Journey of the Maelstrom Rider
Chapter 1: Sudden Shifts
"I can't believe that he would even do such a thing," that was the thought of Naruto as he ran along the dirt path within Mount Myoboku which is the homeland of the Toads which he has a summoning contract as well as training in the arts of Senjutsu.
The subject of Naruto's thoughts were what had happened the past few weeks, Naruto had learnt of Sasuke attacking a ninja of the Hidden Cloud village who was like a brother to the Fourth Raikage and had been put on a wanted list, so he along with Kakashi and Yamato intercepted the Kage in an attempt to plead with him to pardon the Uchiha but was refused and seen as naïve in perspective of the ninja world. Things then started heating up when Sakura appeared along with Sai, Kiba with his canine partner Akamaru and Rock Lee. He was taken by surprise when she suddenly made a confession that she loved him…but he wasn't so easily fooled and was actually hurt that she would try to deceive him this way just to relieve him of the promise he had made to her and pointed it out that he also seeks to bring Sasuke back in his own way which annoyed her to leave with the others.
Later on, Naruto snuck away from Yamato to follow Kakashi who had gone after Sakura and managed to save her from being killed by Sasuke and was visibly saddened to see how much he had changed and was threatening to destroy the Hidden Leaf village as a way of cleansing the shame of the Uchiha clan and had already taken the first step by killing Danzo who was serving as a stand-in for the Hokage, hearing this reminded him of the conversation which he had with Itachi before his death about choosing to protect the village or Sasuke and he had chosen to protect both, now he's seeing how difficult the choice is with Sasuke's mindset in the mix. The masked Uchiha appeared to take Sasuke away whilst leaving Karin behind for them to take back to the village and try to figure things out from here…the silver lining in this dark cloud was that Tsunade was finally awake from her coma and on her way to a full recovery before retaking her position as Hokage, then he had returned to Mt Myoboku for more training to become stronger to complete the newly added objectives to his mental list.
"At this rate, I don't know if Team 7 would be able to go back to the way it was before when we started out from the Academy," thought Naruto as he dashed along a wooden bridge then slowed down to a stop before a boulder where an elderly toad sat upon it before him, he was none other than Lord Fukasaku who serves as his tutor in the Sage arts.
The toad smiled upon seeing him "Ah young Naruto, I see that you're here once more…and it appears that you've changed your outfit a bit,"
Naruto looked at himself (an Refer to the Dragon Blade Chronicles outfit) before responding with a foxy grin "I had these duds some time ago to help protect me during a mission involving dragons and I felt that I should start expanding my entire arsenal in terms of both gear and jutsu with this being one of the many things being added,"
"You don't say, then I would like to see your newest additions in our practice run. See if you can keep up with me," said Fukasaku before leaping away with great speed.
Naruto wasn't too surprised as he had seen the elderly toad move much faster that that whenever they sparred and so ran after him. Along the way, the blonde ninja was constantly encountering the younger toads who were instructed to engage him in combat should he run into them. Naruto utilized his freeform style of close combat and signature Shadow Clone jutsu as he faced them head on and was able to take them down, one toad attempted to pounce him from behind but Naruto was quick to sense it and move out of the way for it to crash into a tree. The blonde ninja continued to follow after Fukasaku along the large leaves and giant mushroom even into one of the buildings and out where he also ran into wildlife like wolves and bears but was still able to hold his own while showing to be using the basics most effectively. The chase soon ended at the sacred grounds where the pools of toad oil and giant statues were situated.
"Most impressive, you were able to keep up with me despite the many obstructions in your path. Although I have yet to see any of your new additions," said Fukasaku with a nod of approval.
"Well I wasn't exactly pushed to the point of using them yet," said Naruto sheepishly.
"I see, then perhaps the next of training might do just that. We'll be going into live combat and I had already chosen an opponent for you,"
"You'll be fighting me, Naruto," a voice spoke up then something landed on the ground before them, revealing to be a large orange toad with purple markings around his eyes, face and stomach and wears a grey sleeveless vest.
Naruto blinked in surprise "Gamakichi, I'm guessing that me against you huh?"
Gamakichi nodded in affirmation "Fukasaku-sama told me that you were training, so I thought to lend a hand in it,"
"In that case, there's no way I'm going to hold back on ya!" Naruto took a combat stance.
"We're only practicing live combat, I would be worried if we had to fight with no holds barred,"
"I gotcha, now get ready for this!"
Gamakichi took the first move as he opened his mouth to launch his tongue towards Naruto who quickly dashed sideways to evade it before charging towards the toad and striking out with a straight punch which was blocked. Naruto saw an incoming chop from Gamakichi and quickly leapt into the air to avoid it but then saw a second strike heading his way, he quickly channeled chakra to the soles of his feet as columns of seals were seen glowing brightly on the shin guards then a blue circular platform made of chakra materialized beneath Naruto which he then stepped off to leap higher into the air much to Gamakichi's surprise but the blonde ninja was far from done as he created another platform to launch himself at the toad with a fist reared back and punched him hard in between the eyes before somersaulting away from a potential attack.
"Owww, that smarts! How did you do that?" asked Gamakichi while rubbing the bump on his head.
"I'll tell you about it after the spar," Naruto replied.
Naruto crossed the middle and index fingers of both hands "Shadow clone jutsu!" he created copies of himself as they charged altogether to attack their opponent, Gamakichi was quick to leap into the air to avoid getting dogpiled and came down to crush them under his weight but they scrambled out of the way to evade. Naruto vaulted off one of the clone's back to strike with a flying kick only for the toad to block with one of his forelimbs before pushing away which gave the other clones the opportunity to attack his blind spot as they grabbed the other and threw them like missiles to strike Gamakichi with flying headbutts, knocking him back several steps.
Gamakichi grunted from the barrage and swung his arms in an arc to knock the clones back with enough force to dispel them before bounding towards Naruto to strike him with a palm thrust to knock him down, Naruto saw the toad approach and took a defensive stance as he waited for Gamakichi to draw closer until he was within desired range as the ninja channeled chakra to his arms this time with rows of seals glowing on the armguards and plating on the gloves as he swung an arm to clash with Gamakichi's which then unleashed a burst of chakra which then blew the toad back to crash on the ground.
Naruto got ready to attack once more when Fukasaku stepped in and spoke up to the combatants "That's enough on this spar,"
Gamakichi grunted in response "Not a moment too soon, I'm not really in the mood to find out what else Naruto has in his new bag of tricks,"
"Sorry about that buddy, I guess I got too excited to try out my new techs in combat," Naruto rubbed the back of his head sheepishly.
"Which leads to us asking about those seals on your shin guards and armguards," asked Fukasaku.
"Oh these?" Naruto gestured to the seals on the aforementioned armor pieces "Before the chakra avatar of my dad faded away, he transferred some of his memories into me which led me to one of his safe houses where I saw a lot of notes on seals and began studying on them and later on started creating my own varieties of seals. The seals on my shin guards manipulates my chakra to form platforms in midair which allow me to maneuver and dodge attacks, I can also use them to gain a short burst of speed too. The seals on my armguards allow me to release bursts of chakra upon physical contact which makes it ideal for parrying or countering attacks,"
"I can tell from experience," Gamakichi muttered to himself.
"That certainly is an effective application of seals in combat besides what we know commonly, but I can tell that there's more from what I can tell with the scrolls on you," said Fukasaku looking at the articles holstered to Naruto's thighs. They were about to talk more on Naruto's new gear and jutsu when there was a puff of smoke which dissipated to reveal a green toad which bowed before them.
"Fukasaku-sama, Kakashi of the Hidden Leaf village has sent an urgent message!" said the messenger toad, hearing this drew their attention especially Naruto.
"From Kakashi, what is the message?' asked Fukasaku with concern.
"It says that the village is in danger and that he needs Naruto to return immediately,"
"What?!" Naruto couldn't believe what he was hearing, the village is under attack yet again?
"And what has befallen the village?" asked Fukasaku urgently.
"We received no further details," said the messenger toad.
"Grandpa Sage, I'm heading back to the village right now!" said Naruto with determination to protect his home.
The elderly toad nodded in affirmation "Yes, of course!"
The messenger toad then spoke up "But there is something Kakashi wrote as well, he said that you should go to the woods outside of the village,"
"Why does he want to meet there instead of the village since I'll need to meet with Tsunade-baachan?" asked Naruto confusedly.
"You'll know when you get there," Fukasaku formed a handsign "Farewell Naruto," Naruto nodded in affirmation before disappearing in a puff of smoke.
"I hope that everything will be okay in the village," said Gamakichi with concern.
"And I as well," said Fukasaku.
Naruto reappeared in the middle of the forest in a puff of smoke and looked around to see that he had arrived at the woods surrounding Konoha although he wasn't very familiar with the area unlike his friend Kiba and his partner Akamaru.
"I thought Kakashi-sensei would be here but I don't see any sign of him," Naruto crossed his arms "Maybe Grandpa Sage sent me to the wrong place, I better go look for him and find out exactly what's going on ASAP!"
Naruto took off down the path before taking to the treetops where he proceeded to leap from branch to branch in search of his sensei when he suddenly sensed multiple presences ahead of him moments before a salvo of kunai flew towards him from above, the blonde ninja deflected the incoming projectiles with a burst of chakra from his armguards before backing away from any follow-ups as he saw a small group of bandits emerge from the bushes with weapons in hand.
"Hey kid, hand over your valuables if you wanna live," said one of the bandits in a gruff voice.
Naruto frowned in response "I don't have time for this and you guys are too close to my home, so I'm taking you all out,"
He took out a pair of kunai before rushing towards them whilst deflecting the shuriken being flung towards him, the bandits scattered in different directions so Naruto targeted the one closest to him as he triggered the seals on his shin guards to unleash a burst of chakra to propel himself towards his target and connect a powerful knee strike to the gut which was enough to knock him out. Naruto spun round and used one his kunai to block a slash by a bandit's katana from behind, he pushed the bandit away and performed a low sweep to knock him down to the ground and continued with the momentum to slam on the bandit's head to knock him out as well.
Naruto took out several paralysis seal tags and placed them on the bandits to arrest their ability to move with the intention to alert the Konoha ninjas to come and pick them up later on. It appears that those bandits weren't the only ones in the forest as he encountered more along the way and had to defeat them as well and made it a point to inform Kakashi about this since he used to be a member of ANBU. He was continuing on his way when Naruto suddenly heard someone call out to him.
"Naruto!" the blonde looked to see two ninjas land on the ground before whom he recognized to be his sensei Kakashi Hatake and other teammate Sakura Haruno.
"Kakashi-sensei, Sakura. I was looking for you but kept running into bandits along the way," said Naruto as he approached them, not noticing Sakura flinch at the fact that he didn't add 'chan' to her name anymore "So what was this about the village being in danger?"
"Tsunade-sama has cancelled our alliance with the Hidden Sand village," said Kakashi.
Naruto's eyes widened in shock at the news "What?! Why on earth would she do that?"
"I don't know, but now everything is very tense between our two villages,"
"And that's not the only thing Tsunade-sensei announced," said Sakura.
"What else did she say?" asked Naruto.
"She wants to strengthen our military so we can attack other countries,"
Naruto shook his head in disbelief, this is completely unlike her. Tsunade doesn't have this kind of mindset as long as he's known her and Jiraiya told him about her before his death "None of this sounds like Tsunade-baachan at all!"
"According to ANBU, other lands are also boosting their forces. That would mean that the whole world is now headed for war," said Kakashi.
"All this doesn't make any sense at all, I'm going to talk to Tsunade-baachan and find out exactly why she did all this!" said Naruto.
"…Very well Naruto, but careful as her mindset is completely different to what we're familiar with," said Kakashi, Naruto nodded in affirmation before running past them in direction of the village to meet with the Hokage.
Naruto was going a fair bit of distance and was drawing closer though along the way he faced down more bandits and wildlife as well but remained undeterred in his current objective. He landed in the middle of a clearing and was walking across it when he heard the sounds of the leaves rustling in the bushes and his hands moved close to the scrolls and ninja pouch to use them at the slightest hint of hostility but was taken by surprise at the sight of the person who emerged into the clearing.
"Tsunade-baachan?! What are you doing here?" asked Naruto in surprise.
"Kakashi and Sakura were acting strangely, so I had them watched," said Tsunade bluntly, causing Naruto to frown at her.
"You had them watched? Kakashi-sensei and Sakura are trustworthy, which means the one acting strange around here is you!" said Naruto.
"Do you dare speak your mind in front of the Hokage?" asked Tsunade with a glare.
"Whether or not you are the Hokage, it doesn't change the fact that what you did was strange," Naruto decided to ask Tsunade about what he was going to talk to her about "What I want to know is why did you break our alliance with the Hidden Sand village and why beef up our military too?"
"They just can't be trusted, I know that they'll betray us one day," said Tsunade as if it was the obvious fact.
"They will never betray us especially Gaara, I would trust him with my life!" Naruto refuted the claim.
"You are as big a fool as always, do you think that peace can last forever?" said Tsunade "By building our forces, we can control other countries,"
"If you are saying those kind of things then are you really Tsunade?" asked Naruto, one important thing he knows is that Tsunade detests wars due to past experience and would take countermeasures against it, which is why he's suspecting her identity as of now.
"I am the Hokage, if you choose to oppose me then you will be crushed!" said Tsunade angrily.
Naruto took a combat stance once more "Time to find out who you really are!"
Music Start: Naruto Shippuden OST; Ikari
Naruto rushed towards Tsunade and threw multiple shuriken which she evaded with ease as he approached and lashed out with a high kick towards her head which she caught firmly in her grip and countered him with a punch obviously packing a lot of power behind it. Naruto used his armguard to parry the punch and unleashed a burst of chakra to make the defense more effective, he saw that Tsunade was surprised by the defense and jumped whilst using his free leg to kick her chest and unleashed another burst from the soles to knock her away from him whilst landing in a handstand before flipping to his feet.
The blonde ninja looked to see Tsunade glare at him then dug a hand into the ground and wrenching out a large boulder which she then threw in his direction, Naruto dashed sideways and looked only to be stunned to see her standing right in front of him with one of her legs raised over her head and got a faint idea of what she's about to do. Naruto channeled chakra to his shin guards to trigger the seals as he quickly dashed out of range as Tsunade brought her heel down on the ground, creating a large crater and rocks flying everywhere.
"Tch, that was close! Shadow Clone jutsu!" Naruto created multiple copies of himself and led the charge to attack Tsunade who proceeded to launch kicks, punches and at times throwing boulders at the clones and was taking the clones out one by one in rapid succession but Naruto wasn't deterred in the least as he wove through a set of handsign "Wind Style: Wind Cannon!" he reared his fist back with air swirling around it before he launched a blast of air in her direction. Tsunade punched the ground to make a slab of earth rise and take the hit in her place then she leapt high into the air and target him with a diving side kick, forcing the blonde ninja to jump out of the way to avoid getting hit.
Naruto saw Tsunade dash out of the dust cloud with a fist reared back once more to punch, leaving him no choice but to cross his arms to brace for impact whilst carefully timing the moment to trigger a stronger burst of chakra to reduce the power at the moment which was partially successful but on the other hand was sent flying from the supposed Hokage but he managed to form a chakra platform in midair and flipped off it for an aerial recovery before landing properly on the ground.
"Man, I knew that there was something weird about her. The Baachan I know wouldn't even want to fight me to the point of trying to kill me," thought Naruto with a frown "Should I end this battle with Sage mode or…," his mind strayed towards the device inside his ninja pouch but had to jump out of the way of a boulder being thrown his way.
"Guess I got no time to be picky about my options and just try it out…," Naruto reached into the ninja pouch behind him and brought out the Decadriver, he positioned it to his waist for a strap to shoot out and wrap around it and attach to the other side to be held securely in place. Naruto then opened the device and then took out a Rider Card "Time to see what this power can do…Henshin!" he inserted the card into the Decadriver and closed it as it then announced
[Kamen Ride: Decade!]
Multiple gray figures surrounded Naruto before converging into him as he was suddenly covered from head to toe in in armor with the eyes of the helmet being green with the resemblance of an insect. Several magenta colored cards hovered overhead before inserting themselves into the helmet which caused the shoulders and sides of the armor to gain the same coloring whilst the inner thighs and legs became white and an X was on one side in a slanted position under his left arm and over his right shoulder and the short straight line from the top of his right shoulder and straight down over his chest as the Ride Booker appeared strapped to the side of the belt.
Naruto looked at himself and could feel the power flowing through his whole body "Amazing, this feels different from when I'm using the Sage mode or the Kyuubi's chakra. This must be the power of a Kamen Rider,"
"I don't know what you have done to yourself but it won't save you from me!" Tsunade charged towards Naruto once more and attacked with a punch which he evaded with more ease than before retaliating with his own punch which was blocked but was actually pushing her back a bit then he realized that his physical abilities had been enhanced in this form.
Naruto deflected a punch and responded with a swift knee strike to the stomach and followed up with a jab to the face then leaned to the side to dodge an incoming punch before jumping backwards to get out of range of an overhead heel drop kick which created a crater at where he stood. Naruto was about to use his jutsu when he felt something at the back of his mind tell him that he's not able to use any kind of jutsu in this form so he switched to an alternative as he opened the Decadriver then reached into the Ride Booker and took out a Rider Card which he then inserted into the Decadriver and closed it
[Attack Ride: Illusion!]
Tsunade picked up yet another boulder and threw it towards Naruto who actually charged back at it, then a copy suddenly emerged from him and kicked the boulder out of the way before disappearing to clear the way for Naruto to reach her as she launched a punch but another copy emerged to block it for the original to capitalize on the opportunity to punch her hard in the face.
"I've had enough of this, this ends here and now Naruto!" Tsunade leapt high into the air "Heaven Spear Kick!" she descended towards him with an apparently powerful flying side kick.
"I could say the same for you!" Naruto inserted yet another card into the open Decadriver and closed it with the device announcing.
[Final Attack Ride: D-D-Decade!]
A row of large holographic golden cards appeared between himself and Tsunade in an ascending diagonal position when he leapt through with a flying kick of his own which increased in speed and power with each card he passed through until they clashed in midair and triggered an explosion from the impact. Both landed on the ground with Naruto appearing unscathed as he dusted his hands with a mild thought on why he did that whilst Tsunade was visibly bruised with burn marks and her clothes were damaged.
"It's just like I thought…," Naruto muttered as the armor disappeared with the Decadriver transferring itself back into his ninja pouch as he frowned "This isn't Tsunade-baachan at all," At that moment, Kakashi and Sakura landed in the clearing next to him.
"What do you mean by that?" asked Sakura confusedly as they turned towards Tsunade.
"No…," Tsunade was suddenly engulfed in light which faded away to reveal a wooden puppet with white linen wrappings and yellow markings with a large bronze crystal ball at the torso as it collapsed to the ground.
Sakura was taken aback by this "Tsunade-sama was a puppet?"
"Yeah, this is nothing more than an impostor," said Naruto.
The pinkette turned towards their sensei "You didn't notice it, sensei?"
Kakashi shook his head "No, it may had acted strangely but it had the same chakra as the real Tsunade. Even the sharpest Sensor type ninja wouldn't have detected the difference,"
"Which begs the question? Who kidnapped the real Tsunade-baachan and why?" said Naruto as he crossed his arms with a frown.
"We'll need to start searching for those from now, I'll have the ANBU begin the search for the Hokage," said Kakashi, he heard his comm link buzz and opened the channel to communicate "Kakashi here,"
"This is Sai, I'm calling to inform you that the other Great Nations have taken up arms against us!" said Sai, the recent member taking Sasuke's place in Team 7.
"What?! There's no way Gaara would do that to us!" Naruto spoke up in protest, he and the Kazekage have a certain level of understanding and can't believe that the former Jinchurriki would do such a thing.
"Hmmm…," Kakashi crossed his arms while deep in thought for a moment before turning to Naruto "Just like with Tsunade, there may be puppets in the other villages too,"
"Could it be possible? This person would have to be very strong to be able capture the other Kages," said Sakura.
"Which is why I want Naruto to go to each of the villages quickly and see if I'm right,"
"Alright then, I'll start with the Hidden Sand village to see Gaara first," said Naruto determinedly.
"We better find some leads, and fast. Sakura, I'll need your help," said Kakashi, Sakura nodded in affirmation and turned to speak to Naruto only to find that he was already gone which saddened her a bit before leaving the clearing with Kakashi.
None were around to see the puppet rise from the ground and look in the direction which Naruto had gone as a voice spoke through it "He defeated a puppet built from the chakra of a Hokage? That boy Naruto…who is he?"
Naruto was currently running along the path as fast as he could in direction of the Hidden Sand village and stopped for moment to catch a breath before resuming his run.
"Phew, gonna be sometime before I get there. Wish there was a faster method though," Naruto muttered to himself when he heard a strange sound "What's that?" he looked behind to see that hazy veil which he saw Narutaki pass through and something emerged from it to stop next to him, Naruto immediately recognized it to be the vehicle which the first Decade rides on frequently from his dream…the Machine Decader "Whoa, it must have appeared to help me out. Well I'm not going to look a gift horse in the mouth and just go with it,"
Luckily his transformation had given him an info dump of things and so knew how to ride the motorcycle as he got on and revved it a couple of times then he rolled on the throttle and took off down the road.
This is Hussbek online with the latest, Naruto was training with the toads when he got called about Tsunade breaking the alliance with the Hidden Sand village and went to confront her about it which led into a fight due to the Senju's strange behavior with the blonde transforming into the Kamen Rider Decade for the first time and was able to win the battle. They discovered that Tsunade was actually a puppet impersonating her and the real one is nowhere to be found. Now there's even more bad news as the other Great Nations are preparing to go into war with Konoha and Naruto has to go to each and every one of them to find out whether the Kages are impersonated or not. Read and Review as always.
This is Hussbek from Ghana.