Shinobi Isekai!: Round Three! @morrowyn

"Why did we let him live with us, again?"

To avenge Son!

"Right. And letting him build us an oven is vengeance…how?"

He's slaving away! Working without thanks, just like Son!

"He's gonna eat the food that comes out of the oven, though, so it's not like he won't taste the fruits of his labor."

Shh. He's rebuilding the temple! It's penance!

"Wouldn't it be better if he rebuilt Son-sensei's temple, instead? I mean—."


She sighed and adjusted the gathering basket where it sat beside her, already heavy with mushrooms and other edible plants. She turned a page in the book that was hidden in a pot among the supplies Kiba's mom gave her, ages and ages ago. She couldn't read Japanese—neither could Choumei, but he was a giant, immortal bug born in a time with a different writing system, so she couldn't get mad at him for it—but there were lots of pictures, so it was easy to figure out that it was an almanac of edible plants. All she had to do was show Mushi what she wanted, and he'd mobilize his fleet of beetles to find it for her. Her diet was much more varied now, and she thanked whoever thought to send her the book every day.

There were other books, but she couldn't read them, their contents a mystery.

The supply pack had contained all sorts of things. Baskets, cooking utensils, oil, spices. Oh, the spices. Her quality of life went up dramatically the instant she started cooking with salt. She used it sparingly to keep from running out, but it came in a giant fucking rock, so she was pretty confident it would last her a while. There were lots of things she couldn't recognize, but she figured out pretty quickly what she liked and what she didn't.

Mushi did that weird hissing thing he did when he wanted her attention.

Mushrooms, he said. Big mushrooms. Ladybug found them.

Hooking the Nyoi Bo through the plant basket's straps, she counterbalanced it with another basket weighed down with smooth stones and animals unlucky enough to be caught in her traps. She lifted them up with a groan and settled the staff on her shoulders, the legendary weapon reduced to a carrying pole. She followed Mushi's lead to the patch of fungi, thanking the yellow ladybug who'd found them for her as it flew away. She carefully picked only the biggest mushrooms, placing them into her basket. These ones were her favorite, but they were hard to find, so she liked to leave some behind to regrow. In theory, she would know where to find them again, but her memory was such shit she always needed to ask the bugs for help.

Channeling some chakra into her feet, she began the trek home. It was strange, having someone else around. For so long, it was just her, the monkeys and Choumei. Now, with Roshi around, she constantly confronting how weird she'd become. She said all her thoughts out loud, narrating her actions and though process as she went about her day. She didn't even notice she was doing it unless Roshi pointed it out, which he hadn't since the first couple of days, when he might have realized what a jerk he was being. Maybe. He was a jerk in a lot of other ways, so it was hard to be sure. She wasn't even certain he was actually a jerk or if she was just completely unaccustomed to dealing with another human for prolonged periods of time. He spent most of his days doing exactly what he said he'd do, clearing debris from around the temple and repairing some of the less damaged areas. Sometimes, he just disappeared, not showing his face for several days in a row only to reappear with food he'd clearly stolen from his Iwa comrades. The last time he did that, he brought some noodles! That was a nice change of pace. More often than, not, though, he stole wine for himself, drinking the night away while Unko tried to sleep knowing another human was in her temple.

She…really needed to get used to being a person, again.

She stepped through the round 'moon gate' where the hole in the wall used to be. It was the first thing Roshi fixed, after she made it clear that the cows and horses needed to be free to come and go from the temple courtyard. He was a little bummed about not being allowed to eat the cattle, but he got over it pretty quickly once he realized she wasn't gonna serve him vegetarian foods. Setting down the baskets beside the inner sanctum's front door—a door Roshi had kindly made to plug the doorway—she rolled her shoulders. Channeling Choumei's chakra, she shrank the Nyoi Bo back to its matchstick size and fastened it to her necklace with a click.

As bitter as she was about sharing it, the courtyard looked a million times better, now. The walls were repaired, the fox holes and the entrances to the tanuki dens reinforced with clay bricks, and there were drying racks where she could lay out trays of plants or hang meat to dry. In the corner where the inner sanctum met the outer walls, the beginnings of a clay oven were taking shape. The stone paving had even been scrubbed free of the moss which carpeted the rest of the forest. Life with a roommate was certainly easier, but she still got her hackles up whenever Roshi was around. If he finally decided to pull his head out of his ass and realize she was a jinchuriki, too, what would he do?

I don't think you need to worry about that, Choumei said as she lugged a ceramic jug over to the sacred pool, filling it with water to clean today's haul. You practice with the Nyoi Bo every morning, but he never notices my chakra. He's one of those types who only sees what he wants to see. It hasn't even crossed his mind that you might be like him, so he ignores all the signs.

She'd known a few people like that, and her conversations with Son Goku—many of them had while Roshi was in the temple—made it clear he was that kind of person, but she was still a little paranoid. He was at least twice her age and had much more experience using bijuu chakra in combat. Having more tails than him would make little difference if they actually came to blows.

"Hey, Uu-chan!" She looked up to where he stood on the roof of the main hall. He was in the process of rebuilding the half that was still standing, but it was slow going, since he was trying to use as much of the original materials as possible, parsing through the rubble for usable bits. She appreciated the thought, but it would probably go faster if he made new bricks. "Look what I found!"

He jumped down to the center of the courtyard, plopping down a large, dead, pig.

"I know beef is off limits," he said with a grin as Unko stared open mouthed at the hairy, tusked boar he'd brought her. "But pork is fine, right?"

Where had he even found a pig that size? She hadn't seen any, at all, anywhere the whole time she lived in the temple. He had to have brought it from far away.

"I don't even know how to cook pig," she said breathlessly even as her mind was slowly filling with all the foods she missed from Before. Chorizo, carnitas, chicharrones, bacon. "Wait!"

She ran into the house, pulling all the books Konoha's teams had given her from their place under the raised cot that served as her bed. She ran back outside and knelt rather painfully, laying them out on the floor.

"Are any of these recipe books? This one has pictures of food, but I don't know what all the words say."

She looked up at Roshi with excitement. This was another use for the older jinchuriki. Surely, he knew how to read, right?

His face, free of the weird face plate attached to his pointy helmet, was twisted in a scowl. It was his default expression, but there was another layer to it, this time.

"You can't read?"

She crossed her arms over her chest with a huff. "Well, it's not like there's an abundance of teachers around, no is there?"

He winced. "Right. Here, let me see those." He crouched in front of her, picking up a book and flipping through the pages. "This is a history of the Land of Fire."

"Holy shit, for reals?" She took it from him and laughed. "Oh, I know what I'm using as kindling the next time a team from Konoha shows up. They want to make the temple a base of operations," she explained when he raised a red eyebrow at her. "Pretty bold of them, considering they're the ones who trashed it in the first place."

He huffed a small laugh of his own. "No kidding. You should get them to fix it, then."

"And rob you of your one honest job aside from state sanctioned murder? How could I be so cruel?"

He curled his lip at her but picked up another book, all the same. He flipped the pages, stopping to look at something before setting it aside with a snort.

"A history of Konoha."


She didn't have anything against Konoha, really. Choumei, did, though, and it was hard to separate her feelings from his where the Leaf village was concerned. It didn't help that the last Konoha asshole to visit her had tried to kill her. She hoped that girl dumped his ass. She could do so much better.

Roshi thumbed through another book, making an appreciative noise. "Cookbook."

Ooh, yay!

She leaned forward, trying to look inside. "Is there anything about pork?"

He pressed a finger to the center of her forehead, pressing her back onto her heels with a smirk. "How's about you wash the damned thing, while I read the directions?"

"No fair! I have to store the mushrooms and rabbits, too!"

"I caught it."

"And I'm the one who'll end up cooking it!"

"Only because you won't let me in the kitchen."

"Because you mess everything up! I have a system!"

"A shitty system. Who organizes things by taste?"

"Hey! That's not—." She cut herself off, tilting her ear down to Mushi where he'd landed on her shoulder.

People. First person and two others. Fig eaters saw them.

"What's wrong?" Roshi's expression was as serious as her own must be, his playful attitude gone in a flash. He was somewhat tense, his years of training as a shinobi kicking in at the first sign of trouble.

"There are people coming," she told him. "Three people."

He rolled his neck, popping the joint. "Want me to get rid of them?"

She shook her head slowly. "No. Mushi said something that makes me think at least one of them might be a return visitor. Plus," she let herself smile up at her fellow jinchuriki. "If we invite them to dinner, they can deal with the pig, for us!"

He laughed, throwing his head back with the force of it. "Alright! Oh," he pulled a scroll from his pocket and tossed it to her, a lopsided grin spreading across his face. "I grabbed this for ya. Can't be welcoming guests dressed like that."

She looked down at her too small clothing, the pants long converted to shorts and her once long sleeved shirt now little more than a bandeau. She knew she was tall, but were kids supposed to grow as fast as she was?

Most children have access to clothing at all stages of growth.


"Thanks, senpai!"

She left him sputtering in shock at the endearment as she ran inside to change.

Sakumo climbed the ruined stairs, entering the temple the right way, this time. Behind him, his two kouhai chattered rather loudly. They weren't trying to sneak in. Quite the opposite, in fact. They wanted little Unko to know they were coming.

He was more than a little surprised to receive such a mission. He never expected to return to the region after leaving it over two years ago, now. His skills were better suited for fighting against Kumo, the Hatake Clan's white chakra giving him an advantage against in the face of so many lightning jutsus.

Even more surprising were the things people were saying about the temple and the little girl who lived there.

Shinobi. Gossips, the lot of them.

The two shinobi sent to accompany him were young and energetic, popular with children in different ways. Uzumaki Kushina bickered one-sidedly with Namikaze Minato, the blond smiling like a saint in the face of the red head's contrived anger. The young jounin were among the strongest of their generation and had already played important roles in the war.

They were also seal masters.

The seal which protected the temple from outside detection was what vexed the Hokage the most. Apparently, the only reason Sakumo had even found it in the first place was that he hadn't harbored any ill will for it or the person inside. Granted, he was too unconscious to have any will, at all, but that was neither here nor there. The Hokage wanted to learn the inner workings of the seal so Konoha could use it or a variant to protect its supply lines and outposts. If—and it was a big if, given the reports thus far—Unko could be persuaded to assist Konoha's efforts in the region, then Sakumo was to oversee the temple's occupation.

It made little difference to him. Either way, he was farther from his child than he cared to be.

Even if Kakashi were a normal child, he'd be loath to leave him, his youth making his father nervous about being forgotten after too long away. At three years old, he was already using jutsus and chakra techniques that academy graduates struggled with. Sakumo was equal parts proud and concerned. It was only a matter of time before his child was also sent out to fight and the more he excelled the sooner it would happen.

There was something different about the temple.

Admittedly, he hadn't been there very long and his memories of it were blurred by fever, but he was eighty percent sure it was more…battered, than it was now. As he stepped through the hallway of the main building, there were piles of debris swept neatly to one side and holes in the walls and roof were clearly in the process of being plugged. Well, it had been years since his first and only visit. Why shouldn't she fix up her home?

The courtyard was also different, though not by much. In fact, the biggest difference was the man sitting cross legged beside a boar carcass, a book open in one hand. He had red hair which clashed badly with his purple Iwa style clothing, and he was rather short.

He looked up at them, raising a red eyebrow at them before turning back to his book. "Uu-chan," he called, voice ringing through the courtyard. "Your guests are here."

Unko stepped out of her home, an actual door swinging open before her. Her hair was longer, the golden curls forming a halo around her face. Her skin had darkened, some, making the contrast between it, her hair, and her green eyes that much more striking. She was wearing a red kimono in the Iwa style, the sleeves rolled up and away from her hands. She looked at Sakumo, angry recognition twisting her face.


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