Miku Yamanaka has spent her entire life sheltered by her family and running in the footsteps of her twin sister Ino Yamanaka. Some things cannot be sealed forever.
Vol 1. The Girl with Two names
Chapter 1 Nine Tails
Konohagakure sat nestled next to a large plateau forests surrounding it providing a natural cover and defenses for the hidden ninja village. In truth, it was more of a city than a village with its population in the thousands both of Ninja who formed the main army of the town and of those people necessary for the running of the village itself. Still, the city was indeed well hidden within a dense forest and behind walls well over fifteen feet in height.
Natural and man built defenses however meant little to one of the great tailed beasts that roamed the world. Each beast took the form of a specific animal with multiple tails ranging from one to nine, and these beasts were the fractured power of an even mightier beast, ten tails. Long ago that beasts power was fractured for one could not truly destroy such a beast any more than one could destroy a hurricane or a tornado, however, a great sage of the past found a way to disperse such a power. These legendary beasts came to be known as the nine tailed beasts or the nine great beasts of the world and they nestled where greed or anger took root.
One of the beasts, the nine tailed fox named Karuma took up his residence in the land of fire and his rampages jeopardized not only the land he chooses to live but also that of Konohagakure. The founder of Konohagakure lead the armies of the land and his ninja against the beast and with the help of another hidden village finally sealed it within a member of the Uzumaki clan, his wife. Since that time Karuma has been bound within members of the village and tied to the village itself with a hope that perhaps human contact and the love of whoever it was bound in would tame the anger of Kurama.
Twelve years ago on a late September on the 23rd of that month the moon shined high and a scream echoed from a deep cavern. The second host of Kurama was giving birth and on that night the veil between Kurama’s prison and the physical world was at its weakest. To this day nobody knew how it happened, but Kurama the nine tailed fox demon burst free from his prison. It’s large beast form towering over the forest around him as he looked on with angry eyes at the village where he had been imprisoned.
Chakra dripped from its muzzle creating craters in the ground far under him. The lookouts only saw this and the angry of the beast and not the lone figure hidden within one of the tailed beasts massive ears. They did not know how the tailed beast gained its freedom any more than Hokage who had attended the birth. The prison that held Kurama would be weak, but even that prison should not have broken so easily. Alarms rang across the village as the main army of Konohagakure moved into position to defend their village, they all knew what kind of danger they were running to but there was little option. It had taken the army of a nation as well as their own to capture and seal Kurama before along with some of the most powerful ninja of history including the first Hokage. Now they stood to face the same beast with only a fraction of the force, but they did have the fourth Hokage leading them. They were certain that he would lead them to victory despite the massive chasm of power.
Kurama watched as ninja took up position along the wall waiting for the order to attack even as multiple forms within the village itself began evacuating to more secure areas. Kurama lifted its muzzle looking towards the cliff that Konohagakure nestled against. On that cliff stood the modest busts of the first three Hokage of the village, great leaders all, the third one only recently retiring his position to his successor the fourth Hokage who had not been in his position long enough for a similar memorial to be built. Hatred flared through his eyes at the first Hokage, the one who bound him to the Uzumaki clan, his prison wardens. He took a deep breath drawing natural energy from the forest around him. As he breathed deeply red Chakra mixed in with the energy inside his mouth creating bright flashes of lightning which lashed out between his massive teeth. Kurama breathed out all his anger and hatred, the Chakra exploding from his mouth in a massive explosion firing the chakra energy as a massive solid bullet of energy striking the Ninja Academy just below the memorials or so he thought.
The Academy should have been reduced to rubble or should have been and while it took massive damage, its walls fractured and would surely fall it still stood. He scanned the area around the base of Academy searching for the reason students still retreated from the massive structure but he saw one lone ninja his armored outfit sprayed red. One of the Akimichi clan had sacrificed himself taking on the full brunt of his attack to save the children under his charge, even now a member of the medical nin and a younger version of the same ninja struggled to carry him to cover. He must have used his expansion jutsu to make himself as large as the building. For a brief moment he hesitated before anger burned up in him again seemingly against even his own will, he lashed out again. This Chakra bullet found its mark striking the cliff itself showing the area with large rocks damaging the buildings and sending still more scurrying for safety.
By now the ninja of the village was attacking him with projectiles and secret ninjutsu of the many clans that lived in the village. Fire and smoke from the village itself snaked toward him from the air while on the ground shadows and vines sought to entrap his massive paws. The Tailed beast had little time to consider them as he could hear another crash behind him, a beast certainly as large as he. The fourth Hokage is already here. Ignoring the attacking Ninja Kurama turned padding in a semi-circle stalking the new beast that had arrived, a summoned frog. Gamabunta, the massive chief toad of mount Myoboku sat on the edge of the forest. The toad wasn’t as large as Kurama, but large enough to pose a threat.
Unlike other beasts the massive red skinned summoned toad wore clothing, a large blue happi vest along with a sash from which a massive tanto, short blade was tied, in his massive lips Gamabunta held kiseru, a smoking pipe from which he drew in massive columns of smoke creating the beginnings of a small fog bank around him. On the top of Gamabunta’s head stood Kurama’s true target. The fourth Hokage, clad in traditional ninja armor with a vest but underneath a pure white coat with flame designs dancing up the coat itself. Minato Namikaze, the husband of Kushina Uzumaki, the woman he had been sealed in, and second jinchuriki he had been sealed in. He would not go back to that prison.
Once upon a time in the land of the Fire country Kurama, the nine-tailed Fox having gained freedom after years of being bound and attacked Konohagakure, the village hidden in the leaves. The ninja of this village was unable to contain the tailed beast that could create landslides or tsunamis with just a shake of his tails. One ninja, however, was able to seal the beast in the body of a child stopping the rampage but at the cost of his own life. This man was Minato Namikaze, the 4th Hokage of the Konohagakure, and he sacrificed his life to save his village and its people. What happened to the child?
Screams everywhere most in terror, but a few in anger each trying to draw attention to them and away from the others fleeing. It was dark but the light of the full moon was more than enough to see the devastation, the bodies of ninja broken and tossed to the side by a powerful force they couldn’t hold back. Fires spread from broken buildings as furred tails lashed out at buildings when they could not find something moving. Beneath the mountain statues of the Hokage, leaders of konohagakure the broken shell of the ninja academy bore the brunt of another attack. The building was past saving but it stood still this night protecting the students hidden inside as if it were alive and refusing to allow anything or one to harm its charges. The moon seemed red now but it had to have been a trick of the light. Staggering? This made no sense, but no off to the side stood a large toad towering over the several stories tall trees of the forest surrounding Konohagakure, wearing clothing and smoking a pipe. On the head of this toad stood a man, the 4th Hokage, surveying the destruction being unleashed on his home. That made little sense. Is that a scream? No the cry of a Fox. Am I Screaming?
Ino Yamanaka knew this scream was coming. It came every night her twin sister had a nightmare, the same one and always about the nine-tailed fox who tried to destroy their home on the night the two girls were born. Each night Ino woke before Miku could even scream, somehow knowing through a sisterly connection that she needed to be in Miku’s room. Each night the nightmare occurred she was at the door before a scream even left Miku’s lips. The slender blonde girl only briefly paused at the door before she rushed to her twin.
“It’s the exam. I’m sure you are just nervous. This always happens when you worry too much about something” Ino had to get her sister’s mind off the Fox and that dream. Not for the last time did she wished their father or one of the medical ninja could do something about Miku’s sleeping troubles. Perhaps the only way through them would be to become an accomplished Ninja and the first Kunoichi to take on the title of Hokage.
She was greeted with Silence. Ino wasn’t surprised as she shifted Miku’s now sleeping form back onto her pillow. Turned towards the door knowing her father Inoichi Yamanaka would be there. As silent as a ninja could be, hiding your presence from someone in the Yamanaka clan, experts on ninjitus of the mind was something considered borderline impossible. Father and daughter didn’t speak, there was little need. Ino would handle her sister as she always had done since her earliest memories calming her sister down in the cradle they shared. Ino climbed under the sheets with her sister even as her father closed the door to Miku’s room again. I will protect my sister, she thought as she brushed stray hairs away from her Miku’s sleeping face. So peaceful again, Ino wished every night could have been peaceful for her sister. Why was it she was the only one tortured by these nightmares? They were both born on the same night, Ino moments before her little sister. Something was missing. A fact she was overlooking. Somewhere in this thought, she drifted off to sleep.
Morning would come without any more night terrors, not with Ino so close to her. Ino opened her eyes to her sister, already awake and with a guilty look on her face. “Sorry onee-san” barely a whisper from a normally active unrestrained girl. Miku sat up stretching and for a brief moment, Ino was slightly jealous of Miku’s more athletic form, and sapphire blue eyes. Although they were twins there were significant differences between the two. Where Ino was slender much like their father with pale almost white blonde hair and very pale blue eyes, Miku was far more athletic with bright vivid blonde hair and deep blue eyes far closer to their mother.
“Then trust me, you and Hinata have worked hard enough. You’ll pass” Ino leaned over and kissed Miku’s forehead. “Listen to your big sister. If you want to pass however I think we are going to need breakfast first”
The two sisters rushing from Miku’s room to the kitchen brought peace again to Inoichi, mixed in with a bit of dread. Another night, another nightmare, Inoichi couldn’t imagine what life would have been like if Miku didn’t have her sister to turn to and continually bring her out of her dark dreams that hit every full moon. His own thoughts returned to the night of the attack and when Karuma was finally sealed away again after having escaped. One day he knew he would have to explain to Miku why she kept having those nightmares. He couldn’t bring himself to tell her today. He kept telling himself that perhaps not knowing would keep her safe. The Hokage would know, it was time for another meeting at any rate. Today would be the day his two girls graduated and become Genin.
Across the village, within the secure home of the head of the Hyuga clan another girl, Hinata Hyuga, is eating her breakfast and teasing her little sister. Her father Hiashi Hyuga watches the two aware of the many changes brought to Hinata after he allowed her to become friends with the Yamanaka sisters. At one time he would have considered passing her position to her little sister Hanabi. Hinata seemed to lack so much self-confidence she would never be able to perform her duties as the heiress to the clan. That changed the day Hinata meet Miku and Ino. It wasn’t an immediate change, an overnight transformation and for a time Hiashi had contemplated passing over Hinata anyway, but there was a spark in Hinata now. A spark that wasn’t there the morning she meet the Yamanaka sisters and that spark only grew. Maybe he should have suggested something like that sooner. Rather than being closed up for the most part with the Clan, Hinata should have been branching out more and meet new people. He wasn’t certain which of the two sisters helped Hinata or if it was both together, but he would be grateful to them for forming steel in Hinata that wasn’t there before.
“I expect you to bring honor to our clan during the exam.”
“Of course father,” Hinata spoke as she hugged her father on the way out.
Built at the base of Hokage mountain under the watchful eyes of the hokage monuments, the Academy was founded by the second Hokage, Tobirama Senju. There were three Admission requirements for any students to join the Academy.
1. Love the village and hope to help preserve the peace and prosperity of the village.
2. Have a mind that will not yield, able to endure hard training and work
3. Be Healthy in mind and Body.
Once these conditions are meet then admission to the Academy is granted. The classes of the Academy are broken into three major sections: Taijutsu, Ninjutsu, and Genjutsu. Taijutsu or Body Techniques make up the build of the physical education of the students including frequent sparring between students under the supervision of a Chunin instructor. Ninjitsu make up a bulk of the classes involved at the Academy and focuses on the use of handseals, tools, and other physical techniques. Genjutsu Illusionary Techniques focuses on the creation of illusions, how to create and escape from these mental traps. Along with these classes are the extra Kunoichi , a female ninja, take extra to assist in blending in for infiltration missions as well as other Kunoichi specific techniques. Upon passing a written and practical exam students are then separated into groups, assigned to Jonin sensei who upon testing the students finally decree them Genin and continue the training the Academy started. Today is the day of the practical exam.
Miku glanced to her sister Ino, but she and every other girl in the room were looking elsewhere. Sasuke Uchiha, the only surviving member of the Uchiha clan normally turned every female head he passed by. There was no hope at the moment in pulling her into the last minute studying what she and Hinata were working on. She didn’t understand the fascination with Sasuke. Part of it Miku suspected was sibling support; Sasuke wasn’t worth losing her sister over. She already saw what the loss of friendship did to Ino and Sakura. She remembered playing with Sakura and Ino helping her friend come out of her shell after being teased about her forehead by the other girls in their class. That all changed when they noticed Sasuke.
“I think it’s going to be clone jutsu” Hinata spoke up after looking over her notebook.
“Oh? I guess that explains why Iruka sensei pulled that last minute exam.”
“It wasn’t you know. I think Shikamaru noticed it too but Iruka Sensei wasn’t writing down any scores. I think he was just making sure we could do it and transformation jutsu is the hardest part of the clone jutsu.” Hinata reached over and held her friend's hand. “We’ve practiced it, you can do it. I’m certain the more we continue to practice the better you’ll get at managing your chakra”
Miku grinned. “You bet there is no way I’m going to fail this. I’m going to be Hokage and really make my dad proud”
“Stand… bow…“ Ino spoke up as Iruka-Sensei entered the classroom followed by Mizuki Sensei carrying a box. Although scared across the bridge of his nose most of the girls in the class thought Iruka Umino was a bit on the cute side. If they had problems they were more likely to bring them to his attention or one of the Kunoichi instructors attention than they would anyone else at the academy. He was approachable in a good natured way even if he was a stickler for rules and would rarely let any of the students slack off in training. Mizuki was another matter, while the silver-haired instructor might have been handsome were it not for the look in his eyes, that of a predator. The boys in the class didn’t see this predatory glaze but not a single kunoichi in the class failed to see it and thus would not approach him even to ask a question. For a reason that didn’t seem to bother the instructor who rarely paid any attention to the Kunoichi rather appraising the male students for strength, but of late he seemed distracted as if he need to find something that was still evading him.
The Konohagakura ninja headbands the Genin earned upon passing the Academy exams. It was almost time; they only needed to get past one final test. Not all ninja wear the headband on their head, but every ninja of Konohagakura wore it somewhere on him. As Mizuki Sensei arranged them in rows Iruka sensei addressed the class.
“The final exam will be on the doppelganger jutsu also known as clone jutsu. When your name is called come to the front of the class and you will be required to create three doppelgangers. You’ve all studied hard for this so, remember your training and Good Luck”
Miku watched student after student walk up and complete the test. Some with more difficulty than others and one or two seemed to have to put in extra effort to get the third doppelganger just right. Hinata soon passed and she was left sitting with her sister. As Ino stood up to be tested she whispered to her sister “Poppa promised to take us out along with Choji and Shikamaru when we pass. Good luck you can do it”
Leaving Miku by herself, but something felt wrong. It looked like Mizuki was paying close attention to everyone in the class, but the feeling she got was off. As if he wasn’t looking to grade them but looking for someone. Maybe it’s just intimidation to make sure we can handle the test.
“Yamanaka Miku” she walked down to the front of the class “You’ve worked hard so take your time and do your best”
Deep breath, she then began the hand signals for the clone jutsu… release.
Water collected at her feet and she could hear the pitter-patter of falling water some of the drops splashing onto her feet as she stood in what seemed like a long hallway made of stone. Water puddles had collected along the floor in haphazard patterns and in the middle of the room stood tall bars of a gate that reminded her of a prison and in the gate, a paper seal was attached only slightly faded with time. The side of the room she stood on was well light but past the gate, only deep shadows, and a feeling of pure hate and rage that seemed to be aimed right at her. What is this? What?
Miku felt her hands form the final sign and for a fraction of a moment, she was distracted. What just happened? Is that normal? It didn’t look like she was out of it for longer than a fraction of a second but it felt so much longer. She could feel the energy release from her and knew the doppelgangers were forming around her. Two stood to her left, and one to her right. She looked up at the sensei’s to see how she did, but that one time was very different than all the others. Was that cage real? It felt strange like a Genjutsu.
Iruka sensei was inspecting the doppelgangers to her left nothing seemed wrong, but something was wrong with Mizuki Sensei? More mind games?
“Good work on these two and the other?” Iruka sensei turned to his partner. “Something wrong?”
Mizuki’s face changed again and he smiled at Iruka. “For a moment I thought her eyes were off but that must have been my imagination. It was likely my imagination. It looks like she passed. She used quite a lot of chakra to accomplish this, but it got the job done.”
“Good job. I know that you have Hinata have worked hard on this. Mizuki, would you lock up while I handle the reception outside?” Iruka Sensei was already moving to the door. Miku had heard the Hokage attended every graduation and Iruka was likely expected to make a report as soon as possible.
“He has to report otherwise he would have given you this.” Mizuki handed the last headband to Miku. “So what were those Fox eyes? Perhaps something creative?” Mizuki knew hit a nerve when Miku froze. “I saw you were having a problem with your chakra. That’s likely the reason. You passed but only barely. If you want to not let down your father… sister and the other ninja of the village you’ll need to work on it. There is one thing that might help you… if you are willing” Miku looked curiously at Mizuki. From watching her he knew all of the weak points to manipulate her, and those Fox eyes. He found his target. “There is a scroll in the Hokage’s building. If you can master the first few techniques it will stabilize your chakra problem, but you’ve got another test coming up so you won’t have time to go through the regular channels. If you can sneak in without anyone noticing you can borrow it long enough to help yourself “Mizuki watched as Miku left the room. So this is what a snake feels like when it makes its strike.
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