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Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto.
A/N: From now on there will be less rewritten content in each chapter. I'm fairly satisfied with the first version of the 'Searching Arc' so it'll just be minor adjustments, and a few extra scenes, but nothing more. (Sigh) I really had intended to only update when I had finished rewriting the 'Searching Arc', but I'll just go ahead and put this one up, and the next tomorrow. The rest will come when they're done.
Arc 2 Searching. Chapter 02: Wave.
The next day, Naruto woke early. He found it interesting that he could still sleep. He was fairly certain that he didn't need to, but he had noticed quite a few things that he no longer needed to do and yet still could do.
As he had found out last night, he no longer needed to breathe. That didn't stop him from doing so however, it was something that he was used to doing and something that his Human Form was instinctively programmed to do.
And he supposed that that was what it came down to.
He was used to breathing, eating, drinking, sleeping and any other number of things. So, even though he no longer needed to doing those things, he just did.
Naruto got out of bed and tried to decide what to wear for the day.
He smile at the thought, the Namikaze were a rich family so technically he didn't have to worry about clothing. The truth however was that while his parents didn't prevent him from getting decent clothes, they just never took the time to do so. He had brought his ANBU style clothes at a discount ninja store because they were cheap, durable, and he wasn't overcharged. He had never owned any high quality outfits.
But that was the past! Now he could have clothes of any design he could possibly imagine. All he had to do was concentrate on what he wanted them to look like and feel like, then his youki would do the rest.
He had slept in a pair of white boxers. Simple, yet comfortable. He looked down at himself, his eyes drawn to the sizable bulge of his crotch, and frowned.
Like all growing boys he was… curious. In Konoha he had done his best to ignore his premature urges, and with the amount of studying he did that wasn't hard. He knew that, technically, he was still a bit too young, no matter how mentally developed he was. It wasn't rare for Shinobi and Kunoichi to be sexually active by the time they were fourteen, and since they were considered adults the moment they graduated it wasn't particularly frowned upon.
But Naruto had been having these urges since before he entered the Academy. He could still remember the attraction he had felt towards Mikoto, and even his own mother, and how awkward it had felt. Especially because, despite his interest, his body had been to young to even get an erection.
Of course, there had also been the little problem of everyone hating him. Even if he had tried, that would have made any sort of relationship unlikely.
But now, most of those problems were gone. Nobody knew him, so they had no reason to hate him. His body was aged to match his mind, so he had no reason to refrain…
He shook his head. He still had training to do. He was still just as young, his body change had pretty much made him a man, and there was no reason why he shouldn't make the most of it. But he still had priorities to stick to.
Besides, creating a long term or meaningful relationship would be hard, if not impossible. What with the whole 'Immortal Demon' thing. He would have to settle for short romances and one night stands. The idea didn't bother him too much but, honestly, it didn't really appeal to him either. He might have tried his luck with Tsunami, if it wasn't for the obvious affection between her and Kaiza.
He frowned as another thought crossed his mind.
Could he have children? That was another thing he hadn't thought to ask Kyuubi. Technically, his body could produce semen, so the answer would be yes. On the other hand, like the rest of his body it would be made of chakra so it may not…work.
Then again… Did he even want children? He wanted companionship… maybe… but he had never really wished for, or even thought of, having a family. Although… now that he did think about it… He pushed the thought aside, he would think about it later on in his existence, when and if it became an issue.
At first, after his Remoulding, he had only taken stock of his massively increased reserves and his improved physical strength. But more and more he was starting to take note of the little things. The details that he never really thought about.
For the first time it truly hit him. He really wasn't human anymore. He had know that, obviously. But it hadn't really clicked. Or maybe it had, and he was only now realising how much of a difference it actually made.
He took a deep calming breath, held it for a moment, and then let it out. He hadn't cared about being human before, so there was no reason to start caring about it now.
With another shake of his head he got back to his choice of clothes.
Well, since he could wear anything he wanted he might as well experiment until he found a style he liked. Conjuring up a mental image of what he wanted he smile in satisfaction as his boxers turned to a dark, almost black, copper colour. A hakama of the same colour appeared over his legs, along with a pouch for his scroll, and ending tucked into a pair of black boots on his feet. His chest was covered with a black long sleeved tight vest with a high collar and inbuilt mask that covered up to the top of his nose. Finally he wore a simple but sturdy jacket, like those Chunin that wore, but without the pockets, in the same dark copper colour.
He chuckled. The outfit looked a bit silly really, especially since it clashed with his pale yellow hair, but he decided to keep it anyway.
Tsunami had said that breakfast was at eight, which meant that he still had three hour before the morning meal. so he decided to get some training done and exited the house silently, leaving a note on the dining room table so they didn't think he had left without paying.
He walked casually down to the water front, enjoying the feel of the early morning breeze. When he got to his destination he stood for a moment and then sat down on a rock, deliberating on what training to do. With a shrug he decided to learn a new Ninjutsu.
He hadn't given the art of Ninjutsu much attention yet because of his other, more pressing, concerns. But now that he was out of the safety of Konoha, relatively speaking, he supposed that it would be a good idea to learn some.
First things first, he unsealed a wad of chakra paper that he had got from his father's office. His affinity had been a barely developed Wind Affinity the last time he checked, which had been quite impressive given his age. But now that he was a Demon, he wanted to find out if it had changed.
He channelled what was supposed to be a small amount of youki into the slip of paper and waited for the result, remembering that if it crumpled it would mean Lightning. If it burned it would mean Fire. If it dampened it would mean Water. If it turned to dust it would mean Earth. And if it split in half it would mean Wind.
A blast of white, mostly translucent youki lit up around the paper like a roaring flame. Naruto startled a bit at the amount but maintained it nonetheless. After a few seconds with no reaction his face contorted into a scowl. He threw the paper aside and picked up another. The result was equally disappointing.
Rather than try with another slip of paper, Naruto tried to understand what was going on. Everybody had a chakra affinity! He had read the instructions and the only reason for there not being a reaction was if his chakra coils weren't developed enough to have set into their definitive affinities. Which would equate to his youki stores being too small… definitely not his case, or too young… possible, but unlikely given his Remoulding and his new, nicely developed, body. Maybe it was the opposite, and his stores were now too big for the paper to work? Or maybe…
Naruto felt like slapping himself. Chakra affinities were hosted by the body! That meant that they were connected to his Physical Energy. Which in his case was now Nature Energy. And Nature didn't have an affinity for one element over another. It was a balance of all the elements.
If that was the case, then he would be able to use all five elements. He grinned. Things just kept getting better and better.
Naruto got out his scroll and unsealed five scrolls on basic elemental techniques, cussing slightly at the excessive amounts of youki he was expelling. He looked through the various jutsu and selected one of each type to work on.
For the Fire element he chose the Fire Release: Great Fireball. It was a C-rank jutsu that required the caster to inhale air, whilst moulding chakra in their lungs, and then blow it out as a large ball of fire. As a short range jutsu, it was mostly used to distract the opponent or to finish them off by catching them unawares. It was also frequently used by Hunter-Nin to dispose of dead bodies.
For the Wind element he chose Wind Release: Great Breakthrough. It was another C-rank jutsu where the caster had to inhale air whilst moulding chakra in their lungs, before exhaling a strong gust of wind. It was a short to mid range jutsu that caused mostly blunt force damage. It was often used to push back and divide opponents, or to clear away obstacles.
For the Lightning element he chose Lightning Release: Static Shock. It was a simple D-rank jutsu that required the caster to use chakra to charge the surface of their skin with static electricity. The charge was then released upon physical contact with the target. The jutsu was more of a distraction than an actual attack, because the shock, while distracting, didn't cause much damage.
For the Earth element he chose Earth Release: Underground Projection Fish. It was a C-rank jutsu where the caster used chakra to bend the soil around him so that he could move underground. It was classified as a supplementary jutsu and was mostly used to sneak up behind the enemy or to evade attack.
For the Water element he chose Water Release: Hidden Mist. It was a D-rank jutsu that was used to blanket the surrounding area in a chakra laced mist. The volume and density of the mist were controlled by the amount of chakra the user infused it with. It was also classified as a supplementary jutsu and was useful to nullify many Doujutsu, the only one that it couldn't fool was the Hyuuga's Byakugan.
Naruto frowned. Since his Demon Form didn't have hands with which to perform hand seals, Ninjutsu would only be usable in his Human Form.
His eyebrows rose. 'Unless I can master them to the point where I don't need to use hand seals… I've made Shadow Clones without using the seal before, why not the rest?'
He winced when he thought of the amount of training time that would require. He had been using the Shadow Clone Technique almost everyday for over two years before he managed to create one without hand seals. And the Shadow Clone only required one hand seal.
Hand seals were used to mould and direct chakra into a specific structure. To use a jutsu without them, Naruto would have to be able to recreate that structure instantly. It would be somewhat similar to muscle memory, only with his chakra system rather than his muscles.
Figuring that Fire was as good an element to start with as any, Naruto packed up the other scrolls and started to read the instructions. When he was sure that he had everything memorized he got to his feet and slowly went through the required hand seals.
"Horse - Snake - Ram - Monkey - Boar - Horse - Tiger."
When he got to the last he took a deep breath and held it for a moment, feeling the youki fill his lungs, and then released it all in one blow.
"Fire Release: Great Fireball!"
'Well! I guess I should be grateful that everything isn't going to be simple.'Naruto thought to himself. 'Otherwise my life would get very boring very fast.'
For the next two and a half hours before breakfast he kept working on the Fire Release: Great Fireball and slowly but surely he made progress. His main problem was getting accustomed to using Fire Chakra… Fire Youki, and not normal youki.
By the time his morning session came to an end, he could make a small fireball a couple of inches wide. Considering it was basically his first attempt at Ninjutsu, he was quite satisfied with his progress.
Packing the Fire scroll away he headed back to the Inn at a swift jog. When he got there breakfast was just starting.
"Good morning!" He greeted casually, getting a chorus of various salutations in return.
The table was well occupied. The whole family was up and ready to start their day.
Tazuna was a well built man who seemed to have a slight alcohol problem. From what Naruto had gathered he was a qualified bridge builder, but considering there weren't any bridges in the area the young Demon wasn't sure what the man actually did.
Tsunami was an attractive twenty five or so year old woman who took care of her son and father while catering to the occasional guest that stayed at the Inn.
Inari, well Inari was a kid. There wasn't much more to say.
As Tsunami placed a bowl of rice, some fish and some vegetables in front of him, Naruto's attention was drawn to the last, and unfamiliar, face.
"Uzumaki Naruto." He introduced himself. He had decided to use his mother's maiden name from now on. It would probably draw some attention from informed parties, since the Uzumaki Clan was known to be all but destroyed, but Naruto wasn't too worried about that. While it would be surprising that an Uzumaki popped up from seemingly nowhere, it wasn't implausible. On top of that, his physical changes were enough that nobody should make the connection between Uzumaki Naruto and the now 'dead' Namikaze Naruto.
The man nodded to him. "The name's Kaiza."
He was strongly built, as Naruto was beginning to suspect was the norm in the area, probably a manual labourer of some sort.
Naruto nodded back politely and began his meal. After a couple of minutes Kaiza spoke again.
"So, you're not from around here are you?"
The Uzumaki shook his head in the negative. "No, I'm not. I just recently left my previous home and now I'm…"
He paused in thought, swallowing his mouthful as he tried to find a way to define what he was doing. Was he travelling? No, travelling implied having a goal, a destination to reach, and Naruto hadn't even considered one yet. He had things to do, mostly training, learning to control the Chakra Acceleration, and generally learning to understand what it meant to be a Demon. But none of that was a goal.
No, if he had to put it into words he would say that he was…
Seeing the inquiring looks he was getting from the three adults he gave a shrug and started back on his food. He thought about Konoha and what it would be like to not live in a place where he bore the brunt of everyone's hatred.
"Searching for a new home perhaps…" He elaborated, talking to himself more than to the others.
He thought of his classmates, his sister and his parents. Maybe it would be nice to find people who cared about him.
He thought of Kyuubi, how she had helped him, kept him company and even helped set him free.
'…and maybe even love.'
He blinked at that thought, glad that he hadn't voiced it aloud. He was surprised at the idea, not only because of how absurd it sounded but because of how… right it sounded?
True, she was a centuries old Demon with immeasurable power who had probably forgotten more faces than he had ever seen. But in a few hundred years he would be able to say the same of himself. And he already knew that they got along well and were capable of living together. They had a decade of coexistence to prove that.
He put his chopsticks down next to his empty bowl and blinked himself out of his contemplative state. Either he had eaten very fast, or he had really been lost in thought.
He looked up and that, apparently, they had left him to his ponderings. He forced his thoughts back to the present and decided to mention something he had noticed yesterday when he was flying in his Demon Form.
He cleared his through to get their attention. "Yeah… So, I came to the Land of Waves because I heard that it had good connections to other places. Trade routes and such. Since I don't have a destination in mind I thought that I would just see where things led me…"
He gave a small bow as Tsunami took away his empty dishes.
"…But I was expecting there to be more boats and ships coming to and from the island. I haven't seen a single one yet."
Tazuna and Kaiza's expressions soured a bit at that comment. Then their eyes narrowed a little. Gato now controlled all ships to the island, so if Naruto was here it had to mean that Gato had allowed him to come. And that wasn't something that inspired their confidence.
"So how did you get to the island?" The younger of the two men asked cautiously.
Naruto blinked at the slight hostility in the question. "I… walked."
He couldn't very well say that he had turned into a giant winged serpent and flown around all day before deciding to land on their shores.
"You know, water walking!"
Their eyebrow rose at his answer.
"You're a ninja then are you?" Tazuna asked a little eagerly.
Naruto gave a soft 'hm' as he tapped his chin. "Not really. I have ninja training and I'm still working on improving my skills, but I don't have a village."
He finished with a dismissive shrug. Seeing that they didn't seem to want to explain the lack of ships, Naruto let it slide. He was curious but not enough to press the issue.
After breakfast Naruto went back to the water front and carried on with his jutsu practice, slowly making larger and larger fireballs. He was glad for his large reserves that allowed him to keep training all day without feeling a dent. He didn't even have to stop for lunch.
By the end of the day he could launch a two foot wide ball of fire.
The rest of the week went by in the same fashion. Each day being dedicated to learning a new jutsu, and Water Release: Hidden Mist soon enough he could perform all five with relative ease. However he still needed the hand seals for all but the and the Earth Release: Underground Projection Fish since, as supplementary jutsu, they were quite easy to perform without hand seals.
That weekend he decided to take a bit of a break and explore the village. He realised that he no longer needed to train at every possible moment, but it would probably take a while to get used to the fact. He was going to have to take the time to learn to actually Live. He hadn't yet been anywhere other than the Inn and the beach where he did his training, both of which were on the outskirts of the village, so he decided to go and see the sights.
He was sorely disappointed.
From what he had heard, the Land of Waves was quite prosperous. But as he walked through the village all he saw was a downtrodden community and dilapidated buildings.
Grocery stores were selling un-fresh goods. They weren't rotten, but they were far from what he had expected to find in a supposedly successful trading community. People were looking over their shoulders as they hurried up and down the street. Parents were shooing their children along in an attempt to make them walk faster. And there was an overhanging tension that seemed to obscure the otherwise sunny day.
Naruto wasn't an experienced Shinobi, but Wave was starting to look like what he imagined a village would look like after a bandit raid. The problem with that of course is that, being an island, the Land of Waves should be immune from bandits.
'Pirates maybe?'Naruto said to himself. 'They're rather rare in the Elemental Nations but it is possible.'
His curiosity piqued he started looking around for clues. 'No… If there had been a pirate attack there would be more damage. This looks more like there haven't been any new supplies in a while, and given the lack of ships in the area that may not be so surprising. The question is: why aren't there any ships?'
Remembering how guarded his hosts had become when he mentioned the matter, Naruto pondered whether it was worth investigating. He didn't want to draw attention to himself by asking awkward questions, but at the same time he knew that it was a bad idea to not find out about a situation that could be problematic.
The best course of action, he decided, was to use the Transformation Technique to change into a non-descript female, and then 'corner' someone and grill them for answers.
Ten minutes later Naruto was back at the beach, and he was more than just a little pissed.
He couldn't do a simple Transformation! One of the very first jutsu that he had learnt. In Konoha, it was a jutsu that he had mastered to the point of doing it without the required hand seals, and now he simply couldn't do it. That could only mean one thing: a total lack of youki control.
He had applied the Chakra Regulating Seal during his Remoulding to compensate for the massive increase in his reserves, which now that he thought about it was probably the only reason he had been able to perform the five jutsu that he had learnt this week, but it hadn't been nearly enough to keep a decent level of youki control.
It probably didn't help that his reserves had increased infinitely more than he had expected.
It was especially infuriating because it was so painfully obvious. He had been shedding youki like a mangy Inuzuka dog sheds fur. The Chakra Paper he had used to try and discover his affinities had lit up with miniature bonfire of youki. Youki had spilt all over the place when he unsealed things from his scroll. And, now that he thought about it, he had probably been using a whole lot more youki than necessary to launch his Ninjutsu.
He had thought he was doing well when he returned to his Human Form, resisting the temptation of power offered by the Demon Form. But he now realised that he had been giving in to the power of his Human Form too.
Facing the ocean, Naruto closed his eyes and focused on his youki. With the ease gained from his week of practice, he ran through the sequence of hand seals, drew a deep breath, and then spewed forth a good sized red hot fireball that travelled above the water surface, making steam boil up in its wake until it finally fizzled out twenty feet off shore.
Naruto snorted self-depreciatively. 'Yep! Massive youki wastage! With the amount I used the fireball should have been at least ten times bigger. Well that certainly explains why the Bijuu don't bother with Ninjutsu. With their lack of control they'd end up exhausting themselves trying to shape their youki into these 'delicate' ninja techniques. Not that it matters, from the books I've read and what Kyuubi told me they have incredibly destructive techniques of their own.'
He sighed. 'Still… I'm getting tired of all these setbacks. It'll probably be easier if I just start from scratch and make a comprehensive training plan. I'll have to work on control, obviously, and that will probably help with mastering the levels of the Chakra Accelerator. I need to make a habit of casting those Ninjutsu if I want to be able to do them without seals. I guess I should work on Kenjutsu and Taijutsu too, since I've grown quite a bit. This body might feel natural to me, but I'll have to get used to the longer limbs before I get into a serious fight. I should try and find out if I can improve my physical condition too. I've gotten stronger, but most mid-Chunin could probably match my current strength. Genjutsu is off for the moment since my control sucks. My further Fuinjutsu studies… will have to wait until…'
Naruto's eyes widened in realization. "Shadow Clones!"
He whispered reverently. "With my reserves as they are, I can create tons of them! My training time will be accelerated by years, if not decades. The only thing I'll have to train myself will be the physical part! Bwahaha!"
He clamped his jaw shut when he realized he was laughing manically, making a rather disturbing sight for anyone who might have happened to see him. Luckily for him nobody was in the area, so he wouldn't be labelled as a lunatic.
Nonetheless it was with barely restrained glee that he made the cross shaped hand seal and, with a very sizable amount of youki, muttered the jutsu.
There was an eruption of youki as smoke covered the entire beach. When it cleared, Naruto saw that he had created a good two hundred clones without really trying. He couldn't even feel the drain on his reserves!
The Clones were spread out on the beach, packed rather tightly because of their numbers, with some being knee deep in the salty water. He stood in thought for a moment before a slightly sadistic smirk stretched his lips and he thrust his hands forwards, summoning the two blades of his Tamashiiken.
Without so much as a warning he launched into the troop of clones, Fang slashing and stabbing at those closest to him while Tail whipped at those that were out of range. The clones hadn't been created with any directives in mind, so they were completely disorganized as he cleaved his way through them. Within minutes he was alone again, the smoke left from the last Clone's 'death' blowing away in the breeze.
'I was right.'Naruto reflected as he sifted through the memories of the fight, observing himself from different points of view. 'My Kenjutsu form was a bit… awkward. I'll have to run drills to get used to my new body. It's a good thing that muscle memory is transferred in the Clones' memory feedback!'
He dusted himself off happily. 'Well! Time to make a training plan!'
He plopped onto the sand and, using a finger, wrote down his ideas for his training schedule. Ten minutes later he got back up and created roughly four hundred clones. They would work in groups of fifty with each group assigned a specific task.
Five groups would work on Elemental Ninjutsu. They would first master the five jutsu he had already learnt and then, if they had time, move onto higher level ones.
One group would work on Kenjutsu. Their objective was to get his sword play back to his previous level of skill and fluidity, and then improve where they could. They would also have to work on his Tamashiiken abilities. Relearning how to coat Fang in the various poisons he could create and re-mastering the use of chakra strings to maneuver Tail, allowing him to curl and swerve the segmented blade at will.
Another group would work on Taijutsu. The members of this group would mostly be sparing with each other. Despite his, previously, impeccable Taijutsu and Kenjutsu forms Naruto had very little experience because he didn't have anyone to spar with. He had occasionally spared against a Shadow Clone, but until now he hadn't been able to create enough that he could afford to 'waste' them on spars. He had preferred to use them for extra studying.
Now however he had an abundance of sparring partners and, while they wouldn't provide much variety, they would help to correct eventual flaws in his style.
The last group had the most important job, as far as future development was concerned. An they had to use trial and error to reach their goal.
They were to work on youki control.
The problem was that none of the methods that Naruto had previously used would work for them anymore. Back in Konoha he had gone through the normal drills. He had started with sticking a leaf to his forehead. Then he had moved on to 'kunai balancing', 'Tree walking' and 'water walking'. These exercises served to both learn to control one's chakra and increase chakra stores.
The problem was that his stores didn't need increasing anymore since they were already 'maxed out', for lack of a better term. In his current state, if he were to try something as delicate as floating a leaf he would end up blasting it sky high or, more likely, shredding it.
Some of the Clones tried starting with 'water walking', but the smallest amount of youki that they could currently channel into their feet blasted the water away as if they had dropped a steel ball.
They finally solved their dilemma by working backwards. Reserves could be increased by balancing bigger and bigger objects so, rather than using a leaf, they did the floating exercise with the large rocks that could be found on the beach. Being heavier, they weren't launched away like leaves would be. When the clones got that down, they would move on to smaller and smaller rocks until they could perform the regular exercises.
This served to give Naruto a time frame for how long he would stay in the Land of Waves. He wouldn't be leaving until he could water walk again.
While his groups of Clones were busy, the original Naruto worked alternately on his physical training, the Chakra Accelerator and mastering his Human/Demon Transformation.
He did the physical training because he had long since learnt that it was one of the only things that Shadow Clones couldn't help with, and the Chakra Accelerator and Transformation because, for some reason, his Clones couldn't do those either.
With the plans for a weekend of rest all but forgotten, Naruto and his Clones set to work on the intensive training program.
Whenever a Clone was dispelled, whether voluntarily, accidentally or through youki exhaustion, Naruto would simply create more to pick up the slack. Due to his lack of control, this often resulted in a number of excess Clones, but rather than wasting them or putting more than fifty clones per group, he set them up with a number of more… intellectual projects.
Project number one was to try to understand why he could transform into a massive flying monster, but not change his general human appearance.
Project number two was to continue studying the scrolls and books in his collection. He may have copied everything he could get his hands on, but it was through thorough study that Naruto had reached his current level of knowledge. His ambition wasn't just to use Fuuinjutsu, it was understand it entirely. He didn't have a perfect memory, although it was pretty close thanks to all his time studying, but memorisation wasn't all that necessary when he had proper comprehension.
The Clones would score through the written knowledge at a steady rate and mentally dissect everything that he could put to use.
Project number three was to try to find out what's going on in the village. Since they still couldn't use Transformation Technique, that had seemed like an impossible task. They considered using the traditional method of make-up and disguises, but since they didn't have any the idea was quickly shot down. Luckily, one of the Clones working on project two came up with the solution.
It was one of the loose scrolls taken from Minato's office, which meant that Naruto hadn't even had to read it since it wasn't a copy. The scroll contain the 'details' of a technique which, surprisingly enough, was invented by Kasumi. The Sexy Technique. From what the notes said, it was a jutsu that she created while trying to learn the regular Transformation Technique. Rather than an illusion projected around the body, it was a solid transformation. It required considerably more chakra than the normal Transformation Technique, but it didn't require any chakra control. Which was perfect given Naruto's situation.
It didn't take long for the investigating Clones to get a good idea of what was going on. The group had split up and trudged through various parts of town, using their enhanced hearing to eavesdrop on the hushed conversations of townsfolk.
Apparently, he was the source of the Land of Waves' pitiful state. He was a business tycoon, who had brought up all the shipping companies and now had the monopoly over what went in and out. That is to say… not a lot. From the lack of supplies and withering farmlands scattered across the island, it wasn't hard to deduce that Gato was purposefully starving the settlement.
What Naruto couldn't work out was, why? Even with his lack of knowledge in business dealing, it was obvious that Gato would make more profit by keeping the Land of Waves active. The amount of money he was loosing by having ships bypass the strategically located island had to be staggering.
Since they no longer stopped in Wave, each ship would have to take on more fuel, more water and more rations to be able to make the longer trips. That would mean that there would be less space for actual cargo. Crews would be more worn down by the long journey, making them less active and possibly even mutinous.
All in all, Naruto had the impression that Gato wasn't a very good businessman.
Some of the Clones had seen groups of thugs collecting 'taxes' from the villagers. The women were also subjected to leering, obscene remarks, and wandering hands. Thankfully for them, the thugs didn't seem to interested in taking it any further than that.
What confused Naruto was why nobody had interfered with the man's plans. But he came to the conclusion that Gato had probably paid off the right people and taken over slowly enough that it didn't draw attention. Naruto wasn't sure why the tyrant was isolating the island, but he had a nagging suspicion that it was so he could, eventually, have a safe location to conduct his less savoury businesses.
Slavery wasn't promoted or encouraged in the Elemental Nations, but there were very few countries that actually had laws against it. In fact most laws on the subject described how a person COULD be made a legal slave rather than that they couldn't.
Konoha, for example, had a number of these laws that allowed for the enslavement of prisoners of war into Clans. It was rarely used, but it was a way for the village to gain new Bloodline Limits.
As Naruto walked back to the Inn that night, leaving the groups of Clones behind to keep up the training, he tried to decide what to do.
He didn't want to become some sort of wandering saviour, but that didn't mean he couldn't help out from time to time. In this case the easiest solution was to kill Gato and his minions. The problem was, what would happen afterwards?
He didn't want to take over the business, but having a steady source of income would make things easier. Initially, he had figured that he could earn money by taking missions at low prices. That was what most missing-ninja did to make ends meet. Owning a percentage of the Gato Corporation however, would earn him more money in a week than missions could make him in half a year.
That night, after the evening meal, when Tsunami went upstairs to put Inari to bed as per usual. Naruto decided to broach the subject with the man of the household.
"Tazuna-san. I have a proposition for you."
The middle aged man blinked and gave a look of curiosity. "What kind of proposition?"
Naruto scratched the side of his head in thought. He couldn't see any need to be subtle, so why bother trying?
"I know about Gato and the trouble he's making for you." He stated simply. "I'm offering to 'take care' of him for you."
Tazuna paled slightly at the casual way the offer was given, especially considering the action that was being implied. But he knew that this could be a turning of the tables for his home town. If the young Ninja could do what he was offering… they would be free of Gato!
He looked shrewdly into Naruto's eyes.
"Say I was to accept your offer… What do you want in return?"
"Nothing much really." Naruto said. Getting raised eyebrows in response, he continued with his explanation.
"I might have just gone ahead and killed him if it wasn't for the fact that, with his death, his company will be in need of new management. I suppose that many of his immediate subordinates will need to be fired, and then the trade routes will have to be redirected so that they, once again, pass through the Land of Waves. There will be a lot of work to do to properly sort the whole thing out, and that's a responsibility that I do not wish to be saddled with.
"So my proposition is this: I'll kill him and all of his minions, so that they don't start raiding your town. I'll get the deeds to his businesses and then hand them over to you. You can then either take over yourself or find someone you trust who is more qualified to do so. In return, I'll get… Let's say five percent of the monthly company profits."
He hadn't really given the percentage much thought. He supposed that could ask for a lot more than five percent, but considering the amount of money the company would be making he didn't see the point. Why hoard away heaps of riches when he might not even need them?
Tazuna stared at him for a while, seemingly thinking it through, then agreed wholeheartedly.
Naruto left for his room, giving a nod and smile to Tsunami as he passed her on the stairs. He locked the door behind him and made a Clone with orders to pretend to go to bed. There may not be much point in having an alibi, but it did make for good practice. He then exited through the window, vanishing into the night.
Finding Gato's compound was easy. His investigator Clones just had to follow one of the groups of thugs as they returned from their 'tax collecting'. One of the Clones had dispelled so that the information would go back to Naruto. The others had stayed hidden so that they could scout out the defences and logistics of Gato's base.
When Naruto got there, he met up with some of the remaining Clones and prepared to attack.
The compound was situated on the East side of the island, facing the open ocean. It was in a small bay that sheltered it from rougher weather while giving good access to boats and ships.
A single vessel was anchored in this natural harbour. A large and rather luxurious yacht. Naruto could tell from a glance that it was probably Gato's personal one. It was roughly four hundred and sixty foot long. Shiny white, with dark tinted glass. It was obviously modern, with propellers rather than sails, and streamlined to give a perfect harmony of speed and comfort.
The compound was surprisingly well fortified. A high brick wall, crowned with barbed wire, was built in a three sided square around the bay, protecting it from land attacks. There was one entrance, with two high watchtowers on either side of it, each with roofed turrets, and a heavy iron gate sealing the compound off. Four more identical watchtowers rose from the wall, one at each corner.
On the inside, there were three large rectangular buildings that Naruto assumed were barracks, warehouses or a perhaps mixture of both. They were set side by side near the waterfront, offering an easy access to those loading or unloading cargo.
The last building was at the centre of the compound. It was a good sized mansion, built from white stone with thick double glazed windows and a slated roof. Next to it, there was a tiled patio and an average sized swimming pool.
There was a number of smaller building scattered in an orderly fashion around the compound, such as toilets, washrooms, an armoury…
All in all the compound looked like a cross between a fortified military camp and a holiday villa.
The memories from a dispelled Clone gave him a few hours worth of surveillance. Despite the impressive set up, the security in, and around, the compound left a lot to be desired.
The men on guard were half drunk and were paying little to no attention to their duties. They were obviously confident that they wouldn't be attacked, so they didn't feel the need to be prepared.
That was a failing that would cost them dearly.
With a quick signal, the rest of Naruto's investigator Clones dispelled, feeding him the memories of their observations.
His previous assessment was proven right. Since his Clones' arrival, there had been three rotations of guards, all of which had been dreadfully incompetent. The only note worthy activity of the day had been the arrival of a large cargo ship. It had set anchor for a few hours, during which it had been unloaded, before leaving. The cargo had consisted mostly of alcohol and food but also, much to Naruto's disgust, chained naked women.
The mansion was the best guarded area, but it was also out of bounds for most of the men. There were twenty of them inside and around it at all times, none of them drunk unless they wanted to end up on Gato's bad side. Gato was in there, although that had only been deduced from overheard conversation, since the man hadn't left the house all day. A selection of the unfortunate women had been led directly inside and hadn't yet been seen.
Naruto shock his head sadly. He didn't think that he cared much for human life. His isolation and mistreatment in Konoha, the books on Shinobi conditioning to squash emotions, and Kyuubi's own influence in his formative years had all conspired in such a way that, after a few days of working with the idea, it was quite easy to stop thinking of himself as a man. As a Ninja he wouldn't have given much value to human life, and as a Demon, would give it even less. He wouldn't go around randomly torturing or devouring people, as Demons were reputed to do… That would be stupid. But, if it came down to it, he wouldn't think twice about killing.
Just as he had barely spared a thought for the two Genin he had killed.
Rape, on the other hand, was something that Naruto found very distasteful. He supposed that he could understand its use to break a captured Kunoichi, or to breed a Bloodline Limit. But to rape a person in selfish and misguided search for pleasure was… pathetic. Even with his mounting desires and frustration, he would never consider such an act. He didn't care enough to go about hunting down rapists, but it would quash what little qualms he had in killing them.
The clones hadn't seen anything that would suggest Ninja presence, but Naruto hadn't really expected any. If there had been any Shinobi on the island they would have come to investigate the large emission of youki caused by his training regimen.
Naruto drew his Tamashiiken, ready for the assault. He paused for a moment in thought, and then created his attack force.
With a puff of smoke, eight teams of four Shadow Clones appeared in front of him. He could have created more, but he wanted to make a clean job of it. More clones would just get in each other's way.
With the teams lined up in front of him, he started issuing orders like a Jounin Commander. "Team 1, take the watchtowers on the north wall. Kill all the thugs inside and then occupy the towers, two Clones each, to keep an eye out for anyone trying to escape.
"Teams 2 and 3, same thing for the watchtowers on the south wall and the watchtowers by the gates respectively.
"Teams 4, 5 and 6, take the warehouses by the waterfront. Kill all the men and save as many of the women as possible. Then I want two Clones from each team to secure the warehouses and the women, keep them out of the way, the other two are to set out and search the rest of the camp.
"Team 7, standby to replace any destroyed Clones.
"Team 8, you'll be working with me on the mansion. Start from the ground floor and work you way up. Kill all the men and save the women, but tell them to stay put. I don't want them getting in the way. I'll be starting from the top and trying to find Gato. You all have his description, if you find him before I do, don't kill him. Go!"
The Clones sprang into action, following their creator's orders with single minded devotion.
Team 1 split into pairs which each took a tower. Like the original, the Clones' youki control wasn't back to the level it had been before the Remoulding. With the intensive training, however, they now had enough control to 'tree walk' for a few steps. That, combined with a high jump to get them started, was enough for them to reach the turret. Neither team encountered any resistance since both towers were unmanned.
They took up their stations to keep an eye out for fleeing thugs.
Team 2 proceeded in the same manner. A high jump and a few running steps up the vertical tower wall, before jumping into the turret.
In the left tower, the first Clone to jump into the turret landed on top of a guard, pushing him to the floor. With a quick stomp, the guard's neck was crushed under the Clone's boot, and with a slash from its copy of Fang, another guard's throat was cut open before he could react.
The second Clone jumped in behind the first and buried its fist in a man's chest, hitting hard enough for to crack his ribs. The man didn't even get a chance to cry out in pain before the Clone's copy of Fang was rammed into his forehead.
With their designated area cleared, the two Clones positioned themselves to keep watch.
The other pair from Team 2 encountered similar, end equally unchallenging resistance. They made short work of it and took up their posts.
The first pair of Clones from Team 3 found an empty turret. They took up their positions.
The second pair came upon two thugs having their way with one of the captured women. One was on his back on the floor and the other was kneeling, with the sobbing woman sandwiched between them. They were too lost in their activities to notice the arrival of the Clones. The kneeler died first, his neck broken and his head facing the wrong direction. The other side a second later, a hunting knife stuck between his eyes.
One of the Clones took up watch, while the other took care of the woman.
Since the ground in and around the compound was just grass and trampled earth, the remaining Teams had the perfect jutsu to bypass the walls.
They all acted with eerie synchronisation. "Earth Release: Underground Projection Fish!"
The twenty Clones sunk into the ground, each of them leaving only a small hole about the size of a coin behind.
Naruto gave a nod of satisfaction, but didn't wait around to watch. He jumped into the air and shifted into his Demon Form, but kept himself to a downscaled eight foot long version. He hadn't had much time to train it, so the transformation wasn't as fluid as he would have liked. He almost crashed back down before his wings appeared and he soared into the sky.
He circled the mansion from above, but couldn't detect where Gato's most likely position was. Not bothering with discretion, he dived down with his wings tucked to his sides. At the last moment he spread them out, to break his descent, and curved into a closed window.
The glass shattered around him as he shifted back to his Human Form. He crashed ungracefully into the opposite wall before getting to his feet, shards of glass spitting out of his body as it automatically repaired itself.
Naruto looked around. He had landed in an empty bedroom, probably a guest room. It was spacious, well furnished and tastefully decorated.
He walked to the door, opened it, and walked into the well lit corridor. He didn't bother sneaking since the breaking window was sure to have drawn attention. He hadn't planned for it, but it should also provide a good distraction for his Clones.
Naruto walked down the corridor, looking for clues to where the main Bedroom, which he assumed was where Gato would be at this time of night, could be.
A group of five guards skidded round the corner with their swords drawn. They were considerably cleaner than most of Gato's thugs. Their swords were well maintained, and they held them with some proficiently. They could almost pass off as samurai.
Naruto drew his blades from the places he had secured them on his hip and shoulder, and looked at the five men coldly. His Kenjutsu wasn't yet back to the level that he had come to demand of himself, but it was more than enough to deal with a group of failed samurai.
One of the things that Naruto liked about his Demon Form was its symbolism. It seemed to be modelled after a venomous seas snake, or sea serpent as he preferred to call them. The species that had caught his attention was one that, when hunting a large or dangerous creature, would lay in wait and draw its prey in. It would give no signs of resistance, letting the unwitting prey grow confident, and then, when the time was right, it would strike with precise ruthlessness, crushing with its powerful body and killing with its potent toxin. When it was hunting easy prey, however, it would simply kill and be done with it.
For Naruto, his time in Konoha had been like hunting a dangerous beast. It had been less a hunt for the kill than it had been a battle for survival and evolution, but the principles had remained the same. He had had to wait, and wait, and had only acted when the time was right. He could have escaped years ago if he had hurried things, but would just have likely ended up getting caught or killing himself.
By comparison, the five men in front of him were small fry, and, while he would strike them down with precision, he would not waste any time over them.
Naruto leapt forwards and used his longer blade to block a vertical slash from the first guard. The lower segments of the blade remain as they were, keeping the stalemate, while the higher segments separated, their joining cables extending to their limit.
With a curling motion worthy of its namesake, Tail wrapped around the guards neck and effortlessly sliced it off, leaving the head to topple to the carpeted floor.
As blood sprayed up against the ceiling, Naruto pressed forwards, calling Tail back to its straight form.
He focused on the composition of a fast acting poison and pumped youki into Fang. With his lack of youki control, it created a spew of sloppy purple substance that joined the blood that was now dripping back down to the floor. He paid no mind to the waste, however, and slammed the blade into the second guard's heart before pulling it back out again.
He weaved sideways to avoid a diagonal slash from the third guard, then ducked to avoid a horizontal one from the fourth.
Taking the opportunity, Naruto stabbed Tail through the fourth guard's belly, piercing his stomach and cutting his spine.
The second guard fell to the floor in a convulsing heap. The poison having spread from his heart to the rest of his body within seconds, killing him before the blood loss could even become an issue.
Naruto followed though by letting Tail's segments separate to their fullest, impaling the fifth guard who was standing behind the already skewered fourth. And, with another, almost elegant, curling motion, Tail coiled to the side and returned to its normal form, ripping open both men's mid-sections in the process.
The third guard stared agape at his dead comrades, shocked at the fast and brutal deaths. He was cut him in half from left hip to right shoulder before he could muster the sense to react.
Naruto sheathed Fang back on his left hip, fastened Tail on his right shoulder, and continued on his way. He absently noticed that two of his Clones from Team 5 had been destroyed.
Their team had taken the middle warehouse, and had found that it was used as a sleeping quarters. They had surfaced just outside the building, before sneaking in quite easily since there had been no guards. There were no bunks or beds, it seemed the men were expected to sleep directly on the floor. The inside was large enough to comfortably fit over a hundred men.
The heavy beat of music had drawn the attention of the four Clones to the far side of the warehouse. While most of the men had either been asleep or passed out from too much alcohol, some of them had still been dancing around, drinking, or having their way with the captured and abused women.
It had been a disgusting spectacle. Naruto, and subsequently his Clones, hadn't even thought of trying to save the women before they were touched. From the number, it was obvious that some of them had been in the compound prior to Naruto's arrival in the Land of Waves, but at least some of them could have been spared the traumatising experience. Although, going by the amount of fresh and not-so-fresh ejaculate in, on, and around them, he would have had to launch his attack several hours earlier.
The Clones hadn't wasted anymore time before acting. They had fanned out and launched numerous 'Fire Release: Great Fireballs' at the sleepers, killing almost all of them within less than a minute.
That minute had provided the partyers enough time to become aware of the threat, but most of them had been in such advanced states of inebriation that it had done them no good. Team 5 had cut into the men with their Tamashiiken copies, and it had only been through dumb luck and numbers that two of them had been destroyed.
Using youki did make the Shadow Clones more durable, but it still only took a few good hits to dispel them.
Naruto finished reviewing the Clones' memories and looked at the ostentatious door that he had just walked by. Unlike the rest of the mansion so far, it wasn't in good taste. The door itself was a beautiful piece of craftsmanship. High quality wood, intricate vine pattern carving, and a golden handle. Basically, it stuck out like a sore thumb.
Naruto sighed. "I guess this is where I'll find Gato then!"
He tried the handle but it was locked. There were no seals in view and, although that didn't mean that there weren't any, it did make it less likely.
He shrugged. "Chakra Accelerator: Level 1"
Naruto felt the surge of acceleration blaze through his body and took a step back.
"Let's see if this works."
He slammed his foot into the door and kicked it straight off its hinges. He blinked… it was just a normal door after all.
A snivelling voice reached his ears. "Wha… Who the hell are you?"
Naruto's eyes easily adjusted to the dark as he walked into the room. On the king sized four-poster bed, shakily clutching the duvet to his chest, was a short man with a greying mane of hair.
"Good evening Gato-san! Or, should I say… goodnight?"
The short man managed to regain some of his bluster and glared. "Who the hell are you? Do you have any idea who I am?"
Naruto disengaged his Chakra Accelerator and casually walked up to the side of the man's bed. "Gato-san, of Gato Corporation… Right? I know exactly who you are. In fact! I came looking for you."
He gave a moment for the information to sink in before proceeding.
Naruto had read a few books on interrogation and resisting interrogation. He had hoped that it would help him deal with the shit he had to put up with in Konoha. This would be the first time that he was on the other side of the table
"I'm going to kill you Gato-san. But before I do, I want you to sign over the deeds of everything you own."
Gato paled but remained defiant. "I'm not giving you anything! Get out of here right now and I might be generous enough to not send my men after you!"
Naruto sighed. He looked over to the mini-bar on the other side of the room and smirked when he saw a small salt shaker, probably for making cocktails.
A Clone appeared next to Naruto and grabbed hold of Gato, dragging him over to the mini-bar.
"What are you doing? Unhand me right now!"
The Clone placed Gato's hand palm down against the counter and forcefully fanned his fingers out.
Naruto walked around to the other side, taking the place that a barman would, and pulled the salt shaker over while simultaneously placing Fang on the bar.
"Like I said Gato-san, I'm going to kill you. But first I want you to sign everything over. Since I already plan to take everything you own, there's really nothing you can offer me to buy you way out of this situation. The only decision that you get to make, is how much I have to hurt you before you die."
Before the stumpy man could reply, Naruto picked up Fang and slammed it down on his left little finger, slicing effortlessly through flesh and bone and sending a small spurt of blood across the polished counter-top.
Both Naruto and his Clone blinked at the unmanly wail, but they soon got over the shock. Naruto popped the lid off of the shaker and mercilessly poured salt onto the bleeding stump.
They rolled their eyes. "This is getting ridiculous Gato-san! You sound like a slaughtered pig!"
It took almost five minutes for the business man to recover enough for the conversation to continue.
He looked at the original Naruto with bloodshot, tears stained eyes. "Please! I can give you money… women, anything you want!"
"You already know what I want Gato-san."
Seeing a glint of defiance in the man's eyes, Naruto tapped Fang's blade repeatedly against the next finger, but made sure not to cut it. "You only need your right hand to sign the documents Gato-san. That leaves me all of the fingers on your left hand and all of your toes to… 'play' with."
He nodded in satisfaction when he saw the defiance give way to horror. "If that's not enough to convince you, there will still be your ears, your nose, your tongue. Your blood loss will start to weigh on you by then, but I know a few healing techniques that should keep you going. If all that is still not enough, I will have to start taking off bigger bits. I don't need you walking anywhere, so maybe I'll take off your legs… Slice by slice."
Gato, who was now pale and shivering in fright, almost broke down crying. "Alright! I… Alright! I need the key from the drawer in my beside table."
After getting the key Gato led them into his vault, which was actually the next room. Despite having somewhat expected it, Naruto was amazed at the amount of riches that literally towered up to the ceiling. There were jewels, wads of cash and gold bars all pilled up. On one side there were a few scrolls that Naruto just knew he would be looking through later.
Gato walked over to a filing cabinet and started pulling out piles of thick portfolios which the Clone helped him carry over to the nearby desk.
The business man hesitated for a moment, but the sight of Fang being drawn was enough to send him into a frenzied rush of signing. With the amount of businesses that he had acquired, it took the better part of three hours to complete all the paperwork. Naruto had made sure that he was using his true signature by comparing it to earlier ones, so he was confident that there wouldn't be any trouble.
When the last document was signed, and before Gato could start begging for his life, Naruto ended it by snapping his neck.
He picked out a file that held the locations of all Gato's safe houses, where he stored many of his rarer goods, then turned to the Clone.
"I want you to pack up all of those files and take them to Tazuna-san. Sort everything out with him and set up an account to send the money to. Tell him that there's plenty of cash here, so Wave should be able to get back on track right away. They can have everything in this vault, I will have picked out what I want by the time they get here and the stuff from his safe houses will be more than enough for me."
He paused for a few seconds. "Tell him that I want to keep this compound for myself. I might want a place to call my own at some point, and this is as good as any. I'll also take Gato's yacht. Since I still can't 'water walk' properly it'll be useful."
The Clone smirked. "You just want to try sailing a boat."
He smirked back, but didn't deny the point. "When you're done, take everything there. I might as well have the documents with me when I travel."
The Clone left to fulfill its orders. And Naruto started going through the vault, looking for things he wanted to keep.
Fifteen minutes later Naruto walked out the front door of the mansion with a new section in his sealing scroll. In the end he had only taken the few rare scrolls and books from Gato's vault, he would go through them and sort them out later.
Outside, in a large open part of the compound, the Clones had finished hauling out the dead thugs' bodies and incinerating them with ample use of Fire jutsu. While there was no physical trace of the bodies left, the sheer amount that had been burnt had caused a foul stench of charred human flesh to linger in the air.
Towards the entrance, the eighteen remaining Clones from the assault teams were in a protective circle around the freed women. A quick estimate gave their numbers to be in the mid forties. Most of them were looking at the Clones with varying amounts of gratitude, but there was also a good deal of wariness. Although, whether that was because of seeing so many copies of the same person, or whether they had become generally mistrusting of men, Naruto wasn't sure.
When reached the area, one of the Clones stepped forwards.
"All the men are dead. There were about two hundred maybe two hundred and fifty in all. Only two of us were dispelled, but I guess you already knew that. We've questioned the women, and most of them are from Water Country. There's a civil war going on there and they were captured when their villages were raided by bandits. Some of them are from the Land of Sea. Apparently, their boat was attacked by some sort of sea monster. One of them described it as a huge living blob of water. The others are the one's who have been here the longest. They are from various places in the Elemental Nations, mostly from raided villages. But… I got the impression that one or two were actually sold by their families."
Naruto nodded at the report. "They've all been healed?"
The Clone nodded back. "We used Tsunade's seal. A few of them are probably going to need contraceptives though."
Naruto grimaced in distaste but moved on. "What about the buildings?"
Three more Clone stepped up next to the first. Naruto assumed that there was now a representative for each team.
"Team 4. The first warehouse was food storage. Loads of meat, a few piles of sacks of rice, some preserved vegetables, and a hell of a lot of cheap alcohol. There was also what seemed to be a makeshift cooking area just outside. A few spits and grills for the meat and a large hanging pot for the rice."
Naruto nodded and looked to the next Clone. This one spoke in a slightly softer voice, so that the group of women wouldn't overhear.
"Team 5. The middle warehouse was a sleeping/partying area. The women were kept chained in the back. You will have seen everything worth mentioning in the memories of the two Clones that were destroyed. We were reinforced by two members of Team 7, but by the time they arrived we had pretty much killed 'em all. After that we did as we were told. Two of us went to search the rest of the compound and the other two stayed with the women, we started healing them.
"The search didn't uncover anything much. There are a few speed boats in the water shed over there. The armory is stocked with rather cheap weapons, nothing that you would bother with. When we were sure that all the thugs had been killed we escorted the women out for some fresh air. Some of them hadn't been outside for any notable period of time in several months."
Naruto looked to the next Clone.
"Team 6. Our report is almost identical to Team 5's. The thugs were all passed out when we arrived so killing them was simple."
The last Clone reported without being prompted. "Team 8. The mansion was easy enough to clean out. With the distraction that you provided we caught most of the thugs from behind. We've already brought all the bodies out and burnt them. There were a few women, the ones it those maid outfits. They were in charge of Gato's meals and… other needs."
Naruto looked back at the group of women and noticed that there were a few of them dressed in maid outfits. Although, given how provocative the outfits were, they would probably be better off naked.
He stepped forwards, the four Clones moving aside to let him through, and addressed the women.
"Can I have your attention please! I know it's late and some of you might want to sleep, but I need some volunteers to cook for everyone. That means about fifty people. My Clones done what they could to heal you, but for the process to work properly your body will need nutrients. Please step forward if you feel up to it."
Not too surprisingly, it was the 'maids' that stepped forwards.
Naruto nodded to them in thanks. "If you need help carrying something ask the Clones, they can also show you where the food supplies are if you don't already know. You can use whatever you want, there's plenty to go around. When you've all eaten your fill you can take rooms in the mansion. I haven't counted them, but I think you might have to share. Two or three per room. Feel free to use the showers, baths, or any of the other commodities. Tomorrow, well see about what you want to do next."
Over the next week, Naruto left his Clone to take care of the paperwork with Tazuna. It turned out that the man was rather competent, having picked up how to manage a business as a freelance Engineer.
They organized it so that Gato's company, now renamed 'Wave Corporation', belonged to the people of the Land of Waves as a whole. There would be an elected manager to take care of things, with Tazuna being the first.
They set up an account for Naruto, where his share of the profits would be deposited two times per month.
Naruto had performed a raid on all of Gato's safe houses. There had been a few thugs guarding each of them, but they were easily dealt with. He had used his Demon Form to swim to the locations, since he still couldn't water walk, and flying would be too flashy.
He had heard the rumours going around town about the 'Winged Giant Sea Serpent', and he thought it best to stay a bit low key for a while. At least until his skills were good enough to fend off the inquisitive Ninja that such a tale was bound to attract.
The safe houses had held a lot more cash as well as a vast selection of jewellery and gems. He had been especially pleased with the large amount of chakra conductive metal that he had found in one of them, even though he couldn't imagine why Gato had squirreled away so much of the stuff.
The money from Gato's primary vault was enough to split between the villagers and the women he had freed, so Naruto didn't feel bad about keeping the rest for himself. Wave Corporation would soon be making more than the relatively small community could possibly need anyway.
Of course, Naruto didn't neglect his training. He was still using the group system he had established and had them working twenty four seven.
His swordplay and his mastery of his blades' abilities was back to normal except for some of the more delicate poisons that Fang could produce.
His Taijutsu was also back to a satisfying level, which was logical since it was simply a matter of getting used to his new body's dimensions, as well as his increased speed and strength.
His Ninjutsu was progressing nicely and, through mind-numbing repetition, he felt that he would soon be able to perform all of them without the use of seals.
He hadn't trained his Transformation between Forms as much as he would have liked, but he had made an interesting discovery when training to fully master the first level of the Chakra Accelerator. While his Shadow Clones were unable to use it, if he created a Clone while he was accelerated, the Clone would be also, making it both stronger and faster.
This led him to realise that, since he could use the Shadow Clone Technique without seals, he could create Clones of his Demon Form. He hadn't had the opportunity to do so in full size yet, but he just knew that it would be impressive!
Soon enough, all business was dealt with and Naruto saw no reason to prolong his stay in the Land of Waves.
Most of the women were going to stay. Having seen their families die during the raids that saw them enslaved, they had no reason to go back. The others, ten from the Land of Sea and four from Water Country, had decided to return home. And since Naruto now commanded a rather luxurious yacht, he had graciously offered to take them.
All in all his stay in the Land of Waves had been much more productive than he had anticipated.