185. Preparations for the Future
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Outside the Mizukage Office,

"Here Mizukage-sama… this is your Mizukage hat?"

Elder Genji passes the Mizukage Hat to Mei. Mei dons the hat as Elder Genji nods his head.

"You are going to meet his parents for the first time."

Fuji remarks.

"Father… I am nervous." Mei fidgets her finger.

Haha…

Fuji laughs as he encourages her.

"It will be fine. I talked with that rascal, he will take care of everything; if not I will give him a piece of my mind."

Fuji balls his palm in a fist. He turns towards her bodyguards.

"Ao, I entrust you with Mei's safety."

Ao nods his head.

"Yes, I will protect Mizukage-Sama with my life."

Mei turns towards the group of genins and addresses them.

"All of you are the pride and future of Kirigakure. Gone were the days when the Kiri was still known as the 'Bloody Mist'. It is up to you now to remove the stain from Kiri's tainted reputation."

"Yes, Mizukage-sama."

All the genins shouts in resolution.

"Err… will I be alright? There will be genins from the other villages."

A short, tufty blue-haired boy with dark eyes asks meekly.

Mei notices him as she cheers him.

"You will be fine, Chojuro. Just give your all."

"Grow up, boy…" Ao pats Chojuro's shoulder.

The group walks out of the Kiri borders as the Village Elders lead them out.

-----------------

Inside the Kiri forest,

The group walks through the borders as they reach near the coast.

"Elder Genji has already arranged a transportation boat which will lead us to the Land of Valley. It would take us seven days to reach Konoha."

Ao informs the group.

Whoosh… whoosh…

Many shurikens and kunais with paper bombs are launched at the group.

"Enemy attack, it's an enemy attack."

Ao and the rest of the jounin take out their kunais as they get ready for the ambush.

"Elder Genji warned us about the ambush. There are still some war insurgents from the Civil War lurking around Kiri seeking for an opportunity to get rid of the current Mizukage."

Mei adopts a serious expression as she makes some hand signs.

"Lightning Release: Lightning Water Dragon Bullet"

Mei kneads chakra in her hands and mouth as she releases a water dragon from her mouth, followed by a lightning bullet from her hand.

Bzzt…

The lightning release chakra nullifies the explosive paper bombs and the water chakra diffuse them.

'Water Release: Bullet Orca"

An immense surge of water comes crashing down on the group.

Whoosh…

Mei makes some hand signs and slams her palm on the ground.

"Boil Release: Vapor Suppression"

She releases thick vapors of Mist from her mouth. The Mist accumulates around the water surge and evaporates it.

Whoosh… whoosh…

Multiple shinobis cloaked in black garments surround the group.

One of the shinobi who appears to be the leader of the group makes some hand signals to the rest of his group.

"Co-operation Ninjutsu: Water Pillar Prison Formation"

The enemy group erects a giant four-pillar barrier formation around the Kiri ninjas.

Mei calmly stares at the barrier as she faces the group of ninjas.

The Head Ninja walks in front of Mei and confronts her.

"There is no need for pretenses. Just reveal yourself, Elder Kodachi."

Mei calmly faces off against the enemy group leader.

"Hoh!… so, you figured it out."

The enemy group leader removes his mask to reveal an old man.

"I have been waiting for this moment for a while. You frog of Middle faction snatched the position of Mizukage from us Noble faction and soiled the legacy of the First Mizukage."

Kodachi adopts a righteous expression as he spews out these words.

"Today, I shall punish you for your misdeeds."

He signals his subordinates to attack Mei and her group.

Ao and the rest of the shinobi jump in front of Mei to protect her.

"Mizukage-sama… we will protect you."

Mei waves her hand to stop them.

"There is no need for you bunch to do anything. I learned a new jutsu from Izuna. I mastered it recently, so I have got no opportunity to test it out in a battle. This is a fine opportunity to do so."

Mei slowly walks in front of the group as she faces off against a squad of almost thirty enemy ninjas.

Humph…

Kodachi snorts at Mei as he taunts her.

"This group of shinobis is elite among the elite who passed the brutal ninja regiment and survived."

Mei ignores Kodachi's taunt as she slowly makes some hand signs. She infuses a large amount of chakra in her mouth.

"Lava Release: Volcanic Bloom Burst Jutsu"

She fires multiple small blooms of lava. The lava blooms surround the group of enemy shinobi.

"Burst"

Mei clasps her hand as they blossom into lava flowers.

BOOM… BOOM…

Lava rains down on the group of enemies as it scorches them to cinders, leaving molten lava and ashes behind.

"…"

Mei and the rest of the group silently stare at the aftereffect of the jutsu.

A lava lake appears in place of the enemies.

Gulp…

Kodachi gulps his saliva as he stares at Mei with wide eyes.

"H… How?"

A weak squeak comes out from Kodachi's mouth.

Mei turns to Ao and signals him.

"Do the necessary cleanup."

Ao nods his head.

Chojuro raises his head and silently stares at Mei's back.

'Mizukage-sama is so kind and powerful. I will do everything to protect that gentle smile of hers… I hope I can.'

He clutches his fists tightly.

----------------

Inside the Hokage Office,

Izuna is sitting on the sofa as he listens to the recent reports.

"Recently, there has been spotting of many Rogue Ninja and Mercenaries around the small villages on the border. Sakumo Hatake has done a great job in eliminating the threats."

Tsunade nods her head.

"Sakumo-san is a great asset to the village. He is one of the few elders I can have complete trust in."

'Sakumo-san is a Kage level Ninja. He would be a great asset in the Fourth Shinobi War. Fourth Shinobi War is the least of my worries, it will serve as a whetstone for Naruto and Sasuke to grow in power. I am more worried about the Kara and the Otsutsuki clan. I have little information about the Otsutsuki clan, but from the knowledge I have on Kara, most of its members are monstrous in terms of abilities.

If I were to rank their power, then even one of their members can do a cleanup of Akatsuki except for Nagato and Obito.'

Izuna rubs his forehead as he thinks about the Kara.

'The biggest pain is I haven't been able to locate any traces of its members. Maybe it is the ability of Isshiki's Right eye or maybe I am unlucky in my research.'

Tsunade notices the troubled expression on Izuna's face. She closes the report and turns towards him.

"What's troubling you? Is it something I can help you with?"

Izuna shakes his head and replies.

"How about you conduct the chunnin exam on my behest?"

"…"

Tsunade silently stares at him.

"No… no, I was joking. I will take care of the chunnin exam. Just let me borrow a few jounins."

"Fine…" Tsunade nods her head.

Phew…

Izuna takes a deep breath and walks out of the Hokage Office.

"I have made little progress in these past few years. Looks like I have hit my limit.

There is no sign of the awakening of Rinnegan even after 15 years of implantation of Hashirama cells. Looks like I need to get hold of the chakra of remaining tail beasts to shorten the process."

Whoosh… whoosh…

A figure flickers out from his shadows. The shadow turns into a giant wolf.

"Master."

The wolf bows in front of him.

"Roen… it has been six months since you signed a contract with me."

"Yes… master. There are few humans around you who break the norm and have different emotions, but my judgment for the rest of the human still holds." Roen growls as it relays his thoughts.

"Well… I can't do anything to change your mind."

Izuna scratches his head.

"Oh… yes… I have a job for you."

Izuna clasps his hand as he remembers something.

Whoosh…

He takes out a scroll from his pocket and tosses it to Wolf Roen.

"Do you still remember the location where the battle between the Rikkudou Sannin and Ten-tails took place?"

Growl…

Roen grabs the scroll as it replies.

"Master… I can never forget about that place. It took everything away from me and turned me into this abomination."

Roen reminisces his past.

"Er… I have a task for you which needs you to return to that place."

Izuna interrupts Roen's thoughts.

"Yes, Master… I will follow your orders."

"Good… all the necessary information is within that scroll."

"Then I will be on my way."

Whoosh…

Roen turns into a shadow and disappears from his vision.

'If I can get a fragment of God tree's DNA then I think I could create something similar to Gedo Mazo.'

Izuna clutches his fists tightly.

'Looks like it's time to squeeze out some usefulness from that snake. I will give him an opportunity.'


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