The Enlightened One (Senju!SI)

Man is self inserted into the body of an orphan in Konohagakure. Come to find out he's secretly a Senju with quite the lineage. Join my Discord Server: https://discord.gg/7UqqJ6Nf9h Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/Kakukami

Kakukami · Anime & Comics
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56 Chs

Chapter 6

The moment I woke up, I shot out of my bed and made my way to the bathroom. I hastily brushed my teeth, and ran back into my room to throw on my daily attire. A white undershirt, green jacket, black pants, and green shinobi sandals.

Today was the day I finally started my training with Hiruzen. My training to become the strongest shinobi ever.

That was what was required of me if I wanted to survive the future and protect those close to me, so that is what I'd do.

I dashed out of the house, making my way towards the hokage's mansion. As I ran, a thought crossed my mind which made me halt instantly.

I had class at the Academy today.


"What's got you so upset, Lei?" Naruko asked, her bubbly mood completely infectious as I felt my lips start to twitch.

"I forgot we had class today. I was really looking forward to training." I answered, leaving the fact that my training would be overseen by gramps unsaid. I already had to deal with Naruko whining a bunch in my day to day, I didn't need her jealous that I was getting personal training from the Hokage himself.

"Yeah I get you, compared to our training, classes just seem dull and boring. We can't train our bodies, chakra or elemental control, and if we try to do calligraphy, Iruka will confiscate our chakra paper and brushes." Naruko groaned.

I nearly groaned with her. Naruko, Hinata, and I had all tried to practice calligraphy in class and Iruka confiscated our shit and didn't give it back until the end of the class. At first I was mad, then confused since I remember Naruto and Iruka had a great relationship in the show.

I had forgotten however that Iruka actually strongly disliked Naruto all the way up until the first episode of the show. His parents had died in the Kyuubi attack, and that made Iruka a little bit more than irritable around the blonde haired girl. So whenever she acted out he ignored her, and whenever she kept to herself, he bothered her.

Not my favorite guy in the world…at least not yet, but he's a regular at Ichiraku's.

So he's alright.

"Alright class, settle down, let's start class." Iruka made his presence known as he walked into the class. I chuckled slightly as I saw Shikamaru made no moves to pick his head up from the table in front of him.

"In today's class, we will be learning about the legendary sannin, and why they are so great." Iruka paused in the middle of the class, a kind smile adorning his face. "Now, can anyone tell me the names of the three legendary sannin?"

"I know!" Sakura shouted, getting out of her seat.

Fucking teacher's pet.

"Sakura." Iruka pointed.

"The three legendary sannin are Lord Jiraiya, Lady Tsunade, and Lord Orochimaru."

"That's correct." Iruka nodded, Sakura preened under the approving gaze of Iruka. "The three sannin are as Sakura stated, Lord Jiraiya, Lady Tsunade, and Lord Orochimaru. Now I have another question for you all. How did the sannin earn their title?"

Isn't he supposed to be teaching that? Wait…I can use this to get out of homeroom early!

I raised my hand with a shit eating grin. Iruka's eyes trailed to me and narrowed slightly. He could sense my bullshit from a mile away. His eyes scanned the class again for another few seconds before a sigh escaped his lips.

"Lei, do you have any idea how the sannin earned their title?"

"Tsk Tsk Tsk." My smirk grew as I stood up. "Of course I know, Iruka-sensei. For you see! Long ago, during the Second Great Ninja War at the battle of Poison Winds in the border between the hidden stone and hidden rain villages stood an army of over two hundred leaf shinobi. Their mission, a simple one. Find the shinobi known to all as Hanzo the Salamander and bring him to his knees. They accomplished phase one of their task, but didn't know phase two was simply impossible."

I dramatically paused and nearly started laughing at the unimpressed look on Iruka's face. Honestly I would have laughed if so many leaf shinobi didn't get slaughtered during this very battle.

"The army of leaf ninja were led by Konoha's strongest jonin, Jiraiya, Tsunade, and Orochimaru, the prized students of Lord Third Hokage himself. They considered their victory against Hanzo assured, but they hadn't taken into account just how deadly the man was. A man so strong, so feared he was even considered to rival Lord Third in his prime." Once again I paused, although this time it was to take a breath before going into the finalities of the battle.

"The beginning onslaught of the battle didn't even last a minute. Hanzo's powerful poisonous breath was all that was needed to bring most of the forces down. Within a minute over half of the shinobi were down, and in under five minutes, every shinobi barring Lord Third's students had died."

"Even with these unwinnable odds, the Hokage's disciples continued to fight, never for a moment wavering, even when they felt their lungs were going to burn, and their bodies drop. Eventually Hanzo recognized their courage and strength. He stopped their battle and told them he would let them live, in exchange they would bear the honor of carrying a name for surviving the black death he represented. He named them the Sannin, and the only requirement they needed to uphold for their continued lives was to embrace the name and live by it, as a way to bolster their reputation as well as his own."

I finished, gave Iruka a small bow and sat back down.

"That was…a very good explanation of the events that unfolded, Lei. Two hundred leaf shinobi entered the battlefield to fight Hanzo the Salamander, three walked away with their lives and earned a title befitting their strength. We look up to and honor the Sannin for their strength and resilience to Hanzo. As Lei said, against unbeatable odds they persevered and came out of the battle with their lives. That is a testament to their will. The will of fire burns strongly in all three of them."

Iruka's eyes gazed around the room, making sure everyone was paying attention. His eyes paused on Shikamaru who had awoken from his slumber but still looked out of it.

That's what I love about Shikamaru, even though he's lazy, he still has the decency to listen to tales of shinobi's sacrifices for the sake of the peace we get to enjoy today. They're the reason he gets to cloud watch and take naps in class instead of getting drafted to a genin team early after all.

"I hope all of you were listening. This will be one of your questions on the exam. You'll have to cover each point I just listed. Missing any will result in points being taken off. Class dismissed."

Fuck yeah! Iruka was really good at talking about shit for hours on end when they could be summed up in about five minutes or less. I'm glad I was able to jump on that shit quickly, but I'm certain he won't be asking a question like that in the future.

I hopped out of my seat and departed the classroom followed by my band of friends/students. We had three hours to kill until the next class, and I knew exactly how to spend that time.

"Four bowls of Miso ramen with extra pork, enjoy." The God of Ramen, Teuchi said with a smile, handing us our bowls.

"It smells even more divine than the last, how you continue to improve is a secret not even the Hokage can discover." My eyes were wide in fascination as I looked at the golden bowl of ramen.

"Your praise for my ramen remains the same for every bowl. Never change, kid." Teuchi chuckled, I nodded instantly. If my lord commands it, it shall be done.

I looked over to Naruko and didn't even bat an eye when I saw she was already half-way done with her bowl. I then looked past her and shrugged as I saw Hinata hand her empty bowl back to Teuchi while asking for more with a small blush.

I was used to them eating a bunch of bowls, so seeing it didn't even surprise me anymore.

I then turned my gaze to Satsuki who hadn't started eating and instead was staring at me. I raised an eyebrow and stared back. Her gaze never separated from my own, I assumed we were having a staring contest all of a sudden and doubled down. My hands slowly drifted to my chopsticks. I maintained eye contact as I gripped a bunch of noodles with the chop sticks and slurped them down with an audible gulp.

She blinked and turned away, as she started eating her own bowl.

C'mon man, That's too easy!

I smirked as I slurped down the rest of the bowl. How many people can claim they beat an Uchiha in a staring contest? I'm gonna hold that over her for the rest of her life.

After Satsuki's third bowl, my fifth, Naruko's sixth, and Hinata's tenth we realized it was time for class and said our goodbyes to Teuchi.

When we made our way back to the academy, we split up, the three girls going into Kunoichi 101, and me heading for the Assault Ops classroom.

"This should be far enough." Hiruzen Sarutobi mumbled before turning back to me.

The Academy classes had ended about half an hour ago, and now it was time for my training with the old man.

Or at least with his shadow clone. Apparently he was too busy to actually come himself, and leaving the village's affairs to a clone would come off as disingenuous. Not that I really understood. A clone and the original thought the same, so what's the big deal?

Anyways, we were in the mountains beyond the Hokage Faces to train in an area devoid of trees and saplings. This way my Wood Release would have to be one hundred percent genuine. I'd have to produce the wood myself and bend it and shift it however I deemed necessary.

"First things first." Clone Hiruzen said, getting my attention. "I want you to attack me so I may see just how far you've come since we've learned of your bloodline trait. Use any and all your skills to try and kill me. I will give you two minutes. Starting now."

I raised an eyebrow, I had expected him to ask me if I had any questions.

"Shinobi Rule #1, A shinobi must always be ready to fight and die for their village." Hiruzen said, and I needed no more words to start my attack. I instantly started weaving hand seals.

Tiger - Ox - Tiger - Rat

"Water Release: Water Bullet Jutsu!" I roared, spitting out five projectiles of water towards the old man, he didn't even move, instead slapping the bullets away as if they were mere flies in his way.

Instantly I realized that my strongest lifeline, ninjutsu, would have absolutely no effect on the man deemed the second God of Shinobi. So instead I rushed the man, my form dropped into the Natural Fist of the Senju clan. I threw a well practiced left handed jab at the old man which he blocked with ease before throwing a powerful right handed overhook.

Apparently my definition of powerful and the current Hokage's were very different as he also blocked it with ease. I winced at the pain I felt when the blow connected. I felt as if I just punched a brick wall full force.

As I continued to throw attacks my mind fell out of the fight. This was a clone. I wasn't even doing shit to a fucking clone! A Kage level clone, but a clone all the same! Never before since coming to this world have I felt so weak. Helpless, plenty of times. Unimportant, undeniably so.

But weak? Never as much as right now.

"That's enough." The man who had been hokage for decades smiled as I dropped my guard.

"You pack quite a punch for a child your age. I dare say if you fought any of your classmates as seriously as you fought me, you could very well send them to the hospital." He praised, but I shook it off. I knew he was just trying to make me feel better. He could definitely see the weakness in my eyes. He knew what I was thinking.

"Do not fret, Lei. You are but a child fighting a man nearly eight times older than yourself. I am an old man who has lived and survived for a very long time in a profession where men die young. I am the leader of this village. It is required of me to be strong. To compare yourself to me as you are now, a young boy with so much life ahead of you, a boy who hasn't even started his career as a shinobi yet, is the height of foolishness." Hiruzen explained, placing a hand on my shoulder.

I hesitantly placed my much smaller hand over his own and looked up at him to let him know I understood.

Even if I wasn't happy about it.

That seemed to be enough for him as he took a step back.

"Good, you performed adequately for us to begin your training in Wood Release." Hiruzen's smile returned as he held up a hand sign. A puff of smoke appeared at his right and when it cleared I saw a familiar face.

"As strong as I am, I only know what I saw of Hashirama-sensei in regards to your unique ability. That is why I brought someone else capable of using your kekkei genkai." Hiruzen explained as my eyes locked with Yamato's.

"This here is Tenzo, and he also possesses Wood Release." Hiruzen dropped the bomb, and once again I tried to act surprised, but the raised eyebrow from Hiruzen told me I failed on that front.

"As a sensor I could tell his chakra was naturally attuned to manipulate both earth and water in his separate hands and produce wood." I explained, which wasn't a lie, but was also a clear cover up.

Hiruzen nodded, accepting my answer. I'd be stupid if I believed he truly believed me though.

"So you're Lei Senju?" Yama…Tenzo asked, to which I gave a small smile and an upward shake of my head. "I was ordered by Lord Third to train you up to my level of expertise regarding Wood Release, I don't intend to fail, so behave and listen." His face grew dark with weird shadows, his eyes popped open wide and he gave me the scariest looking face I've seen on a person in both lives. "Or your ass is grass, and I'm the lawnmower."

O-Okay, he has thoroughly scared me shitless. I looked towards Hiruzen who had apparently summoned a table to sit and smoke at. Why the fuck is his clone smoking too?!

"Don't look at Lord Third, he has graciously split his chakra in order to watch your training and ensure all is well. So don't slack and don't waste time."

The Yamato/Tenzo I remembered was more…playful? A bit more lax than this one. Is this an element of the AU, or is it just because we're about seven years away from shippuden and he's still putting all the root shit in his past?

"What did I say about slacking?" Tenzo asked, his scary face returning.

"U-Um, sorry sir!" I shouted nervously, placing my hands at my side and standing at attention.

"What Wood Release jutsu do you know?" He asked, and I felt it smart to answer him quick.

"None, Lord Hokage has not allowed me to enter the section of the Senju library that holds those scrolls."

Tenzo looked at Hiruzen for a moment and the old man shrugged his shoulders before taking another drag from his pipe.

A puff of smoke appeared in Tenzo's hand and he threw me a scroll.

"Read that, in five minutes I want you ready to perform all three of those." He ordered, and I didn't waste any time opening the scroll and looking at the jutsu. My eyes grew wide as I looked at the last jutsu

Wood Release: Transformation Jutsu

Hand Seals: Bird - Dog - Snake

Description: Wood emerges, covering the caster's entire body. The wood acts as more of a costume as the caster is able to leave it behind. Voice modification is possible when using this jutsu.

"Wood Release: Stock Jutsu

Hand Seals: Snake

Description: Wooden stocks that restrain targets. Stocks have the added effect of suppressing the target's chakra, rendering targets unable to retaliate.

Wood Release: Clone jutsu

Hand Seals: Tiger - Dog - Snake

Description: A clone created by using chakra to alter one's own cells into vegetation. Clones have the ability to travel far and communicate with the caster. Clones have the abilities to merge with trees and vegetation. By touching the clone, the caster is able to shape it.

I was surprised to see that these techniques were all considered "basic" techniques according to the scroll. Did whoever made this scroll not understand how absolutely busted wood clones are?!

Wood clones are like a rich man's shadow clone, in fact shadow clones were invented by Tobirama Senju in hopes to try and emulate his older brother's wood clones.

Whereas Shadow clones can only take a few hits before disappearing in a puff of smoke, wood clones are fully solid and can take several blows, only being stopped when someone 'destroys' them. That alone already makes them severely stronger.

But there's so much more. Where shadow clones need to dispel to send information, wood clones can transmit information from their minds while they're still around, and even send the original images of what they pick up from their senses. To top it all off, they can merge with trees and blend in with them, all of the above still stands when they are like this, making them the perfect clones for espionage.

Which means if I learn this right now, I'd not only be able to double my training speed regarding new jutsu, but I'd also have a very durable clone that could take plenty of hits before being taken out of commission.

I looked up from the scroll and saw Tenzo watching me like a hawk.

Perhaps I should hurry up and actually get to learning these then?

I started studying the hand seals, which were easy enough, and committed them to memory.

"Times up, first jutsu, let's see what you got." Tenzo ordered.

Right, the transformation jutsu. Easy enough.

Bird - Dog - Snake

I did the hand signs and clasped my hands together in prayer.

"Wood Release: Transformation Jutsu!" I shouted, and pulsed the water chakra in my left hand and the earth chakra in my right. My chakra exploded around me then-


I kept trying to force the jutsu to work and yet nothing continued to happen.

"That's enough Lei." Gramps spoke up, eyeing me with a cheeky grin. "I told you Wood Release is a lot harder than you think. The theory behind jutsu is rather simple, but regarding this particular kekkei genkai, you'll find yourself struggling again and again if you don't build up a strong foundation. What the strong foundation is will be something you must figure out on your own."

My mouth went slack as I eyed the old man in shock. He wasn't going to give me the answer!? Why the hell not!? We could do that figuring shit out later, this shit is too important!

"The problem lies within how you were attempting to force the jutsu, perhaps take a moment to think, ponder on what you did wrong. However you mustn't reread the scroll. Figure it out by yourself." Tenzo shrugged.

Him too?!

Wait. Calm down Lei, you don't want to go and forget what you learned in the scroll. The fact that Tenzo brought it up means that the answer must have been in there.

That or he's trying to draw my attention away from the solution…

Fuck I don't know!

I sat down and fell into thought.

So it won't work simply by making the hand seals and pulsing my chakra like the other jutsu do, so what must I do in order to use it?

Perhaps not pulsing my chakra and letting it flow naturally? Nah that's stupid. Plus the old man said it required me to build a strong foundation. I can't build a strong foundation by making that shit easier to pull off.

Think Lei, if I was Hashirama Senju and I needed to reach within myself to cast a jutsu, what would I call upon first?

I sat there in thought for several moments before facepalming myself as hard as I possibly could. Leaving behind a red handprint as well as a little bit of blood leaking out of my nose.

"Lei?" Hiruzen asked in alarm, but I held a hand up at him. I deserved it after all. The answer was so fucking obvious why the hell didn't I figure that out minutes ago?

I started again, weaving the hand seals.

Bird - Dog - Snake

Like the first time, I clasped my hands together as if in prayer and pulled upon my chakra. After that, I reached deep into myself. Focusing on one specific part, one very small fraction of my body and began altering it, then I let that alteration start spreading around the rest of my body.

"Wood Release: Transformation Jutsu."

Wood appeared around me covering my torso, my legs, and even my face. I grew about a foot and some change in height and familiar yet vastly different clothes from the ones I usually wear adorned my body.

Tenzo's eyes stiffened at my form, but he clapped all the same.

"Congratulations. Picked it up a great deal faster than I did. Guess Lord Hokage wasn't kidding. You truly are a once in a generation prodigy.

I didn't dare give Tenzo an answer, not after how fucking stupid I was earlier. What other piece to casting Wood Release would there be if not the alteration of one's own cells? It makes perfect sense and at the same time makes me feel so stupid for not getting it sooner. Hell it even said it in the scroll in the Transformation jutsu description now that I think about it

How else would Hashirama be able to grow trees if there were no saplings to nurture life? The reality was Hashirama was never creating life in trees, he was just using his own cells and expelling them out of his body as seeds for the saplings, by manipulating his chakra through them, he could make trees.

That also explains why his cells were worth so much to Orochimaru's research.

So if there are trees and saplings (or life in the form of vegetation) already around, the simple combination of earth in one hand and water in the other is enough to produce trees and fuel one's own jutsu manipulation, but if there aren't any, one has to rely on their own cells.

"So you figured it out, it seems." Hiruzen chuckled, making his way to me. "Once again, you seem to be beating yourself up. Yet you don't realize you are probably the fastest learner when it comes to this power kekkei genkai of yours."

I frowned at that. "That doesn't mean much. Lord First must have had trouble figuring out a kekkei genkai that had literally no scrolls or documentation on how to use it, Tenzo-sensei must have been in the same boat. I am the only one who had the proper tools and I still struggled.

"Lei, it took you ten short minutes to understand where you were going wrong. You shouldn't be so harsh on yourself." He stressed.

I looked down at the dirt. Gramps was right, but I still felt dumb about it. If I couldn't see something so obvious, how was I supposed to look underneath the underneath in the future?

I gave him a small nod of my head and he seemed content with that. He placed his hand on my head and left it there.

"Did you sense any abnormalities of extra expenditure when Lei used that jutsu, Tenzo?" Hiruzen asked, his smile still in place.

"No, his control and execution were flawless. Probably as good as mine, he's surely ready to practice more challenging jutsu." Tenzo-sensei answered with a thoughtful look in his eyes.

I didn't like that look.

"Good, then we will have Lei do the rest of the two jutsu in the scroll before moving him onto more complicated wood jutsu." Gramps ordered and Tenzo gave the powerful man a small bow.

"By your will, Lord Hokage." His eyes bore into my own. "You heard our Hokage, stop wasting time."

I scrambled with my hand seals.

Tiger - Dog - Snake

Let's try two clones. I focused the chakra into a cluster of cells within my back.

"Wood Release: Clone jutsu!"

Two wood clones started growing out of my back, and surprisingly it didn't hurt at all. Eventually they came out and landed on their feet. They were still and motionless.

"Didn't think to give me consciousness eh, you got no use for motionless clones, give them brains." Tenzo-sensei ordered. I tapped the first one, mentally designing it with consciousness. When I saw nothing happened I frowned before flooding it with my chakra and trying again. This time the clone, instead of staying a wooden statue started to gain my skin color and within moments looked exactly like me.

"Damn, I'm handsome." I grinned at the clone.

"Damn right." Clone #1 answered back with a proud smirk.

I chuckled, moving over to Clone #2 and repeating the process.

"My eternal servitude as a clone begins." Clone #2 deflated and I was actually taken aback by such words. I looked to Gramps and saw him covering his mouth as his torso heaved up and down.

I don't think I've ever seen him laugh so hard…

"That's a…interesting clone, have you ever had thoughts about what being a clone feels like?" Tenzo-sensei asked, and I gave him an honest vertical shake of my head. "That'd do it."

"Alright, now, perform the last jutsu." Sensei ordered and once again I wasted no time.


"Wood Release: Stock Jutsu!"

A wooden box appeared with a head sized hole open in the middle.

This does actually look really useful, and if I'm not mistaken, Tenzo-sensei used this in the anime to keep Kisame trapped. Kisame Hoshigaki being considered The Tailless Tailed Beast for his immense chakra reserves thanks to Samehada, and his ability to break all genjutsu, also thanks to Samehada.

If these stocks held a man like him, they could hold practically anyone as long as they were exhausted from a fight.

I turned to my right and froze as Tenzo-sensei was making that terrifying face inches from my own. His hand slithering onto my shoulder.

"Good job." His face easing into a carefree smile. "You passed with flying colors."

"T-Thanks." I stuttered out, wiping the sweat from my forehead. Seriously, if I was actually spooked by him, how spooked would I be by Orochimaru?

"Do you think he can handle all of it?" Gramps asked Tenzo-sensei suddenly. His face was solid, unwavering. This was a serious question. I knew that much.

"No, but I don't believe he is stupid enough to try what he knowingly can't handle." Tenzo-sensei answered after a couple of seconds.

Hiruzen looked down at me, his eyes beating into my own. I fought the urge to look away as I held his gaze with reluctance.

"Very well. Lei Senju, as the Hokage of the Village Hidden in the Leaves, I hereby declare you Head of the Senju clan with all that entails. You are now permitted full access to your library and can handle your clan's information as you see fit. So long as you do not endanger the leaf."

My eyes widened to the size of saucers. Head of the clan!? Already!?

This is absolutely amazing! The amount of progress I can make now! The amount of training I can get done-

"However!" Hiruzen started again, immediately earning my attention. "You will be required to train any and all Wood Release jutsu with Tenzo or myself. You are only permitted to use certain wood jutsu when myself or Tenzo deems you ready. As of right now, you are permitted to use all three of the jutsu you practiced today. Your kekkei genkai can be very dangerous when used improperly, and I will not allow you to bite off more than you can chew. Do I make myself clear?"

"Yes, Lord Hokage." I answered instantly with a deep bow. I could work with those terms and they weren't actually as bad as they could be. They could have barred all wood jutsu usage or some shit like that, that would have sucked.

Hiruzen smiled, his hand finding my head once more.

"I wish to speak with you…in person, head to my office, I shall dispel now." Gramps ordered as he disappeared in a puff of smoke.

I turned towards Tenzo-senseim who was eyeing me from a small distance.

I bowed deeply. "Thank you Tenzo-sensei. Thanks to your tutelage I was able to grasp the truth about wood manipulation. I look forward to your continued support."

"A mission is a mission, no big deal, kid. Enjoy your chat with Lord Hokage, because tomorrow I'm working you to the bone." He chuckled darkly as he disappeared in a puff of smoke.

His tone was slightly threatening, but to my own surprise I didn't find myself scared. Try as he might, I could see glimpses of the Tenzo I knew from the series, he was just acting tough and distant…

He'll come around.

My lips twitched upwards as I looked at my two wood clones.

"Both of you, head back home and start reading up on 'The Path to Nature's Perfect Creations' and send me information when I ask for it. I want to handle this talk with Gramps first."

""Hell yeah!"" The both shouted, disappearing in a mass of leaves.

I looked towards the Hokage's mansion and did the same, my body being swarmed by leaves as I quickly maneuvered my way through the village so fast, only chunin and jonin could see me.

When I reached the door, I walked in. The same woman was sitting behind the desk. When she saw me she gave me a bow which I returned before walking past her and up the stairs. I made my way to the office door and upon opening it, I saw another familiar face.

"It seems my guest has arrived. Good work on your mission, Kakashi. Dismissed." Kakashi Hatake gave the leader of the village a long bow before walking out the door. Never once did his eyes even look at me. Honestly I wasn't surprised.

"Good, you came quick, Lei." A puff of smoke appeared in front of the desk and an extra chair remained when the smoke faded. "Have a seat, we have much to discuss."

Oh? Do we now?

I obliged, taking my seat in the very comfortable chair. Another puff of smoke appeared and there was a pitcher and two glass cups. He poured what I assumed to be apple juice out for me before he placed the pitcher down. He got up to go to one of the cabinets on the other side of the room.

When he returned to his desk he was carrying a bottle of sake. He poured his glass and filled it about half way before stopping.

"Sorry about that, please excuse me, but I absolutely cannot go into this talk sober."

I raised an eyebrow at that. If he needed a drink then this was likely some tough shit he was about to talk about.

He took a swig of the sake then made eye contact with me. "Do you know how this village came to be?"

"Of course." I answered. He likely knew that so I guess he wants me to explain? The 'go on' gesture of the old man was my answer. "During the Warring States Period, the Uchiha and Senju engaged in particularly dangerous and bloody battles daily. Many casualties came from the fighting and both sides produced offspring at accelerated paces just to contend with each other. Kids would be thrown on the battlefield as young as four years old and would have to fend for themselves. This continued on until one day Hashirama Senju and Madara Uchiha took up the title of Clan Head of their respective clans.

They fought and Hashirama came out the victor. Instead of killing Madara, Hashirama extended his hand offering him peace. Madara refused, claiming that if Hashirama wasn't ready to die for peace then it was pointless. So Hashirama decided to prove his resolve by taking his own life. Madara ended up stopping him at the last moment and together they forged the way for peace. Thus Konoha was born." I explained.

Both Konoha's library as well as the Senju library had that information.

Hiruzen took another hit of his drink, gulping it all down and pouring himself another glass.

"Correct. Do you know the rest?" He asked after a minute.

"Yes, once the village was established, Hashirama became the First Hokage. He traveled to the other clans and recruited them to the village so that they could live in peace within the leaf. Eventually civilians who had been avoiding the clans also made their way into the leaf and everything was truly peaceful for once in a very long time."

"All good things must come to an end. Continue." Gramps frowned.

"After a few years, Madara let the bitterness of his early life drill into his heart and spur on a rebellion. He called to the Uchiha to join him, but they refused, they did not believe in his ideals and wished to enjoy their long sought after peace. Madara deserted the village and disappeared for years."

The old man finished his cup, refilling it again.

"About eight years into Hashirama's time as Hokage, Madara returned to the village wreaking havoc ready to destroy everything they both worked so hard to create. Hashirama took up arms against his childhood friend, leaving his little brother, Tobirama to protect the village while he fought. Madara had somehow found a way to control the nine tailed fox with his sharingan. Their fight shook the elemental nations. With Hashirama coming out on top. Reluctantly, he ended up killing Madara for the sake of the peace they created. He then restrained and sealed the nine tailed fox within his wife, Mito Uzumaki. It was around this time where Hashirama and Tobirama as well as a great deal of Uzumaki went on The Tailed Beast Hunts. They captured all the tailed beasts and sealed them within items. They then gave those items to the newly formed villages of Mist, Stone, Cloud, Sand, and Waterfall."

I wondered if that was all he wanted to hear, but to my surprise he gestured for me to continue.

"Uh, he gave the one tail to the sand, the two and eight tails to the cloud. The four and five tails to the stone. The three and six tails to the mist, the seven tails to the waterfall, and left the ninetails within this village. Eventually Hashirama became weak and decided to pass the hat down to Tobirama Senju. He gradually grew weaker as years went on. Six years after he named his brother the Second Hokage, he passed away."

"You sure do know your history." The old man smiled looking every bit his age right now.

I had to learn the history. This is an AU. I couldn't take risks. "Yes, isn't it a shinobi's duty to know about the history of not only his village, but others as well?" I asked with a small smile of my own. Hiruzen hummed at that.

"Since it's clear you know the basic history regarding Hashirama-sensei, let me ask you. Who do you think was right, Hashirama-sensei, or Madara?" He asked with a curious glance.

I honestly had to stop and think about it. After a couple of minutes I answered. "The first answer that popped up into my head would be Lord First, but I would be remiss to dismiss Madara's goal simply because of the path he took to get to it. I believe they both have powerful and inspiring goals. I believe Lord First did better at carrying his out then Madara did. If I had to say which goal I approve of, then I'd have to choose Madara's."

If Hiruzen judged me for my choice he didn't show it.

"Explain." His words were simple and laced with the same emotion he had been showing this entire time.

I sighed. "Lord Hashirama's goal was to build peace not only in his village but across the elemental nations, Madara's goal was the same thing. However Hashirama wanted to push for peace through love, kindness and understanding, while Madara wanted to subjugate and conquer."

I took a moment to pause and gather my thoughts. I wanted to speak truthfully but not say anything that may get me in trouble.

"Lord Hashirama got his way and what happened? The moment he withered away the clans he gave the very powerful tailed beasts to decide to declare war on one another, dragging the leaf into it. It's because of his decision that his brother, my grandfather, died. He entrusted the village to you, both his and Lord Hashirama's prized student." I frowned, I didn't want to harm the old man's heart anymore than I needed to, but when he gestured for me to continue I did just that.

"I will not for a second claim their decision in choosing you was wrong, but under your rule the village fell into two more bloody great wars with the other nations. Once again, you cannot be faulted for this. One man cannot steer the village out of trouble from other independent forces. Due to Lord Hashirama's decision to give the other villages free handouts he actively empowered enemies. Enemies that his own brother and student would have to fight time and time again to make up for his slack.

Even then, I don't truly blame Lord Hashirama either. He was a soul too pure for this world. He trusted them and they shat and threw it in his dying face. Had Lord Hashirama decided to keep the tailed beasts within the village and use them to bring the other villages to their knees, he could have created one large village under Konoha's banner. One dedicated to their village and forever loyal less they be destroyed."

"You believe ruling over a village by using fear is the right choice?" Gramps asked. Once again his face did not change, nor did his tone. I leaned forward in my seat, taking a sip of the apple juice and kept my eyes locked with his.

"I believe it is better than the alternative." I answered honestly. "Truthfully as things stand, all villages run through some level of fear already don't they? If a shinobi decides to leave, they'll be labeled a missing nin and hunted down. The same would happen in my aforementioned scenario. Regardless, it still stands that with the way things went, three great shinobi wars were fought, tens of thousands died young, and peace is no closer than it was after the first war. At this rate, it'll be a rinse repeat of years past. I believe Lord Hashirama's will of fire is embodied by plenty of people, none more so than him and Madara. Two sides of the same coin."

Hiruzen closed his eyes before pushing his cup away. "Tell me Lei, if you had my hat right now, if you bore the weight of the entire village's future on your shoulder, what would you do?"

I paused, as I saw the intensity in the old man's eyes. His fifty plus years of hardened fighting now showing clearly on his aged face. The struggles of life, the loss, the pain, and ultimately the acceptance of all he's experienced.

I swallowed, removing my gaze from him before shaking my head and locking my eyes with him. "As things are now, nothing. I have not the power to make a change."

"If you did. What would you do?" He asked instantly.

My gaze grew as cold as I could possibly make it. "I'd have to think it through, with so many livelihoods at stake…I have not yet taken my first life yet, but for the sake of the village's future. For the girl's I call my dearest friends, and the guys as well. For Teuchi the ramen man, for his daughter, for the little kids at the academy who will one day join the battlefield." My face tensed in determination and bitterness.

"It definitely wouldn't be my first course of action, but If I had the power that Hashirama had, I would enter each village and either kidnap the jinchuriki or unseal their tailed beasts. I would seal them in whatever item I could and return them back to the village. With all nine tailed beasts, I would give the other nations an ultimatum, the same one Hashirama should have given, live your lives peacefully within your own villages, or attack ours and get wiped from existence. Knowing what I know about them, they would band together and the moment they do, I'd launch an attack using our strongest shinobi, myself included, and the combined might of all the tailed beasts. Then we'd pick up the pieces, bring in the civilians of their village as prisoners of war before gradually releasing them back into our own village."

"And you think that to be the right choice?" He asked once more.

"Gramps." I started, lightening the mood. "There is no right or wrong choice, there are simply choices with bodies behind them. Depending on the choice you make will depend on the amount of bodies that will be left behind." I sighed.

Seriously I didn't like all this serious shit, I never wanted to be in a situation where I'd make any of these choices.

"You know, it's funny." Hiruzen said after a moment with a dry chuckle. "You think like several people I've known over the years but none more so than one man."

"Oh yeah? Who."

"Your grandfather, Tobirama-sensei." He answered. I wasn't really surprised. Hashirama was always the optimist while Tobirama was the realist. One could say that it was Tobirama that started a lot of the leaf's problems, but I'd argue he was just cleaning up after his brother's slack while hurriedly trying to deal with other shit.

"I expected as much." I chuckled.

"Tobirama-sensei in the past would curse Hashirama-sensei's name more than once when doing work at this very desk. His points were very similar to yours regarding the tailed beasts. Keeping them would have been smarter, in everyone's eyes, but Hashirama-sensei trusted the villages would come to peace once they were all equal in power. However it did nothing but leave them wanting more."

Hiruzen picked up his drink, swung it back and let out a breathy sigh.

"I have one more question on this topic then we can move onto something a bit more lighthearted and fun." His lips twitched slightly into a frown.

"Shoot." I leaned back into the chair.

"Lei, how do you feel about being Hokage?"

I raised an eyebrow. Not because I didn't see the question coming, but because of the very intense conversation we just had. The same conversation where I clearly said I would destroy the other villages for the sake of the leaf. Something I really don't want to do.

"Honestly it sounds like a lot of work, and a job that requires an onhand therapist." I frowned.

"We are shinobi, all of us need therapy, that is one of the reasons why we are so thankful to the Yamanaka's." He answered, a genuine smile appearing on his lips. "Though branching from my question, I'm curious, if you went through with that plan of yours as Hokage, how would you quell any rebellions or infiltrations?"

"Without the need to go out and survey enemy villages, the anbu would be fully available to watch the actions of people within the village. They would act as the judge, jury and executioner to little bursts, while the larger ones would be brought to my attention where I would decide the best course of action. A good way to bring out those who would gravitate towards such things would be to plant someone trustworthy to encourage it. If you control the law and crime within a village, you hold absolute power."

For the first time since we started talking today, Hiruzen was left stunned.

"You thought that far ahead…? Truly a genius afterall. Forget my earlier question about your feelings on my hat. I will not try and pass it off to you, not until you know the true weight of your words." Hiruzen sighed with a small smile.

"Now then, I have seen you being close with Naruko and Hinata Hyuga for a couple of years now, but you have been getting rather close to Satsuki as well…what do you have to say to that?" The old man asked with a cheeky grin.

Ah, I forgot he was like this.

"Yes, Naruko, Hinata and I have known each other since we were five, and have been training with each other since our first year in the academy. We all have hopes to get really strong. Strong enough to make a change. Satsuki on the other hand joined our group about a month ago. She has been integrating herself with us slowly, but she's still one of our friends." I explained as professionally as an eight year old voice would allow.

"Hmm, yes I suppose you all would be too young for anything else. I just want you to keep in mind that you, Satsuki, and Naruko are all a part of critically endangered clans. You are all…encouraged to help each other in that regard. If you know what I mean." He chuckled out.

"U-Um, I have no idea what you mean."

I knew exactly what he meant, but I wanted to play this shit up.

Judging by the smirk he gave me, I didn't fool shit. He reached into a desk drawer and threw out two books. Upon closer inspection I realized they were Icha Icha books, part one and two.

"Read those in your spare time since you like reading so much. My student, Jiraiya, has some rather questionable hobbies, but those books." He said pointing at them, his cheeks dusting pink as a dumb perverted expression showed brightly on his old features. "Those are the single greatest things he's ever produced."

"Alright, Gramps, I'll read em. Anything else you want me to do?"

"Think back on our earlier chat. When you've spent a good amount of time as a genin, I'll call you back into my office and I'd like to hear if your thoughts have changed or if they burn brighter than ever. Within you burn the wills of Hashirama Senju, and Tobirama Senju. I wish to see if you can retain both of their better sides.

"Will do, Gramps. See you later." I waved which he returned as I left his office.

That was a fucking roadhouse of a chat. One I'm sure won't have any real effect on my immediate future, but could end up fucking with my distant future.

I don't know if I truly would have the resolve to destroy the other villages and all the shinobi in it…In fact I was trying to be truthful, but that could just be my desensitized past self talking.

All I know for sure is that that shit ain't my problem and won't be for years if ever.

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