__________ POV Narration__________
While Ken was lecturing his students on the nature of well... Nature Energy?
The rest of the world was still trying to comprehend the fact that Ken was a goddamned child.
While it left many astonished and impressed, it also left many afraid...
One of those many people was none other than Uehara Yuu, the current leader of the Grass Village.
He was one of the people who had faced the Red Dot a few years back alongside the Grass Village, spearheading his assassination at the request of a few more forces that had since decided to remain hidden.
The Grass had suffered greatly that day, losing over half of its forces while also losing one of its greatest assets... 'The Strawman Saburo'.
It was beyond unfortunate, or at least that was how Yuu had painted the situation to his people. He didn't want it to be obvious that they were simply in over their head.
All the signs that Ken was too much for them to handle were already there. Yuu had just been too blinded by profits to realize that he was trying to punch through a wall with his head.
But now? That wall had turned into a mountain, and Yuu's head was still bandaged and bleeding.
'What is going to happen if we allow him to grow further and mature?!? Who could even stop him at that point?'
The Third Shinobi War was rough for the Grass Village, they had to cling tightly to the skirt of the Leaf Village begging and praying for help.
Thankfully, he managed to stay afloat, but in doing so he was now deeply indebted to the Leaf Village. More specifically, he was indebted to a certain man within the village... The man who had the most pull when it came to the Elder Council.
It was surprisingly not the Hokage however, it was none other than Danzo. The Hokage's right-hand man.
And sincerely, having to owe that man anything at all was a lot worse than owing his entire life to the Hokage.
But he had all but exhausted Hiruzen's goodwill already, so he had been left with no one to turn to besides Danzo.
And all of that was because of one person... The Red Dot.
'How am I supposed to ever seek revenge in the future if he only keeps growing uncontrollably?!?'
It was already bad enough that he had enough power to slay a Tailed Beast and take on the Mizukage.
So it was already difficult for Yuu to think of a proper way to take revenge.
But this most recent reveal made it obvious that, if he was having trouble planning something now, in the future he wouldn't even be able to stand straight while hearing Ken's name.
'At this rate... Would it be more sensible to let go of this grudge? Would I be able to take that shame with me when I meet the ones he slayed in the Pure Lands?!?
I doubt I'll even be able to pass on with all of that unresolved resentment...'
Yuu's fists trembled as he tried to think of letting the matter go.
He knew that he was dancing around starting a conflict that could very well end the flimsy Grass Village altogether.
But at the same time, he was far too prideful to let go of the matter altogether.
He was far too prideful to admit that it was his own mistake that had led the Grass Village to its current predicament.
But although prideful, the Elder couldn't help but admit to something shameful...
He was also deathly afraid.
Although the Red Dot had taken everything from him, he had killed many of his men, he had stolen most of thier funds...
Yuu was still very much afraid. The scene of Ken cutting through men and women like they weren't even there kept playing in his mind.
He kept remembering just how much they all tried to throw at him, how much they struggled to even trap him in place.
But they had ended up being unable to even put a scratch on him. While he had killed half of them already.
It was an absolute bloodbath and slaughter.
Now, Yuu didn't personally care about the people that had died. They were all merely tools for the village. But he couldn't help but be afraid...
One slip-up, one bit of bad luck, and he would've been one of the corpses shredded up on the ground when fighting the Blind Monster.
Yuu had no way of saving himself if Ken came specifically for his head. He could see no way out for him if push came to shove.
His fear was so deep-seated, that even now when he knew that Ken was still in his growing stages, he couldn't bring himself to act.
Not even now, while in a 'now-or-never' situation.
Thankfully, however, his courage grew with one letter.
One message sent from an anonymous source was the catalyst for something big, and he wasn't the only one to receive it.
All of the small nations that had suffered during the Third War and some of the large hidden villages received it too...
It was an invitation. A war room.
And the reason for that invitation was stated clearly.
'To get rid of a future threat... The cancer that rose in the Land of Iron, the Dark Brotherhood and its leader, the Red Dot.'
Yuu didn't need another moment for confirmation.
His cowardice was tossed to the side, as he now had a new pillar of support.
And, if things were to not work out, he also had someone to blame. So he didn't even need to take accountability!
'Yes! Everything is coming together perfectly!'
The leader of the Grass Village laughed out loud with renewed vigour as he then quickly commanded his people to prepare for a trip... And to prepare for war.
But Ken was oblivious to that.
He had no way of knowing that he had attracted the attention of the wrong people with his identity being out.
Hell, even if he expected it, he couldn't have foreseen such a powerful response.
One thing was for sure. The Hidden Villages desperately wanted to avoid the rise of someone like the old 'God of Shinobi' the First Hokage.
Although that time was long past, the Hidden Villages still remembered how they were all once at the mercy of the Leaf Village and its God of Shinobi.
It was an elongated and forced period of peace. All out of fear of offending him.
Although it was touted to be 'peaceful' and prosperous, in truth, many villages had been harmed in that period. Many were forced to walk on eggshells for decades.
It was humiliating, and a permanent mark in their history.
One thing was for sure... They needed to stop another person from reaching that level at all costs.
But no one would've had the guts to rise up against the Dark Brotherhood under normal circumstances.
None of the Hidden Villages would've dared to start up the Alliance against the Dark Brotherhood themselves.
But Ken's appearance had thrown one person's plans out of whack...
And it just so happened that said person could easily manipulate the Leaders of the Smaller Hidden Villages into coming together...
By the time all of the respective nations had received their messages, Ken had already finished his lecture.
The children of the Dark Brotherhood were all excitedly running out of the classroom, Tatsukio included, though he mostly just hopped.
They all went directly back to training after receiving the timetable for their new class. Their schedules had all already been changed to fit in those extra Senjutsu lessons. So all they had to do was show up to class in time.
And who exactly was going to miss Ken's teachings? No one within the Dark Brotherhood, that's for sure.
Jiraiya was also still going to come to each and every lecture.
At that point, there were only him, the Blades, and Ken in the room. The Red Dot had already taken his mask off and placed it within his coat.
The Blades all seemed to still be discussing the subject matter, not paying him any mind.
It was a bit jarring, as just earlier they had all kept an eye on him, Jiraiya could feel it.
'I guess they just didn't want me near the children?
Well, I doubt they need to keep an eye on me when there's only Ken. He's the strongest one in the room...'
While it was true that there was no need for them to be cautious of Jiraiya, the Sannin still understood where their wariness was coming from.
The Sannin slowly stood up and walked up to the podium in the classroom.
He found it odd that he didn't already have a blade pressed to his neck, as he approached the podium.
It wasn't normal for an outsider to casually approach a 'Kage'. Even if they were in a sort of business relationship, Jiraiya fully expected to be treated as an outsider now.
But, surprisingly, Ken just turned his head towards him and smiled welcomingly.
This encouraged the Sannin to step forward even closer to the Podium where Ken was still standing and arranging some... papers?
'B-but why? He can't read right?'
Upon closer inspection, the papers he was arranging were all empty, which made Jiraiya look like he had just bit into a lemon.
He quickly shook his head, a smile reaching his lips as he opened his mouth.
"That was certainly a fine introductory lesson for the kids!" The Sannin crossed his arms and spoke out in an impressed tone.
He wasn't even exaggerating when saying that. Ken had quite literally explained Nature Energy better than the Toads.
Hell, Jiraiya started doubting what he knew about Nature Energy for a bit.
Sure, Ma and Pa had likely told him most of what Ken had mentioned, but he had forgotten a lot of the stuff he hadn't been using...
Like the fact that Nature Energy also somehow allowed a person to control their body to some extent.
Well, he had never been able to use that much as his control over Nature Energy was damn near nonexistent.
"It's nothing much. I'm sure you already knew all of that... I'm assuming you want lessons in private, right?"
Ken's smile didn't diminish one bit as he finished stacking the papers before placing them back on the podium.
"Hah~ I'm that easy to read huh?" The Sannin couldn't help but smile sheepishly as he started scratching the back of his head.
The Blind Assassin's bluntness gently washed over the Sannin like a shower of bricks. It ended up causing Jiraiya to blink a few times and laugh awkwardly.
"So... Will you help me out here? I believe it's part of our agreement..."
"... Well, our agreement never specified a timeline in all honesty.
I could technically let you learn alongside the other children and the Blades until they reach your level..."
Jiraiya winced when hearing the Assassin's words. Was about to open his mouth and complain, now realising that he had somewhat screwed over the negotiations.
But Ken didn't give him the chance.
"But I will help you out. We can continue this in the forest..."
The Blind Assassin walked past Jiraiya, tapping him on the shoulder as he passed by and continued walking out the door.
The Sannin blinked a few times before looking at the Blind Assassin's back. He then turned towards the back of the classroom, where the Blades were still debating something.
He nodded towards them before he ran away and followed Ken.
'Yes! I can finally get to experience that feeling again!'
His excitement reached the sky as he and the Red Dot left the compound.
On the way, Ken had already placed his mask back on. He was more comfortable wearing it while outside of the compound anyway.
Jiraiya didn't comment much on it either, he just walked behind Ken obediently until they reached a small clearing within the forest.
"Here is where we can train for the next few hours..."
Ken 'looked' around the clearing for a bit and nodded. It was one of the places where he had trained Tatsukio before. There were plenty of scars on the ground to show for it.
The Sannin nodded and sat down in a lotus position.
"Let us start then!"
The Sannin shouted as he gripped his knees with excitement.
Ken simply nodded and cracked his neck...
'Yeah... You aren't going to like this too much, but at least you'll make a nice guinea pig...'
Hope you liked the chapter!
Finally finished moving into the new place, I've barely had any breathing space this past week, time to get back to writing now that things have slightly settled down.
I mean, I still have some stuff to buy and some housework to do, but it is what it is
Story Shoutout: The Final Desperation
Discord, again: https://discord.gg/xQTK8caFEQ
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