by PDX Guy
Jiraiya and Tsunade conspire to install Naruto in as the next Hokage through deception in order to stop the ROOT division of ANBU from taking power. Naruto is transformed, but can he cope with these changes, and the inevitable drama that results?
Chapter 2 -- Konoha's Honor
It was the next day, and Jiraiya was snoring in his room. Pa was standing on his chest, tapping his flippered foot impatiently. He poked Jiraiya's head with his foot and said, “Get up, ya lazy youngster.”
Jiraiya blinked and looked around. The old frog said, “It's about time you woke up, kid.”
“What time is it? I can't even see the sun.”
“The sun hardly shines here except a few hours in the midday. I have some chores for you to do.”
Jiraiya sat up, “Okay, okay.”
Pa had Jiraiya run errands all over the village for several days. After a week, frogs around the village recognized him by name. He was even making a few friends. Even though he was safe and in good hands, he worried about his team. On the 8th day, he decided to ask Pa if he knew anything about what happened to them. “Is there any way to know about what's going on with my team in Yamaguni?”
Pa chewed on his pipe. “Yamaguni, eh? The person you want to talk to would be the Great Sage.”
“You mentioned this 'Sage' person before. I haven't met him or know where to find him.”
Pa nodded. “Ma and I are his attendants whenever someone seeks an audience with him. He's the leader of our clan.”
“I'd like to talk to him to see what may have happened with my friends.”
Pa understood and said, “Alright, I'll get Ma.”
When the two elders returned, they led the Konoha boy down the main road to a large pond surrounded by pillars. Stone monuments of ancient frogs in various poses surrounded a dais where a throne sat. On the throne was a very ancient toad of considerable size and wrinkles. Ma and Pa approached the toad and bowed deeply. After some discussion with him, they came back. “The Great Sage will have an audience with you now.” Pa said.
Jiraiya was nervous but walked up to the throne and bowed his head reverently.
“It is nice to finally meet you, Jiraiya-chan.” The Great Sage began. “What was it you wanted?”
“I was hoping you could tell me how my team is doing. It's been a week since I've seen them.”
“I think I can help.” The elongated and wrinkled lips of the old toad said, “Fetch me my crystal, Shima.”
Ma hopped to a stone carving shaped like a frog arm. Gripped inside its webbed fingers was a bluish transparent crystal ball. Ma clapped her hands with her eyes closed and the stone hand loosened its grip on the ball. She brought the orb to the Great Sage.
“Ah, yes. Thank you.” The Great Sage said in his deep raspy voice.
The crystal was placed on a blue pillow on the toad's lap. He looked down into it and manipulated his hands into various gestures. After closing its eyes, the Sage paused. “I think I've located them.”
Jiraiya asked urgently, “Where are they?”
“Who are you again?” The old toad asked, confused.
Pa shook his head.
Jiraiya blushed and said, “I'm Jiraiya, remember? You were going to tell me about my friends.”
The old toad coughed and said, “Ah yes, there they are.” Lights danced from the crystal ball as he added, “They're currently talking to some humans in a castle.”
Jiraiya stood up and asked, “Are they okay?”
“I'm not quite sure.” The senile toad answered, “Oh wait, I see something. It looks like restraints. I think they're being held prisoner.”
Pa grumbled at the Great Sage, “Alright, let me look you senile old toad.” He leaned over and looked at the crystal. Sure enough, there were three people chained to the floor in a prison. “That's Prince Reiki's castle, and they are definitely prisoners.”
“But we were on a peaceful mission. I don't understand.”
Pa sternly answered. “Some'n must've broken a law to end up like that.”
Jiraiya gritted his teeth and seethed, “Orochimaru!”
The three amphibians looked at Jiraiya in confusion.
“He's the pale one.” Jiraiya explained. “I can't help but wonder if the prince was protecting the secret of your people by refusing to give the maps over. Orochimaru said he'd steal them if they didn't hand them over.”
Pa shook his head. “I don't reckon any human is alive that knows us anymore, except you, Jiraiya-chan. We're not on any map.” The Great Sage fell asleep while Pa was talking. Ma shrugged and put the crystal ball away.
“I need to save them! What can I do? I can't possibly go up that high from here without a long journey.”
Pa sat down and stared at Jiraiya thoughtfully. Jiraiya noticed and asked, “Do you know of a quicker way?”
Pa nodded and said, “Yes. Ma go fetch the contract.”
“Are you sure?” Ma asked seriously.
“I've decided to make Jiraiya my student.” Pa said resolutely and began to poke at The Great Sage with his stick. “Wake up, ya old croaker.”
The Great Sage woke up and said, “I'm sorry. Where was I?”
“Great Sage, I am formally requesting Jiraiya become a clan member.”
The old toad looked at Pa and then at Jiraiya. “Who are you?”
Jiraiya groaned and shook his head. Ma fetched a huge scroll and unraveled it. Pa turned to the Great Sage and said, “Jiraiya has accepted the terms. Will ya yield?”
“Do you understand the terms of the contract, Jiraiya-chan?” The Great Sage asked seriously.
“I think so.”
The ancient toad slammed his staff down ceremoniously and pointed it at Jiraiya. “You must prick your skin and write your name on this parchment in blood.”
Jiraiya looked dubiously at the contract scroll. The signature line was blank. He looked up at the toads and asked, “Has anyone ever signed this before?”
“No.” Pa replied for the others. “You are the first.”
Jiraiya nervously bit his thumb and wrote his name on the paper.
Pa smiled, “Now, I accept you as my student and as a clan member.”
“Thank you, sensei. But why am I signing this now?”
“For this.” Pa said, concentrating his chakra. A puff of smoke surrounded the two of them and when it cleared, they were at the entrance to a huge castle.
Jiraiya nearly fell over from astonishment. “What happened?”
Pa patted the dust from his robes. “I used a reverse summon on you and I. Only those who have signed the contract can use this technique. You should be able to go see your friends now.”
“Are you coming with me?”
“Nope.” Pa smiled. “I'll summon you back in one week. You'll help your friends and come back for your training.” Pa poofed and was gone.
Guardsmen in decorative light raiment stood in front of the castle. One of them noticed the strange way Jiraiya showed up.
“Uh, hello.” Jiraiya said nervously. “Some people from my village are being held in this castle. I'd like to talk with the person in charge.”
“Ah, yes. They are being held pending trial.” The taller guard answered then sneered derisively, “Apparently they didn't know that stealing was against the law.”
The two guards laughed. Jiraiya flushed angrily, but tried to keep his cool. “I just want to straighten up any confusion and find out why they are held.”
“Go see the solicitor, Argil. She should be in the courtroom at this time of day.”
Jiraiya walked inside and located the office of the solicitor after asking around. A beautiful brunette woman with white robes greeted him at the door.
“Hello, I am Argil Hiromi.” She said with a bow.
Jiraiya bowed in return. “Monogatari Jiraiya.”
“What can I help you with?”
Jiraiya stared at her shapely body. She noticed and asked, “Well?”
“The envoy from Konoha was taken into your custody. I represent Konoha and would like to take them into custody.”
Argil's sculptured eyebrow rose slightly. “Aren't you a little young to be a diplomat?”
Jiraiya snorted. “I am the Legendary Toad Sage Jiraiya.”
Argil laughed, “Legendary?”
Jiraiya did a little dance and said, “I am a friend to the weak, and enemy of evil...”
Argil was grinning ear to ear. She was charmed by Jiraiya's little display. She smiled and waved her hand, “You can stop now. Okay, so you're the Great and Legendary Jiraiya. I believe you. What do you want me for?”
“I want to make a deal.”
Jiraiya looked Argil in the eyes and said seriously, “I will trade my freedom for theirs.”
Argil and Jiraiya walked through the stone corridor to a guard station near a door. She nodded at the guard and the door opened. After walking through a few turns, they stopped in front of a second level guard in front of yet another door. This door was sealed with a written seal. Jiraiya had never seen such methods used to keep prisoners in before.
The guard looked up from his desk and said, “We sealed the area off with a barrier. This special key opens this door.” He handed a key with a seal embossed tag attached to it to Argil.
“Thanks. Come with me, Jiraiya.”
Jiraiya blushed at her informal use of his name. “May I call you Hiromi?”
“No, you may not.” She glared, then laughed. “I'm joking. Yes, but only in private.”
Jiraiya followed Argil through the next corridor and stared at her slim figure as she started down the stairs. At the bottom there was a thick black iron door. Argil knocked on it and a plate slid open. She projected her voice through the hole and announced who she was. The door opened, and a large guard with many tattoos on his arms ushered everyone in.
“Here is the judgment, Hiroshi.” Argil said as she handed the large man some scrolls.
The light-skinned hulk of a man read the papers and said, “Follow me.” He walked over to the next room and unlocked the cell.
Inside, Tsunade was crouched on the floor with manacles. Her face lit up when she saw Jiraiya. She said, “Oh thank Kami-sama you're not dead! We were so worried about you.”
Jiraiya masked his despair and answered in a cheery tone, “Yes, it's me. I'm glad you guys are okay too.”
Argil gestured at Jiraiya and spoke to the team, “This boy is going to take your place.”
Orochimaru smiled smugly. Sarutobi looked concerned, “I thought we were going to be in court.”
“Jiraiya-chan here made a bargain with the judge to let you go in exchange for his imprisonment. The judge just finalized the order. This sort of arrangement has been done before. We allow sacrifices to pay honor debts, be it jail time or death. Death is usually the preferred method.” She walked over to Sarutobi and sternly said, “We hope, Sarutobi-san, that the behavior by your student isn't typical of visits to come from your village. Our military is very powerful and alliances reach all the way to the west coast.”
“I personally guarantee it won't happen again.” Sarutobi replied with a deep bow of apology.
Tsunade bowed low too. Orochimaru scoffed.
Jiraiya said, “Tsunade, you don't have to lower your head.”
Tsunade averted her eyes from Jiraiya. “Yes I do. I was there when he did it. I deserve as much as he does.”
“Why are you always defending him?” Jiraiya asked. “You wouldn't be here if it weren't for him. I should have been here to knock some sense into him.”
“No, Jiraiya, you need to stop. I am so sick of the fighting.”
Jiraiya stared at the floor. “You won't have to worry about that anymore, will you, Tsunade-chan?” Argil gestured and the guard unlocked Tsunade's manacles and fastened them onto Jiraiya.
Tsunade's eyes misted and she yelled, “You baka! Why do you always have to be some kind of hero? Why did you do this?”
Sarutobi held his hand out to her, “Tsunade...don't.”
Tsunade wanted to punch the wall, but restrained herself in front of the jailer.
Argil led Tsunade out of the room. A few minutes later, Argil returned alone. She looked over Orochimaru and said, “You are free, but released under Sarutobi's custody.” The guard unshackled Orochimaru. The black haired teen rubbed his wrists and smiled smugly at Jiraiya.
“Bye, Oro-chan.” Jiraiya said tauntingly, waving. Weird freak, he thought with a shudder.
Argil's eyes scanned over the dark haired teenager. “Hiroshi, accompany me with this one. I don't like the way he looks at me.”
Hiroshi answered, “I don't either.”
“We'll be back.” She said as she smiled at Jiraiya.
Sarutobi was alone with Jiraiya. He wanted to say something, but was at a loss of what to tell the young man.
“I know what you're going to say, sensei. You're going to say I'm throwing my life away.”
Sarutobi shook his head. “I wanted to say I am surprised and proud of you.”
“Thanks.” Jiraiya said as he tested his manacles. “Am I going to die here?”
“The charge was theft and assault. If they're anything like Konoha, then you may be here for a few years.”
“I hope Hiromi-chan comes to visit me here. I could definitely handle years of that.”
Sarutobi smiled somewhat.
Argil returned. The guard flanked behind her and released Sarutobi. The two left the room. Argil pulled up a chair and regarded Jiraiya with a pleasant smile.
Jiraiya smiled at her and said, “I want you to visit me 10 times a day just to make sure I don't escape.”
She smiled more, “I like you, totally not necessary.”
“What do you mean?” He wondered aloud.
“As soon as your friends leave, you're a free man.” Argil laughed gleefully.
He gasped, “What?”
“You're free.” She mused.
“On one condition.” She said with a blush and a smile.
“I knew there had to be a catch.” Jiraiya moaned. “What's the condition?”
“I want to kiss the Legend before he goes.” Argil said, smiling. She laid her hand on his leg and squeezed it.
Jiraiya's pulse quickened. “I like kisses.”
Argil smiled and moved closer to him. He leaned closer to her. She tilted her head slightly, and so did he. Jiraiya shyly leaned forward and touched his lips to hers. When she began to respond, he poured more passion into it. He made out with her for at least twenty minutes before she pulled away, breathing heavy. “You are a great kisser.” She said with a blush.
Jiraiya rattled his chains. “The manacles made it more exciting.”
Argil laughed and said, “You're a pervert and very, very cute.”
She left and returned with a piping hot dinner and some comfortable bedding. “Be sure to get a map from the library before you leave. I don't want you losing your way...the next time you visit.” She dropped a stamped document next to him.
The young man looked at the page. It was a writ allowing him to take a map from the library. He grinned as he realized he was going to complete the mission and Orochimaru would look like an idiot.
Jiraiya was freed the next day, so he took his writ with him to the librarian.
“A map? Let me go get one for you.” The thin government worker said. He returned a few minutes later with a scroll. “This is the one you requested.”
“Thanks.” Jiraiya unrolled the map. Myouboku Mountain was nowhere on the document. So much for his theory about the prince protecting the toads.
Jiraiya spent most of the rest of the week in the library getting to know the legends of the frogs. He was surprised about how little was known. There were religious texts describing the animal realms. One in particular caught his eye. It was entitled, “Animal Realms of Enlightenment”. In its pages there was a description of astral realms where lived ancient beings who held sovereignty over each animal type in the world. It was believed that these beings could grant powers from the realm they ruled over. Jiraiya wondered if the contract he signed was related.
After leaving the library, Pa frog poofed into existence.
“You scared me half to death.” Jiraiya said, clutching his chest. “Can't you poof quieter?”
“No. Now let's finish your training.”
“How long will that take?”
“Stop asking stupid questions. Only I will know when you're ready.” The old frog waved his arms and with a seal, caused the two of them to vanish.
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