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In Naruto: Reborn With Talent

Chapter 44 - Ch44. Counterattacking the schemes 2

Chapter 44 - Ch44. Counterattacking the schemes 2

The trio arrived at the apartment and Mei was told to sit behind the table in the living room with Konan while Rei was making ramen for them in the kitchen.

Mei wasn"t very comfortable around the blue-haired girl. She was looking at her weirdly. Like matron.

Konan smiled at the awkwardness of the girl. She reached her hand towards the girl, making her stiffen and close her eyes. Konan didn"t care and ruffled Mei"s hair.

Mei snapped her eyes wide at the gentle touch and found herself enjoying it.

"Be a good girl and we will have no problem." She heard the blue-haired girl tell her in a gentle but firm voice.

Good girl... Mei thought that she could at least try. She timidly nodded with a blush.

"Don"t worry." The blue-ha-, Konan, yes that was her name, Mei remembered.

"I will teach you how to be a good girl." Konan continued cooingly as she leaned closer to her and patted her head.

Rei entered with a tray of three bowls of hot, steaming ramen and saw a weird sight. Konan smiling devilishly at the determined Mei while Konan patted her head in "my precious" kind of Kakashi-like way. His eyes couldn"t help but instinctively trace a few escape routes as he felt a shiver run down his spine.

In the end, he steeled himself and approached the girls with a smile, putting the food on the table. He saw that Mei instantly looked at the big bowl of noodles while gulping hungrily. He put the first bowl in front of the girl who raised her head, her eyes meeting his and he could see a spark of adoration. He could only sigh to himself. It was so easy with children. No wonder the villages started to train their ninja during childhood and made them listen to hours per day of patriotic drivel. Because that was exactly what the first two years of the academy were about. Indoctrination of children to loyalty.

He saw Mei watch the ramen with want in her eye but the girl didn"t dare to touch it. Rei tilted his head.

"Ah!" He understood. "You may start eating, Mei-chan." He smiled at her.

Before he even finished the girl was inhaling the noodles. Rei quickly stopped her hand, making the girl stiffen.

"Slow down. You will choke on it. Nobody will take it from you." He quipped in bemus.e.m.e.nt, letting Mei"s hand only when she nodded embarrassedly. Rei smiled and continued. "Don"t be afraid to ask for more."

He knew the girl would want more. He was a master at suiton and very good with katon and temperature manipulation! What! Jutsu were not only good for fighting! Cooking was a viable way to use them too!

Especially since he could make the food full of chakra this way. Elemental chakra. With his proficiency, he could add his katon and suiton chakra into it, making it actually beneficial instead of harmful to Mei. It will certainly help her own katon and suiton chakra nature, if only ever so slightly. He also added a bit of nature energy into the ramen so Mei will stop being so tired and malnourished.

Rei would never do something like this for Ringo. He liked Ringo. She was his baka-deshi. But she was not loyal. Not as much as he would like her to be. But with Mei, he didn"t need to worry. He was not as naive as to not know Konan"s plan for the girl. But he was not about to do anything about it. He knew that under Konan"s care, Mei would shortly be a... he hoped not zealot or fanatic... he would need to have some positive input on the girl to prevent that. But he knew Konan"s "education" would make the girl loyal only to them. And he knew she would be subtle enough to make Mei appear like a good little ninja of Kiri.

Sometimes, Konan could be scary.

They finished eating as Mei ate her third bowl of ramen with an embarrassed blush.

"Well, some ground rules." Rei told the girl, making her straighten up.

"We are often on missions so you will stay alone here." Rei told her and Mei nodded. She was alone her entire life. Nothing new. Seeing it, Rei continued. "Therefore you will have to learn how to cook and clean up after yourself."

Rei didn"t tell the girl there will always be paper and water clones looking after her. He would make sure the girl puts her all into learning the basics of household chores. Well, not like there was much to do. His seals did ninety-percent of these automatically. But cooking will be a very beneficial skill in the girl"s future ninja career.

Mei was bewildered. Someone actually wanted to teach her. She smiled slightly, her heart happily fluttering.

"Thank y-"

Before she could finish, a knock resounded on the door.

Rei sighed and stood up. He approached the door and as he opened them, he could see an ANBU who gave him a scroll and disappeared. Coming back to the table, Rei opened it.

"Well, the Mizukage is summoning us." He quipped in amus.e.m.e.nt, his eyes sparkling. Both him and Konan knew what this was about. "Well, be a good girl Mei," Rei started, not seeing how Mei"s eyes brightened. "and stay here." Rei took out a few slices of paper. "You can practice the sticking exercise. We know the academy already started teaching you."

Konan created a paper clone.

"My clone will instruct you." She said merrily, ignoring Rei"s deadpan stare.

With a sigh, Rei gave up and both him and Konan disappeared in shunshin, leaving only determined Mei with a smirking paper clone that sat next to Mei and it"s smirk widened.

"Well, Mei-chan, first..."


In the office:

Rei and Konan walked in and did the usual greeting.

"I will be blunt Rei-kun~. Why did you adopt Terumi-chan?" The Mizukage curiously asked. This was not in his plan. While it was a good thing for his plan, the timing was too... precise.

"Felt like it." Rei shrugged. "I met her yesterday and saw Konan in her."

"Yes. I also could see my past self in the girl." Konan nodded with a slight smile. "I was a homeless orphan in Ame before Rei took me in."

The Mizukage didn"t know that. He smiled to himself. Maybe his suspicions were unfounded, after all, and it was all caused by a sentiment.

"Well, as you know, Terumi-chan is the last of her clan..."

"Are you going to bar us from adopting her?" Rei amusedly asked, knowing well that was far from the truth.

"No, no. I am happy to have two capable ninjas raising her!" He put his clasped hands in front of his face and got serious. "I just want you to teach her how to use her elemental chakra and Kekkei Genkai."

"Hmm, you ask a lot." Rei smirked. "In that case, I want her as my second apprentice. We both know Ringo is low-jonin level already so keeping her a genin is an insult to her skill."

"You want a six-year-old as your apprentice?" The Mizukage blinked. "I can"t approve that. She must go through the academy curriculum."

And its indoctrination plus a bonus... Mizukage thought to himself.

"Oh, Nah. I just want her after she graduates from the academy. Do that and we have a deal. We both know you want her to be strong for Kiri but if I am to teach her, she will be mine. My apprentice. My teammate. Mine. She will become a permanent part of my team."

The Mizukage was stumped. Rei was not asking for Mei as an apprentice. He was asking for her as a ninja. If he agreed, sure, it would make his plan surefire success with enough time. But it would be agreeing to Mei belonging to Rei as a ninja. The very same as Konan. He had no delusions that Konan is not really a Kiri shinobi and certainly not his. She was more of a property of Rei. At least, that was the not sugar coated way of looking at it.

Rei asked for a lot. But then again... with their guidance, Mei would become an S-rank in the future. Heck, Ringo Ameyuri was going to become S-rank with enough time.

Sigh, I will have to put extreme focus on making Mei loyal but... The Mizukage mulled over it.

"Sure. Mei Terumi will belong to you, Rei. You may do whatever with her." The Mizukage nodded. "But I want you to make an S-rank ninja for Kiri from her. Don"t forget she owns the whole famous Hot Springs of Kiri. She is an important girl. If you want her, treat her well."

Rei shrugged in acceptance and almost gagged as he heard "important" and "treat her well".

He knew that he basically asked for kunoichi Mei, rather than adopted a kid. The Mizukage just gave her to him. He could make the little girl into child labor and nobody would care as long as he justified it by "The Mizukage gave her to me". Not to count numerous worse things he could do to her. But this was reality. The shinobi belonged to the village. They were its property in a way. Only the really strong shinobi could look at the Mizukage and openly sneer at him or rebuke him. Because they were strong. Because they were an asset the village couldn"t afford to lose. Because they were a threat. Because they could. A small six-year-old orphan from an extinct clan? Her only protection was the other clans and their "interests". If Rei didn"t come to Kiri, Mei would live a pampered life, her head would be filled with ideas of marrying into some other clan that would acquire her wealth and bloodlines this way and the grandeur of serving her country.

"Don"t worry. We will raise her "very" well." Konan gave a wide sweet full smile with delightfully narrowed eyes as she put a great emphasis at the word "very"..

Suddenly, the Mizukage didn"t feel all that good about this little plan of his...

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