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The first rays of light from the next morning’s sun scattered through Konoha as the battle that laster for a whole night finally came to an end.
Last night, Konoha had great losses. With the villagers evacuating in time, they did not suffer many casulties. However, near a third of all Jonin and Chunins in the village at that time unfortunately fell to the raid.
Many of these fell when fending off the Kyubi’s first attack, but even more fell to the Zetsu scattered in the crowds. With Orochimaru unfortunately unable to take them down quickly enough, they caused great havoc and losses to Konoha.
Top all of that off, Konoha lost its Fourth Hokage, was elected just a year ago. Dealing with this matter was urgent, and the top of Konoha gathered to discuss it.
“What happened last night…”
“Sorry, I’ve come late!” The 3rd had just started speaking, when Danzo entered through the door interrupting him.
“Danzo? What are you doing here?!” Koharu frowned as she watched the no-longer-councilor Danzo going through the door.
“I asked him to come. Danzo has the right of knowing what happened last night.” Homura faintly answered.
“Well, since you are here, take a seat!” The 3rd saw Danzo entering, hesitated for a moment and finally let him stay.
Danzo took a seat facing Homura.
“Let’s continue, last night…”
“Sorry, sorry, we are late!” This time, Ryo and Kushina, holding Naruto, barged in through the door together. The 3rd’s face immediately turned gloomy.
However, when he saw Naruto in Kushina’s arms, he immediately remembered his father and asked them to sit down as he sighed.
Ryo and Kushina took their places with Sakumo, Jiraya and Orochimaru.
The 3rd did not rush to continue this time. Instead, he looked around and made sure that no body was late, and then continued: “You all know of what happened last night. You and your clans have defended the life of our villages, and on behalf of Konoha, I thank you all!” The 3rd bowed his head to the Ninjas before him.
“Sarutobi, you’re being too polite. It’s only our duty to protect Konoha!” Homura answered.
“Heh? I couldn’t see you anywhere on the battlefield last night!” Orochimaru spoke in a strangely angry tone.
Ryo and everyone were all chocked. This was the first time they ever saw Orochimaru attacking someone so directly in such a meeting.
“Orochi san, while you didn’t see him, it doesn’t mean that such a 1st World War Veteran did not participate in battle. Yesterday, I could clearly perceive him… sheltering the civilians in the bunkers…”
While he never liked Homura, Ryo became disgusted by him yesterday when he could perceive him running with the civilians.
Homura’s face became purple as he heard Orochimaru and Ryo, and everyone present looked at him with contempt. As for the 3rd, his eyes were full of disappointment, and he felt even worse than he already did.
Still, this was his old comrade-in-arms. The 3rd could only change the topic: “Cough! Leave these matter for later, will you? I’ve called you all here for the sake of Konoha, not to judge anyone.”
“You mean, to elect the 5th Hokage?” Koharu asked.
“That will depend on everyone’s opinion!” The 3rd kicked the ball to everyone.
For a moment, everyone conversed inside the room quietly, and Ryo also established his links with those close to him, and in a few minutes, they all reached a consensus.
The 1st one to speak out loud was Hiashi Hyuga: “Sandaime, I think we should elect the 5th Hokage, and I personally recommend Jiraya san.”
“I’m of a different opinion! Jiraya san, with all due respect, is unfitting for the Job. The Sarutobi clan recommends Orochimaru san instead!”
In an instant, the discussion between everyone heated up. All clans had their favorites. While all major clans either chose Orochimaru, Sakumo or Jiraya, the small and medium clans mostly leaned towards Danzo who had bought them off.
Following Ryo’s plan, Jiraya, Orochimaru, Sakumo, Kushina and him did not say a thing, watching everyone quarreling.
All of a sudden, Sakumo stood up and said: “This should stop! We are all against the election of a new Hokage!”
The other four stood up with Sakumo, and the meeting room went quiet for a moment, and even the faintest of movements could be heard. No one expected that almost all of Konoha’s Kage Tier Ninjas would collectively oppose the election of a new Hokage.
After some silence, the Sarutobi clan head cautiously asked: “Why do you think so, your highnesses?”
“The Hokage’s post should remain vacant temporarily! For now, I think we should only choose a substitute that would act on behalf of him when dealing with other villages and when making decisions. After we finish dealing with the damage dealt to Konoha last night, then we will select a 5th Hokage and announce that to the world.” Ryo said faintly.
A representative of a small family bought off by Danzo immediately said: “if someone is to represent Konoha, shouldn’t he just be the Sandaime?”
“The old man has only been retired for a year; give him a break!” Jiraya immediately opposed this.
The conference room went quiet again, and no one spoke. With strength ruling in this world of Shinobi, opposing the 5 who were seemingly speaking in tandem felt heavy and useless.
Seeing how things were going, Homura was feeling horrible. He had already guessed that elections would happen today, so he went all out and brought all the heads he could bring from smaller clans around Konoha.
All of this was being done for Danzo to become Hokage, but with this Hokage-Substitute idea, all of that could be in vain: “Hey! How is no one speaking up?! How could a large village such as Konoha have no Kage?”
“Homura dono, do you think there’s anyone in Konoha more worthy of the position than anyone of the 5 opposing these elections?” Ryo immediately opened his Mangekyo, and used Genjutsu to make Homura speak his mind.
With him having his contact lenses on, nobody in the room noticed anything peculiar, besides Homura’s answer: “of course! Danzo!”
As he heard that name, a grin of distain appeared on Ryo’s face, and then his Chakra erupted from his body saying: “A Hokage should be strong! Danzo san, how many seconds would you last against me?”
Danzo’s shivered, and his body was instantly soaked in cold sweat. Obviously, he did not answer, and nor did Homura after Ryo released him from his Genjutsu.
A few seconds of silence took over the conference room, and the 3rd finally spoke: “I have understood everyone’s opinions. From what I’m seeing, after Sakumo made his suggestion, there were less people opting for electing a Hokage then those against it. Therefore, I shall respect that opinion. Now, who should represent Konoha?”
No one talked this time, as all looked at Ryo and the others.
Ryo stood up and smiled saying: “I propose that Sakumo san should be Konoha’s Hokage Substitute. What do you think?
Heads of all different clans had their small discussion, and in the end, most of them agreed. With this, Sakumo Hatake officially became the Hokage’s Substitute.
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