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Every new Hokage brings change to the village, and Minato was no exception.
He finally had full control of the Anbu. Now, the first thing for him to deal with was their reconstruction.
The 3rd took with him around a quarter of their forces to be his personal team, including their leader.
These were his confidants, and naturally Ninjas that wouldn’t be put in leadership by Minato.
The original Anbu Leader was also someone from the 3rd’s entourage and one of the closest in Konoha to him.
The Anbu are the closest faction in a village’s Ninjas to the Kage. Naturally, Minato had to pick one who’s very close to him.
Not finding someone suitable for the position right off the bat, he decided to train Kakashi to become the new Anbu Commander.
Minato decided to do this for several reasons. First, Kakashi was his disciple, and had worked with him since age five. Thus, he could fully trust him.
Secondly, because of Kakashi’s talent and great training, he was already near Kage tier at the age of 14. He had been more than capable of taking the position for a while now, at least strength wise.
Third, Kakashi had to go to the Anbu department anyway. After all, Fugaku had agreed to let Kakashi keep Obito’s Sharingan, but one of the conditions was to get him to disappear for a while.
Therefore, the 3rd did already decide get him to the Anbu preparation training. However, because his Sharingan wasn’t merging yet with his body, the decision was postponed.
Now with his Sharingan already integrated into his body, it was time for him to officially join their ranks.
As for the remaining quarter of Anbu that had to be filled, Minato focused on supplementing the Ranks with civilian and Ino-Shika-Cho Ninjas, along with a few Uchihas and Hyugas.
Minato could not trust the last two clans fully. They had initially chosen to support Minato’s election as the 4th Hokage just to offset the rapid growth of the Sarutobi clan.
Now with the 3rd retiring, they lost this motive, as the Sarutobi clan’s rise in power naturally slowed down.
With no such threat, Minato was reluctant to believe that he could trust the Uchiha and Hyuga clans to keep their full support.
The recruitment of the Anbu was naturally not a one-off event. After finishing this initial phase, Minato focused his energy on another matter.
This matter was the reduction of the three counselor’s authorities, to make them share them with the Ino-Shika-Cho, the Hyuga, and the Uchiha.
However, the matter went unexpectedly smoothly, and Danzo, Homura and Koharu did not make any resistance.
At Root’s headquarter, the three gathered.
“Why did the two of you look for me?” Koharo’s tone was extremely cold.
Since the two gave Kagami’s eyes to Orochimaru, Koharu began to deliberately keep some distance from Danzo and Homura.
It’s been a long time since the two met, and for a while, they did not discuss anything.
After some silence, Homura said helplessly: “Koharu, I have already explained that matter to you. Why don’t you…”
“If you want to carry on with that nonsense, I’ll just leave.” As she said that, Koharu turned around to leave.
Danzo stood up and stopped her: “Koharu, wait a minute! We really have something important to call you for today.”
“What the hell is it? Hurry up!” Koharu turned and said impatiently.
“Here’s the deal! We want you to help us collect a few war orphans under the age of 10. You can see how dire Root’s situation is right now. I need new blood to supplement my troops, and this had always been something you did. Believe me; I’ll make it up to you!”
Koharu remained silent for a while, and then finally agreed to fulfill Danzo’s request.
After so many years of being their comrade, she just couldn’t let him down.
With that settled, she eventually left the place. With that, Homura’s face changed and he said: “Danzo, is that Orochimaru really capable of making Wood Release using Ninjas?”
“He should be able to pull it off; he and I made a deal.” Danzo said faintly.
“I hope he can really do it! For this plan, we gave of a lot of our authorities to Minato, just to make him less vigilant. If this fails, the price would be too heavy.”
“Homura, you can rest assured! Wood Release is the Will of Fire’s most powerful heritage. As long as we can reproduce Wood Release using Ninjas, we’ll be able to retrieve what we sacrificed tenfold!”
“I hope so!” Homura sighed and left as well.
A few days later, Danzo took over a dozen children to Orochimaru’s lab. They were all the orphans under 10 years of age that he could find.
“Orochimaru, I’ve got what you requested. You can start, right?”
After Orochimaru checked the children, he nodded with satisfaction, and told Danzo that he’ll begin experimenting immediately.
With the later gone, he immediately sent a Ninja to look for Ryo, who directly teleported to his lab upon receiving his letter.
Once in the Lab, Ryo frowned upon hearing the crying of all the children, and he felt very uncomfortable.
“Ryo kun, Danzo has only sent these few children this time. What shall we start with?”
Ryo quickly answered: “Orochi san, we don’t have to get all of these children to participate in the experiments. I have a way to determine which among them may become Wood Release users, and which ones who simply can never do pull it off.”
Orochimaru frowned, having some doubts about Ryo’s intentions: “Ryo kun, you’re not just trying to save these children, are you?”
Ryo did not think that Orochimaru would so easily guess his purpose. In fact, that was the main reason why Ryo wanted to participate in these experiments in the first place; to make them less horrible then what happened in the Manga.
Being one who learned modern medicine in his past life, he could not tolerate the mere idea of non-ethical human experimentation, let alone doing that on a group of children.
However, Ryo did not admit this, and instead explained very calmly: “Orochi san, you already know that I’ve acquired a gene from Hashirama’s genome. You also know of my clan’s secret techniques. Using both factors, I can perceive the children’s vitality, and judge whether or not they could withstand the 1st’s cells.”
Orochimaru listened to him silently. After some thought, he decided to temporarily agree with his suggestion.
Ryo was finally relieved. What he had just said was actually half-true. He could indeed perceive the children’s vitality, but that was not enough for him to predict the results of the experiments.
His actual plan was to look into the children’s memories one by one, to try to find the Manga’s Yamato. This way, he could let Orochimaru fulfill his wish of witnessing Wood Release, while sparing the lives of all the children.
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