Hello everyone, this is soulful-ginger. I have the honor of bringing you this version of Naruto of the Dead that pain17ification allowed me to have a crack at. All credit for the first almost dozen chapters goes directly to him and it's my honor to present my own twist on his story. Thank you for the opportunity. In all honesty, not a lot will be changed unless I see fit. Love you guys.

Naruto will be apathetic, powerful, and will mainly utilize the kinjutsu, Edo Tensei. This story will be a NaruAnko one.

That being said, I hope you guys enjoy the idea of Shi no Naruto (Naruto of the Dead).

Please note: pain17ification doesn't own Naruto and neither do I.

"Speech"

'Thoughts'

"Higher Being Speech"

'Higher Being Thoughts'

"Jutsu"

(Technique Translations)

Scene or Time Change/Chapter Name

Chapter 1: Release

The darkness was all consuming, the silence of the sound deafening.

His chains creaked, water from the ceiling dripped, and for the hundredth time that hour the prisoner tried to find a way to end it all.

How long has it been since he was taken? How many times has he endured torture that will kill any lesser man? He didn't know, and he honestly didn't care anymore. All he wanted was for the pain and suffering to end…His soul and been blackened and burned by the onslaught of torture, the myriad of mind games that had raked across his mind like a hot knife.

The village…Tsunade and the others…Sasuke… None of it mattered to him anymore. Not a damn thing except freedom. His body was a literal sack of skin and bone; weak, malnourished, and unwilling to fight back. Yet, in spite of it all, he remained alive. Whether it was due to the damn fox or a small part of him that simply refused to die, he did not know… It was too bothersome to try and figure out anyway.

When would release come?

In what form would it be? Death? Freedom? Servitude?

As he hung by the chains wrapped from his wrists to the spikes in the ceiling, he silently wished for someone, anyone, to free him. He didn't even care if it was that damn snake that did it…

The door to his cell room opened, bringing in a harsh light that made him shut his eyes in pain. Footsteps were heard as well as someone writing on a pad of some sort, before a voice spoke to him.

"Well Naruto, how are we feeling today?" the person asked mockingly.

The blonde slowly opened his once bright blue eyes and raised his head at the man before him. The right hand of the snake Sannin, Kabuto, stared at him with a smirk on his face. Naruto merely put his head back down, too tired to say anything to him.

He had learned his lesson countless times before.

"Aww, come now Naruto… I'm sure you must have something to say. You've done so for almost two years now," Kabuto taunted.

Naruto gave a small grunt before he raised his head again. "…Just get it over with," he said in a dead tone.

"What do you mean, Naruto-kun?" Kabuto mocked in a sickly sweet voice.

"Kill me, you bastard. Just let me have my peace" Naruto shut his eyes tightly as Kabuto came closer.

Kabuto's smirk grew before he snapped his fingers and had the chains holding Naruto gave way, dropping the blonde to the floor. As Naruto lay on the ground, too weak to move, two Oto shinobi came in and supported the blonde before pulling him out of the room after Kabuto. Kabuto led them through the underground base and to an open room where Orochimaru sat on his throne like chair. The snake-like nuke-nin was observing his latest potential vessel, Sasuke Uchiha, grow stronger and more powerful.

His slit yellow eyes turned their gaze to the barely living blonde before him. During his near two-year imprisonment, Naruto had somehow still grown to be of greater height than Sasuke; an even six feet. His hair had grown to his shoulder blades and became less spiky and shaggier looking. Captivity had caused his body to practically sink in on itself due to lack of food and water while looking deathly pale from lack of light. As for clothing, all he had were his old orange pants that were ripped into shorts over the years.

Seeing the Uzumaki finally broken made the snake grin and chuckle darkly. "Ah, Naruto-kun… So nice to see you up and about from your lowly cell..."

Naruto braced himself for any fresh Hell that assaulted him, ready for the sweet embrace of the void of Death.

Hearing his old teammate's name, Sasuke turned his attention to the blonde and stared on impassively. What happened to the dobe was not of any significance to him, but his current teacher was being distracted from teaching him anything. So, he was waiting for Orochimaru to finish up with the Uzumaki.

"I take it that you're finally ready to submit to me, Naruto-kun?"

The blonde kept his dead stare on the snake before he slowly nodded. "If-" he started before he coughed due to his dried up throat. After the fit of coughs was done, he said, "If it gets me out of that cell and out of those 'sessions' you and Kabuto gave me, then I will submit…"

"You will submit what?" Orochimaru asked with a smirk.

"…I will submit…Orochimaru-sama."

The snake chuckled at the title given to him. "Good, very good Naruto-kun… Kabuto, get my newest subordinate some clothing and nourishment. Kami-sama knows that he needs it."

"At once, Orochimaru-sama," answered the medic-nin before he and the other two ninja took Naruto out of the room.

"Oh, and Naruto-kun," called out Orochimaru to the blonde's leaving form. "We will begin your physical rehabilitation after you've eaten."

An hour later, Kabuto and Naruto slowly walked back into the room. The blonde was dressed in black sandals, blood red pants, and an open black-hooded cloak with no shirt underneath. His seal was visible as well as a fist shaped scar just next to his heart while his hair was cut back down to its original length. He still looked pale and his eyes still looked devoid of life, but he still looked presentable.

"Orochimaru-sama, I have brought back Naruto."

"Ah, excellent… Now then Naruto-kun, I will have you start your studies with this scroll," said the snake while handing the blonde a blue scroll with a red swirl symbol on it. "That is a scroll on fuinjutsu that is only readable by Uzumaki eyes. Your blood is also needed to open the scroll."

Naruto took the scroll and slowly bit his thumb before he wiped the needed blood on the symbol. The seal glowed and the scroll opened before their eyes. To Orochimaru, Kabuto, and Sasuke, all they saw was a blank scroll; however to Naruto's eyes, the scroll had beautifully detailed diagrams and codes for various forms of fuinjutsu ranging from storage and bomb to chakra restriction and body preserving.

"I take it you are able to read the scroll?" asked Orochimaru.

"…Yes I can, but it will take me some time to decipher the contents" Naruto stalled.

"Excellent... Now then, get to it. Kabuto, keep an eye on his progress while I continue training Sasuke."

"As you command- Orochimaru-sama… Come Naruto, you have much work to do."

"Whatever…" Naruto said as he followed the silver-haired man.

Sasuke watched as the blonde who failed to stop him left to begin his own training. It still confused him as to why Orochimaru brought Naruto with them. It was even more confusing and surprising to him when he saw Naruto after nearly two years and he was finally broken. All of the fire and fight he had in him was just…gone, and it was replaced by this submissive stranger.

'What happened to you, dobe?' thought the Uchiha.

Four Months Later

Naruto sat at his desk in his room, notes on fuinjutsu posted all over the room on the walls, shelves, and desk. He was working on a seal design that was made to assist Sasuke in his use of the Juin (Cursed Seal) so that the feeling of exhaustion would be lessened after it was used.

He had been debating on whether or not to rig the seal to kill the last Uchiha. Oddly enough, flashes of the color pink halted that plan.

During the four months of working on the Uzumaki Scroll, Naruto had discovered something very interesting. It started out with him getting a feel for his chakra again, but at one point his chakra jutted out of his palm like a blade. Curious about the development, Naruto pushed more chakra out of where the blade appeared and it shot out like a launched kunai. What was even more interesting was that the blade was connected by a chain that originated from his body.

When Kabuto saw this, he reported it to Orochimaru, but the snake wasn't the least bit surprised. The wife of the Yondaime, Kushina, was famous for her chakra chains. It made sense that her son would have the same ability. However, the Sannin had decided against telling the blonde of his parentage so that he wouldn't get any idea about returning to Konoha.

Another thing that Naruto did was talk to his tenant Bijuu.

Flashback

Naruto opened his eyes to the familiar scene of his sewer-like mindscape. He sighed in irritation as he made his way to the cage that held back the Kyuubi.

It didn't take long to reach it and the familiar slit red eyes of the fox. "Alright fox, what do you want?"

The Kyuubi glared at its container before it presented its vulpine muzzle into the light. "I'm merely curious as to what finally broke you, Kit… You stood up to me of all things; ME! Who the hell do you think you are standing up to me and losing yourself to that damn snake of all people?!"

"That isn't any of your business, fox."

"There it is again! You disrespect me RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME! Yet you obey that snake like a fucking slave!"

Naruto glared at the fox and roared, "You wanna know why I gave up fighting back?! It's because he can actually hurt me and you can't do a damn thing to me from this cage! He attacked my body and my mind, fox! All you power does is increase my rage and make me fight on instinct! Do you understand now?! He destroyed me inside and out while you did nothing! Get it through your fucking head!"

The fox snarled and bashed its head against the cage, making the mindscape shake with a furious tremor. "Don't think that this damn seal will hold me back forever, brat! I will find a way out and when I do, I-"

"We need to cooperate, fox," Naruto interrupted, stopping the fox mid-rant.

"…What?"

"You heard me. I need your power; we both know that. But you also need me to stay alive, or else you'll die too. So, I say we work together and get through this together."

"What exactly are you saying?"

"I'm saying that, when the time comes, I'm gonna leave this place and make my own path in the world. I won't be the naïve fool I once was, and I sure as hell won't remain the submissive man I am now. I need your help, fox."

The Kyuubi calmed down after Naruto's explanation and rested its head on its forepaws. "Well, at least you admit that you need me… And I can't deny the logic in teaming up…" The Bijuu was silent in thought for a bit before it made its decision. "Fine, we'll work together; but I'm not doing this for you. I'm doing this so that I stay alive."

"Glad that we have reached an understanding, fox… Now, what will we give each other in this deal?"

"Simple; I give you access to my power while you make sure to stay alive, brat." Naruto nodded and the fox added, "Also, I want you to kill someone for me."

"Who…?"

"The man who controlled me that night I attacked Konoha; Madara Uchiha."

"Isn't he supposed to be dead, or ancient?" asked the blonde in confusion.

"I assumed so as well, but I think that his blasted eyes somehow made him immortal… His eyes have transgressed farther than any Uchiha out there, so it wouldn't surprise me if eternal life was one of the new abilities…

"…Could any Uchiha gain this power?"

"I'm not sure, but all I care about is killing off that bastard. No one commands me and gets away with it!"

The blonde nodded. "You've got a deal fox. When I can, I'll find Madara…and end him."

End Flashback

After the deal was made, the Kyuubi and Naruto had established both a mental and sensory link between them. They could telepathically speak to one another, and the fox was able to experience what its host did. Naruto had spent most of his time working with seals to keep Orochimaru happy as well as tweak his Shiki Fuiin (Reaper Death Seal) to help with controlling the Kyuubi's power.

Naruto moved throughout the room and grabbed all of his notes before sealing them away in a scroll that had a Chi Fuiin (Blood Seal) on it. He then grabbed a second scroll that was on his shelf and opened it. 'Now then, let's see just what makes you tick…' he thought to himself as he read the scroll labeled Edo Tensei (Impure World Resurrection). 'Good thing the snake wanted me to learn this and use its power. Heh, I can't believe he gave me something so useful just because of my monstrous chakra reserves.'

"The Sannin truly is a fool… He just gave you one of the most powerful jutsu in the world just because he thinks you will obey him."

'A shame on him, isn't it Kyuubi?' Naruto asked with a fanged smirk.

The fox smirked as well. "Indeed it is, Kit…"

Six Months Later

"So, the teme absorbed Orochimaru, huh?" asked Naruto to Kabuto who looked totally lost on what to do.

"Yes, Sasuke absorbed Orochimaru-sama into him… But I don't understand… It was supposed to work the other way around… How did Sasuke absorb Orochimaru-sama?"

Naruto rolled his eyes and reopened his Edo Tensei scroll before he began looking it over. Over the months, he and the Kyuubi had deciphered the entire jutsu and its many uses and secrets. While Naruto had little care anymore for a lot of things, the whole 'human sacrifice' for each summoned soul was a bit unnerving. Luckily, the fox had a way around it, but it wouldn't speak of the loophole until Naruto knew the jutsu inside and out.

"Think about it, Kabuto… What is the Sharingan's main ability?"

"Decoding and analyzing jutsu?"

"Exactly… Now, wouldn't you say that Orochimaru's body transfer counts as a jutsu?" he asked as if speaking to a young child.

Kabuto looked shocked at how obvious the answer was and was about to speak before they heard an explosion from a part of the base. "Naruto, hold off the invaders! I'll go procure Orochimaru-sama's notes!" ordered the silver-haired medic before he rushed off.

Naruto sighed in frustration and unsealed a scroll that held three dead bodies in it. "Good thing Orochimaru has many of these scrolls around the base," he muttered before he performed the seals needed. "Kuchiyose: Edo Tensei!"

As the dead bodies faded into ashes, three coffins rose from the ground and opened up to reveal the old Oto Genin Team he saw during the Chunin Exams; Dosu, Zaku, and Kin. Their eyes were lifeless and in a trance as Naruto ordered, "Go deal with the intruders…"

The summoned souls rushed off to find the attackers of the base while Naruto slowly walked to his room.

"Geez… Just when I wanted to relax, this shit happens. No doubt Kabuto already got the notes and left me to either die or run away myself… Bastard is just a spineless coward," he muttered as he made his way through the darkened hallways.

"You do know that those three you summoned have no chance right?"

'I figured they didn't, but they're mainly used to gauge the strength of the intruders. Besides, if anything, those three will stall them enough to make them lose chakra and strength.'

"And then you go in for the kill," the fox finished with a smirk which was shared with its host.

'Exactly… Now, I just have to play the waiting game,' he said as his chuckles echoed through the base.

In another part of the base, a violet-haired woman froze at the echoed chuckling coming from the halls. 'That tone… It sounds familiar, but…who is it?'

(End)

Again, many thanks to Pain and I'm going to be fleshing this story out into my own fashion. I just felt the first chapter was almost perfect. Stay with it guys and I promise that you will love the end results.