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Chapter 05: Village Life and Chunin Exams.
Natsuko stretched her arms up above her head, rising on tip-toes and yawning in a decidedly unfeminine manner. Building was boring. She and her brother had swapped work locations, she was now in Lower Uzu building houses and he was in Upper Uzu doing…something…with the whirlpools.
Building houses, and other buildings, was a lot easier, and faster, with the use of thousands of shadow clones. But, while the massive work force pushed multitasking to the extreme, it didn't make the walls go up any faster. A wall could have only so many clones working on it at once. When that was done there was only so much space for them to work on the roof, the plumbing, the electrics, etc. yes, clones made things go faster but, as they say, Uzugakure wasn't built in a day.
Natsuko had helped for the first few hours, before she got too bored to continue and left. She had gone to one of the many underground training areas that Naruto had designed. The environment seal made it a mild climate and a large open stretch grass, it would self-repair which made it ideal for trying out the more destructive jutsu in her arsenal.
She was working on the Rasengan. Or, more importantly, Elemental Rasengan. She wasn't sure why she hadn't done so before since many of the techniques she had developed were vastly more complicated than 'spinning chakra'. Maybe it was because she had been having too much fun creating Lava Tigers, Wind Dragons and Heat Bunnies. That last one was surprisingly dangerous, a swarm of transparent bunny rabbits that look completely inoffensive but can give third degree burns with the slightest contact. But, deep down she knew that it was because it was her father's technique. A father that, like Naruto, she had grown to hate. She respected his choice to defend his Village but to her family was everything. If a Village had to be burnt to the ground to keep them safe then so be it. It was a slightly monstrous philosophy and one that was heavily influenced by Naruto. She knew that if she hadn't met her half-brother, banishment or not, she would have understood her father's plight and forgiven him. As it were, the last two members of the Uzumaki Clan were selfishly devoted to each other and they wouldn't have it any other way.
And therein lied the problem. Minato Namikaze had always intended to add Elemental Manipulation to the Rasengan, so for her to do so would be like completing his legacy. She had had the same problem with the Hiraishin and it was only Naruto's words of advice that convinced her to master the technique.
"A weapon is a weapon. It's the user that counts, not the one who made it."
Standing in the middle of the grassy expanse she lifted her right hand, fingers split and slightly cupped. In the past she would have charged up a Rasengan and tried to shove Elemental Chakra into it, but she now had experience on jutsu creation and knew it was always best to think things through before actually doing anything.
First she had to choose what type of chakra she was going to use. Her nickname of 'Burning Wave' meant either Lava or Heat and, with a mental coin toss, she decided on starting with Heat. The actual creation of a Rasengan with Heat Chakra wouldn't be difficult. In fact she already knew that she could do it. The hard part was anticipating the effects.
The normal Rasengan was really a rather simple but still very powerful jutsu. It's basic spherical form allowed for a high concentration of rotating chakra that gave it a high penetrative ability. Adding Elemental, or in this case Complex chakra would conserve the basic penetrative ability and add another, more specific one.
Natsuko clamped her eyes shut in concentration as she tried to anticipate what would happen.
'A Heat Rasengan will obviously be…well…hot! I'll have to keep in in tight control or the temperature around me will rise to unbearable levels. On the up side I won't get showered with blood. The heat will cauterize the wounds instantly, making it even harder, if not impossible to heal. And that's on the off chance it isn't an instant kill. What am I missing, what am I missing? The Fire portion is covered so what about the Wind… with the rotation inside the sphere I'll have to go for a cutting wind rather than air pressure… I'll need to make sure not to destroy my own arm.'
Deciding to get to work she brought her hands up in the very familiar cross like seal.
With a popping noise and a small cloud of smoke five clones appeared in front of her. She pointed at the one to the far left.
"You! You know what to do!"
The clone nodded and vanished in a blur of speed. It stopped a good distance away from the rest and held its hand out, palm up in concentration. Natsuko had quickly learnt that it was best to have clones try out new jutsu before doing so herself, it spared her the unpleasant backlash that usually accompanied failures. Directly manipulating the Element opened a lot more possibilities than using hand seals, but it didn't make jutsu creation any less dangerous. While the clones generally couldn't use the invented techniques to their maximum potential they were a good way to smooth out the kinks.
Natsuko watched as the clone channeled Heat chakra forming a swirling ball in the palm of her hand. The ball remained the same size as usual but the air around it started to shimmer as the temperature rose.
"MORE CONTROL DAMN-IT! KEEP THE HEAT IN!"
The clone started to follow its creator's directives and the surrounding haze started to dissipate when suddenly the jutsu spun out of control and a silent explosion blasted out, releasing a shockwave of hot air that dispersed the clone and turned all the grass in a twelve foot radius black.
Natsuko nodded as she felt the clone's memories filter through her mind. She pointed another clone.
"Alright you're next. Make sure to keep the heat in. Hmm…try creating a shell around it, it should help."
The clone dashed over to the charred circular patch of grass and started forming a Rasengan. Natsuko immediately the difference, there was a bit of a shimmer in the air but nowhere near what happened during the first attempt. She watched as the whirling bell of energy in the clones became less and less visible until it was only noticeable by the small spherical distortion in the palm of the clone's hand. A hand that, for some reason, the clone had lifted above its head.
Suddenly the jutsu collapsed. There was no visible indication. The only reason she knew was because: one, the clone was obliterated; two, everything in a fifty foot radius was gone leaving only a thin cloud of dust.
Before she could figure out what happened a warm wind buffeted her, it wasn't hot, and in fact it was rather pleasant like a summer zephyr.
Where the clone once stood there was now a one hundred foot wide crater carved right out of the ground. There was no rubble and the soil and rock was blackened from the heat. Looking closer as the dust began to settle, Natsuko saw that, roughly ten feet down, the crater became a perfectly flat and horizontal surface. She puzzled over the enigma for a moment before realizing that it was her brother's seals that had prevented the damage from going further.
She chuckled and rubbed the nape of her neck. Either he had really scary foresight or she was just that predictable. She was leaning towards a combination of the two.
As she reviewed the clones memories the last female Uzumaki's eyebrows rose. She now understood why the clone had raised the jutsu above its head, while it hadn't been visible to the naked eye the Heat Rasengan was actually surrounded by a halo of sharpened Complex chakra at its equator. She also noticed that her thought on wind blades was a severe downplay of what happened. When the Heat Rasengan detonated it actually sent an explosion of microscopic heat needles. From the way the clone was destroyed, those needles not only cut at a cellular level, they were hot enough to incinerate everything around them.
'Well that certainly explains the state of the training field. The needles rip everything to shreds and the heat disintegrates what's left. Everything in range is completely erased… I'll have to find a better way to deliver the jutsu or I'll end up killing myself. Until then I'll have to settle for using clones. But man…the technique is pretty simple but its easily one of my most destructive.'
'I wonder what one of Naruto-kun's complex Rasengan looks like.'
She brought her hands up in a seal and created a large group of clones.
"Alright girls! Spread out and practice making a Heat Release: Rasengan! I want to be able to make one at a split second's notice!"
The clones jumped off, each choosing their own spot in the large training field, and got to work. They would form the jutsu and then let it collapse without detonating it so that they wouldn't disperse themselves and they could keep training.
The original stood there, watching them and trying to come up with a feasible way to use the jutsu without blowing herself up at the same time.
"That's pretty neat."
Natsuko leapt ten feet in the air as a voice spoke right beside her. She twisted in the air and landed on her feet, clutching at her heart as she caught her breath. She looked up to see Naruto standing there with a raised eyebrow and pointed an accusing finger at him.
"Damn it! Don't creep up on me like that!"
The second eyebrow rose and an amused grin stretched his lips.
"Creep up on you?" He asked incredulously.
Natsuko's face flushed at his words and the fact that, while his chakra was restrained, he wasn't putting any effort into masking it, making him something akin to a walking bonfire of chakra. A walking bonfire of chakra that she somehow…hadn't, detected.
Deciding not to further her embracement, the blonde brushed off some imaginary dust and turned back to her observations, purposefully ignoring her brother's amused chuckles. They both watched in companionable silence for a few minutes, wincing when one of the clones lost control and wiped out another section of the field. After a moment's thought Naruto cleared his throat and pointed towards the training clones.
"I take it you're using a shell of chakra around the Rasengan to contain the heat until you want to unleash it?" He prompted, getting a nod in return.
"And you're still looking for a way to deliver the attack without getting caught up in it?"
"Have you tried throwing it?"
Natsuko frowned. She had thought about throwing it, but she had discarded the idea. If she threw the Rasengan it would simply collapse on itself. The only way it would work was if the shell held it together, but the problem remained the same, if she threw the Rasengan the shell would break apart because she wasn't holding it together. Nonetheless she knew that her brother wouldn't have mentioned it if he hadn't found a way to do it, so she scratched her cheek and tried to work it out.
'I could create a chakra string attached to the shell and use it both to maintain the shell and direct the Rasengan. But there are loads of faults it that idea, if a stray jutsu or even just a chakra enhanced kunai cuts the string before the Rasengan reaches its target it'll blow up. Having to control the chakra string will make one of my hands pretty much useless if I need my taijutsu. No, all in all it not a great idea.'
'What then? The key is the shell, if I can keep it up then…air currents!'
'I can use my control of Heat chakra to create a current that leads right to the target! Then I'll just have to slide the shell all the way down. And if the target moves I just have to redirect the current! Haha!'
'let's give this a go!'
She progressively dispelled all the clones, filing the memories as they came, and by the time they were all gone she felt comfortable that she could form a perfectly stable Heat Release: Rasengan in no more than two seconds. Too long for battle situations, but all in all not bad going. She then created a two clones and sent them over to non-damaged areas a good distance from each other before stepping back next to Naruto.
As soon as it was in position the first clone charged up the jutsu in its right hand, barely taking two seconds as expected. It lifted the hand up above its head, carefully keeping away from the almost invisible circular blade, and moved onto the next step. It brought its left hand up, palm facing its target and focused on manipulating Heat to create a current. The hand wouldn't be necessary afterwards, but for the moment it provided extra focus. As soon as it felt ready the clone swung its right arm around, as if throwing a Fuuma shuriken, and launched the jutsu.
When it got into place the second waited for its counterpart to make its move. It didn't have to wait long. When the other clone brought its hand up number two felt a slight change in the air as a warm breeze wafted by. It was almost soothing, inviting. The clone took a mental note of the effect, knowing that it would reach the original later on. If she could make the current pleasant enough that the target was tempted to savour it, and subtle enough that it didn't rise suspicion, it would make the jutsu even more deadly. It pushed the thoughts aside as number two made a throwing gesture. Seeing no reason to make the test run too easy it jumped to the side. Feeling the current follow, number two started dodging, though not at top speeds, until it felt a burning warmth slice into its midriff…and the world went white.
The two Uzumaki watched as one of the clones jumped around in evasive manoeuvres while the other concentrated on manipulating the heat current and maintaining the shell around the Rasengan. Their eyebrows rose as a slice of the dodging clone vanished and a moment later a one hundred foot crater followed suite.
"Well there you go!"
Natsuko gave a hollow laugh at her brother's nonchalant response to the powerful technique.
"You know, I kind of feel cheated that it's such a powerful technique when I have loads that require much more complex manipulations that aren't half as destructive." She said with a frown.
"The Rasengan substitutes skill with raw power. Well…from our view point at least. It's a concentration of chakra, elemental or not, released in one go for devastating effects. Unless you want to rip someone apart it's pretty useless. Besides, the amount of chakra it uses is enormous even compared to a normal Rasengan, just one full powered Elemental Rasengan would use more than half the reserves of a jounin level shinobi."
He looked out at the field and the various craters that decorated it.
"As the saying goes: 'it's easier to destroy than it is to create.'"
Natsuko nodded in understanding, unlike regular jutsu when the two Uzumaki created an animal shaped Elemental attack it generally implied more creation than it did destruction, mostly because they weaved the chakra in such a way that the animal actually had a basic intelligence. If they launched a fire dragon it would go after its target like a dragon goes after its prey, rather than just blasting forwards like a katon jutsu.
"Anyway! I didn't come down here to discuss the finer points of Ninjutsu, we've got to get going!"
The blonde haired Jinchuuriki blinked at the exclamation.
"What do you mean? Where are we going?"
"Hm…well the village is built, your clones will last long enough to finish the houses and after that all that needs doing is shops and clan compounds, but we've already agreed that we'd wait so people can choose how those buildings should be designed. Now what we've got to do is try to make alliances, both commercial and military, and spread the word about new Uzugakure."
"OK," Natsuko replied. "I think we should talk to Tazuna first. We did say we'd keep in touch, and Wave would be a great place to start as far as commercial alliances are concerned."
Recognizing that this was more her domain the male Uzumaki motioned for her to continue.
"From there I guess we could either head North towards Spring Country or South towards the Land of Sea. I think North would be better, that way, once we've seen Koyuki-hime, we can cycle down through some of the other countries I've visited. I think we should be able to create trade alliances with most of them, but I don't know about military alliances. The only problem is that we'll have to cut through Fire Country."
Naruto gave a dismissive, one-shouldered shrug.
"You know you're banishment was revoked by the Fire Daimyo himself, you may no longer be a Konoha kunoichi but you're not a missing-nin either. Besides, if you're going to be Shodaime Uzukage, we're going to have to deal with representatives of the Leaf sooner or later…we might as well get it over with."
Natsuko sighed dramatically.
"I guess so. I just know that they won't just let it go. Even with the Daimyo's decree I'm sure the council and Tsunade will try and mess with us."
An absolutely evil smile stretched across Naruto's face and his eyes lit up in an unearthly glow.
"Well then, we'll just have to take a few precautions, won't we?
In a dark cave a dull violet light pulsed and throbbed rhythmically, illuminating a massive statue. The statue was of an upper torso and head with two arms held in front of it, palms raised and fingers curled up. It's wrists were shackled, there was a bit in its mouth and a blindfold over the upper part of its face. From under the blindfold multiple eyes could be seen, glowing with power, two on the left and three on the right.
Standing on the statue's fingertips were eight outlined figures, their eyes being the only distinguishable feature. In front of the statue, suspended a dozen feet in the air, was an old man with red hair, a beard and a generally 'rugged' appearance. His eyes were closed as if he were sleeping but back was contorted, bending at an unnatural angle due to the excruciating pain he was experiencing.
Nine dragon-like effigies poured from the statues mouth and seemed to be devouring the suspended man's chakra.
The throbbing light reached a crescendo and then, without warning, died out completely. The dragons pulled back to the statue's mouth, making the bit glow with the stored energy until it dissolved and disappeared down the stone throat. Between the two visible sets of eyes another slowly slid open, making a longer series of six.
From the right thumb a tall man with spiky hair and grey eyes with three concentric circles surrounding the pupil looked coldly at the others.
"With the Two through Seven-Tails sealed you shall all have new assignments. First, Zetsu what can you tell us of Deidara and Sasori's killers?"
From the right little finger a man with large protrusions resembling a Venus Fly Trap shuffled on his feet and, strangely, alternated between two distinct voices as he spoke.
"Well Leader-sama, it turns out that the Kyuubi Jinchuuriki was responsible. She and a new companion were able to defeat Deidara and Sasori as they were crossing the desert."
The slight narrowing of his eyes was he only visible indication of the Leader's frown.
"From previous assessments the Nine-Tails' vessel should not have such skill. Are you certain of your information? Did you witness the battle?"
The plant-like man bristled slightly at his reconnaissance skills being questioned but answered all the same.
"The fight was over too fast for us to see it. We were waiting at the planned extraction location and by the time went to check on them the battle was long finished. As for the Nine-Tails' involvement…what little was left of Sasori's puppets was found in a large explosion crater with traces of the Kyuubi's youki. Deidara was killed either by a jutsu or a poison that literally destroyed all his blood, but there was no indication that it was the Kyuubi's doing."
The Leader turned to the man on the right ring finger.
"Itachi, you have observed the Nine-Tails the most. What do you think of this?"
The Uchiha fixed his blank gaze on the man and answered in a low, monotonous voice.
"Before her banishment Natsuko-san's skills were…nonexistent. While she had vast potential I suspect that, in Konoha, her development was severely stunted. If she were able to find a strong individual willing to teach her she could become a serious threat. Our inability to locate her during these last year's lends weight to the likelihood of her receiving assistance."
"Does anyone have an idea as to who is helping her?" The ripple eyed man asked.
There was silence for a while before a man with a hood on his head and green eyes with red sclera spoke distractedly from the left middle finger.
The Taki missing-nin looked up and spoke clearly.
"I'm not sure if it's them…but over the last few months a pair of shinobi has been making a name for themselves on the black market, they've collected the bounties for quite a few high level ninja. Not much is known about them, not even their real identities, which is surprisingly rare at that level. They go by the aliases 'Bloody Storm' and 'Burning Wave'. I can't be sure if it's them…but the fact that they popped up around the same time that the Nine-Tails came out of hiding, and with a companion no less…"
"Indeed…Well then Kakuzu, Hidan, you will be charged with locating and apprehending the Nine-Tails. Itachi, Kisame, you will head to Kumo and capture the Eight-Tails. Dismissed."
One by one the silhouettes flickered out until only three were left. The spiky haired ring eyed man, another man with a mask that had a swirl-like pattern that converged on the right eye, and the only woman of the group, her hair decorated by a single paper rose.
"Why haven't you sent someone after the Ichibi? You do remember that the Kyuubi must be sealed last or the Gedo Mazo will break."
Pain looked at the masked figure standing on the left thumb, staring unflinchingly at the single visible Sharingan before answering respectfully.
"The Nine-Tails vessel and her companion have helped the One-Tail once. If they were to do so again we would be at a disadvantage. Even if they lose Hidan and Kakuzu will survive the fight and we will have more information on their abilities. Once the Nine Tails is in our hands we will easily catch the One-Tail and then, extract the Nine."
The swirl mask dipped as it's wearer nodded once in acknowledgment of the plan.
"Very well. Do not fail."
One after the other the three disappeared.
"For the last time, no! I will not force Jiraya to apprentice the Uchiha!"
Senju Tsunade was at the end of her, admittedly, rather short fuse. When she informed the Council of Natsuko's involvement in the Kazekage's rescue, and more importantly the death of two S-Rank missing-nin, they had redoubled their attempts to get special training for the 'last Uchiha'.
And now elders Homura Mitokado and Koharu Utatane were back again.
To the busty blonde, it seemed as if they were in her office at least ten times a day. It had come to the point where she actually looked forward to getting back to her paperwork. Of course by the time she could finally get back to it the paperwork would have doubled, and until then she still had two persistent fossils to deal with.
"Come now, Tsunade-chan surely even you can see that…"
Like a miracle from Kami-sama herself, a distraction, in the form of her perverted Team-mate, literally jumped in through the window.
"Hey there Tsu-hime! Do you have a moment for the gallant…"
"What do you want Jiraya?" She asked tiredly.
The Toad Sannin sighed dramatically at the lack of appreciation.
"Oh nothing much…just thought I'd tell you that Natsuko's headed towards the Land of Waves." He said with a nonchalant wave of his hand.
Surprisingly the scream didn't come from Tsunade but from the councillors. Ignoring their outburst, and stifling her own, Tsunade pressed Konoha's spy master for more information using her usual delicate approach.
"You'd better explain yourself Jiraya or you'll be spending the next month stuck in the hospital attended only by male nurses."
Jiraya heaved a theatrical sigh as he tried, and failed, to hide the shiver of fear that ran down his back. Properly cowed by the horrendous threat he hurried to explain himself.
"I've had my network looking out for any sign of her ever since she disappeared. They never saw heads or tails of her until the incident in Suna and after that she dropped off the grid again. Last night I got a message from one of my sources that someone matching her description was seen arriving in the Land of Waves."
Tsunade leaned forwards and pressed a button on her desk, activating the intercom to her assistant.
"Aiko-san Have Team's 7 and 8 report to me immediately!"
She sat back in her chair and frowned thoughtfully.
"Do you know what she's doing in Wave Jiraya?"
"Probably visiting friends or something. From what I hear she's quite the hero there."
There was a moment's silence before Koharu decided to make her opinion known.
"Tsunade-chan, I think it would be best if we were to send an ANBU team to retrieve the girl. Perhaps Danzo…"
"NO! I already have the Daimyo breathing down my neck. With every letter he sends, he makes a point of reminding me that he has given 'Uzumaki Natsuko a full pardon of all past charges brought against her'. I don't want to risk having Konoha's budget cut again."
Any thought the elders had of protesting vanished at that statement. Things were already tight, what with the lack of trade alliances. There was still trade of course, the prices just weren't as profitable as they once were. That, coupled with the fact that many of their clients had redirected their mission requests to Suna and Kiri, meant that if the Daimyo were to decree another cut to the village's budget, it would spell doom for Konoha.
Jiraya saw a problem with the teams assigned to the mission.
"Are you sure you want to send Team 7 Tsu-hime?"
When she shot him a puzzled look he continued.
"Let me put it this way. Lat time she saw the Uchiha he rammed a Chidori through her chest. Last time she saw the Haruno she got punched in the head for 'hurting sasuke-kun'. I don't think they're the best choice if you want to avoid problems."
The last Senju's brow crinkled in thought and she nodded but before she could answer there was a knock on the door.
The door opened and the members of the two teams she called for walked in. she was momentarily surprised at Kakashi's timely arrival, but then she remembered that he had probably been with his team when they got the summons. As she focused on the new comers she was only slightly relieved to see the council elders slipping out of her office.
'Old bastards! Probably off to think up some new scheme!'
She watched as the eight shinobi lined up in front of her before speaking.
"Team 8 Kakashi and Sai you will be accompanying Jiraya on a mission to the Land of Waves. You'll…"
"What about me and Sasuke-kun!" Sakura shrieked.
Tsunade winced at the volume. Despite her best efforts the pink haired girl still communicated in ear splitting shrieks.
"Given the nature of this mission, or rather the target, Jiraya and I feel that it's best if you stand down."
At her response both Sasuke and Sakura frowned. Seeing this, Kakashi interceded on his students behalf.
"Hokage-sama, I'm sure that whatever the mission is Sasuke and Sakura are up to the task."
She sighed as they nodded their agreement. Well sakura did, Sasuke gave his trademark "Hn!".
"You're not going! That's final!"
She directed her attention to the others.
"Your mission is to locate Uzumaki Natsuko and escort her back to Konoha!"
"Natsuko-nee-chan! You're back!"
"Hi Inari-kun! How are you?"
Natsuko gave her trademark foxy grin as she ruffled the preteen's hair, making him blush bright red, and she stepped into the house. The kid then turned to the other Uzumaki and gave a small bow.
"Hello Naruto-onii-san. Are you here to see granddad?"
Naruto gave a nod and a smile while giving the boy a manly slap on the shoulder. It was quite obvious that the kid had a crush on Natsuko, but since he was just a kid Naruto wasn't bothered. He also seemed to idolise Naruto to the same degree, if not more, than the female Uzumaki. Naruto found it rather amusing, guessing that it was a combination of him saving his mother from the bandits and being able to get such a beautiful girlfriend. Naruto was brought out of his musings when his sister answered the question.
"Yeah we wanted to talk about some business stuff, is he around?"
Inari nodded and, after sitting them in some comfortable chairs in the living room, ran off to get his grandfather. A few minutes later the bridge builder walked in and sat opposite them.
"Hey gakis, good to see you back! So what's this Inari was saying about business?"
It took the two Uzumaki roughly half an hour to get Tazuna up to date on the status of Uzugakure and to give him an idea of their plans for the future. By the time they were done he cracked out a small bottle of sake, all the bigger ones had been 'confiscated' by Tsunami, and drained it.
"If what you're saying is true, then Uzu's going to completely upturn the economic balance of the Elemental Nations."
They nodded and Natsuko said.
"Yes, that's why we'll introduce our merchandise slowly rather than flood the market. It will also give us some time, sooner or later Uzugakure will attract attention but by the time other Villages become aware of us it'll be too late."
Tazuna looked at them dubiously.
"You make it sound like they'd attack you."
"They would," Naruto replied. "It'll probably take years for Uzugakure to be able to compete with the major villages. At the moment our true advantage is that tensions are already high with the Akatsuki threat. Until that's solved, one way or another, I doubt that any of the villages will want to start fights. Nonetheless, with the way things are going I'd say that the Fourth Great Shinobi War is close."
Tazuna paled and even Natsuko looked a bit shocked. With what she had learned over the years she knew it was a possibility but the way her partner said it made it sound inevitable. Seeing their reactions Naruto gave a small, one-shouldered shrug and explained.
"Iwa has been itching for a fight since it's humiliating defeat at the end of the third war. Kumo is the most militarized of the villages and won't pass up an opportunity to extend their influence, plus with Konoha weakened they have a better shot at finally getting the Byakugan. Kiri has lost some of its most powerful Bloodline clans and is still recovering from a civil war so it makes a good target. Suna has always been the weakest of the Five Greats, if it weren't for Gaara it's be easy picking. And lastly Konoha has worked its way into a tight situation and will probably end up trying something desperate."
He took a breath before continuing.
"Then of course there's Orochimaru, who's most likely planning all sorts of trouble even as we speak. All in all, everyone's got either a reason to attack, or a reason to be attacked, as soon as someone does it'll be a chain reaction and everyone else will get dragged in."
Natsuko looked a bit worried. She knew that, with the way they had built it, Uzu could resist almost any attacking force. But a full blown war would be a problem unless they lived completely cut off from the rest of the world.
"So what are we going to do?" She asked despondently.
Naruto smiled softly and placed a hand on her shoulder.
"Don't worry! The war will break out, but the villages aren't what they used to be. I doubt that it'll last long before they're forced to put an end to it. For now let's concentrate on our trade alliances."
He turned to Tazuna and adopted a 'business voice'.
"Now! As you may or may not know the island that Uzugakure is built on isn't easily accessible because of the whirlpool fields. In fact, from what I understand, those fields are even more violent now than they were before. As you can imagine that's going to make trade a bit complicated."
Tazuna nodded sagely and took another sip of sake.
"Yeah! We've taken over Gato's old company but that ships would have trouble getting past one whirlpool, let alone a whole field of them." He said.
"Exactly," Naruto agreed. "But we have a solution. We've been able to design a sealing array that allows us to temporarily create a channel that ships can sail on and access Uzugakure." He starred at the ceiling and tapped his chin a few times as he searched for a way to explain. "At first we had wanted to make a seal that actually stopped the whirlpools in a certain area so that boats could get past, but it would require way too much chakra to power it. What this seal does instead is pull a large sheet of water over the whirlpools to create a 'bridge' of sorts. It still requires a lot of chakra but Natsuko-chan or I can easily power it, and later on it'll only take two or three shinobi with jounin level reserves to keep it active long enough for ships to get in and out."
From there Natsuko took over the explanation.
"What we've figured is that, since we won't have to answer to a Daimyo, we can choose who to deal with. There aren't that many shipping companies anyway, but if we solely do business with 'Wave Shipping Companies' it'll give you a great advantage on the others."
Tazuna nodded. When the Land of Waves was freed from Gato's tyranny they took the opportunity to take his businesses and make them the property of the entire town. Now, there was a council of elected citizens in place to run it. He wasn't in charge, but with his position as mayor he would be able to present the offer, and he had no doubt that it would be unanimously accepted.
"But what do you get out of the deal?" He asked curiously. He didn't doubt their generosity, but he knew that limiting their village to one shipping company was quite a risk.
Natsuko sat back in her chair.
"Basically," She answered. "We would like a two-part treaty. The first part would concern trade. Wave get exclusive rights over the Uzu trade lines and in return Uzugakure get a percentage of the shares. The second part would be a military agreement. Uzu will provide security via shinobi presence on board Waves' ships as well as Wave itself if you so wish. We'd also like to include the possibility, for those who want to, to attend the Uzugakure Shinobi Academy."
Tazuna frowned in thought. Them asking for a share of the profit might not go down so well, but it wasn't an outrageous demand. The town was making already more money than they needed anyway, and that would only increase with this deal. The one fear that still remained hidden in the hearts of the people of Wave was that a thug or, Kami forbid, a powerful shinobi would try and pull a Gato and take over their island.
A protective shinobi force would alleviate those fears, and if some of their own children could receive shinobi training it was even better.
"Hang on a mo'!" The old bridge builder exclaimed. "I thought you said you didn't have enough shinobi."
Naruto shook his head.
"We don't have enough to wage a war. But a few of the clans of Old-Uzu are still around. Their numbers are a bit low but with them and some of the 'decent' missing-nin that we can recruit we'll have enough to mount a security force."
Tazuna set his cup down and stood.
"OK! I'll submit the idea to the council so they can vote on it but I'm pretty sure that they'll agree. It'll probably take a while to write the contract up, but it should be done by the end of the month."
They exchanged pleasantries for a few minutes before the Uzumaki duo took their leave.
Heading North, they walked across the 'Great Natsuko Bridge' and stepped into Fire Country. It was midafternoon and, while they had a long journey to cross Fire Country, they forwent tree hopping and set a steady pace following the established routes. When sunset came they stopped in a clearing of one of the many, and extensive, forests.
"What kind of camp should we have tonight?" Natsuko asked as she looked around. "Wood, Stone, Crystal, Metal?"
"Let's go with a simple stone bunker." Naruto replied easily. "If Konoha-nin happen upon us we don't want to give too much away by having a four star crystal palace rather than a tent."
"Spoilsport." Natsuko muttered as she watched him walk past the tree line and into the forest.
She walked to the middle of the clearing and slammed her right palm into the ground. In a blink a house sized stone dome formed with a rectangular chimney sticking out of the side and an average, door sized, arch-like entrance (Like a stone igloo with a chimney at the back). after summoning two tigers to stand watch she walked in. She stopped at the back, next to the chimney, and tapped her foot on the ground making it press down and form a pit for the fire.
Just as she finished unsealing the sleeping bags Naruto walked in with a load of dry wood. He stacked the small logs next to the chimney, piled some in the pit and set them on fire with a burst of chakra induced flames.
After a short but tasty meal, despite the lack of ramen, Naruto laid down on top of his sleeping bag, not needing to get inside since the open fire easily provided enough warmth in the enclosed space. As per the usual, rather than go to her own bedding, Natsuko crawled over to her brother's and curled up next to him. He wrapped an arm around her, pulling her close, and together they fell into a contented sleep.
Waking up before her brother the next morning, Natsuko popped out to take care of her 'business'. on the way back in she smiled at the two sentry tigers she had summoned. They were both small and relatively young, and now that she was awake they felt they could let down their guard a little and have some fun. As she walked past them they were busy fooling around, climbing on top of each other in a play fight.
She smiled lovingly at the still sleeping form of her brother, only visible by the daylight behind her and the light from the dying embers of the night's fire. The smile turned into a devilish grin as she got an idea.
/-/-/-/-/Lemon Incest + animal (cat) fetish\-\-\-\-\
Naruto woke to the sensation of something damp and slightly rough on his face. He didn't panic or even open his eyes since he knew that only two people could have gotten this close without him waking up. He had a lot of experience of being 'licked' by his sister's tongue so he quickly deduced that it wasn't her.
"Kisa-chan, stop it." He said groggily. (A/N: Remember Kisa is his personal tiger summons)
He was startled as he got a small growl in return and snapped his eyes open. He was surprised to find that it was his sister. He looked at her for a moment trying to figure out what was different, and despite his keen shinobi senses it took him a while.
She was naked, but that was a common enough occurrence that it didn't phase him beyond the usual admiration of her undressed form. He watched as she knelt next to him, smiling impishly. His eyes travelled down past her firm breasts and stiff nipples, across her toned belly and slender waist and along her long legs and wide hips. His eyes switched back to her face and he blinked as he realized what he had as of yet failed to notice.
She had whiskers.
Not just the thin, almost unnoticeable whisker marks that usually decorated her cheeks, but actual tiger-like whiskers that protruded from her skin. A more thorough examination showed that she was also sporting feline ears on top of her head in the same shade as her strawberry blonde hair. Her body was covered with short, soft white fur, decorated in yellow stripes. Around her ankles and wrists were thicker bracelet-like patches of yellow striped white fur and her tailbone had lengthened into nine delicate, foot and a half long tails with the same yellow on white stripped pattern.
"Cute…don't you think this is taking the whole 'role play sex' thing a little far?" Naruto asked with a quirked eyebrow.
Despite his words Naruto couldn't quite hide the quiver of arousal in his voice, something that his, now very feline, sister was quick to pick up on. She leaned so that they were nose to nose, staring into each other's eyes and…
The male Uzumaki blinked in surprise. That hadn't been a human imitation of an animal's cry. It was an actual 'meow'! His brow twitched.
"Um…Natsu-chan…you didn't change you vocal cords to replicate a cat's did you?" He asked, giving the distinct impression that he didn't really want to know the answer.
"Meow!" The small nod 'yes' was barely needed to correctly interpret the answer.
"Definitely taking it too far…" He muttered under his breath but not quietly enough for her to miss it. "I hope she hasn't got flees!"
A sharp hiss told him his humor wasn't appreciated. He was suddenly forced to back away as his sister's fingernails sharpened into claws and she started slashing at the clothes he had slept in. within seconds he was as naked as she was and the inside of the stone bunker was littered with the shredded remains of his cloths.
The numerous slash marks that covered Naruto's body closed, courtesy of his healing factor, leaving no trace of scaring on his flesh.
Natsuko's mood did a complete one eighty, switching from angry street cat to cuddly kitten in the blink of an eye. She crawled forwards on all fours and proceeded to comb the rippling muscles of her brother's six pack with her feline tongue. Naruto leaned his head back and groaned as she worked her way, very slowly, towards his rapidly hardening member. When she drew level with his trimmed patch of pubic hair she nuzzled it affectionately with the bridge of her nose, purring loudly all the time.
She drew away and started licking one of her hands, sensually drawing her tongue along her fingers. When her hand was slick and glistening, she poised her mouth above Naruto's stiff dick and let copious amounts of her cool saliva dribble onto it. Once she was satisfied with the amount, one of her hands came up and fastened itself around his phallus, squeezing it tightly before starting a slow pumping motion. Thanks to the lubrication there was very little resistance as her iron grip went from base to tip, rubbing the sensitive cock-head in with a stimulating roll of her wrist, before pushing back down to the base.
Naruto had to wonder just how much the transformation had affected her thought process as she pumped his lengthy tool with an expression of cat-like curiosity painted on her face. Her enthusiasm got the best of her and she increased the pace until she was stroking up, rolling the head and pumping back down at an incredible speed, purring gleefully all the while.
After five minutes of the frantic hand job they both felt Naruto's cock swell in preparation of his release, and with five more pumps he grunted and blasted his seed out. Natsuko's heightened reflexes kicked in as she felt the high pressure ejaculation rush through her brother's thick tube and her unoccupied hand shot up, covering to tip to intercept the load. Strong ropes of hot and sticky cum sprayed out and splashed against her palm as she continued to stroke his meat pole, only stopping when she had finally coaxed out every last drop.
Naruto panted slightly to catch his breath but didn't soften in the least, especially as he saw his lover's next action. With her cum covered palm held almost level with the tip of his cock she dipped her head down a started lapping up the steamy white substance like a cat laps up milk. Naruto watched in fascination as she worked her way through the whole load until her hand was squeaky clean. She then turned her attention to the blobs of cum that had splashed onto his thighs, cock and stomach, her rough tongue sending tingles dancing through his still sensitive body.
Once all her brother's seed had been cleaned up, Natsuko sat back on her haunches, tilted her head to one side and looked at him expectantly. Knowing full well what she wanted Naruto brought his hands up in a seal and focused on the image he wanted, his skill with the Kage Henge wasn't comparable to his lover's, but it was still remarkable. With a tiny puff of smoke his body was covered in short, blood red fur and black tiger-like stripes. Two cat-like ears, red like his hair but with black tips, sprouted from the top of his head. Three short whiskers protruded from each cheek. A tail grew from his backside and his ankles and wrists shifted, changing his feet and hands into tiger-like paws.
Natsuko purred happily and climbed on top of him, rubbing her whiskered face against his, hyper-stimulating them both from the friction to the sensitive area. Bringing her hands up, she racked her claws softly across his chest, his newly acquired, and thickened hide preventing them from drawing blood. For a brief moment Naruto wondered if he had taken his transformation too far, as he felt an intense need to mount the appetizing female.
Apparently she had similar ideas as she pushed off of him and turned around, exposing her back to him. She rested on hands and knees, her nine tails high and swaying from side to side, displaying her glistening snatch.
Crawling up behind her, Naruto lowered his head and brought his mouth level with his mate's waiting pussy. Her dragged his coarse tongue up and down, lapping up the juices that started to trickle out. His sharp senses told him of the building heat inside her so he dipped his tongue in, exploring her inner flesh eagerly.
Natsuko sighed in relief as the attention of her mate's tongue soothed the building heat. Her purring increased in volume as it brushed against her 'special spots', triggering a faster flow of juices. Having had enough of the very 'human' foreplay she used her tail to bash the side of his head a few times, warding him away from her nether regions.
Understanding the implied message, Naruto gave one last lick that dragged along her lips, between her cheeks and over her dark rose bud. He then climbed on top of her smaller frame until his head was directly over hers, her middle tail pressed between her back and his chest and the others wrapping around him, holding him close. He nuzzled his face into the back of her neck as his large, eleven inch cock slapped against the wet surface of her private (though not for him) area.
She twisted her head around and looked into his eyes as her own clearly showed her desire.
Once again the message was clear and he immediately acted on it. He shifted his hips around until he felt the tip of his mushroom head press against his mate's womanhood, the leaking fluids flowing around the obstruction and bathing it in their warmth.
With an animalistic thrust he drove forward, his chest rumbling in a deep growl of primal satisfaction as her tight sheath swallowed his big cock. They both gave in to their instincts and slammed into each other. Naruto using the flexibility provided by the new configuration of his leg bones to pound into her constricting folds with relentless downwards thrusts that literally made the hard ground crack under the applied force. Natsuko bearing down so as not to collapse under the powerful blows while also biting down on her lower lip as she tightened her vaginal walls to increase both their pleasure.
For over half an hour the two animalistic Uzumaki slapped into each other, triggering multiple orgasms that wracked through the females sweating body. The sounds of their growling, meowing and wet colliding flesh echoing inside the bunker and throughout the clearing. Naruto's powerful jaw clamped down on his sister's shoulder, restraining her movements and forcing her to meet his thrusts and take his long member even deeper than before.
With an ultimate push Naruto sunk his creature as deep as it could go, burying it so far in Natsuko's quivering folds that the bulbous head dug into the velvety roof of her oven hot womb. With a roar that could put the bravest lions to shame he exploded inside her, launching her into yet another climax as he unleashed strand after strand of warm, thick and potent semen.
Exhausted from the thorough fucking he had just given and the massive outward rush of bodily fluids, Naruto tiredly pushed off with his forepaws, barely avoiding crushing his sister with his weight as he collapsed on his back.
With her 'animal' mating desires sated, Natsuko returned to a more human mindset. She turned around and seeing her lover's supine form decided to teach him that males weren't always the dominant gender.
She pounced on him, straddling his waist and grinding against his rock hard monster, smearing it with a mixture of their juices. She drew her claws, sinking them into his broad chest muscles to anchor herself down before lifting her hips up and positioning his fat cock head at the tight entrance to her other hole.
With a drawn out mewl the strawberry blonde dropped herself, letting gravity work its magic as her brother's thick cock speared into her ass, stretching her impossibly tight anus to its limits and sliding through her bowls. The large invading member put so much pressure on her innards that that the store of Naruto's thick cum was forced out of her womb and sloshed onto his muscled belly.
She sat there, her tails swaying behind her as she basked in the fullness her dark tunnel was experiencing, counting each pulse as the blood pumped through her mate's thick shaft. Not yet wanting to lose that fullness, even for a moment, she started rolling her hips in small, sensuous circles, grinding the cock inside her as she massaged it with her intestinal walls.
Naruto grit his teeth to prevent himself from howling out in pain and pleasure as Natsuko's claws dug into his well-developed pectoral muscles and her tiny asshole dropped onto his massive cock, sucking it all the way in until his large ball sack was nestled under her soft, but firm butt cheeks and forcing his own hot, viscous seed to spill out from her well filled snatch. The pain, while still there, was blown far off into the background as his sister rolled her ass in tight circles, her slimy rectum working wonders on his throbbing meat pole.
Never stopping the slow, agonizing rotations of her pelvis, Natsuko added lifts and falls, dragging herself up and down the thick shaft in a sensuous dance, tightening her anal sphincter on the upstroke and loosening it on the down-stroke. The slow and steady pace of the forbidden act caused an equally slow and steady rise towards climax as their building passion stoked the fires in their loins.
For another half hour this continued, their burning release drawing ever closer, sweat glistening of their fur covered bodies, their breathing deep and rhythmic and their pounding heartbeats resounding in perfect sync.
When they finally reached their limit it wasn't a bursting explosion of lust, but a slow, bleeding flood of love that fused their bodies together. Naruto's hard member released a continuous flow of steamy white cream, filling his sister's bowels with a soothing warmth that spread to every corner of her pleasure gorged body. Natsuko's pool of nectar overflowed causing her heated pussy to discharge what was left of her brother's second release and her own syrupy fluids. The sexual concoction spilt across his toned abs, clinging to the short fur and bathing him in the erotic, but very messy proof of their coupling.
Despite the slow pace both Uzumaki found themselves exhausted and Natsuko slumped onto her brother's chest, his cock slipping out with a pop as she fell forwards. In a puff of smoke both their transformations were cancelled and they both laid there, holding each other lovingly as they recovered.
When they got up they cleaned off using Water Manipulation for a nice warm wash. Naruto then unsealed, and got dressed in his usual clothes. Natsuko decided to go for a slightly different style. Black kunoichi boots that rose up just past her knees, tight black leather shorts that only covered the very tops of her thighs, a tight red tank top and her usual black trench coat and fingerless gloves.
They collapsed the stone bunker and Naruto used complex chakra to return the clearing to its initial state before they dismissed the tigers and headed off.
Two hours later they stopped in another clearing as they felt a group of incoming chakra signatures.
"It's been ages but I think I recognize Kakashi and Jiraya, what about you?" Naruto asked as they drew closer.
Natsuko shook her head as she followed their approach.
"I don't know." She answered. "Most of them are familiar, but I wasn't trained to recognize people by their chakra until I met you."
"Well I guess we're about to find out." He finished as seven blurs appeared, surrounding them.