Disclaimer: I do not own anything...seriously.

Prologue: Coincidence

A tall figure walked through the crowds of Gil'ead with a slow, yet predatory gait that warded him from the jostling crowds were famous for. As he moved through the streets undettered, many whispers and hushed conversations broke out under the eyes of the interested townspeople.

For one thing, his appearance and attitude was highly...unique. As opposed to the soldiers of the Empire, or even some of the traveling warriors that often passed through, the strange man wore no armor at all. It was also strange that he wore a garb that was most suspicious and foreboding; it was predominantly black, with traces of red. A long sleeved, ankle-length black coat with red lining was draped over him, flaring out into a number of ragged contrails. He wore form fitting pants. Sturdy boots completed his clothing, which intrigued a number of people in the crowd.

His physical appearance was also something that stuck out in the mass of people, but for a completely different reason. His face was smooth and clean-shaven, though not like that of a youth. His hair, long and as crimson as an ocean of blood, framed his face nicely in a messy yet attractive manner, with bangs so long that they covered most of his right eye. Most people could barely make out his eyes, though the ones that did insisted that they were red as well. Several women commented with sly smiles and excited blushes on his physique; whilst he wasn't grotesquely built like some of the soldiers, his muscles were clearly defined and compact.

The last thing to note was the weapon he carried. Sheathed in a pitch black scabbard devoid of any markings or design, the sword he held in his hand seemed to radiate with...something. Also, quite unlike the weapons that were used in Alagaesia, his sword wasn't strapped to him but carried about like an ornament. In addition, the sword's length was quite unusual; roughly as long as his height, several soldiers found themselves wondering just how impractical the weapon was. Many of the soldiers who watched him warily gripped their weapons and shields as they caught sight of the blade. Not that the redhead paid any attention to them.

Turning about the nearest corner, the redhead snorted lightly as his turn took him further and further away from the Main Street. "People really should keep their opinions to themselves." He muttered, casting a glance over his surroundings. If the information he had obtained was true, then his target was right underneath him, most likely in an underground prison. 'Then again, considering how many times she's put a dent in the young upstart's plans, I wouldn't be surprised at the lengths he's willing to go for her capture and execution.'

That last thought made his lips twitch. As if she'd die so easily.

Crouching down towards the ground, the redhead called his power forth. Like always it responded to him, eager and anxious to be used as he saw fit. Focusing the powerful energy into his feet, he quickly merged with the earth and descended into it, leaving no evidence that he had been there.

-Underground Cell-

It was dark in Eragon's cell when he sat up with a start, electrified. The wrinkle had shifted! He had felt the magic at the edge of his consciousness for hours, but every time he tried to use it, nothing happened. Eyes bright with nervous energy, he clenched his hands and said, "Nagz reisa!" With a flap, the cot's blanket flew into the air and crumpled into a ball the size of his fist. It landed on the floor with a soft thump.

Exhilarated, Eragon stood. He was weak from his enforced fast, but his excitement overcame his for the real test. He reached out with his mind and felt the lock on the door. Instead of trying to break or cut it, he simply pushed its internal mechanism into the unlocked position. With a click, the door creaked inward.

When he had first used magic to kill the Urgals in Yazuac, it had consumed nearly all of his strength, but he had grown much stronger since then. What once would have exhausted him now only tired him slightly.

He cautiously stepped into the hall. 'I have to find Zar'roc and the elf. She must be in one of these cells, but there isn't time to look in them all. As for Zar'roc, the Shade might have it with him.' He realized that his thinking was still muddled. 'Why am I out here? I could escape right now if I went back into the cell and opened the window with magic. But then I wouldn't be able to rescue the elf. . . . Saphira, where are you? I need your help.' He silently berated himself for not contacting her sooner. That should have been the first thing he did after getting his power back.

Her reply came with surprising clarity. 'Eragon! I'm over Gil'ead. Don't do anything. Murtagh is on the way.'

'What are—' Footsteps interrupted him. He spun around, crouching as a squad of six soldiers marched into the hall. They halted abruptly, eyes flicking between Eragon and the open cell door. Blood drained from their faces. 'Good, they know who I am. Maybe I can scare them off so we won't have to fight.'

"Charge!" yelled one of the soldiers, running forward. The rest of the men drew their blades and pounded down the hall.

It was madness to fight six men when he was unarmed and weak, but the thought of the elf kept him in place. He could not force himself to abandon her. Uncertain if the effort would leave him standing, he pulled on his power and raised his hand, the gedwëy ignasia glowing. Fear showed in the soldiers' eyes, but they were hardened warriors and did not slow. As Eragon opened his mouth to pronounce the fatal words, there was a low buzz, a flicker of motion. One of the men crashed to the floor with an arrow in his back. Two more were struck before anyone understood what was happening.

At the end of the hall, where the soldiers had entered, stood a ragged, bearded man with a bow. A crutch lay on the floor by his feet, apparently unneeded, for he stood tall and straight.

The three remaining soldiers turned to face this new threat. Eragon took advantage of the confusion. "Thrysta!" he shouted. One of the men clutched his chest and fell. Eragon staggered as the magic took its toll. Another soldier fell, pierced through the neck with an arrow. "Don't kill him!" called Eragon, seeing his rescuer take aim at the last soldier. The bearded man lowered his bow.

Eragon concentrated on the soldier before him. The man was breathing hard; the whites of his eyes showed. He seemed to understand that his life was being spared.

"You've seen what I can do," said Eragon harshly. "If you don't answer my questions, the rest of your life will be spent in utter misery and torment. Now where's my sword—its sheath and blade are red—and what cell is the elf in?" The man clamped his mouth shut.

Eragon's palm glowed ominously as he reached for the magic. "That was the wrong answer," he snapped. "Do you know how much pain a grain of sand can cause you when it's embedded red hot in your stomach? Especially when it doesn't cool off for the next twenty years and slowly burns its way down to your toes! By the time it gets out of you, you'll be an old man." He paused for effect. "Unless you tell me what I want."

The soldier's eyes bulged, but he remained silent. Eragon scraped some dirt off the stone floor and observed dispassionately, "This is a bit more than a piece of sand, but be comforted; it'll burn through you faster. Still, it'll leave a bigger hole." At his word, the dirt shone cherry red, though it did not burn his hand.

"All right, just don't put that in me!" yelped the soldier. "The elf's in the last cell to the left! I don't know about your sword, but it's probably in the guardroom upstairs. All the weapons are there."

Eragon nodded, then murmured, "Slytha." The soldier's eyes rolled up in his head, and he collapsed limply.

"Did you kill him?" Eragon looked at the stranger, who was now only a few paces away. He narrowed his eyes, trying to see past the beard. "Murtagh! Is that you?" he exclaimed.

"Yes," said Murtagh, briefly lifting the beard from his shaven face. "I don't want my face seen. Did you kill him?"

"No, he's only asleep. How did you get in?"

"There's no time to explain. We have to get up to the next floor before anyone finds us. There'll be an escape route for us in a few minutes. We don't want to miss it."

"Didn't you hear what I said?" asked Eragon, gesturing at the unconscious soldier. "There's an elf in the prison. I saw her! We have to rescue her. I need your help."

"An elf . . . !" Murtagh hurried down the hall, growling, "This is a mistake. We should flee while we have the chance." He stopped before the cell the soldier had indicated and produced a ring of keys from under his ragged cloak. "I took it from one of the guards," he explained.

Eragon motioned for the keys, already heading towards the elf's cell. Murtaugh shrugged and caught up to his companion, handing over the keys. After a few moments looking for the right key, Eragon found it and wrenched the door open. A single beam of moonlight slanted through the window, illuminating the figures before them with cool silver.

The elf was there, that was certain...but what they weren't expecting was the redhead young man standing before her, his arms carrying her with no visible effort. His crimson eyes, human yet inhuman, lifted to meet their eyes. Chills run down Eragon's back.

Murtagh wasted no time and had another arrow notched, aimed right at the strange redhead. "Who are you?" He demanded, maneuvering in front of Eragon.

The man cocked his head.

To the surprise of the two men, the man and elf promptly disappeared in a spiraling vortex.

-Unknown Location-

Landing smoothly upon the vast expanse of land, the redhead gently deposited the elf on the ground. His eyes run over her form, taking in her appearance once again. His brows arched. She was beautiful, there was no doubt about that.

Cracking his neck, the redhead rose again with a sigh. "Well, might as well get going now. Ajihad will be quite interested to hear of this development." Scooping the unconscious elf and gently throwing her over his shoulders, he prepared to teleport himself and his target back to the physical world when a thought stopped him.

Glancing towards the unconscious elf's backside, he arched a brow. Almost like every aspect of her, it was 'perfect' in the eyes of many. Slowly yet unwaveringly, his right hand reached up and palmed her rear. A moment later, he gave her left rear a squeeze. And another.

No reaction at all from the elf.

He deadpanned. "Well that was boring." With a half turn, Naruto and the elf disappeared from the separate dimension.

A/N: Right, the prologue is already up. As you can see, this is quite different from what I did in Bijuu Shur'tugal.

I've decided to add Mei in the pairing because...well, her personality seems fun...plus she's sex appeal incarnate. That and I want to try my hands at relationship drama (wish me luck!). Also decided to throw in Samui, since I never got round to showcase her in Bijuu Shur'tugal.

Naruto's sword is Tensa Zangetsu, for no other reason than the cool factor. He carries it like Vergil carries Yamato.

Also, everyone from the Narutoverse have dropped their clan/family names for their own reasons. So don't expect there to be any mention of any clan.

Action begins next chapter. The reactions to Naruto's style of fighting are gonna be priceless; after all, since when have they ever seen someone take down an army with no sweat?

So, anybody wonder what E.N.D looks like?

Read and Review,

MaelstromBankai.