A Maelstrom Change
Chapter 1: Sleeping currents
“Nature is often hidden, sometimes overcome, seldom extinguished.”
Uzushiogakure was a beautiful village, built among the islands of the Land of Water. Right on the edge of one of the islands not far from the Land of Fire, it shown brightly in it’s dazzling, dangerous glory with it’s bright red stones that turned the village deadly during the early morn and night. And yet, the Hidden Eddy Village’s beauty also shown through the black and gold decorations of each building, hiding the protective seals that served as both sword and shield. Said seals were put in place by the unconventional Uzumaki Clan, masters of the mystical arts known as Fuinjutsu. Rumours and legends stated that this quirky clan was long-living, their power rivalled only by their fierce and caring hearts for their friends and allies. You could make a friend easily with an Uzumaki, but betray their trust and they would remember it for life and a day.
Happiness and lethalness, just like the village, this duality was the emblem of each of her citizens, ruled wisely by the Uzukage. Compared to the Five Great Villages in the Elemental Nations, Uzushio was but a small village, even so, her strength was far greater and respected. It was only due to the fact that Uzo ninjas preferred peace over war that the world wasn’t ruled by them.
Even with such peace-loving thoughts, Uzushiogakure still had it’s own share of enemies. It could have been due to the fact that they were frightened and it was a preemptive strike or it could have been due to Uzushio’s alliance with Konoha over their other neighbours. No one really found out the reason as to why Kirigakure was so consumed in destroying Uzushio during the Third Shinobi War.
Their efforts were so consuming that the Sandaime Uzukage started to plan for when the Mizukage would finally achieve his goal. For Shinobu the Third was tired that his village was being targeted nearly all the time, wanting to have a peaceful era where the people under his command could continue on with their lives without fearing death due to battle. So he concocted a plan that was quite truly Uzumaki style … to say the least.
The first step of the plan being to spirit away as many civilians as possible into one of the numerous Uzumaki hideouts far from the village, prioritising the children and women, while trying to keep families as whole as possible. Then, the next step was, perhaps, the most tricky to put in place, a gamble to play that if pulled off would be the most brilliant one to play. It involved blowing up Uzushio and pretending that Kiri had finally pulled it off in destroying every Uzumaki, civilian and shinobi, so that the other Great Villages wouldn’t try to pick them off in their weakened state.
Konoha would have tried to help them out, as Mito Uzumaki was their Shodaime’s wife and first Jinchuuriki of the Nine-Tails, but even Uzumakis had pride and in the end, Konoha would have been overtaxed to help them out during this war.
In spite of that, Konoha was also a factor to take into account: the Uzumaki special chakra that was needed to tame the Chakra beast known as the Biju. At least one “survivor” was needed to honour said treaty with Konoha. A child so that it would be further protected by the principles by which Konoha was founded. On top of this, the child needed to be part of the Uzumaki Main Branch as they had all the characteristics needed.
The risks were high for the child would be alone for the rest of his or her life and would have to pretend that everything was lost. The one chosen for such a mission was a five years old girl, youngest daughter to Akira and Kameyo Uzumaki, and sister to the next Uzukage, Shinobu. It was not her real name, but in order for every Uzukage to remember the foundation on which Uzushiogakure was built on, that is to say endurance, remembrance and the will to survive any situation, each Kage would take on the name Shinobu.
Kushina Uzumaki, at the tender age of five, accepted one of the longest and most dangerous missions that could be given to a child. She was chosen as the lone survivor of Uzushio and become the Jinchuuriki of the Nine-Tails Demon Fox in Mito Uzumaki’s stead. For one year, she trained exclusively under the tutelage of her various relatives, basing their lessons from the various notes that Mito had sent, fully aware of the plan that her village was about to do.
Once Kushina had mastered the basics, and Mito to weak in Konoha to continue carrying her burden, Shinobu the Sandaime Uzukage, enacted the next part of the plan. By then, practically all civilians had been evacuated from the village. Only the warriors remained with a couple of civilians who volunteered to stay for illusionary purposes. Little by little, the Uzo nins brought their enemies straight into the village, making them believe that Uzushio was beginning to falter. Then, when almost all of the enemy ninjas were in the village, Shinobu the Third activated the final seal that had been built in the village foundation, blowing up the whole structure with everyone in it.
When the village had been built, the Final Seal had been incorporated in order to protect the secrets of the Uzumaki Clan. The Shodaime Uzukage had not imagined that it would have been used by his Third Successor for the utter destruction of the village in a kamikaze attack. Be that as it maFor y, this utter destruction held one of the ultimate salvation for the village. For a village was not only buildings, but it was also it’s villagers that made up. By engaging the seal, the Sandaime guaranteed the rumour that the Uzumaki clan was no more … and only a little from the Main Branch, the Royal Branch, remained in the History Books.
At least with the Final Seal and the sacrifice of numerous shinobis from Uzokage, Kirigakure took a devastating blow.
Barely a week after that, Kushina Uzumaki stumbled through the Boarders of Konoha, running away from a couple of Kiri Ninjas who had found her trace. The Sandaime Hokage, so ashamed that he and the rest of the village had failed in their duty to their greatest allies, took her in as a ward of Konoha. It was not enough to live up to this shame of not helping the Shodaime’s wife’s Clan. To further commemorate their disgrace, each Konoha shinobi was to sew the Uzumaki crest, red to represent the fallen, unto their vest once their reached the rank of Chunin. This style would be kept for the future years … even if the significance was lost after a couple of generations.
For weeks and weeks, Kushina was under the interrogation of the ANBU to understand what has happened. For weeks, Kushina repeated the same story that she had been taught to deliver flawlessly. That she was part of a small group of survivors that fled Uzushio the moment Kiri breeched the walls. A group of ten people led by two Chunin-level shinobis whom sacrificed themselves so that the rest could survive and keep Uzushio alive in tales. The group decided to split up and go their separate ways, optimising the possibility of remaining alive. Dead men told no tales after all.
Kushina could not remember how she got separated from the rest of her group. All that she could remember was that she went towards Konoha in order to honour the pact between Uzushio and Konoha. For many days, Kushina tried to hide from her pursuers, living off the land as well as she could. She couldn't express her immense joy when she saw ANBU come and save her from the Kiri ninjas.
Finally, after verifying the story, using the probing characteristics for war time period, Kushina was released into Konoha, obtaining a status of refugee from Uzushio. She became a ward of the Sarutobi Clan, partially due to the fact that she was related to Mito Uzumaki and because there was no greater clan that could host a person from such an esteemed pedigree. It did not hurt that Kushina immediately assumed the role of Jinchuuriki of the Nine-Tails Demon Fox as well. Both the council and Mito were glad for the first Jinchuuriki was getting old, her seal weakening as the older Uzumaki’s chakra flow slowed down, despite her natural large reserves. Kushina’s was much bigger than Mito, the largest born to the Clan to date.
As Mito drew her last breath, Kushina felt the warm and dangerous energy of the Kyuubi circle through her body’s network. It would be a feeling she would live with the rest of her life. A life of loneliness, far from her clan and family.
The only time Kushina broke the silence with her clan, it was to inform her sister, the new Uzukage of the destroyed village, that she would become an aunt. Due to the seriousness of keeping the members of Uzushio a secret, the message would be received only five years after Kushina sent it. This was a fact the future mother was aware off so she wasn’t worried about not having a rapid response.
If only she knew that she would not live to see her son’s second day