The concept of an embassy was relatively new and, in her opinion, hadn’t been fully developed either. The Land of Fire was the first to offer another country, Land of Earth, a place to build an embassy.
Its intended purpose was to be an established form of connection between countries. The Land of Fire and Land of Earth had just emerged from many conflicts caused by a severe lack of communication at the time. As expected, the Land of Earth jumped on the chance to freely set up a base in another country, creating the Elemental Nation’s first embassy.
Iwata had never personally seen that embassy, but she had heard stories and rumors about its strength and size. She had heard it had taken a year to build and could safely and comfortably house well over a hundred Shinobi. It was built near the center of the Land of Fire’s capital, Leaf City.
Soon after the first embassy was completed, more lands started offering others a property to build their own embassy. However, Kumo forced their way into countries and constructed an embassy whether the country wanted one or not. Most were created with the idea of a small stronghold in mind, more than a peaceful location for diplomatic relations.
She was skeptical as to how long this embassy idea would last, since the concept had yet to go survive a war. In her experience, most brilliant ideas fell by the wayside under the brutal pressure of war. Iwata hoped that another Great Ninja War would not happen in her lifetime. Maybe the embassies could help curb the relentless need for power and violence the Shinobi thrived on.
The reason she feared such a war was because the next one would be different. The Bijū had all been captured and subjugated, their power now under Shinobi control. It was highly likely that the Jinchūriki would be sent onto the battlefield.
Shaking her head, she raised her hand to shade her eyes, trying to spot the Kumo Embassy ahead of them. Her teammates surrounded her as they followed a Puppeteer Shinobi. He’d introduced himself as Ochida and had offered to guide them there.
She’d never seen this embassy, not having been stationed here or gone on missions in Suna since it was built. She knew the embassy in this city was not one of the most impressive, but it was nothing to mock. Even so, someone had broken in, and everyone inside had been completely unaware.
Ochida gestured toward the ground below, and she dropped off the roof after him. They all landed in a small courtyard surrounded by iron fencing. Behind her was the street, only a few civilians walking by glanced at them before hurrying on. In front was a nondescript building that barely stood out from those around it.
“This is the Kumo Embassy,” Ochida said as he walked up the small sandstone pathway to the door. Standing next to the door was a Suna Shinobi hidden in a low-level Genjustu, who dropped it as Ochida approached. She’d noticed him as soon as she landed in the yard.
Ochida opened the door and gestured for them to follow him.
Inside, Iwata checked the back of the door and noticed the seal had been destroyed. She was not an expert in seals, not many in Kumo were, but she had a basic knowledge all Shinobi had to have.
Ochida noticed her looking at it as her teammates funneled into the building past her.
“We had to destroy that to get in,” he commented, and she nodded.
“Do you know how the attackers got in?” Taguchi asked, and Ochida shook his head.
“We still don’t know, despite doing a rough search. We were reluctant to explore the lower level of the embassy, as we did not want to break the treaty. However, we did need to get down there to recover two of the bodies.” Ochida explained.
“Where are their bodies?” Taguchi asked.
“Over there,” Ochida said, pointing toward a door on the right toward the end of the hallway. “We cleaned up the blood, sealed their bodies to prevent decay, and moved them to that room.”
Iwata stepped around Ochida and followed Taguchi to the room, quickly walking in after him. Her two other teammates came in behind her. Ochida stopped in the doorway, leaning on the frame.
“If you want, one of my men can show you a Genjutsu of the embassy as we found it.”
“That won’t be necessary,” Taguchi replied, focusing on the four bodies on the floor. Each was covered with a white sheet. Iwata knelt by the first and pulled back the rough fabric, taking in the lifeless face. She didn’t recognize them.
Looking down at his neck, she found the artificially healed scar across the throat. Moving to the next, she found the same wound.
“I need to get back to my post. If you require anything, let Hori know. He’ll be outside.” Ochida said. After waiting for a moment and getting no reply, he activated a Shunshin and vanished in a swirl of sand. The room was quiet for several moments.
“It seems like Baki was right… there wasn’t a fight.” Taguchi said solemnly, looking between each fallen comrade’s wounds.
Fujino, who was standing off to the side, nodded, “Whoever did this was extremely skilled. I’m astonished they managed to take Nikko unaware.”
Iwata agreed, looking back at the body she was crouched by. She couldn’t help but think that Nikko would have been pissed to see how he died if he was still alive. Nikko had been an ex-RAIKOU and accepted a position at this embassy as his last task before retiring. Despite being an older Shinobi, he’d been powerful. Shaking her head, she got up and walked to the last body, already knowing who it would be.
Taking a deep breath, she pulled back the sheet. The familiar handsome face of a young teen came into view, skin pale and lifeless like the rest. His name was Motoki, the younger brother of her friend Akari. She sighed sadly and gently placed the sheet back over Motoki’s face. Akari had begged her to join this mission to check on her brother. Due to the mission’s potentially high danger level, Akari wasn’t qualified for it yet.
“That’s him, isn’t it?” Fujino asked, walking over to her.
She nodded and got up. Hearing the familiar sound of a seal releasing its contents, she looked at Taisho, who was now holding a small black book. Taisho set Nikko’s wrist back on the floor and tossed the book to Taguchi. Iwata waited with anticipation for Taguchi to read through Nikko’s logbook.
The dull-looking black book was like thousands of others, unremarkable from the exterior. Nevertheless, it was precious. Every single Kumo Captain was required to keep one with them at all times and to log everything in it, regardless of whether they thought something was worth writing down. This rule solved many problems for Kumo and was one of its best kept and most valuable secrets.
The strategy was supported by Lightning’s custom of burying their dead Shinobi in a massive mountain catacomb. Most countries and Shinobi respect each other’s traditions regarding their dead, and usually allowed Kumo Shinobi to collect their fallen comrades, and thus their logbooks.
“Baki said something about a prisoner being delivered here before the attack, right?” Fujino asked, gesturing toward the book in Taguchi’s hands.
“He did…” Taguchi said slowly, “and the prisoner was here…”
Iwata narrowed her eyes as Taguchi looked up at her before returning to the book.
“May 12th. A man was delivered to the embassy by Suna Shinobi. They believed the man to be a Kumo Shinobi. It was unspoken but clear that they think him to be one of our spies. He was in appalling condition, and I demanded an answer as to why. Citing our treaty with the Land of Wind. They denied any involvement, claiming the man had entered Suna that way before running headfirst into their Jinchūriki.”
“That lines up with what Baki said,” Taisho commented.
“We brought the man inside and found a Kumo Headband inside his shirt. It might have been planted. He appeared extremely delirious, dehydrated, and on the verge of insanity. Much of his skin was covered in first, second, or even third-degree burns in numerous locations. He has yet to say anything but incoherent mumbling. None of us recognize him.”
Taguchi shook his head in apparent disbelief and continued reading, “The man is indeed a Kumo Shinobi; his name is Katai Kayami.
Iwata stared at Taguchi in disbelief, not really seeing him.
“He was conscious long enough to prove who he was and tell us he’d been stationed in Kazedama as a spy before again passing out.” Taguchi said and turned the page, “After a few hours of care, Katai woke up and immediately began pleading with us that we run for our lives. He says someone is chasing him. We are locking down the embassy.”
Fujino whistled, shaking his head. “They knew somebody was coming, and whoever it was still got all of them without a struggle… Damn.”
Taguchi had come to the end of where he’d already read, and his eyes widened in surprise. “Katai has just told me that he believes the Stone of Legend must still exist.”
“What?” Taisho exclaimed, and Taguchi nodded, equally incredulous as he hurried to read the rest of the log.
“While in Kazedama, he noticed that there was something suspicious going on with the Daimyō. Carefully spying on the Royal Palace four months ago, he saw a group of Shinobi, dressed in black, break in and presumably attack the Daimyō. They never came back out. Retracing their tracks, he was able to find and spy on their hideout after much careful searching. He couldn’t figure out who they were, but from overhearing a small amount of conversation, he learned that the Daimyō has a new Kekkai Genkai. He can only conclude that the Stone must still exist.”
Iwata finally snapped out of her shock, “What happened to my brother, damn it!”
“According to Katai, three days ago, there was another attack on the Daimyō, but two of the Shinobi stayed back. He moved close enough to overhear their conversation and heard them talking about the Daimyō’s Kekkai Genkai. He says they believe it to be some sort of pulsating Chakra wave. He was forced to run when the Shinobi spotted him. They followed him out of Kazedama and across the desert. He has been running from them for three days without stopping. He remembers reaching Suna, but nothing after that.”
Taguchi closed the book with a snap, “The entries end there. Most likely, they were attacked after Nikko wrote that.”
“Where is Katai’s body then?” Iwata demanded.
Taisho bit his lip as he looked around the room, realizing she was right. “Most likely… they took his body with them. They chased him because he learned too much about their plans, which is why they killed everyone. They realized he was a spy stationed in Kazedama by us, it would give too much away. They didn’t know about the log.”
Fujino nodded solemnly in agreement, “By now… Katai is probably a pile of ashes somewhere…”
Iwata took a deep breath, concentrating on the cold, lifeless face of her friend’s brother.
“We have permission to stay here as long as needed…” Iwata said, and Taguchi nodded.
“Get settled in then.”
Suna, Kazekage Province, Land of Wind, EN.
In the world of Shinobi, the only thing that mattered was power. One’s ability to kill those in their way. People, both Shinobi and Civilian, regularly died, even in times of peace. All peace meant was that no significant countries were actively and openly at war. Small states, territories, villages, and various groups were always fighting regardless.
Treaties had been used as far back as the records went, and their success ultimately hinged on the leaders of the groups that signed it. The paper itself held no real meaning. It could and would be broken with the throw of a kunai.
While some countries did strive to live in peace and to respect their neighbors, others desired more and more control. However, the ending of the Warring States Era had marked a crucial change in Shinobi’s mindset. Previously, only oneself and one’s family or clan mattered. Now, one’s country, leaders, citizens, and comrades had been added to that list, though not much else had changed.
If anything, the battles, and wars had only worsened, gradually getting more bloody and catastrophic with every Great Ninja War.
Rasa respected Hashirama Senju and Madara Uchiha, who had brought about the end of the Warring States Era. He didn’t like them, but he admired their dedication to those who they saw as their people. Over eighty years ago, they had captured the Nine-tailed Bijū and threatened hundreds of clan leaders if they did not attend a special meeting.
At that meeting, they had presented their plan to change the ideology of the Shinobi. They’d brought attention to those who could not use their Chakra, those that had simply been called villagers, or slaves in many cases. At the time, those without Chakra were a dying race of humans. Unable to survive against the Shinobi, they were ruthlessly exploited and killed.
Rasa’s father had told him that it was believed that many of those without Chakra made boats and sailed out into the ocean, never to be seen again.
Feeling the hot sun on his back fade, Rasa looked up. Towering above him was the massive hundred-and-fifty-foot wall that guarded Suna. It had been carved from what was once a mountain by the first Kazekage with his Magnet Release. A huge cavity had been created in the center, and Suna built inside.
Walking next to him was Naruto, who seemed to be on his way to a full recovery. He’d been carried in shifts by each of his Shinobi as they ran across the desert. After the incident in Nekokami, Rasa decided it was best to head straight for Suna and as quickly as possible. He had been gone much longer than he originally planned. He had to hope his efforts during their prolonged return had been worthwhile.
Behind him on his left was Gaara, his constant flow of killing intent making it easy to locate him. Rasa slowly took a deep breath, guilt once more trying to overwhelm him. Every time he saw his son’s face, he saw his wife and the look of disappointment on her face. He’d betrayed her, and worse, he had not accepted the consequence of his foolish actions. He’d tried to have Gaara killed, so he could try again.
Shaking his head, Rasa focused back on his surroundings. They had just finished walking around the edge of the wall around Suna and were approaching the entrance. Suna usually had a steady flow of travelers from Irezumi City entering and leaving, and today was no exception. Everyone had changed back into their regular garb sometime before, though Naruto now wore clothes Toshi had bought for him in Nekokami.
As they drew closer to the road in front of the enormous gates, people noticed them and backed away. Because Suna was primarily a military location, not purely a city, everyone entering or leaving was documented and checked to the best of their ability. Records on Shinobi were usually hard to get, vague, or downright wrong.
Off to the left side of the gully-like passageway were several lanes, where the civilians waited in line.
On the right was a room carved out of the wall’s side, just beyond the open gates. This was where Shinobi checked in when they were going on a mission or coming back. Walking through the crowd, which parted before them like sand hitting a rock, they came to a stop at the mission counter.
“Kazekage-sama, Sasori-sama.” The Shinobi behind the counter said, bowing slightly.
“Tetsu-san,” Rasa replied, bowing his head slightly.
“Rasa-sama, sir, Baki-san has requested your presence in the Kazekage Tower immediately upon your arrival. A matter of emergency, sir.”
“I see,” Rasa replied, “We’ll skip the sign-in process for now.”
“Understood,” Tetsu replied, glancing at Naruto briefly before putting away the papers he’d pulled out.
Rasa turned toward Gaara, who was staring at the lantern-lit path blankly.
“You’re free to go, Gaara.” He said and was not surprised when his son did not respond. Rasa watched Gaara walk away until he was out of earshot then turned to Sasori, who was standing by the eight Elite Shinobi. “Sasori, make sure Gaara’s wardens know he’s back. Tanyu, I want you to meet me at the mansion first thing tomorrow morning. The rest of you are off duty.”
All nine Shinobi instantly vanished in swirls of sand.
Putting his hand on Naruto’s shoulder, Rasa followed his men’s lead and disappeared into a swirl of sand.
“Rasa-sama, welcome back.”
Naruto tried to focus on whoever was speaking, but his Byakugan was spinning. He heard Rasa walk away from him.
“Baki, Tetsu-san told me you wished to talk to me right away?”
As his vision settled, Naruto realized he was in a rather plain office. Two big wooden double doors were behind him, shut. In front of him was a large oak desk, behind which was a serious-looking Shinobi he assumed to be Baki. Rasa stood in front of it. Expanding his range, Naruto realized he was inside a large tower. Behind them on every floor, there were Shinobi everywhere, ranging from children not much older than him to a very old lady.
“Can it wait?” Rasa said.
Naruto focused on the office and saw Rasa take the seat behind the desk from Baki.
“Good, I need to deal with something else for right now. I’ll talk to you soon.” Rasa said, folding his hands on the polished desk. Baki nodded slowly and walked to the exit. Naruto stepped out of his way and pretended not to see confusion and curiosity on Baki’s face as the Shinobi noticed his blindfold.
Baki exited quickly and closed the doors behind him. Naruto watched through the wall as he walked toward the end of the corridor and started walking down the stairs.
“Naruto, please sit down.”
He did so, taking the chair on the left. Rasa took a scroll out of one of his many drawers and picked up a quill. Dipping it in the inkwell on the corner of his desk, he began to write, talking as he did so.
“Your father and I agreed that you would spend three years here in Sunagakure before returning to visit him. After which, you would return to finish your training to become a Genin. At that time, it will be up to you and your father whether you continue on to become a Shinobi.”
Naruto nodded, that was what his father had told him. Rasa continued to write on the scroll for a few moments.
“Your name will be Edano Naruto while you’re here,” Rasa said, glancing up at Naruto to see if he agreed. “You have some light experience in the Shinobi arts, and show promise in Ninjutsu, correct?”
He nodded again, “That was Kanade-san’s analysis.”
“Good. I’ve written that you are the son of a rich lord in Kazedama, who will remain nameless for now. You are here because your father requested a favor from the Daimyō to come back with me to Suna to train to become a Shinobi.” Rasa said, refreshing his quill. “You won’t be questioned about this. If one of your teachers has a question, they will come to me, and I will handle it. You are not going to answer any questions in this respect, understood? ”
“While you’re here, you shall be staying in my house. I believe a new Shinobi Academy class starts in a week; I will be assigning you to it.” Rasa said, “I’ve noted that you are entirely blind, but have been taught to see with the Echolocation Jutsu. Keeping that illusion is your responsibility.”
“Will Gaara tell anyone about my Byakugan?” Naruto wondered.
Rasa shook his head, reading over the scroll to check if it was correct. “No, Gaara doesn’t talk to anyone. Besides that, while Gaara has undoubtedly figured out some of your Kekkai Genkai aspects, he doesn’t know what it is or what it is called.”
Rolling up the scroll, Rasa clipped it closed and put it in his kunai pouch. Folding his hands on his desk, he focused on where Naruto’s eyes were, knowing the prince could see him.
“As I’m sure you know, Suna is a military base primarily, and city second. We have the largest number of Land of Wind shinobi in this city. I am aware you can read lips and expect you not to spy on things that are not your business.” Rasa said.
Naruto bowed his head in agreement and respect to Rasa’s wishes.
Thank you for reading this story! It was finished on 5/27/2020!
This chapter of the story was publicly posted on: 1/31/2020
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OC Creators of OC’s in this chapter:
- Ochida (Created and submitted by Grimtruth)