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Belated Birthday wishes to Uchiha Sasuke. The actual date in the storyline right now is probably the 11th of July, so his birthday in the story is a couple of chapters later. For now, enjoy.
"It seems that the event is going to be held at the Hidden Sand," Mabui reported.
"What?" Ay was shocked.
This went against what he thought.
("Why would the sand village hold the event? Does it want to lure the lion out of its den and finish the job?") Ay questioned himself.
"What now, Raikage-sama?" Cee asked Ay.
"It doesn't change our plan. We will head towards the Hidden Sand!" Ay stated his view on the matter.
"Brother," Bee called out from the entrance of the room.
"Bee, We are going to the Hidden Sand," Ay said as he walked out of the room along with the others.
"Hidden Sand?" Bee asked.
"The event has shifted venues," Ay explained as he continued to walk.
"…" Bee silently followed the group out without questioning anything.
Hidden Stone Village, Tsuchikage's Room…
"Lord Tsuchikage," an agent appeared at the end of the room.
"Hmm?" Onoki looked at the man.
"There's new intel on that event,"
"Go on," Onoki encouraged.
"The event has shifted venues from the Hidden Leaf to the Hidden Sand," The man reported.
"Oh…" Onoki was surprised.
"What are your orders?" The man asked.
"Continue monitoring the event. Let me know if anything interesting happens," Onoki ordered.
"Yes," The man responded before leaving the room.
Onoki stared at the spot the agent had left thinking hard on what the changes meant.
("I don't know what the hidden sand is doing, I can only watch from the sidelines as this show plays on…") Onoki sighed.
Sasuke stood in front of the White Snake Sage.
"Aoda is safe right now," The White Snake Sage informed.
"…" Sasuke felt relieved.
"The summoning system is complex,"
"However, the best part is that as a safety feature, when there's a life-threatening attack before any critical damage occurs, the contract breaks and the creature is summoned back here," The White Snake Sage explained.
"I see…" Sasuke responded.
"You're lucky that Aoda doesn't hate you for it,"
"You can re-contract with him, but there is a cool-off period." The White Snake Sage explained.
"So, during this penalty period, you won't be able to summon any snakes, other than that you are good to go," The White Snake Sage said.
"Mm," Sasuke turned around.
After walking a few steps; however, he turned back once again.
"How many months do I need to wait?" Sasuke asked.
"Another four months at the minimum. After that, you need a rigorous training for at least two years," The White Sage Snake informed.
"Four months huh,"
"I'll be back then," Sasuke informed.
"Are you going to go through with this?" Tagitsuhime who stood beside the White Snake Sage asked.
"Us snakes are no longer powerful enough for it,"
"The boy already possesses a stunning bloodline. With the ability of human's blood to adapt, I wonder how far he will go…" The White Snake Sage said.
Tagitsuhime was jealous. A human would get an opportunity that all snakes had vied for their entire life, where was the fairness in that.
However, as long as the White Snake Sage lived, she could only watch silently from the sidelines.
Sasuke quickly made his way over to the Hidden Leaf and entered his home.
At the front yard, Jūgo sat by the small pond of water with a few birds that perched on his shoulders.
"Brother," Jūgo noticed Sasuke entering.
"Let's go," Sasuke said.
Jūgo understood and quickly got ready, following which the two left.
It was about seven in the evening, after what seemed a long day, few people gathered at Naruto's house.
Tsunade looked at Minato.
"He'll be waking up soon," Tsunade informed.
Minato looked towards the bed where Naruto slept.
His hands were held by Karin who sat by his side looking over him.
Minato sighed, thinking back to what had happened earlier.
When Naruto was brought in to the house, Tsunade, Karin, and Hiruzen quickly made their way over to the house.
Karin felt painful seeing at Naruto's condition through the crystal ball. But now that he was in front of her, she felt it even more painful. Hinata was also shocked to the point that she forgot what happened earlier in the day and quickly appeared by Naruto's side.
Tsunade, Hinata, and Karin quickly worked on healing Naruto. About two hours later, when Naruto was healed. Hiashi had appeared. Hinata knew that she couldn't be there any longer. Minato didn't say a word since they were in a complicated situation. Thus, Hiashi and Hinata silently left with Karin staying behind to watch over Naruto.
"Thanks," Minato bowed towards Tsunade.
"It is all right,"
"I just hope that he recovers from this," Tsunade said as she walked out.
Back in the room where Naruto slept, beside Karin, there were a few others. Neji, Lee, Shikamaru, Hashirama, Tobirama, and Hiruzen.
Minato couldn't refuse a visit from Neji and Rock Lee since Rock lee was insistent on being there for Naruto. Neji, on the other hand, felt his world spin after seeing all the prominent figures, especially after finding out Naruto's dad was alive, albeit it was a reincarnation. Shikamaru looked at Neji.
"Since Naruto isn't going to wake up for a while, how about we come back tomorrow?" Shikamaru asked.
"Mm," Neji answered slowly.
"You two go, I'll tell Naruto-kun you guys were here for him," Lee said with a smile.
"Thanks," Shikamaru said, following which he brought Neji out of the house.
"Neji-kun, Shikamaru-kun," Minato called out.
"We'll be back tomorrow to visit Naruto," Shikamaru replied.
"All right," Minato smiled at the duo.
A man appeared beside Shikamaru and Neji.
"Minato-sensei," Kakashi called out.
"Kakashi," Minato responded.
"Sorry, I was out of the village on a mission for a while," Kakashi apologized.
"It's all right," Minato responded.
"Is he okay?" Kakashi asked.
"Yeah, he'll be sleeping for a while," Minato replied.
"I see," Kakashi responded.
"Kakashi-sensei," Shikamaru called out.
"Hmm?" Kakashi looked at Shikamaru.
"Does Sakura know?" Shikamaru asked.
"She doesn't," Kakashi responded.
Shikamaru and Neji then left after bidding the two goodbyes.
"It's finally done!" Hashirama said as he raised his hand in the air.
Tobirama stared at the hand to see a perfectly sculpted crystal. It was a crystal that Hashirama found when he mined to bring out a few materials for the railways they were constructing. The crystal was the same one Hashirama had once made for Nawaki. Hashirama had been busy sculpting the crystal after they had rescued Naruto. The crystal was important for Hashirama and Tenzō to control Naruto should he ever go berserk in the future again.
Tobirama then handed over a small thread to Hashirama. It was perfectly sized to be worn around the neck. Hashirama then passed the thread through a small hole he made on the crystal, with the crystal as a pendant. He then tied it around Naruto's neck.
"What's this?" Karin asked.
"It's a crystal that will protect him in the future," Hashirama said with a smile.
"I see," Karin observed the shiny crystal.
Hiruzen then looked at Tobirama and Hashirama.
"It's time to go," Hiruzen said.
"Yeah…" Hashirama responded.
On the way out, the three looked at Minato.
"Inform us once the seventh wakes up," Tobirama said.
"Got it," Minato nodded in return, following which he saw the three kages off.
As Minato was about to close the door…
Two figures landed in front of his house.
"I was expecting you two…" Minato smiled at Sasuke and Jūgo who were at his door.
The trio entered the house and into the bedroom where Naruto slept. Inside the room, Lee and Karin sat beside Naruto waiting for him to get up, while Kakashi stood by the window.
"Sasuke-kun," Kakashi and Lee called out at the same time.
"Kakashi, Lee," Sasuke looked at the two.
"Who is this?" Lee asked as he pointed towards Jūgo.
"His name is Jūgo," Sasuke said as he approached Naruto who slept on the bed.
Sasuke thought back to the time Minato had rescued him from Naruto when he was on a rampage, almost crushing Aoda to death.
("So that's a tailed beast's power huh…") Sasuke thought as he stared at Naruto.
Lee approached Jūgo.
"Hi, I am Rock Lee, Hidden Leaf's Blue Beast." Rock Lee introduced himself.
Jūgo stared at Lee for a moment before he finally opened his mouth.
"I am Jūgo,"
Lee put out a hand.
"Pleased to meet you," Lee said in expectation of a handshake.
Jūgo looked towards Sasuke only to see him nod.
"Mm," Jūgo shook Lee's hand.
Minato wore his apron and turned towards the people in the room.
"I am making Dinner for everyone," Minato said.
"eh?" Karin's eyes were drawn towards Minato's pose with his apron. She couldn't help but almost drool in what she imagined would be a future Naruto in a pink apron.
"Do you like sweet things?" Minato asked.
"…" The room was silent as they stared in awe of Minato's appearance.
"Spicy it is!" Minato declared following which he swaggered off from the room, leaving behind people with dumbfounded expressions.
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