To Rise Above @writer_of_many_subjects
Chapter 7

7

Inoichi

The blonde Yamanaka stared at the tiny Uzumaki standing before him. She was looking up at him in a shy manner, but one that showed she was unafraid. He could easily tell that she trained hard, her hands were bandaged and there was a yellowing bruise on her left cheek. He watched as her eyes became contemplative as she studied him. It was a bit…unusual to be stared down at by a child, but most prodigies were like that.

"Hello, Kaguya-Chan," He greeted the small girl and got a small nod before she hid behind Kushina's leg, "I'll be looking through your memories, and be your therapist."

So, a violation of privacy and then a way to get more information about your mental state and loyalties. Heh, Shinobi don't do anything half assed do they?

Kaguya agreed with the voice in her head. This bothered her quite a bit and she didn't consent to it. It was an order from the Hokage. How was she supposed to be loyal to the village when its leader did such things? She didn't understand the logic. She wanted it to make sense and it just wasn't. Yet at the same time, it made perfect sense. Her mind could follow the twisted logic, and she hated it.

She didn't say anything as she was sat down on a stool across from Inoichi. She thought more about where she was instead. Torture and Interrogation, chamber four, the first floor. They didn't take her memories seriously enough to go to a lower floor. They thought they'd find nothing but a childish nightmare. She knew better, she knew what her memories entailed. She felt an itching sensation on her chest and back. She knew what they'd find.

Inoichi quickly did the mind viewing jutsu and delved into the small girl's mind. It was messy inside her head, some of her earlier memories were foggy while others were sharp. He noted that the majority of her memories were dark. He went towards those. He was welcomed to the sound of crying and the heavy scent of blood and human excrement. His stomach churned at the smell as he saw through Kaguya's eyes. She was looking at the thin, frail arms that were wrapped around her.

The arms were pale and full of bruises, much like her own hands. The woman let out a shuddering cough, but Kaguya felt nothing. She couldn't even find the energy to feign concern. Her gaze slowly moved through the dark room until it landed on the cause of her suffering.

Inoichi recognized the Sannin immediately. Orochimaru was cleaning his blade and studying the bodies around him with a keen expression. It was like he was waiting for something, and when it didn't happen he lashed out at another Uzumaki. Eventually, he turned towards Kaguya and things went dark. Inoichi waited for a few minutes and contemplated the slight pain in his chest.

This darkness was all encompassing and silent. It wasn't cold or warm, but it was…there. That was the best way for him to explain it. That darkness disappeared when a sudden warmth filled him before the previous room came back into view. He was disoriented and could only pick up on the color red. It stained everything and it even made up the strands of hair on his head.

He pulled himself away from that line of thinking. That had been Kaguya's first thought upon waking up? She acted like she hadn't remembered anything. She heard her name called and guessed that was her. He saw her escape all the way until she was found by Bear and Cat. He waited until she was in the village before pulling out of her mind.

"Inoichi-San?" Kushina asked as she looked between them.

"Take her out for something sweet," Inoichi quietly said as he turned his attention to the taller red head, "I have a report to turn in."

"What days will I be taking her to see you?" Kushina asked as her body tensed up.

"Friday's after the academy," He answered, "We'll have an hour session so she can go to the library and inhale the rest of the scrolls there, I will suggest she stays clear of information about the Sanin until she comes to term with what happened."

"Of course," Kushina nodded before turning towards a slightly sleepy looking Kaguya, "There's an ice cream stand that has Matcha and Mocha flavors."

"Can…can we go there?" Kaguya quietly asked in a voice that told she was trying not to show her excitement.

Kushina grinned at her and began to drag her towards that stand. She was going to have an enjoyable day out with her little sister if it was the last thing she did. That meant ice cream and shopping. She needed to wear something more than Minato's and her old clothing. Maybe something dark with a bit of orange? She'd have to look around.

Inoichi let out a quiet sigh before getting up from the stool and heading towards the Hokage tower. The moment he entered the office of the Sandaime, a seal was activated. He stood up straighter and pushed away any pity he felt towards Kaguya. He had to report in, and his report might get her some justice.

"Uzumaki Kaguya was abducted by Orochimaru of the Sanin," He reported, "She as kept in a dark room along with several other Uzumaki, I believe she only made it out because he thought she was dead."

"Dead? How?" Hiruzen questioned.

"She was stabbed through the chest," He answered, and he felt that pain in his own, "By all logic she should be dead, but is still alive."

"He must be testing out new jutsu," Hiruzen muttered as he frowned, he cleared his throat and summoned two of his most trusted ANBU, "I want an investigation of Orochimaru to begin immediately, evidence has come up of him experimenting and killing our allies from the Uzumaki clan."

"Understood, Sandaime-Sama!" Inoichi and the two ANBU said in unison.

"Dismissed."

The three shinobi quickly left the office and Hiruzen slumped in his chair. His student seemed to have fallen far. Kaguya maybe considered a prodigy by her female Sensei, but she was still an untrained child. A child that couldn't falsify her memories. He reached for his pipe and lit it; he needed the nicotine to think. He looked towards his crystal ball and activated the surveillance jutsu he created.

Kaguya was sitting with Kushina and eating her two scoops of ice cream. Matcha and Mocha, her favorite flavors. She liked sweet things, but she also liked earthy flavors. She smiled softly as she ate the green ice cream.

"You're starting to grow," Kushina said with a small pout, "I can't believe that soon you'll be tall enough to reach the overhead cupboards without a stepping stool."

"I already do." Kaguya quietly said with a slight frown.

"That explains the chakra marks on the counter," Kushina huffed, "Use less chakra."

"O-Okay."

They went back to eating their ice cream and Kushina watched as her sister surveyed the people on the streets. They still sent her glares, but she seemed unbothered by them. She began to tap against the small plastic bowl in her hand and slightly swayed side to side to a rhythm that only she could hear. She then noticed the very quiet humming.

Panic at the Disco! High Hopes, a surprise to be sure but a welcomed one.

Kaguya paused in her humming and wondered if the voice just quoted something. It felt like it did. She almost made a face but instead took a bite of ice cream. She knew better than to physically respond to the voice. ANBU was already watching her, she didn't want to be put under a heavier watch. She liked having the freedom to go to the library and inhale the scrolls. She needed to know how Inoichi knew that she did that, she doubted that he had enough time to look through every memory. Five years was a lot of time, and a lot of memories.

43824 hours and 1826 days, if you want the minutes its 2629440. On that subject let's look at memories, most people can't even agree with the age for the earliest memory. Some think its six to eight years while others think its two.

Kaguya blinked at that. The voice in her head was smart, she'd noticed that she knew that information as well. The voice was feeding her information when she wasn't paying attention. Music, science, and the knowledge on how to wire a house. That one she didn't really know why the voice would know. Wasn't it a professional musician?

Everyone has to work a job at one point, mine was wirework.

That meant trade school. Kaguya looked at her slowly melting ice cream and frowned. She felt a headache coming on. The voice in her head spent so much time in school that it was ridiculous. No wonder she didn't want to stay in the academy longer than she had to. She had noticed that shinobi didn't know much about science or math outside of ballistics training.

"Ano, Kushina-Onee-Chan," Kaguya started and Kushina hummed in response, "Does the whole village know that I speed read?"

"Of course, it does," Kushina answered, "The civilians sometimes go to shinobi bars just to hear about the more eccentric clan members."

"I'm eccentric?" Kaguya asked with a surprised look.

"Not really, Uchiha Shisui and Obito are eccentric," Kushina said with a slight smile, "You're just a paper ninja and there's nothing wrong with that."

"Good, others will someday pay for mocking me," Kaguya dryly said as she finished her ice cream, "Mark my words."

"Slow down there you menace," Kushina chuckled, "You have plenty of time."

Kaguya doubted that. Three months since her first attempt at making a clone and they were starting to stand up and keep their colors. She knew what that meant. She had tried making one and then making ten. When she made ten they tended to look better. She knew that in another month or so she'd be ready to take the exit exam and she would do so with gusto. Kushina knew that she planned on doing so, but didn't really expect her to pass. She still supported her, which she appreciated.

The best role model.

Her older sister was the best (dattesa)! Kaguya still believed that even as she was dragged around to different stores and bought new clothes. She knew that she'd outgrow the clothing she had received from the two jonin, but she doubted that she needed that many outfits. Kushina did laundry enough that they consistently had clean clothes, and when the older red head was out on a mission Kaguya did the laundry.

She still allowed the woman to buy her a katana, she almost protested but that slight interest in kenjutsu called out to her. She wondered what the civilians and shinobi thought about a three-foot girl carrying a weapon that was a bit bigger than her. She had it resting against her left shoulder, a hand around the scabbard. She liked the feel of the dark cherry wood that made it up and it looked nice. The blade itself would be able to conduct her chakra and the fact that it was black didn't need to be said. She noted that the guard was circular, which wasn't completely unusual for a katana, but most shinobi weapons had a square guard.

"I think aniki knows how to use kenjutsu," She muttered to herself as she tapped the sword against her shoulder in thought as the two went into a grocery store.

A scroll for the Katana would become her best friend. She wouldn't be able to wear it around her waist until she was a bit taller. She didn't have the reach to strap it across her back and still unsheathe it. She bit the inside of her cheek and quietly willed herself to grow taller. Even if she knew it wouldn't work, it made her feel a bit better.

"Ah, Uzumaki-san," She jumped at the sudden appearance of Hayate.

"Gekko-san," She greeted back and noted the taller woman behind him who was glaring down at her with a cold expression on her face, "Are you having a good day so far?"

"Yes, yourself?" He asked back.

"Yeah," She nodded.

She wondered if Kushina could sense her desk mate in the grocery store. She gave her sister the side eye and noted that she was smiling happily as she picked out a few ripe tomatoes. She sighed quietly at that. Of course, she did. It was Kushina.

I would've happily been best friends with her.

"Are you interested in kenjutsu?" Hayate quietly asked her as the woman behind him looked at an onion.

"Yeah," She answered just as quiet, "Is that your mother?"

"I'm sorry about her," He apologized, and she blinked in surprise.

"Don't be," She shrugged, "You don't have any control over other people, what they do is on them."

"Like Naomi?"

"Exactly."

He gave her an amused smile and she could easily say it was the first time she'd seen him smile like that, at least she thought it was. She gave him a cheery wave before trailing behind Kushina as the woman looked around the store to find the items she wanted. He brought his hand up in response and she smiled at that. He liked seeing that.

"Stay away from that child, Hayate," His mother hissed at him, "Uzumaki are nothing but a curse."

"I think she's nice," He quietly argued and that seemed to cause his mother to pause.

"This isn't up for debate," She informed him.

He frowned up at her and she narrowed her eyes dangerously. He looked away and she gained a victorious smirk. He wasn't going to do what she said, he knew better. He would put up with Genma teasing him if he told the other boy that he wanted to stay around her because she didn't treat him like an invalid. He had bad lungs, that was about it.

"A friend?" Kushina teased Kaguya.

"Yeah, what else would he be?" Kaguya asked as she tilted her head in slight confusion.

You really are a menace!

"Don't worry about it," Kushina quickly said.

Kaguya inwardly smirked at that and enjoyed the slightly panicked expression on the woman's face before she picked up some beef and looked at it. There was nothing better than messing with her older sister. Having adult information in her head sometimes came in handy, she liked it. She tapped her katana against her shoulder in thought.

She was quiet all the way until they got home. She ate dinner and then went to sleep; she didn't have much to do except sleep. She found herself getting exhausted as the day went on. She gathered that the events of the morning finally caught up with her, it didn't help that Kushina was an endless source of energy. The woman was a storm all on her own.

She woke up to Bear tossing a kunai at her. She rolled to the side and sent him a glare, he seemed happy with her reaction time. She noted that the kunai wouldn't have hurt her, it barely came close to where she was sleeping. She sat up and sat crisscross, sending him a dirty look the entire time.

"Good reaction speed, not a bad plan to roll to the side where you might have a weapon hidden," He commented, "Uzumaki-san informs me that you have a katana now, good."

Yikes.

Ah, fuck.

Her cursing was justified. He had her going through the katas one by one until she could do them without thinking. She was able to quickly use her blade, though the screaming pain in her arms made her wonder if that was a good thing or not, and use it in the correct stance that wouldn't leave her wide open. Bear seemed to have taken a page out of Minatos book and proceeded to beat her into the ground during a spar. The man didn't hold back, but that made her feel a bit better when she dodged under a heavy strike and replied with one of her own. It never landed, but showed progress.

"Not bad," Bear commented as he brought the spar to an end, "Show me the bunshin you were taught at the academy."

Kaguya sheathed her katana and hesitated. Her hands quickly went through the signs. Ram, snake, tiger. Two clouds of smoke poofed into existence and when it cleared two versions of her were standing there. Bear was welcomed to a highly surprised kid. She'd never been able to make perfect clones. Her grin was blinding as she realized what that meant. She had her chakra under control.

"We'll have you attempt an auditory genjutsu," Bear informed her, "Adding less chakra with a genjutsu is best until you are used to it."

She gave a nod and he showed her the signs. Snake and Ram. She could feel her chakra moving out of her pathways and into the air surrounding her. She could physically taste the ozone and hint of rain. She knew for a fact that's what her chakra nature was. She also knew that it meant she added too much.

Bear allowed himself to be pulled into the genjutsu. He could taste her chakra in the air and knew that she added way too much, but it helped him to know what she needed training in. Lightning and Water, she could do quite a bit with those natures. It was a deadly combination. He'd have to show her how to use it strategically. His finger twitched when he was pulled out of his thoughts by a strange sound.

Bolero-Maurice Ravel, that should throw him for a loop. Nicely done.

Bear listened as the music seemed to move around him, it sounded like a happy marching tune. It distracted him as he tried to put a finger on where it came from. It got louder, but kept moving. Oh, she was smart in how she used auditory genjutsu. She knew that if she kept it moving pinpointing where the source was became difficult. If one couldn't pinpoint the source than the genjutsu gained a stronger hold. He broke the genjutsu and she looked up at him.

"Music huh?" He asked and she gave a slight nod, "Nicely done, a bit too much chakra but you didn't blow up any heads."

"It effects the temporal lobe, right?" She asked.

"Yes, keep working on that genjutsu until you can no longer taste your chakra in the air," He ordered, "And make sure to mess with people."

That was an odd request but one she nodded seriously to. It seemed that Bear didn't like the way she was treated either. Well, she'd just have to practice that genjutsu until she couldn't even sense her chakra in the area. She could do it! If she could get the clone jutsu down she could do anything. She barely noticed Bear leaving her to train on her own.

She made the hand signs again and tasted her chakra in the air. She gave a quiet sigh and pulled back on it a bit. It lessened the Ozone smell, but she still smelt rain. It was tricky. She continued pulling back until she was sure the genjutsu was working, but barely.

"If you concentrate anymore your face'll match your hair." She tossed a kunai towards the source of the voice that startled her.

Bear had worked with her on actually throwing a kunai towards an unknown. Every shinobi in the village knew better than to sneak up on one of their own, too many had gone to the hospital because a kunai made its mark. She decided that whoever startled her was an idiot.

"Obito said you were kinda jumpy," The voice said right next to her right ear, "I didn't think you were that jumpy."

She reacted quickly and brought the owner of the voice into a headlock. He seemed surprised and didn't try to escape. She looked into dark eyes and noted that they looked up at her in slight awe. She wondered why. It was creeping her out a little bit.

"What?" She asked in a flat tone.

"I've never seen violet eyes before," He commented, "They're pretty!"

She tensed at that and her hold around his neck loosened to the point where he could escape. He did so and stepped back a few feet. Her face had turned a bright red and she refused to look anywhere near him. It was cute.

"Who are you?" She mumbled.

"Uchiha Shisui, and you?" He asked, though he already knew.

"Uzumaki Kaguya," She quietly answered.

Her slight bow was endearing and old more of manners that were drilled into her. Ah, clan politics at its finest. He doubted her older sister taught her them. The woman barely acted like most clan heads. She allowed her little sister to converse with anyone she wanted and to find her own shinobi path. The encouragement was astounding. He was slightly jealous of her for that, but he wasn't about to let her know.

"Working on genjutsu?" He asked in a good natured way.

"Y-Yeah," She confirmed, "I'm trying to lessen the amount of chakra I use, but it's very slow going."

"You train a lot," He commented as he plopped down on the grass and patted the spot next to him.

"I have to," She grumbled, "Though I do see the benefits."

"Like putting me in a headlock?"

"Exactly."

"That's so cold, Hime!"

She let out a quiet chuckle at his reaction. She didn't even register the nickname he had bestowed upon her. It fit, she was technically a clan heir. Whether it be to the main family or branch family, she was an heir and needed to be treated with respect. Didn't mean he was going to. She was as easy going as her big sister, when one broke through the shy shell. That's why he startled her, that shyness didn't have time to react properly.

"Are you taking the graduation exam?" He asked.

"Yeah, I don't want to spend time in the academy," She admitted, "I don't feel intellectually stimulated, it bores me and I get distracted."

"Are you sure you aren't part Nara?" He questioned with a raised brow.

"Are you related to Sayori-Sensei?" She asked with a slight smile on her face.

"Aunt Sayori?" He blinked, "Ah right she talks about you sometimes, she threw her fifth piece of chalk at you yesterday."

"At this point I think she does it for fun," She stated.

"Probably."

"Ah, can't blame her."

"You do seem to be an easy target with the bright red hair."

"Lay off the hair, curly."

"You're hair is curly too!"

The two delved into slight banter before Shisui suggested a dango break. He learned in one suggestion how to become one of Kaguya's favorite people. They didn't know that the Sandaime had seen the small meeting and decided on something. He held two files in his hand and placed them to the side. He took a drag of his pipe and wondered if Uzumaki Kaguya could graduate at five and cement the title of prodigy on her file. She had pulled off a C-rank Genjutsu with slight trouble. The minute she gained perfect chakra control was the minute she became legendary. She'd have to continue to work hard to get to that level, but he didn't doubt that she one day would.

Now, who to teach her? He was contemplating making Kushina a genin Sensei just to get the woman out of the village for a while, that and she'd make a wonderful teacher. It wouldn't be the first time that a clan head would be a genin Sensei of a group with one of their own. He trusted the older red head to pay attention to all of her genin. Well, it was final.

All that was left was to wait three months.

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