Chapter 363 – Warm Greetings
“Ojii-chan, is something wrong?” Sarutobi Konohamaru, who was playing with his toys, saw the tears in Sandaime’s eyes. He’s turning 6 this year. He had shown extraordinary talent since he was a child. The people of the Sarutobi clan was proud of him.
Konohamaru was Sandaime’s grandson. With his strong roots in the Ninja Arts, coupled with extraordinary talent, there’s a great possibility of inheriting Hokage’s position. Once he succeeded in being a Hokage, the Sarutobi clan’s opportunity and status would improve significantly. Therefore, they invested all their resources to Konohamaru. Sandaime could also see his potential.
After hearing Konohamaru’s words, Sandaime wiped the tears from the corner of his eyes. He smiled, “Ojii-chan is okay, I just remembered something from the past. Konohamaru, will you accompany your jii-chan to meet someone special?”
“Someone special? Who?” Konohamaru asked with curiosity.
“Her name is Tsunade. She’s the First Hokage’s granddaughter and Konoha’s greatest female Ninja.”
Hearing she was the greatest female Ninja in the entire village, Konohamaru exclaimed in excitement, “I will! Let’s go!”
“Yosh, let’s go together.” Sandaime picked up Konohamaru on his arms and walked towards the village entrance.
At the same time, Tsunade and the rest of her companion had arrived near Konoha. Above the village, the Hokage Rock was visible. Perhaps because she felt timid, Tsunade stopped and gazed at the village in the distance. At that time, she was heartbroken after the death of her brother and lover. Later on, she discovered her brother’s demise was caused by someone else. Since then, Tsunade was deeply disappointed with the village and left Konoha.
After years, she finally returned home. She still couldn’t forget about the past, but she was still full of nostalgia for her hometown village, where she grew up. After a while, Tsunade took a deep breath. Her eyes were full of determination. She continued walking toward the village.
At this time, a large number of villagers and Ninja was gathering near the entrance of the Konoha village. They were all continually gazing at the distance, hoping to see Tsunade’s silhouette. A few minutes later, a middle-aged Ninja pointed to the distance and exclaimed, “It’s Tsunade-sama! She’s back!” everyone shifted their gaze to the pointed direction.
“It’s really her!”
“Yeah! Tsunade-sama finally returns home after all these years!”
Most of the older generation of Ninja, who participated in the battlefield of the Second Shinobi World War, owed their life to Tsunade. Without her back-up, they wouldn’t make it alive. Her departure, years ago, caused a big uproar in the village. The villagers couldn’t accept what had happened. They naturally felt excited to see Tsunade finally returned to Konoha.
Both villagers and Ninjas chanted Tsunade’s name together. As she was getting closer to the village, their voices were louder. At the village entrance, Tsunade stopped. She observed all the familiar faces one by one, all sorts of mixed feelings in her heart. These people once battled together with her against death; now, most of them were more than half a century old. Looking at everyone’s happy faces, Tsunade’s heart was deeply touched. She relaxed, “Guys! I’m back!”
“Tsunade! Welcome home!” A familiar voice among the crowds caught Tsunade’s attention. Tsunade turned to the voice’s direction and saw the now white-haired Sandaime.
Tsunade’s memory of Sandaime stayed the same even after she left Konoha. At that time, Sandaime was a highly respected Ninja, but now, her view of him changed.
Tsunade’s eyes were swollen with tears. She held back her tears and said to the Sandaime, “How are you, old man?”
“I’m doing great! Nothing to worry about, I have retired. Look, I have my grandson with me. This is Sarutobi Konohamaru. Come, greet Tsunade! You said you want to meet her, right?”
Tsunade realized the boy in Sandaime’s arm. After teasing Konohamaru for a while, Tsunade and Ryo joined the crowd. They walked together towards the village.
As soon as they entered the village, she saw a beautiful red-haired woman with a child around 10 years old. The woman was smiling at her. “Kushina!” Tsunade immediately recognized the red-haired woman.
Kushina was one of few members of the remaining Uzumaki clan. After she arrived at Konoha, Uzumaki Mito took care of her. So, Tsunade and Kushina had a close relationship.
“Tsunade nee-san! Long time no see!” Kushina waved as she greeted Tsunade.
“Kushina! Long time no see!” Tsunade returned the smile. After chatting for a while, Tsunade pointed to the boy next to Kushina, “Kushina, is he your son with Minato?”
“Yes, his name is Uzumaki Naruto, he now went to the Ninja Academy?”
“So you went to the academy, huh? You must be dumb at school lessons like your mother. Especially in the culture class.”
Kushina’s instantly flustered, her face turned red, “Tsunade nee-san! How could you say that in front of Naruto!”
“Hahaha… Sorry, I was only joking. Let’s go in!”
That night, Tsunade and Yamanaka Ryo went to Hatake clan residence to meet Hatake Sakumo. In the living room, three people sat cross-legged on the floor. Sakumo smiled and asked, “Tsunade! It’s been a while! How are you?”
“My life has been comfortable since I left the village, no more responsibilities. But Sakumo-senpai’s life after taking over the Hokage role must be depressing!”
Sakumo reluctantly said, “Hey, there’s no other way! Minato is not here, Orochimaru ran away, you and Jiraiya broke free and became unreliable. Who else besides me can be Hokage?”
“Must be tough for you, being Hokage…” Tsunade was flustered.
Sakumo waved his hand and said, “Alright, enough with this topic. What makes you return home?”
“You can ask this kid. I return to the village to help him and Minato.”
Sakumo frowned, “Help? What are you and Minato planned to do?”
“Minato nii-san wanted to help the Hyuga Branch Family broke free from the Main Family’s control.” Ryo later explained the situation to Hatake Sakumo.
“Ryo, I had no objection in this matter. But don’t act too rashly. You know the importance of the Hyuga clan’s role in the village. If something happens, the people on Kazegakure will immediately found out.”
“I understand, please relax, uncle. We already know the Hyuga clan has a method to lift the Caged Bird. Shishui will get the method easily.”
Hatake Sakumo nodded and said, “Well, you did come prepared.”