Chapter 10: The Dark Beginnings
Ninja Academy | Konohagakure no Sato
After all the teams were announced, one by one various Jōnin entered the class and left with their assigned teams.
Naruto watched everything with mild interest, it was clear that most of the Jōnin assigned to teach the students were elite, to make sure the new generation is able to completely manifest their talents.
Not that many of them were talented, but some did seem to have a future as ninja.
Naruto's gaze once again swept through the remaining crowd. He made sure to pay extra attention to those who appeared to be strong, and try to find any weakness.
Their mother, Kushina, had told them that Sarutobi was getting more and more annoying by the day. And council was not improving at all. If this kept going the way it is now, they won't have to stay in Konoha for long.
When that day comes, every Konoha-nin will become their enemy, and it's always a good thing to know your enemy.
Another reason to know them would be to find anyone who might be a good spy for them, but that was what Kasumi was there for, as she already had many people in the village completely infatuated with her.
He noticed the bug user; Shino seemed to be the most dangerous of the group. He had purposefully scored lower than his capabilities in the test, for what reason Naruto didn't know, and didn't really care.
Another interesting one was the shadow user, Shikamaru. He did a good job hiding his true capabilities, but slipped up when the teams were announced. Showing he had intelligence beyond most in their age group.
Kushina had told them that the most dangerous enemy on the battlefield were the thinkers – like the shadow user. They didn't need to be stronger than you to kill you, they just needed to outsmart you.
A genius like Shikamaru might one day be able to pull even an S-rank ninja to his death, even though Shikamaru himself couldn't put up much of a fight in close combat.
Other than that he didn't really notice any real challenges, so he glanced back at Kasumi.
Kasumi was nervous; her mother had asked her to make sure she plants at least one spy in the village before they have to leave the village.
Kushina herself would be able to use Mikoto for that purpose. Mikoto was a retired jōnin, and while an Uchiha she never managed to activate her Sharingan. Most people didn't pay much attention to her. She was just another normal citizen after retirement. The most attention she got was when she was looked upon as the 'The last Uchiha's Mother'.
It seemed people didn't consider someone without a sharingan as an Uchiha, so she would be able to pick up information that general populace knew. Nothing more than that. But Kasumi had to do the tougher job, she had to make sure her spy had access to the higher levels of information.
She couldn't really think of anyone like that, except Hinata. Hinata was a love-sick puppy for Kasumi and her family. She knew it, but didn't respond to her more subtle advances.
The shy Hyūga heiress was perfect for their plan, she hated her own clan, didn't have much love for the village either, and was hopelessly in love with her and Naruto. But what bothered Kasumi most was that Hinata was still loyal to Konoha. Maybe not as much to her clan, but to Konoha. She would have to make sure that her loyalty to Kasumi was more than that to Konoha.
Sighing, she made her choice. Hinata was going to be their second spy, it was needed to make sure Konoha doesn't surprise them in the future. Now she will just have to think of a way to increase Hinata's loyalty towards them, and reduce it towards Konoha.
Kasumi frowned a bit as she gazed through the now thinned crowd of students. A lot of them were obsessed with her, but she didn't think any were dependable. Ami was a considerable choice too, but she didn't have access to information like the Hyūga heiress.
She decided to approach Hinata about the subject this evening. It probably won't be easy to convince her to potentially betray the village, but Kasumi was sure she could do it.
A female jōnin with ruby red eyes entered the room and called for team eight. Kasumi noticed the woman she identified as Kurenai, had a curious gaze upon herself. 'Probably she knows about Hinata's crush on me, and is analyzing me to find out what kind of influence I have over her student? I will need to be careful about her. She is going be my spy's teacher; I don't need her to suspect anything.'
Meanwhile Natsumi was lost in her own thoughts about how to approach Naruto on including her in his relationship with Kasumi.
'Lets see, I love them both, and Kasumi loves us both too. Naruto loves Kasumi, but what about me? That's the problem, I need to find out if he loves me too...'
She continued thinking of various ways in which she can find out Naruto's feelings for her and how he would respond to her unusual request...
Two Hours Later
By now, only six people were left in the room. Sasuke was brooding as usual, and Sakura was trying to get him to notice her. Kasumi noticed Ami was looking at her curiously, before she started approaching her.
Kasumi mentally panicked a bit, but kept a calm facade. 'I hope she doesn't know it was me in the forest. Last thing we need is for everyone to start blaming us for stealing the Sharingan or something like that…'
Ami stopped upon reaching Kasumi's seat, Kasumi appeared to be perfectly calm on the outside, but inwardly she was berating herself for playing hero in the forest.
Ami hesitated a moment, before getting a control on her nerves. "Hello, I'm Ami. I noticed we never talked to each other even though we were in the same class."
Kasumi mentally gave a sigh of relief when Ami blushed while speaking. 'Good, she is still obsessed with me. Even if she knows she won't tell anyone.'
She considered telling her to fuck off, like she usually does to the admirers who grow too bold. But then the thought of Ami ratting out her secret stopped that line of thought. 'I can at least be civil.'
"Kasumi Uzumaki, nice to meet you."
Ami's eyes lit up when Kasumi responded. She had half expected to be ignored, like everyone else – but it seemed lady luck was on her side today. So she decided that she better make the most out of her situation. "W-well, I was wondering if you had anything to do this evening. Me and some of my friends are going to celebrate our graduation. It would be great if you could come!"
Kasumi frowned a bit, but didn't think twice before denying. "No thanks. I am not the most social person, big celebrations are not my kind of thing."
Kasumi hated large crowds and gatherings. People were like sheep there, if one of them starts shouting something the rest start following. If Naruto or herself are anywhere near big groups of people then it will only bring trouble.
It wasn't that she couldn't handle a few mobs trying to rape or kidnap her, she just didn't want to attract too much attention to herself.
"Oh, how about we have a small celebration then, just the two of us. And anyone else you want to bring?" Ami was growing bold, slowly but surely. 'It was probably Kasumi-chan who saved me yesterday, if so then she must at least like me little bit. That means I have a chance!'
Kasumi thought about it. She didn't really care who had a crush on her. She just couldn't think of anyone other than Naruto romantically.
Natsumi came close to that, but not quite. If she had to she would still say that they only had sisterly love in between them. Naruto was her life partner though, she would willingly give her life for any of her family, but Naruto was special for her.
She couldn't really tell how he was different to her than her mother or sister, he just was. If she went out with Ami, she could explore the potential possibility of another spy, as a back up for anything Mikoto or Hinata had missed.
'Don't really see anything to lose here' she thought. "Fine, meet me outside Uzumaki Compound at five, I will bring another girl with me."
Ami nearly fainted in shock, despite all the convincing herself, she had never expected her requested to be really accepted. She had hoped, but for it to actually happen! 'YES!'
"Thank you so much! I will be there right on time!"
Kasumi gave her a small smile before shooing her away. Ami grinned as she walked back to her team just as the door to the room opened. Nothing could wipe that grin off her face.
"Dobe, I suggest you stay away from her, she is my bitch. I don't want her to be influenced by your weakness."
'Well nothing other than the emo-king himself...' she thought wryly.
No one responded to the Uchiha. Ami because she didn't care about what anyone else thought about it anymore, the Uzumaki were used to ignore everything around them, and Sakura was having a mental orgasm thinking Sasuke was saying that for her.
A few minutes later
Kakashi entered and took in the presence of the six graduates.
The Uchiha had a lot of potential, he will make a good student. The Haruno had quite some potential too, if only she could grow out of her fan-girl stage. Not that he will try to get her out of it, he didn't care enough.
The civilian girl was a wild card. She didn't have prodigy like talent, but she was quite good with weapons from what he heard. Her score was seventh highest – behind the three Uzumaki, Uchiha, Hyūga and the Aburame. Pretty good, but not something to boast about. He would have to explore her talents, if he ever got the time for it.
He was quite curious when he noticed the other three. His gaze fell upon Kasumi's long legs and he mentally sighed in relief that no one could see his small nosebleed thanks to his mask.
'Kushina-sama is never late to anything unless it can't be avoided. Why are these three still here?'
Despite how much he had tried, Sandaime refused to let him have any Uzumaki on team seven. He knew that they were his sensei's children as he was aware of the relationship between Minato and Kushina, but couldn't teach them anything…
He didn't understand why he couldn't get Kasumi instead of Ami till he was told of the council's decision. He mentally frowned when he thought about any assassination attempts the council might try on his sensei's family.
He hadn't really paid much attention to any of them, he was a busy man after all. He had his porn to read, memorial stone to stare at, and a lot of other things. 'Kushina-sama doesn't let me near them, as she still hasn't forgiven sensei for what he did. But sooner or later her hatred will wither with time.
Then I will repay your debt sensei, by being of some use to them. It helps that all three female Uzumaki's are super hot!
NO, mustn't think perverted about sensei's wife! But the girls are still hot…'
Some more blood dribbled down his nose and he drooled a bit, but all that was hidden by his mask. "Yo! I am Hatake Kakashi, Team Seven meet me on the roof." He poofed into smoke after that.
Naruto had noticed Kakashi's eye trailing up and down Kasumi's bare legs, for a brief few seconds before he managed to control himself. He was tempted to gauge his eye out, but he had to admit it was difficult to resist staring at them. Especially after you have been between them.
After team seven left to meet their sensei, only the three Uzumaki were left in the class. Naruto was getting worried, so he decided to ask his sisters about it. "Why do you think Kaa-chan hasn't arrived yet, it isn't like her to be this late?"
"I-I don't know, Onii-chan. I am getting worried myself." Kasumi answered with confusion in her voice, along with some worry.
"Don't worry, I am sure she will be here soon. We all know how strong she is." Natsumi reassured them, but inwardly she was wondering the same thing herself.
Thirty minutes later
A small whirlpool of water appeared in front of the siblings, bringing smiles to their faces. But when it cleared they panicked.
"Kaa-chan! What happened to you!" Natsumi jumped out of her seat, and began healing Kushina's wounds.
She looked pretty beaten up. Lots of cuts and bruises all over her, some of her clothes were torn too. "Don't worry I'm fine. I am already regenerating so don't waste too much chakra healing me Natsu-chan.
Let's go to the compound, I will explain everything when we get there."
None of them questioned her as she grabbed them to Shunshin out of there.
A few minutes later | Uzumaki Compound
"Alright, here is what happened; I want you all to pay close attention.
After I convinced Sarutobi to get you three under my tutelage, I left on my last solo S-ranked mission, after which I was going to be on missions with you three only.
Each S-ranked mission has a pay of more than one million ryō and I wanted to collect as much money as possible before we have to leave the village…
After I was returning from my mission this morning, I was ambushed by an ANBU squad.
The attack was timed too well, so I know they were aware of my arrival before hand. That means directly or indirectly Sarutobi was involved. It could have been that some files got into wrong hands, but the risk is too high to ignore.
I want you all to stay on high-alert. We haven't done anything to arouse suspicion yet, but still they want me gone…"
All three siblings frowned at the new information. Kushina was pretty damn strong, but to be ambushed by four ANBU while tired from a mission? They were lucky she was alive.
"I could have been killed today, but I am too awesome to die yet." She grinned, hoping to lighten the mood.
Kasumi gave her a small smile, Naruto just nodded nervously while Natsumi continued healing her.
"Look, don't be too upset, I have good news too!"
The statement was met with three confused and hopeful glances. It was rare for them to get any kind of good news, so they were hoping it was something awesome, like everyone in Konoha died, except them of course.
"Well there was another reason I took this mission. It was in rice country.
Now I didn't tell this to Sandaime but Nina told me that Orochimaru has a village in the land of rice, and since he was interested in Natsumi I thought it would be good to check out my enemy's defenses.
My mission was to assassinate one of the nobles there, along with a few squads of ninja guarding him. I left one of them alive and when my mission was complete, tortured some information out of him."
"You mean you trained him?" Kasumi asked curiously.
Kushina's eyebrow twitched a few times. "You haven't seen what I can really do when I torture, your training is nothing compared to it."
Kasumi was suspicious if it was possible to torture someone worse than Kushina's 'training', but decided to trust her mother for now.
"What did you find out Kaa-chan?" Naruto inquired.
She gave a big happy smile before starting.
"Orochimaru is going to attack Konoha during the Chūnin exams. I was planning on letting the old monkey know about the attack at first, but the ambush today was the final straw for me. The man I tortured didn't know too much unfortunately, but this much is pretty nice to know too."
Kushina had tried to get any information on Orochimaru's plans regarding her daughter, but unfortunately that man didn't know about it. So he died.
"So what do we do?" Kasumi asked.
Kushina continued with a smirk, "When Orochimaru attacks the village, there will be a lot of confusion, and the leaf will become weak. No matter how strong Orochimaru has become, I have no doubt the attack will be repelled, leaf is the one of the strongest shinobi village for a reason.
But they will still suffer heavy losses. That will be our chance.
During the confusion and the weakened state of the village, we can make our escape. It will take them awhile to find out we are not here, then it will take them awhile more to get organized and send someone after us.
That should be enough for us to get away. Not to mention we can inflict some critical damage on them while escaping, to weaken them further."
"Where are we going to go? And what are we going to do once we leave?" Natsumi nervously asked. She had become accustomed to living in the Uzumaki compound and had started to see it as 'home'.
Of course her home was wherever her family was, but she was quite happy with how things were, except ninja trying to kill her family, the whole village cursing and glaring at them, and an S-rank ninja out for her blood…
"I have a friend in Mist, Mei Terumī. Her grandmother was one of the few loyal survivors of the branch Uzumaki family.
As I have told you before, the branch families of the Uzumaki were those families who didn't have our bloodline. Most of them had left and formed a new clan, the Senju. It was around the same time your great-grandfather and previous dragon summoner died. We suspect they were behind his death, but we don't have any proof.
Anyway they don't have our bloodline, and Mei's mother, who was the daughter of a branch Uzumaki took up her husband's name, Terumī. Her daughter Mei got the Lava release bloodline from their grandfather, and boil release bloodline from her father.
Mei and I didn't meet too many times, but we are still good friends. We first met on a mission when I was fifteen, and hit it off quite well. I am sure she will help us settle down there as freelance shinobi until we are able to setup enough infrastructures in Uzushiogakure to make a clan house again.
Further, even if we can't stay there for long I am sure I can convince Mei to train Naruto-kun in her two sub-elements."
"Did you just say Uzushiogakure?" all three of them gasped out.
"Oh yes, just think about it! We didn't really have too many people in our clan even when Uzushiogakure was flourishing. We were a small happy family, five hundred at most, with only around a hundred ninja.
But most of us were seal masters by the time we reached sixteen, so our clan was as powerful as any hidden village, if not more."
She paused as she tried to remember more. She was seven when Uzushiogakure was annihilated. Kushina was in Konoha at that time for a visit to her aunt Uzumaki Mito – Shodai's wife, or she would have been dead as well. Nina was the only one able to escape thanks to her all round vision of ten miles and superior skills.
"From what I managed to gather, Kiri-Kumo-Iwa attacked Uzushiogakure because they were afraid Uzumaki were going to directly aid Konoha in battle, which would have made Konoha's victory certain."
"But Kaa-chan, if Kiri was one of those who attacked Uzushiogakure, why are we going there?"
The three siblings knew that war promoted hatred. Whenever there was a war between two villages, people died. If a Kiri ninja dies at the hands of the Uzumaki, then his family and friends will probably hate the Uzumaki even if they knew Kiri attacked first. That was just how people's mind worked. When they are sad or angry, they look for something to direct their hatred at. It doesn't matter if the said something is at fault or not.
As if reading their thoughts, Kushina answered them. "Because at that time Kiri was under different rule, and followed different policies. After the bloodline purges my friend Mei became the new Mizukage, and she has changed Kiri for the better. The people don't blame Uzumaki for their losses, they blame the previous Mizukage for the bloodline civil war and the high amount of deaths during that time, including the ones in Uzushiogakure, as he was the Mizukage then as well."
The three nodded in understanding at that. The people found someone else to direct their hatred at, good.
"So you are friends with the new Mizukage?" Kasumi asked.
"Yeah, since we are going to be missing-nin from Konoha, no country would want to risk a war by taking us in. I have already talked to Mei about this, whenever we leave Konoha she will be able to arrange hands-off missions to us.
That means that those missions won't have any written records, and no one will know the Mizukage ordered them. But we will probably get paid more than a regular S-rank mission."
"That sounds awesome Kaa-chan!"
Kushina nodded at them. Getting out of Konoha permanently would be really refreshing. Even though they didn't care about them much, constant glaring and cursing from everyone in your village was depressing.
The high pay from the hands-off missions combined with the funds she had managed to gather during her time in Konoha will help them re-establish the Uzumaki compound in Uzushiogakure.
"Yeah, now that you all know what we are going to do, here is how we are going to do it.
Most people in Konoha don't know our true capabilities, even my own. While I have been a Konoha ANBU for a long time I always preferred working solo.
The technique that made me famous as the 'Whirlpool's Red Death' has never been witnessed by anyone alive till now except for a select few, and I've been lucky enough that they never revealed too much about it. I only use it when the enemy is real good, and usually I don't have any allies nearby.
Once I start performing it, I make sure the enemy dies to not be able to tell about it to anyone. It is a forbidden whirlpool technique after all. Maybe I will show you all some day, but I don't think any of you except Kasumi will be able to do it, no offense. Only she inherited my Uzumaki water affinity, thus her chances for it are the best."
All three of them looked a bit confused, so she elaborated. "You remember how Kasumi's chakra affinity test made the paper dissolve into water instead of making it wet? Well that shows she has extremely high water affinity. It happens every once a while in Uzumaki's. It's not a bloodline, it just happens.
But what made us Uzumaki feared was Fūinjutsu.
So you all should make sure that you are all seal master level at the minimum. You can consult myself or Nina-san regarding your studies whenever you get stuck. Otherwise just read from the new archives that Nina keeps writing."
She grimaced at that memory. Nina had been running herself to the ground trying to recreate all the lost scrolls on Fūinjutsu that the Uzumaki had. She had vast knowledge, as she had spent sixty years with Uzushio Fūinjutsu masters after all. But still, she spent almost her whole day in the library.
Kushina wanted Nina to have some fun too, but she couldn't put too much pressure on it. While Kushina was officially the clan head, Nina had more experience and was her senior, so Kushina knew she shouldn't interfere much when it comes to Nina's decisions.
Sensing her thoughts, Kasumi responded, "We will make sure Nina-san gets some rest from her work when she is teaching us Fūinjutsu."
Kushina smiled at her, somehow Kasumi was always able to figure out what each one of her family was thinking, most of the time.
"Don't worry Kaa-chan, we will work on it." Naruto assured her.
All of them were really hoping to get out of Konoha as soon as possible, Chūnin exams were in six months.
'Just six more months in this hell-hole, then we are going to be free!' all of them thought simultaneously.
Nagato, Yahiko, and Konan stood on the top floor of the Amekage tower, facing a man in orange mask with a swirl on it, and single eye-hole.
"Who are you, how did you get in here, and what do you want?" Yahiko demanded.
They had recently gotten rid of Sanshōuo no Hanzō about a week ago, and since then they have been trying their best to re-establish stability in the Rain country.
The figure seemed unaffected by all the killing intent that the three ninja in front of him were emitting. He responded in a calm tone. "I have come with a proposal that will aid you in achievement of peace. My name, is Uchiha Madara."
All three of them were shocked upon hearing his name. 'Uchiha Madara?'
"Uchiha Madara that battled Hashirama Senju, the first Hokage? But that's impossible, he is dead! And even if he was alive he would be extremely old, unlike you." Konan protested.
The masked man chuckled. "Foolish girl, these eyes of mine have reached a level of power that grants me eternal life. The Eternal Mangekyō Sharingan, final stage of the Uchiha dōjutsu.
I would explain more to you about myself, but I do not need to. What I want to know is, do you desire true peace?"
All three of them could feel unnatural power coming off the masked man, it was clear he was no normal ninja. They looked at each other before Yahiko responded. "Yes, but you are not the kind of person who would want such a thing, from what I have heard about you."
Madara responded with a careless wave of his hand. "Ah, the shinobi world is full of lies and deceit; you can never trust what you hear from others. I have lived too long, seen too many battles, and have grown too strong to bother with fighting now. All I want is peace." Madara lied expertly.
'Damn! I am such an awesome liar. I almost believed what I just said...' He thought in amusement.
"How can we believe you, and how do you plan on achieving peace anyway? It is not as easy as it sounds, you know." Nagato added suspiciously.
"Oh? You will just have to trust me, I suppose. What reason do I have to lie to you, I can easily kill you three without much effort."
Yahiko, Nagato and Konan stiffened at his words. If that man really was Uchiha Madara, he had decades to hone his already exceptional skills. They knew what he said was probably true.
"But you are needed for this world to be at peace." Madara added.
"If you are as strong as you say, what would someone like you need from us?" Yahiko asked curiously.
"You, kid" he pointed towards Nagato "are what I need to bring this world to peace. You can summon the king of hell statue thanks to your Rinnegan. I want to use that statue to be able to seal away all nine of the bijū, and then use their combined power to recreate the Jūbi!"
All three of them gasped sharply. 'Is he insane?' they thought.
"Are you mad! There is no Rikudō Sennin around here this time to stop the rampaging Jūbi! You will bring this world to its end!" Nagato shouted.
"And that is where you are wrong. I won't give Jūbi freedom. I will seal it away just like the Rikudō Sennin did, into myself and become its second Jinchūriki. Then I will use its power to bring this world to peace."
"That sounds suspiciously like an evil plan for world conquest to me. And how does that bring world peace exactly?" Yahiko demanded.
"Hmhmhm…. Tell me, why do you desire peace so much?" Madara asked them.
They thought about it for a while, before Nagato responded. "We have gone through too much pain during the wars, we don't want anyone else to suffer the same."
Madara nodded in acceptance of his reasoning. "Exactly, pain, that's what is needed to bring the world to peace. Unless people understand what true pain is, they can never understand true peace.
With the power of the Jūbi, I will show them what pain is. Some sacrifices will be needed along the way, but in the end, we will have our common goal, peace."
Having a basic idea of what he meant by his statement, and not liking it, Yahiko questioned. "What do you mean by you will 'show them what pain is'?"
"It won't be necessary. With the power granted to me by the Jūbi, I will be able to cast my ultimate illusion on the world through the moon. Everyone will be trapped in an illusion that is impossible to escape and never ends.
Through that I will make them forget their hatred!"
"That is not peace, that is merely an escape from reality!" Konan yelled furiously, interrupting Madara in the middle of his speech. She was a firm believer in peace through love, and what this man wanted was to trap the very reality in an illusion.
Nagato snorted. "Fool! You want to become Jūbi's Jinchūriki? You have the arrogance to compare yourself to the Rikudō Sennin? He is revered as the man to first understand the very nature of chakra itself! He was so powerful that he created the moon on his deathbed!
Think about it you idiot! He created the moon when he was dying! And that was right after he split up the goddamn Jūbi into nine parts. He made the Bijū, the moon, and effectively killed the Jūbi while he was DYING.
Do you see something strange there? Mine and your powers combined pale against a fraction of the his strength!
Not to mention that he was the best Fūinjutsu master to ever exist. He sealed the Jūbi into himself, without a soul sacrifice. The Yondaime, who was stronger than Hashirama Senju, who by the way kicked your ass – died when he sealed the Kyūbi.
The Sage was for all intents and purposes, no longer a human – but somewhat of a god.
Have you lost your mind thinking that something like what you are planning will happen like you want? To even attempt something like that will lead to the end of the world!"
The mysterious man's eyes flashed red for a moment, before he started chuckling again. "Kukuku, you are not what I expected Nagato. Don't underestimate yourself so much, you are an Uzumaki, descendant of the Rikudō."
"You think I will aid you into this madness?" Nagato asked with disbelief.
"You will do it."
Yahiko was not happy with the way this so claimed Uchiha Madara was trying to make them his pawns. "How about… no?"
"Hahaha… that was very amusing! Now lets get serious here. You have two choices, first is to do as I say and achieve your one true goal – world peace. The second is you die."
Before they could reject his offer again, he held up his hand as a signal to wait. "Before you make a hasty decision and die a useless death, I will let you have a day to think this through.
Why do you assume I won't be able to do it? I will admit I am not as strong as the Rikudō Sennin, but I am surely the strongest man alive right now. If there is anyone who can do it, it is I.
Your belief of bringing peace through love is a mere illusion. Love breeds hatred, and hatred breeds war.
Fear is the next best thing I can think of to bring true peace to the world, if my moon's eye plan does not succeed. We will be able to use the Jūbi's power to make the world feel pain, once they understand pain like you three, they will seek peace like you!
Think about this, you can bring the world to peace, this is your chance, will you take it?"
With that the masked man started to get sucked into an alternate dimension, and slowly vanished.
Yahiko sighed before his gaze fell on Nagato. Before he could speak up, Nagato interrupted him.
"Yahiko, I know how much you desire peace, but I have learned a few things from my family, one of them is to cherish those I love.
Even if what that man said was true and true peace could never be achieved without his plan, I would rather live in this world filled with hatred, devoid of peace – but with my friends and family.
You understand what his plan means, don't you? He will need Naruto-kun and Kasumi-chan. They will be used to recreate the Kyūbi, and later recreate the Jūbi.
I will not let him do that, do you hear me? Even if I die doing it, I will kill him!"
Konan hugged Nagato from behind, attempting to calm his anger. Nagato was kind, and quiet before he met Naruto. Then he became kind, cheerful and dedicated, even bolder in his own beliefs.
He was never angry, but when he was, it was never a good thing to be on his bad side. Right now he was furious.
Yahiko sighed. "Nagato, as much as I desire peace I can see a thousand problems with 'Madara's' plan, if he really is Madara. But we must think rationally here.
First of all, he gave us two choices, follow him or die. As much as I would love to say no without thinking, can we really fight him off if he is who he says he is?"
Nagato tried to calm himself before responding. "You have a point, but as I said I would rather die than follow him causing death of my family!"
"Yahiko…" Konan said in a sad tone, "I believe what Nagato said is right. True peace can only be achieved through understanding and love. Not how Madara wants it…"
Yahiko sighed in frustration. "Nagato, Konan – listen to me! If he is Uchiha Madara then he can most probably kill all three of us. We won't be of any use to your family or the world if we just die."
Nagato looked furiously at his best friend. "So you are saying we should just do as he says, no matter the consequences?"
"Are you even listening to what I am trying to say? Let's just consider what will happen depending on our choice.
If we deny him, we will probably die. On the other hand, if we accept, we can keep track of his movements from within his organization, weaken him from within, as well as possibly find out his true plans if he has any.
We can also discover any weakness he might have, and warn the other Uzumaki when he decides to go for the Kyūbi.
If all else fails, and he is able to capture the other eight Jinchūriki, or he finds out we are not loyal to him, then we will fight him with all our strength before he can get Naruto and Kasumi to not let him complete his plans. What do you say?"
Nagato thought about it, so did Konan. Yahiko's plan did make sense. What was the use of dying when you can help, even if you had to pretend to be on the other side?
The next day, they accepted the masked man's offer, who was all too happy for it. He didn't really care if the three Akatsuki leaders were loyal or not, if they tried to betray him he will just finish them off.
"I am glad you all understood my reasoning. Now we will have to recruit some strong members, as the Jinchūriki are often well protected and pretty strong too. I already have a few S-rank missing-nin planned out for our organization."
Playing along their roles, the three Akatsuki leaders Nagato, Yahiko and Konan nodded.
He smirked behind his mask. 'As much as I would like to take the Rinnegan for myself from you, Nagato – I still need a strong leader for this organization.
I am not ready to reveal myself to the world yet, but I will be soon…
If you had denied I would have been all too happy to finally get my hands on the Rinnegan, but for now you will serve me till your purpose ends, then I will take your eyes, with the Rinnegan and the Sharingan both at my command, I will be able to control Jūbi's power!'
Mentally all giddy at the thought of being as strong as the Rikudō Sennin, he left the Amekage tower, confident in his plans.
As soon as he was gone, Yahiko sighed in relief. "Well, now we are recruiting S-rank missing-nins…"
Konan grimaced. "I don't like this. Even our friends will get dragged into this. All of them maybe A-class, but some might not survive."
Nagato nodded but decided not to comment. This wasn't going to be easy, but this way they will know each of their enemies and their weakness. They were going to recruit them after all.
"Konan, send a paper butterfly with the news of this new development to Uzumaki compound, I want them to be prepared when the time comes."