Author Topic: Thinking of rewriting my stories that I'll post here (and adding a new one)  (Read 10144 times)

Xamusel

  • Number XV of the Organization
  • Master
  • ***
  • Posts: 429
  • Placeholder avatar until I can get something else
    • View Profile
Yes, you read this right, I'm thinking of rewriting a few of my stories and then posting them here. Of course, the stories I have up on my FFN profile aren't exactly related to TYPE-MOON, but I want to figure out what to rewrite and post here all the same.

Now, before you guys ask, I know that there's only two votes per user. I want you guys to vote for an item to rewrite and an item to start or continue writing, hence why there's only two votes per user. The top three items for rewriting are going to be rewritten, while the last one will be left alone for a while, given that I want to make sure that I can go back to the one left alone at a later date. However, the ones I'll be starting or continuing before they can be posted have to have one chosen from between them, because I don't want to stretch myself too thin.

For the stories that I'm thinking of rewriting, I'll post here what I have of the individual stories on FFN (with one exception, which should be obvious here, unless you can't find it on the forums after reading the poll options), and specifically here... meaning this thread. For the stories I haven't posted yet, I'll post some details regarding the individual story, and then leave it up to you guys to choose which story should be written by me.

Oh, one last thing I should mention, since it isn't obvious from how I'm typing this. I would like to have honest and expansive opinions of what I should be doing story-wise... so, would you please be good neighbors and give me the opinions based on what you voted for, so that I can easily avoid demanding things from you guys? I don't want to demand anything... far from it. In fact, if I get these honest and expansive opinions now, then I won't have to worry about thinking something stupid based on what the results show up.

So... may as well start off with the details regarding the unposted stories.



Zero Gamble is a spin-off of Fate's Gamble Chapter 49, where, instead of canon!Hogwarts before Fifth Year, Harry and Hermione from Fate's Gamble end up in canon!Fuyuki City the year before the Fourth Holy Grail War. Due to circumstances, Sakura avoids her canon fate, and Harry, due to being a mixture of Potterverse and Nasuverse magicals, is forced to participate in the War for the Makiri, especially if Hermione is supposed to live without either experimentation or the worms invading her... which, in this case, would kill her (non-Magus, thus no way for the Crest Worms to attach themselves to her, despite the fact that she's clearly magical... plus the fact that Zouken would literally kill to get his hands on how Hermione is capable of using "Magic"). Of course, Harry can't call Zelretch for help, otherwise Hermione dies and all of their stuff would be destroyed before Zouken goes at it with Harry.

As if that wasn't problematic enough, the Grail chooses Kariya to fight in the War, and this Kariya has Magecraft training from an outside source (more on this as potential chapters come out). Kariya demands to take Harry's place as the Makiri representative, though Zouken dismisses that demand, saying that there's no way Kariya can get a Servant... before letting it slip on how to perform the ritual for summoning one.

With the wheels of Fate on a heavily altered course, how will the world change, even as it nears its self-destruction?

Mobile Suit Gundam: SEEDs of Fate is a what-if of the events of Fate/Zero and so on taking place two centuries after they're supposed to... with some key differences involved. One such difference is that Waver ends up getting a back-up job for when he leaves the Grail War alive (he has an uncle who works for the Flanagan Institute in the Universal Century timeline that this is based on), while another difference is that Blue Cosmos (hey, the SEED part is from Gundam SEED, in case you were wondering) actually has accurate records of Kiritsugu's deeds... minus Magecraft being involved in those records. The most major key difference, though; Magecraft hadn't gotten nearly as weak as it should have (and, instead, had gotten stronger with the Reconstruction War killing off a lot of Humanity by that point... bringing Alaya's Magecraft Divide back to levels from the start of the Holy Grail Wars in canon).

What would this mean for the plots of Nasuverse and the combined timeline of UC and Cosmic Era? You'll have to read to find out.

Kingdom Hearts: A Retelling is a retelling of the whole Kingdom Hearts series, starting in chronological order 9 years before the events of Game 1 (and ending whenever the series ends... preferably with Kingdom Hearts 3), though with different circumstances... yet, what these circumstances are, I haven't planned them out yet. I do know that Ventus will play a part, as will Vanitas, but I don't have a clue what the rest of the circumstances are.

Naruto the Fox Knight is actually a Naruto/Nasuverse crossover where Naruto, due to circumstances in the orphanage, decides to camp out in the forest surrounding his home village. It is here where he encounters the Lady of the Lake (by picking the lake as a good camping spot), who gives him a chance at having something he never thought possible... a brother, Arthur Pendragon. There's just one catch... when Naruto nearly dies at the Battle of Camlann instead of Arthur, he gets offered a chance to fight in the Holy Grail War as a Servant by Alaya, thus going through the process of fighting in the Fourth and Fifth Holy Grail Wars with a gender flip (which, thankfully for Naruto's sanity, doesn't stick).

Thing is, I plan on the story being around 4 million words, given that there's a lot of ground to cover with that one... and, no, I won't pull a Gabriel Blessing on you guys (with any of these stories).



Now... to start this off, I'll post Naru Quest on this post, then I'll post the other two stories that I haven't posted here in this thread (one chapter at a time).



(Author's Note from Xamusel: I had thought to myself that this needed to be made to some degree, a quest-like story/Role Play where a character from the Naruto universe was the plaything of the community, and not necessarily in the good way. In fact, it wouldn't really be limited to the Naruto universe, it would include five other universes over the course of the quest. No, I won't say what those five other universes are now, but that's not important right now.

If you want to know what rules I'll be using for this story, I'll be using the Pathfinder ruleset, which is with less stupidity than D&D 4E and less complexity than Anima: Beyond Fantasy (both of which I own a copy of). In fact, I'll only be using the rules of Pathfinder, not the world of Golarion (or any third party world Paizo accepts). Also, I had it in mind that the Graduation age from the Ninja Academy in this particular setting would be 16, on the off-chance that there are things that needed to be accomplished by someone older than 12 (what with the class thing and all).

Also, aiding me in writing this is DragonKnightRyu, if anyone is wondering. He’ll be helping me with writing this particular one from the get-go, mostly because it has to do with specific stuff going on, like what the main character is.

On another note, this prologue chapter will be First Person Perspective, and then the next portions of story will be Third Person unless otherwise stated before the chapter.

Anyway, off to the story, people.)

Prologue: What goes around...

It was ten years since the Kyuubi no Youko was defeated by the Fourth Hokage, and it was the same amount of time since I was unfortunately, in my opinion, born. Close to nothing went right for me, given that most of my life was filled with neglect and looks of hatred (among other things). No, nothing like physical abuse ever happened, just the type of abuse that came with the emotional territory.

Still, if anything, I was given fair treatment by the should-be-retired Third Hokage and allowed to have a healthy lifestyle befit of a regular citizen. I didn't want to have any of the crap I dealt with normally, but at least it was better than nothing ever going right for me.

Now, the alarm clock started ringing, and I felt I was rudely awakened from a very nice dream regarding me winning a world-wide cooking competition... where did that come from? I blame the lack of a fourth wall in my dreams.

Upon hitting the snooze button on my alarm clock, I get out of bed, moving to get dressed and ready for the day. Today was my first day of going to the Ninja Academy, and I wanted to be there at a decent time, at the very least.

After getting ready for the day, I stepped out the door and made for the Academy, making sure to lock up the property this time. With the latest string of break-ins happening, I didn't want to be the target of thieves, Ninja or otherwise.

XxX

Finally, after a good half an hour, I got to the academy and get registered. Of course, I had to be registered with an ANBU overlooking me for the headmaster's peace of mind, but that's besides the point. I then got assigned a classroom to learn from for all my time in the academy, one that essentially was almost full of girls, with only one guy in the classroom. From the looks of it, most of the girls were eyeing the single guy in the classroom with awe, or maybe it was a junior form of lust.

Great, fangirls, a ninja’s worst enemy.

Still, I want to be a successful ninja, not a part of the crowd. Therefore, I’ll be paying attention to my studies, even if it seems like my instructors want nothing more than to force me to fail. That way, I can really exceed expectations of the female population, and from there prove that I can be a proper kunoichi on par with the legendary Tsunade of the Sannin.

Now... it’s time to start focusing on what options of the ninja lifestyle I want for myself. Before the instructors decided to do anything in regards to teaching us anything, they gave us each some papers that they said would help us determine what our overall objectives would be in the Ninja program, mostly because of the need for a written test to see where we’d be best placed. It was something that I decided was only there because of the civilian council, nothing more, nothing less.

Eventually, I finished my test, leaving me with some free time to listen in on the various rumors floating around with the girls. For the majority of what they were talking about, it was utter crap, but then there was some truth to the whole thing going on in there. For instance, the rumor about the thieves said that it was a group of ninja that dared to steal from their village, but nobody had proof to back it up. However, there was one rumor that caught my interest, about where the next robbery would take place. Apparently, the next robbery was stated to take place next to where I live, but only because someone was interested in a notebook full of seals for something.

After turning in my test results, I move back to my seat, which was right next to the boy in the room because it was the only seat left available. As it turns out, this boy, a Hyuuga clansman named Hito, was a sweet boy who didn’t want anything like the fanclub he had, because he just wanted a friend first and foremost. I agreed to be his friend, mostly because he was a genuinely good guy that needed friends more than false romance, which I figured was never a good thing.

Finally, the test results came in, and my test showed up to be....

XxX

A year has passed since the time that I got my initial test results, and things have gone from bad to good in a short amount of time since I came here. For starters, I got more friends than just Hyuuga Hito, including his twin sister Hinata, who’s a sweet girl as well as a practitioner in the forgotten form of the Jyuuken, where one has to have graceful movements in order to fight at maximum potential. Another of my friends is a girl named Haruno Sakura, who I helped get out of her bookwormish ways as she helped me get out of the curse of lack of knowledge, which I’m glad that she helped me with.

Then there’s a rather nice Uchiha who goes by the name of Usagi, a momma’s girl if there ever was one, mostly because of her desire to be more like her mother than her father. I wouldn’t know what it’s like to have a mother and father, but I can only imagine that it would be something amazing, if anything. Her hair, while long like girl’s hair is supposed to be, is pitch black and goes down to her shoulderblades. Her onyx eyes showed the signs that she hasn’t awakened the Sharingan quite yet, and probably won’t for quite a while, if her history is any indication.

Then there’s my instructor, Umino Iruka, who acts like a big brother to all my classmates, but especially so to me. Something tells me that it has to do with my status of being an orphan, but I wouldn’t know quite yet. If he were ever asked about his preference in students, I’d guess that he’d prefer students that didn’t prank their way into a mess, like I was taught not to do if I wanted to be a good candidate for the title of Hokage.

Finally, there’s one person that is on my friends list that I don’t know how she got on there, but her being on the list has been a major boon to me over the course of the last year. Her name....

“Hey, Uzumaki, how’s life treating you?” a cheerful voice asked from behind me, making me turn around to look at the person in question.

...is Yamanaka Ino, and she’s a major rumor monger who isn’t afraid to get the latest scoop for the class. So far, she’s had a 99.99% accuracy rating with her rumors, with only one time being wrong at all... and that was her first rumor to obtain. Apparently someone wanted to discredit the headmaster for trying to make me do something I was against, which also coincided with what my training was against, as it turns out.

As far as why she calls me by my surname all the time, well, it’s something of a habit of hers that she got from a computer game that she has no idea how she got it. Last I heard about this game, though, it was because her parents confiscated it from her for being an Adult Only game about killing Vampires and other such things... plus the sex involved.

Still, I have to reply to her, especially since she knows not to make rumors about me.

“It’s not going bad, per se,” I tell her. “It’s also not going good, so that makes it neutral, above all else.”

Really, what was I supposed to say? I don’t have anything against life in general, nor do I have anything against Konoha in general. This just cemented the feeling of neutrality in my mind.

“By the way, when exactly are you going to call me by my given name of Naru, Ino?” I couldn’t help but ask her. I mean, given that we’ve been friends for a good portion of the time we’ve been in the Academy, she has every right to call me by my given name.

With a shocked expression on her face, Ino brought both her hands to her face. She obviously hadn’t expected that question at all, otherwise she wouldn’t be acting the way she is, if anything.

“Uzumaki, really, do you think I’d call you by a sacred name like that?!” She yelled in askance.

Blinking, I was about to ask her what she meant by that, when I remembered that she holds nearly everything about me sacred. For whatever reason, I think she’s worshipping me behind my back, which I don’t like.

Finally, as if to give me reprieve of Ino, I heard Iruka-sensei call roll and allow me to go back to the lessons on hand.

XxX

Third Person Perspective

A strange man walked right past the guards of Konoha, the Eternal Chuunin Izumo and Kotetsu, as if he didn’t exist in their sight. This man, wearing a black cloak over his body and face, stood at roughly 6’5”, and if one looked hard enough, one could see his Hazel eyes. While it seemed like there were no weapons on his person, he was in fact heavily trained to use his body as a weapon, and had a Zweihander sealed away in his back on the off-chance that he needed a weapon as an extension of his body.

He also knew how to use Illusionary arts to the maximum advantage, meaning that his ability to stay hidden until needed was at top form, regardless of what he may say about his own abilities. That may have aided his getting past the guards, but he didn’t want to rely solely on such an ability, if he could avoid it.

Reaching his right hand into one of his many torso pockets, he pulled out a locket, which he proceeded to open when he had his eyes on the cover. What he saw was beautiful, even to him, someone that had been on the road for far too long.

A picture of he and his friend’s sister was portrayed, the man looking like he wasn’t even six years old at the time, with dark brown hair and a smirk on his face, and the female in her early teens and with beautiful red hair and a joyous smile, her eyes closed to prevent eye color from being shown.

A single tear left his right eye, as he said mostly to himself, “Kushina... I’ll find you or whoever you have as family, and I’ll protect you or whoever else, with my life!”

XxX

All in all it was a quiet day in Konohagakure... but little did the inhabitants of this Shinobi Village, little did the Jinchuuriki of the Kyuubi no Youko, Uzumaki Naru know, how this peace was all about to change as the flow of time wiped away the world as they knew it and remade it anew.

(Well Everyone, this is DragonKnightRyu, I’m giving Xamusel a hand with this new story, apparently I’m some sort of Gender Bender expert... and looking back I can definitely see why... huh, has to be some sort of unresolved psychological issues in that... ah well nothing a good dose of alcohol won’t fix!

Anyways Xammy here is making this story a CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE! (Coughs slightly) Basically your votes affect the outcome of the story! So choose wisely, you may end up sending all the characters to a horrible gruesome death that I will take far too much pleasure in describing...

… Yeah, serious issues here... Anything to add Xam?

Xamusel: Actually, as a matter of fact, I do have something to add. The first of the CYOA stuff is going in a poll, namely to ask about what you all feel will be Naru’s ultimate class apart from Kunoichi, which, as far as I’m aware, isn’t really a Pathfinder class to begin with. Therefore, DKR and I decided to make an analogy of sorts with the actual classes and make sure that there’s a way to bridge the gap, so that way everyone can understand what each class is supposed to be in Naruto terms.

By the way, the poll is on my profile, not DKR’s profile. I wonder when he’ll update his profile to reflect any new changes?

DKR: (Coughs) Well... I mean to... but I work in Restoration, so whenever there’s a Flood I typically get an emergency call to get out, especially during the rainy season, which it currently is, so I’ve been busy, only thanks to Take and Jorn that I’ve managed to update as often as I have... (Sighs) My job eats my life...

Xamusel: Hey, you’re lucky you actually have a full-time job, I only have a paying job of one hour a week right now. My other job’s a volunteer gig at a local camp.

Anyway, enough about that, back to the story. What’s next to come is going to be a chance meeting with the guy that seems to know something about Kushina, but not all the details. Is anyone going to fill him in on her death by the Sealing technique, or is Fate really different for her?

Really, I have to determine that part, but I won’t be putting it up as a poll at all.

DKR: In other words a...



... CLIFFHANGER!!!

Xamusel: Yeah, that was worth a couple chuckles when I read that, though I think that’s up for debate. (ahem) Now... let’s get our asses on the line for the next chapter, shall we, DKR?

DKR: DRUNKEN WRITING FRENZY... AWAY!)

Xamusel

  • Number XV of the Organization
  • Master
  • ***
  • Posts: 429
  • Placeholder avatar until I can get something else
    • View Profile
Naruto: RPG of all Time Edition
Story written with permission from Majin Hentai X
Story written by Xamusel and F-14 Tomcat Lover

Prologue: Rulebooks of Destiny

A six year old Uzumaki Naruto, wearing a white tee shirt with an orange spiral on either shoulder, blue shorts, and matching sandals, was walking to his apartment after the ninja prep school let out for the day when he felt the weight of the world fall on top of his head... literally!

“Ouch!” Naruto cried out at the force of the blow. While it didn’t have the ability to make him lose brain cells, it did make him lose balance, causing him to fall flat on his face.

Two seconds later, Naruto started getting up from his predicament, causing thirteen books of varying size to fall from on top of his head and onto the ground. Naruto, unsure of what these books were for, decided to put them in his book bag, regardless, and make sure that he kept them close to him.

XxX

Upon reaching his apartment, Naruto set the books down on his kitchen table, intent on opening them one by one, just to see what he had to deal with. As his smallish hands made to open one of the books, he paused, seeing something out of the corner of his right eye. What he saw was a pamphlet that seemed to go with the books, though he didn’t understand how it went with them; he just knew it to be the case.

When he picked up the pamphlet, he received a jolt of electricity in the back of his brain, which normally doesn’t happen except in an extreme situation like electrotherapy for brain growth, getting tossed off a 10,000 foot cliff, or something similarly drastic. After five seconds of the electric shock, Naruto shook his head to clear the remains of it out, which lead to him opening the pamphlet that came with the books. When he started reading the pamphlet, he started to get a sense of... someone, or something, at least, in his head.

“Fame... power... glory... all yours should you swear your allegiance to me, the one known as Ny--” was all the voice ever got into Naruto’s head before it warped into a static-like mess.

Naruto, unsure of what he was hearing before the change to static, thought to himself, ‘What was that about?’ Upon thinking those words, however, his attention was grabbed by what he was reading.

To the one reading this pamphlet, if your name is not Uzumaki Naruto, you will be incinerated by the time you reach the end of this line. If your name is Uzumaki Naruto, on the other hand, you have been selected to lead numerous adventures throughout foreign realities with your friends by your side. In order to learn of the benefits involved with these adventures, turn the page.

Naruto, not seeing any reason to disobey the instructions, turned the page of the pamphlet to read on.

Before you get all excited that you get to go on adventures that would surely make you Hokage, you need to know that there’s more to this life than you can imagine, such as finding riches enough to overthrow an economy of an entire world if you’re not careful, and even artifacts that would put the treasures of the Rikkudo Sennin to shame in their sheer usage! Not only do you have the capacity to bring back such prestige to your home, you also get to bring back powers beyond prior comprehension and even the tools to use said powers, should they require that you use tools to use them! To learn of the risks of adventuring, turn the page.

Naruto turned the page again.

The most prevalent risk of adventuring is death. Yes, you read that right, death. To put it into perspective, should you ignore the power that comes with this pamphlet and the books and go straight to the Ninja Academy after the boring years of civilian school you are currently going to, you’ll be stuck at level 0 before you finally graduate from the Academy at level 1 minimum. After graduating from the school, you’ll be given an instructor that will have to babysit you for until he feels you’re ready for the Chūnin Exams, which means you’ll be at least level 5 and a strong Genin-level ninja in specific areas. No real risk of death until you hit Chūnin-level or even higher, if your life is really that dull, for that matter. In order for you to advance in strength, you’ll need to advance in levels in this life, meaning that you need to fight or do other things that would result in you getting better experience points for levels. To learn more on levels and experience points, turn the page.

Again, Naruto turned the page.

Levels and Experience Points work differently depending on the type of adventure you’re going on. Generally, though, you can only advance from level 1 to level 2 by obtaining 1,000 Experience Points total. After that, then you need to refer to the different manuals to learn how many points you’ll need to advance in the different levels, mostly because of the fact that each level up system is different from each other and I don’t want you to think they’re all uniform when they aren’t in reality.

Now that you know how this should work, it’s time to form a party of fellow adventurers for your first adventure in the multiverse, by means of asking people to join you on this adventure and potentially the next ones that follow. To do that, you’ll need to speak with people and ask that they join you on an adventure, which will mean that you’ll have to convince concerned parents that their children will be alright with you somehow instead of in danger just by being with you. It might do you some good to recruit an adult ninja to go with you, in order to soothe the fears of the parents, mostly because they want to know that their children will be safe somehow. Happy Hunting, Uzumaki Naruto.


Naruto was a bit confused, but figured it would be a good way to make friends. Now he had to choose. He had a lot of choices actually, but he knew a few that would likely say yes. Like that brown haired girl who always liked to play with rather sharp objects and exploding paper. She was actually a nice person, but she really didn’t interact with him much, not so much because of her parents -she was an orphan like he was-, but because she lived on the other side of town.

Yeah, that would be a good idea. He even remembered her name, it was Tenten. She did seem to have a nice side as she was a lot more friendlier to him.

Then there was that one boy he had seen. The one being teased about having no Chakra. He saw him being observed by a ninja who had nodded at his determination to overcome that difficulty. Rock Lee was his name, another orphan brought from outside of the village.

Then there was Shikamaru. True, he would hate the physical aspect, but Naruto knew that if it got him away from his mother for a while, he’d do it. Plus, since there was some running around, she would likely throw him out and tell him not to come back until the game was over. Yeah, that sounded right actually.

He then thought up others, maybe that girl from that one family that always had a tree stuck up their collective bottoms. She was really nice and kind, plus there was that woman who was with her always. That would let Shikamaru’s parents know they would be watched over.

Plus this could be his chance to get close to Sakura-chan! There would be two other girls and a lady, so she might just agree! It was so perfect, he couldn’t help, but giggle in thought of successfully getting Sakura to notice him!

Yes it would work!

He should go see Tenten and Rock Lee first. Then Shikamaru. That way the nice lady and the girl that she was with would be able to see he was being honest. He would also have to learn the girl’s name too, now that he thought about it. Wasn’t it Hina-something? It was sort of like Kiba’s older sister’s name. He was sure, but not too sure, but either way, he was going to find out.

Then he saw the sun was dipping low... he’d better start. He knew that Tenten lived alone like he did, so he better hurry and ask before she went to bed.  Hopefully it would work out. No he had to be positive, it will work out.

So Naruto, with course decided, headed out in a hurry. So much so he forgot to close his door.

XxX

Cat landed with a shake of her head and a smile as she closed it before following. Her graceful movements a match for his hurried ones. She was curious as to what had set the boy off like that? He seemed excited more so than usual. How odd, but welcoming.

She watched as he hurried, clearly trying to beat the dying light from the setting sun. Her movements had to pick up a few times, Naruto was always so wily. His short size often didn’t help her or the others assigned to watch over him. Even with his love for bright colors and his bright hair, he could disappear with almost absurd ease on them. Plus his ability to find them was startling and second to none. Even the Hokage had problems even in his prime at tracking ANBU, Naruto didn’t and he was not even ten years old.

She had to giggle a little when he bounded into Uchiha Mikoto, who only set him on his feet and ushered him off. She had only stopped him long enough after putting him on his feet to brush off the dust on him. Then she let him go on his way with only a sad smile. She wondered about that herself, though she had an idea, she just couldn’t believe it possible.

That with a name like his, that every enemy outside their walls hadn’t figured it out that is.

‘Why here?’ she thought when she realized they were in the blacksmith district.

Sure, it was an area completely missed and happen to be home to the weapon specialized ninja. Being on this side of town, the Kyuubi had completely missed this district which helped recovery of the village as a whole. Then she remembered that he briefly met a girl from here.

XxX

Tenten was tired as she changed. She lived alone, no surprise since the death of her parents. It had to be the single most terrifying experience of her young life, though she did not doubt she’ll be even more terrified in her chosen line of work, but for now, it was the worst. Seeing her mother killed in such a fashion was something that would haunt her for the rest of her life. The only good thing was the Hokage and how he had personally come to visit her and console her. It made her prouder to be part of Konoha as the Hokage had always shown a deep bond with their people and Ninja.

She was soon dressed in a pink top and white bottoms pajamas. Her brown hair was let down to rest on its own, reaching to the base of her neck. She padded around in a pair of pink slippers as she passed her parents room. She didn’t glance in, she had seen it enough after their deaths. Then, before she reached her room, she heard knocking at her door.

Frowning as she observed the time, the 7-year old girl shrugged and headed down to the door. She took a look to see who and was surprised to see that Naruto boy. She giggled lightly at the bouncing look on his face. Naruto, as she learned, was rarely the sit down and be patient type.

He knocked impatiently and she responded, “Hold on, I’m here Naru-tan,” she knew he didn’t particularly enjoy being called that, but he didn’t mind if it was her.

She swung the heavy wooden door open and stepped out, “What can I do for you at this late at night Naru-tan?”

“Ten-tan!” he whined to her face with a smile on his face as she in turn grumbled having forgotten that was his way of revenge.

“Okay, Naruto,” Tenten responded and heard him chuckled at his victory, “Or do you prefer Naru-chan instead?”

Now she enjoyed Naruto’s turn to grumble before smiling, “Ten-chan!” okay, they could probably keep at this for some time, “I wanted to know if you would like to play a game with me?”

She blinked in surprise, “What sort of game Naru-tan?”

She saw he ignored her attempt at riling him up to cover up she just how simply surprised she was as he continued, saying, “Simple. We take the roles of different types of warriors and defeat evil wherever it may strike! It would not involve us being captive for another person to rescue or whatever, but it would require a lot of luck, especially if we want to survive.”

Of course, from the sounds of it, she was certain that Naruto wasn’t entirely sure about the specifics, but he couldn’t be closer to the truth without experiencing it first-hand, or so she guessed.

Tenten went into thought with one hand supporting her other arm as she held her chin...

“Okay, I’m in,” she stated, it was better than what most kids had the girls play and she hated being cast as weak.

“Great!” she watched Naruto jump into the air, punching his fist skyward.

“So when should we meet?” Tenten asked next mildly amused by his antics.

“Tomorrow we have no classes in the morning, right?” Naruto inquired and Tenten nodded as she confirmed for him.

“Yeah, they need the Academy for the graduates this year, so no class in the morning,” she confirmed, at least she had paid attention and she figured Naruto only heard no class in the morning.

“How about we meet at the gates about half an hour before class?”

“Okay, that sounds good,” Tenten nodded though curious as to who else was going to be involved, “Um, who else will we be playing with?”

“I’m hoping that Rock Lee kid, you know, the one who can’t do anything more than Taijutsu.”

“Oh yeah,” Tenten remembered the boy, always a hard worker that one, “I wonder if he would be up to it?”

“I’m going to his place next, but aside from him, I’m gonna ask Sakura-chan, Shikamaru, and that girl from that rich clan with the white eyes and seeming with a-”

“Na-ru-to,” Tenten interrupted and Naruto gulped, “I’m a lady, even if you are right.”

She enjoyed that it took Naruto a moment to process that, but they both broke up laughing and hard.  It took a few minutes to calm down, but then she heard Naruto explained that the girl was really nice, if odd.  To Tenten, she only sounded shy, painfully so, but she was fine with that.  Plus, with a chunin to watch over them, she would likely be allowed to do so, maybe.

Clans like the Hyūga were a bit... stiff that way.

Eventually, though, they had to finish up and wrap up.  With that said, she watched as Naruto headed off to Rock Lee’s, trying to beat the nearly gone sun.  Though she figured he’d likely find Lee only now returning from training.

With a shrug, Tenten went back inside her home and then off to bed.

Little did she, or Naruto know, what was to happen to them in the near future.

XxX

In the shadows, following silently, Cat racked her brain for information on the girl.  Her father had been a ninja and her mother a blacksmith. The father had been killed in a skirmish with Kiri Ninja a few years ago. That had been bad business, but it got worse as the Kiri-Nin realized how good the mother’s skills were. That had been a reason why Konoha-Kumo relations hadn’t descended straight to war.

Nothing like the enemy of my enemy to keep my enemy busy.

She alighted next to an ANBU patrolling the district. He barely acknowledged her, he was more interested in supporting a patrol of Uchiha Military Police as they dealt with some rowdy drunks from a tavern. A few were Mercenary Ninja and Guard Ninja, the kind without a village to call home, but also on the legal side of the law. They were keeping to themselves as much as drunks could when they got rowdy and began to have a ‘contest’ of sorts with other drunks.

Seriously and they called themselves adults.

She spied Naruto approach the home of the girl. The family had no family name, no surprise. There were a lot of ninja who didn’t, but they were in the minority in the last few decades. A lot of the old names having died off, so new blood filled in and it was simply something the highborn could not tolerate, ninja without family names. They expected to be defended by those with such names. A weird case of vanity if she could judge as such.

He knocked on her door. It took a while, the girl answered though. She was dressed for bed, but she heard Naruto out. She looked totally surprised by his proposal and ideas. Cat shook her head in surprise. Leave it to Naruto to find something like that and go through the trouble to find someone like Tenten to play with.

The smile behind her mask indicated she was happy he had thought of such a thing. In this district, there were many former retainers and people of Uzu no Kuni and as such, Naruto was actually among friends. Sure he was an unknown to them, largely due to a lack of contact, but they had none of the amenity that the others in the village did. So he was sure to find a few friends here.

It seemed that everything was going well. She was glad for him as he started to head back home. He had a smile on his face and Tenten was also equally happy that someone actually wanted to be around her for her developing skills. That and her love of pointy and explosive objects.

Some men would consider her a goddess for the latter when she got older.

She saw the two of them speak for a short.  It was clear the girl was interested and that was good.  Naruto had only a few friends, just a few boys from his classes, but she already knew that it wasn’t as strong as it could have been.  The bond was simply not there.  At least at this time, she hoped.

She giggled to herself as Naruto launched himself into the air.  He was so excitable.  She ideally wondered if she ever had a son, if he would be that hyperactive?  She hoped not, but at least she had plenty of practice with Naruto.

Then she saw them conclude, likely setting a time and place.  She was curious about what he had in mind for a game.  She’ll listen in a bit more.

She began to follow him again as he left.  It didn’t take long.  She noticed it was that boy now, the one that Maito Gai went on about as a good mark for being a ninja.  As a taijutsu specialist, she would agree.  The boy would be good for their more ‘public’ units.

They began to talk.

XxX

Naruto rushed over to where Rock Lee lived, with Cat tailing from the rooftops, who was hard pressed to keep up with the bundle of stamina. As soon as Cat realized where he was going next, she couldn’t help but ponder why he would do this, given that the older orphan boy was not one of those that would take playtime as an enjoyable form of activity.

Before he could make it to where he thought Rock Lee lived, however....

“Oh, Naruto-san, what a surprise! I didn’t expect you to show up at this time of day.”

...Rock Lee made it to him, for some reason.

Naruto screeched to a halt in front of the older boy, barely making it to five feet away from the older boy, before he repeated his question that he asked Tenten to his elder orphan. After describing it to Rock Lee, he was assured that they would be playing together with the others, should they agree, that is.

“Thanks, Rock-san, I’ll keep that in mind!” Naruto declared before he turned to rush over to where Shikamaru lived. Before rushing off, however, Rock Lee grabbed Naruto’s shoulder and kept him in place for a bit.

“Naruto-san, my given name isn’t Lee, like what most people would believe. It really is strange that you would think that, though I can tell that everyone in the village would be confused by that,” Rock said. With that, he let go of Naruto’s shoulder and gave a wave of his hand, before saying, “I’ll see you tomorrow, Naruto-san!” With that, he left for his home, letting Naruto go about his business.

XxX

Cat watched as Naruto then headed home.  He’ll likely ask the others in the morning.  It was late and she was honestly rather eager to be home herself soon.  After all, Hayate had the next day off, as did she.

Still, she would keep watch until her time was up.  It wasn’t like she didn’t enjoy the task.  If anything, she got a little bit of training and a lot of entertainment.  Naruto could be such a funny person at times.  Then there was the fact that when he was really lonely, he sought her or one of the other ANBU guards for him out.  He made it a habit to sneak up on them and when they finally notice him, he would be sleeping leaning against them.

For the female members, they found this cute.

For the male members, they only sighed and kept watch on their ‘little brother.’

She watched as Naruto arrived home with no problems.  Only a minor case of him not watching where he was going, but Maito Gai only gave a laugh and sent him on his way.  Gai was actually good with kids, if that was possible.  Then again, his antics really excited them in ways that many hoped would NOT be emulated in later life.

As Cat watched Naruto get ready for bed, she felt the presence of another.  She turned to look.  It was Liger, she was on station tonight.  The woman was relatively new to the ANBU ranks, but she was from the Inuzuka and was stalwartly loyal.  Like most Inuzuka, she had had dog familiars.  A run-in with a S-Class Rogue Ninja though had taken them from her.  As such, she transferred to the ANBU and seemed to be doing well.  Naruto always managed to get the woman to play a game of tag with him.

It was... therapeutic for her.

“Anything I should know about?” Liger asked in that tone that was common to the women of her clan, sounding like she was ready for a rough and tumble fight and eager for it too.

“Yes,” she replied with a sing-song tone that surprised Liger, but after what she was told, she was smiling behind her mask, “You have it from here?”

“I do,” Liger replied, “Try to be on time in 48 hours and without the limp.”

Cat only seemed to take off faster, leaving Liger to chuckle and shake her head as she settled in for the night.

XxX

Naruto woke up refreshed from his actions from the night before, which wouldn’t normally be possible at that time in the morning, which was 0600 hours. Upon getting out of bed, Naruto prepared to get ready for school, only to remember that classes weren’t starting so soon in the day. With that, Naruto took his shower -he forgot about the fact that his bathtub was ready for use after being fixed- and got into his clothes, preparing to get breakfast made (aka, make a cup of instant ramen, which was all he seemed to get for some reason). When he finished making the breakfast, he was about to go to his kitchen table to eat when he suddenly remembered that there were books on it, books that had somehow landed on top of him the day before.

After eating his meal at the table, Naruto remembered his plans for the day included getting the other four people ready to play with him, so he decided to grab a book at random and take it with him to see how the books would help him play with the others. With that, he headed off to the others, which would be a blessing in disguise for everyone involved.

Upon grabbing a book that showed a dragon in a dungeon fighting a large group of adventurers, Naruto felt a surge of... something enter his veins, though he didn’t know what it was. He didn’t want to look in the book to see if it had a clue yet, because that was something that he didn’t feel like he needed just yet, due to his mind screaming at him not to open the book this soon.

XxX

Nara Shikamaru immediately felt a danger sense activate.  Only a few things could set that off.  This was also the worst one...

He cracked open an eye and saw his mother talking to Naruto.

“Tch!  Troublesome,” he knew what might just happen.

“I see,” Nara Yoshino spoke slowly, seemingly deciding on a fate and Shikamaru knew that Naruto had the personal favor of the kami of luck so...

“Yes, he can play, it would be nice for him to get out of the house for a week,” the woman sighed in annoyance, “Chouji is currently ill and he’s been such a pathetic mess,” she reached over and grabbed Shikamaru and pulled him in close, “I’ll allow you out of your chores as long as you go and have a little fun!  Understood,” it wasn’t a question and Shikamaru only nodded obediently, “Good boy!” his mother beamed down on him, “Especially if you can help that poor Hyuuga girl, I swear, if only Kushina was still around, that clan would be lot more tolerable.”

Not once, did she noticed her slip of the tongue, but neither boy inquired.  Shikamaru for fear of his life and Naruto, because that name seemed to strike a chord in him.  He didn’t understand it, but he’ll figure it out later.  It was that simple.

With that said, Yoshino headed off, bidding her son and Naruto a pleasant day.  Shikamaru then asked Naruto what was going on, earning a flat look from the boy.  The top knot wearing boy only shrugged the look off and Naruto sighed and explained the game.  Actually, Shikamaru wondered if Chouji could play once he was over his bout with illness.

“Sure, why shouldn’t he?” Naruto looked honestly perplexed and Shikamaru forgot that Naruto wouldn’t have had it another way.

“Right, sorry, geez,” getting out of chores, he felt sorry for his father, oh well.

“So who’s involved and what’s that about a Hyuuga?” Shikamaru inquired and raised an eyebrow at Naruto’s explanation, “Okay, I can see where you’re coming from, sounds fun actually.”

“YEP!” Naruto all but shouted in Shikamaru’s ear, “Have I steered you wrong before, believe it!”

“Well, there was that one time, but I still blame Kiba for getting the wrong map on that.”

“A technicality, since it was the dog’s breath fault.”

What was that Naruto?” the said dog’s breath demanded from behind the shorter boy, “I thought I didn’t hear right?”

“Which part?” Naruto looked innocent, “The Dog’s Breath Part or the Part for grabbing the wrong map?”

“Ki-ba!” and the feral boy was already on the run as his mother wanted answers.

“He’s going to be insufferable later you know,” Shikamaru was glaring at Naruto, “And how did you know that his mother would fly off the handle like that?”

“Yeah, but enjoy the moment,” Naruto began, “And his mother and father were trackers and scouts, so getting the wrong map is blasphemy in their eyes.”

“Oh, true,” Shikamaru agreed.

XxX

Haruno Sakura was a few things in life, but a fangirl was not one of those things quite yet, and her parents wanted to ensure she didn’t do that. If anything, they wanted her to play with people closer to her age, and eventually train to be a strong Kunoichi like her mother. There was nothing wrong with being a fan, but fangirls were considered a scourge to all Kunoichi, no questions asked.

Then again, one of Sakura’s traits was that she happened to be a good singer, something that she prided herself on. It was while she was practicing her vocals that there was a knock at the door to her family’s house. Her parents didn’t want to disturb their “Angelic Singer” from practice, so they went to the door for her, making sure to check to see who it would be that needed them.

When they opened the door, they were surprised to see Naruto at the door with Shikamaru behind him, and even more surprised because Naruto had a book with him that Shikamaru didn’t seem to notice. Before Naruto or Shikamaru could say anything, Haruno Mebuki asked, “Naru-kun?  Shika-kun?  What brings you two to our house?”

Both boys had heard singing from the house.  As they got closer it had gotten clearer.  It was rather nice, Shikamaru guessing it was Sakura herself.  Both had become enraptured by it and so when Mebuki opened the door, they hadn’t noticed immediately.

Her voice soon snapped them out of it with Naruto as the first one to recover himself from listening to the song in the house and quickly began to speak with his usual hyper energy, “We’re here to see if Sakura-chan wants to play with us!  I already asked two others if they wanted to play as well, and they said yes!  So Shikamaru and I, we were hoping that-”

Mebuki held up her hand and said, “Say no more, Naruto-kun. I know you would like to hear an honest answer, so here’s what I’ll say. Yes, you may play with her, though you’ll need to wait a bit for her to finish her singing practice, as she’s at a point where she’ll need to practice a lot to maintain her voice.”

While Mebuki was giving her daughter time, Sakura was actually almost done with her singing practice for the day, which resulted in her giving off a heavenly sound while she was finishing up.

samayoidasu  kasuka na kibou o

Naruto, while he had heard it was Sakura singing the song, couldn’t help but wonder where she got her voice from. It really was as if an angel was singing through her, and this angel was probably Kami-sama’s best one for the job.

hisshi ni dakishimeru no wa
ushinaenai  riyuu ga aru kara
boku o sasaeru nukumori…

Within Sakura’s room, her movements were graceful, as she moved to the beat of the music that was playing in it. Her breathing was labored, as she had been doing this for a good amount of time, but she didn’t let that stop her from singing and dancing.

Her hands moved to her heart, her feet criss-crossing every so often, as her lips were ushering the words as if in the choir of 10,000 angels of similar skill level to the one that made up her voice. She was willing the words to come from her heart, so to speak, which seemed to be a fair assessment.

While she continued to sing, Sakura moved her hands out in an open gesture as if to show the love within her heart, which didn’t seem like it was off for her.

ataerareta  chikara tokihanachi

A vocal hitch nearly happened, though Sakura somehow suppressed it, given that she was so close to finishing her singing for the time being.

ima koso kanaete miseru
namida shite mo  ushiro furimukazu
susumu yo yakusoku da kara

Her breathing was about to give out on her from all the dancing that she was doing while singing, so she slowed her dancing down to no dance left, all the while conserving the energy she had left.

While she couldn’t dance further, her singing was impressive enough still, given that she had practiced her singing for situations like this. It was just one of her talents that she had, being able to recover energy for dancing later on, which made her parents suspect that she had a bloodline limit within her or something.

ikinuku tame  furikazasu yuuki
kioku ga jama suru no nara
jibun dake no  seigi o kakagete
itami mo tsubasa ni kaeru

With a final burst of energy, Sakura picked up her dancing routine, which lead to her criss-crossing her legs again, which was the result of her dancing practice and the practice at maintaining her lung capacity. She didn’t want to waste her talent with being a screaming banshee, no sir, not one bit.

kizutsuku tabi  kakushin shite yuku
"dare yori tsuyoku naritai..."
kegare no nai  omoi kasaneyou
mada minu mirai  tsukuru tame

While Sakura was wrapping up for the day, Naruto couldn’t help but exclaim, “Wow!  Cool song!” then he thinks aloud, “I know I’ve heard that song before? I can’t remember the name.”

Mebuki answered, “It’s a practice song for Sakura, one that I’m glad she’s finally finished working with,” then she smiled at Naruto, “It is also called ‘fortissimo-the ultimate crisis-’ for some reason.”

With that, Sakura came out of the singing room and asked, “Who’s at the door, mom? I could have sworn that there was someone here, and....” As soon as she laid eyes on Naruto, she wanted to go back into the room and practice some more.

It wasn’t like she actually hated Naruto, but he could be so annoying at times.  He could also be somewhat clingy too.  Her mother said that he was an orphan and for some reason he had never been taught proper manners.  It honestly didn’t surprise Sakura given how her mother and father had been angry when they found out that someone had been making off with orphans to turn them into disposable ninja.  That person was able to escape, but the Hokage had clamped down and hard on the orphanages to keep the children safe there.  So she could understand, even to her young mind, why Naruto could be something of a pest, but he was at least earnestly nice too.

Yet also despite how annoying he could be, Naruto did have something about him.  She knew that he was nice and kind, but she had also seen him stand up to bullies on numerous occasions.  Even though he was beat every time, the bullies usually got into trouble.  Then at other times, Naruto just seemed to have this look in his eye that made him… something more.

Mebuki turned to her daughter and said, “I’m glad you could make it, Sakura. Naruto-kun and Shikamaru-kun wanted to know if you were available to play or not. I said that it would be after you finished your singing practice, which you just finished, if I’m not mistaken.”

Without a word, Sakura went outside and grabbed a hold of Naruto, signifying that she agreed with the course of action. Of course, if she were aware of what she was doing, she might not have grabbed Naruto as if she were hugging him (or at all).

XxX

Hyuuga Hinata was not your average girl in the Hyuuga clan. For starters, she wanted to be a dancer and a singer, essentially a pop idol, but the rigidity and traditions of her clan was forcing her to break away from her dreams. If anything, the fact that the majority of her clan didn’t support her dreams was very disheartening, given that she at least expected her father or someone to give her goals the go-ahead or something.  The only solace she could take was that if she tried hard enough, maybe she could become a Medic Ninja.

It wasn’t like they would look down on her if she became nearly as skilled as the legendary Slug Sannin after all.  It would make her feel better about leaving her dreams behind.  Really, the only person that ever considered her dreams to be worth while was her late mother.  Still, a Medical Ninja was in high demand, what with the demobilization of so many expensive large forces in favor of smaller formations.

Then again, she always had someone looking out for her, a Chunin genjutsu specialist named Yuuhi Kurenai that actually supported her dreams as much as her mother did. In fact, while her job was actually to make sure Hinata was growing to be a Kunoichi instead of what she wanted, Kurenai decided that it would be a good idea to ensure the best of both worlds happened. With that in mind, Hinata practiced being a Hyuuga Kunoichi -and Medic Nin-, while at the same time practicing her singing and her dancing.

It was while Hinata was ‘secretly’ practicing her dancing and singing just behind the standard educational academy when Naruto and the others simply went to Hinata’s would be hiding spot. It was also not that hard to find either.  They just had to follow the singing and pass a handwritten sign that the area was off limits.  When they arrived, they were surprised to find Hinata practicing her dancing.  For both Naruto and Shikamaru were looking at the younger girl with impressed looks on their faces, though Sakura somehow grew jealous of Hinata’s dancing ability, because of how easy the Hyuuga girl was making it look.

Then again, the Hyuuga were known for their graceful movements.  Not only considered a part of their proper manners, but also a part of their fighting style.  As such, it was not all that uncommon for even the males to be more graceful than regular women and such.

Kurenai was unaware of the sudden audience as she started playing some music from a boombox that she brought and nodding, gave another instruction to the young Hyuuga heiress, “Okay, from the top Hinata, but remember to allow the song to freely guide your movements this time.  You’re being too tense and nervous, let the music show you the path.”

“Yes Kurenai-tan,” the shy Hyuuga responded and with that, Hinata started to dance once more, allowing the music to take control and show her the path she wanted to follow, feeling the freedom of letting her body move to the sound and beats, her heart alive with excitement as she opened her mouth and finally started singing what she was practicing:

So! Faraway setsunai kurai kimi o dakishimete itaikedo
So! Faraway piriodo no kaze hashiru twilight zone
You are wanderer!
Shatsu ni kao o uzumete Oh! Loneliness
Shiosai no naka tobasu baiku saigo no yoru
Kono mama toki ga tomareba Oh! Happiness

As Hinata put herself into singing, her impromptu audience were startled by the shy girl’s passion and impressed by it as well.  Even Sakura, as a rival and jealous one at that, was thoroughly surprised and impressed as well as inspired to become better. It sure seemed that she had practiced hard enough to pull this off.  Though she obviously had to do so in secret, given that her clan was a bunch of traditionalists that didn’t even allow for dancing in the family.

Egao no mama de ikiteyukesou de
Hello! Mirai no kuni kara
Hello! Kimi o sasou koe
Fushigi na chikara de akuseru kakeru
So! Faraway setsunai kurai kimi o dakishimete itaikedo
So! Faraway piriodo no kaze hashiru twilight zone
You are wanderer!

Hinata shifted to the song, allowing the flow to guide her limbs.  It some way, the movements looked like an advanced form of the Gentle Fist.  The only difference was that the movements were less structured, freer in their movement with greater emphasis on her hips moving.

As such, the Hyuuga Heiress looked happy.  She felt more alive as she moved and felt herself become one with the song.  It resonated deep within her core.  She loved it.

Nani ga ichiban daiji? Oh! Loneliness
Kota wa itsu mo kaze no naka de odotteiru
Sore o tsukamaetakute Oh! Happiness
Ude o no basuyo seishun no memorii
Hello! Hitomi o tojireba
Hello! Itsumo aeru kedo
Senaka ni inisharu yubi ga furueru

Naruto, Shikamaru, and Sakura could not help, but watch in amazement.  Despite their young age, they could appreciate how hard Hinata was working towards her goal.  They found she had a lovely voice as well.  Ideally, both boys wondered if Hinata and Sakura were to ever do a duet, what it would be like.  They were both sure it would be great though, if troublesome in Shikamaru’s opinion.

So! Faraway naicha ikenai
Kimi no Yu-u-ki ga suki dakara
So! Faraway yume no kanata e Faraway, Faraway
You are a wanderer!

Seeing that Hinata was finally winding down from her singing, the group was wondering how she would finish her practice, which didn’t seem to be that far off for her at present. Eventually, they saw that she had a bit more song left in her, which allowed her to impress her audience somehow.

So! Faraway watashi mo ikanakya
Mune ni hoshi no chizu o hirogete
So! Faraway yume o sagashi ni Faraway Faraway
We are a wanderer!

After the song and dance session was completed, the group came out from their hiding spots and cheered Hinata on for what she was doing, causing her to blush heavily from the cheering. Upon seeing Naruto amongst the group that was cheering her on, she nearly fainted from the sight, though Kurenai managed to hold onto her charge in time to prevent her from falling. By the time Hinata’s composure returned, which was a few minutes after the cheering finished, she asked, “U-um, w-w-what c-c-can I h-h-help y-y-you w-with, N-n-naruto-kun?”

Naruto, somehow oblivious to Hinata’s stuttering problem when around him, began to relay the request to her as well, even going on to explain that he asked Tenten and Lee about the same thing as well with them agreeing as well. It took a while, but Hinata finally heard Naruto out, and even said that, as long as Kurenai was around to help out for safety purposes, she would play with them.

Kurenai, on the other hand....

“Just to be clear, Uzumaki-san, I don’t want anything bad to happen to my charge, especially since her family would go after those that would do such things to one of their own.” Kurenai leaned in closer to Naruto while saying this, making him feel intimidated by her, and the way it was spoken was even more intimidating. As if noticing how uncomfortable he was feeling, though, she moved back from Naruto’s face and said in a more motherly tone, “I’m sorry, but I’m really worried for Hinata’s safety as well as her happiness. I don’t want to see her hurt in any way, and if what you want to do is really going to be safe, then I’ll permit it as long as I’m there to make sure she’s safer with an adult.”

Naruto, even if he was unaware of the true nature of Hinata and Kurenai’s relationship, could understand where the older woman was coming from.. He honestly didn’t want to cause any trouble for either of them, so he nodded his understanding, letting them know that was on the same page as them. With that, he led the group plus Kurenai and Hinata to the agreed upon play location, still having the book on hand for reasons he wasn’t sure about.

XxX

Half an hour later, at the agreed upon location, Tenten and Lee were waiting for Naruto and the others to make it, with Tenten looking at her watch before saying, “I dunno about you, Lee, but this is taking far too long for me to wait. I just hope that we still have time to play by the time they get here.”

Rock Lee simply looked around for Naruto and the others in the group, having better patience at times like this than Tenten. Before she could get his attention, Lee spotted Naruto and the others heading in their direction, leading to him yelling over in their direction, “Over here! We’ve been waiting awhile for you, Naruto-san!”

As the others hurried it to where Rock Lee and Tenten were, something strange happened, though nobody that wasn’t in the group was able to notice the change. It seemed as if the air itself was shimmering with power, though nobody was aware of what was going on, unless it was too late.

Naruto, when he made it to where Rock and Tenten were at, decided to wait for the others to catch up to him before he did anything that he might regret later. Upon the arrival of the others, Naruto decided that now would be the right time to open the book, just to satisfy his curiosity about what he was feeling from it. Before he could open it, though, he said, “Before we play, this needs to be taken care of. It’s been bugging me for a while now.” Before anyone could say anything to stop him, he opened the book.

It was then that the shimmering air was noticed by those that Naruto had inadvertently chosen to accompany him on this adventure.

With the power that was circling the group, plus the open book that had Kami-sama knows how much power being fed into it, everyone that was included in the adventuring party could feel as if they were being formed into things that were not quite human by their standards. In fact, if things were like this with a group of regular humans, the normals would be deader than dead by now.

As it turned out….

XxX

In a separate part of the multiverse at large, on a planet that was home for many sources of conflict and many more supernatural entities, a primordial force of insanity and utter evil had been traveling the world in the shape of a tall, slim, and joyous man, when it heard a heralding from the distant part of the multiverse, Gorlum, the home planet of Konoha and the other Ninja Villages. Upon hearing the heralding that would signify the end of all creation in a distant planet, it paused in its travels, wondering what it was supposed to do. Eventually, it shrugged in its human form, the form of a young man that had blue hair with a bang over his right eye, grayish-blue eyes, a white dress shirt under a black button-up shirt that wasn’t buttoned up, black pants, an MP3 player with earphones keeping it from falling to the ground, and bluish shoes.

With that, Nyarlathotep decided to head for the planet Gorlum, though it honestly knew that it would take a while to find the right one. At the very least, 11 years was a good estimate for how long it would take, maybe 14 at the latest if it took that long to find the right one. It would be patient in the quest to find the fools that called upon it. For now, though, it had something that needed attention in a separate town. Iwatodai was somehow not good for its sense of insanity.

XxX

In a separate part of reality, a man wearing a white trench coat, black clothing underneath that, and a strange butterfly mask that covered his whole face could feel the changes caused by a call to the Great Old Ones and the Outer Gods, especially with his rival Nyarlathotep being in the lead to a planet far from his usual outlet. This man, Philemon, knew that things would get messy if Nyarlathotep ever made its way to where it was going to, so he decided intervene to prevent a repeat of Sumaru City, where he and it made a bet that Humans were capable of self-destruction.

Looking into the collective unconscious of humanity that lived in this planet, Gorlum, Philemon saw so many things. Fear, hatred, and so many other emotions were being put onto one boy. The boy, however, had a strong grip on his identity. He and his friends would need that grip on their identities to stop Nyarlathotep, though Philemon knew he couldn’t directly intervene until the threat of the Outer Gods and the Great Old Ones was more palpable, so he decided to look into the source of the call to his rival and associates.

Before Philemon could successfully look into it, however, the source vanished and the boy and friends with it.

“Most interesting,” Philemon said to himself mostly. “Perhaps this boy would make for a great Persona wielder, should the time ever come. I have to make sure that he doesn’t forget his true nature along the way.”

XxX

Xamusel’s A/N: Well… shorter Author Notes this time, and longer story than what either of us knew what to do with it. I hope that it does better than what it did initially, and that I don’t need to rework this prologue any more than I already have.

Also, compared to most Naruto fics out there, this one follows none of the fanon details that we can think of. That should be an accomplishment in and of itself.

Anyway, Tomcat might want the floor, he might not. I’ll have to close this for him, because he isn’t on right now, so he can’t work on this with me as we speak.

By the way, the song title that is under Sakura’s singing part is truly correct, as confirmed by Youtube and Anime Lyrics dot Com. The song sung by Hinata, if you’re wondering, changed from Hφwling Sφul, the Visual Novel opening for Koihime Musou, to part of the Ronin Warriors soundtrack (Track 17 FARAWAY). Tomcat felt it was a better fit so far… and I agree.

Alright… later!

~Xamusel

Xamusel

  • Number XV of the Organization
  • Master
  • ***
  • Posts: 429
  • Placeholder avatar until I can get something else
    • View Profile
Fantasy Unleashed
Story written by Xamusel and F-14 Tomcat Lover

Disclaimer: Tomcat and I own absolutely nothing about this fanfic in general. We only own whatever OCs might be involved in this.

Xamusel Beginning A/N: Why I decided to write this story, I’ll have absolutely no idea, but I thought it was a good idea at the time. Now, though, I need to ensure that I get this story back in tip-top shape for posting.

This story has an opening scene as found in the first episode, but modified to account for alternate universe stuff… which I won’t spoil what it means for this story, because that would be utterly stupid of me to do. Also, if anyone is interested in finding out the Crossover materials used, I’ll list them at the end of the World Arc.

Now… may the wheels of fate turn to show what all will be changed.


XxX

Ten years ago, a Nine Tailed Fox Demon suddenly appeared! Its tails lashed out, crushing mountains and sending tsunamis crashing to the shores! Each ninja rose to the task to defend their home ninja village.

“Hold the attack and wait for the Yondaime Hokage!” one ninja yelled out, before jumping forward to face the colossal demon as per his duty.

“It’s getting closer! Don’t let it get near the village!” another ninja yelled, throwing his kunai before he, too, went up to face the demon.

Suddenly, a giant toad appeared from nowhere, crushing a few trees beneath its webbed feet. On top of it was a Shinobi, clad in a white coat with red flames, his sunshine blonde hair standing out as he stood before the all-powerful demon.  This was the Yondaime Hokage, leader and hero of the Hidden Leaf Village.  He stood all alone against the titanic beast in a night of swirling light and energy, as he and his faithful friend clashed against the might of the demon.

When the dust settled, no one was fully sure of the night.  All we knew was that the demon was defeated.  The battle, confusing and long, had been concluded.  The demon sealed into a newborn infant. Such was the strength of the Kyuubi no Yoko.

Now…

Had we known the truth then as we do now, we would not have breathed a sigh of relief…


“NARUTO! KURINA!”

“GET BACK HERE YOU TWO!”

-Sigh!-

Case in point.


Prologue Arc
Pilot Part 1
Butterfly Flaps Make the World Go Round
[/b][/i][/u]

Uzumaki Naruto, a sunshine blonde with cerulean eyes and the strangest whisker marks on his face, and his adopted sister Kurina, a redhead with orange eyes and equally strange whisker marks on her face, were currently running as if they didn’t have a care in the world while holding paint buckets in their hands and having a mixed group of Chuunin and Jounin, who served under their mother, chasing them. There was a reason for this chase, and that was….

XxX

“Hokage-sama! It’s an emergency!”

“If I had to guess…” the redhead spoke quietly as she strode to the top of the Hokage Mansion, a palatable anger barely suppressed beneath the surface of her charming and lovely face, “…my son and daughter…,” the way she said that sent dread through the two Jounin who still remembered who it was before for them, “…are pulling pranks again, aren’t they.”

“I’m afraid so, Hokage-sama,” the first Jounin spoke to her as the three climbed the steps to the roof. “I have no idea why they would go this far, though.”

“Where did they strike this time?” Kushina let out a suffering sigh as they walked up the steps.

“The Hokage Faces,” the second Jounin reported. A rather tacky and cheap vase sent by the Fire Lady as a ‘gift’ to the Hidden Leaf suddenly shattered as Kushina briefly glowed blue.

“Those two are so dead,” the first Jounin whispered to his friend, who merely nodded as the three of them reached the roof to see the damage done.

“Erk?!” was Kushina’s first reaction at the Hokage Faces, and for good reason.

The face of Senju Hashirama, the Shodaime Hokage, had three designs painted on it: something resembling a written character, slappishly painted in green and white, which only a child of 3 could do; what looked like a white booger coming out of the nose; and in red, the Uzumaki swirl.

Then the face of the Nidaime Hokage, Senju Tobirama, had three red slashes from his nose to his chin, blue eyelashes and cross shape scars and a yellow paint of coiled something or other.

After that was the Sandaime Hokage, who was standing next to Kushina with his ever present pipe in hand as he looked on his own face with white paint streaming from eyes and nose, with green and blue scar marks and red cheeks with eyes pointedly looking around the Yondaime’s head at the Godaime.

“I know you’re very beautiful Kushina-chan,” the old Hokage chuckled lightly, “but I was happily married myself.” Of course he would never admit the times he and Jiraiya had spied on her and the other ladies at the Hot Springs; otherwise, Sarutobi Hiruzen knew he would be that much closer to the end of his life.

“Actually,” someone spoke up, noticing something. “I think that the eyes are actually looking over at the Hot Springs,” the man said, as he pointed out that indeed the Hot Springs District was definitely there. A startled sound preceded by a smoke cloud from his pipe told how surprised and startled the retired Sandaime Hokage was at that, as he coughed and choked trying to clear his lungs to form coherent sentences.

As for the Yondaime Hokage, Uzumaki Kushina’s late husband Namikaze Minato, and her own head, they looked like two blushing teenagers with all the looks of two stereotypical pathetic nerds trying to get together.

It was taking everything that Kushina had not to blow up and chase them around the village.  She had a massive ninja force for that, after all.  Though in all honesty, she had only one ninja she could turn to at the moment, the only other major prankster in the whole village able to catch the two as they fled around the village.

Oh yeah, there was also the trainer of Sarutobi Konohamaru as well.

“Iruka-kun.”

“Here, Godaime Hokage,” Iruka kneeled behind her to the right, a Chunin wearing the standard issue vest of his rank over a long sleeve navy blue shirt, navy blue slacks, his headband with the seal of Konoha on the metal plate, blue sandals, and a scar that ran across the bridge of his nose and under both eyes, his black hair in a top knot.

“Ebisu-kun.”

“Yes, your ladyship,” Ebisu landed to Kushina’s left, kneeling behind her, his attire of a long sleeved shirt, slacks, blue sandals, black bandanna with the metal plate with the seal of Konoha on it, and black simple round sun glasses.

Kushina then began sweetly, “Can you two catch those two so I can have a real long discussion with them?”

“At once, Hokage-sama,” Ebisu shot off in pursuit of Kurina, as she was a safer chase for him compared to her brother.

“Will do, Madam Hokage,” Iruka let out a long-suffering sigh. His annoyance was hot on his breath. “Although, I’ll need to hold onto them for a lecture in class.”

“Then do so,” Kushina granted, and Iruka was off after Naruto, as he was always able to find that troublesome boy.

Kushina merely sighed and turned to look up at the defaced face of her husband, longing for him and his aid in rearing her troublesome children.

XxX

Half an hour later….

Naruto and Kurina were both tied up in their homeroom classroom as they ended up being berated by their main teacher, Umino Iruka, about what they had done. “I’m at the end of my rope here, you two!” Iruka started his lecture.

“I think you still have enough,” Kurina deadpanned.

“You think that this is a cool way to spend your ninja career before it can begin?! I have to tell you, your methods of training are screwing up the whole village worse than any invading army could pull off!” Iruka lectured without stopping in mid-sentence like he would have before now. “If you want to succeed like your parents before you, then you have to pass the Genin Exam with better grades than you’re showing right now, especially since I know you two are better than this!”

Naruto had his eyes closed while he turned his head to his right, giving off a ‘humph’ while he did so, thus irritating Iruka even further.

“But! Because you two missed it, everyone will have to review the Henge no Jutsu!” Iruka declared, making the whole class groan in disappointment.

XxX

Kushina organized her paperwork as she read through the reports.  Kumo had backed down from its usual menacing of their borders.  Largely, that was in response to the mutual threat of Kiri, the unstable village of the Five Great Villages.  While she had never forgiven them for her kidnapping and the failed kidnapping of the Hyuuga heiress, resulting in the increasing tensions between the two different village’s groups of ANBU, both knew that Kiri was both unstable and unpredictable.

The recent treaty both had signed in actual honesty saw that they were focusing more forces to dealing with missing ninja from Kiri and Kiri itself due to the ever increasing numbers of rogue factions in that village and its home country, the Land of Water.

“EARGH!” suddenly sounded from where the retired Sandaime was looking through his Crystal Ball.

“What the?” The redhead rose and walked into the room with Tiger and Boar covering her flanks.

What they found was The Professor out cold with blood coming from his nose.  Then the three saw the Crystal Ball, still active, and there was Naruto laughing at two passed out Chunin.  It didn’t take long for Kushina to put two and two together and her face suddenly matched her hair.

“He’s a dead kid!”

XxX

After the Ninja Academy let out for the day, Kurina and Naruto were both dragged by their mother to the Hokage Monument, making people wonder what happened to cause Kushina to do what she did… before they simply chalked it up as part of Naruto and Kurina’s punishment. What the punishment was, nobody would know, at least not right now.

“Okay, you two,” Kushina said to her kids when they made it to their destination. “I want to know if you two really are sorry for causing such a ruckus earlier today. If you are, you’ll need to show me by cleaning the Monument of any paint, and I’ll give you a good treat of Ramen, on me. If you don’t, then you won’t get your treat.”

Their eyes shone brilliantly at that (the two of them had an insatiable hunger for Ramen that matched her own). Kushina looked on from above at her children’s progress and was proud of the effort they put into cleaning the monument.

When her children finished cleaning the monument, there wasn’t a single square centimeter of paint left. She thought of teaching them the Kage Bunshin technique… then decided against it for the time being. It was probably for the better that they didn’t learn that for a while.

‘Less paperwork, too,’ she thought, knowing how foxy her children could be.

Fifteen minutes later, Naruto, Kurina and their mother were sitting at their preferred Ramen establishment, Ichiraku, while they easily devoured their ramen in great amounts. Kushina was really happy that her children were good kids at heart, knowing when they were in the wrong about a major issue, and willing to make up for their shortcomings. Not only were the three of them there for Ramen….

“Oh, Hokage-sama, I’m glad that you got your children to clean the mess they made of the Hokage Monument.”

...but Iruka was there as well, much to Kurina’s annoyance.

Naruto, on the other hand, didn’t mind. Iruka was like an older brother to him.  True, it annoyed his sister sometimes, but Iruka was still very nice to her.  He also helped to pay for some of their ramen from time to time when their mother was so busy being the Hokage.

“Naruto.”

“Huh?” The boy looked up.

“Kurina?”

“Yes Iruka-sensei?” The girl also looked up.

Iruka had a thoughtful and curious look on his face as he eyed the two 10-year-olds before asking his question, “Why did you two decide to vandalize the Hokage Faces anyway?” Both blinked at the question. Though Kushina already had an idea herself, she still wanted to hear it from her children.

“You know the importance of the Hokage, being the children of not one, but two Hokage, correct.” It was a statement. He knew Naruto would at least have an idea, since he wanted to be the Rokudaime Hokage himself and Kurina, well, truthfully, he didn’t know her as well as he would like.

“Of course!” Naruto answered immediately, with a wide smile and his eyes closed, making him look like a jolly fox.

“We’re told that our father protected the village during the last Shinobi War and, giving up his life to do so, vanquished the Kyuubi no Yoko, a feat said to be so unparalleled that it has brought to us a chance for peace,” Kurina stated, recalling all she had been told and what she had learned over the years. She then looked down, forlornly, only for Kushina to wrap an arm around her and pull her in close, letting her know how much she loved her daugher, who smiled back weakly, though with some conviction.

“Then why did you two do that?” Iruka inquired. “If you know and believe that, why vandalize the Hokage Faces?”

Naruto laughed heartily, a joyous laugh full of youth and conviction, a sense of invincibility that adults no longer believe in as they get older, before he began speaking the why, “Because that’s our way to say that ‘we’re gonna surpass our parents, believe it!’” Naruto declared happily. The orange tracksuited boy wore a wide happy-go-lucky grin. “I will be my own legend and Hokage!  I’ll make my way to the top on my own strength!”

Kurina merely smiled and nodded while maintaining her silence.  Yes she would too prove her own strength.  She was going to prove that she was Uzumaki Kurina, a kunoichi greater than her mother!  A new ninja legend all her own!

After all, she was…

“Kurina?”

The redheaded child blinked, looking to her side, orange eyes widening when she saw how close Naruto’s face was to her own face.

Naruto, oblivious to this, asked, “Are you okay?  You were a bit quiet there like-”

“Kyaa!” the red and white clad girl screamed and whacked Naruto upside the head as Kushina and Iruka both gave suffering sighs.

‘When will that boy learn?’

XxX

Within the ruins of Uzushiogakure no Sato, there was a relatively intact building that had once been the part of the castle of the country’s Daimyo. The building didn’t look special and had thus avoided the serious damages of the other facilities within the walls. While the upper level didn’t look special, there was a hidden tunnel that was so obvious that it was overlooked. This tunnel led to another part of the same building, protected by a battered but still holding door and serious seals designed to encourage attackers to leave rather than defeat them.

A room in that part of the building contained a cylindrical pod maintained by seals and machinery, occupied by a naked young girl that looked roughly like she was 10 or 11, her long blonde hair going down her back and her eyes closed. On one of the machines, a countdown sequence was finishing its run, which led to a defrosting stage in which the girl in the pod was able to get her bodily functions back into gear… after a few minutes of waiting for the defrosting at least.

When she opened her jade orbs, the girl looked around for signs of any of the servants that she asked to be around, only to realize….

“Where did everyone go?” she asked out loud, fear creeping into her voice. As she looked at the calendar, her blood froze. It was supposed to be the duty of the servants to update the calendars every single day, but the calendar that was there was last updated on October 2nd of RSY 572, and the calendar was covered with a heavy layer of dust!

Stepping out of the pod and into the room at large, the child genius walked over to a computer console that was attached to the main power generator and activated it, showing to her shock that it was almost a month over 26 years since the calendar was updated! Granted, the day she was put in the pod was October 29th of RSY 570, the same day that she was released this year.

Shaking in fear of what could have happened to her friends and family, Kagekiri Yamiko looked through the databases of everyone that lived in the country and any living relatives they might have, only to find that almost every last citizen of Uzushiogakure was dead. The only one left in the village that was alive was herself, and that would never count the golems that were made to help the village out at times of conflict, considering that golems were never alive to begin with.

Tears filling her eyes, Yamiko almost missed the records under the name “Uzumaki”, showing Kushina and her own family alive and well… sans a husband for some reason. When she saw Kushina’s name….

“Kushina?” Yamiko whispered in shocked relief, glad to see her earlier friend was doing alright and with children of her own, prompting her to remember a conversation they had with each other.

A six year old Yamiko was walking with her dear friend Kushina home from their classes in advanced Ninja Theory and Application when Kushina asked, “Ya-chan, how would you like to be related to the Uzumaki through marriage and blood?”

Yamiko looked at her friend in confusion, before asking, “Ku-chan, what do you mean?”

Kushina looked to Yamiko, gave her a big smile, and said, “I mean, I want us to be more than just friends in the future. I want us to be the best of friends possible!”

Yamiko, for her part, could feel her heart beat extra hard at the thought of being related to her best friend… no, scratch that, her only friend. She really wanted to be more than simple friends with Kushina, but, well….

Shaking her head slightly, Yamiko said, “I want us to be more than just friends in the future as well. I promise you this, should anything happen to keep me frozen in time, I’ll be sure to come and find you after I get unfrozen. I really want to be with you and whoever else for as long as possible… though I don’t know when that will be the case.”

Giggling for a bit, Kushina eventually said, “Silly Yamiko, there’s no way that you’d be frozen in time while we’re still together, especially not when we still need to have fun together~!”

“Wait, when did we go to first-name basis, anyway?” Yamiko asked with confusion apparent in her tone.

Kushina smiled brightly and answered, “Ever since you agreed to be related to the Uzumaki, though I know for a fact that I won’t set you up with anyone at all. That would be rude of me.”

Yamiko’s confusion wore off, allowing her to say with absolute certainty, “Alright… Kushina. I’m glad for that.”

It was later that year when Kushina had to leave Uzushiogakure, but when it happened, Yamiko promised to make sure that things were safe for being with her friend later on.


Yamiko shook her head, clearing her mind of the memory for the time being. She needed to figure out how to get to where Kushina lived now, but she didn’t know anyone in the area of the village ruins that could possibly take her to where Kushina was last heard from… if anyone was still alive in the vicinity of the ruins.

Sighing, she walked over to her room, feeling miffed that she forgot to keep her clothes nearby or in a sealing array that would keep them from wearing them out over time. It was going to be a cold day from what she could tell, and she didn’t want to deal with the weather right now. She sure hoped there was something she could find to wear in her bedroom.

XxX

Two men screamed in horror just before their bodies exploded. Such was their fate, as the two were the last of the slavers in the hidden series of tunnels they used to store the young women and girls they kept. The group they had belonged to had mistaken a seemingly cute little blonde girl for being easy prey and quick cash in the pocket. Instead, in an ironic twist, the inevitable fate had finally caught up to the group of slavers in the form of one very irate Kyuubi no Jaakuna Kitsune as the young girl turned out to be.

She had played coy, pretending to be frightened and scared, and then lured them into a false sense of security and control. She had allowed them to come close, so tantalizing close that they were nearly foaming at the mouth with the thought of the money they could make selling her to any number of customers…

Then she ripped away their illusions, and replaced them with the grim and dark reality of death.

She had not paid attention to their terror or their pleas, attacking them with an aurora of sheer malice. Their defenses and tools turned against them. She struck without mercy, killing them all as they fled, but they were trapped and they knew it.

Then, she killed them off, alone or in groups until only two were left and then... in one final, drawn-out step crushed both of the last survivors.

The seemingly innocent face had only pure joy and revelry at the deaths of the slavers. Their screams of terror were such a high for her. The deep resonance of terror, fear, horror, and realization that they were going to die, filled her with ecstasy that she so enjoyed.

It made it worth being in her current form and allowed her to bleed off some stress that had been building up inside of her.

Though normally, after such a venting, she would go find a man and enjoy the next few nights, usually with new partners as few humans could keep up with her. But not in the imperfect form she had been left in. Her power nearly completely robbed of her.

"And on top of that," she grumbled angrily as she turned to leave the current -and she found the term ironically joyful- dead end, "they were a group only interested in females," she huffed a bit and while she would have likely done the same, in this form she felt a bit queasy at the thought of being sold off.

She stalked back to the main tunnel. The results of her rampage could be easily seen in the results left. Yet for her, she hardly paid attention, though now she felt herself to be more dignified and so she stepped around the messes she had created in her spree. She already knew she would likely have to seek out fresh clothes and a way to clean herself off.

It annoyed her, but she forgot one important detail during her assault…

With most of her power gone, she couldn't just clean herself easily anymore. She would actually need fresh clothes and a bath. While she loved baths, she wouldn't be Japanese if she didn't; she hated the idea of laundry. She wasn't some stupid mortal, after all, who obsessed with keeping clean. With her true power, she could just stay clean.

"How annoying," she stated to the air as she walked by the empty cells she was certain teenage girls and young women were placed into before being shipped off to some rural backwards area in need of young brides to produce more children, "And I'm supposed to be the 'evil' one, HA!" she laughed at the ridiculous nature of the base born humans, no matter the dimension.

She passed by the cells that were supposed to hold playmates for the wealthy offspring and sneered; she would be far more powerful than any human ever born.

Turning at the area used to train others into being barmaids, items still neatly stacked and ready for use, she made her way back towards the front. Though, as she was leaving, she heard a sniffle as her ears perked and she looked around the place for the first time since arriving.

There were children held in cages and cells all around her with others chained or strapped to the walls. Girls about her own age and others slightly older and younger, at least in appearance of the age she appeared. As her blue eyes scanned the group, she noted that there was no similarity between them all. They simply came from all over the place and covered about every part of the spectrum. Only that they looked miserable and frightened gave them anything similar.

'Good,' she thought and prepared to leave, but then huffed in annoyance as one girl, chained to a cart ready to leave, whimpered in fear and tried to move away from her.

Normally that would have been fine by her. Unfortunately, there was no way that she could generate the power to just leave. All the signs pointed to them being in some land where there was high awareness to her power. As such, she just couldn't blow the door off its hinges and simply walk off into the evening.

Especially since she made a mess of herself earlier.

Fortunately, for her that is, she could still control the thoughts of the gathered children. She'd get useful info, and as long as she maintained some control over them, they would be useful agents as they grew older.

With their aid, she might even find a way back to Japan. After all, this was certainly not Japan. A similar feel, but as a Fox Demon of her power, she could tell the difference. It was strange to begin with and so… she needed allies.

Whether they wanted it or not.

"Do not fret, little ones," she said. Her smirk was purely predatory with an evil glint in her eyes as she looked upon the gathered and bound girls and continued, "I'm not going to hurt you. In fact, I'll be taking care of you for a long, long time." The girls were in absolute terror of the seemingly innocent, but vile one among them, though a few saw it, the shadow she cast…

XxX

Two redheads stepped off the ferry, wearing simple brown hooded cloaks.  The rain was coming down hard now.  The ferry crew was trying to get everyone off so they could make for safer waters to wait out the storm that was brewing.

The two had their hoods up, which cast their faces into shadows.  The only way the two could be recognized as redheaded young women was by the strands of red hair poking out from the sides of the hood and the faint outline of their faces through the shadows.

Several men looked their way, leering.  They were situated in an alley and one of them tried to stop the girls. Several dogs suddenly appeared and made it clear that they had better stay away.  Of course the men didn’t take the warning seriously.  One even drew a katana, stolen from the dead body of an unfortunate guardsman, and made a swipe at one of the dogs, nearly cutting its nose.

That was their last mistake.

When the town guards arrived, two of the men had to be dug out of the side of a building.  They were still alive, but it was clear that these crooks had done something stupid.

They had pissed off ninja.

Now, if they didn’t die from their injuries, there was always beheading.

XxX

Naruto reclined in a tree.  He always climbed to this same spot when he just wanted to relax.  It was peaceful and it let him unwind in thought.

People would be shocked if they knew that he, the ever happy go lucky ball of energy, was actually taking things slow and relaxing.  Even he needed to take it easy every once in a while, otherwise he’d burn out; this particular tree was especially good for that.  He yawned and stretched, then let dancing leaves lull him into a peaceful nap.

XxX

Kurina was beside herself.  The nightmares had been plaguing her a lot lately.  Thankfully, that idiot brother of hers always appeared to do something stupid.  She could always count on them to help her forget them.

She was frightened, of course.  The nightmares were so real.  The dark whispers to do harm.  She remembered-

“There you are, Kurina!”

The redhead blinked as her orange eyes went up to see the towel-covered form of her mother, interrupting her internal thoughts and worries.

“Mother?!” Kurina’s face turned red as she saw her mother, she was seriously jealous, as her mother had an amazing body, while, right now, Kurina was a bit flat with a round face, so that many girls teased her as the ‘Red Farm Tomato.’

“Come on!” the older redhead grabbed her daughter by the hand and pulled her along with a smile on her face. “You wash my back, I’ll wash yours, okay?”

Like the younger redhead had a choice? Though she did feel the warmth of her mother’s smile reach her heart.

XxX

Yamiko, now clad in her clothes, looked herself over in a mirror.

Her outfit consisted of a blue and white child’s dress, trimmed in black, with a high collar and the hem went to her knees.  She had matching detachable sleeves, unusual if not unheard of for a child’s outfit.  They were currently attached and had two red ribbons tied to the clamps that held them together.  She also wore black long socks and white and blue children’s boots, while on her head sat a blue beret with the crest of her fallen home on it.  Another crest sat just above her heart on the left side of her outfit.

Then she picked up the two pistols that she was born to use.  They were nearly half her own height.  As such, it was amazing she could hold them.  Then she spun them and sheathed them into two holsters on her hips.  In the event of needing to use them, she could draw them like swords and given how they sat on her hips, she could draw one or the other or even both with her opposite hands.  It depended on her dexterity to draw and use both at the same time, something she felt she was not ready for, especially given their length.

Again, on both the pistols and the holsters, were stamped the symbol of her now-gone country.

When she turned to pack all her remaining belongings inside of the storage scrolls, she nearly jumped out of her skin, all because of her personal golem, Mika, surprising her. Mika looked to be a tanned little girl with blue hair in long Princess Tails with Side Waves and two long bangs framing her face, her teal eyes glowing vibrantly.  She was dressed in a purple body suit with pink sides that had a collar and went down to just above her knees.  She also wore a double breasted frock coat that was grey with gold buttons that lead to oversized white cuffs on her wrists, held in place by gold cuff links.  She wore a red and black open vest under that.  On her legs were long violet boots that ended just beneath her knees.

On her back was a large pack and on her hips was a pair of tonfas held in holsters.

“MIKA!” Yamkio declared in shock, not having expected to see her personal golem standing before her.

“Greetings, Mistress Yamiko,” Mika responded in that monotone voice of hers that kept her emotions hidden. “I have already taken the liberty of-”

Yamiko wrapped her arms around Mika’s neck and pulled her in close.  It was a profound relief that Yamiko still had one friend left in her dead homeland.  She sobbed heavily into Mika’s shoulder, unable to form words, overcome with joy at seeing Mika, fully functional and active.

Mika merely wrapped her own arms around Yamiko.  She gently began to rub the sobbing blonde’s back with gentle motions.  She had reactivated when an alert system informed her that Yamiko had awakened.  It had taken some time to prepare and present herself, but her timing, as always, was impeccable.

Yamiko didn’t notice, though, that Mika had a slight smile on her lips and her eyes had briefly closed as she embraced her.

After several minutes, Yamiko finally calmed down.  She felt no shame as she released Mika, whose face was as stoic as always.

“My (sniff) apologies (sniff), Mika,” the blonde said as she sniffed one last time, managing to finally fully recover. “But I’m so glad to see you after so long,” she pulled Mika in again to just make sure it was really her before finally being satisfied, “I just didn’t expect to find anyone after what I discovered when I woke up.”

“I understand, Mistress Yamiko,” the golem replied in her monotone voice, “I also did not expect to find much when I reactivated.” She then looked around, glancing at the cracked and damaged walls, faded from years of neglect, before saying, “Or anyone for that matter.”

Nodding at the signs of neglect and damage, it bothered Yamiko so greatly that she had forgotten to even try to look for Mika. “I’m sorry, Mika,” the blonde said as she shook her head. “I was just so shocked, I’d completely forgotten you, I should have known better.” She then smiled weakly to the golem, saying, “I was the one that built you after all.”

“Indeed, that you did, but I do fear that would have been it if I had been active at the time,” Mika said, indicating the room they were in and far beyond it as well. “If my Mistress wishes to inquire about what happened,” Mika began, anticipating this question would appear at some time in the future.

“Yes, I do,” Yamiko said with a solemn nod.

“I’m afraid I cannot provide an answer as I appear to have been shut down some time prior, all data and memory of that period is also strangely missing,” Mika said, still the way she normally was. It was then that teal met green, Mika continuing, “Nevertheless I am filled with joy to begin serving you again, my mistress, and I can report that I am fully ready to return to my duties.”

Giggling at Mika’s ever stoic statements, Yamiko felt profound relief.  She was sad that Mika had no information to provide her with, but that was not as worrying as the fact that Mika had been active when Yamiko had entered cold sleep.  The fact that Mika could not recall anything was startling.  Additionally, it appeared that information and data had been purposefully removed from her, which added to Yamiko’s list of unanswered questions.

Then she took in Mika’s appearance again and quirked a blonde eyebrow.

“Er, Mika,” Yamiko began again in some surprise. “Why are you here with a packed bag on your back and armed with your tonfas?”

“Mistress Yamiko,” Mika said in monotone. “I believe it is imperative that we move everything from the labs over to Konoha, with us setting up a new base of operations somewhere in the forests surrounding the village. We don’t know if Kushina-sama will remember you, or anything about the situation in the village, so we’d better go to Hi no Kuni the slow way and trek to Konoha by foot.” Shifting the large pack on her back, she continued, “Additionally, all available records that were left have been packed as well for our relocation.”

Yamiko nodded, that made sense to her.  She was so glad that Mika was quick to think about such things.  Then, Yamiko eyed the pack which Mika took as her cue to continue.

“On the topic of recovered items,” Mika began at once. “I have found and recovered the entire history of our country, the hidden village, and the various clans and families, among other items of note and need, such as the Uzumaki Clan Jutsu Records, Scrolls, and even Theory.” She halted to allow Yamiko to digest and then once the blonde nodded, Mika continued. “This of course is to say nothing of the records that may be able to eventually assist you in understanding what brought about the end to the Land of Whirlpool.”

Yamiko was surprised at Mika’s preparedness and forward thought.  Then again, that was just how she was designed and created.  It was a major leap forward.  She knew without a doubt that she could rely on Mika.

“On a related note, my Mistress,” Mika turned back to Yamiko. “I have also collected and stored all remaining equipment from the armories, recovered all the remaining taxes in the repositories, and stored for transport all remaining treasures of the land and hidden village, though I’m afraid in each case, there wasn’t as much as could be hoped.”

Yamiko frowned at hearing that, but then some concern set in as she asked, “What of armor and weapon prototypes among other kinds of equipment?”

“The prototype equipment area had not been discovered nor raided and all items inside were in good order, thus I was able to recover all items stored there within,” Mika reported and Yamiko felt relief at hearing that. “Additionally I took the liberty to recover rare and endangered species of flora, but unfortunately, I have only been able to determine probable locations for fauna in the same categories due to a variety of reasons.” Mika then tilted her head, asking, “Should I list the reasons, Mistress?”

“No, Mika,” Yamiko said as she shook her head. “That won’t be necessary, as I trust you did all you could.”

“Thank you, Mistress,” Mika replied with a bow, “One last note on that subject,” Yamiko was all ears, “We only need a base, some assistance, and a new preserve to move them to and we should be able to maintain and increase their numbers in the future.”

“Mika,” Yamiko began.

“Yes, Mistress?” Mika responded, before being suddenly gripped in a crushing hug.

“If I had made you a boy, I would kiss you right now full on the lips!” Yamiko declared happily. “I might still do that, don’t know.” She then held the golem at arms length, asking, “Any other good news you have for me?”

“I’m afraid that is all, Mistress.” Honestly, Mika felt a little disappointed about not getting a kiss for some reason, she mentally shrugged it off though without showing it on her face. “And to answer your question on my weapons, I believe we will be on a dangerous road, it is best to be prepared,” she said as she tapped the pack. “I also brought my other weapons and found and recovered your armor, though I’m afraid it will need some repair and adjustments, as will my own armor.”

Huffing in annoyance that was one thing that bugged Yamiko, but then she mellowed. “We can worry about the armor when we are safe and sound,” she said, and then smiled again towards the golem. “Thank you, Mika. I would be lost without you.”

Mika had already begun to turn, so Yamiko didn’t see the cheeks look brighter on Mika’s face even as she kept that stoic tone that betrayed nothing. “I exist to only serve you, my mistress,” the golem’s response was pretty normal. “If the mistress is ready, let us be on our way.”

Yamiko gave off a sad sigh before she said, “Indeed.” She would have to learn the truth some day. She set her tone full of resolve and said, “Let us go now.”

Their nation was just a silent tomb now. No point in remaining, in case robbers returned to plunder any forgotten place.

Xamusel

  • Number XV of the Organization
  • Master
  • ***
  • Posts: 429
  • Placeholder avatar until I can get something else
    • View Profile
Naruto walked through the streets of Konoha as the day slowly progressed. He was glad that school let out early that day, but he also wanted to find a good place to train as a Shinobi, where he wasn’t being compared to his father all the time. Sure, he liked that he was recognized as a member of his own family, but this was just taking it too far!

It had been a couple weeks since he and Kurina had pulled the prank on the Hokage Monument, but nothing really big had happened since.  Though he was probably going to prank that insufferable Kiba again.  The Inuzuka boy just had to go off and run his mouth, again.  Kiba has been getting full of himself lately, so Naruto saw it as one of chief duties to knock the boy down a few pegs.

Of course, it had nothing to do with today’s remarks about his lack of Chakra control, or the fact that he pummeled Naruto at hand to hand today and was a bit abrasive about it.

That only made it all the better.

XxX

Even as Naruto made rather ‘diabolical’ plans to get back at Kiba, he was unaware of the young girl following him.  The girl followed with the utmost stealth, successfully hiding as she followed.  Even the people that were walking down the road failed to note her as she made her plans.  Yes, truly, she had her own plans in mind.

She followed her target into the ramen shop, allowing the waitress to notice her and collective her order.  A short time later, the food was delivered to her target.  But as she reached for her pills to sabotage the boy’s food, she found them missing.  She also discovered her wallet was also gone.

“Looking for these, Ino?”

XxX

Kurina watched as Yamanaka Ino froze and turned to look at her.  The long-haired platinum blonde’s face was just priceless to Kurina.  The orange and red dressed girl, though, shook her head as she handed back the wallet.

“Mind if I make use of these instead?” Kurina asked. She went back to eating her food as she pocketed the pills without an answer, explaining, “I want to use them on Ami later.”

Hearing that name, Ino’s face immediately twitched in annoyance.  Purple-haired and -eyed Ami was a girl in their year.  She was little more than a bully that got knocked down a few pegs whenever Kurina or Ino, usually both actually, felt she was getting to be a bit too big in the head.

So, Ino had no intention of stopping Kurina.

“Guess I’ll have to make the sacrifice to curb stomp that twit,” Ino answered. She went to eating her food instead, stewing over the fact she couldn’t get at Naruto for that embarrassing prank he pulled with a microphone and the Academy’s PA system.

Her mother had grounded her for a month and she still had 21 days to go.

Still, how he got into the girl’s restroom was a big question.

Suddenly both girls turned to Naruto when they heard his stomach make a strange gurgling sound.

“Oh man!” Naruto yelled. He then shot off, out of the stand and around the corner, shouting at the top of his lungs, “OUT OF THE WAY!!!!!”

The scene left the group of patrons and the two staff blinking at the sight.  They had no idea what just happened.  Ino turned to Kurina who only reached out and stopped the first person she could grab from outside.

“Hey!  Kurina?!” the person shouted as they were pulled in. “What gives?” the person looked a little surprised at the eerie lack of anything. He then smirked devilishly and said, “Oh I get it!” The person puffed their chest out and continued, “Now you’re gonna admit that you lo- GURK!” That was when Kurina stuffed a load of the ramen from Naruto’s bowl into Kiba’s mouth to shut him up, gagging him in the process.

It was somewhat comical to see.  Kiba was doing his best not to cry at the fact that Naruto had gone with a slightly spicy flavor tonight.  Well, slightly spicy to Naruto anyways.  If it was ramen, he’ll eat just about anything.  In this case, the house spicy special.

Once he had somehow managed to swallow without choking to death, much to the displeasure of both Ino and Kurina, Kiba coughed a bit, then turned on the redheaded girl.

“What was that for?!” he demanded in a rage. “Did you forget that I’m a-”

Then Kiba’s stomach suddenly gurgled and then he was off at a high speed run, not as gracious as Naruto had been, especially since he was holding the seat of his pants.

“Who put laxatives in my meals?!” Teuchi shouted, indignant and irate at the mere thought of the sabotage.

XxX

Meanwhile, in a separate part of the village, one Hyuuga Hinata sneezed into the sleeve of her coat. She really hoped that she wasn’t catching a cold.  Then again, she half expected her little sabotage to be affecting Naruto right about now.

Naruto… it’s not that she really disliked him — as a matter of fact, she was taken with his confidence. But her clan wanted her to marry him, and she knew that it was just so she could help propagate the family line.  She wouldn’t allow herself to be trapped in some loveless marriage for the sake of bringing her clan greater prestige in the village.

She wanted to be a strong woman when she grew up, not some weak little girl who only kowtowed and giggled stupidly.  She would be… uh, oh, a rather angry Hokage stood tapping her foot, drilling a hole in her with her eyes! Lucky to be alive, that’s what she’d be if she ever grew up.

‘How does she do it?’ Hinata wondered, as the Hokage reached out and Hinata was suddenly a very frightened little girl.

XxX

On the path to Konoha, Yamiko and Mika had walked at least 150 miles from the Uzu no Kuni-Hi no Kuni border and had made it within ten miles away from Konoha, with nobody trying to rob them while they were on the road. It was rather fortunate that they avoided bandits because they were carrying such valuable equipment and all the flora and fauna of Uzushio, but it seemed that their luck was close to running out the closer they got to Konoha.

Yamiko was worried that something wrong would happen before they got to the gates, though she knew that Mika would help her out of that mess, especially if the threat was of bandits--

Suddenly, a set of low-volume growls was heard surrounding the two of them and their entourage, causing the adults to shuffle themselves around the child-looking members of the group (much to their annoyance).

“What’s that?” someone asked, obviously frightened as suddenly red eyes began to glow from the trees lining one side of the road.

Mika’s response was to fire a flare pistol immediately.  The dazzling light briefly blinded everything.  But the purpose had been served as a flare dangled from a small parachute and revealed a group of mad looking wild lions.

“Something is not right,” Yamiko said as she took in the view of the lions.

Their muscles bulged unnaturally as drool fell from their fanged mouths.  Their eyes were glowing an unnatural deep red light with no sign of their normal eyes.  Their coats, normally a ‘pleasant’ yellow color, were a far darker, more unnatural color.  Their size was also unusual for the breed.

“Mistress,” Mika began after observing the lions herself. “These lions have been artificially induced into a rage. Unusual bulging of muscles, larger than normal size, darker coat, and mass amount of silva indicate further tampering of their normal selves.”

“Uh, Mika,” Yamiko said as she pointed at the animals’ eyes. “I think the obvious part was also the glowing red eyes.”

“I was getting to that, Mistress,” Mika continued on unperturbed by her mistress’ interruption. “The eyes are being used by a controlling force to observe, which is why they haven’t attacked just yet.”

“Great,” Yamiko stated sarcastically. She pulled her pistols out and then demanded, “Where the heck is the ANBU patrol when you need it?”

“Possibly not here yet or may not be coming at all.”

“Another great,” Yamiko sarcastically announced. At that moment, whoever held control released it and the lions roared and charged as Yamiko opened up with a hail of gunfire.

XxX

A pair of redheads heard a series of strange sounds. At first they were as soft as a cool evening breeze, but they began to change into deep growls, then roars. And it became clear that the sounds were very wrong.

“We better go help,” the younger of the two, though it was hard to tell that, said.

“Yes,” her friend agreed, but didn’t move. “But first let’s address our own threats,” she stated as more growls, much closer were heard as more of the mad lions appeared before the two young ladies.

XxX

The guards surrounding Yamiko and Mika were the first to charge at the tampered lions, only for the lions to bat the spears out of the way with their enhanced paws and nearly tear the arms of their attackers off along the way. It was at this time that Yamiko started to target one of the lions that were about to make mincemeat out of the guards with her guns and fired at it, dealing heavy damage to the beast, and also angering it at the same time.

Not only did this get the now-heavily injured lion to turn its attention to the two of them, but the rest of the pack turned to the source of the shots as well, rushing towards Yamiko and attempting to prevent her from shooting at them again. It was at this time that Mika, armed with her tonfas, came between them and her mistress and struck out at the head of the pack with quick jabs at the eyes, crushing them and driving through to the brain, easily obliterating the lion.

The lions attempted to swat Yamiko and Mika down to the ground, though their ninja training proved to be superior, dodging the blows with Chakra-enhanced jumps, Yamiko spinning about in the air while peppering the lions with precise bullet wounds in critical areas. Mika, having put away her tonfas for the time being, pulled out two Kunai launchers that Yamiko had made in her spare time by the day before, aimed, and pulled the triggers. Near instantaneously, a multitude of Kunai flew into the bodies of the lions that were relatively uninjured and those that were injured grievously by that point.

With both of them landing on opposite sides of the lions, they surveyed their work, seeing that the lions collapsed from blood loss and were dying slowly but surely.

Suddenly, the lions got stepped on by a larger than average lion, one that was about the size of the Hokage Monument. Not only did the dying lions get crushed, the weapons used on them were crushed as well, leaving nothing but fine powder. This lion gave a nerve-wracking roar that would have made a lesser person die from hearing the whole thing, though it was rather fortunate that the lesser people were already unconscious, leaving Yamiko and Mika ready and waiting for an attack.

“Well… crap,” Yamiko said as a general consensus of hers and Mika’s opinion, the golem nodding her head in agreement.

XxX

As the maddened beasts attacked, the two redheads evaded.  It was clear that they were crazed, so there was no time to lose in releasing them from their forced insanity.  One launched an attack with Kunai that were carrying explosive tags.  The blasts killed three as they were shredded by the explosions and debris from shattered trees, rock, and earth.

The other evaded, flipping over two to avoid another pair.  As she landed, she brought up a bow and quickly managed to get off two arrows of glowing light.  The arrows sunk deep into one of the lions.  It roared in pain and agony before exploding into a red mist.  The woman gave a prayer as she dodged and fired another arrow, this one driving through skull of another lion before partially exiting through the throat.

A moment later and she knew she had ended another noble creature’s life, mercifully or not, it was not sitting well with her.

Her companion shared the same hard choice and its consequences.  She landed on the back of another and quickly drove her kunai into the base of its head where it met the neck.  She severed the vital location and the lion collapsed, rolling as she leaped off, barely dodging the claws of another, to rebound off a tree just seconds before one of the lions crashed into it.

The explosive tag she left on the tree exploded and the remaining half of the lion fell messily to the ground.

The second woman switched her bow out for a sword and with a single mighty swipe, split one lion from nose to the tip of its tail in two.  She hadn’t the time to mourn the creature as she spun to avoid being clawed open, but her sword finished the spin with her and cleaved another headless.  The one she dodged came back, but she ducked under and stabbed upward, arresting the madden lion’s momentum with raw strength, she tossed the body into the last three, tumbling them as they pursued her companion.

The first redhead, didn’t waste a moment and chains appeared from the ground and quickly restrained the berserking cats.  They three struggled, but in a moment they were ended, a single tear escaping the woman as she held back a choke sob and a desire to cry out for them.

The fight was over.

“Whoever is responsible better pray to whatever they believe in that I don’t get to them,” the second woman growled angrily as she brought her bow up, an arrow of fire red light held at the ready.

Explosions and the sounds of fighting told of the other group under siege.

“Agreed,” the first said with determined conviction as her friend released her arrow and the area was consumed in light and heat.

“Let’s go,” the second one said. The two were off as the area behind them burned bright enough to be seen.

XxX

“FIRE! THERE’S A FIRE IN THE WOODS!” a watchman shouted. About that time, bits of light from elsewhere followed by explosions and the sound of madden beasts reached his eyes and ears, having him report, “BATTLE! THERE’S A BATTLE GOING ON!”

Alarms sounded in a collection of alarmed sounds.  Guards poured from barracks as the quick response teams rushed out to meet the battle.  The Hokage strolled into the command center with a calm that eased others.  She took command as civilians were rushed to the hidden shelters.  The battle would be met with force.

Great gates closed with a mighty boom as lights pierced the night.

XxX

In the middle of the path in the wooded area where Yamiko and Mika were at, the giant lion was preparing to crush the two kunoichi in training (technically), with both the genius and the golem preparing for the worst in this case.

“This is going to hurt,” Yamiko said with a sigh, “Isn’t it?” She then gulped at the sight of the building sized lion when it came in full view.

“In all probability,” Mika also looked up and showed no emotion, but she felt a nagging feeling. “That possibility is 10 percent at this time, though variable factors do exist.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?!” Yamiko snapped at her golem.

“It means that we are likely to die in 90 percent of all scenarios that can be considered in all variable factors,” Mika’s response was dead panned dry.

“Gr-REAT!” Yamiko shouted, and barely dodged the swipe of the massive mad beast’s claws, only to find that she was missing the center of her outfit, over her stomach and had a thin trail of blood leaking out. “THOSE ARE SHARP!”

The lion only roared and attacked again.  Fortunately, they were small enough to evade.  Unfortunately, there was a lot of flying debris.

The two dodged as best they could.  It was a maelstrom of death flying all about them.  If not for their small and nimble size, they might already be dead.  Fortunately, whoever is controlling the giant beast seemed to be less interested in a quick kill, which improved their chances…

Not by much as one of Mika’s socks is nearly shredded to pieces as she manages to avoid losing the leg it was on.

Then a particularly large branch crashes into the golem girl from behind.  Mika coughed up a ruby red synthetic fluid that allows her body to function.  She tumbles forward as the branch breaks in two.  Her form lays stilled and unmoving, but her body, designed so much to mimic the human form she was based on, reveals she is still alive.

“Mika!” Yamiko shouted, only for the massive tail to whack her across the battle area.

The blonde girl tumbles and rolls for several dozen meters before becoming impaled on a piece of tree debris.  She screams as the sharp end goes through her right shoulder and juts out, covered in her blood.  Tears fall from her eyes as she breathes heavily, still screaming at the pain.

The lion then smacks her directly, but Mika intercepts and manages to lessen the blow with her great strength, but it was still not enough as both are sent flying.

Mika is seemingly destroyed as a bloody and torn up Yamiko looks on helplessly as the lion stalks overs, drooling and foaming at its mouth.

“No… no…” Yamiko pleaded as the lion stalked forward. “Not now... please not now,” Yamiko looked on as the beast prepared to pounce, remembering her life up until that point, what she hoped to accomplish, and her…

Chains explode from the ground and quickly wrap around the duo and pull them to safety as the beast pounces only to get an arrow to its face that explodes on contact.

XxX

“Just in time,” the one controlling the chains stated as she observed the unnaturally giant beast before as she settles the two girls down gently near her.

The other only nods as she observes the enraged berserking giant of a lion.  She could sense the fel energies coming off the beast.  She may not know the type of energy, but she knew evil when she encountered it.  Now it was not her time to truly cut loose, but she knew she would like have to use a bit more power, if need be.

“This…” she trailed off, seeking a word that was simply not there. “This energy is very malicious,” she shook herself. “It appears to have a warping effect.  As far as I can tell, it was some time for the beast to be broken and bent and then made massive,” she observed how it suddenly looked in their direction and she smirked. “But to fully use it, it must be controlled closely.”

“This will be trouble,” the first redhead remarked as she tended to the wounds of the two girls, only to find….

“What the?” she said as she held her hands over Mika. “No,” she stated in quiet disbelief, not wanting to believe as she moved her hands up and down the unconscious golem girl. “You’re Mika,” she said as a small, gentle smile formed and tears silently began to fall, “Aren’t you little one?”

The younger redhead gently moved a hand to cup Mika’s cheek as she leaned forward to press her forehead against the unconscious golem’s own. “I’m so glad,” she said and sniffed a little, but then spotted how her pack had somehow survived, though a latch had come undone.

Gently, she pulled a scroll out and found it to be a storage scroll.  She opened it up and discovered it was from her family’s destroyed homeland.  With a little hesitation, she removed an item from within, a Scroll of the Uzumaki Clan. “So this must be Kagekiri Yamiko then.” She smiled at the blonde girl quite happily as she said, “So she did survive.” She then turned with a frown to the lion that eyed them carefully.

“I shall buy you time and hold it off,” her straightforward companion said. She then launched herself straight at the beast, clearing the vast distance in a single leap and smashing a fist into the side of the beast’s head and sending it careening to the side and off its feet in the single move as the power was so great as to displace the air around its contact point.

Nodding as her friend and companion would hold the beast off long enough, the first redhead pulled back her hood enough to see to the two.  Her dark eyes shown with care and gentleness as she took care of the two.  Her gentle features on her thin face were smooth.  Her long red hair held was held back by a white band.  She would do what she could for Mika, but she was a little out of her depth on Golems, though she could at least set Mika to live long enough until Yamiko had fully recovered.

The other redhead smirked as she evaded the ponderous beast again.  The massive size was working against it.  Being smaller and more powerful allowed her to evade with nigh absurd ease.

With a slight twist and a quick back flip, she escaped another claw attack.  Once she was set, she brought her bow on target and fired another arrow of light.  Then she moved at once, flipping over the tail even as her shot impacted against the nose of the lion and exploded with electrical energy.

The lion roared in shock and pain as it shook its head.  The attack had damaged its sense of smell and with all the drool and foam about its mouth, it was shocked something fiercely.  The lion shook and wandered in a circle, confused and hurt from the attack.  Then it howled as it suddenly regained control of itself, or rather, the puppeteer had.

“I do wonder where you could be?” the woman ideally wondered aloud and the head snapped to her. “Oh, yes, I can sense your power controlling this noble animal you filthy bastard you!” Her yellow eyes looked up, piercing through the glowing red eyes and into the eyes of the puppeteer, “You should know what you mess with before you do so!” She allowed her canine teeth to reflect light, just before she vanished and the lion was actually sent tumbling a good 900 meters, tearing up a length of the forest they fought in.

Once the lion had stopped and tried to regain its feet, the woman came down from above to drop kick it in the head.  The massive beast slammed back to the earth in an explosion of dirt and debris.  The woman came spinning out of it and the lion was hot on her heels, biting into the air she had just been.

Then she landed in a crouch, but not in a position most would consider good.

The puppeteer saw the short landing and charged.  The lion was manipulated into attacking the woman as she had yet to rise from her crouch.  As the lion closed the distance, lights danced beneath the woman’s hands.  It was clear, she hadn’t been crouching, but getting ready to attack again.

Suddenly, chains exploded from the earth.  The pure, raw energy of Chakra quickly wrapped itself around the lion and pulled it back.  The lion fought back and a vicious struggle ensued as the lion and the woman fought for dominance.

All the while, the yellow eyed redhead continued to charge her power.

XxX

“Those are Uzumaki Chakra Chains?!” Dog looked on in disbelief, for never in his wildest dreams did he expect to see those used by anyone again save for the Godaime Hokage.

Tiger kept his senses better, saying, “Send a message back to the Lady Hokage and now!”

XxX

The lion berserker pulled hard left, only to find there was no resistance.  This allowed it to seemingly begin to escape, but then a sharp yank to its left caused it to overbalance and roll over as it was held down tightly.  The beast struggled to get off its back and regain its footing.  It was mostly successful, but more chains wrapped and held ever tighter.

Nevertheless, the sheer might of the larger beast and its raw, uncaged, and enhanced madness caused it to begin to win ever so slightly.  It pulled hard to the right and immediately yanked left followed by a powerful buck onto its hind legs.  Several chains strained and nearly all had to be loosened to some degree to prevent their destruction.  The mad monster was winning.

With a deft pull, the chains began to slip and fall and the lion roared mastery, but then they recoiled and bound ever so tighter, wrapping around the legs so effectively and suddenly that it fell forward into the ground.

“Now!” the first redhead shouted as she reeled the beast in after a long and tense struggle.

Her comrade didn’t dither.

Her eyes shot up as her hood fell down and she brought her hands up as she charged forward, slamming her hands together to forge a massive sword of yellow energy that glowed as bright as the sun and then stab forward in a classic samurai sword attack.

The lion roared in defiance as it struggled to break free, the red eyes glowing ever brighter as the chains suddenly vanished and the yellow blade of energy dove into the neck of the frenzied beast and down into its heart, cutting upwards and through its spine…

As the woman landed, her fox ears twitched and the giant lion exploded from the embedded sword cascading out of control now that there was nothing to hold it together.

“Spirit Sword Technique,” the fox woman said softly. “Earth Light Purification Explosion of Release.” With a sigh she brought one hand up and then snapped it out to the side, the remaining energy turning the area into an inferno, destroying all that had been tainted. “Rest in peace noble ones and let your spirits be reborn pure and anew from this vile work of evil.”

She pulled her hood back on as flames spread her way, engulfing the area before retreating  leaving no sign of her.

XxX

Despite being civilians and the children of the Godaime Hokage, Naruto and Kurina both managed to slip past the gate as the ninjas made their way to the site of one of the battles, the ninjas going towards the scene with the fire while the siblings made their way to the other location.

They both knew that they’d be in trouble later, but at least a proper use of Kage Bunshin and Henge would make it look like they were still in Konoha, though they didn’t know how much longer they had.

Kurina, fortunately, was the Sensor-type in the family, so she could tell when they were about to be followed, or tracked down for that matter. It was also a way for her to tell where the next battle was going to take place.

With that, Kurina took the lead in the search for the battlefield, directing her brother to follow her as well. With a few minute spent on finding their way to the correct area, they finally got to where they could see the fight, as one-sided as it was for the girls that were fighting such a giant monstrosity. They knew that, unless the two girls wanted to die, someone needed to pull them out of there. Before they go rushing in to save the girls….

Chakra chains surrounded both girls, causing Kurina to widen her eyes and look to the source. It was a hooded woman in her apparent twenties, but the hair and chakra chains gave her away as a lost relative of their mother. The strength of those particular chains was strong enough to be a match for their mother, probably greater, but only because they were untainted chakra chains. Because the chakra their mother used in her chains was corrupted by the Kyuubi no Yoko, it couldn’t hold anything with the strength it did in the past, unless it was a Bijuu like the Kyuubi.

Then there was the fact that an arrow was loosed at the lion, causing an explosive force upon hitting, which normally didn’t happen unless one was using either Nature Chakra or Demonic Chakra of some sort. It also complicated things considerably when the second redhead moved into an attacking position without her bow in hand. Then it became clear that the archer was also good in melee combat, though probably not quite on par with their Aunt Tsunade, if the energy used was any indication.

Naruto, while he also observed the battle and the findings his sister did, couldn’t help but get the sneaking feeling that someone at least three kilometers out was controlling the giant lion. He didn’t know where the feeling came from, but it was apparent that something was happening to him, or at least he was more attuned for whatever was going on.

He watched as the beast tried to defeat the one fighting it, but to no avail, as the redhead fighting it was both incredibly agile and incredibly powerful. It was at about the time that she flipped over the beast’s tail that she drew the bow again, firing an arrow of light, and then saying something to the lion… or, rather, the one controlling it. That was when the lion was knocked 900 meters away, at possibly the full power of the woman fighting the beast, and hopefully in the direction of the puppeteer.

It was to his dismay that the beast was not knocked towards its master, but rather some fair distance away to the left of the puppeteer, which meant the guy was safely hidden from the ones ripping him a new one… whatever that meant. He heard that phrase from his mother at times, though he never questioned what it meant, particularly.

That was when the drop kick happened, knocking the lion into the ground for a short bit, before the lady flipped away and made to prepare for an attack against the beast. The puppeteer manipulated the beast to attack, believing her to be crouching only… only for the Uzumaki to use her Chakra chains to restrain the beast, making sure to hold it tight.

After seeing the giant creature get pulled to its back and then trying to regain control of its freedom, Naruto and Kurina heard the signal to have the beast killed, the second redhead forged an energy katana and ran it through the lion’s neck and down to the heart, swiping upwards and revealing fox ears on her head… which was probably the least odd thing about the situation, to be honest.

It was roughly around that time when an inferno came about. Naruto wondered what happened to the fox woman, but it seemed that she made it out alright, given her unique energy feel still being around. It was roughly fifteen seconds after the battle finished that Kurina tugged on his shirt, so he turned to her and asked in a whisper, “What’s wrong?”

“Mom’s here,” Kurina whispered, pointing to where Kushina landed from her tree hopping towards the area. “Let’s hope that she doesn’t find out we’re here.”

“A bit late for that, kiddos,” came their mothers voice from the side where they weren’t paying attention to.

Turning to face their mother in the clearing with the inferno, they still saw her, but then heard a poof of smoke from the other direction. That clued them in to the answer as to how their mother was in two places at once.

‘Crud… Kage Bunshin!’ was the thought of both Naruto and Kurina before their mother marched over in their direction.

XxX

A few minutes later, Naruto and Kurina were looking at the ground ashamedly, due to the stern dressing down from their mother. It was something that they didn’t want to have happen again, being victim to Kushina’s discipline, so they decided to play good for a good while.

It was while Kushina was about to march Naruto and Kurina home when Kushina looked to her left and saw a blonde-haired girl and a blue-haired girl next to an intact tree.  Several ANBU were looking them over, likely survivors from the convoy that was supposed to be in this area.  They were finding pieces of the guards and some of the people that had been with it.  Fortunately, there were other survivors, so things were panning out, but it was as she was about to dismiss them, that she noticed a blue beret on the ground in front of her.

“Hm?” she bent over and picked it up and brought it up, a little surprised to see this particular design again.

She tried to remember when she last saw a beret. They were foreign in design, but had caught on in some of the island and smaller coastal nations because of their simple, yet useful design.  She shook her head, she shouldn’t really look this one too deeply.

“Lady Hokage?” Dog stepped forward, looking concerned.

“Pay no heed Dog,” she replied. As she turned the headgear in her hand one last time, she asked, “Any idea who owns this?”

“I believe the blonde girl with the medics over next to the tree,” the ANBU with ashen hair responded with a light wave of his hand.

“I see,” she said, turning the beret over to him. “I haven’t seen one in years.”

“Yes ma’am,” Dog said. He knew that berets were popular in some countries, but most of those had been destroyed because of their involvement with Western influence.

He personally would never understand such xenophobia.

Just as he turned to leave, he held the beret up and noticed a piece of metal attached to what he assumed the front. ‘What’s this?’ he thought as he gently smoothed the cloth out. To his surprised look, he looked upon the symbol of the Land of Whirlpool.

“Lady Hokage!” he shouted immediately as he quickly turned to her and equally quickly made for her side.

“Hm?” the redhead turned to see Dog run up to her, showing the beret and then held it out with the symbol visible for her. “It can’t be!” she exclaimed, startled at seeing the symbol of her old homeland, the nation that had given birth to her.

But there before her was the crest of that nation, but not just any crest.  The outlining of the crest, the metal used to forge it, and the blue beret’s chief quality.  There was no way she could ever forget such a design as well.

It was a Royal Beret.

XxX

Yamiko groaned as her green eyes began to slowly make themselves open.  She hurt all over, but the pain was not so bad.  Her shoulder felt numb for a second, but then, like a switch had been thrown, fire flared through her shoulder and other areas of her body.  Naturally she screamed loud as the pain was intense and burning.

“MEDIC!” a voice called out immediately as she struggled with the pain, but felt hands try to hold her down. “DAMMIT!  MEDIC!  MEDIC!

“I’M HERE!” a woman shouted as she leaped over the some fallen trees and slid on her booted feet to a kneeling stop and began to tend to the screaming girl, her green eyes alight with pain as tears ran down her eyes. “Dammit!  She was worked over,” she stated, noting that someone had tended to the wounds. However, it was serious injury, and the medic doubted that even the Legendary Healer could completely heal these wounds short of a fully staffed surgical room. “Someone tended to her earlier, but the wounds are just so severe!”

“YAMIKO!” a woman’s voice cried out suddenly in a panic.

“LADY HOKAGE!” a Jounin cried out as he grabbed the woman. “STAY BACK AND LET THE MEDIC WORK!”

“YAMIKO!  YAMIKO!” Kushina screamed as several more ninja grabbed and pulled their Hokage back, confused, but knowing they had to react. “YAMIKO!  MIKA!” yelled the redhead, who was pulled back immediately.

“Come children,” the wizened voice of the Third Hokage could be heard as he came and took over the scene. Kushina was no longer a leader at the moment. He nodded quietly to a medic who then jabbed the woman with a sedative and, as Kushina fell away to sleep, Yuhi Kurenai, a young and up and coming Chunin, guided her children to safety.

“Miss Kurenai,” Naruto said as he turned to the red eyed woman who ‘hmmed’ gently in response. “I had a strange feeling, like I could sense the person controlling that monster, far over that way.” Naruto pointed and Kurenai blinked as she looked and gauged the distance where there was a small rise at least three kilometers away.

It was far away, sure, but she hadn’t heard of it being impossible.  Some Sensor-Type ninja could sense as far away as 10 kilometers, though normally with something to act as a means to assist.  Still, it wasn’t impossible either for someone to control from far away, for example, Sasori of the Red Sand was said to have that ability with his puppets or even people.

Quietly she nodded to Cat who merely tapped Otter on the shoulder who nodded as well to her hand signs.

The ANBU would probe, carefully and quietly.

While it may be nothing and certainly so, as no Chakra was detected, it would be best to be careful anyways.

After all, no one had seen Lions controlled or altered like that before.

XxX

Within a part of the forest left untouched by the taint and by the inferno, the puppeteer looked on in amusement from sitting atop a high tree branch, thanks to his enhanced eyesight. He noted that the natives of this part of reality were, for the most part, more or less Ki blind, if the bursts of Ki he displayed were any indication, though there was one person in a 4k radius that managed to sense him all that time he released the bursts. He figured that the person was just a kid, but an adept sensor of Ki if he had ever felt one in his life, given that the kid barely had any Ki of his own at present.

“Hmm… so the kid was able to sense me, eh?” he said, seemingly to himself. “I wonder how this will play out with the scenario that Barnabas wants flowing.”

“No matter,” a disembodied woman’s voice said from the man’s right. “Now that the kid has those annoying pests looking in this direction, it’ll be for the better if you relocated to a different area, so that you can avoid this sort of trouble in the future. Nobody is supposed to know you’re here, Lucas Calador.”

“Yeah, I suppose that’s right,” Lucas said, seemingly unconcerned for his status as a Ghost soldier. Getting up from his spot, he jumped down to the forest floor below, landing in a crouch. Upon standing upright, he turned his head to look behind him and said, “Y’know, it’d probably do you some good to take a vacation in an alternate reality every once in a while. The Paradigm Shielding is pretty impressive if it can keep one’s powers intact in different realities.”

“I’m not interested in taking a vacation anywhere that hasn’t been conquered by us in Imperium, Lucas, and you know it,” was the irritated reply.

Lucas sighed at hearing that, before saying, “See, this is why you need a vacation. You get too irritated when you’re in the base all the time, so it’s for the better that you take a break in a non-conquered world. Besides, C’iel and Gaira aren’t around in this dimension, and they probably never were or will be. I think this place is pretty safe from outside interference.”

The voice that Lucas was speaking to didn’t answer for a bit, before he heard the female say, “I hope you’re right about that. I don’t want to lose you to anyone or anything.” With that, the voice left, leaving Lucas all alone in this part of reality.

Lucas, for his part, continued his trek to a different part of the country he was now in. Perhaps he would get lucky and get a decent challenge for himself again… who knows what the future has in store?

XxX

The next morning

In the Hidden Rock Village, comprised of homes and other buildings carved into some of the mountain range in the immediate area, the Sandaime Tsuchikage, Oonoki, was busy doing paperwork for his village when a knock was heard at the door.

Stopping his paperwork for a short bit, he looked up with a smile and said, “It’s open, Naru.”

When the door opened, it showed him a young girl of approximately 10 to 11 with bright crimson hair and cerulean blue eyes, dressed in red shorts, a shirt with a red torso and blue sleeves, and a pair of black Ninja Sandals. On her left thigh, there was a kunai and shuriken holster, while, attached to her left hip, there was a Ninjato built to her custom specifications.

Naru gave a polite bow to Oonoki and said, “Oji-sama, I was hoping to ask you about when I’m supposed to graduate from the Iwa Ninja Academy. I’m already at the top of the class, and I don’t know why I’m being held back by the rest of the student body. It just doesn’t seem fair to me, having mastered the lessons the Academy taught from the beginning, to still be stuck in the same class as a bunch of beginners who don’t know how to mold Chakra correctly. I don’t know if my patience can handle it any longer, considering that I feel the urge to lash out at some of the civilians of the rural villages outside of Iwa, but—”

Oonoki held a hand up to stop Naru in mid-sentence, saying shortly after, “Naru, if you wish to be a Kage, you’ll need to be a patient woman. Believe me, it’s for the better that you learn how to help others in any aspect, before you get to order others around.” With a pause, he thought of another reason for patience, saying, “Besides, you need to have patience before you can reach an important step in being a Kage.”

Naru blinked her eyes in confusion and surprise, before asking, “What important step?”

“The step of being a Jounin teacher,” Oonoki replied, mirth in his voice. “You’ll need to know how to teach the next generation and put up with their antics as well.”

Naru, despite herself, couldn’t help but sigh in annoyance from how Oonoki had essentially said that she needed to teach a three man cell how to behave in the real world. It was a slap in the face, so to speak, and she especially hated it when this sort of thing happened to her.

Still, because it was an answer from her grandfather, she knew that she had to accept it.

Then an ANBU landed in the office and Naru wondered how they did that.  The woman clutched a scroll to her body before humbly turning it over to the Tsuchikage who only made a ‘tsk’ sound.  He was getting old and had it not been for that traitor’s actions, he’d still be retired and enjoying it.

Hot Springs were nice and all, but so were tropical beaches and he was so looking forward to regular trips to the Moon Kingdom.

Nevertheless, he opened the scroll and began to read it, before his jaw dropped.

“Is this confirmed?” he didn’t stop as he read every bit of the details held within.

“Yes Lord Tsuchikage,” the woman in the typical camouflage pattern of their local environment, even the mask was had a camo pattern and she wore a camo cover over her hair, responded once the question had been posed, “Additionally, we too have had several encounters in the last few days with unnaturally large and rabid beasts including normally docile animals.”

“There was a report about that in the DMZ areas correct?” Oonoki got up from his seat as he finished reading and made his way out of his office, followed by his curious granddaughter, her two ANBU guards, and the ANBU woman as they made their way to the Operations Center and to one of its maps that were now marking known areas of attacks by such large and mad animals.

“As well as a rumor about Waterfall, sightings in Rain, reports in Grass, and a few confirmations at a number of other areas,” the woman had waited until they had reached the map to indicate something else, “And more are being reported.”

Oonoki nodded as he watched as the area around the Leaf Village was added, plus two attacks near Mist and another directly on Cloud.  He frowned as he rubbed his goatee and observed the attacks, some marked accordingly at the moment as rumors and reported until verified or disclaimed.  The sheer number was hardly staggering as it was so few, but the numbers didn’t lie.

“We’re in for something that will be uncomfortably long,” Oonoki stated with a grimace as he observed everything.

Naru said nothing, just observing.  She saw how her grandfather was reacting and studying the situation.  He was like a mountain and would only move when the time was right.  He carefully studied the map, though expecting more and with little information, he acted in a way to increase security and gather that information smartly.

Yet…

In his eyes, she could see the truth.  He had just resigned a number of people to their deaths.  He knew it, but there wasn’t a damn thing she could do about it.  This was not like before and that bothered him.  Yet he acted with the experience time had granted him both on and off the battlefield and in and out of the office.

He was the Tsuchikage.

What she wanted to be in that moment and yet there was no flair to it.

She was awed and enamored deeply by it and how calmly he went about it.

XxX

Xamusel Second A/N: Hmm… this went better than I thought. Honestly, I was expecting that this would flop by the time I got to half-way through the chapter, but I guess I outdid myself on this one.

Now… in regards to the last part, what’s Imperium, and who’s Lucas Calador? In reverse order, Lucas is going to be a somewhat-recurring minor villain over the course of the really long story, and Imperium is the name of the organization that he works for… though, believe me, all the major villains from Imperium are only gonna have one fight with the heroes before going down for good somehow.

...if the bit on Imperium didn’t answer anything, good, I don’t want to answer any questions that would be problematic to answer at this point in the story.

Oh, one other thing, "Kyuubi no Jaakuna Kitsune" is the Japanese for Nine-tailed Malevolent Fox. I'll allow three guesses as to who this character is that we pulled from alternate media.

Also, if you want to have a question answered, please review with your question. I’ll be sure to answer said questions with a straight reply in due time (at the top part of the story).

Alright… here’s Tomcat with his notes.


XxX

Tomcat First A/N: Hopefully this works out well.  We’ve been busting our chops to get it done.  So we hope you appreciate our work.

That aside, I’m personally hoping we can do this right.  There will of course be those who will say ‘impossible,’ but hey, you know what?  I say, ‘Let’s make lemonade with grapes and let them scratch their heads like monkeys trying to figure that one out.’

I’m gonna state this now, but don’t expect perfection.  We ain’t gods, so don’t expect it.  We’ll do our best, but we’ll do it our way.  So anyone who can’t agree that this is a work in progress or simply loves being a flamer, I got a load of Anti-Fire Buckshot right here.

Cha-CHUK!

Any takers?

That aside, I hope you enjoyed the story.


XxX

Xamusel Third A/N: Alright. That ought to do it for now.

Anyway, if anyone wants to know, there’s going to be a reason why the next chapter won’t be released as quick as possible. As of 10/27/2013, work on the rest of the story began, what with the planning stages being heavily revised to allow for more flowing between the months in-story. Tomcat and I will be adding more content every so often, namely with a few chapters already prepped for publication, but some of those will be in cold storage for the time being. Besides which, I’m thinking about five chapters will be put in cold storage at a time, and a chapter will be released on the completion of the sixth chapter.

Okay… time to submit this. Hope it works well for you all. If not, well, we’re looking for some good beta readers that don’t pull their punches in regards to this.

Sayonara no Tsubasa
-Xamusel

Xamusel

  • Number XV of the Organization
  • Master
  • ***
  • Posts: 429
  • Placeholder avatar until I can get something else
    • View Profile
Xamusel Fourth A/N: Alright, here’s the second pilot chapter of Fantasy Unleashed, which will have some major theme building for the story that Tomcat and I are working on making. It’s gonna help set the stage that was built last chapter, which introduced a group and a minor villain that will start to become a major nuisance for the world, by adding onto the groups that will be causing trouble… even more so than Akatsuki.

By the way, why did I label this as the fourth A/N of mine? It’s because it is my fourth one of this story, that’s why.

Oh, for those of you interested, the previous chapter was edited heavily including new content.

Anyway, on with the story, everyone.


XxX

Prologue Arc
Pilot Part 2
Home is where the heart is

Naruto walked down the road to his family’s residence from the Ninja Academy a couple days before Valentine’s Day in a good mood.

It had been three months to the day since Yamiko and Mika were brought to Konoha. Not only was Yamiko healed enough to get Mika fixed, but the two of them were able to integrate into the village pretty easily, given that his mother was able to vouch their story of being from Uzushiogakure.

Still… why was he in such a good mood?

Well….

XxX

A couple hours prior, in the Konoha Ninja Academy, Naruto was listening to Iruka-sensei on how important traditions in the world are. Normally, that was covered in other classes, especially for students who wanted to get an early start on infiltration training, but Naruto had a hunch that there was an important reason for the lesson of the day.

“Alright, class,” Iruka said. “I have an announcement to make. The Godaime Hokage issued a decree last night that lets us celebrate traditions that were introduced to us by the non-Ninja villages.” After hearing a gasp of surprise, Iruka continued, “Therefore, in two days’ time, we’ll celebrate a day called Valentine’s Day. In the following month after, there’s a reciprocation day called White Day, where the ones to receive chocolates on Valentine’s Day, the boys, will have to give gifts that are three times as expensive minimum to the girls that give them chocolates. I hope that you all play by the rules with this tradition.”

With that all said and done, a pink-haired girl with green eyes, Haruno Sakura, shot her right hand up in the air, asking, “Iruka-sensei, do you mind if we girls in the class have a strategy meeting with everyone else out?”

Iruka, perplexed by the question, answered, “Uh… sure, I’ll direct the others out of the classroom.”

Getting the clue, the boys got up from their seats and headed out to the hallway, not wanting to risk the wrath of the girls. Naruto looked at his sister and saw that she had a knowing smirk on her face, so he decided to leave it be, figuring that she knew what was going on. Before he turned his head away from her, Kurina gestured for him to meet her on the roof of the school after this was over, which meant that she was gonna tell him about the purpose of the meeting.

XxX

An hour later, the impromptu meeting ended, just in time for school to come to an end. When Naruto saw the girls walk out of class, he noticed that Kurina was headed towards the stairs, so he decided to cheat his way to the roof. With a quick Shunshin, he arrived on the roof, where he noticed that there were people putting up decorations for the upcoming festivities of Valentine’s Day. Not only were there heart-shaped decorations, but there were other forms of decorations, including tenshi carrying bows and arrows that had heart-shaped arrowheads… what culture used such decorations normally?

Before long, Kurina showed up from the roof’s doorway to the school, ignoring the decorations as she made her way over to Naruto. After walking to him, Kurina said, “Naruto, your fanclub’s got an agenda to see about who will give you the most expensive chocolate, something I’ve been having trouble shooting down.”

Groaning, Naruto said, “I still can’t believe I have a fanclub. Why do we even need fanclubs in the first place?”
 
Sighing, Kurina said, “Can’t be helped. There’s nothing that can be done about the whole thing, given that much of modern society is comprised of fans of one thing or another, like the Ninja way of life. It may be outlawed to have a fanclub eventually, but it’s not possible right now, given that we as a society need to have reasons to join either the Samurai forces or the Ninja task force.”

Naruto groaned again at that. He didn’t mind that there was motivation to join either the Samurai or the Ninja, but he absolutely detested fangirlism, which was pounded into his head by their mother.

With a resolute nod, Naruto asked, “Who’s going to make what amount of homemade chocolate and to whom will they give it to?”

Kurina blinked in surprise, before she sheepishly scratched her face as she said, “I-it’s not really gonna be an awful lot of people that will receive homemade chocolate. As far as who will make the homemade chocolate, Sakura-san’s going to be making you some, and we both know that she’s got a huge crush on you.”


XxX

It was shortly after learning that Sakura was going to make Naruto some homemade chocolate that their rooftop meeting ended, with Naruto going straight home, seeing as Kurina had something to do at the Hokage Mansion. Naruto wondered what sort of business would be taken care of by her there, but he chalked it up to needing to speak with their mom, probably about who would be a good fit for the upcoming festivities of Valentine’s Day.

Naruto shook his head to clear his thoughts from who might end up with his sister. He wasn’t a siscon, mind you, he just worried for his sister’s well being in a very platonic way. That would be the reason why he had murderous thoughts towards Uchiha Sasuke… wait, bad thoughts, BAD THOUGHTS!!

XxX

Meanwhile, in the Uchiha Clan district, Sasuke sneezed while practicing the Katon: Gokakkyu no Jutsu. As such, he sneezed fire and nearly burned some of his clothes off, making his father wonder what was wrong.

XxX

Kurina was starting to wonder if this was a good idea afterall.

She was heading to her mother, the Godaime Hokage, and ask if she could have some chocolate-making lessons to woo her sweetheart. Of course, she didn’t know if she made chocolates for their deceased father or not, but it seemed like that was the case.

But that aside, she had to struggle with ‘those’ feelings.

She knew she shouldn’t be feeling them.  She knew she shouldn’t have been thinking about them.  She knew how much trouble they could get into because of them.

But she couldn’t deny them for some reason.

That she-

“Hey Kurina!” and Kurina nearly launched herself skyward.

Behind the startled the redhead was another girl, this one whose eyes were full of merriment as the redhead worked to calm her beating heart.  Still the new redheaded girl had a good laugh at Kurina’s expense as all the orange eyes could do was glare at the smiling yellow eyes.  Oh they had one heck of a rivalry going right now for sure, but that didn’t mean they couldn’t have fun, even if it was mostly Kurina on the end of that stick.

“Karui,” Kurina flatly replied, not at all pleased to see her here, “Why are you here anyways?”

The dark skinned girl just shrugged and then thumbed in the direction of her teammates and their sensei.  The three were speaking to one another about one thing or another.  Of course, though, with them was Mabui and she looked to be keeping an eye on Killer Bee.

Kami-sama knows that was not the easiest thing in the world.

B could be as slippery as the Pervy Sage, if admittedly cooler.

Rolling her amber eyes, the redhead turned her fellow and spoke seriously, “You know there’s been trouble lately right?”

Kurina gave a flat look.

“Aside from the ‘usual’ trouble that is,” Karui clarified and Kurina winced, but nodded, “That’s what brought the Lord Raikage here today, along with the Lords Hoshikage and Kazekage.”

Kurina blinked surprised at hearing that, “Lord Hoshikage is here?” but then she realized a title was left out, “What about Lord Tsuchikage?”

Karui raised her shoulders and brought her hands up while making a face that said it all about Iwa, but she did answer about Hoshi.

“He’s apparently very concerned,” she then indicated the Hokage Mansion where the meeting was taking place, “As you know, the Hidden Star Village and its home nation is nearly completely surrounded by deadly poison gas crevices that bar nearly 90 percent of all access to the country.”

“I see,” Kurina caught on immediately, “If they can’t handle it, they will for the most part, be trapped in their own country and easily wiped out.”

“Yep and that’s annoying as hell since Omoi will complain about it,” Karui bent over with her hands on her hips as she let out a long suffering sigh about that before looking up to the other girl, “We need a plan to do something about those oversized beasts and other monsters running about.”

Kurina only nodded.  Since they first appeared three months ago, the threat of oversized and berserk creatures had become serious.  Still, for the most part, while that was the case, it wasn’t beyond handling.  Most samurai were competent enough to bring them down with very light casualties and only the occasional death.

As long as they were able to respond first that is.

Even ninja who ran away for some of the most trifling of reasons were getting pardoned and put back into service.  Mostly they had been recalled to help reinforce the lines when ninja were sent out to back up the samurai.  As a result, after the first stint of surprise attacks, the situation had changed around.  That is what gave the samurai a slight edge, though ninja had enough power to fight the creatures more or less evenly.

Sighing mentally at the world gone mad, Kurina noticed Karui was dressed as she usually was.

The dark skin, though she would use the term more of being chocolate skin and that reminded her of why she was going to go see her mother, but the girl before her with chocolate skin was wearing grey shorts and a grey tank top over a simple white shirt.  She had a split skirt on that allowed her to move freely, though if one looked under the cloth, they could make out the hidden knives strapped to her thighs and the scale armor she wore there, and armored split toed boots on her feet.

Over her tank top and shirt she would normally wear an armored vest.  She had currently removed both to keep cooler, given that Konoha was lower and warmer than the mountain based Kumo.  She still had her headband with the metal plate bearing her home’s symbol on her forehead and from how Kurina could she her hair matted, she had probably been wearing a helmet at one point.

The girl also had a crush on Naruto for calling her pretty when they first met.

Karui noticed how Kurina was eying her and the Kumo redhead shook her head mentally.  It was understandable that the Uzumaki and Konoha would be at odds with the people of Kumo.  Heck, only because it was needed to secure its flank that Konoha and the Lady Hokage even put up with being in the same room as A.

The blood there was pretty bad, Karui especially knew that.

But she also noticed the appearance of the village.

“Finally getting around to celebrating Saint Valentine’s Day, eh?” the girl from Kumo nodded impressed, “I heard that the further you get from the overseas trade ports the rarer it got to see a foreign spectacle or festival.”

“It’s been celebrated before,” Kurina supplied, once she had calmed down, she could stand being around a Kumo ninja as she indicated the village, “But that was sometime before.”

“I know,” Karui acknowledged as she eyed the places being decorated, “It’s nice, given how it’s a good day to show someone you care,” and she left it at that as she was terribly shy when it came to trying to tell Naruto how she liked him.

She wasn’t a tsundere, she just wasn’t good with expressing her feelings to him.  She didn’t hide them or try to pretend that no one noticed, heck A was going to try to break the ice with discussions about a marriage when the time was right.  It was just that she just found herself too weak in the knees to tell him and that was that.

“So,” Karui began as she eyed the Konoha redhead out of the corner of her eye, “Are you going to finally-”

“WHO ARE YOU CALLING FAT?!” was suddenly heard as an explosion took place down the road, “I’M JUST BIG BONED!”

Both girls groaned as they both palmed their faces.

XxX

Thirty minutes later, Kushina sighed as finished seeing her fellow Kage out.  It had been a trying day for them all.  The Kazekage was not being difficult, just badly concerned.  That was understandable.  Given how his village and most of his country was depended on the trade routes that were now under threat of these monster animals.  The same also applied to the Hoshikage and his people.

Fortunately, A, the Lord Raikage, was an able leader.

With his help, she was able to secure a more stable peace to her northern areas.  The Fire Daimyo would be pleased no doubt.  This would allow them to create a mobile reserve and at the same time, shift more forces into the areas currently affected and their surrounding environs.

Hopefully, that would be enough.

But for now, she had a new concern that was immediately brought to her attention.

The Akimichi boy had caused some serious property damage, again.  This time, it was in response to some people from out of the village.  They were a small group of mountain men from some place or another.  As was their way, they were tall, broad shouldered men who looked like walking mountains.

They had derided the boy until he had showed them otherwise.

So now she had to decide what to do with them and to find a suitable punishment for Akimichi Chouji.

Ten seconds later, a thought came to mind and the paperwork was filled out five minutes later.

Now she had time for her daughter, “Send for Kurina,” she spoke aloud and if one looked closely, the shadows were now different in the office.

XxX

Naruto, having arrived in class early on Valentine’s Day, was sitting at his desk when he felt… something… in the air trying to spark something wrong. He wasn’t sure what it was that was wrong, but he knew that it needed to be taken care of, and fast.

Getting up from his seat, he walked over to the chalkboard and wrote a note for Iruka-sensei that said, “Something came up all of a sudden. I’ll be back before long. Naruto.”

With that written, he walked over to the doorway that led to outside the school, playing with himself the age old game of “Hot and Cold”. The way this game worked with him was simple: He was aiming for the spot that essentially screamed “hot” while using guesswork to figure out if he was supposed to get either that end of the spectrum or the “cold” end. So far, the rules of the game remained the same, but the outcome of the search was different each time. Sometimes, he’d have to find the “cold” end of the spectrum and figure out what was wrong that way, but he had a feeling that, this time, he was supposed to go find the “hot” end.

He seriously hoped that nobody he cared about was involved in this mess.

XxX

Kurina was walking to class for the day, chocolate in hand for her sweetheart, when she felt something bugging her senses. She didn’t know what it was that was bugging her senses, but it was telling her not to head to school, otherwise things would get… messy.

Shaking her head, she ignored the feeling, which was probably the source of superstition anyway. As she walked towards the academy, the feeling intensified at a slow and steady rate, warning her that heading to school was gonna be a really bad idea. The feeling continued to intensify as she headed for the direct route to the Konoha Ninja Academy, which she felt was strange, though it should be impossible for her to be getting this strange feeling when everyone else in the Ninja Academy was headed this way.

Finally, she was within 50 meters of the school when the feeling was at it’s strongest, and she was starting to get confused by the amount of negativity that came with the feeling. When she made it to the 45 meters away from school mark….

XxX

Atop a building in the immediate area, a few meters away from Kurina’s location, a young adolescent girl dressed in a brown hooded robe that obscured her face, except for the area immediately around her mouth, prepared to use a powerful Illusionary spell, Illusion of the Senses, while holding some string to play the game “Cats in the Cradle”. As she made a specific pattern, she mouthed the words for the spell in question, and, when she finished the pattern and the mouthing, that was when Kurina started to experience Hell on Earth.

‘Now, Kurama, it’s time to show you your true nature in this cruel and twisted world,’ the girl thought, a cruel smirk adorning her face.

But, unknown to the assailant, a certain group of Konoha ninja was walking by and suddenly became alert to something out of place.

XxX

Kurina was about to walk one more step after the 45 meter mark when the world around her distorted, showing a purple sky and black clouds, and all different kinds of shades of gray for the other people and buildings. Looking all around her, she saw that Konoha seemed to get smaller and smaller… until she realized that it was the other way around, that she was getting bigger and bigger!

Before long, she noticed that her body was morphing, turning into that of a Kyuubi no Yoko like the one that attacked Konoha the day she was born! In shock, Kurina tried to speak in the human tongue, but the most she got out of it was yipping like a fox.

She realized that she had to get out of this mess, but with her body the way it was, there was no way she could run away with her hind legs. There was also the fact that she couldn’t just use her hands or anything to see if this was a Genjutsu or whatever… right?

“Good, you realize the futility of the situation, Kurama. Your very nature is that of a beast, something that is meant to be controlled, not that of a human being, one that does the controlling,” a man’s voice spoke from inside her head, making Kurina shiver from the cold tone used.

‘Who… who’s there? And who’s Kurama?’ Kurina thought, unsure of the situation at hand.

“My real name is not important to you, as I am your master, so you are only to call me ‘Master’. As for the identity of your true form, well, your name is Kurama, and you are the Kyuubi no Yoko!” The man’s voice became a feral type of cold as he spoke this to Kurina.

Kurina, in spite of hearing those words, shook her head in denial, before thinking, ‘No… I’m not the Fox! I’m a human girl named Uzumaki Kurina! There’s no way I can be a fox demon!’

But it had to be true, didn’t it?  The whispers she heard.  The secret desires.  The terrifying nightmares.  The revelry of the misery of others.

Was she really-

It was at this point that Kurina blacked out, the illusion she had been trapped in forcibly collapsing, and someone caught her before she could fall face first into the ground.

XxX

About half a minute earlier, Naruto had managed to find the source of the trouble at the “hot” end of the spectrum, showing him a girl wearing a brown hooded robe that obscured much of her face. While she was smirking cruelly, he felt that there was something innately… wrong… with her energy, which didn’t make sense to him. Still, he knew better than to just let her continue with what she was doing, so he leapt up to the level of the roof she was on and gave a hard and swift chop to the back of her head as he grabbed onto her robe as she spun to the edge and yanked her back hard.

What he did had the desired effect. Not only did the girl drop the Cat’s Cradle she made, therefore stopping the illusion, but she herself blacked out.

XxX

At roughly the same time, a man in a different part of the world cried out in pain, holding the back of his head as he did so. Upon noticing nothing wrong with it, he immediately began to wonder what could have happened to give him the pain, not even realizing his “puppet” was the reason why.

XxX

A few hours later, back at the Konoha Ninja Academy, Naruto and Kiba walked into the classroom.  The class was very subdued at the moment and some showed genuine concern for Naruto.  The ANBU in the room barely helped matters, but at least he wasn’t getting in the way.

Hyuuga Hinata had stood up and immediately wrapped her arms around him, giving a genuinely warm hug.  Naruto smiled at that, given how he knew how much Hinata hated being looked at as possible breed stock for him.  She still had a warm and caring heart.

“Thanks Hinata,” Naruto returned it and the two parted just before Ino wrapped him in a harder one, what with being a friend of sorts to Kurina before the two parted themselves and the two boys made their way up to their spots only for a leg to bar passage.

“How is she?” and Naruto turned to his left to see the seated Uchiha Sasuke looking genuinely concerned with his leg out to bar the two boys’ passage for the moment.

XxX

Naruto walked into the Konoha Hospital, carrying the girl in his arms, when he noticed his mother waiting in front of him at the receptionist’s desk. Naruto, curious about what brought his mother here from her important business at the Hokage Mansion, asked, “Mom? What are you doing here? Shouldn’t you be at your office?”

Kushina, looking at Naruto, gave a gasp of surprise when she saw the girl in his arms. “Naruto! Why do you have a girl in your arms?!”

Naruto, aware of the nature of why his mother asked that question, answered, “She was doing something with a piece of string that made someone in her line of sight go into a state of confusion, though I didn’t get a good look at who it was. I knocked her out cold to stop it from continuing, and then I brought her here, to make sure that someone could watch over her and make sure that she didn’t do anything strange. I don’t know how I could tell, but I just could, for some odd reason.” After a bit of thought, he asked, “By the way, who was it that got put into a state of confusion, mom?”

Kushina didn’t say anything, merely directing that the girl be taken from Naruto.  The ANBU did as commanded and under the supervision of a doctor, gently laid the girl out on a gurney.  That’s when the ANBU noticed a mark on her neck that was quickly fading.  So did the doctor.

“Lady Hokage,” the ANBU called his leader over, “There appears to be a mark on her neck, quickly fading away.”

Kushina hurried over and took a look herself.  The mark was nearly gone and so she had no idea of the design, but she could see that it had at one point covered the back of her neck.  Strangely, there was a bruise there too.  She had a guess as to what had happened.

“Take her into an isolation ward and keep a close watch,” Kushina grimaced about what she would have to do, “I’ll call him, but both of you remember what you saw so you can tell him,” and both men nodded before taking the girl away.

“Mom,” Naruto watched the girl go, but trusted his mother to know what was right, “Who did she attack?”

Kushina sighed as she turned to look Naruto in the eye before saying, “Kurina, Naruto. Your sister was on her way to the Ninja Academy… and got assaulted in her mind by a mysterious group, if the girl in your arms is any indication.”

Naruto gasped in shock, almost dropping the girl in his arms. His sister was assaulted? That couldn’t be true!

Then, Naruto thought of something, something that he was worried about. With a shaky voice, he asked, “Wait, who brought Kurina here, then?”

It was at that point that Kiba made himself known with a cough, before saying, “I brought her here.” With Naruto’s attention on him, he added, “My mom and sister were with me when we discovered a strange energy being used in the area where your sister was. It was at the time when the confusion ended that I grabbed onto your sister before she fell on her face,” Kiba shook his head sadly, “According to my mother and sister, Kurina went into a high level state of shock -whatever that means-, and so they had made sure that I got her to the hospital.”

Kiba shook his head after he finished speaking.  He was looking left and right, showing that whatever happened to Kurina had done a number on him too.  He was thoroughly spooked, no, fully frightened by what he had seen.  For something to unnerve someone as brash and thick headed, according to his mother and sister, it had to be really bad.

“Is she going to be okay, mother?” Naruto looked hopeful towards his mother who could only close her eyes as she remembered what she had been told.

But then she opened her eyes and pulled her son in close, holding him against herself, “She’s an Uzumaki, Naruto,” Kushina gently stroked Naruto’s hair, missing doing so to her late husband, “Kurina is a strong girl, she will recover in time,” then holding her son at arm’s length, “Especially with such a great brother as you to be there for her.”

Naruto nodded, tears flowing down his face, before saying, “Thanks, mom. I will be there for her.”


XxX

“She’s doing alright,” Naruto answered Sasuke, grateful that the guy didn’t have a stick up his rear end. “I’m glad that you care, Sasuke, I really am.”

“Yeah,” Sasuke said. “It wouldn’t do for her to be heavily medicated, or for anything wrong to happen to her. Not only would that make her look bad, but it would be a blemish on you, because you’re one of the most protective brothers out there.” With that, Sasuke moved his leg back from in front of Naruto and Kiba, allowing the two of them to move to their seats.

By the time Naruto got to his seat, he was about to sit down, though Kiba stopped him momentarily with a hand grabbed onto his shoulder. Turning to Kiba, Naruto was about to ask what that was for, when the Inuzuka held out a valentine box.

“Your sister had this with her,” Kiba explained, as Naruto grabbed hold of the box. “It had your name on it, though I don’t know why that’s the case, but I won’t pry.”

“Er… thanks, Kiba,” Naruto said, genuinely thankful, though with a bit of reluctance, not sure how to feel at the moment.

“Don’t thank me, Naruto,” Kiba said. “Thank your sister for making sure the chocolate was given to you in the first place.”

Naruto nodded, thinking on who could have given him the box of chocolates through his sister, before he opened the box to find a note in his sister’s handwriting on top of the candy. Upon taking the note out of the box, he proceeded to read it. The contents of the note were surprising, to say the least.

Naruto-onii-chan,

I honestly don’t know why I feel this way, but, well,
I think I’m falling for you… hard. I know what issues
might arise from this, but I don’t care. I love you
more than how a sister should love her big brother…
please, tell me honestly when you can, do you love
me the same way?

I love you with all my heart and soul,
Kurina

‘Kurina….’

XxX

A few days later, in the Konoha Hospital, the unknown girl was still in the isolation ward when she began to shift. The guard on watch noticed this and alerted his superior and the medical staff.  Through the armored glass, a man observed her regaining conscious as her shifting increased.  He noted the doctor arriving and entering the room to check her condition.  The guard neatly folded his paper and placed it away.  Then the girl began to open her eyes.  They fluttered for a few moments before she seemed to regain consciousness and they began, slowly, to take in the realm around her.

Her brown hair nearly covered her opening brown eyes as she began to return to the realm of the living.  Her head throbbed and hurt, making her wonder if she had hit her head.  She almost thought someone was pulling a prank on her, until she heard the constant beeping of things she had never heard before… and it was driving her nuts.

“What the… what’s that noise?” she shifted slightly as her eyes began to focus and adjust to the light of the room and its contents, “And where on Gaia am I?” The girl was utterly confused and the beeping wasn’t helping her.  She looked around and though she did see the white ceiling and walls, the other parts of the room were completely foreign to her.  But, from how she could smell a sterile scent, it made her wonder if she was in an apothecary of some sort.

As she moved to bring her hand to her forehead to rub away some of the pain, she found she couldn’t.  She tried again, finding something restricting its movement.  She tried her other hand and found the same.  Even her feet and legs felt bound as did her body and head.

With growing panic she began to try and free herself, but she couldn’t.  It didn’t help, that as she thrashed, she found that her bare back and bottom were rubbing against the strange material of the bed.  This only added to her anxiety as she began to go into a full blown panic attack.

That is, until a pair of hands gently placed themselves on her shoulders and she looked up to see a man with tan features, slanted black eyes, and short cut black hair with a cow’s lick sticking out from the left side dressed in a white long tunic with many pockets over a beige vest with creme colored trousers.

“Ah, good, you’re awake,” he spoke to her in a language that was utterly foreign to her, “But you need to calm down miss or you will hurt yourself,” he went on, though his tone was gentle and comforting despite a rather hard look in his eyes that made his advice a command.

She froze up and looked nervously up at him.  She could see another man with greying black hair behind him.  The second one had on a black-grey uniform of some kind with a thick cloth armored tunic with forearm and shin guards of a foreign design.  His face had several cuts and a burn mark, though he still retained a level of handsome appearance.  He wore a light helmet with a metal plate on it with a symbol of a stylized leaf.

The girl calmed down, taking a few deep breathes as she looked up at the man in white.

“W...what language are you speaking in? Do you know Latin?” The girl was utterly confused by the man’s words, unsure of what he said, or anything and it was beginning to show, though she had calmed down to think, it was only momentary where one man was concerned.

“It seems you don’t know the native language around here,” the man, possibly a healer of some kind -she hoped- spoke, before he frowned, his eyes hardening.  “Or, maybe, you’re just playing dumb.”

The girl was hopelessly confused and terribly frightened.  But, before she could say anything about anything -not that the conversation could be understood-, she felt a strange tug on her mind.  Then, before she could question it, she promptly lost control of her body and found herself returning to a strange blackness, aware, but nothing more.  Again, before she could wonder what had happened to her, she felt, she felt… something like a separate entity give her the knowledge needed to comprehend the language that was the standard speak for this strange and terrifying place.  She also found, as well, a bit of history and common knowledge left with her, giving her an idea of where she was, who was keeping her prisoner, and some of their ways so as to better communicate and understand.

Finally, she could see the world itself around her.  She blinked and shifted and was surprised that she had control over her body again.  It was during her quick assessment of her restored control that she heard another man speaking and now she could understand the language, “No, she wasn’t playing dumb, Doctor Ekasa. She honestly didn’t know our language,” she looked over, as far as her restrained head would allow, to see a man in a grey uniform with black boots and belt, long platinum blonde hair in a high ponytail with long bangs framing his face and going over a headband with the symbol of the Hidden Leaf as he stepped forward, his pale blue eyes showing neutrality, but he could honestly sympathize with her, she felt, as he kept speaking.

“I helped her learn our language while deciphering her own,” he went on, addressing the man in white, Dr. Ekasa. “So now she’ll be able to understand us now and us her.”

The girl saw Dr. Ekasa merely nod in understanding as he looked to the blonde man before speaking, “I sure hope that there’s a good reason for her attacking the Lady Hokage’s daughter, Yamanaka-dono,” the doctor shook his head. “Otherwise… well, that would be a problem, for sure.”

The girl immediately froze up after hearing the discussion.  Had she attacked the daughter of a noble?  She couldn’t recall running into any noble or their daughter.  She tried to dredge up the title Hokage and quickly found it as part of the information given to her.

She blanched, turning a deathly white at what the information provided her.  The Hokage was the military and political leader of Konoha.  It was a title given to the best among them, the most gifted at leadership and combat.  The current leader was a woman with long red hair named Uzumaki Kushina and she was a driven individual with a fiery streak about her.

In a panic, the girl finally spoke up, hoping to build a defense for herself.  After all, she hadn’t attacked anyone.  She couldn’t have, right?

“Wait, hold on!  You have the wrong person!” she pleaded in a panic, catching confused looks on two of the three males present, “I would never attack a noble’s daughter!  Honest!  Please, it wasn’t me!”

The blonde walked over to her bed side.  The girl recoiled in fear and tried to get away, fearing she was about to be struck.  She whimpered as he reached out, trying to withdraw from his grasp, but bound as she was, she couldn’t.

Then suddenly she was toppling over the edge, only for strong and calloused hands to stop her from falling.

“Easy there girl,” the blonde smiled softly, “I was in your head just a few moments ago,” she gasped in shock at that knowledge, “So I know you didn’t, not by choice or awareness anyways.”

“Sir?” the guard looked confused at his superior.

“When I looked into her head, her memories just stopped abruptly in a strange place called Gaia,” the Yamanaka shrugged his shoulders as he helped the girl back onto her bed and carefully covered her back up, patting her fatherly on the head.  “As such, she wasn’t aware of what was happening until she came to.”

“Ah!” Dr. Ekasa made the sound as he came to understand, “I really hate those cases and this is my first one.”

“Fourth time for me guarding such a case,” the guard mumbled in annoyance loud enough to be heard, “I really hate that black art.”

“Wh-what?” the girl looked confused as the whole demeanor of the two men changed and the atmosphere had started to become a bit warmer towards her.

“Our language, please,” the blonde man kindly asked with a soft smile and the girl nodded and looked into herself and found the knowledge.

“Ah!  Y-yes, my apologies,” the girl blushed and tried to hide under the blankets in embarrassment, but the blonde man, Yamanaka, didn’t let her as he laughed kindly and prevented her from doing so.

“Ah, young girls,” Yamanaka chuckled as he fondly thought of his own daughter, “Of course my Ino is a bit more forward than many girls her age.”

“You have a daughter?” she felt immediately jealous that she didn’t have parents and the man seemed to notice this as he gave a fatherly pat on her head and a warm smile.

“Where are my manners,” Yamanaka began, purposely changing the subject. “My name is Yamanaka Inoichi, Elesia, but I’m afraid that Dr. Ekasa and Osamaru are not as knowledgeable.”

“You know my name?!” the girl squeaked in surprise.

“Introduce yourself,” Inoichi responded instead with a bit of firmness, like a father with his daughter.

“Oh yes?!” she began flustered again, was this like having a father ran through her mind, “I’m Elesia,” she bowed and wondered why she was doing so.

The two men merely chuckled, “Doctor Ekasa Kai,” the doctor introduced himself and bowed back as did the guard, “I’m Chunin Osamaru,” he supplied with a kind look on his scarred face.

“Now that that’s all cleared up,” a wizened old voice soon filled the room as an older man in a formal green and red attire that Elesia realized was called a kimono stepped in, with an aging, but kindly face weathered by years of leadership and hardship, a gleam of mirth and intelligence in his eyes with a smoking pipe in one hand, and gentle and warming smile, “Let’s get her to another room.  One not so isolated and feeling more than a little damp.”

“The heating has been on the fritz again,” Osamaru shrugged with some annoyance, “Happens about this time of year regularly.”

“I’ll speak with Kushina and see about more money into replacing anything if it comes to it,” the man sighed before remembering and turning to the young girl, “I’m Sarutobi Hiruzen young Elesia-chan,” he bowed kindly to her, “Retired Sandaime Hokage of Konoha,” he came back up to a standing position, “It is a pleasure to meet you young one.”

“N-no,” Elesia bowed and wondered what was all the bowing about, “I-it is my pleasure and honor Lord Hokage.”

The old man only chuckled lightly as pair of orderlies began to move the bed that Elesia was in to another, more welcoming room.

XxX

Naruto walked around for a bit after class again.  He was still thinking of things that happened and where he stood.  His mind in turmoil.

In his pocket, was the card that Kurina had written.  He wondered about it.  Wondered about life and the mysteries there within.

Okay, so he was simply confused.

Unlike kids, even the regular civvie kids, from other non-ninja villages, he and his peers had to grow up sooner.  That was the nature of being a ninja, but also the use of Chakra.  They were more hypersensitive to nature regardless of affinity.  As such, they developed physically and mentally differently from other kids.  Even the children who would never be ninja were ‘soaked’ in the ‘feel’ of Chakra and much more attuned to it than those from regular villages, towns, cities, whatever.

He didn’t have the luxury of waiting to start to feel things that teens half again older than him would feel when they had the age and hormones to deal with it.

He looked up.

Again he was in front of the hospital.

He clenched his hands.

He entered.

XxX

Deep in the recesses of her mind, Kurina struggled and fought with the nightmares of who she truly was.  Flashing deep within her was the desire of power and carnage.  The hungry taste of revenge filled her thoughts.  To torch, crush, burn, destroy.

She watched helplessly as she gleefully destroyed her home.  Killed her family, her friends, everything that made Kurina who she was.

A taunting voice spoke of how this is what she wanted.  How she would enjoy it.  The power she had, sealed within the pathetic form that was Kurina.

She was Kurama no Yoko.

The fierce Nine Tailed Fox.  Harbinger of destruction and malice incarnate.  She only lived to destroy and hate.  To be the source of pain and obliteration in the world.

‘Enjoy your power Kurama,’ the voice taunted with a poison steeped in honey, ‘Embrace who you are… WHAT you are.  Become destruction incarnate again and bring these feeble fools to their knees.’

Kurina desperately thought of her mother.

‘Yes, a jailed felon would likely become homesick for his prison when released.’

Her brother.

‘A lie,’ the voice stated matter of factly, ‘He would betray you or become your next prison,’ it paused, ‘Why turn to the jail?  When you can run free.’

Everything she turned to, the voice brought about darkness.  Kurina could only scream.  A prisoner trapped within her own mind as she was tormented.  Little by little she began to become that which she had always feared…

Kurama again.

By the Sage, would someone not rescue here!

“Kurama, my child,” a soft, aged voice gently came. “It may not be my time, but always remember that I shall be with you always…”

In that moment a light blossomed to life.

‘Hagoromo-tousan,’ Kurama thought and Kurina gasped as Kurama chuckled lightly, her voice soft and full of mirth, ‘Yes, Kurina, we are not the same.’

Then, in that moment…

“WHO THE HELL ARE YOU?!”

‘Naruto!’


XxX

“What?” the man in the orange spiral mask was knocked clean off his feet by the punch Naruto delivered.

The man managed to roll over his shoulder, but Naruto still got him with a knee to the face.  The intruder’s head snapped back as he released a curse.  The boy wasn’t giving him time to take control of Kurama once more.  So he would just have to remove the boy altogether.

“Foolish boy,” his visible eye aligned as it narrowed, but then widened in shock when, instead of cerulean blue, pools of fiery amber looked back.

It was a startling discovery.

The birthmarks were darker and longer, much more pronounced.  The eyes looked like molten steel forming into sharp blades that would not yield or bend.  Break perhaps, but never bend.  Clawed hands shot forth as the small boy leaped forward with uncanny grace and surprising power.

Tobi clicked his tongue and barely escaped, but still cried out as energy, barely visible to his eye, cut him nonetheless.

Naruto’s charge took him to the wall, where he promptly put a hole through it.  He turned back and started searching, ever careful, wary.  His opponent could be anywhere and everywhere.  The question was where?

“I shall return, boy,” the intruder’s voice boomed throughout the room and hospital that was in quite the stir from the shaking it took, “I shall return and have what is rightfully mine.”

“GO TO HELL!” Naruto roared in a deep beastial way, “NEVER TOUCH KURINA AGAIN, BASTARD!  I’LL RIP YOU TO PIECES, BELIEVE IT!”

“Try if you can, boy,” was the last thing that Tobi said for his ‘visit’, before he faded into nothingness for the time being.

XxX

A few minutes later, Naruto had calmed down exponentially. It was something that he needed to do, given the threat to his sister’s safety having passed on by. Of course, he still needed some questions answered, preferably by her.

Eventually, Naruto made his way to his sister’s bedside, sitting down in the chair next to her bed. He was worried sick for one of his remaining family… it was only natural for him to worry. After all, he was her brother… her onii-chan, as she wrote it.

But could they remain that way?

After all, she had fallen in love with him as he had with her.  The two could no longer be siblings, could they?  If they had reached that point.

Naruto bent over, his lips meeting Kurina’s own in a gentle kiss.

Come what will, come what may…

They would see it through together.

Kurina responded with a gentle moan as her eyes fluttered open, tears in them.  They remained liplocked for a few more seconds before parting.  Kurina immediately went to speak, trying to say something.  Yet she couldn’t.  She couldn’t find the words.  She couldn’t form the sentences.  How could she tell him the truth.

She then decided to just bolt.  To leave, to run and never look back.

But Naruto gripped her in a gentle hug.  Holding her against him.  He ran a hand gently through her red hair.  He remembered their mother’s words about how she finally found herself in love with their father, his father…

“Na… ru…” Kurina began, but Naruto gently placed two fingers on her lips.

“I know,” and he held her close, Kurina instinctively putting her head on his shoulder, feeling a warmth she never thought she would feel.

‘You are not me kit,’ a voice floated gently through her head, ‘For now, I’ll rest again until it is time to talk.’

Kurina gently let the tears of joy roll down her cheeks as she held her boyfriend.

XxX

Outside the room, Kushina just smiled.  Her adopted daughter, she knew all along what had happened.  She was a pureblood Uzumaki with power rivaling that of her great aunt Mito.  Nevertheless, she had taken Kurina in, named her after herself and raised the girl as her own daughter.

Now she would be happy with Naruto, of that she was certain as she pushed off the wall.

‘The winds of change yet blow,’ she thought as she walked down the hallway as ANBU and Jounin made the building safe, ‘For now, the breeze that will herald the change gently fan.’
« Last Edit: January 24, 2014, 09:04:42 AM by Xamusel »

Xamusel

  • Number XV of the Organization
  • Master
  • ***
  • Posts: 429
  • Placeholder avatar until I can get something else
    • View Profile
Xamusel Fifth A/N: Well… this was shorter than I anticipated. Still, at least the chapter will be edited to a huge degree, compared to the initial posting of the previous one.

Anyway, what can I say? Tomcat and I had a plan for this chapter, and it went off without… much of a hitch, to be honest, because of outside circumstances. Of course, given that the content of the chapter was meant to be during February, I had to retcon the previous timeline of the story to account for the three month time skip to near Valentine’s Day.

Still, in regards to Elesia, she’ll be important for later on down the road. Believe me, that’s the truth, she will be important. No, I don’t want to rush in new characters, but it seemed like a good idea to introduce her before I forgot about her.

As far as Tobi? It took me a while to learn why he was there. He was trying to abduct Kurina before anyone else could… fat load of good that did him.

About the chapter as a whole… I’d say that this was a good one (to a degree… meaning, 8.5 out of 10, instead of a perfect 10). If there’s anything that makes me wonder how it could have been written differently, it’s the scenes from Naruto looking for Elesia, to the end of the day of Valentine’s Day.

In any case, we’ve introduced four people with Kyuubi power, though two of them don’t have their names revealed yet to you all. The other two are Naruto and Kurina, as you might have guessed, though I won’t reveal anything that will be sensitive to the plot at a later point.

...would someone please keep track of the amount of plot point in regards to these four people? Two of them are blondes, the other two are redheads, and Naruto’s the only Male.

Oh, in regards to the ultimate direction I want this to take, I plan on making this a Visual Novel-style computer role playing game. That way… you’ll have to see what I plan on doing to know how well it might work. I just don’t want to reveal the surprises involved in how the story of the game will play out.

Yes, that’s right, the game story will be somewhat different from the fanfic story as it goes further down. It’s primarily because the fanfic is just the prototype of the game, so I need to do things differently in the game itself, if only because, that way, the story will have been more refined.

Now then, that’s all I can say, for the time being.

For now? I’ll hand this off to Tomcat. He has to have a say in what’s going on.


XxX

Tomcat Second A/N: Okay… The second chapter as you can tell is done.  We’re trying to align everything so there’s space and room to move, but given the planned number of chapters, don’t be surprised if the pacing is a bit quick.

That said, we will do our utmost to keep things as well spaced as possible.

Now we have Elesia.  Poor girl doesn’t know the heck is going on.  You can imagine what she might be like around Ino.

As for Hinata and Naruto.  Xamusel feels that might be a little too overused.  So we’re going to take a back seater on that one for the time being.  So instead we’re making it where Hinata has a slight dislike towards Naruto based on what everyone knows what her family life is like.  Only now she’s being used in clan politics in order to one up the rival Uchiha Clan because Kushina and her family are closer to them thanks to her personal friendship with Uchiha Mikoto.  As such, Hinata has become resentful at being used as such, as simply being considered only good for breeding stock.

Ladies, please check your tempers, Xam and I live in the Western USA, not downtown Talibanstan.

(Stan means ‘Land/Home’ over there, like Pakistan and Afghanistan among others which translate as Land/Home of the Paki people or Afghan people.  That’s if my memory on the names are correct.  Been a while since I looked at that.)

So Hinata has been a bit bitter towards Naruto as shown, poor Kiba too.

Unfortunately, Kushina is good at finding these things out.  What she does is a secret at this time.  Though she feels for Hinata and doesn’t ride her case about it.

Plus Naruto needs to learn to be a bit more careful about being pranked himself!

Oh geez… look at that… we let the secret out…

Kurina is Kurama… oh no.

Yeah, about as exciting as watching Shikamaru snore.

What will happen as time rolls on?

Personally, not a ruddy clue in mind.

Now things are also building up.

Who is the mysterious controller who wanted to control Kurama and, by proxy, Kurina?

Not a clue folks.  A mysterious entity with plans unknown.  A threat to others with their own plans.

That said, Tobi felt threatened and made his own move.  Now he finds out that Naruto is able to access the Nine Tails’ power.  How did he do that?  Well, Tobi will be more careful in the future now.  Especially since now that Kushina knows he is still alive and she has a bone to pick with him.

Breaking his bones that is.

But let’s not forget what is happening between Naruto and Kurina.  The two are transcending sibling ties.  They intend to become more.  And Kushina is perfectly fine with it.

They are adopted siblings after all.

So that should wrap that up.

Next chapter should be as good as this, perhaps even better.

So don’t forget to tune in next time kid-dies!

This is Three Dog- Oops, wrong fanfic!

F-14 Tomcat Lover signing off now.


XxX

Xamusel Sixth A/N: If anyone wants to know, I decided to make a wiki for this story, though it’s doubtful that either of us will get it up and running on our own. That’s where you, the readers, come in. I need you to help fill in the missing details.

Oh yeah, one last thing. I started a Roleplay based in the setting of this story, and I’m looking for players to help me tell the story. The forum is labeled “Fantasy Unleashed Roleplay”, and I encourage people to give it a good look over before deciding if they want to participate, as I don’t want to force the issue.

Alright, this is it for me now, so….

Sayonara no Tsubasa
-Xamusel

Xamusel

  • Number XV of the Organization
  • Master
  • ***
  • Posts: 429
  • Placeholder avatar until I can get something else
    • View Profile
Xamusel Seventh A/N: Well, this is it, the third part of the Pilot of the story. We get to see the fallout of the Valentine’s Day fiasco that took place last chapter. How exciting can that be?

...please, don’t tell me I jinxed it, alright? I have a feeling that I already did.


XxX

Prologue Arc
Pilot Part 3
How to Tame a Hokage

Kushina gave a sigh of slight annoyance as she put down the paper she was working on.

The day was March 12th, a month after she gave that announcement about celebrating outside holidays, and it was two days before the boys were supposed to give gifts to the girls who gave them chocolates of the lovers variety. Normally, this wouldn’t be a problem, but it was made pretty clear that her children needed to be… sneaky, so to speak, to avoid certain social stigmas about their relationship. Nobody knew about the fact that they were adoptive siblings except a very select few people, and Naruto and Kurina weren’t on that list yet, something she wanted to rectify for a long time.

Still, the fact was, she needed to do something in regards to Elesia. The poor girl didn’t deserve whatever happened to her, and, in fact, deserved more than the crap tossed her way, starting with a kind and loving family that would be willing to adopt her. That would be something she’d be willing to do herself, but there were issues involved with that, such as how Naruto and Kurina would react to having an older sister.

There was one thing that was making her wonder how to handle the situation in regards to Elesia. Ever since the poor girl got checked out of the hospital and put in a caring orphanage, which happened at the end of the month prior, she had been using some strange power with a piece of string large enough to play “Cat’s in the Cradle”. As it turned out, she had this power ever since birth, and it wasn’t based on Chakra. Elesia didn’t know how come she was able to pull it off, but it seemed that she put others in some advanced form of Genjutsu, or whatever it really was.

While contemplating what to do for Elesia, there was a knock at the door, signifying that someone of enough rank in the village needed to speak with her directly.

“It’s open,” Kushina said from her desk, looking up from the paperwork that needed to be done. As soon as the door opened, she saw that it was Yamanaka Inoichi, the man that proved Elesia’s innocence to the village for what had occurred. “Ah, Yamanaka-san, how might I be of service to you?” she asked the head of the Yamanaka Clan.

With a bow, Inoichi said, “I apologize in advance for the additional paperwork. It’s just, well, my family and I are hoping to adopt Elesia-chan as one of our own.” Producing the paperwork used for adoptions, he handed it to Kushina and showed her what was in need of signing, saying, “Haruka and I already signed most of it on our own, as we’ll be her legal guardians, but we need the final three signatures to be done by you, because those are the Hokage-required signatures.”

Kushina blinked at the preparedness of Inoichi and his wife for making sure that they could adopt Elesia. Sure, this was not exactly expected, but it was indeed welcoming to see that Elesia would have some hope for the future in this village.

Taking a look at the paperwork, Kushina wrote her signature on the parts that needed it, and gave it back to Inoichi, saying, “Here you go. You’re now free to tell her and your family the good news.”

“Thank you, Hokage-sama,” Inoichi said as he took the paperwork back. With that, he walked out of the office, letting Kushina go back to work on the other paperwork.

Now that that was out of the way, Kushina got back to thinking, though she also did her paperwork as she went along with her thoughts. She needed a way to get the first White Day in a long time to go off without a hitch… and most of the chocolates in the village went to Naruto, all from his fanclub, to boot.

Suddenly, inspiration hit her, making her wonder why it didn’t hit her sooner. She decided not to make this go with the paperwork, because it was a family thing firstly, not a requirement throughout the village.

XxX

“Mom, I’m sorry, what did you say? I don’t think I heard you right.” Naruto was honestly confused by what his mother was trying to get him to do.

Kushina sighed while rubbing her right temple, saying as she did so, “I said that you need to spend your allowance on gifts for girls this White Day. It’s actually a requirement of White Day that the boy reciprocates the girl’s efforts to show their love, by at least buying them a nice gift to show that you care.”

Naruto felt that he understood, though it was kinda hard to figure out how to get all his allowance spread out for the different girls that got him chocolate. He especially didn’t know what to do with Kurina’s gift to him the month prior, and he doubted that he could announce that he was in love with his sister… that would open up a whole new can of worms that he’d rather avoid.

“Okay, Mom, I understand. Still, how am I supposed to get everyone in the fanclub to know that I’m dating my sister, and do so in a way that will prevent issues in the future?” Naruto asked in worry.

“Actually, you two aren’t blood siblings,” Kushina answered, much to Naruto’s shock and confusion. “I mean, I only gave birth to you. Kurina was born to a different woman, and I adopted her because her birth mother died that night, if you’re worried.”

Naruto, after taking a bit to process this information, asked, “Wait a minute… you mean to say that I was worried about this for nothing?! I mean, that’s something you should have brought up sooner!”

Kushina didn’t say anything more on that subject, instead opting to change it, saying, “It would be a good idea to get the gifts ready by tomorrow night, because you don’t want to be seen as negligent by your fanclub… do you?”

Naruto blanched at the thought of being seen as negligent by anyone. Truth be told, he was against negligence a fair amount, given that he did whatever he could to have his mother play with he and Kurina when they were younger because of how negligent she was of them for a while.

“Okay, I’ll get the fanclub some gifts of appropriate value,” Naruto said after a bit of calming down. With that, he walked over to get his allowance and headed out to the storefront to see about getting the gifts for those that gave him chocolate, not exactly expecting anything to happen.

XxX

Yamiko was walking in her apartment next door to Kushina’s residence with her family. For one reason or another, nobody had decided to let her make her new lab in the village grounds, at least while she was a little kid. If she were 14, maybe, but not when she was biologically closer to 10 or 11.

That was all fine and dandy, but how was she supposed to maintain Mika, of all things? It was a near thing that she was able to repair her that one time four months ago, but her luck was drawing thin without a lab to help maintain the technologies she brought with her, including her pistols.

Still, Kushina was willing to help her get a place set up for the future, which was more than what could be said of the two elders and Shimura Danzo. No, nothing was wrong with the two elders, but they were insistent upon traditions being obeyed that they felt were most important.

It was the old warhawk that was giving her the most trouble. He was insistent on putting her in a special training program and forcing her to ignore the achievements of science, which would be detrimental to her ability to take care of Mika, as well as aiding in arming the village up to a better standard.

Stepping next to the front door of her apartment, she decided to go shopping for a bit, mainly to see about getting some groceries for her next cooking project.

XxX

Elesia looked nervous as she entered the home of the Yamanaka family.  The nervousness was indeed the truth as her stomach was all tied up in knots and her throat felt drier than she had ever felt before.  Her movements were slightly jerky as well from her trying to walk.  It was with considerable effort that she didn’t bolt in fright right then and there.  Then she was over the threshold and to her shock.

“Welcome to the Yamanaka Flower Shop!” a bright ten year old girl with long pale blonde hair in a long ponytail with the rest of her hair pulled back straight.  She wore an orange short sleeve shirt under a white apron with blue open toe sandals on her feet.  Her face was round with youth though looking very pretty.  Her eyes were shut as she had a sincere smile on her face.  She also gave off an aura of being friendly and kind.

“Hello honey,” Yamanaka Haruka greeted from behind a row of purple flowers as she moved to meet Inochi who stood next to Elesia’s right, a gentle hand on her back as the young girl clutched a few belongings she had recently gotten in a small bag.

“Hello dear and my princess,” Inochi laughed heartily at Ino’s immediate response of being called a ‘princess,’ “Well I should correct that maybe, eh?” he patted Elesia on the back gently and the girl blushed as she became the center of attention.

“Oh my!” Haruka couldn’t move fast enough and was soon kneeling before the blushing girl, “You’re so adorable!” she gently pulled Elesia into a warm and comforting hug and the poor brunette blushed even harder, “So young and someone so dastardly tried to…”

“Eh?” Ino blinked her pale teal colored eyes as she looked at the brown haired girl her mother was hugging, “Oh!” it looked like a light just flashed on, “So you’re Elesia!” Ino stepped over and smiled as she bent forward, Elesia was noticeably shorter than her, “So you’re my new sister!”

“Y-yes,” Elesia nervously confirmed, feeling frighten and suddenly watched as Ino’s face shifted into annoyance.

“That won’t do,” and grabbed the brunette girl by the hand and pulled her from Haruka causing Elesia to become fearful that Ino was about to do something mean to her, “You need to have some confidence!” and she began to storm off with Elesia in tow, “I’m gonna help her get settled in now!”

Inoichi gave a sigh as Haruka angrily responded to how her own blood daughter was acting, “Ino!  You shouldn’t pull her like that, she’s very nervous and understandably so!”

“I know!” Ino called back down, “So I’m gonna get her dressed up nice and show her that she’s family now!”

“What does she mean by that?” Haruka looked confused as her green eyes settled on her husband.

The poor man shrugged.  What was Haruka expecting of him?  Even if he was qualified for headcases, Ino was their daughter and, more importantly, a girl.  Haruka would have an easier time figuring Ino out than him.

XxX

Ino lead her new sister around the house showing her where everything was.  She showed her where all the rooms were and what was what all the while chatting amicably with Elesia.  Both were beginning to bond, what with Ino’s forward personality and kind spirit.  Elesia had been taken back by her approach, but soon learned that Ino was friendly and eager to get to know her new sister.

“So where are you from originally?” Ino eventually inquired as she observed Elesia’s dress.

The dress consisted of a sky blue laced shirt with a white bodice around the midsection.  A light purple knee length skirt with long white socks that ran up high under the hem.  These were covered at the feet by brown side button shoes.

The ensemble on her roughly 12 or 13 year old frame, even Elesia was uncertain as to her exact age, gave her an evocative look.  The shirt revealed the top of a budding bust, no different than some of the other girls that age.  Of course, the bodice gave a little push, so it likely made the bust look bigger than it actually was.  Yet, if that was the case, she still had a bust building up for it to do that while at the same time, the bodice showed how she was already getting an excellent form with slender sides and well sculpted hips.

Seriously.

Ino thought she would have a startling amazing form that would have every guy in the village drooling like Choji at an All You Can Eat Barbecue Buffet.

“I lived in a country called Gabriel,” she saw Ino’s confused look and shrugged, “I was an orphan, so I didn’t know much about the origin of the name even then.”

“Makes sense,” Ino shrugged as the two walked towards a room.

“Yes,” Elesia agreed as the two stopped to talk outside a room, “I lived in Chaville, a very wealthy port and merchant town on the coast near the equator,” she chuckled in memory, “The temperatures were usually very hot,” she showed her tan skinned, “So you can guess where I got my tan.”

Ino took a look.  Elesia did have a tan that was not very common to the people of the Land of Fire.  Though she was reminded that Lady Kushina had a slightly similar tan.  It wasn’t as deep, but they were also far north and the Lady Hokage had been living in the village for years now, so it wasn’t a surprise to Ino that the redhead looked more like she was a native of the village.

“Despite that,” Elesia continued as she seemed lost in thought, as she remembered the city she lived in until a few years ago, at best, “We always had a cool breeze that kept the place from being too hot, except in the summer, how I hated those months.”

“Were they hard?” Ino tilted her head in curiousity.

“Only if I could not steal or some how get clothes that were suited for it,” Elesia shook her head as she remembered those days, “The winters could be surprisingly cool and dip into being slightly cold, but you needed heavy clothes for the rains that fell and that made it even colder.”

“Ouch.”

“Yes.  So in order to survive the summers, the clothes had to be cut down and you can imagine just how hard it would be to get new clothes for the next winter if I had to cut down my clothes for the summer.”

“Not liking it.  So where did you live in the city?”

“At first it was an orphanage in the Commons.  There we were all well treated and cared for.  But eventually, the landlord began to demand more money than could be paid.  When the money could not be paid, we lost the orphanage and the caretakers were sent to Debtors Prison.”

“Debtors Prison?”

“A prison where a person was held until they could to pay off their debt.”

“How did that work?”

“Depended on the warden and what their morality was.”

“If I didn’t already hate the landlord, I wish he was here so Lady Kushina could turn him over to the Interrogation Branch.”

“Why there?”

“Daddy said there’s a man there, met him once, named Ibiki,” Ino explained to the confused girl, “Ibiki is said to be able to make people talk.  How?  I haven’t a clue.  But he is as big as a bear and looks meaner than one too.”

“Oh,” Elesia now had a good guess just what the man did.

“So where did you live afterwards?” Ino gently prompted with her question.

“The Port District,” Elesia responded after some thought as she reimagined the sights, “Truly a marvelous place, if not for the dangers there,” the brown hair girl shook her head, “You learned fast to run and hide while those that could fight, did so.  There was always trouble and you quickly learned how to navigate it and that was just about it.”

“I hope it wasn’t some old packing crate?” she knew how small those were when something was shipped.

“An old home built out of them yes,” Elesia responded as she recalled the dingy little place two dozen of them called home, “The old owner was an old seahand who passed away a few years earlier, so we took over his abandon home, there were about 20 of us or so, but there was plenty of space to fit us, as long as we didn’t take too much.”

“Ah,” Ino replied translating as ‘no privacy whatsoever’ and more than grateful for living in the Leaf.

“Strange…”  Elesia frowned as she scratched her head furiously, “I can’t recall details of the city itself.  Things I should know are a blank.  How is that possible?”

Seeing Elesia beginning to show signs of panic at realizing she had memories and details missing, Ino calmly spoke up, “It’s alright,” she gently took Elesia’s hands in her own, “It’s likely a side effect of what happened to you.  It will eventually go away, perhaps not completely, but you can rebuild from what you will recall and memories will resurface.”

“What… happened,” there was real fear in Elesia’s face, her eyes showing that to be true.

Using gentle stroking motions and a gentle voice, Ino explained, “Our family specializes in that branch of knowledge.  It is what helps us with our techniques and jutsu, but we have to be careful as we know we can either damage another’s mind or ours and even both if truly careless, yet we know the limits and what they do,” she smiled warmly at her new sister, helping her to calm down as she continued. “As such, whoever kidnapped you and took control, did so quite forcibly to maintain control and your mind had to do something to keep itself from being destroyed.  Though that means very little, we hope that they do return,” then Ino reached over to the door knob and turned it.

“Until then, we will build new memories as a family,” and she opened the door to the gently furnished room, “This is your room Elesia.”

The girl gasped at the size of the room and what furnished it.  It was large, so large that she knew at least 10 of her old orphanage friends could have found space to live in it.  It had a large single bed in one corner near open windows that lead to a balcony with some potted plants on them.  The curtains over it was a nice shade of blue and purple and were held open by white ribbons.  The bed itself had blue and purple covers and clothes neatly folded on top of them along with still boxed, though opened, shoes and sandals.  Across from the foot of the bed was an oaken dresser with a vanity mirror and a small table next to it with a large closet just opposite of it.  A small stool to sit on, sat near the table with a full size mirror placed between the bed and dresser.

In another corner she spotted an oaken desk with a bag on with school supplies laid out next to it.  A comfortable chair sat next to the desk made of strong wood itself.  A book shelf was next to the desk.  Again it was made of oak and was filled with some books and scrolls already in it.  Next to that was a small step ladder for reaching the higher books and scrolls.

The walls themselves were lined with shelves on the yellow painted surface.  A few had picture frames on them.  Of that few, only a couple had pictures of already in them.  The rest were empty, just like most of the shelves.

Here, Ino explained.

“This way, you can add what you want, including new memories.”

Elesia turned with tears in her eyes and her voice threaten to fail on her, “You knew.  You knew the whole time.”

“We could guess,” Inoichi answered as he and Haruka entered the room, “We always wanted another daughter,” he gently held his wife close, “But we only had Ino,” he smiled at Elesia, “We hope you would honor us by staying and being that second daughter.  That way we can all fill these empty places with memories and give one another what we each desire.”

“A big sister!” Ino giggled aloud.

“Another daughter to fret and worry over and be proud of,” Haruka smiled warmly, like a mother to Elesia.

“A happy and larger family,” Inoichi smiled sheepishly while scratching the back of his head nervously.

“A warm home with a loving family,” Elesia began to wipe away the tears as she collapsed to her knees, sobbing happily as Ino, Haruka, and Inoichi joined her, gently pulling her into a family hug.

XxX

Naruto had just gotten done with shopping for gifts for almost every girl that had given him chocolate nearly a month prior when he saw Yamiko walk in his direction. As he wracked his memory to see if she gave him chocolate the month prior, he remembered that she had a gift waiting for her in his bag of gifts, one that he didn’t know how to keep hidden from her for the time being.

As it turned out, he didn’t need to worry about it, mainly because she was carrying groceries in her arms. As soon as she got near Naruto’s position, Yamiko said to him, “Oh, hello there, Naruto-kun. I was wondering if you could help me get my groceries put away when I get to where I live with Mika.” Upon receiving a blank look from Naruto, she elaborated, “Mika and I eat more than normal people, but mainly due to our intense use of Chakra. Not only do we need to have more food than the average person, but the amount of food I have in my arms is actually more than what I usually buy.”

Naruto, looking at the amount of food in her bags, saw that she was right. It was pretty hard to comprehend how two people about his age were able to eat even half the amount of food he usually ate, but it seemed that Yamiko and Mika were able to out-eat him, of all people!

Suddenly, an idea hit him. Putting his things down, he made the hand seal for Kage Bunshin, making fifteen copies of himself, before indicating his things and saying to the clones, “Alright, guys, make sure these get back home while I help Yamiko-chan get her groceries to her place. Also, please dispel one at a time, or else I’ll get a huge headache out of it.”

With an affirmative reply, the clones took hold of the bags that Naruto had, before they all darted over to the original’s home. With that taken care of, Naruto turned to face Yamiko and said, “Okay. I’m ready now. How about we get going?”

With a nod, Yamiko walked in front of Naruto to ensure that he knew the right way to her apartment, which would help in the long run… especially with a problem that was closer to home than they previously realized.

XxX

A pair of wild eyes looked about to be sure it was clear.  Once they were sure, the owner darted to and fro.  The eyes soon looked out of a new position, spotting its trackers.  They were closing in and fast on the fugitive.  But they would not have it easy.

The fugitive took off again once it was sure it was clear.  Unfortunately, several had gotten smart.  Fortunately, the net had become caught on various obstructions.  The fugitive didn’t look back to confirm what held the net up, literally, given that to do so was to be caught.

Flight was its only course now.  Up some stairs, down some more.  Around a bend through an alley.  Over some boxes or other obstacles, it all soon was blurring together.

Then suddenly it let a surprised sound when it found some purchase give way and it tumbled into some soft items.

The good news, the pursuers immediately lost the fugitive and kept on running by.

The bad news… it was now in an entrapped environment.

XxX

Naruto and Yamiko had made it to her apartment when they heard a meowing sound coming from within. As soon as they'd heard it, Naruto turned to face her and asked, "Do you have a cat?"

"No, I don't," Yamiko answered truthfully, a confused look on her face.

At that, both blinked in realization, and Naruto held Yamiko's groceries while she unlocked her door. With the doorway open, both of them made their way to where the meowing was coming from. They soon found the room, and found themselves looking at a tiger cub helplessly trapped in Yamiko and Mika's laundry, much to the girl's mortification.

"DON'T LOOK!" Yamiko shouted as she shoved Naruto back, but the tiger heard her, panicked and shot out of the room, bowling both kids over and leaving a trail of laundry in its wake.

"The heck?" Naruto pulled a piece of cloth off his face, fearing the worse and released a sigh of relief when he saw it was a pair of shorts instead of something more terrifying, like bloomers or underwear.

He still carried the occasional phantom pain from when he had taken a pair of his mother's 'special' panties, which were a gift from his father, and showed them off in front of several acquaintances.

From what he understood, Uchiha Mikoto still ribbed her longtime friend over the incident.

"NARUTO-KUN!" Yamiko shouted, not caring that they were only shorts; her face was redder than Kushina's hair at that point.

Naruto wisely changed the subject as he got to his feet and started chasing the tiger cub. "On it!" he shouted, chasing it around the apartment flat. "Get back here you!"

Yamiko could only sit where she had fallen and watch as Naruto tried repeatedly to catch the tiger. She watched him bounce off walls, run on them, crash through things, at one point slam into the refrigerator's door, dive head first into a chair, slip on some trash that got knocked free, and eventually make a successful diving tackle…

...right into her.

"Naruto-kun." Yamiko felt her eye twitch as she recovered from the pain, but then noticed something in Naruto's arms.

"Got you, believe it," he said with a little laugh, and sure enough, he had the tiger cub firmly in his arms and it was a big one at that.

The cub had teal-colored fur, with silver stripes evenly placed, though the most distinguishable thing about it was its sparkling grey eyes. It was these eyes that showed its innocence in life that sparkled through. It was hardly a dangerous animal, just lost and scared. Yamiko's heart went out to the tiger cub and she felt that Naruto holding it that tightly was a crime against nature.

"Yamiko-chan?" Naruto looked to her confused, "I don't recognize this breed of tiger."

The blonde girl blinked her green eyes and then took in the appearance of the tiger. As she looked it over, she felt her jaw drop.

Mika, who had been resting until the ruckus started, didn't share her surprise.

"That is a purebred Uzushiogakure-based Sea Tiger," the blue haired girl-shaped golem stated as she eyed the tiger cub and collecting some base stats on observation alone. "I would judge this one to be at least several months old, nearly four feet in length, roughly two point five in height, and weighing between 50-80 pounds," she stopped, observing the fur coat, "and likely illegally born and raised in captivity."

"Illegally?" Naruto squinted his eyes like a fox's as he tried to understand what Mika meant.

"Correct, illegally," Mika responded, and once she saw the confusion on Naruto's face she strangely felt the desire to sigh, but carried on, "Uzushiogakure Sea Tigers are extremely rare and endangered resulting in only legal institutions such as public zoos, wild animal preserves, and such to have them."

"Oh, okay," Naruto said as he understood, and he realized his next question was an obvious one as he said it. "How did this fella come to be in your apartment?"

"Unknown, but investigation will likely uncover the truth," Mika replied as she looked at the tiger and noticed a few other things. "This tiger appears to have only recently fled, leaving a high," the front door was suddenly blown in, "probability that its illegal owners are still searching for it," she concluded without any sign of being perturbed.

In strode the smugglers who looked less than pleased about being made to run around. They smirked as they saw it was only a trio of kids with their lost prey. In their eyes, it would be simple as taking candy from a baby.

But they'd forgotten a few details.

The first thing they'd forgotten was that this was a ninja village. In this kind of village, you don't just go knocking holes in walls and blowing doors off of their hinges. These thugs were used to dealing with the simple folk of the farmlands or the streetwise city slickers. The former wished for peace and the latter knew better than to pick fights they could not hope to win.

But, these were ninjas, and they were trained for battle, to fight from an early age. Even a civilian from a ninja village was not someone you wanted to cross unless you had some advantage and even then, you had to be wary.

Just because they didn’t have Chakra, didn’t mean they didn’t know ninja tricks or taijutsu.

The second, and most important, thing they forgot was that the ninja in question were related to the current Hokage, and their word meant more to her than anything else, especially the word of the smugglers. This was especially a problem for the idiots that thought that they could barge in the apartment to begin with.

As the lead smuggler brought out a switchblade and flipped out the blade, his cronies brought out tantos, obviously normal ones compared to the stuff used by ninjas. That was when they barged on into the apartment, the leader saying, “Okay, kiddies, it’s time to return our property back to us.” Pointing at Naruto with his free hand, the leader continued, “That tiger cub in your arms, boy? Yeah, it’s ours. If you want to live, you’ll have to give the tiger back, and—”

It was at that point that the Sea Tiger growled at the smugglers, signifying that these were the ones it was escaping from, before it leapt away from the immediate area and ran off to the window.

“Get the tiger!” The leader yelled at his eight goons, expecting things to go easily for them.

When they attempted to get past Naruto and the actual residents of the apartment, Naruto kicked one in the torso with a scissor kick while punching another with a straight left, while Yamiko and Mika each knocked down the remaining six that were upright with disabling blows. With that, the fight was over—

“Heh… you think that’s enough to take out my boys? You’re sadly mistaken, brats!”

—or so Naruto and the girls thought, until the eight smugglers that went down came right back up, weapons mysteriously back in hand. With the fight resumed all of a sudden, Naruto, Yamiko and Mika were hard-pressed to keep the home field advantage, as the smugglers charged at the three of them with twice the energy as before.

The smugglers teamed up on Yamiko, Mika and Naruto, beating them with the flats of their tantos. The beating lasted for roughly fifteen seconds, before Naruto overpowered his bunch and threw the whole lot of them towards the door, where the lead smuggler was. As they piled in front of their leader, Naruto finally got a feeling that the smugglers were far from normal humans, though he was having trouble pinpointing the exact nature of the smugglers with his extra sensing abilities.

While the smugglers were struggling to get back up from that one, Mika took the time to see about finding them in her database, the one of people that were from the immediate area. As she did so….

“Oi! Get your sorry asses off the ground and each other, and get back in the fight!” the lead smuggler yelled, starting to lose patience with his goons.

It was at this time that Naruto finally got a lock on the smugglers nature, making him gasp in surprise as he realized the truth. “Guys, we got youkai here!” he yelled to alert Yamiko and Mika.

“Heh! You figured us out, huh? Sorry to ruin your realization, but, now that you know the truth, none of you will be leaving here alive!!” The lead smuggler declared, before snapping his fingers of his free hand and the men stood back up before, in a quick burst of energy, transformed into thin monsters that were vaguely human in appearance with small horns sticking out of their foreheads with long forked tongues darting out of fanged mouths as skeletal wings appeared covered in thin leather skins and they reached forward with clawed three fingered hands.

“Oh you have to be kidding me,” Naruto looked at the youkai with their unnaturally bulging eyes centered on them, “What part of demons being scared of Uzumaki did this guy not get?”

“Eh?” the leading ‘smuggler’ blinked just before Yamiko pulled her guns out and a hail of energy sent the lot back into him.

“I believe that will only make them angry,” Mika intoned a fact as the leader could be heard growling darkly, “But as a means to an end, it has sufficed.”

“Yep,” Naruto knew what would come next…

“GET THEM!” the ‘smuggler’ shouted and the monsters rushed forward.

The monsters reached them and they began to thrash the three youths.  Despite that, the three were giving as well as they got.  Though it was clear that the power difference was a great chasm that couldn’t be overcome in that moment.

Naruto was beset by four of the monsters, since he was proving to be the most durable and stubborn one.  He managed to clock one right in the face and actually knock some teeth out.  Then he elbowed another into one of its companions.  But he was still outnumbered and the strength difference was huge.

Naruto was knocked down and then mercilessly pummelled.  He was picked up by one and smashed through the wall, coughing up blood in the process, before being thrown across the room.  One immediately punched him as he staggered back to his feet.  Then another blindsided him with a shoulder charge and he was done and again, being punched and kicked when one brought its clawed hand up for the kill.

Mika was proving not as durable as Naruto, but enough so that one of Naruto’s opponents had to peel off to fight her as well.  Mika was crashed through a wall into an adjoining apartment, the family there hiding in the back room could only shake in terror as Mika screamed as she was relentlessly attacked before she was slammed into the walkway through another wall.

Nevertheless, she had managed to break the arm of one opponent and knock another briefly senseless with her tonfas long enough to smash the hand of the third before being overpowered as the monsters regenerated or recovered.

Yamiko managed to remove the eye of one of the monsters with a lucky shot and her fire slowed her opponents until they crossed their wings over them and charged.  She was smashed back into the laundry room and then hurled back into the entryway.  She managed another shot that took a horn from the second attacker, but then they were all over her.

“I guess we’ll have to burn the building and kill everyone here,” the leader said, shrugging as he did so.

Naruto, despite being about to die, glared defiantly and said, “You… you f—”

“YOU FUCKING BASTARD!!” an older male voice roared, before an alarm clock was launched at the leader at such a high speed that, quite literally, clocked him as said device broke in two.

That unexpected action stopped the one-sided combat long enough to reveal a young man of around 17, in a blue school uniform, with black hair and gray eyes behind his glasses, storming towards where the leader fell, the switchblade still in his hand. By the time the monsters started processing the scene in front of them, the young man snatched the knife away from the leader and yelled, “You stole my switchblade!”

Upon noticing the monsters, the young man said to the aggressors, “Since when did you feel the need to beat up little kids? Put them down, and come at me….” Reaching for his glasses, he took them off, eyes closed as he did so, before opening his eyes to show that they changed from gray to a brilliant indigo, leading him to say, “...if you dare.”

With a roar, the monsters dropped Naruto, Yamiko and Mika, before charging at the interloper. Expecting an easy time against the new guy, they charged and then circled him, preparing to clobber him in a few blows, if even that.

“閃鞘 (Sensa),” the newcomer intoned, before he slashed at the monster in front of him blindingly fast. When he moved his knife hand closer to his body, he jumped up and over the monster, kicking the entity in the back and revealing that it was cleaved into 18 pieces.

By that point, the other monsters were quick to realize that they weren’t fighting a regular person, though they were still inclined to kill him.

As the young man saw them charge him, he smirked, saying, “You seem quite eager to die, you do realize.” With that, he ran towards the monsters, slashing one in an upper diagonal from his left to his right, stabbing another in a place in its chest that caused that specific monster to die and vanish at the same time, slashing a third from the creature’s right side of the neck to the left side of its abdomen, slicing a fourth from its left shoulder to its right foot, dicing a fifth into five pieces, stabbing a sixth in a different place from the chest of the second one (in this case, the tailbone area) and making that one die and vanish, and cutting the last of the mooks in a somewhat straight line down the middle.

The leader, having gotten up from being clocked very shortly after the last of his mooks died, growled before roaring in rage, transforming into a monster like what his goons were, only more beefy, taller, and with five clawed hands with full wings. When he revealed his true form, he yelled, “Prepare to DIE, PUNY HUMAN!!”

“Eh, you wouldn’t be the first to say something like that, bastard. You think you can actually succeed in killing me, though?” the young man asked the monster, before jumping in a backwards somersault towards where he started killing the goons. Before the move could be questioned, the young man intoned, “閃走 (Sensō)”.

As soon as the intoning happened, he almost teleported to right within the guard of the monster, having ran that fast in less than a second. With a few swipes of his switchblade, he defeated the leader, though allowing the monster to live for a few seconds.

“Who… who are you?” were the last words of the monster, before the life faded from its eyes.

“My name is Shiki,” the young man answered, putting his glasses back on. “Tohno Shiki.”

With that, Shiki walked out of the remains of the apartment, narrowly missing the ANBU squad in the area as he managed to go into a crowd and literally vanish.

Xamusel

  • Number XV of the Organization
  • Master
  • ***
  • Posts: 429
  • Placeholder avatar until I can get something else
    • View Profile
Konoha Military Hospital
Seven hours later


“When I find out who hurt my son and friends, they’re going to wish I wasn’t Hokage!”  Kushina shouted in anger as she went back and forth, pacing in front the surgical room.

Naruto was recovering, much to her shock, very quickly.  Even if he had her regenerative abilities, the one all Uzumaki have, he should have still been laid up for next several months.  Instead, the staff said he might be out in a week at the earliest or the end of the month at worst.  That didn’t make sense even if she had been Kurama no Yoko’s container, he shouldn’t be recovering that fast at all.

Mika, thankfully, managed to avoid any serious harm.  Still, after this, she was going to have to let Yamiko have her lab so she could properly repair the golem.  Until then, Mika was still functional, just not at peak efficiency and at the top of her game.

Yamiko though…

The doors opened up and out stepped the Head of Surgery.

“Good news all around,” he said at once, seeing the Hokage immediately turn to him as he pulled the gloves off his hands, “She’ll be fine and back to her full capacity in about three weeks, give or take.”

Kushina visibly sagged with relief as Hiruzen stepped forward, having been patiently keeping an eye on her, “Anything we should know about doctor?”

The head shook his head at Hiruzen’s question, “No, nothing to worry about,” the man wiped his forehead though in relief, “I’d thought it would be worse, but she’s surprisingly built tougher than she looks.”

“Thank you doctor,” the Third Hokage bowed to him and the doctor bowed back.

“When will she be fit for visitors?” Kushina inquired, wondering as she wanted to talk to her friend and make sure she was alright as well as make arrangements for the debrief on what attacked them.

“Not for two days and not a moment before,” the doctor sternly warned the redhead.

Kushina only nodded and the doctor acknowledged that before departing to care for other patients.  The red headed woman then took one look as Yamiko was wheeled away to her room to rest and recover.  Then with a sigh, the woman turned and started on out of the hospital.  She had an investigation to worry about, a smuggling ring that had been broken up, the contents of said ring, a tiger from her birth country, reports of Youkai having been… well… she figured they would likely need to tear down the upper floors in order to be rid of the damage and stains.

And that was before the normal day’s work was resumed.

‘What is happening?’ Kushina thought to herself as she exited the building and started back for her office, ‘Youkai are not like that, nothing like we’ve been finding, and yet...’

As a Hokage and a Mother, she was deathly afraid of what the future might just hold.

XxX

In an Alternate Universe
Avalon Solutions Headquarters
Roughly the same time


Shiki walked in through the courtyard door of the Emiya estate, having just completed his mission in the alternate reality that was further removed from the base than usual, and proceeded to the dining room table for a home-cooked meal by the care provider of the estate. While he had a ton of issues to work out with the estate’s owner, he had no such issues with the care provider, given that she was such a sweet girl when she wasn’t on a mission… and it was a good thing he never got paired with her on missions, so he was told, because the lingering effects of the torture she endured were more than enough to make any male who didn’t know her all that well, that was also within range at times, want to do something horrendous with her.

When he got to the table, however, he noted that there was a bit of paperwork for him to fill out. Taking the time to look it over, he realized something rather important, namely….

‘This is bad! Tokie is pregnant with my child, and I have to take responsibility, especially if her father has any say in this!!’ Shiki thought.

When it came down to it, he knew that he had to take care of this in a timely fashion, because Tokie’s father, Jinan Sougen, was his doctor (and a rather scary man when he wanted to be). He would have to promise both of them that he would take care of her, through all the tough times especially, and even lay bare the truth about what he usually goes out to do.

With that, Shiki got up, paperwork in hand, and walked over to the Misaki Town entryway to the Avalon Solutions Headquarters, before hurrying over to his doctor and making sure that Tokie got a father for her child.

XxX

Back in Konoha
The next day (local time)


As Iruka tried to teach his class, he couldn’t help, but sigh.  The boys were doing well, more or less, given the events of the other day.  They were all a little freaked about the attack on one of the apartments and more specifically, their fellow cadets who were the target of the attack.  The Yamiko and Mika Joint Fan Club was especially hard hit since they both were in the hospital, though Mika was expected to rejoin in a couple of days.

Still, they were at least paying attention, taking the attack as a cue to learn and study hard.  They were doing exceptionally well in physical exercise as well.  Even Choji and Shikamaru were putting in the extra effort.  They all were really motivated.

The girls… were not.

Most were Naruto Fan Clubs members and they were really down in the dumps about it.  It was grating as even Sakura was getting wrong answers and Kurina was so fidgety he had nearly lost his temper four times with her alone today.  Ino was probably the only girl not affected and that was because she was showing her new sister the ropes of living in the village.

Yet even that was distracting to the girl.

Finally, after even Hinata got another wrong answer, he simply closed his book and turned to them all.

“Okay, listen up,” he called and the boys were attentive, but the girls….

“I SAID LISTEN UP!”

He used his Big Head Jutsu and the girls all gave starts.  One girl tumbled out of her seat.  Ino landed on Sasuke’s shoulders, tumbling them both into Kiba who tried to juggle them both before crashing into Aburame Shino and all four ended up in a mess.  Hinata gave a terrified sound that wasn’t either a scream or a shout of panic and toppled over in a dead faint.  Two other girls jumped into a standing position holding one another for dear life.  Sakura gave a violent start that she kicked her desk over and into the boys below her row.  Then it was further domino effect from there in one way or another and he could hear Mizuki slap his hand over his face in embarrassment.

Once the whole mess was more or less done happening, Iruka could only gape at the damage down.

Then the door slid open and another instructor put his head in through the door.  He took a look at Iruka and Mizuki, then at the mess of limbs, damaged desks, seats, and other messes.  Then he looked back at Mizuki and Iruka and sighed heavily.

“You guys too?”

Mizuki only groaned as Iruka looked only at what should have been impossible.

And so, here they were, with the girls separated from the boys for the time being.  They were all out on the running tracks, well, most were.  The ones that were paying attention and being as motivated as the boys were excused from this reorganization.  Plus, it seemed as time went by, more and more girls realized they had been in a funk all day.  They seemingly came too with a blink of the eyes that seemed to make them realize where they were and what they had been up to or rather the lack of what they had been up to.

As girls began to get themselves reoriented and back into the real world, they were excused.  Those that hadn’t were left to the tender mercies of Mitarashi Anko.  This left the remaining girls wondering if they had gone to hell when they seemed to finally click on.

Of course, that was probably because of Anko’s decision to use shock therapy and her assistants were rather long and huge snake summons.

Her real assistant, Chunin Yuuhi Kurenai looked on in wonder as the girls quickly snapped out of their funks and were sent off to clean up and return to class.

“See Nai-tan,” Anko spoke playfully as she filed her nails keeping them short and normal looking, “A little shock therapy, applied in the right matter would jump start them all.”

“I don’t see how this can even be considered safe,” the crimson eyed woman looked over to her friend with more than a little annoyance, “Considering the size of those snakes.”

Anko merely brought her hand up and glanced at her nails.  Nodding, she put the file away and turned to her friend, “Relax will you?” it was an honest question, “I put special seals on the number tags before I sent them out on their little run.”

Kurenai only huffed and looked to where another pair of girls suddenly appeared in smoke.  The two looked very winded and downright exhausted.  A single glance of their disheveled appearance told the Chunin that they were more interested in their appearance rather than making sure they would not only pass, but survive long enough to thrive in the Ninja world.

She couldn’t help, but wonder about how many dropouts there might be.

Then again, it was probably for the best.  Kurenai knew for a fact of what might happen to a kunoichi if captured.  She had seen it several times herself and Anko was a good description of what might happen to them if they ended up being lead astray by a traitor.  The life of ninja was hard, but equally so for both men and women as there were few qualms about tearing -at times literally- apart in ways best left undescribed.

While Kurenai hadn’t seen war, she had seen her fair share of border skirmishes and had a scar hidden beneath her hair on the left top of her head from a sword slash from an enemy Samurai.

Anko, Kurenai knew, had more scars and some of her sunburns from when her teacher had abandoned her had never healed quite right, though her tanned skin did well to hide those burn scars, the same with how time helped them fade into that same tan.

Even Kushina had her fair share of scars, the most notable around her wrists, though barely visible.  It was a constant reminder of when the current Raikage had participated in her failed kidnapping all those years ago.  Though, as time marched on, they were barely noticeable.  One would have to have seen them before then.  As such, Kurenai had learned that the Godaime Hokage considered them a symbol of her trust in Kumo.

The scars were fading, but they would always remain there.

She would never trust the Raikage or Kumo fully in her lifetime.

“I think that’s enough,” Anko stated and she whistled loudly.

The snakes heard her call and broke off pursuing the girls.  They instead calmly slithered up to Anko who indicated for some Genin to start opening up crates of some premium steaks.  As Anko counted the girls as they came back from running, she could she her snakes held to her rules and hadn’t eaten a single girl.  With them all present and accounted for, she turned them over to Kurenai to sort out as she took care of her pets, making sure they were fed and water as the chasing was as hard on them as it was on the girls.

Sometimes it really sucked to be so big.

As Anko tended to her large and slithery friends, Kurenai took over the girls and began to get them fed and watered.  She had to admit though as they were given food and water and the medics made sure they didn’t eat or drink themselves to death, that Anko’s approach had some merit.  Though she would never say that to the top knotted purple haired woman.

The girls seemed refresh in a way and were talking to one another.  Concerns and worries filling out the conversations that had developed once they had rested enough.  Now that they were free of the snakes, they were all making their complaints known and loudly.

Until Anko summoned an even bigger snake just to shut them up on the subject.

“Geez!” Ino complained as she took a vicious bite out of her Rice Ball and chewed it with speed worthy of an Akimichi or Naruto, “Talk about an insane woman!”

Then again, there were ones like Ino and, truthfully, Anko didn’t care what they said of her.

“Well,” Hinata began tiredly, not shyly, “You can’t really blame her,” she nearly bit herself eating her own Rice Ball, “We were really out of it today for some reason.  I think she was sent here to straighten us out.”

Ino only snorted unladylike as she took another vicious bite and bit her fingers in the process, “OW!” she dropped her rice ball on herself and groaned at the mess it was leaving and sweat it was likely pulling off her.

An Uchiha girl was then heard speaking with some of her clan kin.

“I tell you things have been getting crazy lately!”

“No kidding,” one of the other Uchiha girls muttered loudly, “What gave it away?”

“The Youkai that attacked Naruto, duh!”

“I agree,” a third Uchiha girl in the group stated simply before explaining, “It is easy to pass off the attacks of the enlarged crazed beasts as a new type of Ninja Art, but Youkai do not fall under the same heading.”

“Plus there was the attack on Kurina,” said girl was in the group as well, being friends with several of them.

“W-Wh-what about the attack?” Kurina was clearly nervous and frighten about the subject.

The girl who brought it up continued, “It isn’t a surprise that a daughter of the Kage be attacked,” she lectured as she looked thoughtful, “And it shouldn’t be a surprise that someone else would try to take advantage as you lay in the hospital quite vulnerable,” several nods greeted that logical conclusion, “So it had to be with the Youkai that things really, really started to get strange and unusual.”

“That makes unfortunate sense,” another Uchiha chimed in and they all sighed sadly at that as they knew things were going to get worse before they got better.

Sakura also let out a sigh herself.  She thought about Naruto and how he and Mika would be back soon.  That left Yamiko in the hospital for some time.  That also gave her an opening to get Naruto to like her and start going out with her.

She was no fool.  She saw that Naruto and Kurina couldn’t be biological siblings.  The two had been clearly adoptive siblings, that much she had figured out, so had Shikamaru and Kiba, but in their own ways.  Heck, it had been Shino who had finally told her the truth on the subject when she asked him to help her out.

Sakura also knew that the two were planning to start dating once they were both twelve years old.

The pinkette really needed this chance to try and gain Naruto’s affection.  But she wouldn’t go for it and that had been bothering her all day now.  The problem she was feeling was that it was underhanded.  Naruto deserved to know how she felt with Kurina there.  That way he could honestly choose between them.

She wanted Naruto to freely love her back, because he had honestly fallen in love with her.

Now she had this turmoil going for her.

As Anko observed, she noticed how the girls were talking their problems out with one another.  She felt that was a good step in the right direction for them.  Plus, this little exercise might have the bonus of forcing them to give up on frivolous and stupid things like diets and such.

Don’t get her wrong for a moment.  Some things like a diet was bad for a person in their line of work.  Using Chakra sped up the body’s operations and thus required an increased intake of food and drink.  On the other hand, for Kunoichi, infiltration was one of their specialties.  So they would need to know how to apply such things as make-up, perfume, and how to dress appropriately for the target area and/or target.

Just being in their line of work would let them keep their weight down.  Plus, with constructive understanding of Chakra, they would be able to hide their actual muscle mass as well.  It even had the benefit of hiding callouses on the hands and feet.  Any girl would love that ability after all.

“I see they are doing better,” the smell of lightly burning tobacco wafted up into her nostrils and the Snake Charmer of Leaf turned to her long time benefactor and somewhat of a surrogate father.

“Greetings Lord Hokage,” she smiled genuinely to the old man who chuckled heartily, if lightly.

“Hello Anko,” Hiruzen responded as he eyed the girls, making sure they were doing well, “I’m glad to see they are doing exceptionally well after that grueling run.”

Anko shrugged as she went back to tending her pets, patting one on the side and speaking softly to it before returning her attention to the retired Hokage, “As it stands,” she gesture back to the girls, “every year that passes, we get a stronger and stronger crop.”

“Agreed,” the old man nodded his head as he turned to pat the big snake they stood next to, “With the time and resources we have now, we can actually invest in proper training and outfitting for once, especially after Naruto’s remark to one of the students of the Raikage’s younger brother.”

Anko let out an incredulous laugh at that, “I can’t believe he went and said that and somehow managed to undo decades of bad blood that damn easily.”

The Hokage made a mirthful noise himself as he took his pipe from his lips, “Agreed,” and he did, “Of course in all fairness to them, if not for the Silver and Gold Brothers, we wouldn’t have been fighting them in the first place,” then he thought about it, “At least in the first place.”

Anko only ‘hmmed’ back as the two watched the girls begin to understand a few things.

XxX

Naruto was tossing and turning in his hospital bed, the dream he was having a sign that something wrong was going on, though nobody knew what he was dreaming of… except for a man in a black hooded robe standing in the shadows of his room.

‘It is time to show you what is to come in a possible future, young one. I pray for your success, Uzumaki Naruto,’ the man thought to himself, before fading from the room into Naruto’s dreamscape.

XxX

Naruto ran in fear, not once looking back the way he came, because of some instinctual warning that screamed at him to run as fast as he could away from the thing chasing him! He didn’t know what it was, but he didn’t need to at present, given that he didn’t want to be caught by it or anything else that could happen.

Looking all around him as he ran, he saw that Konoha was in ruins, the surrounding area burning as he ran to avoid the monstrosity headed his way. He also saw a number of places that he didn’t recognize, but felt that he should, until he finally got to a fork in the road… and hit an invisible wall that suddenly barred his way.

Falling flat on his back, Naruto finally saw what he was running from… a massive amount of tentacles attached to a dark mass, the dark mass being the main body of whatever that thing was. It was a good thing that he didn’t see what the dark mass really was, because it seemed to be an abomination of some sort… possibly something mankind should never have to know about.

With that, he froze on his back, unable to move as the monster slowly but surely advanced towards him. When it was within two meters of him….

A bright light appeared in front of him, blocking the eldritch abomination from continuing, as a room started to form around Naruto. When the room finished forming around him, he got up off the ground and took a look around, seeing that it was a different style of room than what he was used to back home. For one thing, all the walls were white in color, with different pictures on the wall that featured him either on his own or with someone else. One set of pictures was of he and Kurina, as a couple no less, leading up to them having kids. Another set of pictures had him with Sakura, though she had long slanted ears instead of the normal variety, leading up to the two of them living long and happy lives. A third set of pictures had him with Ino, though the tone of the pictures was sadder than the others, but leading up to a bittersweet ending overall. A fourth set of pictures featured him with Yamiko and sometimes Mika, though it took a while for Mika to finally grow up, eventually leading up to an ending that showed Naruto working on a project that would benefit humanity with three children assisting him.

All in all, there were fifteen different sets of pictures, and each one was somewhat informative of a potential future that could be… right?

“Ah, I see you found the truth of your existence, Naruto. It’s a shame that you didn’t discover it sooner.”

Turning to face the speaker, Naruto found a blonde-haired girl, who seemed to be a few years older than him, sitting at the table on the opposite side of where he was. If he wasn’t quite as observant in this situation, he might have missed that she had blue eyes, rosy cheeks and pale, pink lips, while she wore a simple, white, lace dress and light blue sandals… and that she was drawing something on a piece of paper in front of her.

Fortunately for Naruto, he was able to pick those details out, so he decided to walk around the table and see what it was she was drawing. When he got to her side of the table, he sat down to her immediate left and turned to face her, asking, “Excuse me, miss, but wh—”

“Naminé.”

“Huh?” Naruto got out after being interrupted.

“My name is Naminé,” the girl, no, Naminé, answered without looking up from her drawing.

“Oh, okay, Naminé-san—”

“Just Naminé, Naruto.”

“Oh… alright. Er, if you don’t mind my asking, what are you drawing?” Naruto finally got to ask.

“I’m drawing an epilogue of your overall adventures. I just haven’t finished generalizing it yet, based on the fact that there are different options to go by in each adventure.” As soon as she finished that statement, Naminé drew some additional bits in the scenery of her work, making it include a bunch of foxes in the background, and a pair of blonde-haired men speaking to each other in the foreground. With that, she put down her drawing materials and said, “Okay, it’s done.”

By that point, the man in the black hooded robe showed up in a column of shadowy energy, saying as soon as he was fully visible, “Naminé, the preparations are complete. We’d best head back now, before they notice that we’re gone.”

“Alright, I understand.” Naminé stood up from her seat, with Naruto doing the same, before they both walked to where the man was.

For whatever reason, Naruto didn’t know why, but he felt that the man was a safe guy to be around. It just was a feeling that he had… nothing more.

When Naruto and Naminé were in front of the man, he said, “Uzumaki Naruto, what you’ve seen so far is something you will need to understand on your own. Nobody will help you out with this, because this is a test that only you have to go through. Do you understand what I mean so far?”

Naruto, because he honestly didn’t understand, shook his head.

“In short, you must find your own path, one that will enable you to find the truth of your life. There will be no clear answers at first, but all will be revealed in due time, so relax your thoughts.” The man said, like he was a sage.

“Oh,” Naruto said, honestly understanding it now.

Naminé walked in between Naruto and the man in front of them, saying, “I hope that they won’t notice our disappearance any time soon, even though we still need to be back before they do notice.” Turning to face Naruto, she said, “We’ll meet again, before the start of the divergences, I promise.” With that, she and the man both vanished in a shadowy column, before the same bright light from earlier engulfed Naruto once more… before he finally woke up.


XxX

A month later

Mikoto let out a covered giggled behind her Kimono sleeve as Naruto and Sasuke continued to go at it.  The two were certainly boys and acted very much the part.  Next to her, Kushina was doing much as she was as Sasuke and Naruto traded barbs back and forth.  The two mothers knew where this was eventually going to go, so they held hidden the ladles they would use to knock the boys on the head for when it got there.

Until such time, they were enjoying the meal, the drink, and the entertainment.

Across the village, Sakura, Ino, and Elesia finished a bit of shopping.  Since things had started to get a little crazy, Elesia had decided that it would be safer on the line than behind it.  As such, she had been enrolled in the Ninja Academy, though a late starter, she was showing promise, especially with Ino helping her.  While Elesia might never get on the line, she would be in important places to support it so it could move forward and defend their home.

Kiba was rough housing with Choji, the two boys trying to see who had greater strength and stamina.  Their mothers were talking about various things while Inuzuka Hana let out another annoyed and angry sound.  Apparently, she had just lost to Shikamaru, again.  Akimichi Chouza was having the same luck against Nara Shikaku as his wife Yoshino stepped out with tea for everyone.

Yamiko finished her final tuning of Mika.  For both, the lab was the gift of the Kami themselves.  Mika had immediately gone through some fighting stances and techniques.  Yamiko had never bothered to mention, that after so much time, Mika would begin to physically develop on her own.  As such, Yamiko needed the lab to fine tune Mika during that time.

Mika’s growth, as Yamiko read over the original report, was the result of a strange specimen of life getting loose and combining with the golem.  Yamiko had noted it had taken three months for Mika to regain some semblance of herself.  But what shocked her, was that Mika should have been full grown by now and even as old as Kushina in appearance.

Yamiko had always known why Mika had been offline when their home had fallen.  She had been placed into a standby phase as they tried to understand why she hadn’t been destroyed when the unknown lifeform had combined with her.  She had just lied straight out back then.  As such, she suspected that sooner or later Mika would start to develop a taste and eventually, a need for food.  It hadn’t been hard to detect that Mika was already starting to develop emotions.

Her gaze at Naruto when she thought she was merely directing her attention tended to be less that of a soulless golem and more that of a young girl developing a crush.

Yamiko feared what would happen if Mika could not control herself in that regard.

“So many stories to tell,” a man pushed his glasses up on his nose as he sipped his tea.

His companion merely nodded.

“This should prove exciting,” the glasses man then eyed in the direction where Neji was trying his best to be a divine follower of predestined fate, “Hopefully Naruto can knock some sense into him.”

“Yep,” his friend agreed before taking out an old fashioned pocket watch and checking the time, “He’s late.”

“You know he’s never late,” glasses responded as he put down his empty tea cup, “He arrives precisely when he means to.”

The companion closed the watch and nodded, “Like now.”

“Indeed my friends, shall we be on the way?” the man was dressed like a foreign noble in a blue and white double breasted tunic with white trousers and knee high black riding boots.  His greyed hair was slicked back and his handsome features were an unusual white.  His red eyes shone with age and wisdom not many would ever see.

“Glad you are here my friend,” glasses let his eye correction drop a little, revealing glowing, golden eyes beneath.

“Where next?” the companion lifted his head, revealing glowing green eyes that looked more like lights in the dark, than actual eyes.

“Why not home for a bit?” the nobleman questioned and his two friends looked to one another and nodded, “Splendid!  There’s this boy and girl I would like you both to meet, even managed to recreate my Jeweled Sword if you can believe that.” He laughed heartily at the memory, “Interesting duo, I’m trying to see if children born from them would be just as interesting.”

The other two sighed, but agreed that if it got his attention, it was worth looking into for themselves.

With the passing of a wind gust, the three were gone and money on the table.

XxX

Xamusel Eighth A/N: Alright, this is where the chapter will end for now… unfortunately, not an awful lot of sustenance to the content of the story. On the other hand, there’s a fair bit of plot advancement, as well as a plot connection device here.

For those of you wondering about Avalon Solutions, it’s actually a setting I’m starting that has basis in the Nasuverse, one that is based on a different route than the normal three of Fate/stay Night (plus the unused Sacchin route of Tsukihime). If you’re wondering, it’s a heavily modified Heaven’s Feel, which will be quite different from the Heaven’s Feel that gets mentioned in-story (if the reference to the Jeweled Sword wasn’t enough of a clue already…).

Yes, Tohno Shiki is probably one of the most hax members of Nasuverse, unless you count Ryougi Shiki… she does a damn good job of playing God (no joke, she can kill concepts better than Tohno, even Servants get killed by her instead of the other one). Perhaps she can kill the Shinju for us?

...I’m joking. I highly doubt that the Shinju that’s displayed in canon will ever show up.

Anyway, yes, there’s a reason why Naminé is in this story. No, it has nothing to do with Kairi and Sora, although that’s the canonical reason in Kingdom Hearts. It has to do with a different sort of problem in this story… and I won’t spoil it for anyone just yet.

Anyway, here’s Tomcat, people.


XxX

Tomcat Third A/N: Life, ever winding, ever flowing.  No straight path to even the final destination.  It meanders on, setting its own pace and course.

Much like this story.

Xamusel’s got the plans, I got the words.  So here we go through with this.

We’re seeing much change and even character development.  Playing a bit on fanon and canon to unite the two and make a story.  As you can guess, things will be different and are different, but some things are written in stone unfortunately.  So there will be tragedy and heartache.

But whenever the darkness reaches its peak, so some light must be seen.

The biggest change is the dimensional barriers.  They seem to be fading and breaking in some cases.  Things and people are spilling over between the two.  What was one world’s problem is now several worlds’ problems.

Plus, what will a certain Dimensional Hopping Vampire with a love of pranks do about it?  Since it would be a problem for him directly after all.  Additionally, who are his friends?  These two newcomers who are traveling with him.  Are they merely travel buddies or are they more?

Things are changing and the winds are blowing.

Will the river of life meander as it has always done?

Or will things suddenly change?

As the story develops, so too does the character of each person involved.

What will be written next?


XxX

Xamusel Ninth A/N: As mentioned, I do have the plans, and one of them that was hinted at twice is that this will be read similarly to a Visual Novel… once in-story and the other by what Tomcat said at the beginning of his A/N. The reason why is because I intend to make this into a Visual Novel at some point, with all the bells and whistles involved, honestly.

Anyway, I guess now will be the time when the chapter gets wrapped up, so…

Sayonara no Tsubasa
-Xamusel

Xamusel

  • Number XV of the Organization
  • Master
  • ***
  • Posts: 429
  • Placeholder avatar until I can get something else
    • View Profile
...alright, story posting is over, now is the time for you guys to look the stuff over and tell me what I should be working on... and even what I should be rewriting (and writing for the first time) by the end of February.

Please, be as harsh as needed, but don't be too harsh!