Chapter 7: A New Start, part 2
Hadrian looked up with wide eyes at the strange woman holding his tiny body. She had long, untamed brown hair and a rather angular face. When she smiled at him he could see she had long canines, like himself, that gave her that wolfish grin that reminds him of his godfather. His ears twitched in interest, she smelled like a mother too.
He was opening his mouth to say something when a person coughed making him look down while blushing. He felt stupid for becoming hysteric because of a reason like that one, he knew it was normal because he had his Awakening not a long time ago and he isn't any more an adolescent but a toddler. Still, he didn't like the fact that he acted like an idiot.
"Ookamisa Tsuna." Declared Shiranui, raising an eyebrow with amused eyes though there was a hint of worry for the small toddler.
Tsuna scratched the back of her head and started a bark-like laugh that seriously reminded Hadrian of his godfather.
"Sorry, Shogun-sama," She said "But when I saw him like that my maternal instincts acted for me and before I knew it I was over here holding him."
Shiranui shook his head telling her it was okay but when he saw the way the child acted and calmed down, he told himself to remember this for future happenings. He turned around to look at the door, which was open and many people could be seen from here, he looked at the toddler from the corner of his eyes to see he was looking at the door with an indescribable face.
Hadrian turned to the Shogun with furrowed eyebrows, his tiny face sending an accusatory look. He raised an eyebrow at this, expecting the kid to get angry, as they do.
"Inoichi." He called, without taking his gaze away from Hadrian.
A blonde haired man came into the room - it was the Hakurankai from before- he nodded his head to the Shogun in acquaintance.
"Shogun-sama… he is still a child, I'm not sure this is a good idea."
"I think he is rather well developed for his age. It should be alright." He assured the younger man.
Inoichi pursed his lips but then smiled an started walking Hadrian's way.
"Please, don't be scared." He told the kitsune in a soothing way; knowing Hadrian couldn't understand him, but could coney his meaning through tone.
He reached out a hand and pressed two fingers against Hadrian's forehead. Hadrian's eyes widened as he felt his mental barrier being prodded, and frowned up at the Hakurankai.
Meanwhile, Inoichi found himself in the outer reaches of Hadrian's mindscape. For all he was trying, he couldn't make any progress inwards; Moving through Hadrian's mind was like trudging through molasses, and being assaulted by high winds. Inevitably, he was thrown completely out of the mindscape.
He grunted in pain and pulled his hand back from Hadrian, who was looking up at him smugly from Tsuna's arms.
"I can't access his mind, Shogun-sama." He said.
"Explain!" Shiranui ordered.
"I'm unsure if it's his Bloodline ability or what, but his mind is protected. A force of some kind expulsed me from his mindscape. Had I not tried to fight it I wouldn't have gotten hurt." He explained.
"So you cannot enter his mind?"
They all turned to look at Hadrian with different feelings, Inoichi understood that without Hadrian's permission he would not have access to the younger male mind. He gestured to his eyes and then to Hadrian's forehead.
"Please, I just want to take a look to your mind" he said again soothingly, not a hint of anger in his voice; The man wasn't angry with the toddler, just a little surprised by the fact that he didn't have access in the mind of a child a lot younger than him.
Hadrian frowned up at him, scrutinizing him before nodding his head. He doesn't need to show him what he doesn't want him to see, right?
Inoichi waited for the boy to nod and moved his hand back to Hadrian's forehead, sensing how his own mind was sucked back into it. When he opened his eyes again, he found himself surrounded by the mist, next to him Hadrian was looking at the older man, cocking his head.
"Thank you." He told the Kitsune, who looked at him with interest.
"How can I understand what you're saying?" He asked.
"The language of the mind is unanimous." He explained to the boy, who hummed in interest before beaming.
Suddenly the darkness was transmuted into a 1-to-1 replica of Hadrian's dorms common room, complete with large plushy red chairs. He walked over to one and threw himself onto it before righting himself into a sitting position. Inoichi had to squint at the sudden change to bright colors.
Inoichi studied the place, the room sported several different shades of red and golden, plushy chairs were dispersed around the area and there was a giant fireplace, the mantle being decorated with a moving lion portrait. He walked over and sat in a chair next to Hadrian; his eyes showed that the toddler picked his interest.
The boy has a lot of control over his mind.
"So what do you want?" asked Hadrian, eyes glowing because of the fireplace.
He was thinking that, if these people could go into his mind why'd they only tried this now?
Inoichi looked at his face, analyzing it before responding.
"We need to make sure you aren't an enemy to Konoha." He said. "So, I need to ask a few questions."
Inoichi knows people may think this is excessive but it is not, children can be as dangerous as adults. In Konoha at least, children are taught how to survive and how to fight as soon as they can walk. Of course, they can't be taught such things like Shinobi Techniques that require their Mantra System is fully developed, but this kid is clearly exemplary in that area.
"Konoha?" Hadrian echoed.
Inoichi's eyes flashed.
"You don't know about Konoha?"
Haru blushed when he saw the skeptical look sent his way.
"I'm, um… from far away. So, n-no."
"Konoha is one of the greatest of the Shinobi Villages, which make up half of he Elemental Countries' millitary force. The villages are split into districts which are each governed by a Daimyo, though in turn are in servitude to the Shogun."
"Shogun?" Now, obviously Hadrian knew what a Shogun was in his world, but for all he knew it could mean something different here.
"A Shogun is our overall leader. They make the hard decisions, and organize missions for the lower-ranked Shinobi. As well, they are the strongest person in the village."
Hadrian's eyes widened.
"So the man I was talking to before, Shiranui, is someone really important!" He exclaimed. He's really glad he didn't act stupid in front of him.
Inoichi nodded but shut his mouth when he saw Haru didn't finish talking.
"From where I come from, we're lead by a whole group of people called the Counsel, who are voted into power."
"If you came from so far, why are you here?" they needed to know this, he was just breaking the ice.
"I…" Hadrian started, then paused to think. "Where I came from there was a war, between the light side and the dark side. The dark side was led by a bad man called the Overlord, and the light side by a man named Vermillion."
Inoichi can understand the horrors of war, he lived through two, after all. Now he understands why this child has eyes older than him, in times of war there was no difference between innocents and not. If you graduated earlier then you would be sent to the front to get yourself killed, that's how things happened in time of war, he has seen lots of children in battle, himself included.
The difference between their war and Hadrian's one seems to be that while Inoichi's country fights to survive, the other fights by what they think; It's light and Dark, Good and Bad. For a shinobi there is no Good or Bad, they have their own idealism, for them protecting their loved one is what's right, even if they have to kill others, they will do it.
Being a Shinobi is not a path of roses.
He presumes it's the same being a Samurai.
"Yes, Vermillion wasn't a kind man." he shrugged, but his eyes were leaking killing intent "He would act like if he were the lightest and kindest person out there, but when nobody was looking, he was a manipulative old man that just cared about himself."
"I see." Inoichi stroked his chin… thinking about a certain other person. "What can you tell me about your extra appendages?"
Hadrian perked at that, remembering what Persona told him to answer.
"It's a Bloodline."
"Of course. What more about your Bloodline?"
"Well, like you can see, I have fox ears and a tail, sometimes you're born with them, sometimes they don't appear until you turn 18." He explained, mostly making this up on the spot. "And sometimes it doesn't show up at all."
Inoichi nodded. He could think of a few Bloodlines that were like this, the Wooden Sovereignty and the Eyes of the Warrior, though the latter could be forcibly unlocked by strong enough feelings.
"Do not worry, Hadin-san-"
"Oh uh, I've been thinking." hadrian interrupted. "I'm kinda annoyed that all of you can't pronounce my name, so you could just call me "Haru"... it's what a friend used to call me."
"Haru. I can do that." He said. "Now, as I was saying, I do not want to know the secrets of your Bloodline, but if you are to live here and create a new clan, I need more information."
"Will you let me live here if I tell you more stuff?" Hadrian asked, suspiciously but with a hint of hope.
"We will do if you accept to become a new clan in the village but…" his eyes turned serious, piercing at Hadrian. "Don't you wish to go back with your parents?"
"My parents were killed by the Overlord when I was a year old." He said, solemnly, looking at the fireplace.
"Do you have someone else taking care of you? Your family?"
Hadrian growled, not understanding why the man was so interested in his family.
"NO!" He answered in annoyance, surprising the older man by the sudden change.
Inoichi holds his hands up in surrender, humoring Harry then asking him to continue though internally he wasn't smiling, by the way the Kitsune acted those who caused his abuse were his family… if they could be called that.
Hadrian groaned when he was asked to continue.
"Like a normal Fox I have better senses of smell, hearing, taste, and better agility, and more instinct than a normal human." He hummed, shifting in his seat. "I also have another ability, but I want to keep it a secret."
Inoichi nodded, all families have secrets and if the Kitsune really gets to live in Konoha -which is better to have him here instead of another village- they will know it in the future, probabilities of the kid using it are high.
He looked down at the kid, preparing himself to ask the amor-piercing question… but then he noticed something else that needed attention.
"Have you been wearing that pendant the entire time?"
Hadrian looked down at his crescent-moon necklace.
"Yeah. A man gave it and another one to me on my way here."
Inoichi filed that answer away for later.
"Now, my final question, are you able to bear children?"
Hadrian blushed hard as he explained.
The Shogun and his people have been out of the room for a while, and Hadrian was now calm, though there was still a hint of red on his cheeks.
He turned towards the door as he heard it opening. A man with a black cloth mask covering the lower part of his face came in and walked towards him; It wasn't difficult to identify him by his silver hair.
Hadrian deadpanned at him, did the man seriously think he wouldn't identify him as the dog-masked man from before? The hair was impossible not to recognize after all.
"Nice to meet you, Haru-san," The man started rigidly. "It seems I will need to take care of you for some time.
Hadrian blinked, still not fully familiar with the language.
The silver-haired man sighed.
"Moriyama Gin." He pointed to himself.
He then strolled toward Hadrian, stopping and crouching in front of the toddler with some doubt before he moved his hands toward Hadrian. He winced for a millisecond when the Kitsune looked up at him, nearly impossible to see with human eyes before he moved it again, moving them around the toddler's body and lifting him up like if he was holding a crystal doll that would break easily instead of a child with fox appendages that growled and nearly attacked him not long ago.
He looked at the child to see if the last was going to attack him and when he saw the child was just letting the older man hold him, Harry's face showing how awkward he felt himself, Kakashi started walking out the room.
Once they were out Hadrian saw the transparent walls and how they could see what happens in it, his finger trembled while pointing at it and he glared to all those who were in the room.
"I hate you all." he said petulantly while crossing his arms. The others didn't need to know the language to get that.
Gin hesitated but when he saw the raised eyebrow of the Hokage he sighed and pated Haru's head, caressing the ears as he would do to his dogs.
He turned to the Shogun.
"Are you sure about this, Shogun-sama?" He inquired in monotone. "Are you not scared that he's going to die under my care?"
The old man nodded and smiled, taking the pipe from his mouth.
"You need the child, and he needs you. This will be an S-rank mission, from now on you will take care of him until he's old enough to live on his own."
Do not take Shiranui for stupid; He knows perfectly the child can live alone and take care of himself, the maturity he had was enough proof, but he needed Kakashi to open up, to take care of someone. It's been six years since the death of his student, Gin's sensei, and this can't continue like this. Gin just lives for Special Ops, and he needs a reason to make the man take a pause.
"Yes." Acknowledged Gin.
When the man looked down to Haru, the child was already sleeping; his administration has made the toddler sleepy. Kakashi blinked when it happened, it was the first time he holds something so fragile in his arms but then…
He shook his head; there is no difference between taking care of a dog and a child, he persuaded himself, it was easy… right?