naruto was able to say; he was surprised to hear that Hinata was more concerned about him then about herself. It was then that Naruto realized that hi clothes were gone and that the only thing he was wearing were the pair of swim trunks Kurenai told him to bring along. He then looked around saw that Hinata was sitting on the bank of the lake with her feet already in the water. Completely flushed after realizing this, Naruto worked up the nerve to talk to Hinata. “Um…Hinata, where are my clothes?”
“Hmm, oh I forgot,” Hinata said as she turned upper torso around with Naruto in her top bathing suit piece, “you passed out and I wasn’t sure what to do. When you didn’t wake up immediately, I began to think that maybe I should dunk in the water to wake you up. But I didn’t want your clothes to get wet, so…I undressed you.” She then pointed over to a tree where all of Naruto’s clothes were hanging on a branch before she turned herself back towards the lake.
“What!?” Naruto said, his face completely pale, “you undressed me!? Hinata what were you thinking; I am not some doll you can just…de-clothe me whenever you want!? I mean, what if had accidently pulled everything o-”
Naruto had to stop himself from finishing that last sentence since he had started to blush furiously. And he wasn’t the only one…Hinata was also blushing as the thought of seeing without anything one entered her mind. But she shook her head and managed to drive the thought out.
“I-I’m sorry, Naruto,” Hinata said with a pleading cute look on her face, “can you forgive me?”
Naruto was trying his best to keep a serious and annoyed face on, but it was no good. Hinata’s large puppy dog eyes and pout were boring into his heart and wasn’t long before he found himself defeated.
“All right, fine, I forgive you,” Naruto said as he leaned back against Hinata’s chest, “but next time I pass out like that, just pour some water over me instead, okay?”
“Okay…” Hinata then reached up and began to pet Naruto on the head with her finger. “You are just so cute, Naruto. I don’t care if I stay this way forever. As long as I have you, my world is complete.”
Man, why does she always have to say stuff like that? Naruto thought as Hinata’s finger ran through his hair. And why do I always have to fall for that pouty little face of hers, even if it is cute…one of these days, I am going to find a way to beat it.
Hinata kept stroking Naruto for a few more minutes when she finally stopped, stretched out her arms and stood back up.
“Okay, now its time for us to have some fun!” Hinata said with a hint of excitement in her voice. “Are you ready Naruto?”
“Ready…for what?” Naruto asked, hoping that this situation wouldn’t get awkward like it had earlier.
“For this…”Hinata said as she bent down and tensed her legs, “BANZAI!!!”
Suddenly, she leapt high into the air with her arms up and her legs bent. Naruto had to brace himself as the sheer force of the wind blew through his face on the way up. Hinata hung in the air for only a couple of seconds before she started her rapid decent towards the azure waters beneath, her hair blown up by her fall. When she hit the water, it was with a thunderous crash that echoed into the woods as a giant tidal wave came careening towards the shore drenching more than a mile or so of once dry land.
Once they were in the water, Naruto tried desperately to stay where he was as he rested in Hinata’s softness as they descended into the deep. But it was no use; the water caused him to slip out and up of Hinata’s cleavage. At first Naruto tried to get back in, but Hinata was already too deep for him and what was more, he needed air quickly. So, Naruto started to swim as quickly as he could towards the surface as he could. But just when he was so close to filling his lungs with precious air did he feel something wrap around his lower and halt his ascent. He quickly looked down and thought he saw what were tentacles, but he quickly realized they were fingers—mainly Hinata’s fingers—and they were pulling him back down until Naruto was level with the gigantic Hyuga’s face.
At first, Naruto couldn’t understand why his girlfriend would drag him back down into the lake’s depths, but his burning lungs quickly reminded him he had more important matters and he began to struggle. Naruto started to flail and point up towards the surface to tell Hinata he really needed air. But when he looked into her face, he saw something that would’ve made him gasp: Hinata was smiling! Naruto thought that Hinata had gone insane or something and was trying to kill him. His face had turned blue and he was just about to give when Hinata reveal her plan. Without a moment’s hesitation, she brought her tiny love to her lips and enveloped his entire face in a serene and gentle kiss. As Hinata did this, she also filled up Naruto’s lungs with air, sending a wave of relief into the young ninja’s lungs, which took great satisfaction in the newly supplied oxygen.
Once Naruto’s lungs were filled to capacity, Hinata gently pulled him away from her lips and looked at him with a pleasant smile. She could see the look of absolute bliss on Naruto’s face, which made her even happier. Hinata then pulled Naruto in close to chest as she started her ascent towards the surface. The calm surface of the lake was quickly disturbed as Hinata breached up from the depths and took in a deep breath. After Hinata had reached the surface, she looked down to see her beloved nestled comfortably against her chest, gripping tightly onto her bathing suite, humming softly and gently nuzzling her. Hinata couldn’t help but giggle at Naruto’s happiness.
“So, I take it you liked my little surprise, huh Naruto?” Hinata asked with a hint of satisfaction in her voice.
“I sure did,” Naruto said in a relaxed and mellow tone, “but, Hinata, do me a favor; next time you plan something like this, at least give me a little more heads up before you take the big plunge. I swear, I thought I was going to die down there when he pulled me back down.”
Hinata blushed a bit upon hearing this. “I-I’m sorry Naruto,” Hinata said innocently, “I promise, I won’t do anything like that again if it makes you feel so uncomfortable, okay?”
Naruto took in a deep breath before answering. “Great, thanks…Mmmmm.” Naruto couldn’t help but nod off as he lay against Hinata’s ever-soft breasts. He felt like he was in heaven, surrounded by the relaxing lake waters and Hinata’s softness and warmth. He almost didn’t want it to end.
“Uh, Naruto, come on, don’t fall asleep,” Hinata pleaded as she quickly pulled Naruto away from her chest, “I have still a few things I want to do today. Do you mind if we wait to cuddle after we’re done swimming.”
Naruto sighed, knowing Hinata wasn’t going to take no for answer. “Okay…but you technically owe me since you nearly caused me to drown down there, got that?”
Hinata only giggled at Naruto’s request. “Okay…”
After that, the two lovebirds spent the remainder of the day swimming in the lake. Sometimes, they would just simply swim around the lake (well, actually, Hinata swam around the lake while Naruto rode in her hair as she did). Other times, they would hold contests to see who could hold their breath the longest or who made the biggest wave when the fought with water. Hinata won all of those, of course, her size giving her an unnaturally unfair advantage; but Naruto did not care, he was just spending time with Hinata. The last thing they did before getting out of the lake was a deep dive to see what was at the bottom of the lake. At first, Naruto was a little unsure about this, especially since he couldn’t hold his breath as long as Hinata.
But, thankfully, Hinata had the solution to that problem. Before could even ask Hinata what her solution was, she quickly scooped her tiny boyfriend and stuck him inside her mouth with his bottom torso still sticking out. At first, Naruto was really miffed, considering he was being treated like a lollipop; in fact, Hinata sucked on him a few times and ran her tongue over him before she took the plunge. Naruto was really uncomfortable as he got covered in saliva while Hinata swam down to the bottom of the lake. But it was all worth, for when they finally got to the bottom and Naruto was relieved of his drooling prison, he saw a beautiful and breathtaking the sight. The bed of the lake had rocks that were covered with all kinds of colorful water plants and algae that seemed to simmer like stars in the night sky. There were oddly shaped fish as well swimming around in the colorful wonderland. Naruto was almost downdraught when Hinata placed him back into her mouth like before and started their ascent towards the surface.
Later in the evening…
Naruto and Hinata were sitting inside the cave by a nice lit fire, enjoying a simple meal of instant ramen. Thanks to Naruto discovering that the same jutsu used to make Hinata gigantic could also make other objects gigantic, Hinata was able to enjoy some of the simpler things in life like good food, clean clothes and even a few of her favorite books. It seemed like she had everything she would ever need, plus she had Naruto who made it all complete.
As the two of them sipped down their noodles (Naruto actually slurped his down in big gulps), Hinata’s eyes began to wonder around the cave. She eventually spied the two individual piles towards the back of the cave; one was made of giant trash and the other dirty clothes. Hinata wondered how long this could continue, sure she could get good food and clean clothes whenever she wanted, but at the rate her dirty clothes and trash were piling up, it wouldn’t be long before this cave was no better off than a landfill. Not to mention, if she ever needed medical attention for whatever reason, there wouldn’t be a single hospital room in the entire world that hold her. As these ideas entered her head, Hinata couldn’t help but become a bit depressed and her face showed. It was then that Naruto took a moment from gulping down noodles to look up and see the sad face of his giant girlfriend.
“Hey, Hinata,” Naruto said he slurped down a mouth full of ramen, “is something wrong with you? You seem a little down?”
Hinata quickly snapped back to attention at Naruto’s words. “What? Oh, no, I’m fine Naruto. Nothing’s wrong with me…”
Naruto just gave Hinata a skeptical look as he cocked an eyebrow and shook his head. It was obvious he didn’t believe a word she had just said.
“Okay, I guess you caught me,” Hinata said with a sigh, “the truth is…I’ve been thinking a lot about myself and this whole situation, mainly about the future and the two of us. At first, I didn’t worry too much about it, especially since I had you with me; I was just so happy that I didn’t even think or care what the future held for me. But now, looking around this cave, I realize that it may not be as simple as I first imagined it. I mean, just look at all the dirty clothes I’ve gone through already and all the trash that is piling up. I just don’t know what to think…and I’m scared of what will happen when my father finds out about what happened to me. I just don’t know what to do; I’m so scared.” Hinata then stared to shiver a little as a lump formed in her throat and tears peeked at her eyes.
Naruto then put on a sympathetic smile as he got up and walked over to his gigantic girlfriend; he then placed a gentle had against Hinata’s leg, which somehow managed to get her attention. He then looked up at her face with a gentle and compassionate grin.
“Hey don’t worry so much about that,” Naruto said calmly, “you’re just thinking too much about this, that’s all. Listen, when the time comes, we’ll cross that bridge together and deal with the problem, one way or another. And besides, you’ve got me now, remember? There is no way I’ll ever let anything bad happen you.”
Hinata couldn’t help but brighten up at seeing her beloved’s customary grin and cheery attitude. It certainly was a great pick-me-up for Hinata; so much so in fact, that she just couldn’t seem to stop herself from scooping up Naruto and bringing him up to her face where she proceeded to capture him in another caressing Love Barrage.
A few minutes later, Naruto and Hinata went off to change into their pajamas, going to their usual changing places. Naruto had gone behind a set of stalagmites while Hinata went into her special hand-made room. Once they were both done changing, they came out ready to hit the sack. Naruto let out a long lazy yawn as he stretched his arms out. Hinata also yawned as she reached down and gently wrapped her hand around Naruto’s tiny body lifting him up off the ground and placed him gingerly between her breasts. Naruto couldn’t help but blush a tad as he remembered how insistent Hinata had been about this little sleeping arrangement. Although Naruto didn’t mind sleeping like this, he almost wished that he could sleep in his own sleeping bag because, to be perfectly honest, he felt like he was taking advantage of Hinata by sleeping in her like this. But, of course, Hinata would not hear a word of his protest as she insisted that she wanted this and that it only made her happy.
So, with Naruto in her cleavage, Hinata walked into her specially made room. As she entered the room and started to lie down in the bed, Naruto couldn’t help but look around and admire it. It was about average size for someone of Hinata’s proportions and it came with a couple of the essentials. There was a Tatami bed for Hinata to sleep on, a set of shelves carved out of the rock where she stored some of her favorite books. There was even a small little table Hinata had made from carving out the rocks.
As Naruto’s eyes wandered around the room, he couldn’t but be impressed by Hinata’s amazing abilities; she had done all this by herself and with a new jutsu she had made all by herself too. As he thought about this, he couldn’t help but think of all the progress he had made over the last week. He remembered how he and Hinata went and explored that valley entrance they had found earlier and how they discovered this large vast gorge at the end, a perfect place to train. It was there that they both trained hard practically every day; occasionally, Lee would join them and help Naruto out with his taijutsu skills. It was in that valley that Hinata had made her very own original jutsu, one that played off her strengths. Naruto couldn’t help but feel proud as he thought about how happy Hinata had been with her progress.
Hinata eventually sat down and got underneath her covers, where she began to gently stroke Naruto’s head and sing a soft lullaby. These, coupled with Hinata’s soft comfortable skin and the steady gentle rhythm of her heart, made it almost impossible for Naruto to stay awake and he soon found himself nodding off. But before sleep completely overcame him, Naruto made sure to say his goodnights.
“Good night, Hinata,” Naruto said with a yawn, “I love you…”
“I love you too Naruto,” Hinata said, giving a goodnight before he was completely out of it, “good night…”
And with that, the two of them drifted into peaceful slumber with nothing but the gentle breeze and the chirping crickets to make any noise. But, little did either of them realize that there was a lone figure standing just outside the cave entrance. It was the same masked figure as from a few nights before; he had left for a few days, but had finally returned. As he stood there, he reflected on what he heard and couldn’t but snicker a little at all the sentiment he had just heard.
“My, my, it seems those two have become quite the couple,” the masked figure in a rather menacing tone, “it’s just such a shame that tonight will probably the last they ever spend together. At least, in this world, hehehehehehe; enjoy this night while you can, fox brat, for tomorrow I will plans into motion and no one, not even all the shinobi in the Leaf Village will be able to stop me from taking this world for my own.”
With those last words, the masked figure disappeared in a cloud of smoke, heading off to prepare for his diabolical plan.
The next morning, the sun rose slowly over the hills. As its warm rays illuminated the land, it eventually cast them upon the opening of the large cave where Hinata was staying. Normally, the sun would shine its rays directly upon Hinata every morning, causing her to stir from her sleep earlier than she would’ve liked. But thanks to the room she had made herself that was no longer a problem.
Hinata finally stirred an hour after the sun had risen and opened her eyes to her special little room. She then sat up slowly and stretched her arms out before giving a big lazy yawn. She had had a very nice and relaxing night’s sleep, plagued with only dreams of happiness. Of course, they were mainly of her and Naruto together, so they were especially good. As for Naruto, Hinata looked down into her sleeping gown and saw the tiny blonde ninja still asleep in her cleavage. It looked like he wasn’t ready to wake up just yet. Part of Hinata wanted to gently wake up Naruto and get him ready for the day, but the rest of her just thought the little sleeping ninja was just too cute and would rather watch him sleep in. So, following her feelings, Hinata laid herself down on her side and leaned on her arm as she watched the tiny ninja dream peaceful dreams. She could only wonder what it was he was dreaming about and hoped she was a part of that dream.
Naruto finally awoke a half-hour later, yawning and stretching just as Hinata had done earlier. When his eyes finally adjusted to the light, he looked up to see the giant smiling face of his giantess girlfriend. Naruto couldn’t put his finger on it, but for some reason Hinata had particularly ethereal glow to her this morning. He only snapped of his little daze when Hinata spoke to him.
“Morning there, sleepy head,” Hinata said gently, “sleep well…?”
“Oh yeah,” Naruto replied, “Man, I don’t what anyone else says. Nothing is more comfortable than a woman’s chest; I could sleep here all day!”
Hinata giggled at Naruto’s compliment. “Well, unfortunately, you can’t stay in there all day.” Hinata then reached down into her gown and plucked Naruto out by his collar slowly lifting him out. “You need to be ready in case you get a mission…” Naruto frowned a little as he looked at Hinata in disappointment. “…but as soon as you get back, I promise I’ll put right back in, okay my love?”
Naruto’s frown quickly turned into a wide grin. “Okay, okay, I guess that’s fair,” Naruto said contently, “but do you mind putting me down now so I can get changed?”
“Sure thing,” Hinata said with a smile.
As soon as Naruto was on the ground, he walked out of Hinata’s “room” and made his way over to the clothes he had brought with him. Once he was out of pajamas, he immediately started on getting breakfast ready for the two of them. It wasn’t much, just instant ramen; Naruto had actually wanted to try and make Hinata something special for breakfast like omelets. But Hinata had been insistent on not eating anything that would require dishes, so that only left instant meals like ramen. Once the ramen was done, Naruto set his aside while he performed the Gigantism Jutsu. The minute the ramen cup was done growing; Hinata came out of her room dressed in her usual everyday outfit.
“Perfect timing, Hinata,” Naruto said, “Breakfast is ready.”
“Great thanks Naruto,” Hinata said as she sat down and took the ramen cup in her hand.
After that, though, the two of them didn’t say much. Hinata looked a little worried as she wondered why Naruto was so quiet. She looked down at him and saw that Naruto wasn’t eating his ramen and that there was a look of disappointment on his face.
“Naruto, is something wrong?” Hinata asked sincerely.
“Huh, what,” Naruto said as though he had been in a daze, “oh, sorry Hinata, I was just thinking about something, that’s all.”
“What were you thinking about?”
“It’s just that, well…” Naruto wasn’t sure why, but something about today just made him feel uneasy. “I’ve been having this bad feeling lately.”
“Yeah…I don’t know why, but I just get the feeling that something terrible is going to happen today. Something that involves you…”
Hinata smiled as she realized that Naruto was just worried about her; ever since she became a giantess and was put under that genjutsu by the three rouge ninja, Naruto had been a little more protective of her than usual. Sometimes, he even wanted to decline a mission just so he could stay with Hinata. But Hinata knew Naruto was just being a worry wart; still, that was more than enough reason for her to comfort her little prince. Hinata laid down here ramen and chopsticks before scooping Naruto up in her gigantic hands and bringing him to her lips where she gently kissed him squarely on the cheek before nuzzling him against her face.
“Oh, Naruto,” Hinata said softly, “you can be so adorable sometimes. You know very well I can take of myself. Besides, you shouldn’t keep yourself cooped up in this because of me. So stop worrying, okay? I’ll be fine by myself for a few hours or so.”
“I know, I know,” Naruto said in defeat, “I just help worrying about you, that’s all. I’m scared of losing you; you’re first the first who’s ever shown me true love…”
“Naruto…” Hinata then puckered up and brought Naruto in slowly for a big pucker on the face. Naruto was also ready to kiss her as well, when they suddenly interrupted.
“Ahem,” said a voice that quickly stopped Naruto and Hinata from having another love fest. Naruto quickly looked to see who the person was who interrupted them and saw Sasuke leaning against the cave wall. “Sorry for interrupting, you two, but I’m afraid it’s going to have to wait. Naruto and the rest of Team 7 have a mission today and the Lady Hokage does not want us to be late.”
Naruto sighed as he looked up Hinata, who looked a little disappointed, but smiled and gently placed Naruto back on the ground.
“Go on, Naruto,” Hinata said, “I’ll be waiting for you when you get back…then we can pick up where we left off, okay?”
Naruto face quickly went from depressed to happy in an instant as a big grin spread across his face. Sasuke just sighed as grabbed Naruto by the sleeve of his jacket and dragged him out of the cave.
“Come on, lover boy, let’s go,” Sasuke said as he and Naruto walked off, leaving Hinata all alone.
Once the two of them were gone, Hinata began to clean the ramen cups when she heard something behind her that sounded like a foot step. She had just assumed it was Naruto coming back.
“Oh, Naruto, did you forget some-” Hinata stopped mid sentence when she a dark figure standing at the cave entrance. “What the…you’re not Naruto!”
Hinata quickly became worried, especially when she saw that the figure had the crescent moon mark on his mask. But before she could do anything, the figure made a quick hand sign and Hinata found herself surrounded by millions of black petals dancing around her. Soon, Hinata’s eyelids grew heavy as she began to collapse. Right before she hit the ground, she uttered the one name that was on her mind as she slipped into unconsciousness: “Naruto…”
With that last word, Hinata hit the ground hard, causing a small quake on impact.
“Sorry, my dear,” the dark figure said wickedly, “but I’m afraid you’re never going to see that little fox boy again…” He then reached into his cloak and pulled out a scroll, brush and an ink case. “Now, it’s time to get to work…”
The Hidden Leaf Village; the Hokage building
Tsunade sat at her desk eyeing the request she had been given. She then looked up at Sakura, who seemed a little impatient as they waited for her two teammates to arrive. As they waited, Tsunade couldn’t help but feel uneasy about all of this; earlier that day, she had been visited by the adviser of the fire daimyo who had come to request for the aid of a ninja squad for a B-ranked mission. What was even more peculiar was the fact that he had specifically requested Kakashi’s team for this mission. He had already paid for half the mission already, but Tsunade could not shake the queasy feeling she got in the pit of her stomach. Something was definitely wrong.
After a couple more minutes of waiting, Sasuke and Naruto came walking through the door with Sasuke keeping a firm grasp on Naruto’s sleeve.
“There you are,” Sakura said, obviously annoyed, “what took you guys so long?”
“Don’t look at me Sakura,” Sasuke said, “I had to drag this knucklehead here. He kept saying he wanted to make sure Hinata was all right and tried to dash every time I loosened my grip on his jacket.”
Naruto just groaned and folded his arms as he pouted. Tsunade and Sakura couldn’t help by giggle at Naruto’s concern; they had to admit caring for Hinata was starting to change him a little bit. He was not as reckless as he used to be and he did not complain about some of the missions they got either.
“Well then, now that you are all here,” Tsunade began to say, “it’s time to get down to business. I have you here a B-ranked mission for-”
Tsunade was unable to finish her sentence…for Shizune had just burst through the door gasping for breath. “Lady…Tsunade…we’ve got a problem!”
Tsunade sighed as she turned to her apprentice. “What is it, Shizune? And can it wait until after I assign the missions?”
“No, it can’t!” Shizune said with a hint of urgency in her voice. “I was just at the village gates and I ran into the fire daimyo’s advisor! When I asked him how his meeting with you went, he said he had just arrived and hadn’t gone to your office yet.”
Everyone’s expression in the room turned to one of absolute shock, especially Naruto who also had a look of terror on his face. Before anyone could say or do anything, Naruto bolted out the door and out of the Hokage building running through the streets at top speed. He was going so fast that he didn’t notice the hint of green out of the corner of his eye until a voice called out to him.
“Hey, Naruto!” Lee yelled as he caught up with his old friend. “What’s up, why are you in such hurry?”
“It’s Hinata,” Naruto said blatantly, “someone came here today and gave a false mission for my team. But we just found out that that guy was just an imposter. I don’t know why, but I think he might have wanted me away from Hinata!” Naruto then put on an extra burst of speed as Lee followed him; Lee knew how important Hinata was to Naruto. If anything happened to her, he would be devastated.
“I’ll help you, then,” Lee said with conviction and reassurance, “nobody messes with my friends and gets away with it.”
With that, the two of them sped off towards the cave; all the while, Naruto was praying that they weren’t too late.
Back at the cave, masked figure was busy putting the finishing touches on the seals he had been writing on the ground around Hinata. It wouldn’t be long before they were complete.
“Just one more...” the figure said as his brush stroked the earth. “…and done. Now that everything is ready, it’s time to go.” The figure then stood up and looked at the sleeping giantess. “I hope you are having a good dream, my dear…it will probably be the last one you ever have. Now, it’s time to go…”
The figure was about to get started when he heard a shout come from the front of the cave. “Hold it right there, you creep!” The figure quickly turned around to see Naruto and Lee standing at the mouth of the cave gasping for breath. “Just what do you think you’re doing to Hinata,” Naruto growled as he balled his fists.
The figure just chuckled at Naruto’s anger. “What I am doing with this thing is none of your concern. Now, run along; children should meddle in affairs of grown-ups.”
“No way, you can forget it,” Naruto said defiantly, “there is no way I going to let take Hinata.”
“Oh please, what do you think you can do against me…especially since I know all of your tricks fox boy!”
Naruto gasped when he heard that statement. Did he just call me…? Naruto thought as he looked at the figure in disbelief. Does that mean he’s…no he couldn’t be!
“And now, I must take my leave,” the figure said with a mocking bow, “farewell...”
The masked man then started to quickly perform a long series of hand signs. Naruto quickly snapped to attention when he saw this and immediately started to charge forward, screaming his fists ready to fly. Lee followed right behind him, ready to do battle at a moments notice. But before they reach the masked figure, he finished the hand signs and when he did the seals on the ground immediately started to glow. Naruto and Lee were just mere inches away when they were suddenly caught up the light of seals. They didn’t know what was happening, but before they knew it, the two Leaf ninja soon found themselves falling through the light to some unknown location…
Tsunade and Shizune along with Sakura and Sasuke were running as fast as they could to catch up with Naruto. He had left in such a hurry, that they never had a chance to stop him. But then again, they probably couldn’t stop him even if they wanted to…especially since it was Hinata that was in trouble. When they reached the mouth of the cave, they were suddenly blinded by a bright light and were forced to shield their eyes. Once the bright light had faded, Tsunade and Shizune quickly ran to the mouth of the cave and looked inside…to find nothing at all. The only things that remained in the cave were the two piles of trash and dirty laundry, Hinata’s special room and some odd symbols drawn into the ground. Just then, the two women heard someone approaching and prepared to defend themselves. They breathed a sigh of relief when they saw Kakashi leap out of the forest and land in front of them.
“I heard something was wrong from the people at the Hokage building earlier and rushed right over here,” Kakashi explained, “what happened and what was with that blinding light?”
“I’m not entirely sure, but take a look for your self,” Tsunade said as she stepped aside to let Kakashi view the inside of the cave.
“What happened? Where are Hinata and Naruto?”
“We don’t know,” Shizune answered, “all we do know is that when we got here, there was a bright light and when we looked inside the cave, Hinata and Naruto were gone.”
“The only clues we have right are those weird markings on the ground,” Tsunade said, pointing at the written characters on the cave floor. “But I have no idea what they are.”
“Hmmm, let me take a look,” Kakashi said as he walked inside the cave. It only took him a couple of minutes to see and realize what the markings were. “Oh no, this is not good. These markings here…I’ve seen them before. They’re used in a type of teleportation jutsu that used to move large objects between two or more points.”
“Well, that’s just great,” Tsunade sighed as she rubbed her temple, “how are we supposed to find Naruto and Hinata when we don’t even where this jutsu sent them?”
“Lady Tsunade, why don’t we just use the jutsu and teleport ourselves to the destination?” Shizune asked.
“I’m afraid it doesn’t work that way, Shizune,” Kakashi said as he looked over the markings, “this jutsu requires a special kind of ink that is very rare and hard to come by and it can only be used once per jump.” Shizune’s head quickly fell in despair. “However that doesn’t mean we can’t find out where they went. In order for this jutsu to be used, a person has to inscribe specific features of the destination into the spell.”
“So does that mean you can tell where they were taken, Kakashi?” Tsunade asked.
“Hang on a second…” Kakashi traced the signs with his finger until he found the ones he was looking for. “Let’s see now…Ocean…Black Harbor…Waves…” As he finished reading the last sign, he smiled behind his mask as he stood and turned to face the Hokage with the utmost confidence. “Lady Hokage, I know exactly where they are going and I can say, with absolute certainty, that we can follow them.”
Tsunade breathed a deep sigh of relief upon hearing those words. “Well, don’t keep us in suspense, Kakashi; where were they sent to?”
Naruto and Lee had no idea how long they had been falling through the light, but one thing was for certain: both of them just wanted it to end.
“Ah man, how long is this trip anyway?” Naruto complained as he started to feel his breakfast start to creep back up his throat.
Lee was starting to feel the same way as he tried to hold down his breakfast. “I’m not sure, Naruto, but I do not think it will end any time soon.”
Luckily for the both of them, however, their little “trip” was about to come to an abrupt end. Just when Naruto thought he couldn’t take anymore, a bright flash of light suddenly surrounded both of them before they suddenly found themselves falling through the sky…right into a large body of water. At first, Naruto and Lee were utterly confused; but their confusion quickly disappeared when they suddenly felt the need for air. Not wasting anytime, the two Leaf Genin swam to the surface where they took in a deep breath of fresh air. Naruto and Lee were both relieved as they took in some fresh air; they then noticed that the water was rather salty.
“That was certainly some trip, huh Naruto?” Lee said as he shook some of the water out of his hair, “I wonder where we are, though?”
“I’m not sure Lee,” Naruto said as he coughed to get some of salt water out of his lungs, “that jutsu could’ve sent us just about any…where.” Naruto’s mind quickly became both confused and relieved when he saw a familiar house standing on the water with a small bridge connecting it to the mainland. It was a rather shoddy and plain-looking house, with bland white walls and red roof tiles. While Lee had no idea where they were, Naruto couldn’t help but feel like he was walking down memory lane. “That house…it can’t be.”
“What is it Naruto?” Lee asked as he swam up next to his friend, “Do you know who lives here?”
“I think so,” Naruto answered, “but there is only one way to be 100 percent sure…”
Naruto quickly swam over to the small bridge and pulled him self out of the water before he bolted to the door and knocked.
“I’ll get it mom,” said a young and familiar voice behind the door. Naruto watched in anticipation as the door knob slowly and opened to reveal a boy a few years younger than Naruto wearing a bage T-shirt, green overalls and a white hat. When the boy first looked, he just starred at the person before him, a little confused. But as he continued to look, his expression became that of surprise and happiness as he saw the face of an old friend: “Naruto!?”
“Inari! It is you!” Naruto said happily.
Before they knew what was happening, Inari leapt at Naruto and wrapped his arms around him in a big bear hug as he started to cry a little.
“I can’t believe it; it’s really you!” Inari said excitedly, “You’ve really come back!”
“It’s great to see you too, Inari,” Naruto said with his usual grin, “but I’m afraid I haven’t come back on a social call.”
“Inari, who is at the door,” said a female voice from inside the house.
“Mom, grandpa, come out here, quick!” Inari called out as he released Naruto. “You’ll never guess who’s here!”
A few minutes later, Inari came back followed closely by his mother, Tsunami, and his grandfather Tazuna. When the two got there, they were surprised to see who was standing at the door.
“Oh my goodness,” Tsunami said, “Is that you, Naruto?”
“It sure is!”
“Well, I’ll be,” Tazuna said in his usual gravelly voice, “if it isn’t the little loudmouth from the Leaf Village.”
“Hey, old man, it’s good to see you, too…”
Tazuna chuckled as he looked at the young blonde ninja. That was when he realized that Naruto was not alone and he was soaking wet.
“Hey Naruto, what happened to you?” Tazuna asked, “You’re completely drenched and who is that with you? I’ve never met him before…”
“Huh, oh this is Rock Lee,” Naruto said as Lee bowed and introduced himself, “as for why we’re wet…we’ll that’s a bit of a long story.” Naruto’s expression quickly became serious. “But I’m afraid this visit is a social one; I’m afraid we’ve got a bit of a problem!”
Tazuna wanted to know more, but he decided it would be best to save any questions for later. He quickly invited them inside while Tsunami went to fetch for towels to help the two boys dry off as they came inside the house.
Tazuna took a sip of his tea as Naruto finished explaining their situation, making sure to leave out certain details.
“So, one of your friends was captured and apparently taken here, correct?” Tazuna asked.
“Yes, though we don’t where exactly,” Naruto said, obviously frustrated, “I mean, we figure she has got to be around here, we just don’t know where. Man, I wish we knew where that masked creep has taken Hinata!”
“Ahem, actually I think I may know where he may be,” Lee said.
“What!? Why didn’t you say anything before?” Naruto cried.
“Because, I do not know if the location is anywhere around here,” Lee said before turning to Tazuna, “sir, by any chance, have you ever heard of something called the ‘Black Harbor’?”
Tazuna choked on his tea before he spat it onto Naruto’s face.
“T-T-The Black Harbor!?” Tazuna said in between coughs before he calmed down, “now that is a name I thought I would never hear again.”
Naruto and Lee both looked at Tazuna with interest and hope in there eyes. The old man sighed, knowing that there was no way he could change their minds; especially Naruto.
“Well, you see,” Tazuna began, taking off his glasses to polish them, “the Black Harbor got it’s name…because that’s where Gato’s business operated from in the Land of Waves.”
“Seriously?” Naruto asked. Tazuna nodded his head.
“Naruto, I am curious, who is this Gato person?” Lee asked, trying to stay in the loop.
“Long story short, Bushy Brow, he was an evil business man who tried to take over this land but failed.” Naruto then turned back to Tazuna. “Now, tell us old man, where is this Black Harbor?”
“Look, kid, are you really sure you what to go there?” Tazuna asked; the look in Naruto’s eyes said everything. “All right, I guess if you think you have too…it’s located at the southern most area of the Land of Waves; but no one even goes near it because they say it’s cursed!”
“You don’t really believe that, do you sir?” Lee asked.
“Of course not, that’s just a bunch of superstitious nonsense. The truth is, Gato had set up a multitude of traps in that place, traps that would easily be the envy of most ninja. It’s just that after Gato was defeated and the bridge was completed, many of the harbors were of no use to anyone, especially the Black Harbor. So nobody really bothered to go in and try to disarm the traps.”
“Can you tell us what kind of traps they are, old man?” Naruto asked.
“Sorry, kid, I’m afraid not,” Tazuna said, “all I can tell you is that Gato paid some rouge ninja to come in and set it up for him.”
“Still, that is more than we could ask for,” Lee said before he bowed, “and for that, we thank you sir.”
“Heheh, well at least there’s one among the two of you with some manners. You could learn a thing or two from this young man, Naruto.”
“Ahem, yeah, well anyways, old man, thanks again for the tip. We had better get going…”
“But wait, your clothes are still wet!” Tsunami said, but she was too late, they were already out the door.
Inari just stared after them, wondering what was going on through his old friend’s mind. Tazuna, on the other hand, just chuckled as he realized that there was only one reason anyone would act like that kid just did: love.
The Black Harbor; Warehouse # 13
Inside the dark warehouse, a masked sat leaned against one of the crates, breathing heavily while grasping his chest.
“I…I didn’t think I would waste this much chakra on this one girl,” the masked figure said, “Maybe I should have brought more Soldier Pills. Oh well, it doesn’t make any difference; I have what I need!” The masked figure then looked over at the giant sleeping Hyuga heiress as she breathed slowly in a mellow rhythm. “And once I get what I need from her, the Hidden Leaf Village will be finished! Hehehehe….Hahahaha…Ahahahahahah!!!!”
It had only about half an hour since Naruto and Lee set out from Tazuna’s house for the Black Harbor; but now, they found themselves standing before a massive wire meshed gate with chains crisscrossing it all over. Right above the chains was a painted metal sign, with chips of paint falling off, hanging over the chains; the words “Keep out OR Else!” printed on it in bold black letters. Naruto eyes wandered up to the top of the gate where an old sign was hanging by a few rusty nails; the words on the sign had become faded, but if Naruto had to guess, he imagined the words would spell out “Black Harbor: Keep out or Die!” Beyond the fence were rows of steel crates no doubt used by Gato to ship his “merchandise” to his customers. The crates were all evenly spaced and organized with rust forming on their corners. It was obvious that no one had touched these crates in a long time; at least, not since Gato died.
“Well, this is the place,” Naruto said as he looked over the chained entrance. He then took out a kunai knife and slashed away the chains; the links clinked as they fell to the ground, Naruto placed his kunai back into his equipment pouch before he cracked his knuckles. “All right, let’s go!”
Naruto was about to charge right in when he was suddenly pulled back by Lee.
“What the…Bushy Brow, what’s the matter with you!?” Naruto struggled to break free of Lee’s iron grip. “We’ve got to get in there and rescue Hinata—who knows what the hell that guy is doing to her!”
“Hold on for a second Naruto,” Lee said, “take a closer look before you go charging in…”
Naruto stopped just long enough to look down the long pathway into the black harbor. At first, he didn’t see anything, but then the sunlight reflected off the surface of a small black thread making it visible for just a brief moment. Naruto quickly realized that there were a bunch of threads running down the pathway between numerous iron crates. It didn’t take long for Naruto the horrible mistake he had almost made.
“Oh man, those must the traps old man Tazuna was talking about,” Naruto said as his face went pale, “and I almost walked right them. Thanks Lee, I guess you owe you one…”
“Do not worry about it Naruto,” Lee said in a serious and focused voice, “what we need to figure right now is how to avoid setting off any these traps. I think it is safe to say that someone has been maintaining the traps left behind by this Gato person. They may also be more than just traps—they could also be early warning devices. We will need to find a way around if we do not wish the perpetrator to know of our arrival.”
“But going around could take us all day!” Naruto exclaimed as he got up and brushed himself off. “If we don’t hurry, that guy could move Hinata again by the time we get there. I won’t let that happen; I’m not going to lose her!”
“I can understand how you must feel Naruto,” Lee said sincerely, “but it will do Hinata no good if we either get killed by the traps or alert the enemy to our presence.”
“Man, this sucks, there just has to be a way—huh?”
Lee wondered why Naruto had just stopped and turned around to see a grin forming on his friends face.
“What is it, Naruto?” Lee asked, obviously very curious about his friends sudden mood swing.
“Hey, Bushy Brow, take a look up there…” Naruto pointed to the area above the steel crates. “Do you see any wires up there?”
Lee smiled. “No,” Lee said, “let’s go!” With that, the two of them leapt up and over the fence before landing on one of the steel crates.
“Man, what a lame security system,” Naruto said as he landed, “they didn’t even bother to set traps on top of these crates.”
“That is most likely because this Gato only considered that people would try to break into this place,” Lee said as he scanned the area. “I do not think he counted on ninja trying to get in. Still, we must be cautious, we do not know if our mystery perpetrator has set up anything-”
“Would quit dawdling, Lee,” Naruto yelled as he started jump from crate to crate, “in case you’ve forgotten, we’re here to resuce Hinata! So let’s already!”
“Uh, Naruto, wait for me!”
Lee immediately began to give chase after Naruto, all the while wondering why Naruto was so strung up. The truth was, Naruto had a pretty good idea who this mystery villain was. And it’s who I think it is, Hinata may be in more trouble than we realized.
As Naruto and Lee continued to jump from crate, they hadn’t realized they had tripped a new silent alarm the masked man had set up for ninja intruders…
As the masked stranger stared at his enormous prize, he started to feel victorious, as his goals seemed that much closer. Just then, his arm started to vibrate; he pulled back his sleeve to reveal a mechanical gauntlet that was designed to alert him if one of his new alarms went off. The stranger growled, realizing one of his alarms had been tripped, which meant he had ninjas in the vicinity.
“Well, it looks like those two squirts from the Leaf Village got here sooner than I expected.” The masked stranger said. “They must’ve landed closer than I thought. It looks like I may have to go with the contingency plan after all.”
The masked man walked over an isolated corner of the warehouse and flipped a light switch, revealing a chair and desk with an old radio. He sat down and switched on the radio, waiting as it started up. Once it was ready, the masked villain put the receiver to his ear and spoke into the mike.
“Hey, it’s me,” he said, “I’m afraid I’ve got some bad news. Someone is about to throw a serious monkey wrench into our scheme, so we’ll need to fall back onto the contingency plan…I know, I know, it’s risky. But we don’t have a choice…don’t worry; I’ll make sure everything’s ready on my end. You just make sure the rest of the team is prepped and ready; if all goes according to plan, we’ll achieve all of our objectives in one fell swoop, hehehehe….”
The masked stranger turned the radio off and walked back over to Hinata, who was still sleeping peacefully under the influence of the genjutsu.
“Well, my dear, it looks like your little prince charming is coming to rescue you. Pity it’ll probably be the last time you see him alive; and even if he does defeat me, there is nothing he or anyone else can do to stop plans.” The masked villain raised his hand, forming it into a fist. “Soon, the powers of the heavens will be mine and those in the Leaf Village will be forced to bow down to as their god!”
The masked villain put on a crooked smile underneath his mask as he patiently awaited the arrival of his guests…
Naruto and Rock Lee had been jumping over metal crates for half an hour with no sign of a warehouse that could hold someone as big as Hinata. Every warehouse they had come across was far too small—if Hinata had been stored in one of the warehouses, they would have seen some part of her sticking out. But alas, they had found nothing.
“Man, it feels like we’ve been searching forever,” Naruto said, “man, just how many warehouses are there? This harbor shouldn’t be so big!”
“Take heart, Naruto,” Lee said, “we must not give up.”
“I know, I know,” Naruto groaned, “hey, maybe if I use my Shadow Clones to speed up the search-”
“I’d strongly advise against that Naruto…”
“Huh, but why Lee?”
“Because your Shadow Clones might set off more of those traps and that could alert the enemy to our position. We need to be as subtle as possible; Hinata is in one of these warehouses, we just need to find the right one.”
“Yeah, I understand that she’s in—wait, that’s it!”
“What’s it, Naruto?” Lee asked.
“Maybe we’re not looking for just one warehouse we’re looking for,” Naruto exclaimed, “I noticed some of the warehouses were linked together and had the same. I can’t believe I didn’t see it sooner; those linked warehouses would be perfect to hide someone of Hinata’s size.”
“Yes, of course,” Lee said, “oh, I cannot believe I did not think of that myself…the only question is, which one of these linked warehouses is Hinata in.”
Naruto quickly scanned the horizon until he saw a group of warehouses linked together, all branded with the number 13.
“Over there,” Naruto said, pointing to the linked warehouses, “let’s start with those warehouses. If we don’t find Hinata in those, she’s most likely in those other warehouses I mentioned.”
“It is a good a place as any to start,” Lee said as he cracked his knuckles, “All right, let’s go!”
In the blink of an eye, Lee and Naruto disappeared in clouds of smoke and reappeared on two more crates, just a few meters away from the warehouses. They both looked down and saw no strings below them, which meant no traps. Unfortunately, they did not know they had already been detected, for there were infrared sensors on the crates they were standing on, just like with the others. Naruto and Lee jumped down silently and moved swiftly to the wall. They then began to walk along the warehouse walls, trying to find a door they could use to enter; they eventually found one at the end of the warehouses. Naruto reached for the door and tried to turn it…
“Locked,” Naruto said, whispering.
“Leave it to me,” Lee said, “I’ll have that door open in a moment.”
Lee then reached into his tool pouch and pulled out two oddly shaped senbon. He took one in each hand before inserting them into the lock; he then began to fidget with the two senbon, working on the lock.
“Since when do you know how to pick locks, Bushy Brow?” Naruto whispered.
“From Tenten,” Lee replied, “I figured it might come in handy some day; a ninja’s main weapon is stealth after all. Now, just give me one more minute, I…should…have this…lock…opened…now!”
A light click was heard and the door slid open gently. Naruto smiled as he congratulated Rock Lee before heading into the linked warehouses. The inside was dimly lit; all the crates were stacked pretty high, blocking out most of the light. As the two ninjas made their way through the giant storage area, they remained as silent as possible. They had noticed that the crates were stacked in an odd way, as if to act as a wall, hiding something from prying eyes. Then, they came upon an unusually tall stack of crates that reached all the way up to the ceiling and went from end to end. Naruto and Lee both looked at each other, silently agreeing to see what was on the other side of those crates.
Naruto and Lee began to climb the mountain of crates, slowly climbing up and up, their muscles tightening with anticipation. As they got closer to the top, they noticed a faint light peeking up over the edge. As they climbed, time seemed to slow down; it felt like they had been climbing for days. And when they finally reached the top, they almost gasped with excitement; the crates had indeed acted as a wall, surrounding a sleeping, giant Hinata. Naruto was so excited, he almost wanted to call out to her, but Lee stopped him, placing a hand over Naruto’s mouth. Lee then pointed down; Naruto looked to see a single solitary figure sitting on top of one of the crates. Naruto instantly recognized him as the man who had taken Hinata in the first place.
Thinking they still had the element of surprise, Naruto and Lee silently agreed to attack on the count of five. Naruto raised his own hand and began to count down from five; Naruto had almost reached one and Lee was ready to attack, until…
“Well, well, well, how nice of you two to join us?” the masked figure said in an ominous tone, “You two sure did take your time; I was starting to think you wouldn’t show…”
He knows we’re here? Naruto thought as he started to feel panic.
“Why don’t you two come out here and join us. It would be rude if I didn’t offer my guests a chance to talk, face-to-face…”
Unsure of what else to do, Naruto and Lee slowly came out of their hiding places and jumped down inside the wall of crates to face this faceless enemy. When they landed, the masked figure was still sitting on his crate, almost as if he wasn’t afraid by the presence of the two genin.
“You know, I must admit I underestimated your tenacity, Naruto Uzumaki.” The masked said as he stood up and started to pace along Hinata’s sleeping body. “But then again, I guess I shouldn’t have been too surprised, considering who I was dealing with: the number, hyperactive knucklehead of the Leaf.”
“How did you know we were coming?” Naruto said, his eyes following the figures every move.
“Oh well, that was easy, thanks to this…” The masked figure rolled up his sleeve to reveal his special gauntlet device and then quickly rolled it back up. “You see, I figured ninjas like you would spot the wired traps hidden around the warehouse, so I installed my own security devices…on top of the crates. They were so subtle, not even a jônin would’ve been able to notice them. The minute you stepped onto one of those crates, I knew you were here coming, FOX BOY!”
Naruto gasped when he heard those words and froze. He had only heard those once in his life, but he never forgot when he did; it was the day he became a genin and a certain someone was taken away by Hidden Leaf Police Forces. As this someone was dragged away, he looked back and yelled at Naruto, calling him fox boy.
“No, it can’t be true,” Naruto, said, his voice almost stuttering, “it’s not possible…you can’t be him.”
“What, can’t be who, Naruto?” Lee asked as he looked at his friend.
Naruto’s mood quickly changed from that of shock to one of rage. “There’s only one person who ever called me that name, one man who always hated me for what I did to him, how he beat him before I even became a genin. But, it’s just not possible, he’s supposed to be in jail…”
“Oh, I assure you Naruto, it is quite possible, quite possible indeed…”
The masked figure then reached up to his mask and pulled it off in one swift motion. That’s when Naruto saw a face that made his blood run cold, a face that filled him with fear, a face he thought he would never see again. Naruto was staring into the face of Mizuki!
Elsewhere, unknown location…
The usual stillness and quiet of the forest was disturbed when four solitary figures rushed through the branches of the trees on their way to the Land of Waves. The four figures that were rushing through the trees were none other than Kakashi Hatake, Asuma Sarutobi, Kurenai Yuhi, and Might Guy; when Kakashi figured out where Hinata had been taken, he quickly gathered all of the jônin instructors to head out for the Land of Waves. While it was true the Land of Waves wasn’t very far from the Leaf Village, it would still take them a few hours to get there even at top speed. Also, they did not want to bring their genin along since they had no idea what they were dealing with and bringing them along would only put the younger ninja in danger.
“Hey, Kakashi,” Asuma said as he propelled himself off another branch, “how much longer till we reach the Land of Waves?”
“Shouldn’t be much longer,” Kakashi answered, “about three, maybe four more hours at least…”
“We could be there in less time, Kakashi,” Kurenai said, “shouldn’t we be picking up the pace, Kakashi? If we get there and Hinata’s gone, I swear I’ll make you pay!”
“Trust me, Kurenai, there’s no need to rush,” Kakashi said, “that jutsu used to transport Hinata takes a lot of chakra, even when it’s just used to transport two people. But it didn’t just transfer two people. Given Hinata’s increased size, she makes up for at least a few dozen people; plus, there is also the fact that Naruto and Rock Lee were also transported. That’s an extra two people, adding to the burden. No doubt, the criminal is exhausted and can’t move Hinata yet.”
“But Kakashi, couldn’t this stranger just have someone else on the other side and reverse summon them?” Guy asked.
“This kind of teleportation jutsu can only use one symbol,” Kakashi said, “if more than one seal is used at both ends of the transport, it creates a feedback loop that can seriously damage both the user and anyone else. It can only be done with one symbol; I do not believe the user will not be able move Hinata again for a while. Besides…I have faith in both Naruto and Lee; I know they will not let any harm come to Hinata.”
The group was a tad surprised, but they quickly relaxed and became quite calm at Kakashi’s words. It gave them comfort and hope that they would be in time to save Hinata; too bad Kakashi had his own doubts and could not believe in his own words.
At least, that’s what I hope, Kakashi thought as he continued to move along with everyone else, but the truth is, there are still to many variables. Why did this person use such a dangerous and complex jutsu to transport Hinata? There are much safer, simpler ones out there he could’ve used. Why did he need to use this one? And why did he choose now to take her? If he’s with the Crescent Moon Clan, why didn’t he wait until the pressure on his group dropped? Is he on a time limit? Naruto…I can only hope you can learn what this mystery man’s plan is and stall him long enough for us to get there.
Kakashi and the rest of the jônin continued their pace through the trees, all hoping beyond hope they were not too late.
There was no way to describe the emotions rushing through Naruto at that moment. It felt like a mixture of cold fear and burning rage; his blood was literally boiling and freezing at the same time. Naruto began to breathe hard; he couldn’t believe the one responsible for Hinata’s kidnapping was also the man responsible for making his life even more miserable than it was. His mind began to flashback to the day he flunked the genin exam for the third time, to the evening Mizuki tricked him into stealing the Sacred Scroll, to the night Iruka risked his life to protect Naruto and gave him his first precious person. And that was the trigger—the memory of Iruka huddled over Naruto, blood dripping from the side of his mouth, a fuma shuriken sticking out of his back. Naruto’s mixed emotions quickly settled into one: pure rage.
Naruto’s breathing became deeper and deeper, he clenched his fists so tightly he almost drew blood, and his eyes began to change. They were becoming the red slits of the Nine-Tailed Fox that dwelled inside of him. Naruto’s anger was releasing the power of the beast. Mizuki could see Naruto was starting to lose control and decided he would push him over the edge, when Lee quickly intervened.
“Naruto, snap out of it!” Lee shouted.
Naruto quickly snapped out of his stupor; his eyes returned to their usual blue hue, his rage receding as well as the fox’s power.
“Thanks Lee,” Naruto said, “I almost lost it there for a second…”
“My, my, my, that was a close one,” Mizuki said, “I was so sure you were going to leap at me and slash my face apart…just like the animal you are, Naruto!”
“Shut up, Mizuki,” Naruto growled, “and tell me what you’re planning to Hinata!”
Mizuki cackled at Naruto’s demand. “Oh please, Naruto, surely you can better than that; I can certainly see you won’t be having a career in the interrogation squad. But in all seriousness, you honestly think I would just tell you my plan!”
“Well, you are the villain here. I’d thought for sure you would start a monologue by now about your evil plans and how we’re going and all that crap!”
“Oh ho, very clever…for someone like you,” Mizuki snickered, “but sadly to say, I can’t really chat. You see, I’m on a little thing called a schedule and if I don’t keep that schedule, all my plans fall apart, so forgive if I skip the usual…idle chitchat!”
Mizuki threw up his arm and launched an arrow from his gauntlet. Naruto thought he was finished, but Lee tackled him to the floor at the last second. The arrow whizzed over Naruto’s head by a few centimeters before impaling itself in a crate.
“Well, well, looks like that’s two you owe your little bushy-browed friend,” Mizuki mocked, “you know, I would’ve at least thought the boy who saved the whole Leaf Village would be fast enough to dodge a simple poison-tipped arrow…”
Naruto and Lee quickly got back up on their feet, readying themselves for another surprise attack.
“You know, we could spend all day just exchanging banter and all,” Mizuki then reached behind his back and began to rummage, “but as I said earlier, I’m on a tight schedule and I don’t have time to play any kid games.” He then revealed a small black pill wedge between his index and middle finger. Naruto knew right away what it was—the same kind of soldier pill Kiba used during the Chûnin Exams. “So what do you say we skip all that pointless good guy bad guy sap and get right to the important part.” Mizuki then took the pill and popped it into his mouth. “Ready or not…here I come!”
Naruto did his best to keep his defense up, but Mizuki was not how he used to be. He was no longer the meager chûnin Naruto had defeated a couple years ago; Mizuki had developed and honed his skills over the years. He had become much stronger, which was made clear with each punch he threw at Naruto. Naruto kept his arms up, but they were quickly becoming sore with each hit—he couldn’t keep up his guard for much longer. Lee had attempted to intervene earlier, but Mizuki quickly countered by spewing water from his mouth and creating a water clone to deal with Lee. Even with his taijutsu skills, Lee could not seem to find a decent opening to damage and dispel the clone. Like Naruto, Mizuki’s clone’s was slowly wearing down Lee with punch and kick.
“Man, this is so frustrating!” Naruto said as he dodged a roundhouse kick. “This guy’s not giving me a chance for an opening!”
Mizuki and his clone suddenly halted their assault. Realizing this was a perfect opportunity, both boys launched a powerful at Mizuki and his clone, which connected instantly. However, despite the amount of power they had placed into their attacks, both of their adversaries still stood strong.
“Heh, heh, heh…so tell me Naruto, how many fingers did you break?” Mizuki mocked.
Naruto and Lee were shocked when they felt a great surge of pain flow through their hands. Naruto quickly pulled his hand away and amazed when he saw that his hand was bruised; he could feel the nerve endings in his fingers screaming with pain. Hitting Mizuki’s jaw was like hitting a brick wall.
What is up with this guy? Naruto thought as he rubbed his sore knuckles, How did he get this freaking strong!? He wasn’t this good back then? He must have done…something to his body, but what?
Mizuki then began to chuckle wickedly. “What are you thinking, Naruto? I bet I know…you’re wondering ‘how did Mizuki become so strong?’” Mizuki changed his voice to mock Naruto. “’How did I break my wittle fingers on his big, strong, jaw?’ It’s actually quite simple really and I’ll be happy to tell you about it…just as soon as I take this ‘little’ flower of yours with me and the ritual is done…”
“Ritual? What ritual!?”
“Oops, did I say that out loud? Oh well, it doesn’t matter; once I deal with you, nothing will stop me from taking your little princess with me. Now, where were we…?”
Mizuki was getting ready to charge at Naruto again; Mizuki had focused all of his attention on Naruto that he had failed to notice his water clone had disappeared, leaving Rock Lee free to do as he pleased. While Mizuki gave his demeaning speech to
Naruto, Lee had reached into his equipment and rummaged through it until he found what he was looking for: a smoke bomb. He knew Mizuki was tough; they needed to retreat and come up with some sort of plan to beat Mizuki. Lee just hoped Naruto would be complacent with this plan—he normally wasn’t one to retreat from a battle, especially if a friend was involved. As soon as he saw Mizuki preparing to charge Naruto, Lee took out the smoke bomb and threw it on the ground, causing a small explosion and covering the entire area in smoke. Mizuki was completely caught off guard by the smoke, as was Naruto especially when he felt an arm wrap around his waist and pull him away. Naruto came out of his shock quick enough to realize Lee was pulling him away. He began to struggle to try and break free from Lee’s grip.
“Let me go, Lee!”
“I can’t do that, Naruto,” Lee said he jumped over crates until he reached a secluded corner of the warehouse, where he released Naruto. “Listen, I know you wish to save Hinata more than anything. But Mizuki is just too powerful for us to deal with head on; we need to devise a plan.”
As Lee calmed Naruto down, Mizuki’s vision became clear as the smoke finally drifted away. He did not seem bothered by the absence of Naruto and his companion.
“Running away, are you Naruto?” Mizuki chided as he casually walked around, hoping to lure Naruto out of hiding. “I always knew you were a coward!”
“Listen, Naruto, we need to buy some time to come up with a plan,” Lee said, “can you make enough Shadow Clones to keep Mizuki busy?”
“Yeah, I think so…” Naruto put his hands together in the proper position and focused his chakra. “MULTI SHADOW CLONE JUTSU!”
There was a big puff of smoke and the entire warehouse was filled with over 7,000 clones of Naruto looking down at Mizuki with vicious looks. However, Mizuki did not hesitate, he just laughed when he saw the clones.
“Is this the best you can do, Naruto!?” Mizuki taunted as he slowly spun, looking at each of the clones, as if trying to find the real one. “I mean, seriously, I thought you would’ve come up with something new by now. But it seems you’re nothing more than a one-trick pony.” Mizuki shook his head in disappointment. “Too bad…oh well, I’m sure I’ll find you in here eventually. After all, even my depleted chakra reserves, I still have enough to on a million! So bring it on, you little fox brat!!!”
“Okay, you asked for it Mizuki!” All the Naruto’s said as they cried out, leapt into the air, and drove straight for Mizuki.
Meanwhile, the real Naruto was still hiding behind the crates with Rock Lee, anxiously waiting for Lee’s plan.
“Well, Lee, you said we needed a plan,” Naruto said, “So what’s the plan?”
“Give a little time, I’m still thinking…” lee said as he put his hand on his chin.
“Well, you better hurry up, I don’t think Mizuki was kidding about talking on a million of me. He’s already finished off 1,500 of my clones. It won’t be long before he’s done with all of them!”
“I know, I know!” Lee yelled, “Grrr, this is harder than I thought. There has to be a way to save Hinata; if only she was awake, she could help us beat Mizuki before he teleports with that jutsu!”
It was then that Naruto had an epiphany. “Wait Lee, that’s it!”
“What’s it?” Lee asked.
“The summoning circle Mizuki used to bring Hinata here! Couldn’t we use it to send Hinata back?”
Lee’s eyes lit up. “That’s a good idea Naruto…but we would need to change some of the symbols on the circle and I don’t think Mizuki is going to give us that chance.”
“Actually, I think I know two little guys who can help with that…” Naruto then bit his finger and slammed it down on the ground. “Summoning Jutsu!”
There was a large puff of smoke and a loud pop. When the smoke cleared, Lee looked to see a tiny red toad and a tiny yellow toad sitting on the warehouse floor.
“Huh, what the…?” The little red toad looked, confused as to where he was.
“Hey, Gamakichi, where are we?” The yellow toad said in a rather unusually calm tone, “Are there any snacks nearby, cause I’m hungry…”
“How the heck should I know if there any snacks nearby, Gamatatsu, I don’t even know where we are!” The red toad exclaimed.
“Huh, Naruto, is that you?” Gamakichi said as he looked up to see his orange clad friend. “WI’ll fill be, how’ve you been? I haven’t since…well, since that time with the Tanuki freak, Gaara. So what’s the deal, why did you summon us to a dump like this?”
“Well, it’s kind of long story, but the short version is my girlfriend got captured and is being held hostage. She was uh…sedated and I need your help to rescue her!”
“What, wait, you actually want our help? That’s a first…” Gamakichi began to scratch the back of his head. “But seriously, Naruto, how exactly can we help? I mean it’s not like we can carry her.”
“You won’t have to, she’s in the middle of a special summoning set up to move her to a new location. I need you guys to find and change a few symbols for us.”
“Hmm, seems simple enough…but, Naruto, how are we supposed to know which symbols to change?”
Naruto looked to Lee, his eyes telling his friend it was his turn to explain. Lee was still not quite used to the talking toads, even if he had seen a talking tortoise before, so he took him a second to collect himself.
“Uh, ahem, right,” Lee said as he took out his notepad and pencil, “the symbols you need to change are the large symbols that are in the circles like this.” Lee showed the two little toads a sketch of a symbol. What we need you to do is find the three symbols on that circle, erase them, and change them to these symbols.” Lee wrote the symbols, tore out the page and gave it to the toads.
“Okay, seems simple enough, but aren’t there going to be bad guys coming after us. I mean, come on, seriously Naruto, did you honestly think we wouldn’t know there would be a bad guys around here? This place just seems to scream evil ‘hideout.’”
“Actually, there’s only bad guy here and you don’t need to worry about him. Me and Brushy Brow will be keeping him busy, so he won’t even notice you little guys.”
“Huh, so we basically go do a little rewriting while you guys fight…I like it; it’s simple, easy to remember, and we don’t hurt.”
“All right, then, let’s—” Naruto suddenly tensed up for second. “Oh no, Mizuki just finished off the last of my clones!”
“What? Already?” Lee exclaimed, “How did he manage to go through so many clones so fast!?”
“I don’t know,” Naruto said, “but if we’re going to do this, we need to get moving now! And you guys need to get hopping!”
“Roger that, Naruto,” Gamakichi said as he and his brother started to hop away, “By the way, what does this friend of yours look like?”
“Don’t worry, Gamakichi, you’ll know. Trust me…”
“Oh Naruto, I’m finished with your clones,” Mizuki said in a mocking tone, “can you and your friend please come out to play now? I get bored so easily these days…”
“You want us, you got us, Mizuki!”
Mizuki quickly looked around until he found Naruto and Lee, standing at the top of the pile of crates. Naruto was cracking his knuckles while Lee reached down to his leg and pulled out three shuriken.
“Well, so nice of you to join me…now then, let’s pick up where we left off!”
Mizuki suddenly jumped into the air until he was right above Naruto and Lee’s heads. Mizuki was so focused on Naruto and Lee that he did not notice the two little toads hopping around the crates. He was so focused; he did not notice the shuriken in Lee’s hand or the kunai Naruto was pulling out of ninja pouch. Mizuki, Naruto, and Lee were so focused on each other; they did not notice that Hinata had begun to stir…
As Mizuki charged the two boys, he was completely unaware of the two little intruders who were making their way around him and the boys towards the spot where Hinata was sleeping.
“All right, now let’s see…” Gamakichi said as he and his brother hopped around the crates. “Naruto said his girlfriend was being held right around…here!?”
As Gamakichi and Gamatatsu came around the bend, they saw the gigantic form of Hinata resting on the floor. Gamakichi stopped suddenly upon seeing Hinata, which caused Gamatatsu to bump right into his older brother.
“Hey, Gamakichi, why’d you stop?” Gamatatsu said before looking over his brother’s shoulder, “Wow, she’s a big one. I bet she could eat even more snacks than me…boy, she’s almost as big as daddy…how’d you think she got that way, Gamakichi?”
Gamakichi quickly snapped out of his trance. “I don’t know, bro, but that’s not important right now. What is important is that we get to work and do what Naruto asked us to do before that white haired freak realizes we’re here, come on!”
Gamakichi and Gamatatsu quickly hopped over to the summoning circle and began to look it over.
“Okay, this the circle,” Gamakichi said as he hopped around it, “now, that bushy browed guy said we need to change the symbols in the large circles. But how are we supposed to do that? We don’t have any paint!”
“Hey, Gamakichi, will this do?” Gamatatsu pushed out a pair of paint cans—one with black paint, the other with white—along with a pair of paintbrushes.
“Good work, Gamatatsu! That’s perfect! Now, let’s get to work!”
And so, the toad brothers set to work painting over the symbols, praying that Naruto and Lee would keep Mizuki busy like they promised.
Meanwhile, Naruto and Lee were engaged in vicious combat with Mizuki. Naruto had to admit that his ex-sensei had improved far more than he had expected. Every time he landed a kick, it felt like he was hitting an iron wall. His Shadow Clones did not help much either; every time he created a batch, Mizuki quickly dispatched them. Naruto was quickly running out of options; the only real move he could use was the Rasengan, the Spiraling Chakra sphere. Unfortunately, even with all of the training Naruto had done with Hinata, he still needed the aid of a Shadow Clone to help him make it. What’s more, Mizuki was just too fast; unless Naruto found a way to restrain him, Mizuki would easily dodge the technique. Naruto did have a few other moves in his arsenal, but they were far too destructive. If he used them now, he could bring down the whole warehouse on top of them or worse…he could seriously hurt or even kill Hinata!
Rock Lee was not fairing any better. Even though he was a Taijutsu expert, Mizuki seemed to be a little bit better. Every time Lee tried to kick him or punch him, Mizuki either blocked it or dodged it. Of course, Lee still had his weights; if he wanted to stand a chance against Mizuki, he would need to remove them. Unfortunately, Mizuki was far too vicious of an opponent to simply stop in the middle of the fight so that Lee could remove his weights. And he could not leave Naruto with this beast since they only seemed to be holding their ground together. If Lee left now, Naruto might last long enough against Mizuki by himself.
Suddenly, Mizuki jumped away without warning. Naruto had swung at him, but missed; why Mizuki had suddenly stopped in the middle of the fight Lee could not guess, but now at least he and Naruto had time to come up with a plan…or so they thought.
“You know, even though I have been enjoying our time together, I’m afraid I can’t afford to waste any time on you.” Mizuki said lazily.
“If that’s how you feel, then why don’t you get down here and we’ll finish this!” Naruto yelled. “Maybe if you’re lucky I won’t kick in the nuts a thousand times in a row!”
“Oh, simple Naruto, always eager to through a punch at the slightest hint of an insult. But as I said, I cannot afford to waste my time with you anymore. I imagine the Leaf Village may have found out what happened about my ‘little’ abduction. So, while I really do relish is dancing around you, I’m afraid I cannot waste my time with you.” Mizuki then reached down and pulled off his gauntlets to the ground, revealing his that were covered in strange symbols. “So, if you two would be so kind, please hurry up…and DIE!”
In a flash, Mizuki weaved several hand signs together. His hands moved so fast, they were barely blurs to the Leaf Genin.
“Ninja Art: Erasing Darkness!” Mizuki called out.
Naruto quickly braced himself…but nothing happened.
Naruto scoffed. “Please tell me that was not your best shot, Mizuki? Cause if it is, it’s pathetic.”
But while Naruto was feeling high and mighty, Lee was looking anxiously around. He knew Mizuki was not making some kind of idle threat; if his jutsu had not activated right away, it meant that it had a delay effect. Just then, Lee noticed something was wrong with Mizuki’s shadow.
“Naruto, watch out!” Lee yelled, stopping Naruto’s rant at Mizuki.
“What’s wrong Lee? You seriously think a blow hard like Mizuki could possibly—”
“Naruto, it’s his shadow!”
Naruto looked down and watched as Mizuki’s began to extend, slowly. At first, Naruto could not see what was wrong; but then he took a closer look and his face went pale. Everything within Mizuki’s shadow was disappearing. A section of the floor had already vanished, revealing the waters beneath.
“Naruto, snap out of it and move!” Lee yelled.
Naruto quickly shook his and came out of his bewilderment just in time; Mizuki’s shadow was moving faster and heading straight for him. Naruto moved out of the way as fast as he could; he managed to dodge the shadow with it getting only a small piece off Naruto’s orange jacket on his shoulder. Naruto put his hand on the hole and felt how seamless it was; if Naruto had been even grazed by that shadow it might have been the end of him.
Mizuki’s shadow kept going along the floor, when it suddenly stopped at the warehouse. It then suddenly retracted back to Mizuki, who had started on another set of hand signs. Naruto did not know what Mizuki was planning, but he knew he had to take the initiative.
“I won’t let you use another crazy jutsu, Mizuki!” Naruto yelled as he made his favorite hand sign. “Shadow Clone Jutsu!”
Over a hundred Naruto clones appeared and were about to charge Mizuki.
“Too late, fox brat,” Mizuki said as he finished the hand signs, “Water Style: Devouring Water Hydra Jutsu!”
Naruto watched in horror as a dozen serpent heads with hooked fangs sprung from the water revealed by Mizuki’s earlier jutsu. Each one of these heads shot forward, grabbing at Naruto clones and crushing them in each of its maw. In less than a minute, all of Naruto’s clones had been eliminated leaving only the real Naruto. One of the serpents’ heads shot forward so fast, Naruto was unable to dodge it. Naruto braced himself for the crushing to come—that’s when he heard Mizuki laughing manically
“Well, looks like this is the end, my young pain in the neck,” Mizuki chided, “I could say it was nice knowing you, but I would be lying. Now my beast, crush him to death…slowly!”
Naruto gritted his teeth as he felt the pressure of the serpent’s mouth come down on him. He struggled desperately, but the serpent’s grip was stronger than steel. Naruto soon found himself starting to fade out, when he heard a voice call out.
“Leaf Soaring Dagger!”
Naruto suddenly felt the pressure disappear as he fell out of the air, limp. He then felt an arm wrap around his midriff as he was carried down to the ground. As his senses came to, Naruto could see Lee standing over him, his clothes soaked.
“Do not forget that I, Rock Lee, the Handsome Devil of the Leaf, am also your opponent,” Lee proclaimed as he took one of his famous Nice Guy poses, “As long as the two of us are fighting, we will overcome whatever challenges you throw at us!”
At first, Mizuki was flabbergasted, but he quickly came out it as he suddenly canceled the Water Hydra jutsu before he started to laugh like a madman again.
“Well, well, well, little Naruto actually has a real friend. I thought with his current host around, it would be impossible for him to make friends!”
“Host? What are you talking about?”
Mizuki made a mock gasp. “You mean you don’t know…the reason why all the grownups hate Naruto.”
Naruto quickly became aware of Mizuki’s intent and tried to yell at him, to get him to stop. But he could find his voice; although Lee had rescued, the Water Hydra had crushed him enough that he lost his voice.
“Why they tell their kids to avoid him and not play with him?” Mizuki continued.
Naruto tried frantically to get Lee to stop listening, but he was too weak to do anything. Little did any of them realize that there was another set of ears who was about hear Naruto’s horrid secret. While Mizuki had been busy fighting Naruto and Lee, the genjutsu he had placed on Hinata had started to fade. She was starting to wake up…
“You don’t know why many of the adults of the village even tried to kill Naruto…on more than several occasions.” Mizuki had continued with his speech, with Lee still watching and Naruto desperately trying to stop Lee from listening. “The truth is Naruto holds a great secret within himself. Tell me, are you familiar with the story of the Nine-Tailed Fox?”
“The beast that was defeated by the Fourth Hokage?” Lee asked.
“Well, yes, that is the ‘official’ story, but it is not the truth!”
Just then, Hinata had come around, though she was still a bit groggy, she could hear just fine. Though, she would later regret being able to hear the words that came from Mizuki’s mouth.
“The truth is…the Nine-Tailed Fox was sealed inside of Naruto!”
There were times when Hinata wished she could just shut her eyes, cover her ears, and pretend nothing bad was happening, like when her father yelled at her, when she was told she was a failure, or when she learned about her mother’s death. This was one of those times; ever since she met Naruto, Hinata held a deep admiration for him and his determination. But this revelation was something she found difficult to bear.
A cold silence held the room. No one dared speak for fear that this moment in time would end and the world would have to start again. Mizuki had a vile grin on his face while Naruto gritted his teeth and tears welled in his eyes; Lee seemed to be stunned as Mizuki’s words sank in. Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, Lee spoke…
“Is this true, Naruto?” Lee asked, “Was the Nine-Tailed Fox really sealed within you?”
Naruto took several deep struggled breaths before his head fell…in shame. “Yes, it’s true,” Naruto’s voice cracked as he tried to hold back his sobs.
Lee clenched his fists tight. “I see…this is just despicable!” Naruto was on the verge of breaking into tears, when… “How could you be so callous to such a brave hero, Mizuki!?”
Naruto’s head bolted up as he looked at Lee, who was pointing an accusing finger at Mizuki. As for Mizuki, he was just as shocked; he half expected him to turn on the boy after learning the truth.
“What do you mean, leotard boy,” Mizuki spat, “its just as it sounds. Naruto is nothing but a freak! He carries within him the beast that slaughtered hundreds of shinobi, including Iruka’s parents! Don’t you see that he is nothing but a beast?”
“You are wrong, Mizuki! Naruto is a hero! It is true that the Nine-Tailed Fox killed many, but if it were not for Naruto’s sacrifice we might all be dead! Say what you will about the Nine-Tailed Fox, but that is not Naruto! He is a Leaf Ninja and I will stand by him, no matter what you say!”
Mizuki was abhorred. He was certain that once people knew of Naruto’s secret, they would betray him; instead, it seemed to make Naruto a hero. Mizuki could not understand how Naruto inspired such loyalty. But Lee’s words did not just reach Mizuki’s ears; Hinata, whom they all thought was still asleep, had heard every word Lee said and realized how foolish she had been. She almost doubted the boy she loved and now realized that she was mistaken; Lee’s words had stirred something within her that allowed her to overcome the fear of her lover’s secret. As her newfound strength stirred within her, Hinata’s limbs started to move…
Mizuki, having failed to turn Lee against Naruto, shrugged his shoulders and snickered. “I don’t know how you do it, fox boy, but you somehow manage to inspire everyone you meet. Its absolutely sickening!”
“The only sickening thing around here is you, Mizuki!” Lee declared.
“That’s right!” Naruto said, finally finding his voice, “Whatever plans you had for Hinata and the village end here!”
Mizuki cackled. “If only you brats knew,” he whispered. “Well, seeing as how we have once again reached another impasse, I suppose we’ll just have to settle this the hard way.” Mizuki reached behind his cloak and pulled out another soldier’s pill. “I hope you boys are ready for round…because this time, I won’t show you any-”
Mizuki was unable to finish his rant as a massive palm was thrust at him, sending him flying through the air and colliding with the warehouse wall. He left a deep impression in the metal wall as he slowly slid down, blood dripping for him nose and few teeth missing from his mouth. Naruto and Lee were shocked as they looked to see Hinata, fully awake and breathing hard. Sweat dripped from her brow; Mizuki’s genjutsu was strong and required that she use any of her remaining strength to break it. Lee let out a sigh of relief seeing his friend finally awake and coming to their resuce, but Naruto was silent.
Concerned for Naruto, Hinata spoke, “Naru…to,” she said in between breaths, “are…you o…ka—”
Before she could finish, Naruto bound forward and buried himself in Hinata’s soft cheek, which was slowly turning a light crimson.
“You’re all right,” Naruto said as tears welled up in his eyes, “thank goodness…”
Hinata said nothing; she simply smiled and enjoyed the feeling of Naruto’s little body against her cheek. Lee smiled to see both of his friends so happy, though it quickly became apparent that not everyone in the room was happy…
“Oh man, you got to be kidding me,” Naruto and Hinata were brought out of their reverie by an annoyed Gamakichi, “you mean to tell me we went through all that trouble for nothing!”
Naruto released Hinata’s cheek and walked around to the other side while Hinata slowly rolled; Lee quickly followed. Gamakichi was sitting on the floor, a paintbrush by his feet and his arms crossed; Gamatatsu was just sitting with the same blank look on his face.
“I mean, come on, seriously? We risked our necks to help you out, Naruto, and you wind up not needing us at all? What was the point of even summoning us here in the first place?”
Naruto nervously grinned as he scratched the back of his head. “Sorry, guys, I had no idea Hinata was going to wake up.” Gamakichi did not look convinced. “But I do appreciate you guys helping us out, really…”
“Whatever, look can we just get out of here? The bad guy’s beaten, so I don’t think we need to stick around here anymore.”
“Good idea,” Naruto and Lee said.
“Um, Naruto, Lee?” Hinata said softly, “I’m afraid I can’t move my legs…”
“Why not?” Naruto asked.
“I…I think they’ve fallen asleep…”
“Oh, well we could rub them to get the blood flowing again,” Naruto said, without realizing what he was saying.
“NARUTO! That is totally inappropriate!” Lee exclaimed.
“What do you mean?” Naruto asked.
“I mean you can’t just go around…”
But while Lee was yelling at Naruto who embarrassed Hinata, they failed to notice that Mizuki was not as unconscious as they all thought. While Lee ranted, Mizuki reached over to one of gauntlets, flipped open a secret compartment, and pressed a button. This button made several boxes scatted around the warehouse beat; each one of these boxes was attached to a support beam of the warehouse. Neither the boys nor the toads saw or heard the boxes…but Hinata did. Without even using her Byakugan, Hinata knew something was wrong. Without a moment’s hesitation, Hinata scooped up both the boys and the toads bringing them to her chest and enveloping them.
Naruto was surprised. “Hinata, what are you—”
Naruto was quickly drowned out by a series of small explosions as the boxes each blew up and the warehouse roof came crashing down on top of them.
No one was sure how long it had been since the warehouse had collapsed, but once the dust settled there was no sign of life. The warehouse had been completely demolished.
All was quiet for a moment; then, a few pieces of the wreckage were pushed aside…giving Mizuki enough room to crawl out.
“Ah, well, that was interesting,” Mizuki, said as he dragged himself out, “I just hope my insurance covers this, hehehe…”
Mizuki was almost out when he felt someone grab the collar of his shirt and violently pull him out. He was then thrust back against a remaining section of the warehouse wall.
“Hello, Mizuki,” Kakashi said as he held the traitor down, “nice to see you again.”
“Kakashi Hatake, well I didn’t realize the village thought so highly of me,” Mizuki said smugly, “and you brought friends—Asuma, Guy, Kurenai, good to see again. If I had known they would send four jônin-level shinobi to apprehend little old me, I would’ve taken that pasty-faced, paled-eye princess sooner.”
Mizuki was then violently ripped from Kakashi’s grasp and thrown to the ground by Kurenai. “Listen here, you dirty bastard! If you’ve done anything to my student, I’ll torture so bad that Hell will seem like paradise.”
“Oh my, so touchy,” Mizuki chided, “you’re usually so calm Kurenai. Has your period come early?” Mizuki received a hard punch across the face. “Ah, that was a good one. And here I thought you were one of the ‘brainy’ ninja; guess you’ve got some muscle after all…”
Kurenai was about to slug Mizuki again, when Kakashi reached out and stopped her.
“That’s enough, Kurenai,” Kakashi said as he held Kurenai’s arm firmly, “I know you want to beat Mizuki to death, but we need him to talk. We have to find out what happened Naruto, Hinata, and Lee. If you care at all about your student, you’ll stop now.”
Kurenai took several deep breaths before she finally relaxed. “All right, Kakashi, you win. But if all we learn is that Hinata has been transported again, Mizuki won’t be the only one getting a beating…Kakashi!”
“Oooh, feisty! I bet you’re riot in the sack,” Mizuki received one final death glare from Kurenai before Kakashi lifted him to his feet.
“Okay, Mizuki, here’s how it’s going to work. I know you won’t give us the information willingly; I know you’ll just beat around the bushes. So I think I’ll just use my Sharingan to make you talk…”
“Heh, good luck with that. I think you’ll find I won’t be so easily persuaded.”
“And why is that?”
“Take a close look, Kakashi, and you may learn something.”
Normally, Kakashi would be more hesitant to get in close with a criminal, especially since his hands were free but Kakashi needed to understand what Mizuki meant. “Asuma, Guy, restrain Mizuki’s arms please.” The two jônin did as they were asked and restrained the criminal’s arms.
“Ooh, you guys like it rough, I’ll have to remember that,” Mizuki mocked.
“Zip it, Mizuki,” Asuma scolded.
Deciding to get this over with quickly, Kakashi reached into his pack and pull out a small flash light; an uncommon tool for a ninja, but necessary for the occasional uncommon circumstance.
“What’s with the flashlight Kakashi?” Guy asked.
“Just testing a hunch, Guy,” Kakashi said bluntly.
Kakashi turned it on and began to gently run the light across Mizuki’s eyes. After just three waves, Kakashi halted suddenly and gasped.
“You smug son of a—”
“Careful Kakashi, there’s a lady present. Besides, flattery will get you nowhere…”
“What’s the problem, Kakashi?” Asuma asked.
Kakashi sighed as he put the flashlight back in his pouch.
“Well, it seems our friend Mizuki is blind…” Kakashi said.
“What!? Are you sure?” Asuma said.
“Almost positive; the Hokage will have to examine him to confirm it, but he did not follow the light when I shined it right in his eyes. Why would you do this to yourself, Mizuki?”
“Well, I could tell you, but that would spoil all the fun. Besides, its not like I’m totally helpless; true I can’t see you anymore, but I can sense you. Right now, you all appear as different blobs of chakra to me. Quite handy, especially when you are fighting a couple of genin in a dimly lit warehouse.”
“What did you just say?” Kurenai asked.
“Oh yeah, you guys missed all the action. It was intense, brutal, suspenseful; heh, maybe after all this is over I can get the movie rights…”
“Where are they?” Kakashi asked frankly.
“Sorry, you just missed them,” Mizuki said.
Kurenai’s eyes blazed with sudden rage. “You son of a—”
“Oh, relax, Kurenai, it’s not what you think,” Mizuki teased, “the giant princess saved her four would-be rescuers by smothering them and shielding them from the rubble. When everything finally stopped collapsing, she stood up and out of the wreckage, then proceeded to make her way towards the Leaf Village…”
“Wait a minute, what do you mean ‘four’ rescuers? I thought only Naruto and Lee were sent through?” Asuma asked.
“Oh, Naruto summoned a pair of minute toads halfway into our battle. He was hoping they would change the symbols on the teleporting circle to send Hinata back to the village. Turns out he didn’t need them at all…”
“I see…well, at least they are all safe,” Kakashi said.
“So what are we going to do with this traitor?” Guy asked.
“We need to take him back to the Leaf Village,” Kakashi said bluntly.
“What? Are you insane, Kakashi?” Kurenai exclaimed, “After everything this bastard has done, we should just kill him right now!”
“Believe me, Kurenai, after all the grief he’s put us through, nothing would please me more. But the Hokage wants him interrogated; his little organization is still active and we have no idea what their plans are. With Mizuki in custody, we may get some answers; so, unfortunately, for now he is not to be harmed.”
“Ah, Kakashi, I didn’t think you cared…” Mizuki said.
“Oh, shut up,” Asuma said as he delivered a swift chop to the back of Mizuki’s head, knocking him out.
“Asuma…” Kakashi scolded as he rolled his eyes.
“What, he’s not dead,” Asuma said, “besides, if someone didn’t do it, we’d have to listen to his nonsense all the way back. He’d drive us all crazy and…well, more than one of us would just love any excuse to kill him.”
Kakashi sighed. “Fine, let’s just get underway…”
Asuma and Guy pulled out rope from their packs and used it to restrain Mizuki’s arms and legs. Once their prisoner was contained, the four jônin prepared to head back to the village…and, with luck, run into a giant kunoichi on their way back.
A forest outside the Land of Waves…
Everything was peaceful in the forest; birds sang while animals went about the usual business. But the peace of the forest was interrupted when the area suddenly trembled. At that moment, everything just stopped as the animals waited for what would come next. Another tremor soon followed, then another, and another; each one grew louder and louder. The animals knew right away that these tremors were actually footsteps of a very large creature. Realizing they were most likely in danger, all the animals ran and hid, hoping that whatever was coming would just pass by.
Suddenly, the trees were pushed aside as a massive figure walked through them; this figure even caused a few of the trees to fall. The giant that had been approaching was Hinata, the giant kunoichi, carrying Naruto Uzumaki, Rock Lee, and the two toad brothers on her shoulders.
Mizuki had attempted to bury them all in the rubble of his hideout. But thanks to Hinata’s quick thinking, she grabbed them and pulled them in close to her shielding from the falling debris. Once she was sure the hideout was done collapsing, he dug herself and the others out of the mess. Now they were on their way back home to the Hidden Leaf Village, with Hinata carrying all four of them on her shoulders. Naruto told Hinata she did not need to carry them home, but she insisted after putting them through so much trouble. It did not take much before caved in and accepted Hinata’s offer.
But the journey back to the Hidden Leaf Village was a rather quiet one; save for Hinata’s giant feet stomping as she walked. It had been a rather grueling battle and the two boys were a little exhausted from fighting Mizuki, but was not the reason for their silence. The silence was a result of the tension hanging in the air; the boys were unaware that Hinata had heard Mizuki reveal Naruto’s little secret during the fight and that she was wrestling with her emotions. It was true she still accepted and loved Naruto, but she could not understand why he had never told anyone, especially her. She almost felt betrayed and it was making things uneasy between them; both of the boys and even the toads had tried talking to her, but she remained quiet. They had been walking like this for over hour—they had arrived in an open field when Hinata came a sudden halt. The boys had to brace themselves in order to keep from falling off of Hinata.
“Hey, Hinata, what’s wrong?” Naruto asked. “Why’d you just stop like that?”
“I can’t stand it anymore…” Hinata said tensely.
“Can’t stand what? Walking back to the village?” Naruto tried to look at Hinata’s face, but it was too difficult. “Look, I know it can be a bit tedious carrying two boys—and two very annoying toads—”
“—back to the village; if you think we’re abusing you then we’ll just get there by ourselves and you can go at your own pace.”
“Ah, do we have to get off?” Gamakichi complained.
“Come on, guys, Hinata did save our lives. The least we can is—” Naruto was unable to finish as Hinata held up her giant hand in front of him.
“That’s not it, Naruto,” Hinata said, sounding almost depressed, “its something else altogether.” She then looked over at Lee. “Lee, I need to speak with Naruto alone for a few minutes. Could you please take the toads?”
“What, we can’t even stay to watch?” Gamakichi said.
“Come on, you two,” Lee said as he scooped up the two toads in his arms, “let’s give these two a moment alone.”
“But I wanna see what happens next,” Gamakichi complained as Lee scooped him and his brother up in his arms. He then leapt to the ground and went off into the forest.
At first things, everything was quiet; even the wind had died, like it meant to give Hinata the chance to speak. She was having trouble finding the right words to start and every second she delayed, Hinata could feel a lump forming in her throat with her eyes on the verge of tears.
“Hey, Hinata, what’s wrong?” Naruto asked. “Come on, you can tell me anything, you know that…”
“I-I know, Naruto,” Hinata said, her voice starting to crack.
As Hinata tried to speak and Naruto listened, they were completely unaware that Lee and the toads were actually watching them from the trees. Lee had sensed something was wrong and decided to stay close in case Naruto might need his help. But Lee was not the only one watching. On the other side of the woods, the four jônin had caught up the giantess, following her trail through the forest. They watched the scene unfold before them, wondering what Hinata was going to say.
“Hey Kakashi,” Asuma whispered, “you sure its right for us to spy on them like this? I mean, this seems like a private conversation; maybe we should just go on ahead and…”
But Kakashi was not listening; truthfully, he had a feeling he knew what Hinata was trying to talk about. And if he was right, this moment would either be beautiful and touching or ugly and cruel. If it turned out to be the latter, Kakashi needed to react quickly.
“Not just yet Asuma,” Kakashi whispered.
“N-Naruto, I need to know s-something,” Hinata tried to say, but a lump was starting to form in her throat, “…is-is it true?”
Naruto started to get worried. “Is what true?”
Nearby, Lee was watching the young couple, watching them both closely. He had promised to give the two of them some privacy, but he was concerned for them both.
“Hey Gamakichi, why are we still here?” Gamatatsu asked.
“Because, Gamatatsu, we’re here to help support a friend,” Gamakichi said, “plus, this is getting really juicy! I don’t want to miss it!”
Lee rolled his eyes at Gamakichi’s callousness. Just then, tears started to drip from Hinata’s eyes.
“What Mizuki…said…about you…” Hinata choked out, “about the Nine-Tailed Fox! Please tell me it isn’t true!”
Now the tears were pouring from Hinata’s eyes. She looked at Naruto, who had a stunned look on his pale face; he was hoping Hinata had heard that part, but she had. At first, Naruto did not know what to say, he just turned his head away, ashamed to look Hinata in the face. After what seemed like an eternity, Naruto found his voice though it only spoke softly.
“It-It’s true, Hinata,” Naruto said quietly, “The Nine-Tailed Fox…is sealed inside of me.” Hinata gasped, but Naruto did not seem to notice—he just kept talking. “It’s the reason…all the people of village hated me, hurt me, even tried to kill me. It’s the reason I never had friends…and wasn’t even told about it…because of some stupid law. It’s the reason I’ve been lonely before…and why it looks like I’ll be lonely a—”
Naruto suddenly found himself swept up in Hinata’s grasp. Lee took that as the signal to move.
“DO NOT FEAR, NARUTO! I’LL SAVE YOU!” Lee shouted as he came out from the trees, with Gamakichi and Gamatatsu on his heels.
“I don’t know why we’re even doin’ this! I mean, we’re just couple of toads; what can we do!?” Gamakichi said.
“Hey Gamakichi, if we’re trying to catch Naruto, shouldn’t we use a baseball glove or something?” Gamatatsu said.
Lee and Gamakichi fell and skidded on their faces when they heard Gamatatsu’s bad little joke.
“Gamatatsu! This is no time to making practical jokes!” Gamakichi started to scold when his brother when something happened that grabbed everyone’s attention…
Hinata was still crying…with her arms wrapped around, pressing him close to her chest.
“Oh, Naruto, I am…so…sorry,” Hinata wept, “You’ve been…you’ve been alone…for so long…and I did nothing! I am so sorry! Can you ever forgive me?”
At first, everything was quiet. The leaves just hung on their branches, the grass stood still, and even the wind seemed to stop. Everyone held his or her breaths, unable to say anything; it was as if time had stopped. No one was more stunned than Naruto; his voice had escaped him. He just laid against Hinata’s chest, letting the familiar warmth of Hinata’s body envelop him. For a moment, Naruto thought he had found heaven. After what seemed like an eternity, Naruto broke the silence with three little words…
It was about mid afternoon when Hinata—along with her four little passengers—closed in on the gates of the Hidden Leaf Village. They were less than a few meters away; Hinata had stayed off the main path to avoid being spotted. She did not need the whole village, or especially her father, finding out about her “little” problem. It had been rough going as the trees were had become thicker and thicker, making it tricky for Hinata to get through.
Hinata had come to a stop and moved the trees aside, trying to see the village without being seen. Thankfully, the only guards were at the gate, none were on the wall.
“There’s the village,” Naruto said, “now we just have to figure out how to get Hinata around to the cave without being seen.”
Lee sighed. “It would be easier if we could have found a way to return Hinata to normal when we were at Mizuki’s warehouse.”
Gamakichi yawned, breaking everyone’s concentration. “Well, you guys have fun with that. Me and Gamatatsu are gonna head home now, alright Gamatatsu?”
“Sure thing, Gamakichi,” Gamatatsu said. Just then, a look appeared on Gamatatsu’s face that looked like he had just remembered something. “Oh, hey, before I forget…” Gamatatsu then reached into his little coat and pulled out what looked like a silver scroll. “…I found this on the floor back at the warehouse. I think it fell out of that crazy guys pocket…”
Everyone’s jaw suddenly dropped.
“Gamatatsu! Why didn’t you tell us about this sooner?” Naruto yelled.
Gamatatsu simply said, “You didn’t ask…”
Even Gamakichi sighed; sometimes he could not believe he and Gamatatsu were brothers.
“Anyway, moving on,” Gamakichi said, quickly changing the subject, “we really need to get going, dad’s probably worried sick about us. Come on, Gamatatsu, toss that scroll over to Naruto and let’s get going. My belly’s aching!”
“You got it, Gamakichi,” Gamatatsu tossed scroll over to Naruto, “there you go, Naruto. Hope it helps; see around, buddy.”
And with that, the two toads disappeared in puffs of smoke.
“Well, that was interesting…” Lee said, “Right, Naruto?”
Naruto was quiet; he could not find any good words to say. He just could not believe it; he could very well be holding cure for Hinata, a chance for her to normal again and a chance for them to be…it was just too good to be true.
“Naruto, are you okay?” Hinata asked gently.
Naruto snapped out of his reverie. “Huh? What? Uh, yeah I’m fine.” Naruto quickly looked over the scroll one more time. “It’s just…so hard to believe we have this. A cure for Hinata!”
Hinata was happy to see Naruto excited, but a part of her did not feel as excited as Naruto. All this time, her new height seemed like a curse, but she had been with Naruto the whole time. What if when she returned normal, her life returned to normal? She almost hoped that this part of her life could continue…
“Well, what are we waiting for?” Lee said as he suddenly jumped down off of Hinata’s shoulder, “let’s get her highness back to normal.”
“Ah, Lee, seriously?” Naruto exclaimed, “Really bad pun, dude.”
Lee started to rub his head. “Sorry, totally inappropriate. But, seriously, lets open that scroll up…and pray there is a cure for Hinata.”
“Right,” Naruto said as he too jumped off of Hinata’s shoulder. He then opened the scroll and began to look over its contents; at first, Naruto could not really make it out. But after reading a little more, Naruto found instructions very similar to those of the golden scroll, only the hand signs were different. “Okay… this looks like what we need.” Naruto then placed the scroll on the ground and cracked his knuckles. “All right Hinata, you ready?”
Hinata was silent for a few seconds; she wanted to say that she wanted to stay this way, that she wanted Naruto to take of her forever. But she knew that was her being selfish; so, with a slightly heavy heart, Hinata nodded. “Yes, I-I’m ready, Naruto?”
With Hinata’s approval, Naruto started to slowly do the hand signs. It took a while because Naruto had to keep looking back at the scroll for reference. Finally, when Naruto reached the last hand sign, he made the same special hand sign that was also mentioned in the golden scroll. Naruto felt his chakra flow out of him, so he knew he had activated the jutsu. Nothing seemed to happen at first—Hinata did not feel any different and the world still looked small to her—when suddenly, Hinata felt her body tingle. Just then, Hinata noticed that the trees were starting to get taller and taller. The ground was coming closer and closer to her, as were Naruto and Lee. Before knew it, she was standing at eye level with Naruto.
“All right, it worked!” Lee said excitedly. “She’s back to normal!”
Normal, that was not a good word to Hinata at that moment. If she were normal, that meant her life would be normal, too. She would be scolded by her father, hated by her clan, and worst of all, ignored by Naruto. As all of these thoughts entered her mind…Naruto leaned towards her and wrapped his lips around hers in a passionate kiss. To say Hinata was surprised would be an understatement; there was no to describe her feelings at that moment. All she could do was lean into the kiss and make it last.
Lee’s jaw dropped at what he saw. He could not believe Naruto was so brazen, but then again, this was Naruto. He quickly coughed, dispelling his surprise. “Uh, right…well, I’ll just be going now,” he laughed nervously, “I’ll, uh, just see you guys around…” And with that, Lee ran straight for the village.
Naruto and Hinata had no idea how long they had kissed, but when they finally parted, they still felt like they were both on air.
“Naruto, th-that was…” Hinata started to say.
“I know…” Naruto said modestly. He then shifted to Hinata’s side, his arm still on her shoulder. “Come on, Hinata, let’s go home.”
Hinata smiled as she leaned in on Naruto’s shoulder, happy and grateful that not all of her life was returning to normal.
Hidden Leaf Prison
It was dark and cold in the Hidden Leaf prison cells. All the prisoners there had been locked up for various crimes against the village and its civilians. All of these prisoners were miserable, but none were more miserable than three particular prisoners who were all sharing a cell.
“Man, I cannot believe this,” Goro said, lying on his prison bed.
“I know,” Ko said, “All that planning…for nothing.”
Sai scoffed. “It certainly does not help that the ‘mastermind’ behind all of this is locked up like the rest of us.”
Mizuki was in the cell right next to the trio. He did not respond immediately to Sai’s rude comment, he just sat there swinging a kunai knife he had smuggled in between his fingers.
“My dear Sai, so little faith in my plan…”
“Oh yeah, your plan was brilliant,” Sai mocked, “I can just see our grand conquest of the Hidden Leaf Village happening right from our cozy prison cells. So tell me, oh great master, what’s the next brilliant part of your plan; chewing through the bars?”
“For once, Sai, I completely agree with you,” Ko said, “to be blunt, this whole plan was a crock. I should’ve realized this plan was doomed the minute that first test subject failed.”
Mizuki just snickered. “Oh ye of little faith…the plan is going perfectly, better than I had even hoped. Trust me, gentlemen, everything is going according to plan.” Mizuki suddenly grabbed the kunai and threw it at the wall, driving it into a carving he had made of Naruto. “And before, this whole village will begging, on its hands and knees, to be saved from the depths of hell…”